A Note from the President

Dear Members,

It truly is a site to behold.

Things are looking a bit different on the PPRA website these days. We couldn't be more excited.

PPRA launched its brand new web portal recently - and the early returns have been tremendous. 

Our new site better makes the PPRA brand clear and current - and is much simpler to navigate if you want to register for an event, renew your membership, check out the PPRA Job Bank, request a PPRA Mentor and access our Member and Media Directory.

The new site is an extension of a brand tweaking that PPRA undertook last year. Our new logo and color scheme is part of that makeover. The new Web site takes things to another level.  Still, an updated look is only part of the new site. We also have the ability to store more content - and make it easier to access.  In addition, the new site integrates blog posts and PPRA news updates. 

You can even access previous editions of PResence in case you want to revisit an item that ran an issue or two ago.  The new site looks great no matter where you are viewing it - even on your smartphone. 

The PPRA web site relaunch took place over the course of two program years. My PPRA Presidential predecessors Meredith Avakian and Ashley Berke both were instrumental in steering this project. PPRA Board Director Gary Bramnick and PPRA Executive Director Denise Downing did much of the heavy lifting on the site. 

Please feel free to email us at info@ppra.net and let us know what you think of PPRA's new online look.

2017-2018 President
Philadelphia Public Relations Association
For Phillie Phanatic fans,  it's been easy being green

The Phillies played a baseball game on April 25, 1978 - a 7-0 win over the Chicago Cubs, according to Retrosheet.org. 

Why am I mentioning this in a PPRA newsletter? 

Because it marked the first time ever that the Phillie Phanatic appeared at a game. 

Thousands of laughs and 40 years later, the Phanatic is now one of the most enduring icons in the entire city.  PPRA is honoring the Phanatic on Thursday, Nov. 8, with our Gold Medal.

Bill Giles, now the chairman emeritus of the Phillies, was the brainchild of the Phanatic. When the costume was finished, he had a choice to make: Pay $5,200 for both the costume and the copyright ownership, or $3,900 just for the costume. He took the inexpensive way out - and later called it the "worst decision of his life."

Giles will speak at the Nov. 8 luncheon - as will two of the Phanatic's Best Friends: Tom Burgoyne and his original BFF, David Raymond.

If you haven't purchased your seat at the luncheon, you can do so quickly with our easy-to-use website registration. Just don't tell your colleagues you had a round of laughs at lunch. They will be jealous. (better yet, bring them along).   

PPRA's Philly Proactive partners 
with Tree House Books
Philly PRoactive, the Philadelphia Public Relations Association program that pairs its membership with a nonprofit, kicks off its partnership with Tree House Books by collecting book donations at PPRA's Nov. 8 Gold Medal event.

Members and guests are encouraged to bring new and gently used book donations for Tree House Books.

Tree House Books is a nonprofit literacy center and giving library that, since 2005, provides free access to books and literacy programs to children and their families in low-income Philadelphia neighborhoods. Tree House Books accepts books for children and adults. However it is particularly interested in children's books, classic books that would be read in school and African-American literature.

"PPRA is thrilled to partner with Tree House Books as part of this year's Philly PRoactive program," said PPRA's Kellsey Turner. "We place a strong value on the power of the written word in our field, and feel this partnership naturally complements our work as PR professionals. We look forward to assisting Tree House Books in its mission to grow and sustain a community of readers, writers and thinkers in Philadelphia." 


Visit Bucks County has added  Daniel Lopez as Communications Coordinator and  Kelley Keeling as Visitor Experience & Partner Outreach Manager. Dan will handle the organization's social media channels of SnapChat, Instagram, and Facebook Live, as well as local public relations efforts. Kelley will work on engaging with the local travel community to produce, manage and package new and existing overnight tourism drivers for both leisure and B2B travelers.

The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board has added five new people to its organization:

Jon Scheuren, Sports Sales Manager, has a background in sports facilities with experience at BucksMont Indoor Sports Center and the Field House in Moorestown, NJ. He is a graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and is pursuing his MBA at DeSales University.

Kristin Eichengreen, Sports Sales Manager, was director of sales at the Hyatt House Plymouth Meeting. She holds a bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant management from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Rachel Riley, Communications & Media Relations Manager, a former award-winning multimedia journalist for Calkins Media, was previously Editor & Content Manager for Visit Bucks County.

Emily Keel, Marketing & Communications Associate, will focus on scheduling the organization's official mascot, Monty the Fox, and writing articles for several of the board's publications and website. She is a Kutztown University  graduate .

Caitlin Hoppel, Business Intelligence Analyst, will concentrate on analytics projects for marketing, public relations and brand auditing. She attended Villanova University. Both Keel and Hoppel started as Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board interns.
Ashley Jefferson has been named marketing coordinator for clinical operations at Salus University. Previously, she served as special projects coordinator for The Philadelphia Tribune and web producer for WPVI-TV (6ABC).

To roll out its new Authentic Fan platform, NBC Sports Philadelphia is looking for volunteers to help place Authentic Fan cheer cards on every seat in the Wells Fargo Center for the Oct. 25 Sixers/Rockets game, according to Maureen Quilter , Senior Director Communications. It needs volunteers willing to work noon - 4:30 p.m., Oct. 25,  taping cheer cards on each seat in the center. Register online.   

Know of a recent media change? Email us!

The Center for Art In Wood Center is one of the leading international non-profit organizations working to advance art in wood through a vital exhibitions program, building a diverse collection including a library and archive, publishing (on-line and in-print) and building a widely respected international woodworking residence program. Housed in a newly renovated facility in Old City Philadelphia, the Center currently operates with a staff of seven and maintains a consistently balanced budget of under $1 million annually.

We are expanding our Board and looking for prospective members who are passionate about the Center's mission, collegial, communicative, analytical, strategic and willing to work on Board committees. Our Board members set and monitor the strategic direction of  the Center through a collaborative effort between the Board, it's committees and senior staff. Knowledge and experience in finance, accounting, marketing, communications, public relations, fund raising or technology is a plus.

Visit our website and contact John Dziedzina at 610-688-6422 for more information.   
Win an award?  Speaking on a panel?  Landed an amazing media hit?
Email us your good news at info@ppra.net or tweet us using #PPRAProud

Cashman & Associates'  Laura Krebs Miller reports the firm landed client Scannapieco Development Corporation's 500 Walnut a Wall Street Journal feature highlighting the ultra-luxury towers' full customization capabilities. Cashman also received PR News' national award as a "Top Place to Work in PR," as well as the Philadelphia Business Journal's "Best Places to Work" in 2017.  

Elysse Ciccone of Slice Communications recently placed a story about University City Science Center in Forbes. The article highlights how the organization is fusing innovation, art and community while "Philadelphia is having a Renaissance...quietly producing major artists and tech start-ups worthy of note." 

Paul's Run, Liberty Lutheran's senior living community in Northeast Philadelphia, was featured twice in the past month on 6ABC Action News, says Liberty Lutheran's David Mozeleski. One was for residents creating hurricane relief kits for school age children and another for a resident-sponsored walk to raise funds for Susan G. Komen Philadelphia.

SPRYTE Communications recently scored coverage in the Bucks County Courier Times for client Holy Redeemer Health's pioneering use of Nitrous oxide (aka laughing gas) to mitigate labor pain during delivery, reports CEO Lisa Simon. The agency offered the story exclusively, and it also became the basis of an opinion column in the paper. 

Mural Arts Philadelphia's Monument Lab garnered coverage on PBS Newshour, Smithsonian Magazine and Eboy Magazine with its nine-week public art and history project, according to Cari Feiler Bender

Frank Luzi reports Opera Philadelphia's recent O17 festival received wide coverage from media outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Opera News and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Jesse Cute at Allied Integrated Marketing says the firm kicked off PR/marketing work for the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts' 2017-18 season, and its fourth year working with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to promote the Philadelphia Flower Show. In addition, Allied now handles regional PR for Bobby's Burger Palace. Finally, Allied's Ann-Marie Nacchio celebrates her 28th Anniversary at the company this September!

Adrienne E. Brown, Marketing & Development Coordinator of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, was selected to join Young Involved Philadelphia as a Fall Cohort Board Prep Program member and Ambassador.

PPRA Hall of Famer Larry Rubin spoke on a panel about public relations during convention for the International Association of Police Chiefs at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Rubin, a board member of the Philadelphia Police Foundation, spoke on increasing media coverage for Police Foundations. 

Senior Partner Bridget Paverd says Gillespie Hall was awarded a 2017 Platinum MarCom Award for a series of prevention videos written and produced for Brandywine Counseling and Community Services. Gillespie Hall has contracted with three new New York clients: the online art gallery YourArtGallery.Com, energy and equity company LS Power, and DUGGAL Visual Solutions.  

Gloria Hochman is writing a book on bipolar illness with a man who has the condition, tracking his struggle and eventual success in treating this debilitating disorder. Also, Hochman, Director of Communications at the National Adoption Center has established the Stan Hochman Compassion for Kids Memorial Fund in honor of her late husband. The fund will support the center's Wednesday's Child features on NBC10 and KYW Newsradio.

Furia Rubel Communications' Vice President of Public Relations Sarah Larson has been named a 2017 Emerging Leader in Bucks & Eastern Montgomery Counties. The awards program is presented by the Bucks County Courier Times, The Intelligencer and the Central Bucks Family YMCA and sponsored by Penn Community Bank.  Furia Rubel Communications celebrates its 15th anniversary by unveiling a new brand and a new website. Read more about the agency's new brand in The Philadelphia Business Journal, Bucks County Herald, and Langhorne Times.
Visit Bucks County successfully executed an in-market event at Secaucus train station, targeting commuters to New York City on the First day of fall. Staff handed out mini pumpkins, brochures and its new food and beverage magazine, "Well Seasoned." Alexa Johnson, public relations manager, said the tourism organization reported 7.8 million people visited Bucks County in 2016, visitor spending added $969 million to the local economy and supported more than 12,000 hospitality jobs.

Sharla Feldscher and Hope Horwitz of FHPR, which represents Philadelphia Performing Arts, a String Theory Charter School, grabbed coverage about the school's unique Particle incubator program in the Inquirer.

Devine + Partners promoted  Br ianna Taylor to Vice President where her duties include leading strategic communications initiatives and thought-leadership positioning, and providing change and issues management counsel.  Devine + Partners  added the 2018 BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club and Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr as clients, according to Vice President Brianna Taylor.  

Thursday, Nov. 16
8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m.
WeWork , 1601 Market St., Philadelphia, PA
Registration Fee: $35 members, $50 non-members, $25 students

Four of Philly's top social media experts offer demonstrations, best practices, and tips on how to create great social media photos, how to identify and engage with social media influencers, and the ins and outs of crafting social media advertisements to create results.

Friday, Dec. 8
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Hard Rock Cafe, 1113-31 Market St., Philadelphia, PA
Registration Fee: $49 members, $69 non-members, $35 students

A panel of Philadelphia Media Network reporters talk about their new roles. This is a great opportunity to get to know these reporters and how our members can best interact with them!


New faces have joined PPRA. Make sure to say hello if you see them at one of our next events!
  • Desiree Bell, DPBell & Associates
  • Kaitlyn Buchler, Brownstein Group
  • Melissa Chan, Montgomery McCracken
  • Jeanie Davey, ChatterBlast Media
  • Cara Graeff, American College of Physicians
  • Martin Hackett, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Hannah Kleckner, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Mark Ladley, Liberty Lutheran
  • Elizabeth Mazanek, Brownstein Group
  • Samantha Retamar, Philabundance
  • Joanna Volpe, Philadelphia VIP
  • Lauren Woodard, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Your dream career could be a few clicks away. Visit   PPRA's Job Bank for more details on the following positions: 

Public Relations Specialist
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Senior Public Relations Specialist
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Public Relations Intern
Philadelphia Orchestra

Account Coordinator

Social Media Intern
KM Digital Relations

Have a job you want to promote in the Career Corner to reach nearly 300 PR professionals in the area? Click here to post your job !