Dear PPRA Members,
"Being challenged in life is inevitable. Being defeated is optional." - Roger Crawford

In March and April, PPRA has faced the challenges of providing for our members' professional development and member interaction because of COVID-19.

And guess what?

We accepted the challenge and performed like PR pros in several areas, offering programs online, member support and surpassing a few of our annual goals in March. April, as we stay at home, is filled with opportunities as well.

We hosted two virtual events last month, "Segment Producers: How to Pitch Them, What Content They Want and More!" and "How to Be Successful and Happy While Working Remotely." These programs drew a total of 75 registrants, which is a bit symbolic as we celebrate our 75th year!

Thanks to VP Programs Kellsey Turner, Past President Chris Lukach, Director Susan Buehler, and member Jennifer Robinson, ESQ., who all pitched in with their talents and resources.

Already in In April, we have hosted "A Conversation with a Twitter Comms Lead," through the exemplary push by Immediate Past President Nina Scimenes Rodebaugh to replace our annual New York City outing with a substantial opportunity. We are already planning social media and video editing panels in the coming weeks.

We surpassed the first challenge of our #Drivefor75, reaching 77 new members, our VP Michelle Sonsino is happy to report. Michelle has been very strategic in her commendable work.

If you need help, call or email us using the member portal to Find A Pro. Please be assured our Board of Directors will rally around our goals into the fall.  This is the time for creativity to shine. 

Stay healthy and see you online for now.
Deirdre C. Hopkins 
2019-2020 President 
Philadelphia Public Relations Association
WEBINAR: Social Media During a Crisis: Insights and Best Practices From the Pros
Thursday, April 16
4:30-5:30 p.m.
Additional Resources for your employees:
Additional Resources for HR:

On March 24, PPRA had our first virtual event: the webinar "Segment Producers: How to Pitch Them, What Content They Want and More!" It featured panelists Jennifer Lewis-Hall (PHL17), Kathie McDermott (NBC 10), Marjorie Thomas (FOX 29) and moderator Susan Buehler (PJM Interconnection). They all joined us from their home offices.

Jennifer Lynn Robinson of Purposeful Networking offered a ton of ideas and insight during our webinar, " How to Be Successful and Happy While Working Remotely"  on March 27.

No New York media tour? No problem. PPRA brought an amazing NY-based expert to us via webinar. On April 3, members heard from  Brian Poliakoff, Twitter's Global Communications Lead, Partnerships and Revenue with great tips on getting the most from Twitter. 

Get to know Jimmy Conteras, Public Relations Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia
NBC10 Philadelphia/WCAU and Telemundo62/WWSI announced on April 1 that Claudia Vargas will join the news team as an investigative reporter. She will start on Monday, April 13.

The Philadelphia Orchestra's  Communications team  ( Ashley Berke, Natalie Lewis, and Ashley Stahmer ) livestreamed and promoted the Orchestra's March 12 concert to an empty Verizon Hall. The concert aired on WHYY-TV and the livestream and subsequent Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra offerings have been featured in more than 300 stories, including: Good Morning America , The New York Times , NPR's Fresh Air , The Washington Post , The New Yorker, and

Erin Flynn Jay wrote two Coronavirus news stories for  Generocity.

In the midst of rescheduling 300+ performances, the  Kimmel Center Cultural Campus is pledging to continue bringing the Philadelphia community hope, inspiration, and togetherness...with concerts, ballet and dance parties. The Kimmel is highlighting Resident Companies, music education tools for young ones, its dynamic staff, and even a few playlists to jam to, all using the hashtag #ArtHappensAtHome! 

Lauren Tilghman  gained placements for KenCrest three times during the week of March 23rd. On Monday, the Philadelphia Business Journal highlighted KenCrest as one of the essential businesses that is actively hiring. On Wednesday, KenCrest was on 6ABC and PHL17 on how its nurses and direct support staff are working hard to keep individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities safe and healthy. On Thursday, the  Philadelphia Inquirer   featured KenCrest's CEO, a board member, and one of the gentleman that the Agency serves in a story a bout COVID-19's impact on the intellectual disability community.


Tune in to Growing Greater, a dynamic and engaging podcast showcasing stories of personal and professional journeys from the innovators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders who are transforming industries and communities in the region. Now in its third season, Growing Greater is hosted by PPRA's Matt Cabrey, who created this storytelling tool to help attract new companies, jobs and talent to our region through his work leading Select Greater Philadelphia. 

Ceisler Media & Issue Advocacy is proud to announce four new hires to its Philadelphia office.  Krystal Bonner joins as the firm's first Director of Digital and Creative Services. Julia Wolf is Ceisler Media's Graphic Designer, part of its growing digital team. Alison Burdo is a new Senior Associate and Shannon McLaughlin begins as an associate.

Julia Masse of Taft Communications recently placed the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern NJ on 6abc Action News. The piece by community journalist Matteo Iadonisi focused on how the Girl Scouts teaches business skills and inspires girls to be go-getters, risk takers and leaders.

Dan McCunney has been named Associate Director, News & Media Relations at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Katie Kring has been promoted to Account Executive at Philadelphia-based PR and content marketing firm Powers Brand Communications.

New faces have joined PPRA. Make sure to say hello when you meet them at our events!
  • Adriana Hernandez, Skid Row Housing Trust
  • Lauren Imbrogno
  • Alyssa Zinar, Devine + Partners

Have a job you want to promote in the Job Bank to reach over 300 PR professionals in the area?  Click here to post your job !

We are looking to start a PR Peer Group in which a small group of professionals, of all levels, come together for open discussion. Come talk about new ideas, challenges, potential partnerships, and innovation in communications. Depending on the locations of group members, we will find a meeting place, grab some wine or coffee, and talk shop (or talk about food, families, pets, movies - whatever comes up!). Our goal is to foster deep relationships within the field, nurture beneficial partnerships, and help each other succeed. If you are interested in joining the Peer Group, please email Michelle Sonsino, VP of Membership, at

PPRA's Blog Committee is looking for volunteer writers for our "Between You and the MEdia," event coverage, and topical blog posts throughout the year. This is a great and easy way to get involved with PPRA - in 600 words or less. If interested in volunteering - even for just one post - email Bev Volpe (