Dear PPRA Members,
It is my pleasure to announce an amazing group of PPRA leaders as the founding members of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association Foundation (PPRAF)...
Past Presidents and Hall of Famers Matt Cabrey and Cathy Engel Menendez, immediate Past President Nina Rodebaugh, and current Vice President Communications Bev Volpe will join me in this inaugural role for a 501c (3) foundation under the umbrella of the Urban Affairs Coalition.
The mission of the new foundation is to increase and to improve cultural and civic engagement, to provide professional development and to support student training and projects. These activities will be open to the public. And I am happy to report our first grant application has already been submitted.
Please join me in congratulating this new board. In addition, the group will be working to focus its efforts on additional grants and donations. Now is a great time to be acknowledged as a founding donor. If you would like to make a donation, please contact me. Stay tuned for a new campaign.

In spite of our #AloneTogether circumstances, our members have shown an impressive level of support for one another:
  • The first virtual members Happy Hour was a success. Thank you, VP Membership Michelle Sonsino, whose new member tally in our #Drivefor75  is now 83.
  • Our younger members felt the support of dedicated mentors during our first Instagram Live organized by Committee Chair Ryan Wall.
  • Longtime PPRA member Jeff Guaracino, Visit Philadelphia president & CEO, and Reporter Aunyea Lachelle of NBC10 tackled media marketing during the current crisis in hospitality. This sixth webinar sold out at 100 registrations Thank you, Jeff, for all your support this year.
  • Our media directory is just about in the mail, thanks to VP Bev Volpe, and is posted online for folks who are not receiving mail.
  • Finally, please applaud Past President Chris Lukach and the AKCG team for their technical assistance as we pivoted to virtual programming this spring.
Please keep an eye on your inbox. We ha ve video-editing coming up later in May a nd programs planned throughout this summer.
Stay well and remember we are here if you need us.
Deirdre C. Hopkins 
2019-2020 President 
Philadelphia Public Relations Association
PPRA hosted the webinar "Media Communications & Marketing: Hospitality in Crisis & How Visit Philadelphia is a Leader in the Bounceback of Regional Hospitality" on May 7th. It was led by long-time PPRA member and President & CEO of Visit Philadelphia, Jeff Guaracino who was interviewed by NBC10's Aunyea Lachelle.

On May 6th, PPRA hosted our first Instagram Live chat. It was geared specifically to help students take their next step. @PPRA_proud hosted Layne Litsinger to discuss her journey from star college field hockey player, to graduate school at Drexel, to her role as assistant account executive at Brian Communications. 


On April 16, PPRA hosted "Social Media During a Crisis: Insights and Best Practices From the Pros" featuring Rebecca Devine (Maven Communications),  London Faust (Bellevue Communications Group), K yle Huff (PHLCVB) and moderated by  Brie Genovese (Vault Communications). Listeners heard how Philly's most respected social media voices are managing social during this challenging time. 
PPRA members are invited to nominate candidates for officers to PPRA's 2020-2021 Board of Directors. 

Positions Available: 
President-Elect,  Vice President for External Affairs,  Vice President for Programs,  Vice President for Membership,  Vice President for Communications,  Treasurer,  Secretary,  Director (One position available for a three year term which expires on 8/31/23).

Please click here to download the nomination form

Deadline for nominations is  Friday, May 22, 2020.

The 2020 Membership and Media Directory is complete and available online at The printed version will be in the mail soon. If you would like to have it sent to your home instead of the office, go to the membership tab/account management on the PPRA website to edit your profile. You can add your home address under "alternate" and choose where you'd like the directory sent. The deadline to add an additional address is Friday, May 22, 2020.

We are looking to start a PR Peer Group in which a small group of professionals, of all levels, come together to talk about new ideas, challenges, potential partnerships, and innovation. We'll talk shop or food, families, pets, movies - whatever comes up!. Our goal is to foster deep relationships, nurture partnerships, and help each other succeed. If you are interested, please email Michelle Sonsino, VP of Membership, at

Many of us are housebound and surrounded by new co-workers: children, spouses/partners, roommates and/or pets. Introduce them to your PPRA colleagues by sending a photo and fun caption idea to Beverly Volpe, VP of Communications at by Wednesday, May 20. We'll create a meme and share it on social media and in our June newsletter.

PPRA's blog 
"Between You & MEdia"  offers insight, tips and tricks and fun facts learned from members of the media through our informal interviews with them.
This month, read all about Marilyn Johnson, blogger behind Philly Grub!

Get to know Michelle Kane, Founder/CEO of VoiceMatters, LLC

New faces have joined PPRA. Make sure to say hello when you meet them at our events!
  • Amy Bielecki, NEST
  • Sarah Fleming, Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Leo Manning, Slice Communications
  • Sabrina Romano, Brian Communications
  • Nicole Sullivan, JEVS HUMAN SERVICES
  • Teri Yago-Ryan, The Goldenberg Group
Garfield Group recently secured an  "Art of Aging" segment on 6ABC for Caring People, which has been providing meals for seniors since the organization temporarily closed the Marconi Center for Older Adults due to COVID-19. 
Bev Volpe of Snap2 Marketing/PR secured a feature story for client Wazoodle Fabrics of Bensalem about face mask textiles on  NBC10 with subsequent stories i n The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Lower Bucks Times. 
Irene Levy Baker, owner of Spotlight Public Relations and author of two Philadelphia-based books has started a blog. Her first posting: a list of 10 ways to help restaurants survive quarantine.

DuBois Public Relations, LLC is proud to announce that client 7-D Variety has donated 57,000 pounds of dates to Philabundance. 

Louise Eliason of collected 10K homemade PB&J sandwiches for those affected by COVID-19. Her local paper featured her as a hometown hero and AP picked up the story with placements in U.S. News and World Report, People Magazine and other outlets.
The Kimmel Cultural Campus social distance-style Mother's Day promotion, "Kimmel's Music for Moms"  was picked up by NBC10, PHL17, and The Philadelphia Tribune. The winner received an original "digital singing telegram" from one of the Kimmel's Resident Artists. 

Sarah Maiellano led PR efforts to launch  POPS in Schools@HOME, a new Philly Pops virtual music education program, securing the front page of Metro Philly, NBC10, and a story that ran in six newspapers in the Media News Group network.

Cashman & Associates is proud to volunteer as project manager of the City of Philadelphia and Independence Blue Cross' "#mindPHL Together," a public awareness campaign designed to connect the people of Philadelphia with mental health resources amidst COVID-19.

Garfield Group is proud to announce that PR intern Emma McClain received the 2020-2021 Aram Aghazarian Award, PRSSA Temple Chapter Award and the Anne Sceia Klein Award for Professional Promise. 

Erin Flynn Jay covered the "Taste of the Irish" event for  Philly Weekly  
before the coronavirus shut the city down. She wrote a profile on businesswoman Rona Sisson that ran in the Chestnut Hill Local newspaper on May 7.  
Carole Felton Shore is working with ElderNet of Lower Merion and Narberth and Maki-San, Bala Cynwyd in a partnership during National Older Americans Month. The restaurant is donating 10% of revenue for the month to ElderNet.  
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