As a preteen, I fell in love with news from my job as a Philadelphia Bulletin carrier. The newspaper was known for its slogan "Nearly Everybody Reads the Bulletin."
Only the tagline was becoming "fake news" by the time I entered the Bulletin's employ. Nearly not enough people were reading the Bulletin - fewer and fewer every year.
Eventually, the paper folded, the earliest lesson for me about the news business. Namely, if the audience isn't there, soon the product won't be there, either.
Now as an adult with a career in public relations, I am carefully watching the situation at Philadelphia Media Network.
I am keenly aware that changing reading habits have precipitated major changes at the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com. Readership is down. Longtime staffers are leaving. The mighty Inky is a bit vulnerable now. Really, so are most legacy news organizations - especially ones that gained their reputations as daily print products.
Still, the Inquirer is not dying. Far from it, actually. The Inky, along with the Daily News and Philly.com, combine to reach 8.4 million distinct readers each month -- more than any other newspaper, TV station, radio station or online site in Philadelphia.
Moreover, mobile is becoming the preferred device for news consumption, according to the Pew Research Center. Three in four people read news on mobile -- up nearly 20 percent from 2013.
Meanwhile, PR people are still pitching the Inquirer like crazy. Let's face it. For many of us, a story in the Inquirer is the Holy Grail - the placement that our bosses and clients covet the most.
To its credit, the product at the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com is as feisty as ever. The paper is still following journalism's credo to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Add it together and you see why PPRA's program on Friday, December 8 is so fascinating - not the same old media panel you have come to know.
We'll have five Philadelphia Media Network representatives visiting PPRA: Molly Eichel (Lifestyle and Arts Editor), Kelly O'Shea (Health and Science Editor), Yvette Ousley (Deputy Editor, Power and Policy), Julia Terruso (Neighborhood and Gentrification Reporter) and Elizabeth Wellington (Lifestyle and Fashion Columnist).
There may not be one news outlet that "nearly everyone reads" anymore. But the largest outlet in the region still means a lot to us. And that is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Philadelphia Public Relations Association
2017 Gold Medal was warm and fuzzy
- and a bit green
Over the past four decades, PPRA has honored everyone from mayors to CEOs with its Gold Medal, which celebrates those whose accomplishments have left a lasting impact and brought national recognition to the Philadelphia community.
Each of those Gold Medal events was satisfying and uplifting in its own way. However, it's safe to say few were as much fun as our most recent Gold Medal honoring the Phillie Phanatic for his 40th anniversary.
A full room of PPRA members and Phriends of the Phanatic, heard humorous recollections from Dave Raymond and Tom Burgoyne, the Phanatic's best friends. Bill Giles, Phillies chairman emeritus and Scott Palmer, Phillies Public Affairs Director, added their reminisces and the team's official songwriter, Skip Denenberg, offered a special tune for the occasion. Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney bravely shared the stage with the Phanatic - and paid the price.
The book drive to help our Philly PRoactive partner Tree House Books was also a success, according to PPRA's Kellsey Turner. "We got great feedback and got to talk to a number of attendees about contributing to our book drive," she said. "Tom Burgoyne actually stopped by and donated two large crates full of books!"
Philadelphia Media Network is seeking to eliminate 30 to 35 newsroom positions through buyouts and warned that it could lay off employees if it fails to reach that target.
Four staffers on the Philadelphia Inquirer business news desk have applied for the buyout offer from the newspaper.
On Oct. 9, WHYY launched the new WHYY.org and NewsWorks.org became WHYY News. Different name, new location, same reporting - and a newly designed website. The change is the result of a growing recognition that NewsWorks had built a strong following, but too few knew that it belonged to WHYY.
Spirit News has closed its doors and ceased publication. From Spirit: "It's been an amazing ride and we'll forever be indebted to our neighbors and readers - without you, we wouldn't have been able to tell all of the incredible stories we've told over the years. As the media landscape continues to change in Philadelphia, remember that power is in the hands of the people."
John Wilson, assistant news director at CBS 3 and The CW Philly, has been promoted to Vice President and News Director.
Anna Orso has left Billy Penn and joined the Philadelphia Media Network staff as a member of the Modern Life team covering culture, trends, and the way we live.
Bethany Ao joined the staff of Philadelphia Media Network as a City Life Reporter.
oshua Peck, senior manager of media relations at Philadelphia-based Duane Morris LLP , was named one of
50 Game Changers
by PR News.
Anne Sceia Klein
recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philadelphia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The award honored Klein's 50+ years in PR.
PRSA Philadelphia presented PPRA Past President and Board of Governors member
Meredith Z. Avakian
with the DeAnn White Award for Excellence in Community Service at its Pepperpot Awards for her volunteer involvement with Turning Points for Children. Additionally, Avakian, director of communications and marketing at the Philadelphia Bar Association, recently spoke on a panel at the National Association of Bar Executives' Communications Section Workshop in St. Louis.
Win an award? Speaking on a panel? Landed an amazing media hit?
Email us your good news at
or tweet us using #PPRAProud.
MEMBERS ONLY EVENT - "Season of Giving for Tree House Books"
Friday, December 1, 2017
5 - 7 p.m.
Tree House Books, 1430 W. Susquehanna Ave., Philadelphia, PA
Join us at Tree House Books for a fun-filled evening of helping. We will transform their space into a Winter Wonderland for the opening of Tree House Books' Holiday Gift Shoppe.
This is a happy hour snack and drink potluck! Feel free to bring your favorite adult beverages and holiday treats to share.
"Fresh Inq: New Coverage Areas for Philadelphia's Largest Media Network"
Friday, December 8, 2017
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Hard Rock Cafe, 1113-31 Market St., Philadelphia, PA
The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com have undergone many editorial, ownership and mission changes in the last decade. Changing reader habits and combining three newsrooms into one has drastically changed the number of reporters and the focus of reporter beats.
Philadelphia Public Relations Association is excited to bring you a panel of Philadelphia Media Network reporters to 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!
"Holiday Survival Party"
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Mad Rex, 1000 Frankford Ave. Philadelphia, PA
Come "take refuge" at Mad Rex, a new restaurant where the urban bar and lounge are punctuated with a post-apocalyptic atmosphere. PPRA members can indulge in the sweet things such as the house specialty of Himalayan Salt Ice Cream. Try appetizers made on a heated lava rock, during a special demonstration of this cooking technique. Bunker down with your PPRA friends in Rex's Survivors Lounge as we get the new year off to a great start!
"Philly Loves Food: How to Serve Up Your Client's Story"
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Gran Caffe Aquila, 1716 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA
With magazines such as Bon Appétit buzzing about Philadelphia as "quickly becoming one of America's greatest eating cities" - not to mention most fun drinking destinations - PPRA will explore how pitching stories for the food industry is changing.
On the eve of Philadelphia's winter restaurant week, PPRA presents a panel of food industry experts to discuss this award-winning sector of regional hospitality. The group will discuss the varying needs of media platforms and will offer tips to help you present fully-baked ideas to readers and viewers.
Student Program: "Careers 101: From College to Career"
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
PECO, 2301 Market St., Philadelphia, PA
Does it seem like you're always getting the same advice on landing your first job out of college? "Be patient, an opportunity will come along" and "Go on as many informational interviews as possible in the meantime" are truths of the post-grad (or soon to be) life. Still, PPRA knows you need more answers than that!
Join us for the annual Careers 101 event to hear from a panel of communication industry professionals who have been in your shoes and come out on the other side with a job offer. You'll have the chance to ask all your burning questions and network to your heart's desire with folks with connections potential employers.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS
New faces have joined PPRA. Make sure to say hello if you see them at one of our next events!
- Raymond Betzner, Temple University
- Kate Delano, Montgomery County District Attorney's Office
- Joan Detz, Speechwriting/Coaching
- Brandon Lausch, Temple University
- Megan Lello, The School District of Philadelphia
- Cathy Moss, Wills Eye Hospital
- John Otte, Proconex
- Benjamin Palestino, Temple University
- Mary Salisbury, Tonic Life Communications
- Emily Spitale, Temple University
Your dream career could be a few clicks away. Visit
PPRA's Job Bank
for more details on the following positions:
Social Media Manager,
Ceisler Media & Issue Advocacy
Media Relations Representative, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Senior Public Relations Specialist - Research,
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Full Time Faculty Position, Temple University
Social Media Intern, KM Digital Relations
Account Coordinator, Hornercom
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