Dear PPRA Members,

Thank you to everyone who came out to support PPRA's Gold Medal Celebration for Astronomer Derrick H. Pitts, Hon. D. This event is one of three key celebrations for our 75th Anniversary and I look forward to the Gala on January 16 at the Bellevue - where it all began - and the Hall of Fame in the spring.

I must say I am very impressed with the extraordinary efforts made by our newly active members. Suzanne Aumack is working as a tireless creative partner on our printed materials; Ryan Wall led an inspiring 'Networking 101' with Tom Logue, President-Elect London Faust and others; and I cannot thank Britni Zahodnick enough for stepping up to coordinate the Gold Medal. Well done!

My efforts this fall are keenly focused on strengthening and enriching PPRA's fiscal foundation. We are exploring new partnerships that will allow us to develop a non-profit arm and give us the ability to further benefit from full non-profit status. If you have a resource, attorney familiar with non-profits or expertise in this area, please reach out to Bonnie Grant ( and/or Chris Lukach (

I also want to ensure that our Board of Governors manages our organization to the best of our fiscal ability. As educational, media and social events are planned, we are reviewing all our partnerships with an eye toward leveraging our relationships to get more support for PPRA.

Check out our website for upcoming programming on working with freelancers, how to hone a pitch and, of course, to buy tickets or sponsor our Jubilee in January.  Please remember to speak to colleagues about the #Drivefor75 new members - we are getting stronger each month!

Last but not least, PPRA is now on Instagram! Be sure to follow us at @PPRA_Proud.

Kind regards,

Deirdre C. Hopkins
2019-2020 President
Philadelphia Public Relations Association
PPRA proudly presented the 2019 Gold Medal Award to Derrick H. Pitts, Hon.D. on October 15 at the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts. Pitts is the Chief Astronomer and Director of the Fels Planetarium at The Franklin Institute. The Gold Medal Award honors those whose accomplishments leave a lasting impact on our community and bring national recognition to Philadelphia. View all photos here.

On October 1, PPRA hosted Networking 101 at Slice Communications. Young professionals learned networking etiquette, how to utilize their network and what makes a dynamic networker with keynote speaker Sheila Hess, City Representative for the City of Philadelphia.

On September 26, PPRA President Deirdre C. Hopkins was honored by Philadelphia City Council as the first African American president of PPRA.

PPRA members toured the studio of PHL17, one of Philly's most popular morning shows, on the morning of September 17 with the morning news team. 

PPRA introduces a new blog series, 
  "Between You & MEdia,"  where you can find insight, tips and tricks, and fun facts learned from members of the media through informal interviews.

Read this month's post featuring Aunyea Lachelle, host of the brand-new show, Philly Live, which will air on NBC10 and is part of a partnership with Visit Philadelphia!

Thursday, October 24
8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA
Click here to register 

Wednesday, October 30
5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Click here to register

Thursday, January 16, 2020
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Rose Garden Ballroom, The Bellevue Hotel, 200 S. Broad St, Philadelphia, PA
Click here to register 

Meet your colleagues from around the region! Check out Member Monday to read all about these professionals you should know.

Meet Samantha Byles, Senior Account Executive with Bellevue Communications Group.

Melissa Squarcia Fordyce is th enew Executive Director of Marketing & Communications at the Philadelphia Foundation. Read about her on our blog!
In November, Brian Communications will expand into Center City, opening new offices on the 27th floor of 123 S. Broad Street. Brian will maintain its space in Conshohocken as it continues to grow. 

The NBC10 TV show - Growing Greater Philadelphia - developed and implemented by Select Greater Philadelphia, led by PPRA member Matt Cabrey, won its second Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award. Watch all the episodes HERE.
PPRA Hall of Fame member Dan Cirucci can now be heard co-hosting the 5 PM hour of the Christine Flowers Show every Sunday on WPHT, 1210 radio and on Dan and Christine discuss the week's events and chat with listeners on Philly's leading talk station.

Louise Eliason
, d.b.a. Eliason Associates successfully initiated IncNow's first community event, which earned Philly 6ABC prime TV news media spotlight and local media placements. She also earned AP placement for her sequenced press release announcing IncNow's global B Corp award, eclipsing  announcements from the 50 other award recipients including major brands: King Arthur Flour, RecycleBank, Firespring, and more.  
At the upcoming International PRSA conference in San Diego, Gregg Feistman will be accepting a commemorative award on behalf of Temple's PRSSA chapter in recognition of their 50th Anniversary.
Sarah Maiellano is currently leading PR efforts for the Mütter Museum's new Spit Spreads Death exhibition that opens October 17. She's already generated coverage from the Associated Press, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Mag, 6abc, NBC10, PHL17, WHYY, WMMR, Metro, South Philly Review, Row Home Magazine, Broad Street Review, Philly Voice, and more.  

The launch of Visit Bucks County's Sweet Spots Trail garnered placements on NBC10, CBS3, FOX29 and more says Alexa Johnson. The new Trail, which encourages visitors to download a mobile app and check-in to at least 5 "sweet spots" (bakeries, ice cream parlors, chocolatiers, etc.) to win a prize, kicked off on September 25 with an experiential event in Jefferson Station where the staff handed out 4,000 free baked goods to Philly commuters!

According to Lisa Ryan of Philabundance, the non-profit has premiered transit, print, and digital ads featuring Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola and Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Lane Johnson to raise awareness and to support the fight against hunger. The ads were generously produced and developed by The Creative Engagement Group, an international integrated communications agency with offices in Philadelphia.

Colleen Scott
has been promoted to Senior Associate at AKCG - Public Relations Counselors. In her role at AKCG, Colleen assists with strategy development and proactive media relations for clients, as well as marketing for the firm.

Tonight, October 16th at 7 p.m. the Pen & Pencil Club hosts PPRA member and President & CEO of Visit Philadelphia, Jeff Guaracino for an Off the Record conversation about how Visit Philadelphia promotes the region, which attracted 45 million visitors in 2018, the ninth straight record year. Food and beverages are complimentary during this talk at the Club, 1522 Latimer Street, Philadelphia. Media members are welcome, free of charge. 

New faces have joined PPRA. Make sure to say hello if you see them at one of our next events!
  • Danielle Balbier, Slice Communications
  • Marissa Bruette, Slice Communications
  • Mary Kate Cellini, Slice Communications
  • Ashley Dabb, Pennsylvania Convention Center
  • Natalie Kay, Karma Agency
  • Andie Levine, Slice Communications
  • Stefanie Santo, The Franklin Institute
  • Ashley Stahmer, The Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Andrea Swan, Temple University

Your dream career could be a few clicks away. Visit PPRA's Job Bank for more details on the following positions:  
  • Photography Manager, Lafayette College 
  • Content Manager, Lafayette College
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 !

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 (

Did you know the first Hall of Fame inductee was honored in 1972? 45 people have been inducted since. The last honoree was Gregg Feistman of Temple University. Sign up for PPRA's 75th Anniversary Jubilee on January 16!