It’s PPRA Awards Season

Although PR practitioners spend most of their time behind the scenes, there are still ways for the best professionals in our industry to stand out from the crowd. Each year, the Philadelphia Public Relations Association recognizes our region’s most talented, passionate and promising PR professionals — honoring one standout student and one exceptional young professional.

The Dr. Jean Brodey Student Achievement Award is awarded annually to a college junior or senior who has exhibited outstanding professional promise in the field of public relations, has an excellent academic track record and contributes to his or her community.

The PPRA Fast-Track Award honors a member of PPRA who has made great contributions to the organization, profession, the community and who exemplifies PPRA’s vision for the future.

Nominations for both the Dr. Jean Brodey Student Achievement Award and the PPRA Fast-Track Award are due May 2, 2014. You can find more information on the awards and the nomination forms here.

Who Should Be Your Spokesperson In A Crisis?

A recent PR Daily post on choosing the correct person to serve as a spokesperson during a crisis compared the topic to developing a successful sports team. The author of the article argued that when your organization is faced with a crisis, your best bet is to have both star players and strong people on the bench.

As stated in the PR Daily post, an organization usually has three options when they choose a spokesperson to represent them during a crisis.

  1. The CEO - CEOs often want to be the only voice when trouble strikes, but this is usually not the best option. In these situations, CEOs should be managing the crisis and business operations. If a CEO misspeaks early in the crisis, he or she loses credibility and undermines the reputation of the organization. For these and other reasons, it may be a better idea to bring your CEO in as a spokesperson several hours into the crisis.
  2. The PR Person - A public relations representative can serve as a great spokesperson, particularly during the early hours of a crisis when the media and the public are looking for information. The PR person should be a member of the crisis management team and should lead the crisis communications team. He or she should be prepared to make an initial statement where the crisis is acknowledged, basic facts are provided, and a promise to deliver more information is made.
  3. A Variety of People - Though PR representatives are a solid choice when it comes to picking a spokesperson, they don’t have to be the only voice during a crisis. The PR person can speak during the first hour of the crisis, followed by a subject matter expert, and finally the CEO. Media training can help you determine who your key representatives should be.

No matter who your organization chooses as a spokesperson, you should always make sure that he or she has taken part in intense media training. Sending an untrained person out to represent your organization in a crisis is only asking for more trouble.

Who do you think would make the best spokesperson for your company during a crisis?


Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Bandwidth

It’s Philly Tech Week, and PPRA is hosting the perfect event to help PR pros celebrate! Join the Philadelphia Public Relations Association on Thursday, April 10 for “City of Brotherly Bandwidth” – a look at the region’s tech sector and its public relations opportunities.

Philadelphia’s tech economy is growing, with players ranging from emerging start-ups to robust firms.  Our city is even home to Comcast, one of Philadelphia’s first start-ups that is now a global media and technology company. The growth of the tech industry here presents big opportunities for synergy and collaboration between Philadelphia’s public relations and technology communities.

Panelists Include:

• Sam Schwartz: Chief Business Development Officer – Comcast
• Darren Hill: Co-Founder & CEO – WebLinc
• Alex Hillman: Founder – Indy Hall
• Elliot Menschik: Managing Director – DreamIt Health; Founder – Venturef0rth
• Rick Nucci: Serial Tech Entrepreneur; President – Philly Startup Leaders

This is your chance to learn more about Philly’s tech scene and  how you can get involved in telling this community’s stories to a broader audience. Don’t miss out - Register Now!


It’s All About Who You Know

As a PR professional, you already know the importance of building a strong network. Now, PPRA is giving you the chance to help your network of fellow PR pros (and yourself).

Our Member-Get-A-Member Program is back by popular demand!

All you have to do is share the benefits of a PPRA membership with those you know and get them to mention your name on their membership application! When you recruit a new PPRA member between now and September 30, 2014, you’ll be entered to win a $100 Garces Group gift card.

For more information, contact PPRA at

Rules: Member-Get-A-Member runs from April 1, 2014-September 30, 2014. Persons who join PPRA during the promotion period will have their membership extended until August 31, 2015.. The campaign applies only to new members, not those currently enrolled.

Become Your Graphic Designer’s Dream, Not Nightmare

You know the feeling. You are excited about some edits you have to the latest draft of your newsletter. These edits will make all the difference in the world, maybe even sell some business. You mark up the page and walk over to your designer’s desk to share these changes.  They see you coming. You catch their facial expression. You’re not positive, but they may already think you’re a nightmare.

Not a pleasant feeling.

Communications professionals enjoy showcasing stunning projects that their designers created. Instead, wouldn’t it be fun to show your designer that you’ve learned and retained some best practices for working with them along the way? Avoid having bad practices become habit when working with your designer.

Let’s become our designer’s dream colleague.

Working with your Designer – Project Checklist

  • Relay key information about your audience and goal.
  • Share your total project budget, especially if the piece is being printed.
  • If you have a specific idea, share it upfront before they waste time brainstorming or designing.
  • Make yourself available for questions before the designer works their magic.
  • Set a project schedule with reasonable expectations at the onset.
  • Ask your designer if they will need to purchase stock photography and what it will cost.
  • Listen to any concerns they may express related to copying images from the Internet.
  • Coordinate all edits and changes through one in-between liaison (you!).
  • Ensure your copy and headlines have been proofread and approved prior to submitting to your designer.
  • Always provide original photos.
  • If you want to learn why they selected a certain layout or photo, ask!

No More Nightmares

  • Don’t drive them crazy by saying “make it pretty” or “make it pop.” They are artists. They will find a way without you reminding them.
  • Don’t expect them to proofread, create copy or develop a catchy headline. Give them all the text exactly as it should appear so they can focus on the design.
  • Don’t insult their work. Learn to be curious. Question their decisions so you can collaborate effectively.
  • Don’t give them stretched photos. Leave it to them to make the original one larger.
  • You’re on a deadline. It is a quick turnaround. That doesn’t excuse you from professional etiquette when working with your designer.
  • When everyone considers one another’s needs and goals, the project (and process) will speak for itself.

This post was written by PPRA member Karen Toner. She is a communications manager at ParenteBeard, a top 25 accounting firm in Center City. She’s grateful for all the designers she’s ever worked with, for their commitment to creating eye-catching projects. It’s not an easy task with so many edits flying around.