#PPRAMemberMonday: Jaime Martorana

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Twitter: @jaimemartorana
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jaimemartorana
PPRA member since 2016

PPRA: Jaime, tell us about your background and your current job.

JM: I joined the Philadelphia Marathon team not long after graduating from Temple University in 2015. And, with the Office of the City Representative, I am currently working on communications and marketing. It’s a small communications team so I’m lucky enough to have a hand in many aspects from media relations and advertising to event logistics and more! In this role, I handle social media, marketing initiatives and media relations for the city-owned and operated, nationally ranked race. While at Temple, I was an active member of the PRSSA chapter, serving on the executive board for three years. I also worked for Temple’s first and only student run PR firm, PRowl Public Relations, as assistant firm director. I recently joined PPRA and serve as the Mentorship Program chairperson. If you’re in the market for a mentor, please let me know!

PPRA: What is the favorite part about your job?

JM: Completing a marathon is usually a huge milestone in someone’s life. It’s amazing to be a small part of that experience and help this event be the best it can possibly be.

PPRA: What was your latest and greatest accomplishment at your job?

JM: Recently, I’ve been planning partnership events with local running clubs as a way for the Philadelphia Marathon to get more involved in the running community. We’ve received wonderful reactions from runners who love that we are taking time to talk to them and listen to their feedback one-on-one. It may not be the most grand accomplishment, but it’s experiences like those reinforce why I love PR and events.

PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?

JM: Always be willing to meet new people and expand your network. You never know when a contact may have an opportunity or a beneficial connection!

PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?

JM: Harry Potter, I could reread or re-watch any one of the series a million times.

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

JM: Philadelphia Museum of Art- the artwork, the architecture, the view. You can’t beat it!

PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?

JM: American cheese and fried onions. Is it un-Philadelphian to say I hate Whiz?

Why is Measuring What We Do Still a Challenge?

by Tina McCorkindale, Ph.D.

Measurement, measurement, measurement. This term still plagues our industry, and is often in the spotlight as one of the areas where our profession needs improvement. Twenty-five years ago, under the leadership of Jack Felton, the Institute for Public Relations formed the Measurement Commission to help address issues and offer research support for measurement and related topics. This Commission still provides research and thought leadership, as frustrations with the current state of measurement continues to grow.

Earlier this year, the University of Southern California and The Holmes Report* released the results of a global survey that found reach (68%), impressions (65%), and content analysis of articles (64%) were the most frequently used measurement and evaluation metrics. Unfortunately, 30% also reported advertising value equivalency was still used (I won’t address the serious methodological issues with this as it has been addressed many times by other articles and posts). As evidenced by the results, our industry still has a lot of work to do.

First, the metrics we use, or suggest as gold standards, are largely focused on the media. While this does give a partial picture, it does not give us a complete one. Working with and monitoring media, both traditional and social, are only a small part of what we do. Also, many individuals do not publish their thoughts or opinions on social media, especially internal audiences. Our industry focuses on media measurement to the exclusion of other methods such as surveys, experiments, and even predictive modeling made possible by the increased access to big data.

Next, when we do focus on the media, we give in to what Gary Sheffer, an IPR Trustee and former CCO of GE, calls “success theater,” where we pat ourselves on the back for earning unrealistic metrics (if you ever have seen a report where a limited program in a segmented geographic market earns billions of impressions, you know what I’m talking about). When we offer these unrealistic metrics, we set ourselves up for failure, as we are always trying to raise this bar of inaccuracy higher.

Finally, our industry throws around the buzz term “insights,” using it interchangeably with “data” and “metrics.” While some research experts think the term “research” is outdated and “insights” may be a better term, I still think research is a good approach. The research process is important. The ability to do research allows us to see the big picture and to create appropriate methodologies for collecting data. The data and findings allow insights to be generated. Measurement is the ability to quantify data or streamline qualitative data. Data, though, are not insights. Insights are an extra step in the process where the data is interpreted and application to the business is made that may have not been made otherwise.

And we can’t forget the importance of non-numbers – qualitative findings are extremely helpful as well. Pairing a focus group or interviews with surveys is helpful to glean insights and can answer some of the “why” questions that quantitative methods may not be able to answer. However, relying on smaller samples as the gospel with qualitative research can create problems with generalizations.

What is missing from the “Where are we now?” conversation about data, measurement, and insights, is the real purpose of what we are trying to do. Our purpose should not be to try to prove the value of our profession or worth compared to other organizational departments. That should not be the focus. Rather, we should use these tools to make adjustments, do a better job, and help us to set benchmarks for our goals and objectives. Research and insights should save time and money, and help support our decisions by also narrowing options and pinpointing issues. Somewhere, we have fallen off the path of purpose in regards to measurement, and with a little help, we can straighten ourselves and head back in the right direction.

Tina McCorkindale, Ph.D., is the President and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations. Formerly, she was a university professor and research analyst. Follow her on Twitter @tmccorkindale. This originally appeared on www.instituteforpr.org the website of The Institute for Public Relations.

#PPRAMemberMonday: Ike Richman

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Twitter:  @Ike_Richman
LinkedIn:

PPRA: Ike, tell us about your background and your current job.

IR: I’ve been a Comcast Spectacor employee for 27 years,  VP of Public Relations, since 2001. I oversee all external communications for the company’s three businesses – the Philadelphia Flyers, the Wells Fargo Center and Spectra. Among my highlights were overseeing the company’s external messaging on the acquisition (and eventual sale) of three Minor League Baseball affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles (Bowie Baysox, Frederick Keys, and Delmarva Shorebirds). In addition, I built the external messages, working closely with then Comcast Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider, on the launch of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation. Some of my memorable PR campaigns included the closing of the Spectrum as well as numerous prestigious events, including the l996 World Cup of Hockey, the l997 Stanley Cup

PPRA: What is the favorite part about your job?

IR: Grooming up and coming PR professionals. Coming up with an idea with the team and seeing it carried out and generating a lot of coverage.

PPRA: What was your latest and greatest accomplishment at your job?

IR: We recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Wells Fargo Center. We looked back over our files and came up with a list of the top moments, some did you know facts, some hard-to-believe things, and put it out to media. It was a front-page story in both the Inquirer and the Daily News. Our marketing team also developed a series of 20-percent discount offers, so the idea ended up being a revenue generator for us, as well.

PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?

IR: If you ask and they say, “yes,” go! If you ask and they say, “no,” go ask someone else. If you believe in an idea and really want to go for it, don’t let anything get in your way!

PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?

IR: Book: 11/22/63 by Stephen King
Movie: The Shawshank Redemption

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

IR: I love the Kelly Drive. I just love being on the water. It’s mesmerizing and breathtaking to know this beautiful site is a mere mile from the hustle and bustle of the City.

PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?

IR: Vegetarian – of course!

#PPRAMemberMonday: Christanna Ciabattoni

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Twitter: @xoChristanna
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/christannaciabattoni

PPRA: Christanna, tell us about your background and your current job.

CC: I  joined Skai Blue Media in 2012 with a knack for communications, media relations and true style. As a Senior Account Executive, I use my extensive background in journalism and storytelling to stay two steps ahead of the industry and successfully place clients in popular media outlets, such as Good Morning America, Forbes, People Magazine, Refinery29, Women’s Wear Daily, Philadelphia Magazine and many more. I’ve developed and executed events, activations and opportunities for our clients, such as Dell’s “Ladies Night Out” in both New York and Austin and led media relations for Forbes Magazine‘s Under 30 Summit. I’ve arranged client press previews at publications like Men’s Health, New York Magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine, media dinners with editors from The Huffington Post and Nylon Magazine, represented clients at national market weeks and successfully placed client products on influencers like Olivia Palermo. I’ve directed   photo shoots and style segments for The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, FOX29, NBC10, CBS3 and PHL17. I also serve as this year’s PPRA newsletter chair.

PPRA: Who are your clients and what projects are you working on right now?

CC: I currently manage a variety of lifestyle focused accounts at Skai Blue Media, including supermodel Ashley Graham, who is on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swim. We’re currently working on press efforts for her New York Fashion week show on Wednesday. On Friday, we road trip to Montreal to lead the digital strategy for Global Citizen’s first Canadian concert, and two of our team members are heading to Miami to manage social media at a conference for SELF MADE, a movement started by NY Times Bestseller Nely Galan. For Visit Philadelphia, we launched their Entrepreneur is Residence program in January, and Rakia Reynolds, our President and CEO, is their first EIR. We’re currently working on projects to raise awareness for entrepreneurship in the city of Philadelphia. Some of the other clients I manage are a social good jewelry company based in Detroit called Rebel Nell, the latest and greatest online menswear consignment marketplace called HUNTRS (by a Philly company called OneHunted), model Grace Mahary, who’s launching a solar energy non-profit called Project Tsehigh, and worKS, Kennett Square’s newest retail destination.


PPRA: What is the favorite part about your job?

CC: The ability to express myself creatively by suggesting new ideas and executiving them from start to finish. Also, my team members, who are smart, witty and dedicated. I’ve grown so close to them and they make work fun and exciting.

PPRA: What was your latest and greatest accomplishment at your job?

CC: I recently secured the opportunity for one of our clients to take over one of Vogue’s Instagram accounts from the US Open. I also escorted our client to the VMAs and handled press for her on the red (it was actually white) carpet, which was a great experience.

PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?

CC: Do your research and don’t rely on traditional PR tactics, like blasting a press release.

PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?

CC: Clueless  I can recite the entire script.

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

CC : Kelly Drive. I live closeby and try to walk down there every Sunday to set up my hammock.

PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?

CC: From Pat’s…American Wit. Add ketchup.

#PPRAMemberMonday: Bill Wedo, M.J., MBA

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bill.wedo
Twitter: @beewedo
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bwedo

PPRA: Bill, tell us a bit about your background and your current job.

BW: I’m a recovering journalist who has worked in Norristown and Allentown, PA; Dallas, TX and at the Philadelphia Daily News doing everything from police blotter to investigating a congressman’s real-estate holdings to column writing. I was on the founding team of philly.com back in the screeching dial-up days when the technology changed weekly. Great fun. After that, I career-transitioned to Director of Marketing and Communications at The Academy of Natural Sciences (ask me how  a fossil fish got one of our scientists on The Colbert Report). Currently, I’m handling communications/marketing at Studio Incamminati, School for Contemporary Realist Art (ask me about that name). It’s a small – I mean, elite – art school founded by the artist who painted a host of celebrities from Princess Diana to Pope John Paul II (ask me about my chat with Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s Secret Service agent). I’m also a longtime college adjunct who has taught journalism, non-fiction writing and, now, public relations.

PPRA: Who are your clients and what projects are you working on right now?

BW: As Studio Incamminati’s in-house communications person, my clients range from students – current and potential – to the board to donors. I also work with the enrollment and marketing team at our partner, Chestnut Hill College. Recently, I helped produce a series of videos to spark student recruitment and donor support.

PPRA: What is your favorite part about your job?

BW: As the PR person for a niche art school with an odd name, a big thrill continues to be meeting someone who says, “I’ve heard of you” – even if they’re not sure what that name means. While we communications folks knock ourselves out solving the puzzle of earned, paid, owned and shared media, the ultimate goal remains simply getting through to someone. I also am fortunate to be surrounded by artists whose daily actions – seven hours a day at the easel? – remind me that there is inherent value in just doing what you love.

PPRA: What was your latest and greatest accomplishment at your job?

BW: It wasn’t the happiest of times – but effectively handling local and international press when the school founder, Nelson Shanks, passed away last year was a challenge. A few months earlier, he had stirred controversy – and some hard feelings – by pointing out what he called a visual reference to Monica Lewinsky in his portrait of President Clinton which had hung at the National Portrait Gallery. Of course, that was going to play in the obit. However, my job was to make sure it didn’t overshadow his amazing art career. In particular, William Grimes, who wrote the New York Times obit, did a well-balanced piece. By having a conversation with Grimes, instead of just answering his questions, I learned his wife was a painter. That common ground helped inform the story. I was again reminded that it’s called Public “Relations” for a reason.

PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?

BW: Beware those who give advice. With that caveat, I’d say: Read as much as you can. Spend some time thinking. Keep an open mind. See the humor. Because, really, a lot of life is pretty funny.

PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?

BW: Film: Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner,” including the director’s cut, the U.S. cut and the European cut. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe . . .”
Fiction book: “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin – an exhausting but amazing read that’s literally a timeless love story wrapped in love note to New York City.
Non-fiction book: “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains” by Nicholas Carr – forced me to look at communications in a new way

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

BW: The Reading Terminal Market. The selection of goodies is great, but the people watching is unparalleled.

PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?

BW: I do not discuss religious issues.