PPRA: Christina, tell us about your background and your current job.
CC: I joined the PHLCVB team in 2012 after returning home to the Philadelphia area post graduation from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Having very little idea what I wanted to do with my career and having no idea what a Convention & Visitors Bureau or a Destination Marketing Organization was, I was fortunate to be mentored by some pretty incredible women in communications who saw the potential for me to thrive in the tourism/hospitality world. Since working at the PHLCVB, I’ve dabbled in marketing, public relations, social media, and international tourism, specifically working with international writers, hosting press and securing Philadelphia coverage in such international publications as National Geographic France, Le Figaro Magazine, Michelin Guide FR, Sunday Mail, the top Italian travel magazine, DOVE, and a top UK fashion blog, She Wears Fashion. I recently assumed the role of social media specialist at the PHLCVB where my efforts are focused on spreading Philadelphia’s story across the globe through managing our domestic B2B and international leisure social media programs, as well assisting in overall content development. I also serve as social media chair for PPRA. (PSA: interact with us on Twitter- @PPRA and on Facebook. Thanks! 🙂 )
PPRA: What projects are you working on right now?
CC: Establishing the PHLCVB social media presence in other countries, primarily the countries where we have international offices. Also interacting with incoming meetings/conventions who use social media to connect with attendees. Oh, and that NFL Draft thing is coming to Philadelphia in a few months…
PPRA: What is your favorite part about your job?
CC: (Hold for corny moment…) My favorite part is that it doesn’t feel like a job. I get to use social media to talk about why Philadelphia is the best city in the world and why it needs to be top of mind for international travel and meetings/conventions. I wouldn’t be able to do this job if I didn’t believe that with my whole heart. To be somewhat less corny, I’ve always loved photography and managing our Instagram account (@discover_PHL) and interacting with influencers is definitely my favorite part of the job. Have you ever just stopped and appreciated the city’s architecture, parks, murals and public art? It’s incredible. You don’t need translation for that, the visuals speak for themselves.
PPRA: What was your latest and greatest accomplishment at your job?
CC: Being front and center for the Papal visit to Philadelphia and the DNC were experiences I wouldn’t trade for the world.
PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?
CC: Find a support system. Whether it be a mentor, a colleague, family member or significant other, have someone that is there for you to bounce ideas off of, ground you, and especially remind you that you are a rockstar, you work your a** off and you do a great job every day. We all need support and reminding from time to time.
PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?
CC: Love Actually. The Notebook. The Fault in Our Stars. I can watch the same sappy movie back to back and still cry my eyes out. Give me anything that will hit me right in the feels.
PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?
CC: Seriously? I just got done saying how I’m in love with our city, there is no way I have just ONE spot. So I’ll just say I love our mural arts. Philadelphia is the mural capital of the world and our murals tell beautiful stories. Eastern State Penitentiary is another favorite – it’s so unique. Al Capone practically used it as a safe house and fun fact, Steve Buscemi narrates the audio tours. City Hall also amazes me, it’s a gorgeous piece of architecture.
PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?
CC: Wiz wit with mushrooms, baby! And a Diet Coke, of course. I’m not an animal.