PPRA Member since 2007
PPRA: Michael, tell us about your background and your current job.
MC: I graduated with honors from Temple University with a B.A. in Strategic and Organizational Communications and an M.S. in Communication Management. I’ve worked for some of the top communications agencies in the region, including Brownstein Group and Tierney. And I’m currently a Public Relations Specialist for Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, one of the largest law firms in the country.
PPRA: What projects are you working on right now?
MC: As a Public Relations Specialist for Drinker Biddle, I lead media relations efforts for more than 635 attorneys across the firm’s 12 offices. I’m also in charge of Drinker Biddle’s social media content, and I assist with various internal and external marketing and communications initiatives.
PPRA: What is your favorite part about your job?
MC: Whether I’m editing an article, writing content for social media or drafting a pitch to send to a reporter, I’m always focused on how I can help the firm and our attorneys effectively and efficiently communicate key messaging. What I enjoy most is when my team and our lawyers recognize this commitment to excellence and thank me for helping them accomplish their goals. There’s nothing more gratifying than that.
PPRA: What was your latest and greatest accomplishment?
MC: My proudest accomplishment, so far, happened in 2014 while working for Brownstein Group. My work, along with my colleagues’, was recognized by the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Philadelphia Chapter with three first-place awards in one night. Even better, the client we did the work for was sitting right next to us when we won these back-to-back-to-back first-place awards. PRSA recently sent me these awards, and I proudly display them on my desk alongside my accolades from the American Association of Advertising Agencies.
PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?
MC: Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or talk to someone in person. Many of us rely too much on email. I’ve gotten great media opportunities simply by calling a reporter first. I’ve also gotten better and faster feedback from supervisors by talking to them in-person, rather than through email.
PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?
MC: Last year I read 50 books, including two by my favorite author: Harlan Coben. My favorite book of his, which I’d love to read again, is Six Years. I also love the French film adaptation of his excellent thriller Tell No One. I’ve watched it numerous times, and I highly recommend it.
PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?
MC: My favorite spot in Philly is Spruce Street Harbor Park. It’s where my fiancée and I spent part of our first date, and it’s where we got engaged. It’s a beautiful, vibrant part of the city that’s reflective of the resurgence Philadelphia has been experiencing, and I believe it’s a harbinger of great things to come. It’s an exciting time to live in Philadelphia.
PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?
MC: My favorite cheesesteak is from Jim’s on South Street and I take it with Cheese Wiz and nothing else. I haven’t had one in a while, but they’re fantastic.