Hope Koseff Corse is Director of External Relations at the Science History Institute. She has been a PPRA member for 15 years and is currently Vice President for External Affairs.
PPRA: Hope, tell us a bit about your background and your current job.
HKC: Hope Koseff Corse is the director of external relations at Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation). For the past two decades she has helped organizations big and small connect with their audiences. Some of her more unique initiatives include re-branding America’s first zoo for its 150th anniversary, promoting a “Longest Drive” golfing event for the PGA aboard the most decorated battleship in naval history, and planning and hosting a preservation conference to save the National Historic Landmark ship, Cruiser Olympia. Hope has worked with media outlets around the world, including CNN, BBC, The New York Times, the History Channel, the Travel Channel, Fox News, and NPR, although her dream is to be a guest on Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me.
A New Jersey native, Hope graduated from Temple University with a degree in communications.
PPRA: Who are your clients and/or what projects are you working on right now?
HKC: I work at the Science History Institute. The launch of the Science History Institute brand on February 1 was prompted by the merger of the Chemical Heritage Foundation and the Life Sciences Foundation. I’m so thrilled to have been a part of this nearly 2.5 year-long project. The new name is so open and welcoming. We’ve had great feedback on it so far. Keep an eye out for our banners around Old City.
PPRA: What is your favorite part about your job?
HKC: I love working for an organization that has so much depth and variety. The Institute has a free museum, a monthly podcast and a quarterly magazine and a ton of wonderful public programming- that’s what most people see. But we’re also a library and archive for historians and scholars. So I get to see these amazing rare books on alchemy or a manuscript handwritten by Isaac Newton. We have the largest fellowship program in the country for the history of science, so I go to brown bag lunches in the building and learn about fascinating topics that the fellows are studying. I’m always learning about something. I love a great story, and that’s what history is.
PPRA: What was your latest & greatest accomplishment at your job?
HKC: The successful launch of our new name and brand. I’ve been so happy about the attention – both in the media and with the public – and that it has been so overwhelmingly positive. Change can be hard!
PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?
HKC: Cultivate your community. It used to be about “networking” but I find that to be such a self-serving phrase. Be the help you might need one day. Be a part of a community. Join an organization like PPRA and find your buddies. PR can be intense. It is easier if you have a community that understands, can be a support system if you need it, and a place where you can support others.
PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?
HKC: I’m currently re-reading all three books in the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Call it an occupational hazard (there is a strong history of science theme to them) but I actually read them for the first time years before I started working here. I’m re-reading them now because I wanted to de-stress during the brand launch and also because we will be hosting her Harkness’s All Souls Con this summer. As for movie– that would be Philadelphia Story or any historical drama.
PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly (museum, park, store, etc.)?
HKC: Depends on the time of year. I love to be outside in cold weather, so right now it’s walking through the city (the park behind Independence Hall and Rittenhouse Square are faves) or in the Wissahickon.
PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?
HKC: I don’t indulge often but when I do my favorite is Dalessandro’s with provolone and hot peppers.
PPRA: Our PPRA 2017-18 PRoactive partnership is with Tree House Books. What was your favorite childhood book and why?
HKC: I was a total bookworm as a kid – I think being an only child helped with that. I learned to read really early, but I still have memories of my mother reading The Little Prince to me. I’d like to read it again as an adult.