Michelle Sonsino is the Director of Communications and Marketing for Germantown Friends School. She has been a PPRA member for 7 years and currently serves as our Vice President for Membership.
Michelle has over 15 years of diverse communications experience that spans public relations, internal communications, community relations, B2B and B2C marketing, grant writing, and crisis communications.
Michelle currently serves as the Director of Communications and Marketing at Germantown Friends School, a role she loves because of the creative and thoughtful faculty and students, and the programmatic focus on social justice and equity. Prior to her work at GFS, Michelle served as the Director of Development at Career Wardrobe, where she currently serves on the organization’s Advisory Board. She has also held roles at the City of Philadelphia, Chubb Insurance, Aramark, and Women’s Way. Michelle interned for Philly.com when the site was in its infancy, and continued on as a part-time employee for two years.
Michelle volunteers with Saved Me animal rescue and has two sweet dogs, Crouton and Gretel. Michelle lives in Bella Vista with her husband and son, Max.
“I appreciate being a part of the PPRA community for a few reasons. First, every event has directly advanced my work. From media panels to Pitch Perfect events, I have found direct success from building new relationships, gaining feedback from peers, and opening my eyes to new marketing concepts. I have also found the mentorship opportunities to be greatly beneficial, both learning from experts and advising those new to the field. Throughout my entire career, mentorship has been very important to me, from my first boss out of college to my current supervisor to the many people I have met at PPRA, I am grateful for their professional guidance and support, as well as meaningful friendships.”
PPRA: Who are your clients and what projects are you working on right now?
MS: I support many teams at GFS, including the leadership, admissions, fundraising, academics, athletics, auxiliary programming, community relations, and more! We also work with neighbors and non-profit partners.
PPRA: What is the favorite part of your job?
MS: Every day is different and there is always a new story to tell. The relationship between the school and the community is also heartwarming to me, particularly as someone who worked in nonprofits for many years. We partner with the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia, John B. Kelly School, and many more! Students are able to learn from many different perspectives. I have the privilege of learning something new every day as well!
PPRA: What was your latest and greatest accomplishment at your job?
MS: I worked with a group of students to publicize their walkout efforts and we made it into the Wall Street Journal’s online site (well, for half a day), and many other outlets. I was beyond proud of their work to encourage, and demand, gun reform. They recognize their power to change the future, and I was thrilled to help get their message out.
PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?
MS: Be kind and honest, and enjoy your amazing job! It can be stressful, but how lucky are we to be able to share stories near and far?!
PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?
MS: All the President’s Men. I watched it in high school and I think it sparked my interest in journalism.
PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?
MS: Dilworth Park, particularly when the fountain is on. This joyful site brings together people from all over Philadelphia and the world.
PPRA: If you weren’t in PR, what profession do you see yourself in and why?
MS: An adoption or foster care social worker. Adoption has played such an important part in my life and I would love to learn how to support others who are interested in building a family in different ways.
PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?
MS: John’s Water Ice