Samantha Byles is a Senior Account Executive with Bellevue Communications Group and has been a member of PPRA for three years.
Originally from Boston, Samantha moved to Philadelphia to attend Temple University and ended up staying. She graduated from Temple in 2013 with a news journalism degree, and worked with a company that produced hyper-local magazines nationwide before jumping into PR with a local engineering firm.
PPRA: What projects are you working on right now?
SB: I work with both nonprofit and for-profit clients on everything from traditional PR – press releases, media advisories, media relations – to the more general Communications/Marketing items like social media, content creation, and public affairs. A majority of my efforts nowadays are focused on a wireless infrastructure client that is looking to raise their brand awareness in Philadelphia, which translates to introductory meetings with leaders in the city, networking, and finding speaking/event opportunities.
SB: The discovery process – working with my clients before the event or before the press release to find the right story to share. I like to think of it as a puzzle, and you’re constantly going through each of the pieces to see what fits and completes the bigger picture.
PPRA: What was your latest and greatest accomplishment at your job?
SB: In May, I worked with the wireless infrastructure client to submit and plan a panel event for PHL Tech Week. Once we got approval for the event, I coordinated all logistics and materials for it – working with the venue, selecting, confirming, and prepping the panelists, the Powerpoint presentation, Eventbrite management, etc. It was a lot of work, but it was a project that I could own and it turned out to be a great event with about 35 attendees and a handful of valuable relationships for the client.
PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?
SB: Enjoy it! It’s very easy to get discouraged when you don’t get the desired coverage or have to defend a strategy to a stubborn client. When that happens, take a step back, and think of 1 thing in the process that went right, even if it was just a catchy headline, and 1 thing that you could actually change if you tried. This process I think allows you to stay positive while thinking about how you can improve in a realistic way.
PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?
SB: Any of the Harry Potter movies – the books are good, but all the visual aspects in the movie are incredible, especially if you can see it in 4K.
PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?
SB: Dilworth Park – Cliche, I know, but I use SEPTA a lot as a commuter, so while I’m waiting for the regional rail or the next El, I like to sit outside at Dilworth Park and people watch. Between the fountain, Christmas Village, and other attractions, there’s always something to happily distract you.
PPRA: If you weren’t in PR, what profession do you see yourself in and why?
SB: Event or meeting planning – I like the organizational aspect of it and the ability to still be surrounded by people.
PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?
SB: Philly Pretzel, with spicy mustard.