#PPRA Member Monday: Lauren Woodard

Lauren A. Woodard is the Public Relations Manager on the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus. She has been a member of PPRA for nearly five years.

Twitter Handle: @lauren609

Facebook Handle: https://www.facebook.com/lauren.woodard.526/

LinkedIn Page: www.linkedin.com/in/lauren-woodard-a1436391

A graduate of Penn State University with a degree in English, Publishing, and Creative Writing, Lauren has held positions at the Kimmel Center since 2014. Beginning as a Public Relations Intern, she worked in the Marketing Department in various roles, before transitioning back to Public Relations. She was appointed Public Relations Manager in 2018. Her Public Relations Manager responsibilities include overseeing media communications for programmatic Campus news, managing a team for show-based initiatives, and driving institutional PR efforts, including education, Plaza activation, community events, and more. Lauren assists in conceptualization of photo/video creation, social media marketing efforts, copyediting marketing content, creation of institutional messaging, and event management. She has been published in The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Delaware County Daily Times. Lauren currently serves as Treasurer as part of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association’s 2020-21 Board. Lauren previously interned in Communications at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, worked for Penn State University’s College of Information Sciences & Technology, and managed a Marble Slab Creamery franchise. Lauren’s free time passions include kayaking, trash-to-treasure pickin’, Broadway musicals, salty foods, and ranch dressing.

Who are your clients and/or what are you working on right now?

As a nonprofit performing arts organization that relies heavily on ticket sales for support, this pandemic has significantly affected the livelihood of the Kimmel Cultural Campus. Unfortunately, a large portion of our staff were furloughed in June 2020. I was fortunate to return to the Kimmel on partial furlough in late November; however, I am not working on my traditional PR duties, e.g. pitching, writing press releases, copyediting, event management, etc.. Instead, I am utilizing video producing skills and content creation skills (that were honed from my time in PR) to create a series of ‘virtual field trip’ videos for our Education department! It is a great example of how my PR training is being used to create video content that will be shown to students of various ages across the Greater Philadelphia area – keeping the arts and education going during a time when zoom is the norm. Shoutout to the Kimmel’s education department who have offered edu. programs in over 60 classrooms (virtually) since September (thanks to donors’ help) – keeping our mission of reaching students in the Greater Philadelphia region going.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The Kimmel, though we’re going through a tough time, is really populated by people who care about the arts and bringing arts to Philly. That is motivating and inspiring. (In my new COVID-19 role as a visitor to the Education department, I’m enjoying spending time with colleagues who I wouldn’t normally get to interact with and work with so closely. And it’s really fun to see the reactions and work of kids in the education programs – to see what they’re learning, how they process information, and how they are inspired by what they’re taught.)

What was your latest & greatest accomplishment at your job?

Though my job has shifted due to COVID-19, I am enjoying creating content for Philly’s students. If kids view our ‘virtual field trips’ and feel inspired, feel seen, feel represented, I’ll be happy.

What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros? 

Be willing to try new things and ask for help. I don’t think that asking for help, clarification, another explanation is a show of weakness at all.

What book or movie could you read/watch again and again?

I do love watching “You’ve Got Mail” over and over again. For books, I don’t generally re-read things, but I do love mysteries/thrillers – anything by Tana French (an Irish writer who created the fictional Dublin murder squad); Liane Moriarty (if you liked “Big Little Lies” – read her other books!!!); and Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling who has created a mystery series that is A-plus)

What is your favorite spot in Philly (museum, park, store, etc.)? 

Hmmmm during COVID-19, I think we’ve all been pushed to pay better attention to the small businesses around us. If anyone’s looking for some super fun, Philly-centric gifts, check out Open House on S. 13th Street.

If you weren’t in PR, what profession do you see yourself in and why?

I’d like to think that I’d be a writer in some fashion; I always loved non-fiction/New Yorker type writing exercises and opportunities to tell real stories (which I guess is sort of what we do in PR, just not so flourish-y!). I really fell in love (through my job at the Kimmel as PR Manager) with event planning, so I think a career in that would definitely be fulfilling – making people’s dreams and hopes for an event come to life.

Favorite Philly Food? 

Cheesesteak whiz wit. Bassett’s ice cream (in a dish). Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries. Ooooh and Pietro’s rigatoni alla vodka.

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