PPRA Member Monday: Camille Mola

Camille Mola is the PR and Communications Manager for the Academy of Vocal Arts. She has been a member of PPRA for over a year.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/positivepublicityblog

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/camillemariemola/

Philadelphia native Camille Mola is the PR and Communications Manager of the Academy of Vocal Arts, the world’s only tuition-free institution dedicated exclusively to the study of opera. In addition to this, she is the founder of Positive Publicity Blog, a Philadelphia-based lifestyle blog which covers dining, music, entertainment and more. Her blog has been named a Top 25 Philadelphia Blog by Feedspot for three consecutive years. Positive Publicity has also allowed Camille to take on freelance clients and to enhance her photography side business. She has appeared on podcasts and spoken on panels, and is a member of the Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s Emerging Leaders Circle. She is a proud 2014 graduate of Penn State Bellisario School of Communications. Camille has been a member of PPRA for over a year.

PPRA: Who are your clients and what projects are you working on right now?

CM: As an opera school which is still operating safely during the pandemic, we have completely adapted to virtual performances and learning. My role has now shifted into marketing and promoting our online performances, as well as interacting with the audio/video team. We have three more virtual performances this season, and I’ll be focused on those, as well as continuing to tell our story in new ways! On a personal note, I’ve been taking on more freelance photography clients.  

PPRA: What is the favorite part of your job?

CM: Securing any type of press, social media postings, or other content that is beneficial to our Resident Artists. AVA is currently comprised of 24 young Resident Artists from around the world, who have worked incredibly hard to get to AVA. We want them to flourish in their operatic careers, and being a part of their journey is so rewarding. 

PPRA: What was your latest & greatest accomplishment at your job?

CM: My greatest accomplishment at my job was probably an Inquirer story breaking the news about our 85th Anniversary Gala Concert, which was to be held at The Met Philly. It would have been the first time in over 80 years that opera would be performed on that stage. As you might have guessed, it was cancelled due to COVID. But it will happen in the future!

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

CM: Attend that networking event, panel, whatever it may be – even if you’re going alone. You never know who you might meet and what relationships you’ll form.  

PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?

CM: Drop Dead Gorgeous is my all-time favorite film. I still remember seeing it on E! when I was younger, and it’s the one movie I’ll always return to (and quote word for word). 

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

CM: Ritual Shoppe on Walnut is my favorite shop. I also love Washington Square Park, and sitting outside there with an iced coffee from Talulah’s Daily.  

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

CM: I would still be working in the arts in some capacity! Perhaps on stage? I LOVE the arts and culture scene in our city, and know I would still find myself working in this world in some way. 

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

CM: The Coconut Curry Noodles from Cheu 

Between You and MEdia…Matt Leon of KYW

How did you get started as a journalist?

I always wanted to be in radio, even as a kid. My main goal was to be a play-by-play guy; I used to listen to Phillies games and did a play-by-play on my tape recorder. Then in college, I wrote for our newspaper.

This job at KYW is perfect because I like people to come to me to get the news they need, as well as the anonymity that radio allows you.

How many pitches do you get a day/week?

Now that I’m doing a wide ranging podcast for KYW – KYW In Depth — I get 30-40 pitches a week, and there are times I’m overwhelmed.

Ten to fifteen of those are within the ballpark of what we cover, and of that, we’ll do stories on five to seven of them.

What are you looking for in a pitch?

Topics that are interesting -– you get a lot of pitches that are commercials dressed up as a PR pitch. I get a lot of emails from people who have never dealt with me or don’t know what I cover, maybe they got my name on a mailing list.

Is following up with you OK?

I do open most emails. But sometimes, I’ll get the same one four to six times in a two-week period. If I wasn’t interested the first four times, the fifth time won’t ring the bell.

It’s OK to follow up – but not six or seven times.

What advice would you give PR professionals looking to pitch you? 

Know who you’re dealing with and the general types of topics in which the reporter or producer is interested. Take 5-10 minutes to do some research, visit the website, see the podcasts we’ve done, and even listen to a couple.

I can’t stress enough to know your audience.

What are your favorite types of stories to write? 

The best stories are where I learn something. Recently I’ve covered: Cicadas; President Biden’s infrastructure plan; the 1918 flu pandemic. Anything where I can come away as an interviewer having learned something — and our listeners can, too.

Can you share a fun and interesting fact about yourself?

I’m a very good gardener and I especially like planting vegetable gardens. I love the process and look forward to the two weeks at end of July/beginning in August when something new is ripe.

Contact info:

The best way to reach me is via email: Mleon7@comcast.net

PPRA Member Monday: London Faust

London Faust is a Digital Media Manager and Account Executive at Bellevue Communications Group where she leads social media and public relations strategy for a variety of accounts.  She has been a member of PPRA for nearly seven years and currently serves as PPRA president.

Twitter: @LondonFaust

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/londonfaust/

PPRA: Who are your clients and what projects are you working on right now?

LF: Currently I’m working on projects for Reading Terminal Market, The Pennsylvania Convention Center, the Presbyterian Historical Society, and Marsy’s Law for Pennsylvania. 

PPRA: What is the favorite part of your job?

LF: Working at an agency allows me to do something different almost every day. 

PPRA: What was your latest & greatest accomplishment at your job?

LF: Reading Terminal Market recently announced the opening of its first-ever Black-owned bakery. We got coverage in the Inquirer, PBJ, Philly Voice, 6abc, NBC10, and PHL17.

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

LF: Never stop learning. Our field is constantly changing and we need to keep up. 

PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?

LF: I could watch The Breakfast Club on repeat for days. 

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

LF: Reading Terminal Market (I swear, not just because they’re a client) – they have the best grocery options, delicious prepared food, and an atmosphere that’s unmatched. 

PPRA: Favorite Philly food?

LF: A great soft pretzel.

PPRA Member Monday: Jill Flanagan

Jill Flanagan is a Strategic Communication Consultant and Professor. She has been a member of PPRA for 16 years.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jill-f-24a9782a/

Throughout Jill Flanagan’s 25-year plus career, she has always looked for ways to use her talents in service of others.  From university teaching to working with non-profits to taking on freelance projects that supported local artists, she has consistently sought out opportunities that enhance lives. 

PPRA: Who are your clients and what projects are you working on right now?

JF: Serving as Sponsorship Lead for PPRA and Lecturer at La Salle University.

PPRA: What is the favorite part of your job?

JF: I particularly enjoy the writing aspects of public relations.  Mentoring students and younger professionals is also a highlight.

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

JF: Find a company or client that does work you truly believe in.  Your passion will come across in your work.   

PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?

JF: Michael Clayton

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

JF: Valley Forge Park

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

JF: I would love to work in career counseling.  Helping students find internships and jobs was always a highlight of my teaching career.

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

JF: Soft Pretzels

PPRA Foundation Launches Fundraiser

Our PPRA Foundation (PPRAF), which is a new nonprofit, educational and charitable organization dedicated to advancing the public relations profession in Greater Philadelphia, is hosting an online raffle to help raise funds in support of PPRA and our Foundation’s overall mission.  The focus of the PPRA Foundation is to provide scholarships for high school and college students aspiring to work in the industry, supporting career development for current professionals who are active with PPRA, and supporting an international speakers program where we bring awareness about Philadelphia while also welcoming experts and leaders to the Philadelphia region as a speaker at PPRA events.  Funds raised support these PPRA activities, and the Foundation also provides an avenue for members and others to support PPRA with a charitable donation. 

Our PPRA Foundation Raffle launches April 15 and runs through June 13, 2021, and offers three fantastic prizes!  Raffle tickets, which range from $25 for two entries to $100 for 25 entries, are available for purchase online.  Please help support our PPRA Foundation and the students and members who benefit from our mission by purchasing raffle tickets and spreading the word to your family, friends and colleagues.  The PPRA Foundation works under the fiscal sponsorship of the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) and in concert with the Philadelphia Public Relations Association to achieve its educational, professional development, and civic and cultural goals.