Congratulations to Sharla Feldscher on the Release of KIDFUN: 401 Easy Ideas for Play

We all know our fellow member and PPRA Hall of Famer Sharla Feldscher is a legendary PR professional. Did you know that she is also an author? Please join us in congratulating Sharla on the recent release of an updated version of KIDFUN: 401 Easy Ideas for Play.

As the KIDFUN press release describes, “This ultimate guide to fun and learning shares amazingly easy, step-by-step ideas for learning through play without the use of electronics. It’s just what every adult has been searching for…hundreds of ideas for good, simple-to-do creative fun for kids to play on their own and with others. Great for playtime, rainy days, car trips, bedtime, bath and any other time kids need to have structured…and unstructured, old-fashioned FUN AND PLAY!”

Congratulations, Sharla!

Between You and MEdia… with HughE Dillon

As PR professionals, we all know the importance of building meaningful relationships with members of the media – reporters, producers, assignment editors, etc. But how does that happen, and where do you start? 

In this new section of the PPRA blog, PPRA members will share insight, tips and tricks, and fun facts learned from members of the media through informal interviews. You won’t have to wait for our “Media Mingle” or “Editors Panel” to get your tough questions answered and connect with the media. Our goal with this blog section is to continue engagement with our media counterparts in an informative and fun manner. So, between you and me – enjoy!

For more than 10 years, photographer HughE Dillon has made Philadelphians feel like celebrities with his event photos. From fundraisers to birthday parties to movie shoots, HughE has covered it all for his blog Philly Chit Chat and for outlets across the city as a contributor. Learn how HughE turned his passion for photography into a full-time job in this interview by PPRA member Alexa Johnson.

How did you get started as a “Society Photographer?”
I saw the publicity my blog generated in 2007 as I wrote about celebrities I photographed in Philly as well as in NYC, and various things I saw in Philadelphia while walking around. I thought ‘I bet this kind of media would be great to shine a light on charity events.’ At the time, magazines weren’t online yet, and only published once a month. The Inquirer published their society column every Sunday but it seemed to me they were only focusing on major society charity events with the same people. I wanted to create something that would highlight everyone, from the person who paid $10 to attend a charity event at a bar, to someone who paid $10,000, and as many folks from all walks of life as possible.

During the years 2007 through 2010, I covered the events for fun and content for my blog. Then I was laid off from my paralegal job in December 2010. With the support of my husband, I decided to try and monetize my blog. I announced to my readers that I had lost my job and now would become a party photographer, where people would hire me to shoot events and I would create content for my blog and place “one shots” from the parties in the newspaper as I had started to work with Michael Klein and Dan Gross by this time. It was an immediate success. People hired me, companies advertised on my blog and I didn’t have to look for another paralegal job. A few months after starting my business, Fox 29 and Philly Mag approached me to create content for their outlets in July 2011. A few years later, I got my own columns in and Metro Philly where they paid me for the content.headshot1

Who/what inspired you to pursue a career in media/photography and what keeps you inspired?

I was a fan of longtime Inquirer society columnist Ruth Seltzer and then David Iams. Philly Daily News’ Stu Bykofsky, Harriet Lessey, Dan Gross. The NY Social Diary and NYC society photographer Patrick McMullen (I always tweet at him that he’s my mentor in my head. He never responds, LOL).

What’s your most favorite event you’ve photographed?
Every single Diner en Blanc event has been very special. All the Big Brother Big Sisters Fashion Touchdown fundraiser where the Eagles players and their wives walk the catwalk with the latest fashions. I also loved shooting Virgin America’s First Philadelphia flight party in 2012 at the Palamor Hotel with guests like DJ Jazzy Jeff who spun for guests like Glenn Howerton, Amber Rose, Penn Badgley, Zoe Kravitz, The Roots, M. Night Shyamalan and lots of fun people from Philly.

What advice would you give PR professionals looking to work with you? How do you work best together?

As for PR professionals, I need them to understand that I created a nontraditional media business model where I shoot party photos, but the PR/Event/Business pays me to do so, and not the media outlet. The media doesn’t pay me. Clients should also keep in mind: I only need 90 minutes to two hours to shoot an event; and I always suggest the client keep their own house photographer because my photos are not returned to the client for at least 90 days.  My media outlets want the “exclusive” content first and each of them gets their own set of photos. The media outlets have the final say on editorial an d what runs.

As of 2020 I have 8 daily columns: Philly Style Magazine, Philly Voice, Philly Business Journal, Mainline Media News, Philly Mag, CBS3Philly, Fox 29 and Philly Chit Chat; occasionally my photos are placed in NBC10, Mainline Today and Jewish Exponent.

How many pitches a week do you receive?
About 400. During the months of September to December, and March to June I have to be hired to guarantee I cover your event. The other months (Jan, Feb, July & Aug) I’m less busy now so I might cover an event that isn’t a client and will put in a media outlet. For most pitches I try to promote them on one of my social media outlets, even if they’re not clients.

How do you step away from the 24-hour news cycle? What do you do outside of work?
I like to birdwatch, although I have no idea what the bird’s names are, I usually just tweet out “Oh, I saw a nice red one today, here’s a photo.”

Best way to contact:

#PPRAMemberMonday – Sarah Fleming

Sarah Fleming is a Public Relations Specialist at Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy


Sarah Fleming holds a B.A. in English from Trinity College and a B.A. in Psychology from the City College of New York. Prior to joining Beck Institute in 2016, she worked in the apparel industry for over 12 years, as a product manager for a Hong Kong-based knitwear manufacturer. In her current role as Public Relations Specialist, she works to increase awareness of Beck Institute’s programs and priorities through media engagement, creation of digital and printed materials, and the execution of special events, including conferences, tradeshows and the annual Beck Institute Excellence Summit. When she’s not at Beck Institute, she helps her husband operate a mobile bar out of a renovated 1972 Airstream Safari and spends time with her high-maintenance rescue chihuahua at her home in Port Richmond. She is also a certified yoga instructor.

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

SF: Beck Institute is a nonprofit with a mission of improving lives worldwide through excellence and innovation in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) training, practice and research. There is a huge (and growing) mental health crisis in this country. Our job is to provide mental health practitioners with the training they need to deliver the best in evidence-based care to their clients. One of my roles is to raise awareness of CBT and how it can help people feel better and stay better. 

PPRA: What is the favorite part of your job?

SF: The people I work with. I cannot imagine a smarter, kinder and more engaged group of people anywhere! 

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

SF: I helped our president, Dr. Judith Beck, with the latest revision of her book, Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Basics and Beyond. Editing draft after draft of a 400-page textbook was definitely a labor of love, but it was amazing to play a part in getting such an important book in our field to print.  

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

SF: This is really my advice for any writer, including myself: If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. 

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

SF: The Three Body Trilogy by Liu Cixin gets better with every reading. I’ve also read The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami multiple times.  

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

SF: Pre-pandemic you could find me swimming laps after work at the Kelly Pool in Fairmount Park. Such a gorgeous public resource!  

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

SF: After about five more years of school, maybe an architect. I love work that blends creativity with functionality.  

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

SF: Ice cream sandwiches from Weckerly’s. I’m also obsessed with Indian food and Ekta is the best.

8 Reasons We’re Excited for #SMDay2020

Social Media Day Logo-09

In under ten days Slice Communications will present Social Media Day Philadelphia 2020. Here’s a guest post from Leo Manning, a digital marketing strategist with PPRA member Slice Communications, with all you need to know to get involved.

8 Reasons We’re Excited for #SMDay2020

This year, the conference world is looking a little different. With the COVID-19 outbreak changing plans for all in-person events, it’s a little harder to find relevant networking and professional learning opportunities. However, Social Media Day Philadelphia 2020 is set to be one of the most exciting, and for only $20 a ticket, it’s a deal you can’t beat!

We’ve Gone Virtual!

One of the most apparent changes for this year’s event is that it is virtual. However, going virtual has allowed us to extend our reach even further this year. With speakers from across the country, we’re able to bring more marketing knowledge right here to Philadelphia – and all without leaving our couch!

Staying Social!

Just because we won’t be in the same room building doesn’t mean networking is out! Aside from chatting and engaging through social media (follow us at @smdayphl and keep the conversation going with #SMDayPHL), this year, we will be running a Slack channel! That way, attendees can engage with not only each other, but also our expert speakers! And speaking of networking…

Co-Mentoring Connect

We’re proud to start our new Co-Mentoring Connect! This program will provide professional development and networking outside of our annual event. Marketing leaders and practitioners will be matched to learn from each other and develop their social media and marketing prowess.

Supporting Local Business

All net proceeds from this year’s event will go towards Fuel The Fight, a homegrown initiative that raises funds to buy meals from local restaurants who are reeling from the coronavirus. These meals are then donated to essential workers on the frontlines.


Whether you have a question on the basics of social media or paid advertising, or a more specific topic like legal concerns on social media or digital accessibility, there will be experts you can talk to. The panels feature thought leaders from companies like Meltwater, Cisco, Accessibility Shield, Philly Mag, and more!

Flash Talks

For people who want bite-sized case studies, flash talks will be ideal! Instead of larger presentations, flash talks are presented in blocks of 3 and cover specific topics and campaigns, allowing you to learn three bite-sized, unique topics in only 45 minutes!

While some people prefer to just listen, some people learn best by engaging! This year’s hands-on workshops feature experts in everything from YouTube marketing to using employees to develop social media content!

General Sessions
Featuring national brands like LEGO, Cisco, IBM, Kroger, and more, the general sessions are 45-minute blocks showcasing higher level strategy.

So, what are you waiting for?
Get tickets for you and your team – right now, you can Buy 4, Get 1 Free!

A Welcome from PPRA’s President-Elect

I’ll try to keep this short and sweet since many of you joined the Annual Meeting Happy Hour last week and heard my remarks. 

For anyone who doesn’t know me, I am a Digital Media Manager at Bellevue Communications Group working primarily in traditional PR and social media for clients in all industries. I live in South Philly, am a proud Temple Owl, also serve on the board of Families Forward Philadelphia, and spend my free time re-watching Gilmore Girls while trying not to kill my growing collection of houseplants. 

Being part of a community has been the driving force behind my experience with public relations from my time at Temple in PRSSA and PRowl to present-day when I sit here so humbled and excited (and of course a little nervous) to be the next PPRA president. Getting to know so many talented communications professionals over the past five years has been an absolute pleasure and inspiration. It’s an honor to be tasked with leading this organization and its nearly 300 members. 

My goals for this year are to:

  • Streamline internal PPRA processes
  • Expand the range of topics covered by our programming
  • Continue and build on Diversity and Inclusion practices 
  • Renew our focus on mentorship
  • Create a greater sense of collaboration between the board and PPRA membership

Written out that sounds like a lot, but I think it all goes hand in hand to help us continue serving our membership in the most meaningful and impactful ways. One thing I know for sure is that I can’t make all of this happen without your help so I have two requests: 

Get involved! We have 18 committees currently recruiting chairs and members. Join one that compliments skills you already have or one that will help you grow new ones. It’s great for your resume and you’ll meet some really wonderful people.

Connect with us! I want to hear what YOU want from our programs, networking opportunities, and mentorship options. Email me any time at or connect with me on social @londonfaust. 

Thank you for trusting me with this organization that has done so much for me. I’m looking forward to working together to make this year another great one.