PPRA Content Marketing Luncheon Recap


The panel from left to right: Dave Armon, Chief Executive Officer of Brand.com, Kim Harmsen, Vice President of Gregory FCA and Joshua Palau, Senior Director of Digital Communications and Social Media at Comcast.

The worlds of earned and paid media are colliding and we have to brace ourselves for impact by learning the value of tactics like native advertising, content marketing and sponsored content. At the latest PPRA luncheon, “WARNING: Communication Turbulence Ahead. Content May Shift” experts from Brand.com, Comcast and Gregory FCA spoke on the topic.

Gregg Feistman, professor at Temple University with more than 30 years of public relations experience, moderated the conversation.

Kim Harmsen, Vice President of Gregory FCA, started off the set of three presentations with a look at the content marketing efforts her agency employs for its client, Penn Mutual.  Harmsen highlighted the different areas that Gregory FCA focuses on for Penn Mutual including social media, a blog and press releases. Her team focuses on communicating a corporate narrative across these channels while displacing myths about life insurance. Examples of these myths are that millennials aren’t interested in purchasing life insurance and that the field is not female-friendly. The team at Gregory FCA also works to have Penn Mutual’s content published elsewhere, like insurance trades.

Dave Armon, CEO of Brand.com, delved into how his company works with both brands and publishers to create a harmony where the two intersect. He mentioned examples like Help A Reporter Out and ProfNet as well as an instance where Netflix bought a pull out spread in the New York Times to advertise Orange is the New Black using the advertorial method. Armon spoke on the importance of labeling sponsored content. Many consumers may feel deceived if they realize the words they are reading from a publication were paid to be placed there. However, studies show that as long as the content is labeled honestly and it reads well, individuals will view it as a credible source.

Joshua Palau, Senior Director of Digital Communications and Social Media at Comcast, showed the luncheon group the website that Comcast uses to create and share its own content. Palau noted how it can be difficult to get the right messages and voice across through third party media outlets, so websites like that are crucial for a brand. He also pointed out how even Google is trying to blur the line between paid and organic reach by trying to get users to click on advertised content at the top of their search feeds. Comcast’s website is the place that outlets like the Verge and Tech Crunch are going to get news for their own sites, showing how useful brand journalism has become for all involved.


  • Use content marketing to communicate your narrative
  • Clearly label sponsored content to maintain honesty and credibility
  • Publishers are starved for revenue, they are more than open to working with brands

How do you see the intersection of earned and paid media impacting the field of public relations? Share your thoughts about the pros and cons of sponsored content, native advertising and content marketing below.

This post was written by London Faust. London is an Account Representative at Bellevue Communications Group, a public relations firm specializing in media relations, crisis communications and issue management. She is forever #TempleMade,class of 2014. Follow her personal ramblings on Twitter at @londonfaust or her professional doings at @BellevuePRPhl.

Social Media Landscape for 2015


Social media is ever-changing and you need to stay ahead of the curve in order to get the most out of it. It is crucial to include social media in public relations and marketing plans. Cass Bailey, CEO of Slice Communications, presented as the keynote speaker at the recent Philadelphia Chapter meeting of NACE (National Association for Catering and Events). She explained the value of social media for the event industry in particular but the same thoughtful concepts apply across all industries.

First things first, what are your goals?

  • Brand Awareness
  • Thought Leadership
  • Sales/Lead Generation
  • Community Relations
  • Market Research
  • Customer Service
  • Recruiting

Once you identify your goals and your key audiences you are ready to put together a strategic social media plan. As always, relevant content is key but enhancing the reach through paid advertising on Facebook and Twitter is an area that has grown a lot in 2014. Your efforts will not be as valuable if your target audiences are not carefully selected. Be mindful of who you want to  reach out to and what actions you would like them to take.

An example of targeting a specific audience on Facebook that Cass used was engaged women within 50 miles of Philadelphia. There are over 50,000 individuals with the potential of being customers.

Slice Communications is a successful integrated public relations and social media agency headquartered in Philly. Connect with Cass Bailey on Twitter at @Cassapedia and @SliceComm.

To view Cass’s complete presentation click here.

This post was written by Nina Scimenes. Nina is PPRA’s VP of Communications and Marketing Manager at Brûlée Catering. She positions the catering brand as a premier event company in the Philadelphia region by being the voice of Brûlée on social media and maintains the website content while fostering relationships with the community and the press. Nina graduated from Cabrini College with a degree in Communications and minor in Graphic Design. Follow her on Twitter: @NinaScim and @Brulee_Catering.

Photo Credit: Phillip Gabriel Photography

PPRA Members Win Big at PRSA Philly Pepperpot Awards

On December 2, PRSA Philly held its 46th annual PRSA Philly Pepperpot Awards, recognizing the best public relations campaigns and tactics in the region. PPRA’s membership had quite a successful night, taking home awards in two-thirds of the 38 categories. Congratulations to all our partners on your honors!

Anne Klein Communications Group – 2 Pepperpots and 2 ladles
Feature Stories (Pepperpot), Crisis Communications and Issues Management (Pepperpot), Public Service (Ladle), Research (Ladle)

Brownstein Group – 7 Pepperpots and 2 Ladles
Reputation/Brand Management Program (Pepperpot), Community Relations (Pepperpot), Social Media (Pepperpot), Social Media Platform (Pepperpot), Research (Pepperpot), Advertorials (Pepperpot), Media Relations: For Profit (Pepperpot and Ladle), Marketing B2B (Ladle)

Devine and Partners – 1 Pepperpot
Special Events – Seven Days or More and Budget Over $15K (Pepperpot)

Drexel University – 3 Pepperpots
Media Relations: Not for Profit (Pepperpot), Annual Report (Pepperpot), Website (Pepperpot)

Furia Rubel Communications – 2 Ladles
Community Relations (Ladle), Website (Ladle)

Hornercom – 4 Pepperpots and 3 Ladles
Marketing Communications – Established Services (Pepperpot), Special Events & Observances – Seven Days or Fewer and Budget Over $15K (Pepperpot), Press Conference (Pepperpot), Brochures (Pepperpot), Reputation/Brand Management Program (Ladle), Integrated Communications (Ladle), Media Relations (Ladle)

Simon PR – 3 Pepperpots and 2 Ladles
Pro Bono Services (Pepperpot), Marketing Communications – New Products and Services (Pepperpot), Marketing B2B (Pepperpot), Special Events & Observances – Seven Days or Fewer and Budget Under $15K (Ladle), Editorial/Op-ed (Ladle)

Honoring WMMR’s Preston and Steve Show with the PPRA Gold Medal Award


The Preston and Steve Show crew holding up their PPRA Gold Medal Award and posing for a picture with Philadelphia Flyers captain, Claude Giroux.

On Wednesday November 12 in the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel, PPRA honored WMMR’s Preston and Steve Show with the PPRA Gold Medal Award. Aside from their hilarious jokes and their witty deliverance of talk radio the crew of the Preston and Steve show has demonstrated a positive and influential impact throughout the Philadelphia region since they first appeared on air.

One of their most notable events includes their annual participation with the region’s largest hunger relief organization, Philabundance. In 1988, Preston and Steve recognized the need to emphasize the issue of hunger relief, which affects almost a million people in the Delaware Valley every day. Their goal was to collect at least one ton of food for the hungry. They exceeded that goal. In 2013, approximately 386 tons of food was donated to their Camp Out for Hunger cause from devoted listeners and businesses.

Preston, Steve, Kathy, Casey, Nick and Marisa not only strongly advocate for hunger relief, they also highlight a growing issue within the region which is the lack of blood donations. Every year they hold their annual blood drive reminding listeners that you can save up to three lives by carrying out the small gesture of donating your blood.

Attendees were asked to bring perishable goods to the event to support Preston and Steve's Camp Out for Hunger cause.

Attendees were asked to bring nonperishable goods to the event to support Preston and Steve’s Camp Out for Hunger cause, which begins on Monday, December 1st, 2014.

Well known “media people” showed up to honor the Gold Medal Award recipients and some such as Marc Summers, from “Double Dare,” “Family Double Dare,” and “What Would You Do?” as well as the captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, Claude Giroux, celebrity chef and author, Robert Irvine, WMMR’s very own legendary DJ, Pierre Robert and Preston and Steve’s Program Director, Bill Weston spoke about the group’s energetic attitudes and the ups and downs of working with the sarcastic group.

Congrats Preston and Steve on your well deserved award! We look forward to tuning in as we continue to be astonished by all your hard work and dedication to the Philadelphia community.

Photo Credit: Anthony Sinagoga

The 2014 Gold Medal Luncheon Is Upon Us


The 2014 Gold Medal luncheon is upon us! Have you registered yet?

It’s time for PPRA to give a big “shart out” to WMMR’s Preston and Steve Show. Please mark your calendars for the Gold Medal Luncheon on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. This honor recognizes individuals and organizations whose accomplishments have left a lasting impact on our community and brought national recognition to Philadelphia.

Preston, Steve, Kathy, Casey, Nick, and Marisa are responsible for not only raising awareness for the city’s Philabundance program with their yearly Camp Out for Hunger, but also shedding light on the dire need for blood donations in S.E.P.A. with their annual blood drive. And aside from their huge hearts, they also make our weekday mornings bearable with their hilarious and unique style of talk radio.

This event includes an impressive lineup of speakers. Speakers for the event include Marc Summers, who many of you may remember as the host of “Double Dare,” “Family Double Dare,” and “What Would You Do?” As well as the captain of our beloved Philadelphia Flyers, Calude Giroux, celebrity chef and author, Robert Irvine and WMMR’s very own legendary DJ, Pierre Robert. This is one event you don’t want to miss out on as it presents the opportunity to network with over 200 influential marketing and public relations professionals in the region.  We hope to see you there!