#PPRAMemberMonday – Caitlan McCafferty

#PPRAMember Monday_McCafferty

Caitlan McCafferty is the Public Relations Account Director at Furia Rubel. She has been a member of PPRA for two years.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caitlan-mccafferty-32925658/

“As public relations account director for Furia Rubel, I support integrated communications strategy and implementation for all clients including traditional public relations, media relations, crisis communications, marketing, and social media. I spend the majority of my time writing, pitching, and coordinating with the media throughout the United States.”

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

CM: Working with the media on exciting stories. 

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

CM: Research, research, research. Preparation is key to this job and the right research will help you avoid being caught off-guard during a media pitch or client meeting. 

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

CM: Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow  

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

CM: The Barnes

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

CM: Teacher. I was a history major in college and would love to teach how the press has been important in the history of our country and why it is equally important now. 

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

CM: Barbuzzo 

#PPRAMemberMonday – Carolyn Belardo

#PPRAMember Monday_Belardo

Carolyn Belardo is the Public Relations Director for the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. She has been a member of PPRA for about 20 years.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolyn-belardo-2a8b24b/

Twitter: @AcadNatSciPR

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

“I studied journalism & mass communications (quaint label in 2020) and history in college. An internship at The Trentonian led to my first job as a beat reporter.  Next was United Press International in the Trenton bureau, then in Philadelphia where I served as the bureau chief and later Pennsylvania state editor. The birth of my second kid forced a change of pace, and I joined the Academy of Natural Sciences as the publications editor and, numerous communications job titles later, segued into public relations.”

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

CB: Preparing for two new exhibition openings in early 2020, celebrating the specimen collections with frequent blog posts, and gearing up for a new environmental focus and programming in the months ahead.  

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

CB: Working with the media to help them tell their stories about the Academy’s science research, environmental stewardship and educational programming. 

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

CB: Latest greatest accomplishment-I get excited every time our scientists and exhibits staff are interviewed in the major local media. Particularly rewarding was The Philadelphia Inquirer coverage when two of the historic dioramas were unveiled after their first major total renovation. 

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

CB: Be flexible with inevitable change and keep learning.  

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

CB: I don’t watch or read anything again and again because there are too many new experiences to be had. Best movie: Lawrence of Arabia.   

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

CB: Reading Terminal Market 

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

CB: Baking muffins because I like to bake or journalism because I like to write and it is ALWAYS important to get the facts out. 

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

CB: Amish pretzel and spinach pie at Reading Terminal Market

#PPRAMemberMonday – Stephanie Byrwa

#PPRAMember Monday_Byrwa

Stephanie Byrwa is the marketing and communications manager at Shriners Hospitals for Children—Philadelphia. She has spent more than 12 years with this amazing specialized pediatric orthopaedic hospital. Her days are spent managing and implementing internal and external communications along with community relations and event planning. She has been a PPRA member for 12 years.

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

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

SB: We’re working on updating our website and growing our patient ambassador program. Plus planning for 2020!   

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

SB: That every day is different. On any given day, I may be working on a new brochure, writing copy, or planning an event for patients and families. I enjoy working with doctors, families, and everyone in between. Being able to do a little bit of everything keeps me excited to go to work every day. 

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

SB: The latest project that I’m proud of was the work we did for the patient ambassadors who represented and attended the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, a PGA Tour/Fedex Cup event in Las Vegas. Lots of prep work for the event and then the actual event. The days were long on the golf course, but worth it for the media and social coverage we received. Plus getting to know a great group of kids and their parents is always rewarding. It was an experience that they will not forget and neither will I. 

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

SB: Always return phone calls. Even if you aren’t interested. Be kind and respond.  

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

SB: I love any book by local author, Jennifer Weiner.   

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

SB: Since we’re in season for the Flyers I would have to say the Wells Fargo Center! 

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

SB: I have no idea.  

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

SB: Federal Donuts

#PPRAMemberMonday: Debbie Albert

#PPRAMember Monday_Albert

Debbie Albert is the President and Chief Outcomes Officer of Albert Communications. She has been a member of PPRA “forever.” Thanks, Debbie!

Twitter: @AlbertComms

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

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

Debbie Albert brings decades of journalism and corporate communications experience to Albert Communications, a strategic communications and marketing firm working with companies to connect and engage with their audiences by developing strong, focused, and innovative actions aligned with their business strategies. Her career has taken her from CNN in DC to 6ABC and CBS3 in Philly, then to the corporate halls of Aramark, and now to her firm. Born without patience, she likes to say she gets sh&t done – fast and well. As you might guess, she’s a whiz at crisis comms.  

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

DA: Most of our clients are B2B, although we work with local universities and other organizations as well. This year, we’re heavily into internal communications for a global law firm, marketing communications for a software developer, crisis communications for companies we can’t mention, and we serve as the de facto communications department for companies who know they need one, but don’t have one in-house. 

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

DA: I love working on my own, building on the great relationships I made while in the news business and in corporate communications. I put together the team each client needs, and that also keeps me very connected with the best of the best in every aspect of communications and marketing. 

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

DA: Although I’d love to share, I simply can’t. Sometimes keeping a client OUT of the news is much more important than getting then into/onto the news! 

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

DA: Never burn a bridge! It’s a motto that’s worked personally and professionally.   

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

DA: Movie: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and ALL of the Godfather movies. 

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

DA: Hiking in the Wissahickon with my perfect standard poodle!

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

DA: Rabbi. It’s just who I am. (Who wants to come over for Shabbas dinner?)

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

DA: Anything Michael Solomonov makes!

#PPRA Member Monday – Melissa Squarcia Fordyce

#PPRAMember Monday_Fordyce

Melissa Fordyce joined the Philadelphia Foundation in September as their Executive Director, Marketing & Communications. She has been a member of PPRA for five years and serves on our board of directors.

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-philadelphia-foundation/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philafound

Melissa Fordyce serves as Executive Director, Marketing and Communications for the Philadelphia Foundation. In this capacity she works to create, oversee and implement short-and long-term brand and marketing strategies and disciplines that elevate public understanding of the Philadelphia Foundation’s work as the region’s oldest and largest community foundation.

Having dedicated more than a decade of her career to nonprofit communications, Melissa previously served as the Director of Communications for Presby’s Inspired Life. Prior to that, she spent seven years with Catholic Leadership Institute. Melissa’s early career began in television news as an assignment editor for NBC10 in Philadelphia.

An adjunct professor at Temple University teaching nonprofit communications, Melissa also serves on the Board of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association (PPRA) and Villanova Communications Affinity Network (VCAN). She is a 2004 graduate of Villanova University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Strategic Public Relations from George Washington University.

PPRA: What projects are you working on right now?

MF: Currently, the Philadelphia Foundation is preparing to host On the Table Philly on October 17. It is a forum designed to elevate civic conversation, foster new relationships and create a unifying experience. Anyone can host and it’s a prime opportunity to give a voice to issues that matter to you. You can register on our website.

PPRA: What is the favorite part of your job?
MF: Everyday I walk into my office and I see this breathtaking view of the city and beyond and I say to myself “I am so grateful to be here. I get to serve all of you.” The work that we do at the Philadelphia Foundation touches every inch and aspect of greater Philadelphia and the absolute favorite part of my job is knowing that what I do today, is the change I get to see out my window tomorrow.

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

MF: I started this new role with the Philadelphia Foundation in September. Personally, it was an accomplishment to get here. It is an honor to serve greater Philadelphia in this capacity. And I am grateful that the leadership of the Philadelphia Foundation saw the potential in me to elevate their mission to a new level.

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

MF: Network. Network and Network. That’s three, but I think you can tell how important I think it is! There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as you are committed to making and maintaining a circle of professional influence. It will pay off tenfold — I promise!

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

MF: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I don’t know that I could read it over and over because it’s insanely long! However, its an amazing TRUE story about the power of forgiveness, perseverance and the resiliency of the human spirit. The story inspires me again and again.

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

MF: I’m a Jersey Girl! And proud of it. But if I had to pick a favorite spot or neighborhood I would have to say South Philly. I have wonderful childhood memories of eating Pop’s Water Ice on my Aunt’s front stoop as we watched the fireworks show from the Vet.

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

MF: I had always thought it would be fascinating to be a presidential speechwriter. There is just something about the way in which the (written) and spoken word can captivate people that is awe-inspiring to me.

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

MF: Soft Pretzel w/Spicy Mustard. Hands down the best. snack. ever! Also pairs well with Italian Ice!