#PPRAMember Monday – Linda Descano, CFA

#PPRAMember Monday_Descano

Linda Descano, CFA, is an EVP at Red Havas. She has been a member of PPRA for two years.

Twitter: @LindaDescano

Facebook: Linda Descano

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

In her work as an EVP with Red Havas, a global agency micronetwork that specializes in merged media, Linda provides strategic counsel on corporate comms, internal comms and executive visibility programs.    

Previously, she spent 20+ years at Citi, serving in various senior-level positions including president and CEO of Women & Co., an award-winning financial advisory program for women; and managing director and global head of content marketing and social media for Citi’s Global Consumer Bank.

She also serves as an adjunct professor and advisory council member for the Fox School of Business M.S. in Digital Innovation in Marketing program and on the board of directors of New York Women in Communications (and a past president).

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

LD: I work with global pharmaceutical, life sciences, financial services and consumer products companies, mostly on corporate communications, executive visibility, and internal communications programs.

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

LD: I love the frenetic pace, that every day is different and that there is always an opportunity to learn something new — whether it’s about a new product, a new brand, a new company or a new category. For someone who thrives on change and continuous learning, it’s heaven! 

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

LD: What I’m most proud of is seeing those who used to work for me now starting their own businesses, securing senior positions in-house at a brand, or getting that sought-after promotion. 

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

LD: Put yourself in your client’s shoes: think about the environment your client is operating in, both internally and externally, when you are bringing ideas to the table so that you are crafting them in a way that enables your client to sell it inside and provides context for why this is relevant and resonant within their category landscape. 

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

LD: For me, it’s The Great Gatsby, which I faithfully read every year. 

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

LD: Philadelphia Magic Garden

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

LD: Well, I spent 20+ years in financial services before coming to the world of PR, so this is still very new to me and provides the opportunity to do what I love: tell stories.

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

LD: Hands down, a cannoli from Termini Brothers.

#PPRA Member Monday – Rachel Zatcoff

#PPRAMember Monday_Zatcoff

Rachel Zatcoff is the Media Relations Specialist at Vault Communications. She has been a member of PPRA for four years.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rachel_Jakub

Rachel is the Media Relations Specialist at Vault Communications, where she is responsible for supporting the agency’s clients with strategic communications, media outreach and maintaining relationships with media contacts at the local, regional and national levels. Rachel is currently the agency’s internship coordinator and enjoys mentoring young talent. In her career, she’s witnessed the World’s Largest Pierogi, had a client on the Rachael Ray Show and successfully mastered how to book local chefs on television stations around the country.

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

RZ: I service all of Vault’s clients, however, not all at once! We just wrapped a huge campaign for National Bagel Day on behalf of Thomas’ Bagels and at the moment, I’m working on a hot new business project.

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

RZ: Working with the media! I love meeting new reporters, producers and journalists from local, regional and national outlets. My goal is to build relationships so that I can serve as a resource to their needs on behalf of my clients. 

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

RZ: I’m proud of everything I do, but most proud of mentoring younger talent in our internship program and our junior level staff. 

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

RZ: Positive persistence pays off. 

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

RZ: Either Serendipity or Center Stage (both movies!) 

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

RZ: Tough choice because I love the city so much. I love walking along the waterfront or around Old City.

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

RZ: I always dreamt of being a broadway actress or an anchor on television. I am a people-person and love being onstage!

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

RZ: It’s a cliche but a soft pretzel or a cheesesteak (wiz wit) from Jim’s South Street.

#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