#PPRA Member Monday: Denise Spillane

Denise Spillanean , award-winning integrated marketer, has served as VP, Marketing and Communications at StayWell/Krames since 2018.

Denise Spillane is an award-winning integrated marketer, possessing 20+ years of experience serving diverse healthcare-focused businesses ranging from global Fortune 500 companies and not-for-profit, community-based healthcare providers. Board certified in health care management from the American College of Healthcare Executives, Denise holds a level 5 certification from the Pragmatic Marketing Institute. She received her MBA from Widener University and holds a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing from Emerson College. She is proud to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for One House at a Time and the Beds for Kids program.

PPRA: Who are your clients and/or what are you working on right now?
DS: I’ve served as VP, Marketing and Communications at StayWell/Krames, a 40-year-old provider of patient acquisition, education, and experience technology and solutions, since 2018. We were acquired by WebMD and rebranded in 2020, so now my team and I are focused on building out our new brand.

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?
DS: The pace & the people! It’s energizing to compete in a market like healthcare, which is constantly evolving and adapting due to internal and external forces. Our competitive set is diverse and never resting, which keeps us on our toes. And, then I think of healthcare clients, and their resilience and heroism fuels me to deliver for them. And it doesn’t hurt that I have the privilege of leading a very talented and scrappy team of marketing, design, and communications pros who have me laughing and learning all day.

PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?
DS: Every day – but especially in times like these – hold yourself accountable for the energy that you bring into a room. It’s an intense time for everyone right now, and, people will remember how you made them and others feel for far, far longer than they will recall your latest professional achievement.

PPRA: What is your favorite spot in Philly (museum, park, store, etc.)?
DS: Race Street Pier will also have my heart, since that’s where my husband & I shot our engagement photos. Lately, we are spending a lot of time at the newly opened Columbus Square Dog Park with our labradoodle puppy, Quincy.

PPRA: If you weren’t in PR, what profession do you see yourself in and why?
DS:
If I weren’t in this field, I could see myself in the field of sociology or social research. I am fascinated by different subcultures and the impact on language, symbols, fashion, and more.

PPRA: Favorite Philly food?
DS: Oh, the ever-polarizing Irish potato candy. Growing up outside of Boston with strong Irish roots, I had never heard of this tasty treat before moving to Philly in 2007. Now, every March, I’m on a hunt to find the best ones.

#PPRAMemberMonday – Gail Ramsey

Gail Ramsey is an Assistant Professor of Media and Communications at Chestnut Hill College. She has been a member of PPRA since 2016.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gail.whiteramsey

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gailwhiteramsey (under construction)

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

After a successful career assisting lawyer with evidence presentations at trial, Gail began a career in academia. The influence of media on trials is Gail’s most passionate area of academic interest and study. It is the stuff she teaches and writes about. Specialty: Litigation Public Relations 

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

GR: At the college, I oversee the public relations concentration.  I challenge my students in public relations courses to advocate for causes they care about like, social justice, rights, equality, etc. I share with my students that public relations skills can help them change the world. Next semester, we may explore messages surrounding the death penalty.

PPRA: What is the favorite part of your job?

GR: On the job, before I became a professor, I worked with families caught between tragedy and pursuits of justice.  It was nice to help families unfamiliar with how to navigate the press on high-profile cases become more comfortable with sharing their stories.

As a professor, seeing students so engaged in their studies bring me joy.  It is common to have perfect attendance, students arriving early, and students discussing things after the class has ended.

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

GR: This may be a simple latest and greatest accomplishment, but I would say in the sudden pivot to remote instruction in the spring, all my students in every class finished strong. 

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

GR: I am not big on giving advice, but I would share that when advocating on behalf of the many different genres of clients we work with, research and relationships are crucial to storytelling. 

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

GR: Many books and movies. 

Books:  “A Murder, a Mystery and a Marriage” by Mark Twain and “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway.

Enjoyed: “Good Self, Bad Self” by Judy Smith. I enjoy Most things Olivia Pope-esque 

Movies: “Up Close and Personal” (Jon Avnet) 1996

“The Birds” (Alfred Hitchcock) 1963

“The Greatest Showman” (Michael Gracey) 2017 

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

GR:  I love many of the eateries near the college in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, and looking forward to gathering again post-pandemic to all the fabulous spots.

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

GR: That’s an easy one. Between teaching and caregiving, I daydream about writing romance and mystery on exotic beach locales.  I am a storyteller and so finding ways to create worlds, characters and motives is my next chapter. 

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

GR: Soft mustard Pretzels!

#PPRAMemberMonday – Sarah Fleming

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

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-fleming-ba56b2191

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.

#PPRAMemberMonday – Brianna M. Taylor

Brianna M. Taylor

Brianna M. Taylor is the Director of Public Relations for Garfield Group. She has been a member of PPRA since 2013.

Twitter: @garfieldgroup

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

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/garfield-group

Brianna M. Taylor leads the public relations practice at Garfield Group, an integrated marketing and communications agency in Old City. Prior to Garfield Group, she spent five years at Devine + Partners.

Brianna has significant experience developing and executing public relations campaigns on behalf of clients, but her real passion is in understanding clients’ businesses and goals, and developing effective strategies to help them achieve those objectives. 

During her career, Brianna has worked on campaigns for financial service firms, emerging technology companies, and some of Philadelphia’s most well-known cultural sites. Brianna received an M.B.A. in strategic management from Villanova University and a B.A. in political science from Haverford College.

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

BT: Most of our clients are B2B brands with a focus in technology. 

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

BT: Working with clients across industries and providing insights and strategies that move them closer to their goals. From finding a compelling media hook to developing a spark of an idea into a strategy – it’s a beautiful process! 

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

BT: Pick up the phone! Relationships aren’t built over email.

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

BT: Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

BT: Fairmount Park – There is so much green space to explore.

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

BT: Ramen from Neighborhood Ramen. It’s the perfect combination – great food, low-key, good people.

#PPRAMemberMonday – Natalie Lewis

#PPRAMember Monday_Lewis
Natalie Lewis is the
Communications Manager for The Philadelphia Orchestra. She has been a member of PPRA for one year.

Twitter: @nataliefizbo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.f.lewis.5/

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/natalie-lewis💡-46638887

The greatest campaign of my life was my career pivot. After seven years as a professional French horn player with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, I moved back to the United States to see what else life had in store. Leaning into my musical background, I began my second career as a publicity assistant for a record label and distributor in Nashville, TN. After six months in press, I transitioned into the digital space managing the label’s in-house classical playlist brand, working closely with Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and other streaming platforms, brand management, and all aspects of digital marketing. When The Philadelphia Orchestra had an opening for a communications manager, I was able to leverage my in-depth knowledge of classical music with my newly minted press and marketing skills.

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

NL: As communications manager for The Philadelphia Orchestra, I am responsible for implementing communications strategies internally and externally as well managing the Orchestra’s social media profiles and presence. We are currently working on finding new ways to reach our patrons as the world continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, and taking this time as an opportunity to reach a broader, global audience as we expand our Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra offerings. Social media has become more important than ever before as we continue to inform our patrons and communicate new offerings in the digital space.

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

NL: Creative strategy and implementation. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say the music! 

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

NL: I ran a Mean Girls campaign for the Orchestra’s Free College Concert, which was on October 3rd. So fetch, right?  

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

NL: Don’t be afraid to try something new! There’s no such thing as a failed campaign. You either win or you learn.

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

NL: Waiting for Guffman is my favorite movie of all time. It never gets old and I discover some new subtlety or nuance every time. I mostly read nonfiction, and for those I would have to recommend Carol Dweck’s Mindset and Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. You can always find me thumbing through a Lonely Planet, dreaming about my next big trip!

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

NL: Spruce Street Harbor Park, Race Street Pier, and along the Delaware Riverfront.

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

NL: I spend a lot of time researching and implementing all things related to health, wellness, fitness, and nutrition, so I would have to say that I would probably be a functional medicine practitioner, health coach, or physical therapist. I strongly believe that food can be used as medicine, and on that note, I would love to lobby against the big food companies to overhaul our healthcare system and approach to nutrition!

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

NL: La Colombe’s Black & Oat, or a classic hot fudge sundae from Franklin Fountain. Their hot fudge is the BEST.