#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-lewisđź’ˇ-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.

#PPRAMemberMonday – Barbara Link

#PPRAMember Monday_Link

Barbara Link is a Communications Strategist and Content Creator at the business she founded, Link Ink. She has been a member of PPRA “on and off – mostly on – since I began my career. I’m here to stay now!”

Twitter: @barbaralink

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbara-link-315224/

Barbara Link is an award-winning communications consultant with more than 30 years of experience in internal and external communications. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, brand positioning, copywriting and collateral development. In 1997, Barbara established her own firm, Link Ink, with the goal of providing exceptional communications services to a broad range clients, from local nonprofit organizations to global pharmaceutical companies.

Prior to forming Link Ink, Barbara served as Director of Corporate Communications at Rosenbluth International, and previously, as Public Relations Manager at Electronic Payment Services. Earlier in her career, she was an Account Group Supervisor at Golin/Harris Communications and an Account Executive at Elkman Advertising & Public Relations, spending a combined nine years on the McDonald’s Restaurants business.

Barbara earned her BA degree in Art from Penn State University. She volunteers with several nonprofit organizations including Philadelphia Futures, where she helps first-generation-to-college students develop their college application essays.

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

BL: Under the Link Ink umbrella, I’m currently working with Main Line Health, CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), and Lauren Hart. I also subcontract with Albert Communications, where my clients include LabCorp, Covance, Morgan Lewis and Holy Family University.

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

BL: I love that every day is different. I have the great fortune of working with brilliant colleagues and collaborative clients who make it all so interesting and fun. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a project that challenges me to fit together all the pieces of a giant puzzle to help my client achieve success. 

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

BL: It’s absolutely fascinating to work with a major laboratory and drug development company in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Over recent weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to interview numerous experts from around the world, and penned as many feature stories about COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccine development. I’m helping to communicate information that really matters.  

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

BL: If possible, work for a company, organization or client whose mission you feel deeply passionate about. If that isn’t possible, volunteer with one. There is nothing more engaging and energizing than feeling like you’re making a meaningful impact. It spills over into everything you do.

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

BL: I could read The Kite Runner a thousand times. Khaled Hosseini is a magnificent writer.

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

BL: I think Boathouse Row is magical.

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

BL: For quite some time, I dreamed of becoming an architect or a music industry executive (look out, Clive Davis!). But since I’ve been serving as a Writing Coach at Philadelphia Futures, I realize that teaching would be the perfect fit. I love connecting with students and helping them find their voices.

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

BL: It has to be a cheesesteak wit!

#PPRAMemberMonday – Michelle Kane

#PPRAMember Monday_Kane

Michelle Kane is the Founder and CEO of VoiceMatters, LLC. She has been a member of PPRA for 11 years. She currently serves on the Communications Committee.

Twitter: @voicemattersllc

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

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

A confessed “word nerd” and “information junkie,” Michelle is a senior marketing and public relations strategist who helps clients tell their unique story using strategies & tactics tailored to their benchmarks of success. Throughout her 20+ year career, she has worked with organizations in the automotive, telecommunications, fashion, legal, and financial services fields and non-profit agencies. Her services include strategy development, brand management, content creation, and voiceover.

She lives in Telford, in northeastern Montgomery County, where suburban life is good but she requires regular doses of Philly and NYC.

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

MK: Right now the main focus of my work is on communication management for my retainer clients – strategies, implementation, and outcomes.

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

MK: I still get energized when a campaign clicks. I love working with a creative team, creating content and collateral that communicates all of the good a client can do for their customers. 

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

MK: That I’m still in business after 10 years? Ok, that was mostly kidding. I’d say that I still have a passion for sharing people’s stories. That and it’s almost a year since I launched a podcast with a colleague on working as a solo practitioner: That Solo Life. 

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

MK: Be a good listener and be open to the opportunities that arise when things don’t go according to plan because that’s where success beyond your estimation can happen.

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

MK: To Kill a Mockingbird

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

MK: Mann Music Center on a summer evening with a view of the skyline.

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

MK: Either a teacher or a therapist. Being in PR, you get to be a little of both!

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

MK: Have to go with a cheesesteak – Jim’s on South Street.

#PPRAMemberMonday – Jimmy Contreras

#PPRAMember Monday_Contreras

Jimmy Contreras is the Public Relations Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia. He has been a member of PPRA for several months.

Twitter: @jimmystyle

Facebook: @iamjimmystyle

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jimmystyle

Known for his no-nonsense approach, Jimmy has launched fashion, hospitality, destination brands and cultural institutions through comprehensive marketing and public relations, collaborative partnerships and social media. Jimmy has worn many hats in his professional life, from building homes in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia, dressing women in beautiful dresses, opening his own namesake boutique, placing stories in the New York Times to chatting it up live on TV with Skinny Girl, Bethenny Frankel.

Jimmy was integral in introducing iconic brands to the Philadelphia market, including Wilhelmina, Timberland Company, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Anne Klein and Suitsupply. Jimmy has reinvigorated existing brands such as The Ritz-Carlton, Macy’s, Whipped Bake Shoppe, The Franklin Institute and Chestnut Hill Business Association with creative marketing tactics. Jimmy’s direct demeanor and energetic personality has made him extremely successful with placing stories in the local, regional and national landscape. 

Jimmy proudly serves as a board member of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, PHL Diversity and American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign.

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

JC: I work in-house for The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia.

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

JC: Working for a legacy luxury brand and bringing it to life in our community with partnerships and collaborations.  

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

JC: Launched the Moët & Chandon Mini-Matic at our hotel property. The champagne vending machine is the only one of its kind in our city. Cheers! 

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

JC: Two things:

  1. Do not burn bridges. You will always need to cross a bridge to get to the other side.  
  2. Never make promises. If a PR Pro makes a promise – you need a new Pro!

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

JC: The Color Purple. My favorite book and movie. 

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

JC: Kelly Drive.

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

JC: Non-profit. I worked in the non-profit world right out of school and it really opened my eyes on how hard organizations work to make a positive impact in communities they serve.

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

JC: Beiler’s Doughnuts – not a pretzel or cheesesteak but it’s definitely Philly!

#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.