PPRA Member Monday: Jaime Martorana

Jaime is the Public Relations Manager for ASTM International, a global standards development organization. She has been a member of PPRA for five years.

Twitter: @JaimeMartorana

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

Prior to joining ASTM in 2020, Jaime was the Public Relations Specialist at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site and a public relations consultant for the Philadelphia Marathon. Jaime is an active member of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association and is currently serving a three-year term as a director. She holds a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications from Temple University. 

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

JM: I am preparing to pitch a new standard on barrier face coverings that will help global manufacturers produce more effective face masks and aid consumers in making informed decisions when protecting themselves against COVID-19.

PPRA: What is the favorite part of your job?

JM: Storytelling.

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

JM: Growing your professional network is important, but fostering and maintaining those relationships is essential. 

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

JM: The Harry Potter book series. I’d take the books over the movies any day!

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

JM: The Philadelphia Museum of Art

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

JM: Soft Pretzels

#PPRA Member Monday – Rachel Ezekiel-Fishbein

Rachel Ezekiel-Fishbein is the Owner of Making Headlines, the PR consultancy she founded. She has been a member of PPRA for one year.

Twitter Handle: @makingheadlines

Facebook Handle: @RachelEzekiel-Fishbein

LinkedIn Page: www.linkedin.com/in/rachelezekielfishbein/

Rachel Ezekiel-Fishbein is an award-winning communication strategist, who has been called a ‘social media guru’ by The Philadelphia Inquirer. She founded her PR consultancy, Making Headlines, the year her first child was born to provide more balance than agency life in the mid-1990s afforded. Rachel’s son and the Internet grew up together, providing her with a way to forge a new path in PR. She serves clients in myriad industries and has expertise in healthcare, women’s health, education, Jewish communal life, retail and nonprofit. Her former and current clients include Penn Medicine, WXPN, American Heart Association, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Wawa and Philadelphia Futures. Rachel’s mother was a Holocaust survivor who dedicated her life to social justice. She learned to be an adept advocate like her when her son was diagnosed with multiple disabilities as a young child. He and Rachel helped found the Cheltenham Special Needs Advocacy Group to help other special needs parents in their community navigate the school system. She sits on the marketing committee of the National Museum of American Jewish History and the PR committee of the Anti-Defamation League’s Philadelphia Chapter. She has volunteered with and advised CeaseFire PA, MANNA, Mission Kids, PhilAbundance, Share Our Strength and the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation. Rachel also helps train aspiring PR professionals at Temple University’s Klein College of Media & Communication, where she spent last year as a visiting professor.

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

I try to keep half of my client load nonprofit at all times. Right now, my clients include: Cambridge Innovation Center, Philadelphia’s largest co-working and shared lab space, which builds innovation communities for biotech startups and VCs ; LiveWellFoundation, which provides the only free, peer-led support groups for depression in the nation; and Ellen Fischer, an attorney/advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, who is working to change policy around transgender name change

What is your favorite part of your job?

The way it’s always changing.

What was your latest & greatest accomplishment at your job?

Most recently, the launch of my new website, http://www.makingheadlinespr.com to celebrate the 25th anniversary of my business. I love the way the site tells my story and captures my values.

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

Our ability to communicate and persuade comes with huge responsibility. Right now, the worst advice you can give any client is to jump onto a social justice bandwagon without serious thought about whether it matches their values, as well as their historical behavior. The perfect example is BLM. I watched a local fashion retailer get shredded for blacking out its IG feed because its previous treatment of Black employees and customers didn’t match the values it was were purporting. While this may be inconvenient: Mission-driven communication must begin with mission-driven behavior.

What book or movie could you read/watch again and again? 

The American President. I love Aaron Sorkin and this movie was basically the precursor to The West Wing. !

What is your favorite spot in Philly (museum, park, store, etc.)? 

Valley Green. If you ever need to find peace, head over to any trail there–even better, bring your dog–and just start walking.

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

Wow, that’s a hard one. I’ve got about three non-fiction books half written in my head. I also plan on getting my yoga teaching certification in the next two years. And speaking of teaching, I love my teaching at Temple, so teaching full-time would be on the table. Then again, we really need more disability advocates to help families fight for what their children deserve. But sometimes I think I’d really just like to open a sweet little lifestyle shop that sells a meticulously-curated mix of everything I love.

Favorite Philly Food? 

The grilled squid at Dimitris. Can you believe it closed?

#PPRA Member Monday: Lauren Woodard

Lauren A. Woodard is the Public Relations Manager on the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus. She has been a member of PPRA for nearly five years.

Twitter Handle: @lauren609

Facebook Handle: https://www.facebook.com/lauren.woodard.526/

LinkedIn Page: www.linkedin.com/in/lauren-woodard-a1436391

A graduate of Penn State University with a degree in English, Publishing, and Creative Writing, Lauren has held positions at the Kimmel Center since 2014. Beginning as a Public Relations Intern, she worked in the Marketing Department in various roles, before transitioning back to Public Relations. She was appointed Public Relations Manager in 2018. Her Public Relations Manager responsibilities include overseeing media communications for programmatic Campus news, managing a team for show-based initiatives, and driving institutional PR efforts, including education, Plaza activation, community events, and more. Lauren assists in conceptualization of photo/video creation, social media marketing efforts, copyediting marketing content, creation of institutional messaging, and event management. She has been published in The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Delaware County Daily Times. Lauren currently serves as Treasurer as part of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association’s 2020-21 Board. Lauren previously interned in Communications at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, worked for Penn State University’s College of Information Sciences & Technology, and managed a Marble Slab Creamery franchise. Lauren’s free time passions include kayaking, trash-to-treasure pickin’, Broadway musicals, salty foods, and ranch dressing.

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

As a nonprofit performing arts organization that relies heavily on ticket sales for support, this pandemic has significantly affected the livelihood of the Kimmel Cultural Campus. Unfortunately, a large portion of our staff were furloughed in June 2020. I was fortunate to return to the Kimmel on partial furlough in late November; however, I am not working on my traditional PR duties, e.g. pitching, writing press releases, copyediting, event management, etc.. Instead, I am utilizing video producing skills and content creation skills (that were honed from my time in PR) to create a series of ‘virtual field trip’ videos for our Education department! It is a great example of how my PR training is being used to create video content that will be shown to students of various ages across the Greater Philadelphia area – keeping the arts and education going during a time when zoom is the norm. Shoutout to the Kimmel’s education department who have offered edu. programs in over 60 classrooms (virtually) since September (thanks to donors’ help) – keeping our mission of reaching students in the Greater Philadelphia region going.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The Kimmel, though we’re going through a tough time, is really populated by people who care about the arts and bringing arts to Philly. That is motivating and inspiring. (In my new COVID-19 role as a visitor to the Education department, I’m enjoying spending time with colleagues who I wouldn’t normally get to interact with and work with so closely. And it’s really fun to see the reactions and work of kids in the education programs – to see what they’re learning, how they process information, and how they are inspired by what they’re taught.)

What was your latest & greatest accomplishment at your job?

Though my job has shifted due to COVID-19, I am enjoying creating content for Philly’s students. If kids view our ‘virtual field trips’ and feel inspired, feel seen, feel represented, I’ll be happy.

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

Be willing to try new things and ask for help. I don’t think that asking for help, clarification, another explanation is a show of weakness at all.

What book or movie could you read/watch again and again?

I do love watching “You’ve Got Mail” over and over again. For books, I don’t generally re-read things, but I do love mysteries/thrillers – anything by Tana French (an Irish writer who created the fictional Dublin murder squad); Liane Moriarty (if you liked “Big Little Lies” – read her other books!!!); and Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling who has created a mystery series that is A-plus)

What is your favorite spot in Philly (museum, park, store, etc.)? 

Hmmmm during COVID-19, I think we’ve all been pushed to pay better attention to the small businesses around us. If anyone’s looking for some super fun, Philly-centric gifts, check out Open House on S. 13th Street.

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

I’d like to think that I’d be a writer in some fashion; I always loved non-fiction/New Yorker type writing exercises and opportunities to tell real stories (which I guess is sort of what we do in PR, just not so flourish-y!). I really fell in love (through my job at the Kimmel as PR Manager) with event planning, so I think a career in that would definitely be fulfilling – making people’s dreams and hopes for an event come to life.

Favorite Philly Food? 

Cheesesteak whiz wit. Bassett’s ice cream (in a dish). Chickie’s and Pete’s crab fries. Ooooh and Pietro’s rigatoni alla vodka.

#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?
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!