#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.

#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 – Jesse Cute

#PPRAMember Monday_Cute

Jesse Cute is Vice President, Field Marketing for Allied Global Marketing. He has been a member of PPRA for over twenty years.

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesse-cute-06a543/

Jesse leads select account management and field operations in North America while also overseeing Philly clients and personnel.  Prior to Allied, Jesse ran the Philadelphia office of Terry Hines & Associates, which merged with Allied in 2011. He was also Public Relations Manager at WPHL-TV (then The WB affiliate) and the New Jersey State Aquarium (now Adventure Aquarium.)

During his tenure at Allied, Jesse has expanded the Philadelphia office’s integrated services into new categories including the performing arts, conventions, festivals, hospitality, lifestyle and more.  In his time off, Jesse can be found globetrotting (traveling, not playing basketball!), hanging with his papillon (Duma – named after the adorable 2005 film about a cheetah), or reliving his childhood watching reruns of ‘90s Nickelodeon. 

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

JC: We are regional representation for major motion picture studios like Disney and Warner Bros. Pictures, streaming services including Netflix and Hulu and TV networks such as National Geographic and The Food Network.  Our astounding local clients include the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Adventure Aquarium, Opera Philadelphia, Fashion District, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and more!

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

JC: The people…everyone has a story to tell!

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

JC: Working with amazing talent from Jane Fonda to Ashley Judd… and of course, celebrating the ROCKY and CREED franchises.  I have loved watching young talent grow into major stars… Blake Lively, Vin Diesel, and our very own Bradley Cooper.

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

JC: Talk to people. Listen to people. Our work is more than transaction.  Breathe! 

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

JC: Notes on a Scandal (book AND movie!) 

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

JC: Lately, The Saloon and Rittenhouse Square

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

JC: Hotel Concierge or News Anchor?

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

JC: Pizza from Randazzo’s, Fries from Monk’s Cafe

#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