#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

#PPRA Member Monday: Dan Cirucci

#PPRAMember Monday_Cirucci

Dan Cirucci is the founder and editor of The Dan Cirucci Blog. He has been a member of PPRA for over 30 years, having served as president and in 2003 was inducted into the PPRA Hall of Fame.

Twitter: @dancirucci

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-cirucci-22550a13/

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

Dan Cirucci was born and raised in Camden, NJ, A Villanova (BA) and Rowan (MA) grad, Dan is a lifelong PR practitioner who directed PR for the Philadelphia Bar Association for nearly 30 years, and was inducted into the Philadelphia Public Relations Hall of Fame in 2003. He is a PR advisor to numerous individuals and organizations; a college instructor and lecturer; blogger, TV host and radio guest; citizen, neighbor, husband, father and grandfather.  

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

DC: Right now I’m spending most of my time on my blog and my weekly TV show, The Advocates at rvntv.tv.  

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

DC: The people that I meet and interview on my TV show, The Advocates — the stories they tell, their life experiences, views, observations, hopes and dreams.  

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

DC: Touching the lives of hundreds of communication students while teaching at Rowan, Temple and Penn State. Absolutely, the happiest and most meaningful part of my career! 

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

DC: Be passionate about your work. Take the time to enjoy it. Savor the satisfaction that it gives you and share it with others. Live in the moment!  

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

DC: Almost any musical by Stephen  Sondheim. 

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

DC: Rittenhouse Square. I love people-watching.

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

DC: I’d enjoy being in show business and seeing my name in lights all over Broadway. 

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

DC: Jim’s cheesesteak.

#PPRAMemberMonday: Debbie Albert

#PPRAMember Monday_Albert

Debbie Albert is the President and Chief Outcomes Officer of Albert Communications. She has been a member of PPRA “forever.” Thanks, Debbie!

Twitter: @AlbertComms

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

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

Debbie Albert brings decades of journalism and corporate communications experience to Albert Communications, a strategic communications and marketing firm working with companies to connect and engage with their audiences by developing strong, focused, and innovative actions aligned with their business strategies. Her career has taken her from CNN in DC to 6ABC and CBS3 in Philly, then to the corporate halls of Aramark, and now to her firm. Born without patience, she likes to say she gets sh&t done – fast and well. As you might guess, she’s a whiz at crisis comms.  

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

DA: Most of our clients are B2B, although we work with local universities and other organizations as well. This year, we’re heavily into internal communications for a global law firm, marketing communications for a software developer, crisis communications for companies we can’t mention, and we serve as the de facto communications department for companies who know they need one, but don’t have one in-house. 

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

DA: I love working on my own, building on the great relationships I made while in the news business and in corporate communications. I put together the team each client needs, and that also keeps me very connected with the best of the best in every aspect of communications and marketing. 

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

DA: Although I’d love to share, I simply can’t. Sometimes keeping a client OUT of the news is much more important than getting then into/onto the news! 

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

DA: Never burn a bridge! It’s a motto that’s worked personally and professionally.   

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

DA: Movie: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and ALL of the Godfather movies. 

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

DA: Hiking in the Wissahickon with my perfect standard poodle!

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

DA: Rabbi. It’s just who I am. (Who wants to come over for Shabbas dinner?)

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

DA: Anything Michael Solomonov makes!

#PPRAMemberMonday: Kory Aversa

#PPRAMember Monday_Aversa

Kory Aversa is the CEO/President of Aversa PR and has been a PPRA member for five years.

Twitter: @koryaversa

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

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

Kory is an award-winning, seasoned public relations pro, event planner and social media guru with 20+ years experience in the nonprofit and small business sector. He hails from Utica and Albany, New York, and graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations (minor Political Science). He represents over 50 top neighborhoods, main streets, tourism attractions, street festivals, restaurants, beer gardens, small businesses, non-profits, theaters, arts organizations, and boutiques. Through working in the neighborhoods, and through work with Philly’s biggest festival, Kory has the privilege and honor of working every single year with hundreds of business owners and artists from Bucks County to Baltimore, from Ardmore to King of Prussia, from University City to Old City, from Midtown Village to South Philadelphia.

After fast expansion in recent years, big-name clients include Parx Casino, Philadelphia Zoo, Sofitel Philadelphia, Christmas Village, South Street, East Passyunk, Ardmore Initiative, Old City District, Piazza Pod Park, Post Brothers, Craft Concepts Group, FCM Hospitality, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, The Bercy, Cry Baby Pasta, Evil Genius Beer Company, Philly Loves Beer, Philly Theatre Week, and many others.  

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

KA: Holidays are huge for Aversa PR! We are busy launching all the biggest and best holiday tourist attractions in the city from the new LumiNature experience at Philadelphia Zoo, to Christmas Village at Love Park, to Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market at Dilworth Plaza, to new holiday surprises at Piazza Pod Park, to Holiday Tea Service at Sofitel Philadelphia, to tree lightings on South Street, East Passyunk, Old City City, Ardmore, Craft Hall, Evil Genius. If there’s a tree, twinkling lights, and a Santa, I will probably be there! I am already growing out my beard so me and Santa can match on those cold days. 

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

KA: I love waking up in the morning and knowing that I am helping transform neighborhoods, showcasing our world-class city and helping clients achieve their dreams. PR is so much more than sending press releases, networking and the details – I love the big picture of making a difference in my community! 

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

KA: It has been a banner year – and every year is bigger than the last. I am so thankful and honored. In particular, I am especially proud to represent five neighborhoods – and represent some of the largest institutions in the region like Philadelphia Zoo, Parx Casino, Christmas Village, Sofitel Philadelphia and Post Brothers. Of particular note this year, I am proud to be the PR for the city’s largest festivals, from Philly Beer Week, Philadelphia Honey Festival, South Street Spring Festival, Philly Theatre Week and more. It’s been an amazing and fun whirlwind and I always step back and say thanks for coverage and our team’s accomplishments big and small. 

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

KA: Always remember why you are in this business – and what you want to accomplish. Know yourself and what gets you out of bed in the morning. Know what motivates you and what is a match for clients and future business – and stay true to that even though outside pressures can come up. If you keep those in mind, you can handle the long days, the pressure, the deadlines and the fast pace. You should be in it because you love it and have something you want to accomplish.  

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

KA: I wish I had time for movies or books – I work 16 hours a day sometimes, and if it isn’t Law and Order or Modern Family in front of me by Midnight, then I don’t know how I would get by for that downtime they offer me and a second to get out of my head and my work. 

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

KA: I love walking around Philadelphia Zoo – especially on an off-peak time like during the week. It is a great escape and it’s not only fun but so relaxing. I find I can lose myself there and get a mental break from everything else in the world. 

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

KA: Being in food PR I couldn’t even begin to name them all – for me it’s about what is my favorite food today and this week.  From staples like a soft pretzel and a Wawa hoagie to amazing global cuisine on South Street, to dim sum at Dim Sum House in University City – I am eating my way around the city every day, all day. At home, when by myself, there’s a lot of pizza that happens. A lot. I have no time to cook.

#PPRA Member Monday – Melissa Squarcia Fordyce

#PPRAMember Monday_Fordyce

Melissa Fordyce joined the Philadelphia Foundation in September as their Executive Director, Marketing & Communications. She has been a member of PPRA for five years and serves on our board of directors.

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-philadelphia-foundation/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philafound

Melissa Fordyce serves as Executive Director, Marketing and Communications for the Philadelphia Foundation. In this capacity she works to create, oversee and implement short-and long-term brand and marketing strategies and disciplines that elevate public understanding of the Philadelphia Foundation’s work as the region’s oldest and largest community foundation.

Having dedicated more than a decade of her career to nonprofit communications, Melissa previously served as the Director of Communications for Presby’s Inspired Life. Prior to that, she spent seven years with Catholic Leadership Institute. Melissa’s early career began in television news as an assignment editor for NBC10 in Philadelphia.

An adjunct professor at Temple University teaching nonprofit communications, Melissa also serves on the Board of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association (PPRA) and Villanova Communications Affinity Network (VCAN). She is a 2004 graduate of Villanova University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Strategic Public Relations from George Washington University.

PPRA: What projects are you working on right now?

MF: Currently, the Philadelphia Foundation is preparing to host On the Table Philly on October 17. It is a forum designed to elevate civic conversation, foster new relationships and create a unifying experience. Anyone can host and it’s a prime opportunity to give a voice to issues that matter to you. You can register on our website.

PPRA: What is the favorite part of your job?
MF: Everyday I walk into my office and I see this breathtaking view of the city and beyond and I say to myself “I am so grateful to be here. I get to serve all of you.” The work that we do at the Philadelphia Foundation touches every inch and aspect of greater Philadelphia and the absolute favorite part of my job is knowing that what I do today, is the change I get to see out my window tomorrow.

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

MF: I started this new role with the Philadelphia Foundation in September. Personally, it was an accomplishment to get here. It is an honor to serve greater Philadelphia in this capacity. And I am grateful that the leadership of the Philadelphia Foundation saw the potential in me to elevate their mission to a new level.

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

MF: Network. Network and Network. That’s three, but I think you can tell how important I think it is! There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as you are committed to making and maintaining a circle of professional influence. It will pay off tenfold — I promise!

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

MF: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I don’t know that I could read it over and over because it’s insanely long! However, its an amazing TRUE story about the power of forgiveness, perseverance and the resiliency of the human spirit. The story inspires me again and again.

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

MF: I’m a Jersey Girl! And proud of it. But if I had to pick a favorite spot or neighborhood I would have to say South Philly. I have wonderful childhood memories of eating Pop’s Water Ice on my Aunt’s front stoop as we watched the fireworks show from the Vet.

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

MF: I had always thought it would be fascinating to be a presidential speechwriter. There is just something about the way in which the (written) and spoken word can captivate people that is awe-inspiring to me.

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

MF: Soft Pretzel w/Spicy Mustard. Hands down the best. snack. ever! Also pairs well with Italian Ice!