#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?

Between You and MEdia…Miguel Martinez-Valle

In this edition of Between You and MEdia, we chat with Miguel Martinez-Valle, reporter with NBC10 and Telemundo62

How did you get started as a journalist

My journalism journey started when I read the middle school announcements over the loud speakers. From there I developed a love for broadcasting taking TV and journalism l classes in HS and college. Eventually leading to careers in English and Spanish in Las Vegas and now Philadelphia. 

Who/what inspired you to pursue journalism and what keeps you inspired?

My inspiration has always been journalists like Jose Díaz Balart and Jorge Ramos. Powerful and brave journalists who fight for their community. Díaz Balart specifically inspired me to pursue doing both English and Spanish language media.

How do you work with PR professionals?

I work with PR professionals a few times a month when I am pitched a topical story or need help reaching a certain business.

How many pitches do you get a day from PR folks? 

I would say probably 5-15 pitches a day.

How much follow up is too much on a pitch—with someone you don’t have a relationship with, and someone you do? 

I would say if it’s a good pitch one reminder follow up is enough. Sometimes with a busy news day things get lost so with one follow up you can get someone’s attention.

How do you prefer to be pitched? What is the best way to make a pitch stand out?  

I like pitches that get to the hook right away. The shorter the better. Especially if I’m trying to find a story I don’t have a lot of time to read paragraphs. Just need what the pitch is and basic details.

What advice would you give PR professionals looking to pitch you? 

My advice would be to only pitch when it’s topical and relevant. Avoid over pitching. And definitely avoid pitching when there’s an overwhelming story taking priority on the news.

How do you step away from the 24 hour newscycle? What do you do outside of work?

Outside of work I really enjoy dining out. I love trying our Philadelphia restaurants, have really enjoyed seeing the creative outdoor set-ups, and am a notorious lover of brunch.

Can you share a fun and interesting fact about yourself?

I was born in Mexico and lived there until age 5. But I am a terrible dancer.

Best way to contact you?

I can be reached via email at Miguel.Martínez-valle@nbcuni.com

#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.

Between You and MEdia…with Jenna Meissner

In this edition of Between You and MEdia, we chat with Jenna Meissner, PHL17 Morning News’ Traffic Anchor.

Years in the industry? 5 years

How did you get started as a journalist? I studied broadcast journalism at Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication. I interned at PHL17 in May 2015 and the rest is history.

Who/what inspired you to pursue journalism and what keeps you inspired? As a young girl, I watched the local news with my mom every night before dinner time. I remember watching the reporters and thinking it would be really cool to do that one day. The people I’ve met over the years and their stories keep me inspired. There’s so many amazing things happening right here in the community and I’m honored to give these voices a platform.

What’s your favorite aspect of your job? I’ve always been a people person. I love the interaction that comes with being on set and talking with my coworkers. PHL17 Morning News is definitely not your traditional newscast. We’ll tell you the stories you need to know, but we have SO much fun doing so. I love going to work and knowing I’m definitely going to laugh today.

What’s your favorite story that you’ve worked? As traffic anchor, I rarely get to leave the studio so anytime I’m able to get out into the field is exciting. I really enjoy our “PHL17 Down The Shore” segments throughout the summer where I get to highlight local businesses and activities down at the Jersey shore. I also enjoyed my “Community Heroes” series where I highlighted first responders making a difference in their community.

How do you work with PR professionals? We are constantly looking for guests for our show. Whether it be booking a chef for our outdoor grill set or setting up an interview to discuss an upcoming fundraiser, I rely on PR professionals to find the best of the best meaning strong interviewees and visuals.

What advice would you give PR professionals looking to pitch you? Graphics always catch my attention. If there’s an attached image, video, etc. I’m more likely to look at that than read a long email. The shorter the email with the most important information, the better.

How do you step away from the 24 hour newscycle? What do you do outside of work? Outside of work, I spend a lot of time with my growing family. I have one niece and three nephews I try to see every week. I’m recently engaged so planning a wedding has taken up a lot of my free time (send help!!!!)

Can you share a fun and interesting fact about yourself? I was a professional dancer trained in ballet, tap, jazz and modern for 20 years of my life.