Discount at Philly Bash for PPRA Members

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Hundreds of locals will walk the red carpet, chat with Philly Happening TV, and party the night away in honor of the amazing Philadelphia community.

Since the beginning of the year, thousands of local people, places, events, and businesses have been nominated across 11 comprehensive Happening List categories ranging from “Food & Drink” to “Home Improvement” to “Everything Philly.” And Happening list excitement will reach a fever pitch on Monday, June 8, 2015 at the debut Philly Happening List Red Carpet Bash!

Good news! If you are a PPRA member you can receive a discount for this event. Click here to read more about the details of this event and to purchase your tickets. Enter “PPRA” in the promotional code box to receive your discount today!

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The Power of Data for Storytelling

datapicData journalism is the fastest growing area of reporting, transforming the way journalists do their jobs and the way companies communicate their stories. In this new environment, companies must learn how to better articulate their narratives, understand the difference between good and bad data, and uncover the most compelling data from their experiences serving customers and growing their businesses.

The Power of Data for Storytelling brings to Philadelphia four of the nation’s top data journalists to share their views on how they report, visualize, and use data to tell their stories.

Join moderator Greg Matusky as he interviews:

  • Steve Lohr, Author and Technology Reporter, New York Times
  • Frank Bi, Data Journalist, Forbes
  • Paul Cheung, Director of Interactive and Digital News Production, Associated Press
  • Erika Owens, Program Manager, Knight-Mozilla Opennews

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
C-LEVEL • DIRECTORS OF COMMUNICATIONS/PUBLIC RELATIONS/MARKETING • MARKETING DECISION MAKERS

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
HOW STORYTELLING IS BEING TRANSFORMED THROUGH DATA • WHAT KIND OF DATA REPORTERS VALUE • WHAT IS GOOD DATA VERSUS BAD DATA • HOW REPORTERS FIND DATA AND CONVERT IT INTO A STORY • WHAT ROLE YOUR COMPANY PLAYS IN REPORTING DATA TO THE MEDIA

This is a free event hosted by Gregory FCA.
Date and Time: June 4, 2015 – 5-7PM
Location: 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Register now, here!

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Careers 101: The Difference a Decade Makes

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Meredith Z. Avakian-Hardaway (third from left) with the Temple PRSSA Executive Board at Careers 101.

Register Today for PPRA’s 10th Annual Careers 101

One decade ago, I jumped on the Broad Street Line with several other members of our PRSSA “e-board” and left Temple University’s Main Campus to attend PPRA’s Careers 101 event for students and young professionals.

As we walked into the building at U Arts, I can remember how nervous we all were.  This was our first professional event, where we tried our best to look and act the part. In retrospect, we truly knew little about PR…and being professional, for that matter.  We didn’t know how agency work differed from corporate or nonprofit work. We walked in as PR “newbies” and walked out with our first real PR contacts. (Fun fact: One of these contacts is now a past PPRA president and the other is running for mayor of Philadelphia.)

If any of us doubted whether we picked the right [PR] major, Careers 101 somehow miraculously assured us that we had in fact made the right decision to go into this fast-paced and ever-changing field of writing, creativity and grit.  We wanted to share this experience with dozens of our classmates.  Therefore, on behalf of our PRSSA chapter, I emailed PPRA Executive Director Denise Downing and, should the event ever be held again, offered to host it at Temple University.

Not only was the event brought to Temple, it remained there for three years before moving to PECO for another three years.  Then, after speaking at a Drexel PRSSA meeting, their chapter reached out to me and offered to host the event.  Needless to say, the event then went to Drexel, where it was held for two years.  Now, the 10th Annual Careers 101 will be held at The Liacouras Center at Temple University, where my career started a decade ago partially as a result of this wonderful event.

As such, I have participated in the event every year since its inception, as an attendee, PRSSA president, College Relations Committee chair, panelist, networking volunteer, resume critique volunteer and now in my capacity as president-elect. It has been an honor and pleasure to watch this event grow and flourish. Each year there is a different angle or twist.  This year, in honor of Careers 101’s 10th anniversary and PPRA’s 70th anniversary, the panelists are all past presidents of PPRA and are some of the top PR pros in Philadelphia and beyond.

PPRA’s College Relations Committee has worked hard to put together a thoughtful program that somehow adds an element to one-up years passed.  Over the years, thanks to the honest feedback of the students and young professionals, as well as input from past panelists and university/college faculty and professors who have supported the event, changes have been made to improve the event for anyone involved.  For example, in its first year, there were only a handful of professionals in attendance, which resulted in a half hour wait for students to get their turn to talk with them.  Event attendees can now expect to network with up to a few dozen professionals in attendance.

The Committee wanted to come up with something else new and special for the 10th Careers 101, so this year’s attendees can look forward to getting their professional headshots taken for their LinkedIn profiles.   Also, a number of PR professionals are raffling off their time for shadow days, networking lunches and informational interviews.  The access to high-caliber professionals is a tremendous value to students and young professionals alike.  Of course, what’s Careers 101 without a resume critique?  That must-have bonus will be available again this year.

If you are a student or young professional considering going into PR, this event is for you. Your path to internships, mentors, professional contacts and maybe even employment opportunities, it all starts here.  If you are a PR professional and you have interns and/or young employees, this is an event they will benefit from…and where you might be able to find your next interns!

Additionally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the 2015 Dr. Jean Brodey Student Achievement Award.  This award honors a college junior or senior who has exhibited outstanding professional promise in the field of public relations, has an excellent academic track record and contributes to his or her community. Any PPRA member or internship supervisor in the Philadelphia region may submit nominations for the award. Self-nominations are welcome. The winner receives a commemorative plaque and a $250 cash prize.

To learn more about the PPRA Dr. Jean Brodey Student Achievement Award or the PPRA President’s Fast-Track Award, which honors recognizes an up-and-coming professional who has contributed greatly to the organization, the profession and the community,visit:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/5891762/2015%20Awards%20Information.pdf.

See you at Careers 101 on April 1!  Remember, your career is no joke.

Meredith Z. Avakian-Hardaway is President-Elect of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association and Director of Communications and Marketing at the Philadelphia Bar Association.  Follow Meredith @MZApoetry on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/meredithavakian.

The Inside Story of DO|AC

DOACThe Inside Story of DO|AC held last week was an anticipated program for PPRA members. Atlantic City, a destination for tourists and a home away from home for some PPRA members went through some major shakeups at the end of 2014. Many members asked “What is Atlantic City going to do?” prior to the presentation and speakers from the Atlantic City Alliance did not disappoint.

Jeff Guaracino (Executive Director), Nicole Cashman (Public Relations) and Melanie Sole (Public Relations) provided PPRA members with an in-depth power point presentation that promoted the positive of Atlantic City and how the Atlantic City Alliance was the reinvention of the city’s tourism and marketing campaigns. While Atlantic City produced $2.5 billion in gaming revenue last year and can fill 15,000 rooms on a weekend, the Atlantic City Alliance’s goal is to attract the leisure tourist to the entertainment capital of the Jersey Shore.

In 2014 alone, the Atlantic City Alliance had:

  • 500+ media trips through FAM tours or visiting journalists
  • Good Morning America
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • Philadelphia and New York Advertising
  • 13,000 radio ads
  • The Miss America Pageant’s return to Atlantic City
  • Two free concerts on the beach that attracted more than 20,000 attendees
  • The DO|AC experience on wheels campaign
  • Toll Free Tuesday
  • Return customer rates increasing to 68%

While last year’s destination marketing campaign led to an impressive roster of placements and content integration, the audience asked what is next in 2015? Jeff Guaracino said they had no idea and that the next 30 days will be eye opening as the state has sent in emergency managers to evaluate how to fix the issues in Atlantic City. The Atlantic City Alliance staying true to their message “promote the positive” is focused on summer and Memorial Day Weekend. Nicole Cashman and Melanie Sole applauded Jeff and told the audience it’s amazing to work with and have a boss or client who has such optimism and drive for their organization.

To our tourism neighbor at the Jersey Shore, we are rooting for you and thank you for sharing The Inside Story of DO|AC.

Jade Barnes is the Marketing Coordinator for The Shops at Liberty Place and a proud Atlantic City native. While handling all of the traditional and digital marketing for The Shops, Jade runs all of the events from concept to execution. While writing her own personal blog, Jade works with Femme & Fortune an online magazine for ambitious women and the Temple Women’s Network. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Stay Ethical, Don’t Exploit

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When we see an opportunity for a client, it’s in our nature to seize it. It’s our job, after all. It’s also the job of public relations professionals to advocate for clients and we should have the sense to judge what opportunities are appropriate and when they might be crossing a line. Too often companies and organizations are chastised for taking advantage of a current event, pop culture happening or even a tragedy to get their brand attention.

There are plenty of examples where companies took their publicity a step too far after a tragedy or negative occurrence, both accidentally and intentionally.

  • Malaysia Airlines promoted a Bucket List contest, asking consumers what places they’d like to see before they die. This came after the tragic disappearance of Flight 370 and after Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine.
  • DiGiorno hopped on the hashtag bandwagon a little too quickly after the NFL suspended Ray Rice for abusing his wife. Thousands of Twitter users took to using #WhyIStayed to share their abuse stories and DiGiorno didn’t check the context of the tag before shooting out a response of ‘you had pizza’.
  • MSN’s Biggest PR Blunders of 2014 list rounds up more specifics pretty well.

These companies promptly issued apologies and/or made corrections to their public relations and social media efforts. However, it’s always better not to have to ask for forgiveness because you didn’t stray off the path of ethics in the first place.

The lesson your parents always tried to burn into your brain of “think before you speak” couldn’t be more applicable in our world. In this case it’s more so “think before you act and set your client up for some serious negative backlash”. Trust me, even though you might be receiving dozens of emails asking why they aren’t in the news, asking to get them some press, they would much rather sit back and wait for the right story than jump on board with the wrong one.

How can you be sure to stay ethical and not make the mistakes of these well-known, previously well-respected brands?

  • Trust your instincts
    You know right from wrong. If you are feeling a little wary about pitching a story because you feel it might be exploitive, you’re probably right. It’s not worth potentially ruining your reputation with a journalist and painting your client in a bad light.
  • Ask a mentor
    That’s what they’re there for. If you’ve hit a point where you’re just not sure whether you should go with a story or not, just ask. Chances are you’ll be respected for checking in and you’ll get a good conversation out of it where you might learn a few things.
  • Explain
    So you decided to do the ethical thing and your client isn’t pleased. Instead of getting defensive, walk them through your thought process. Create a case study to show them the negative ramifications of pouncing on a story in an exploitive way. This is what they’re paying you for, after all.

This isn’t to say there won’t be instances where your client’s services, expert advice or products shouldn’t be talked about following a sad event or a bad situation. If the organization offers counseling, for example, they should surely be getting the word out after a tragedy; because what they are doing will help others. There are absolutely ways for brands, organizations and companies to respond to situations appropriately and in a non-exploitive manner. The important thing for public relations professionals to do is make the judgment call.

There are some things you can’t (and shouldn’t) try to put a spin on. Exploiting a sad or bad situation purely for client gain is wrong. Knowing and acknowledging that is what separates the experts from those just trying to climb the ladder.

London Faust is an Account Representative at Bellevue Communications Group, a public relations firm specializing in media relations, crisis communications and issue management. She is forever #TempleMade, class of 2014. Follow her personal ramblings on Twitter at @londonfaust or her professional doings at @BellevuePRPhl.