#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.

It’s All About Who You Know

As a PR professional, you already know the importance of building a strong network. Now, PPRA is giving you the chance to help your network of fellow PR pros (and yourself).

Our Member-Get-A-Member Program is back by popular demand!

All you have to do is share the benefits of a PPRA membership with those you know and get them to mention your name on their membership application! When you recruit a new PPRA member between now and September 30, 2014, you’ll be entered to win a $100 Garces Group gift card.

For more information, contact PPRA at info@ppra.net.

Rules: Member-Get-A-Member runs from April 1, 2014-September 30, 2014. Persons who join PPRA during the promotion period will have their membership extended until August 31, 2015.. The campaign applies only to new members, not those currently enrolled.

Member Spotlight: Sarah Fergus

The following is part of our Member Spotlight series. Twice a month, the PPRA blog will feature a profile on one of our members. Today’s post highlights PPRA’s VP of Membership, Sarah Fergus.

FergusSo, how long have you been a member of PPRA?

Since 2010—I won my first year’s membership on Twitter!

How did you get into PR?

I wanted to find a field where I could play to my strengths—writing, verbal communication, strategy—so I opted to study PR in college (go T-U!). It wasn’t until I started interning that I truly discovered this was the gig for me. I had a background in dance, so I naturally gravitated toward arts PR, interning, then working for Nina Zucker Associates, and later the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. It feels like you’ve won the lottery when your job marries two fields you’re extremely passionate about.

Tell us a little bit about your current position.

I am the PR Manager at the National Constitution Center, the first and only nonprofit, nonpartisan museum devoted to the U.S. Constitution. In that capacity, I work to plan and implement the museum’s media relations strategy as well as its social media program.

What is your favorite aspect of your current job?

No day is the same, and there are often days when I find myself in situations that I never anticipated being in when I woke up that morning. The work is simultaneously thrilling and challenging!

Are there any PR trends that you’re really into right now? 

I’ve recently gotten really into smartphone photo editing apps for the museum’s social media content. Apps like Snapseed, Over, VSCOcam, and Bokehful. They’re efficient and allow you to get really creative with your iPhone camera.

What social media platform do you use the most in your personal life? What about for business purposes?

The National Constitution Center is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest—if you don’t already, follow us! On my own time, I use Facebook and Instagram to keep in touch with friends and family, and I use Twitter and LinkedIn professionally.

If you could give one piece of advice to current PR students about getting into the industry, what would it be?

Treat your internship like you would a job! Be on time (read: early), be prepared, be consistent, and be polite. The people who hire take notice. I also wish that I had taken some electives in college outside the PR track that would have strengthened my skillset: graphic design, business, web editing, and as many journalism and writing classes as possible.

What is your favorite thing about Philly?

The food and arts scenes in Philly are a force to be reckoned with.

Anything else we should know about you?

I also serve as PPRA’s VP of Membership—if you ever have a question about your membership benefits or ideas for something you’d like to see as a part of your membership package, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Top 5 Reasons to Join PPRA

Hundreds of the top PR professionals in the Greater Philadelphia Area are proud PPRA members. With the 2013-2014 membership deadline just around the corner (September 30), now is your chance to join the oldest and largest independent metropolitan public relations association in the nation or renew your existing membership. Although the benefits of being a PPRA member are countless and everyone has their own reasons for getting involved, here are a few of the top reasons you should join:

  1. Networking –  Relationships are important in any profession, but nowhere is that more true than in the communications industry. Whether you are a student looking to make your first connections in the “real world” or an established PR professional, networking is vital to your success. As a PPRA member, you will have plenty of opportunities to meet and build relationships with others in the field.
  2. Media Directory – For a PR professional, there is nothing more sacred than their media list. A solid list takes serious time and dedication to develop, but as a PPRA member you will have access to an extensive directory of media contacts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
  3. Leadership Opportunities – With any organization, you get out as much as you put in. In order to get the full PPRA experience, you should get involved. Help plan an event, write for the newsletter, or work on improving PPRA’s relationship with local colleges and universities. Being an involved member can often result in becoming a leader within the organization. When you’re looking for a job, leadership experience will never hurt your chances.
  4. Membership Directory – In addition to interacting with fellow members at events, you will also have access to a directory which contains contact information for all PPRA members. Next time you’re looking for a point of contact at another organization, you’ll know exactly where to start.
  5. Industry Discounts – PPRA members are entitled to reduced pricing for a number of services, including Cision and TVEyes. These tools can become your best friends if you let them.

This post was written by PPRA Blog Chair Lauren Cox. Lauren is a Public Relations Specialist in the Office of the CIty Representative, where she works on the City’s major events like the Wawa Welcome America! Festival and the Philadelphia Marathon. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.