#PPRAMemberMonday: Kellsey Turner

Today we are featuring Kellsey Turner, Assistant Account Executive for Vault Communications. Kellsey was last year’s 2015 Dr. Jean Brodey Student Achievement Award winner along with Rachel Christie. At this years Annual Meeting Celebration, Alissa Steele will receive the 2016 Dr. Jean Brodey Student Achievement Award and Darrah Foster will receive the 2016 Fast-Track Award. Register for the Annual Meeting Celebration here.

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Twitter: @KellseyTurner
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/kellseyturner

PPRA: Amanda, tell us a bit about your background and your current job.

KT: As a transplant from a small farming town near Reading, I’ve enjoyed exploring my new home in the City of Brotherly Love. I’m a 2015 graduate of La Salle University where I earned my bachelor’s in Communication with a concentration in PR and minors in Environmental Science and Leadership & Global Understanding. Today I enjoy staying involved by volunteering for PPRA’s College Relations committee.

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

KT: I work with a variety of corporate and nonprofit clients on media relations, speech writing and social media. We recently wrapped up pitching the First Day of Spring free Italian Ice giveaway for Rita’s Italian Ice, which was such a fun project to be a part of.

PPRA: What is your favorite part about your job?

KT: The diversity and the challenges that come with every day. I’m always learning something new.

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

KT: I recently drafted college commencement remarks for the CEO of one of my clients. It was a challenging assignment, but I enjoyed the opportunity to showcase my writing.

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

KT: I actually wrote a blog for PPRA on this! The content is directed at recent entrants to the field of PR, but the advice is transferable across all experience levels. Check it out: http://bit.ly/1SwLQo5

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

KT: I have a soft spot for “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

KT: I love the Art Museum steps at night. It’s the perfect vantage point to look out over the city.

PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?

KT: Whiz wit.

#PPRAMemberMonday: Jeff Jubelirer

Today we are featuring Jeff Jubelirer, Vice President of Bellevue Communications Group. Jeff has been a member of PPRA since 1999 and this Friday, May 20th he will be inducted into PPRA’s Hall of Fame. Register for the event Here. 

Jeff is widely recognized as one of the top communications strategists in Greater Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Perhaps best known for his unparalleled expertise in issue and crisis management and public policy advocacy, Jeff is a “go to” media and political analyst for local broadcast and newspaper outlets. In addition, Jeff is a regular panelist on 6abc’s venerable weekly public affairs show, “Inside Story.”

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Facebook: www.facebook.com/jjubelirer
Twitter: @jeff_jubelirer
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-jubelirer

PPRA: Jeff, tell us a bit about your background and your current job.

JJ: I am the “chief architect” behind the development and execution of the strategic communications, media & community relations and crisis management issues for my clients, who constitute many of the state’s most well-known businesses, executives, institutions and non-profit organizations.

I was named as one of the regions “40 under 40” by the Philadelphia Business Journal and recognized as one of “22 People to Watch” by Philadelphia Magazine. In 2012 I received the prestigious national Daniel Ginsberg Award for his exemplary leadership on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

I am an adjunct professor teaching issue & crisis management at Temple University. In addition, I write a quarterly column in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly on emerging issues in public relations.

I serve on the Boards of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia, Northern Delaware & Susquehanna Valley, The Moyer Foundation, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, Legacy Youth Tennis and Education and the ADL of Eastern Pennsylvania/Southern NJ/Delaware. In addition I serve on the Department of Political Science Board of Visitors at his undergraduate alma mater, Penn State University.

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

JJ: Mastery Schools of Camden, Philadelphia Charters for Excellence, A Renewable America, The Wind Energy Foundation, Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation, Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia, Free to Breathe, Livengrin Foundation, and some others that shall remain nameless because of the sensitivity of the work!

PPRA: What is your favorite part about your job?

JJ: The strategy. Figuring out how the puzzle pieces in the communications arena come together to make for a great result, whether that means lots of visibility to help a client’s business or organization prosper, or on many occasions how to help them navigate the headwinds of an angry public and political class.

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

JJ: I consider helping a few clients through some challenging periods, including a leadership transition, an investigation by a federal agency and an employee threat, to be some of my better accomplishments that do not – and should not – receive any public recognition!

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

JJ: Consume as much as you can from news sources near and far, in and out of agreement with your views and via different mediums.

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

JJ: Thank You For Smoking.

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

JJ: Rittenhouse Square.

PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?

JJ: Wit…of course.

PPRA: What’s your favorite thing to do with your kids in Philly?

JJ: Anything from seeing a show or concert with the girls to finding an old school amusement park and going on the rides (we are especially smitten with Fun Land in Rehoboth).

PPRA: What is your favorite album and who is your favorite musician?

JJ: Album: August and Everything After/Counting Crows  Musician: Foo Fighters

PPRA: What is the biggest major milestone in your life?

JJ: Marrying a South African and raising a household full of girls and one male French Bulldog (sorry, need some levity here!)

PPRA: What tools are out now that you wish you had back when you first started?

JJ: Twitter and Google Alerts.

PPRA: What is your favorite traditional tactic that you still use today?

JJ: I still love good ol’ pen and paper.  I write notes, compile my “to do” lists and make outlines still on paper. It helps me remember things more easily.

PPRA: What is your fondest memory of your first decade working in the field?

JJ: Advancing events when former First Lady Laura Bush was in the area.  I learned so much about event planning, what the media needed and how to run a tight ship.  Plus, she was pure class.

PPRA: What is your favorite PPRA memory?

JJ: Going to the Newseum in DC with a great group of PR gurus and friends.  We took a limo and laughed the whole way down with Dan Cirucci telling story after story.

The State of the Industry

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Public relations professionals from PPRA, PRSA Philly and PBPRS gathered April 19, 2016 for the third ever State of the Industry event. As attendees enjoyed a filling breakfast, PPRA President Meredith Z. Avakian-Hardaway welcomed the audience followed by PRSA Philly President Kimberley Ciesla and Philadelphia Black Public Relations President Vincent Thompson. Next, guests transitioned into the main part of the event which consisted of four interesting panel discussions about the state of public relations in Philadelphia organized into two breakout sessions.

During the first breakout session, “Staying Out of the News: Insight from Philly’s Top Crisis PR Experts” event attendees had the opportunity to learn more about crisis public relations from some of the top Crisis PR professionals. The panel consisted of Cathy Engel Menendez, Director of Communications for PECO, Joshua Peck, PR Head at international law firm Duane Morris, and Christopher Lukach, president and member of the ownership team at Anne Klein Communications Group. Neil Foote, president of Foote Communications LLC and the National Black Public Relations Society, moderated the conversation, introducing various challenges faced by professionals who perform crisis management. By the conclusion of the session, audience members learned the importance of getting the facts, identifying the ideal spokesperson, sharing a plan for dispensing information with stakeholders and setting the tone for a crisis during the first response. The panelists also explained the importance of preparing for crises before they occur, already having established relationships with C-suite executives and being able to communicate the values of your organization when in doubt.

555The other portion of the audience attended “The Influence Behind Philly Brands” during session one. This event was moderated by David Brown, Founder/Managing Director of the Marketing Collaborative and assistant professor of teaching at Temple University. Janeane Tolomeo of Di Bruno Bros., Trevor Prichett of the Yards Brewing Company and Paula Butler of Visit Philadelphia sat on the panel for this discussion.  Each professional discussed some of the unique challenges their brands face and the ways they leverage their brand’s Philly connection to meet their bottom lines. While Visit Philly tries to make cultural connections with Philadelphia and the outside world to engage their audiences, Yard Brewing Company competes with large companies on their small budget by appealing to Philly loyalty and using social media, traditional PR and multimedia content to develop campaigns like their “Brew onto Others.” Tolomeo explained that the Di Bruno Bros employs market research, high level connections and influential partnerships to keep their finger on the pulse of consumers.

The second breakout session focused on two different subjects: social media and changes in healthcare. In “We Snapped, Posted & Tweeted… What’s Next?,” Rakia Reynolds, CEO and Founder of Skai Blue Media, and Matthew Dickman, Executive Director of Digital Communications at Comcast Corporation, shared their expertise with the audience. After tweetgiving brief professional backgrounds, Boyd and Dickman dialogued about their recent shared experience in the Comcast lounge at SXSW. They reminisced about how Comcast spent 1/10th the amount as many other brands at SXSW but generated more engagement by providing great content, incorporating various forms of social media and creating an interactive and engaging space. Boyd and Dickman continued the discussion providing advice about strategically growing interaction on social media, organic posting versus paid search, determining the appropriate content according to platform, incorporating snapchat for large companies and more.

Other professionals who attended the event elected to attend “From Consumerism to the FDA—How Changes in Healthcare Impact Communications.” Rachel Schwartz, Vice President of Tonic Life Communications discussed the role that patient bloggers play in affecting policies in the healthcare industry. Leah Sheppard, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications, also spoke about the more active role patients are taking in healthcare consumerism. Rather than simply following doctor’s orders, patients have begun to take agency advice in seeking out physicians and institutions and it is shifting the conversation in this field. For Charlotte Sutton, Health and Science editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, she recognizes the rise in patient stories but what she looks for is the data underpinnings of these increasing patient stories.

 

After the breakout sessions, the audience heard from April Mellody, Deputy CEO of Communications of the 2016 Democratic National Convention Committee. The 2016 Democratic National Convention is coming to Philadelphia this July and Mellody is responsible for all aspects of official convention communications. A short Q&A session followed Mellody’s spiel that broached topics from communication challenges Mellody’s staff may face to volunteer opportunities. Attendees left the third State of the Industry event more informed about changes in the field of PR and with more insight about the state of Philadelphia in the near future.

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Jameeda Rucker is a senior at Temple University majoring in Strategic Communication and minoring in Spanish. Jameeda has held five public relations internships and multiple leadership roles in pre-professional organizations including her current role as Vice President of Public Relations for Temple’s Chapter of PRSSA. You can connect with Jameeda on Twitter @_JRPR_ and on LinkedIn here.

Coffee and Conversations with CBS3’s Margaret Cronan

Public Relations Professionals filled Studio B at CBS3 on April 14, 2016 for Coffee and Conversations with Margaret Cronan. We were all joined by Assistant News Director, John Wilson. PPRA President Meredith Z. Avakian-Hardaway and Margaret kicked off the morning on a fun note … showing off their similar footwear — medical boots!

Meredith and Margaret at CBS PPRA Event

PPRA President Meredith Z. Avakian-Hardaway posing with CBS3 Margaret Cronan. Photo By: Cari Feiler Bender

Margaret started the program by talking about the changes at the station. She first showed a new, lively promo video and immediately created an engaging atmosphere. They are relaunching their station brand and the video, which opened in black and white but transitioned into vibrant color, showed just how lively and warm their newscasts are.

So what is the plan at CBS3 now? They are looking for and presenting meaningful stories other stations don’t have while also telling the news of the day in a more meaningful way. Our region doesn’t want just murder, fire, weather and traffic. We want more and CBS3 believes we deserve a better newscast. To explain this further, Margaret gave an example. Recently, their 11 p.m. news kicked off with a story that a year ago wouldn’t have been their lead story. She showed a clip of a story about a case of animal abuse against horses and the amazing teamwork it took to help the Last Chance Rescue Farm take care of these horses.

A sample of how CBS3 is making changes was how the station handled the terror attacks in Paris. While the other channels were running their regular programming, CBS3 interrupted the Dr. Phil show and brought Ukee and Jessica on the set to report the breaking news. CBS National broke the story at 5 p.m. but Margaret felt it was important for us to be informed right away, before 5 p.m.

John Wilson opened his portion of the program by talking about a new segment called Good Question. This airs on the 11 p.m. news and the segments are not posted online – intentionally. Viewers can only watch this segment on television, and cannot find it at another time online. Good Question can be a serious, timely topic like the taxes in April or a more humorous topic like having a linguistics expert from PENN explain where the Philadelphia slang word JAWN comes from. John’s tip: If you want to get a client on Good Question, pitch your client as the expert who can answer the proposed question.

Another light feature that has become very popular are the reports by Vittoria (Tori) Woodall who is as energetic as she is well-received. She began with a segment called Taste with Tori which focuses on the story behind the restaurant. She is now also doing more feature stories such as: what’s it like to actually be inside the crane that is part of the part of the construction site of the new Comcast Tower?

This led to the question and answer portion of the morning. I’d like to present this you all as it happened during the event:

Question:

Who should we be pitching and when does CBS3 use entertainment stories?

Answer:

John quickly shared his email address with us all: Wilson@cbs3.com and said you can never over communicate! Don’t forget morning producer Steve Lindsay. He is filling live air for two hours.

For entertainment, this is a real opportunity for Tori. Maybe she can jump on stage with performers! But remember, there has to be a deeper feature for Tori to share.

John also mentioned that you could pitch a story to him but then in their meetings they’ll decide the best reporter to cover it.  They all share story ideas during their meetings.

Question:

The Last Chance Rescue Farm story that was given as an example in the beginning of the event took place in Quakertown, PA. Do you have a wider demographic because of viewership?

Answer:

They do, always have. John said that if they realize that many of their stories are in the city, it’s time to get out of the city!

Question:

We don’t want to overstep any boundaries with reporters and producers at the station. Let’s say we’re working with someone/pitching them, but they don’t really know if the story will work for them. What if we also think the story could be really good for, as an example, Stephanie Stahl. Can we pitch her as well? We don’t want to pitch two people and chance offending anyone.

Answer:

In our meetings, we don’t really know where the pitches come from. Chances are you’re not always going to get a yes; we’re looking for something unique. John said he has never heard from someone at work rolling their eyes saying, “Oh My God, I’ve heard from this person again!”

Question:

What’s the biggest headache you have from people like us?

Answer:

That’s a better question for the assignment desk but, we’re still news people and we’re trying to tell stories and do the news. The focus at the station isn’t your client’s happiness. It’s ratings and viewer happiness, etc. That’s positive PR. John went on to talk a little on PR practices that frustrate them. His example was the need for quick turnaround during a crisis. They need to hear back immediately especially when something is time sensitive. It doesn’t matter how you respond; email, text, call phone… just give us something, he says.

Question:

How would you describe your sports coverage?

Answer:

We are putting an emphasis back on sports again. We are the only station who sent a camera out to Seattle with St. Joe’s. There’s the sports side of sports, but the people side too. CBS3 is particularly interested in the people side of sports. Maybe we’ll highlight a story during Lunch with Leslie instead of standard sports highlights on the 5 p.m. news.

Question:

You receive 600 emails and more a day so how do we really get you to open the email? How do you feel about phone calls?

Answer:

Email is better because you can catch up quicker than voicemail. When sending a pitch, John can tell what’s national or local. Frankly – it’s in the subject. “Possible Good Question” is a good subject. Adding Philadelphia to the subject line is good to get him to open the email.

Question:

I find it interesting that KYW Newsradio and CBS3 are partnering. Are you doing more of this?

Answer:

Yes, it goes both ways. Both news rooms are mirror images of each other. Someone from KYW Newsradio is in the CBS morning meeting!

Question:

There were more opportunity for sponsored content on Talk Philly at noon. Probably 80% was sponsored content. Why did it stop?

Answer:

We wanted to get back to the news; it was just too fluffy.  When John is questioning if it’s news or fluff, his criteria is if a story is a waste of time. He wants the story to be meaningful. If his brain switches from work to interest, its news. Unfortunately, there is no homerun formula. Sometimes you hit it and sometimes you don’t.

Question:

Health reporters seem adverse to a health awareness angle unless it’s during the specialty month. Next week is osteopathic medicine week so would next week be a good pitching opportunity to do a story on a correlating procedure?

Answer:

John responded that he wants to know how new and radical the procedure might be. Is there something new or different here? Is there a new trend or is it affected by a new insurance law? Make awareness week the chance to talk about newsworthiness or trends etc.

Question:

Thinking about your Grammy promo piece, how can we help you tie into the national trends and national stories with a local story? How do we know other trends that are coming that we can help you with?

Answer:

Some of the stories, we should just know. For example, the Masters are known, the Superbowl is known. We should follow the headlines. Here’s an example that may not have been a homerun but was. James Corden was doing a prime time special on carpool karaoke. So what makes it newsworthy to us? We did a local carpool karaoke story with Tori. It was right around the time that the Pope was in town so we got the big people who were here!

Follow Up Question:

Would you ever tweet out that you’re looking for something?

Answer:

Nah, we’re more about building that relationship with the assignment desk.

Question:

What’s the mood in the room to the arts coverage?

Answer:

Let’s get Tori access to your arts stories but there’s got to be a story there as well. For example, maybe the lead in the nutcracker has some amazing story on her life and how she got there.

All in all, it was an amazing morning. I’ll leave you with the words that Margaret left us with: She would love for us to call her and tell her there’s a huge story breaking down the street but she also now wants us to remember as we work for our clients that CBS3 is doing something different now. She wants us to think while we’re in our meetings, “You know, CBS3 will do this because they’re doing something different now. They aren’t doing all hard edge stuff.”

Hope Horwitz is the Vice President of Sharla Feldscher Public Relations and a long-time PPRA member. 

#PPRAMemberMonday: Cathy Engel Menendez, APR

Today we are featuring Cathy Engel Menendez, APR, Director of Communications at PECO. Cathy has been a PPRA member for 23 years and was PPRA’s 2015 Hall of Fame Recipient. Cathy will be participating as a speaker in “The State of the Industry… in Philadelphia – the DNC, Philly branding, and more” Presented by the Philadelphia Public Relations Association, Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society, and Public Relations Society of America Philadelphia Chapter, held tomorrow, Tuesday, April 19th.  Join us for an educational and interactive conference on the state of the public relations industry by registering Here. Learn from leading communications professionals who represent top companies across the Philadelphia region, including Comcast, PECO, Di Bruno Bros., Duane Morris, and more.

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PECOconnect/
Twitter: @Pecoconnect
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cathy-engel-menendez-apr

PPRA: Cathy, tell us a bit about your background and your current job.

CEM: I serve as PECO’s spokesperson and am responsible for the company’s strategic communications, advertising and crisis communications efforts, and internal communications / employee engagement efforts.

PPRA: What projects are you working on right now?

CEM: Positioning PECO’s efforts to advance smart energy and deliver innovation to provide safe, reliable, affordable and clean energy and energy services to our customers and communities we serve.  Cornerstone to this is our work to leverage technology and interact with our customers in many new, innovative ways to evolve their energy experience.

PPRA: What is your favorite part about your job?

CEM: No day is ever the same.  Being part of a company that provides an essential service means you are involved in everything — day and night.  From the Papal Visit, to the DNC, and everything in between — PECO is there!

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

CEM: 2015 was an exceptional year for me — I passed the APR exam (on the first try) and was inducted into PPRA’s Hall of Fame, those events surrounded by professional successes and advancement are truly memorable.

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

CEM: Be resilient.  It isn’t about how many times you struggle or fail, it really is all about how many times you get back up.  Keep getting back up!

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

CEM: Although I feel like I should provide the name of a classic novel or film, honesty must prevail . . .I love the movie An American President.

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

CEM: Boathouse Row.  My brother rowed and I spent a great deal of time there as a child, it is very special to me.  Very close second would be the Linc — Owls and Eagles, doesn’t get any better!

PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?

CEM: Whiz wit — its the ONLY way!