Remembering A Beloved PPRA Member: Sally Berlin


The Philadelphia Public Relations Association has lost a long-time and beloved member of its family. We are saddened to announce that Sally Berlin has passed away this past weekend on Saturday, October, 25th. Sally, a well-known PR pro in the Philadelphia area, served as PPRA’s President in 1976-77. She was one of the first women to become inducted into the PPRA Hall of Fame in 1986.

Sally stood only 4 feet, 10 inches tall but was known as a PR giant and ageless dynamo by those who knew her. She cherished the Philadelphia Public Relations Association, making it a high priority to attend PPRA programs. She eagerly volunteered her time and demonstrated her passion for the public relations industry by sharing her influential and creative ideas to help boost a city in which she loved, the city of Philadelphia.

Aside from her affiliation with PPRA, Sally worked hard to expand the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia, (PAL). Working as an adviser for PAL well into her 90s, Sally raised millions of dollars for the non-profit corporation throughout her career.

Sandy Harris, Senior Development Coordinator and Auction Manager at PAL as well as a long-time colleague and friend of Sally’s highlighted her powerful personality in a tribute post on the Philly PAL blog.“Working with Sally and getting to know her is something that I will always treasure.  I learned so much from seeing her in action.  If she called you in regard to a donation and you didn’t call her back, you can bet she would persistently call you until you told her when she could expect the check.  She never took no for an answer and knew how to make everyone she talked to feel special.”

“In all the years I had the privilege of knowing Sally, I never heard her say an unkind word about anyone. In fact, she saw the best in everyone and became their champion, spreading the word about their talents and achievements,” said Gloria Hochman.

Dan Cirucci reminisced on Sally’s unstoppable can-do attitude in a tribute post on his personal blog. “She was also a pioneer — part of a generation of women who broke through the glass ceiling before anyone even knew what the glass ceiling was. And then she went on to mentor countless others. She did it all without a second thought. In fact, it probably never occurred to her that anything could stop her — and nothing ever did.”

We have truly lost an extraordinary individual and vibrant personality. Sally will be missed by all that were lucky enough to cross path’s with such a genuine person.


Philly’s Student-Run PR Firms

While aspiring PR pros are still in school, they are constantly reminded that internships are essential if they ever want to get a job in the industry. In recent years, some college students have found an alternative to the traditional internship — joining a student-run PR firm.

Across the country, students at colleges and universities have launched their own PR firms and taken on a variety of “real-world” clients. Those who take part in these student-run firms are able to put their PR skills to work and enjoy a number of unique experiences. In the Greater Philadelphia area, there are three local schools that boast successful student-run PR firms: Drexel University, Rowan University and Temple University.

33rd Street Public Relations – Drexel University

What began as the communications senior project of Drexel student and PRSSA member Sarah Mason quickly developed into a functioning PR firm. Sarah’s goal was to form a student-run public relations firm as a tool for applied learning. Upon its launch, 33rd Street Public Relations only had one client (Drexel’s student-run literary publication, Maya) but in the years since, the firm’s client list has grown immensely. Today, 33rd Street Public Relations offers a wide array of communication services to both professional clients and Drexel University student organizations.

PRaction – Rowan University

PRaction was started by members of the Anthony J. Fulginiti Chapter of PRSSA at Rowan University nearly 3 decades ago. Their firm is all about putting the PR skills students learn in the classroom into action. PRaction’s past clients include Rowan University’s Department of Theater and Dance, Bogey’s Club and Café, Two Vic’s Sports Shop and Studio 24 Scoops and More. This year they are working with a number of clients, including the Greater Pitman Chamber of Commerce, the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Camden and Labrador Hill Farm. Students are encouraged to join PRaction at the beginning of each semester, and they can reach out to Vice President Henry Grant at with any inquiries. Potential clients can contact President Stephanie Russo via email at

PRowl Public Relations – Temple University

PRowl Public Relation is Temple University’s first and only student-run PR firm. PRowl strives to provide clients with comprehensive PR strategies and solutions, offer Temple PRSSA members the opportunity to apply their knowledge and gain experience beyond the classroom, and build credibility while forming lasting student-client relationships. In recent years, PRowl has worked with clients such as the Lemon Hill Mansion, Temple University’s Department of Strategic Communication, and the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. Interested students and potential clients can contact Firm Director Kaitlyn Sutton via email at

Have you been a part of a student-run PR firm? What did you learn from the experience? Tell us about it in the comments section below.