Building Connections through PPRA’s Mentoring Program


The undergraduate school system is filled with teachers, coaches, and academic advisors as mentors to provide counsel or advice on the future.  In fact, the word “mentor” gets its origins from the trusted teacher and charge for Odysseus’ son, Telemachus, in Homer’s “The Odyssey.”

However, as you graduate from college and transition into professional life, those close, advising relationships becomes an even more crucial concept for success.  Not all companies have onboarding programs that assign mentors, and it can be intimidating to approach people you admire from other companies to form an authentic connection.

That’s why PPRA revived its Mentoring Program: to more easily and formally link specialists of varying years’ experience or different areas of the communication industry to enhance our member’s relationships, knowledge and skill.

Boasting some of the most talented practitioners in Philadelphia PR, our Mentoring Program is a huge advantage for students and young professionals trying to establish themselves in the communications industry.  The best practices, insights and networking provided through your mentor can truly make the difference between a mediocre career in PR and a stellar, successful one.

We encourage you to take advantage of this membership benefit by downloading the sign-up form now.  If you’re not a member yet but would like to become one to gain access to the program, check out our brochure and join today!  

 This post was written by PPRA member Christine Guerrini. Christine is a corporate communications specialist at Aramark, where she provides reputation management, media relations and social media expertise.  Connect with Christine on Twitter (@CMGuerrini) or

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Public Relations Careers 101

One of PPRA’s most anticipated events of the year is quickly approaching, but don’t worry, there is still time to register for Public Relations Careers 101!

April 1, 2014 – 7:00 p.m.

Dave & Buster’s (325 N. Columbus Blvd.)

Open to students and young professionals in the Philadelphia region, this session is your chance to meet and hear from top PR minds working in all areas of the profession. The panelists will share insights into their careers and the realities of working in public relations, as well as tips on how to stand out in this difficult job market. After the panel discussion, you will have the chance to network with public relations professionals during our table networking session.

All pre-registered participants will be entered into our raffle for the chance to win a “networking day” with a PR pro, plus other great prizes! Remember, you must be present to win.

The deadline to register is THIS FRIDAY, March 28.

Panelists Include:

  • Gregg Feistman – Associate Professor of Public Relations, Temple University (Moderator)
  • Hope Koseff Corse – Director of Marketing & Communications, Independence Seaport Museum
  • John Miller – President, Scribewise
  • Cathryn Sanderson – Director of Communication & Corporate Relations, Back On My Feet
  • Lisa Simon – President, Simon PR
  • Meredith Wertz – Manager of Corporate Communication, Comcast

What It’s Like To Help Plan PRSSA’s National Conference

National Conference, where to begin? It all started last summer when Drexel’s PRSSA chapter found out we could submit a bid to host this year’s conference. Because I was originally planning to study abroad this summer, I contributed to the bid but wasn’t planning to be a part of the Conference Committee (how could I help plan a conference from Italy?).

Flash to after our chapter presented the bid in California at last year’s conference and won. There was a gap in the planning committee for Programs Director and I had to take it! My name was submitted with the rest of the planning committee, and we were officially the new hosts of PRSSA’s 2013 National Conference.

Last fall we spent time gathering information on potential speakers, finalizing the conference’s theme (we went with “Foundation for Innovation”), and prepping other materials for our first in-person planning meeting with PRSA headquarters. In February we spent two days at the Loews going over conference details, discussing speakers, thinking about logistics, and outlining our promotion plan.

After our in-person meeting, the following months consisted of more speaker research and outreach, thinking about how our socials would pan out, and lots more. Our committee held bi-weekly meetings as well as frequent conference calls with headquarters. Not only were we figuring out who should speak at the conference, but we also were doing outreach for sponsorships…you can’t host a five-day conference without a budget!

As time ran low with the dwindling summer months, we started to have weekly meetings and biweekly conference calls. Then, the weekly conference calls kicked in. By this point, say mid-September, most of our speakers were confirmed as well as sponsors – minus two or three final confirmations.

October was packed with finalizing volunteer schedules, weekly meetings, more conference calls, coordinating entertainment, picking up swag bag items, and much more!

October 24th hit and I found myself moving into the Loews for a six-night staycation. Aside from coordinating the Friday night social, introducing speakers, and managing the hospitality desk, our committee networked and connected with peers from around the nation. One of the best parts of PRSSA is all of the connections that can be made during national events.

Being Programs Director was a huge responsibility, a lot of work, demanding, and also a lot of fun! Seeing conference attendees learn from professionals, connect with peers, and enjoy Philadelphia made the year-long commitment worth my efforts.

This is a guest post written by Ian Michael Crumm. Ian attends Drexel University and serves as Vice President of Drexel’s PRSSA chapter. When he isn’t busy with school and PRSSA, Ian also runs his own blog, where he posts about all things fashion. 

Maintaining a Successful Blog as a College Student

Students studying communication or public relations are all united by one common factor: competition. With the growth of academic programs at various universities in the field, it isn’t uncommon to run into another student with the same major. These students usually go after the same internships, and eventually will send resumes off to the same jobs.

This competition requires that students do something to set themselves apart. After a while, resumes and cover letters of different students all begin to look the same. It is extremely important to do something that shows what makes you a better candidate than your peers. Blogging is a great way to do this. It allows you to gain writing experience, to learn how to curate content, and is a public display of who you are as a person.

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Maintaining a blog as a college student can be a difficult task, as we often have other responsibilities to focus on. If you’re interested in starting a blog to help you stand out from the crowd of PR students, here are some things you should consider:

  • How much time can you dedicate to blogging? Blogging can be extremely time consuming whether you do it as a hobby or have made a small business from it. You need time to generate content, format posts, take photos, and respond to comments and emails. Take this into consideration with the time you already dedicate to class, work, and extracurricular activities.
  • Develop an organization system. Keeping up with your blog is the key to gaining and expanding your readership. Get a planner that you dedicate to blogging and make an editorial calendar for each month. Be realistic with yourself; if you know you can’t post every day, then don’t place that expectation on yourself.
  • Brand your blog consistently. Your blog should be treated as one of your clients. If you use Twitter or Facebook to promote your blog, be sure that those profiles are consistent with the content and design of your blog. Make the cover photo of your blog’s Facebook and Twitter match the header image, and keep the colors the same. This will create a sense of familiarity among your readers.
  • Create original content. No one wants to read your blog only to get information that can be found elsewhere. It is important to always be creating fresh content, not just sharing or reposting. Adding your own input and life situations helps readers create a more personal relationship with you and your blog. Posting about topics you truly have a passion for is the best way to insure quality content.

Though it may seem overwhelming at first, blogging is the easiest way to promote yourself as a professional while still having fun. Don’t get lost in the feeling that your blog has to look or sound a certain way. Allow your unique voice to come through, and the rest will settle on its own.

This is a guest post written by Amber Burns. Amber is a junior at Temple University majoring in Strategic Communication with a concentration in public relations and minoring in Spanish. She serves as one of the Assistant Firm Directors for PRowl Public Relations. She also serves as the Vice President for Temple University’s PRSSA chapter. This summer she interned for Philadelphia’s Independence Seaport Museum as their PR and Marketing Intern. Amber also runs a personal lifestyle blog called, And Yes To Joy, where she blogs about college, goal setting, and life tips.