Home » Chapter Chat » July 2019

President’s Report

Martha GastonDear Members,

It’s summer, which means the Pepperpot Awards are drawing closer (the awards ceremony is Tuesday, Nov. 5, in Center City – mark your calendars!).

In the coming days you’ll receive more information about the Pepperpots submission process, including updated entry categories for 2019. Recently, the executive board took time to re-examine the long-standing award categories and compared our chapter’s categories to those for the PRSA Silver Anvils to see what should be updated, added or scrapped. I believe the resulting entry categories better reflect the current and future state of our profession, including a broader emphasis on “owned” communications such as brand journalism and making less distinction between mediums such as television, radio and print.

An important part of the Pepperpots is the opportunity to recognize individuals in our community who make a difference in our profession, and we rely on you to nominate deserving PRSA Philly members for these five awards.

Each year, PRSA Philadelphia names recipients of the following five awards:

  • Anthony Fulginiti Award for Commitment to Education
  • Maxine Elkin Award for Distinguished Service
  • Frank X. Long Award for Excellence in Writing
  • DeAnn White Award for Excellence in Community Service
  • Anne Sceia Klein Award for Professional Promise

I encourage you to go to Philly.org to learn more about these awards and how to nominate a colleague or to reach out to me or another board member to submit worthy individuals.

July also brings another tradition: The PRSA NJ/PRSA Philly Senior Pros Shoot-the-Breeze Roundtable. This is a great opportunity for professionals with 15 or more years of experience to gather and discuss issues in management, communications and more with a small group. The event will be on July 25 and I highly encourage anyone who qualifies to join in at AKCG-Public Relations at their new offices in Glassboro, N.J.

Read on to learn more in our July Chapter Chat!

Martha A. Gaston, APR
PRSA Philadelphia President

Welcome New Members

Please join us in welcoming our newest chapter members!

Alyssa Bonventure

Account Executive, Public Relations

Cashman & Associates

Stephanie Curci

Director of Marketing and Communications

Family Services of Montgomery County

Shai Reichert

Meet the Board: Ryan Sheehy-Cox, APR, Programming Chair


By Michele Besso, Public Relations Director at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and PRSA Philly Communications Committee member


What is your current job title and responsibilities?
Chief Executive Officer at SHEEHY strategies, a Phoenixville, PA-based full-service public relations agency specializing in breakthrough branding, community building, digital marketing, media relations, social engagement and thought leadership. As an accredited PR pro, I have nearly 20 years of industry experience. I am currently overhauling my website, SHEEHYstrategies.com. I also created SheAdvocates.org to be a conduit for individuals who suffer from untreated mental illness and addiction, homelessness, domestic violence and human trafficking.

What is your previous work history?
I served as chief marketing strategist at CONRIC PR & Marketing in Fort Myers, FL; as a writing coach for Florida’s top-ranked MBA program at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College; as an adjunct lecturer in public relations at Texas State University; and as an instructor of advertising & public relations at the University of Central Florida. I was even a publicist for SeaWorld!

What do you like most about your current job as CEO of your own firm?
I like the freedom to do what’s best for my clients without corporate restraints and to retain clients for whom I believe I can make a significant impact. I also like acquiring talent who are both skilled professionals and have the tenacity to erupt through their own personal creative boundaries.

Where do you hope to take programming in PRSA?
I want to create an extraordinary lineup of impactful professional development offerings. I want to see growth and more involvement of the programming committee and a new generation of professionals taking an active role in the chapter programming. The next program, “Industry Insights with Greg Matusky,” is scheduled for Tuesday, July 30 at 6 p.m. in Ardmore, PA. Exciting programs are also planned August, September and October – stay tuned!

How long have you been a member of PRSA?
I have been involved with PRSA since approximately 2009-10, starting with the PRSA Orlando chapter. I also served as Director of Accreditation for PRSA Austin (2014) and became PRSA Philadelphia’s Programming Chair in 2018/19.

What do you enjoy most about PRSA Philadelphia?
I enjoy being an active leader in one of the top media markets in the nation and being centrally located between some of the most influential markets in the world. PRSA Philly’s chapter openness allows me to deliver programs and events that have worked incredibly well in other major markets (i.e., Austin, TX and Orlando, FL), and have PROVEN exceptional membership engagement.

What made you want to join the board?
As a newbie (a resident for two years this September) to the market where I now call “home,” I wanted to help shape the future of our industry while delivering best practices in public relations.

Why should someone invest themselves in PRSA?
I have made some of my very best friends and colleagues through my involvement with PRSA. Naturally, these relationships have also led to extraordinary business opportunities. It’s the best of both worlds.

What is your educational background?
APR; MA in Corporate Communication from Rollins College; BA in Advertising and Public Relations from University of Central Florida (Go Knights!)

What do you do in your spare free time?
My husband and I have an adorable new puppy, Tucker, (he’s got a sizable Instagram following, @TuckerinPhilly), so I’m taking advantage of the gorgeous summer nights of Philadelphia by way of the golden doodle. In addition to family time, I am actively involved in my church and with the Junior League of Philadelphia.

PRSA NJ and PRSA Philadelphia Senior Pros Shoot-the-Breeze Open Roundtable

Please join your fellow South Jersey and Metropolitan Philadelphia area senior (15+ years of experience, please) PR and communications professionals in Glassboro, NJ for a Shoot-The-Breeze Open Roundtable. Attendees get to choose the topics we’ll discuss. So come prepared with the senior pro-focused issues around which you’d like input and assistance from your fellow senior PR-Communications professionals.

Space is extremely limited, so please register today!

WHEN: Thursday, July 25, 8:00 AM–10:00 AM

WHERE: AKCG-Public Relations Counselors
121 West High Street
Glassboro, NJ 08028

PRICE: Members $15, Non-Members $25

SCHEDULE:

This month, join PRSA Philadelphia to gain valuable insights from one of Philadelphia’s PR elites, Greg Matusky. As president and founder of Gregory FCA, Matusky will share his views on:

– Vital skills to advance one’s career
– How to successfully transition into management
– The current state of the PR industry and what it means to you
– How to build a breakout National PR firm in Philadelphia.

Hosted at Gregory FCA’s offices in Ardmore, this program is a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with colleagues while learning how to further your career.

About the presenter

Greg Matusky is president and founder of Gregory FCA, the region’s largest public relations firm and the 48th largest PR firm in the country. A former business writer whose work has appeared in Inc., Forbes, and Success magazines, Matusky founded Gregory FCA from the basement of his home in 1990. Today, Gregory FCA employs 82 professionals and serves clients worldwide by focusing on impacting the value of an enterprise through effective storytelling and high-value media relations.