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Philly Chapter 70th Anniversary  PRSA Philly

News / Articles

April 2021

Published on 4/10/2021

Well we’ve made it – spring is here! I hope you’ve all been enjoying the warmer weather and the change from heavy jackets to short sleeve shirts!
We have a terrific program happening on Tuesday, April 13, Diversity in the Newsroom: A Fireside Chat with The Philadelphia Tribune’s Interim City Editor Sharyn Flanagan. The virtual event starts at 6 pm and we hope to see you all there – it’s FREE for PRSA and PRSSA members and only $10 for “future” members, so tell a friend to join you! Diversity in the newsroom is a critical topic and continues to grow in importance as readers demand transparency and coverage that represents differing viewpoints. The fireside chat, moderated by LiRon Anderson-Bell, assistant professor of instruction, advertising and PR at Temple University, and Sharyn, will discuss the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive newsroom and the role PR professionals and journalists play in shaping unbiased and culturally competent news. It’s certainly a timely topic and I hope there will be much discussion generated during the course of the evening!

Here at PRSA, we have stimulating programs and opportunities to network scheduled throughout the next few months. Keep checking our website as our events calendar is updated. And as always, take advantage of the FREE webinars offered through PRSA national – it’s a great way to learn a new skill, catch up on industry trends and apply the knowledge gained to your career.

As always, please reach out to me if you have any questions, suggestions or just to say hi at or

Michele Besso
President, PRSA Philadelphia

Upcoming Philly PRSA Events

April 13, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Diversity in the Newsroom with The Philadelphia Tribune’s Interim City Editor Sharyn Flanagan
Sharyn Flanagan, Interim City Editor at The Philadelphia Tribune, will delve into best practices for creating a diverse and inclusive newsroom and share her experiences from her time at The Associated Press and USA Today.
FREE for Members | $10 non-member

April 29, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Join Philly PRSA for a virtual beer tasting with Yards Brewing Company. Attendees will have the opportunity to taste four different beers and hear from the founder of Yards about the company’s product development processes, how marketing/communications decisions are made, and learn more about the founding of the company and the beer. Tickets are limited and available to Members only. Tasting kits are included and will be available for pick up at the Yards Brewery (500 Spring Garden St. Philadelphia).
$5 Members Only

May 10, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. 
Building Resilience in the Workplace and During the Job Hunt
In this challenging environment, it’s difficult to feel motivated and connected; however, there are techniques that can help you build resilience in the workplace, whether remote or in person, and during the job hunt. Learn more about building resiliency with Dr. Michael Gotlib, Psy. D., Clinical Psychologist and Organizational Wellness Facilitator. 
FREE for Members | $5 non-member

May 19, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Resume Review Workshop
Following our resiliency in the job search and workplace event on May 10, PRSA Philadelphia will be holding a resume review workshop for students transitioning to the workforce, professionals looking to change careers, or anyone who just feels their resume needs sprucing up! 
Meet Our Members: A Chat With PRSA Member Sarah Maiellano
In addition to being active with PRSA Philadelphia, member Sarah Maiellano also helps run a private Facebook group for Philly PR pros to share tips, jobs, client leads, and more. Started with fellow moderators Nina Scimenes, Bev Volpe, and Jaime Martorana six months ago, the group has an active membership of close to 200 members. Join Here! Answer all four prospective member questions and introduce yourself once you've been approved. The group prioritizes respectful conversation, open sharing of helpful advice and tips, and keeping confidential information within the group.

Hi Sarah, tell us about your “other” day job and your title/responsibilities?
I run my own communications consulting business, Broad Street Communications. I do PR and writing for non-profits, small businesses and other agencies. I'm also an independent journalist, covering food and travel for local and national publications.

How long have you been working in PR -- give us a little bit of a work history?
I've been in PR since 2008, when I lived in Washington, DC. I also worked at the National Restaurant Association in the government affairs department. I'm a Philly native though, so I came home in 2015 and ran the communications department at The Philly POPS for a few years. In 2018, I started both my family and my business.

What do you like about our industry and being a PR professional?
I love telling stories and helping those stories reach people. I get excited about finding a news hook that helps me tell my clients' stories. I love being able to place a story about an amazing person that no one would have heard of otherwise. Having an article published about you can be a life changer and I'm excited about making that happen for people.
When did you start your PR Facebook group and why? What are the goals of the group?
I started Philly PR Pros during the pandemic, when networking had evaporated. My business was growing and I needed to be able to connect with and learn from fellow PR practitioners. I couldn't believe we didn't have an active online forum already in place, so I asked a couple of friends to become moderators and we launched the group. The goals are sharing information, answering each others' questions, celebrating successes, and helping people find jobs and clients. I prioritize confidentiality because I've been burned in online groups, so we carefully review each prospective member to make sure that they are based in Philly and are actually working in PR. We avoid politics, will delete anything scammy or spammy and insist on polite conversation.
What other boards/organizations are you involved with?
I'm involved with PPRA, having been a board member from 2017-2020. I'm now on the external affairs committee and am going to help with the new PPRA Foundation. I'm also volunteering with the Greater Philadelphia Film Office and recently volunteered to help America250PA, which will commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the United States in 2026.
What is your educational background?
B.A. in Political Communication from The George Washington University

Why did you become a member of PRSA? What do you most enjoy about your involvement in the organization?
I won my first Pepperpot this year! I enjoyed the process and wanted to get involved with the organization. I'm still new, but am looking forward to programs that will help me do my job better.
What advice would you give to budding public relations professionals?
Join local groups and volunteer on their committees. It's the best way to meet the people who will come to be your network -- those that will send you job openings and help you navigate the current media landscape. Treat journalists with kindness and care. Being demanding or passive aggressive is never going to get you anywhere. Talk to reporters like you would a colleague or friend. Do things that make you nervous! Moderate a panel, ask someone for a favor, launch a business. You'll be glad you did!
PR Institute’s Purpose-driven PR Initiative
By Melanie Wright, PR Institute Chair and Director of Strategic Communications & Business Development, Ainsworth Communications
Now more than ever, consumers, employees and other stakeholders, demand to know what a brand stands for - and against - rather than just what it does or sells. They are paying real attention to how companies’ position themselves regarding social & environment issues.

The PR Institute is an annual professional development program that helps participants enhance their professional skills and to create comprehensive and data-driven strategic plans for real-life clients. Final plans combine advertising, PR, social and digital media business solutions for maximum communication impact.

What sets PRI apart from most professional development programs is the opportunity for participants to compete on mock-agency teams that provide over $150,000-worth of pro bono consulting services for mission driven organizations that address societal and environment issues in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Some of PRI’s clients have included Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girls on the Run, Runwell, A program of Caron Treatment Centers, Hope Partnership for Education, Finding Shelter, Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, Child Advocates, Ralston Center and The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia.

Purpose-driven organizations look to PRI teams to help increase awareness and visibility for their cause, generate recognition for their work, connect with key audiences, and amplify the voice of the organization.
Pro bono work provides PRI participants with opportunities to give back to the community, but there are other, less-recognized career benefits that stem from pro bono work. Participants gain experience, confidence, connections, and visibility both inside and outside their agencies. Purpose can drive innovation in business and boldness in communications. Many PRI participants gain greater visibility, client-management, entrepreneurial and leadership skills. Many participants discover that they find true fulfilment not only from doing what they enjoy, but also in serving a bigger mission.
At Philly PRSA, we're working on building a virtual-based PRI program. Stay tuned for updates. 
Resources and Events Available to Members
Visit the PRSA National Professional Development page to see the latest webinars and workshops available free, or at a reduced cost, to members. Coming up soon:

The Burgeoning Latinx Influencer Market
Live April 15, 2021 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST
A discussion on digital trends in influencer marketing through the lens of one of the nation's fastest-growing demographics.

PRSA Storytellers: Leading with Ethics and Accountability in Higher Education: The Role of Public Relations
Live April 20, 2021 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST
More than ever, ethical leadership is needed as higher education institutions grapple with multiple threats to their missions, reputations, relationships, and viability. The pandemic, budgets, politics, and demands for racial and social justice within and outside of the academy are straining institutions in ways they have not experienced in decades. 

Bandwidth, Operations and Capacity Planning During a Pandemic and Beyond
Live April 21, 2021 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST
In addition to running an agency, over the past year, Shauna Nuckles, founder of Advocation, has worked intimately with PR agency owners, helping them navigate the operations, project management and workflow challenges that came with running a business during a global pandemic. During this masterclass, she’ll share the top opportunities for agencies to improve today’s common bandwidth issues.
Love your PRSA Membership? Encourage a friend or colleague to join today!
Learn more here
PRSA Job Board
For those of you who may be in the hiring position, we hope that you will 
submit your openings as they become available so we can share them with our
community of PR and communications professionals.
If you are on the job hunt yourself, check out our local chapter listings.
We also encourage you to visit the PRSA National job board.