Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society (PBPRS) is Back! All hands-on deck
By Monica Peters
President, Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society
It took a minute, but we are here—our very own conference celebrating us.
“PBPRS is back. I like the work you are doing,” emailed Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society member Leslie Patterson-Tyler who is the Director of Media Relations and Communications for the Kimmel Center.
On June 16, 2017 8 a.m. to noon at the Liberty View at Independence Visitor Center, Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society, will hold our #PowerPR: Strength in Excellence, The Power of US. The inaugural annual half-day conference via speakers and panel workshops, will empower and provide communicators, executives, brand managers, students and entrepreneurs the skills they need to be competitive and continue to execute excellence in their profession. The conference is for all—both PR and non-PR professionals.
Attendees will hear from top leaders in the field and leave with practical and expert public relations knowledge that will help them heighten the visibility of their personal and business brands–and also excel in their professions in the corporate world.
We are also presenting a student with a $500 scholarship as well as honoring those doing exceptional work in the community.
Executives such as Kimmel Center’s Leslie Patterson-Tyler, John Brazer, Director of Publicity of the Philadelphia Phillies, Diana Torralvo, Director of Community Relations and Communication for NBC10 and Telemundo62 and Jennifer Francis, the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications for the Philadelphia Museum of Art and more will participate as panelists.
This conference is important for several reasons. Perhaps Kenny Johnson, Coordinator and Community Engagement for the Philadelphia Phillies, and moderator for the event’s Breaking into PR panel says, it best.
“It is important for young, diverse professionals to acquire and hone their skills in effectively communicating their ideas, and using their available tools and resources to reach others,” says Johnson.
“The Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society Conference is a great resource for these professionals as it gives them an opportunity to connect with industry leaders from a variety of different fields.”
Our chapter was founded in 2000 and is still going strong. The national chapter was founded in 1998. Fast forward to 2017, the field of Public Relations has grown exponentially in ways we could have never imagined. This is especially true in Philadelphia where Black public relations professionals and entrepreneurs are plentiful.
Any person with a laptop or a mobile device can run a full business operation minus the brick and mortar. It is now the norm.
“It’s important to have groups like these that leverage the Black voice in a professional landscape and present the opportunity to join a supportive network,” says PBPRS member Tiffany Weber who is also the Senior Marketing Manager at the Independence Visitor Center.
“I am honored to be a member because it gives me the pleasure of connecting with the elite in my field.”
Weber will be a panelist at the conference’s Travel and Sports PR panel.
As President, the feedback has been plentiful from members, employers and even community members on how we can be of value and foster collaboration.
Urban Affairs Coalition, our fiscal agent, has been helpful in providing our financial administration and believed in us.
Upon taking the reigns in May 2016, Urban Affairs Coalition, informed me that in actuality our chapter had few financially paid members or active members in the prior few years or so.
I must admit that information was daunting–a painful reality check.
However, I and fellow PR professionals still believed in the importance of African-American communicators having a support network and wanted to re-engage former members and bring in new ones who have never interacted with our organization.
To reach a new audience, and re-engage previous members, the membership enrollment process was digitized. You can now become a member or renew your membership online at bprsphilly.org–or go the old school route and send the application via mail.
Our organization is for everyone from the in-house public relations professional to the entrepreneur to community members. If one thing is true, especially in this age of social media, it is important that everyone master the art of PR savvy.
Our membership is steadily increasing. Our members are students, entrepreneurs, in-house PR professionals and from the radio industry for a snaphshot view.
The past year we had a pre-Democratic National Convention mixer at South Restaurant, a televised community roundtable, a crisis management workshop and more.
Our organization is not relevant if we do not engage with the community.
Stephanie Humphrey, a tech-life expert who is a contributor to the nationally syndicated Harry Show hosted by Harry Connick Jr. and a frequent guest on NewsOne with Roland Martin on TV One, to name a few, is an example of this. Humphrey will receive the President’s Communicator of the Year award for her work in the community.
Humphrey is driven by the sole purpose of connecting people, particularly those underrepresented in technology, with the tech know-how to transform their worlds.
“This award proves to me that I’m doing something worthwhile with my God-given talents and I couldn’t be more proud to accept it,” says Humphrey.
“Supporting this conference is showing support for the very existence of the organization itself,” continued Humphrey.
Our engagement with the community makes a difference especially in the lives of youth that normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to have contact with us.
Dan Rhoton, Executive Director of Hopeworks ‘N Camden will accept the President’s Award for Organization of the Year. He knows first-hand the importance of PBPRS reaching out to those in the community. He and youth from Hopeworks will be in attendance at the conference.
“One of the greatest challenges facing our youth is not technology training, and it is not even finding a job, says Rhoton.
“Too often, the greatest challenge for our young people is finding a mentor and a support network as they begin their careers. The PBPRS provides that support network, not only for our youth, but for many professionals throughout the region. At Hopeworks, we often say, “You can’t be what you can’t see!” PBPRS shows our youth what is possible.”
How to Break into PR (8:15 a.m. -9 a.m.)
- Diana Torralvo, Director of Community Relations and Communication, NBC10 and Telemundo62
- Leslie Patterson-Tyler, Director of Media Relations and Communications, Kimmel Center
- Jennifer Francis, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Moderator Kenny Johnson, Coordinator, Community Engagement Philadelphia Phillies
Social Media–(personal and business branding, handling crisis) 9:15 a.m.-10 a.m.
- Victoria Mason, Founder & President of Black Bloggers United, Inc.
- LiRon K. Anderson-Bell, Director, Media and Digital Marketing of WURD Radio; Pres. of The PR Glow Up
Travel and Sports PR (10:15 a.m.- 11 a.m.)
- Mary Flannery, Public Relations Manager, spokeswoman for Philadelphia International Airport
- John Brazer, Director of Publicity, Philadelphia Phillies
- Jenea Robinson, Senior Media Relations Manager of VISIT PHILADELPHIA
- Tiffany Weber, Senior Marketing Manager of Independence Visitor Center
Keynote Speaker/Awards Presentation: 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
- Monica Peters, Strategic Communications professional, Pres. Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society
- PBPRS Scholarship recipient (TBA)
- Organization of the Year: Hopeworks ‘N Camden (Dan Rhoton, Executive Director accepting)
- Communicator of the Year: Stephanie Humphrey, tech expert, educator and contributor to the Harry Show
Networking: 11:30 am to noon
#PowerPR: Strength in Excellence, The Power of US conference, Friday June 16, 8 a.m. to noon at The Liberty View Ballroom at Independence Visitor Center, 599 Market St., Philadelphia. Tickets are $70 for PBPRS, NBPRS, NABJ and PRSA members and UAC Coalition Partners, $85 for non-members, $50 for students. For information or to register visit bprsphilly.org or philablackprconference17.eventbrite.com. Registration ends 6/15.