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Philly Chapter 70th Anniversary  PRSA Philly

News / Articles

June 2021

Published on 6/8/2021

It’s finally June and that means summer is just around the corner! It’s also my birthday month, although who really gets excited about growing another year older--am I right?!

As Covid-19 restrictions are lifted across the Philadelphia-region, and we are able to safely meet, we look forward to hosting more of our events in person. For now, though, please enjoy two upcoming virtual programs that address important topics for many PR practitioners: crisis communications and communicating about the vaccine rollout.

On June 16 at 12 p.m., during “Surviving a Crisis and Choosing the Right Spokesperson,” media trainer and Emmy Award-winning former TV news anchor Kerry Barrett will walk you through everything you need to consider when selecting a spokesperson for you brand or client. A crisis can strike at any time--significantly impacting your company’s operations, brand reputation, and community goodwill. During this event, Kerry will talk about how to prepare to quickly and accurately communicate about what happened, why it happened, and what you’re doing to address it. This event is sponsored by IABC Philadelphia and PRSA Philadelphia.

On July 13 at 6 p.m., during “Communicating About the Vaccine Rollout: A Fireside Chat with Moderna’s Corporate Communications Director,” Colleen Hussey, Director of Corporate Communications at Moderna, will discuss developing a communications strategy for the vaccine rollout, challenges faced during the process and learnings from this experience. We hope you will join us for these events!

Later this summer, as we ease into in-person events, we are excited to host a PRSA Philly Happy Hour on July 27 at 6 p.m. at Independence Beer Garden in Philadelphia. It is free for all attendees! 

Lastly, be on the lookout for a membership survey coming your way in the next week or two. Please take a few minutes to share your feedback. We want to make sure you are getting the most out of your PRSA membership and look forward to hearing from you. As a bonus--all survey respondents will be entered into a drawing to win a special prize!

I hope you all have a wonderful month and please always feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns at or
Michele Besso
President, PRSA Philadelphia

Upcoming Philly PRSA Events

June 16, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Surviving a Crisis and Choosing the Right Spokesperson
A crisis can strike at any time and destroy your company’s operations, brand reputation and community goodwill. It could happen in a flash or bubble under the surface for months or years. Either way, you need to be prepared in advance to quickly and accurately communicate about what happened, why it happened and what you are doing to address it. Join media trainer, and Emmy Award-winning former TV news anchor Kerry Barrett as she walks through everything you need to consider when selected a spokesperson for your brand or client.
Members: $10 | Guests: $20 | Students: $1

July 13, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Communicating About the Vaccine Rollout: A Fireside Chat with Moderna’s Corporate Communications Director

During this conversation, Colleen will discuss developing a communications strategy for the vaccine rollout, challenges faced during the process and learnings from this experience. Colleen Hussey is the Director of Corporate Communications at Moderna where she is responsible for external media relations, PR and social media for the company. Colleen joined Moderna in August 2019 and in this role, she helps tell Moderna’s story to external stakeholders.
Members: $5 | Future Members: $10 | Students: FREE

July 27, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Independence Beer Garden
Summer Happy Hour
Join PRSA Philadelphia for a summer happy hour and networking at Independence Beer Garden. Enjoy the nice weather and the chance to catch up with your PRSA friends and colleagues. All attendees will be entered into a raffle to win a free drink and/or snack of choice.
FREE for 
PRSA members, future members and students
J&J: A Crisis Contained
By Brittany Eifert, Assistant Account Executive at RPA Advertising
After nearly a year of a global pandemic filled with countless event cancellations, firm mask mandates, and ever-changing social distancing guidelines, there was finally hope for a return to normalcy with news spreading about vaccines. Covid-19 vaccinations became a reality for Americans in December 2020 and from there, the race to get vaccinated took off at warp speed.

Unlike the immediate release of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) rollout began in early March following its Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approved by the FDA in late February. Given that J&J existed as the first single-dose Covid-19 vaccine, there was excitement, and adversely, anxiety surrounding its launch. While some individuals looked forward to the “one-and-done” aspect of the vaccine, others feared that a single shot would not be as protective against the virus.

On April 13, J&J announced in a press release a pause in the use of its vaccine due to reports of some individuals who experienced adverse reactions after receiving the shot. There were six reported cases of individuals with a rare blood clot disorder who received the J&J vaccine (Johnson & Johnson). Per the recommendation of the CDC and FDA, J&J agreed to take precaution, administrate the pause, and further investigate the cases reported.

When it comes to crisis management, there are crucial steps that the parties involved must follow to prevent the consequences from ruining a company’s reputation. For J&J, these steps included responding immediately to, taking responsibility for, and finding a resolution to the issues at-hand. Within 10 days, J&J announced that its vaccinations would resume following approval from the CDC and FDA.

While the number of continued adverse cases reported remain miniscule in comparison to the millions of Americans vaccinated with J&J, the precautionary measures taken by J&J aided in containing what could have been a much larger crisis throughout our nation. The push continues to get most of the nation vaccinated by the summer. This includes acts of persuasion by companies and organizations offering incentives such as free food and beverage, complimentary tickets to future events, gift cards, and more for those who are just now considering the vaccine. In the Greater Philadelphia region, the Flyers and Phillies are promoting the J&J vaccine due its “one-and-done” convenience and offering free game tickets to its fans who receive the vaccination at their stadiums. Thanks to its exceptional crisis management team, J&J is prospering in its comeback as a go-to, single-shot Covid-19 vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson. (2021, April 13). Johnson & Johnson Statement on COVID-19 Vaccine (Updated).
Johnson & Johnson.

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:

Boost Reading With This Writing Structure
Live June 10, 2021 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST, On-Demand June 17
In this webinar, you’ll learn to construct a persuasive piece using a structure that’s been proven in the lab to grab readers’ attention, pull them through the piece and leave a lasting impression. 

PRSA Storytellers: Olympic and Paralympic Games: The Communications Opportunities and Challenges Surrounding the World’s Biggest Sporting Event
Live June 10, 2021 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. EST
In the latest PRSA Storytellers Session, communications insiders from Team USA, Olympic sponsors, global PR agencies, in-house sports brands and athlete representation will discuss the challenges of hosting a global event in the midst of a pandemic and how they’re building adaptable strategies leading up to the delayed event this summer.

Writing for the News in 2021: The AP’s 10 Classic Style Rules and 10 Updates You Shouldn’t Miss This Year
Live June 15, 2021 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EST, On-Demand June 22
In this 60-minute webinar, Colleen Newvine, product manager for the AP Stylebook, will take you through the essential writing rules for PR professionals.
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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.