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Stepping Up, Staying Home and Standing Out - April Newsletter

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A Message from Larry Ceisler

First off, I want to continue to extend my best wishes to you and your family during these uncertain times. I’m heartened at how well Americans are actually rallying together by staying apart. I look forward to when we can all gather again.

At Ceisler Media, we are grateful to clients who’ve stuck with us through rocky economic waters. We appreciate your commitment. Your communications may have changed – at least for the short-term – and our team is adept at creating the right message for the moment.

No business decisions are easy these days. We understand the difficult positions of those clients who’ve had to step back for the moment, and look forward to working with you again.

Many of us find ourselves busier than ever right now. Everyone is working harder and the days seem to be going quicker. With the day-by-day rapid changes in the world, businesses must sprint to keep up.

Our own efforts now include pro bono work to support efforts around the coronavirus with the PHL-COVID 19 Fund, Philadelphia City Council, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and other exemplary groups.

I’m proud of how our team has adapted. Ceisler Media has been moving toward telecommuting for a while, so we are taking full advantage of platforms like Zoom and Slack to stay in constant touch – as work colleagues and as friends. We still see the same issues as many of you – user error with mute buttons, children or pets in the background – but we understand that is just part of these times.

This newsletter contains a great list of coronavirus resources provided by our clients – as well as some positive, heart-warming ventures that they’ve initiated.

You’ll also get my latest take on the political scene as we head through a unique election year.

David Huppert, a bright young associate, offers an insightful look at how Philadelphia-area media have served as an essential resource during the pandemic and produced top-flight reporting.

And please read about four talented people we’ve recently hired at Ceisler Media. As we look forward to better times, our firm continues to grow.

So stay safe – and stay in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

Update on our cherished friend and colleague: Senior Director Kirk Dorn continues to make progress from a heart transplant he received on Mar. 25. Kirk is receiving excellent care at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital. Kirk, his family and all of us at Ceisler Media appreciate your well wishes.


Larry Ceisler

Principal, Ceisler Media & Issue Advocacy


How Do We Run an Election During the Pandemic?

As campaign 2020 has taken a back seat to the coronavirus, Principal Larry Ceisler examines the logistics of a November vote, the effect of the pandemic on the national and local races and the impact of Sen. Bernie Sanders dropping out.



Through the pandemic, many Ceisler Media clients are providing helpful aid and resources for the community. Here is a partial list:

Independence Blue Cross is covering and reimbursing its members’ costs (including co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance) for the COVID-19 test and its administration when performed at a physician’s office, urgent care center or emergency room. For more on the services Independence Blue Cross is offering click here.

Comcast NBCUniversal and Telemundo launched their 2020 Census Campaign on National Census Day – April 1 – in the midst of the pandemic. This cross-company effort aims to lower barriers to online participation for the nation’s first ever digital census. This is one component of the corporation’s comprehensive response to support Americans as they adjust all aspects of their lives, from completing their census to helping their kids learn remotely.

Philadelphia Councilmember Allan Domb has encouraged 14 local and national bank executives to sign onto a plan allowing people financially impacted by the pandemic to put a pause on making mortgage or small business loan payments. If you are a homeowner or business owner, Domb recommends calling your bank as soon as possible.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners joined Gov. Tom Wolf to launch the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal. Along with the Department of Community and Economic Development and other partners, Ben Franklin will help identify, match and assist manufacturers and distributors to help meet crisis demands for medical supplies.

With kids home from school and many parents’ work life in upheaval, the stress on households can be a huge challenge right now. The Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance offers tips for helping families avoid getting overwhelmed while homebound.

Philadelphia Children’s Alliance updated its website to include articles on guidance in protecting children from abuse during times of increased vulnerability, as well as lists of fun activities and helpful resources during the COVID-19 shutdown.

FS Investments, hasn’t let COVID-19 get in the way of its balanced work environment. The company holding weekly virtual workout, yoga, and health classes for employees, as well as resources for working efficiently at home, mental health resources for stress reduction and resources for working parents.



Difficult times often bring out the best in people and organizations. Here are some exemplary donations and activities by Ceisler Media clients that we believe deserve a salute:

Wesley Family Services has focused on providing many of its behavioral health and therapeutic support services for children, adults and families through telehealth services. One of Wesley’s creative arts therapists designed this video to help guide parents while talking to their kids about the pandemic. A Pittsburgh news anchor shared it on his Facebook page.

Walmart is providing assistance to community organizations and non-profits across Pennsylvania. Those who have received generous donations include Veterans Leadership Program, Victory Christian Church’s Food Outreach Program, the Best of the Batch Foundation, New Hope Ministries’ Food Pantry Program, Mercy Life Center’s Homeless Outreach Program and Veterans Place on Washington Blvd.

As Asian-Americans have faced increased harassment during the outbreak, The Immigration Hub has emphasized positive stories about communities coming together. Two sisters in Pittsburgh, daughters of Vietnamese immigrants, used their connections in the community to collect personal protective equipment from Vietnamese-owned nail salons and distribute it to frontline healthcare workers. An op-ed on the effort and the need to pull together ran on TribLIVE, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s website.

When the husband of Darlene Homa, former President of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists was hospitalized with heart problems, Darlene and her family knew they had to cheer him up – even if social distancing kept them from an in-person visit. She and her grandchildren made large signs of cheer that could be seen from Mr. Homa’s sixth-floor room.

The Chester Housing Authority is hosting a biweekly fresh food distribution at the Ruth Bennett Community Farm. Every other Thursday from noon - 2 p.m., residents will be able to pick up a free box of food, which include items such as spinach, carrots, beets, potatoes, fruit and eggs.

The Housing Authority of Baltimore City is distributing free meals to residents of its communities. All the meals are being prepared and served in a clean, healthy environment with city partners to ensure the safety of residents, families and staff members.

Entercom’s four Pittsburgh radio stations raised enough money to purchase 1.5 million meals during their “Feed the Need” radiothon on April 14. The stations teamed up to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in an effort to help displaced workers using the Food Bank's emergency drive-up distribution, as well as other area food pantries.

Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, his wife Aileen and their family pledged $5 million to buy laptops that will go toward virtual learning in the Philadelphia School District, where about half of students don't have a home computer.


Ceisler Media Hires First Digital Director, Adds Three Others to Our Growing Team

Ceisler Media is proud to announce the hiring of Krystal Bonner as the firm’s first Director of our Digital and Creative Services team, as we focus on further expanding our expertise in digital media moving into the future.

Krystal will oversee all social media content, web design, branding, video, and graphics work, as well as paid campaigns, social listening, and other online tactics that work together to form an integrated campaign strategy.

She comes to us from the office of Gov. Tom Wolf, where she most recently served as Chief Digital Officer.

Also joining the firm are Alison Burdo (Senior Associate), Julia Wolf (Graphic Designer) and Shannon McLaughlin (Associate). We’re enjoying getting to know them on Zoom – and look forward to when we can all work together under one roof.


Ceisler Media Viewpoints

During a Troubled Time, Local Media Excels

Ceisler Media Associate David Huppert examines how Philadelphia-area print and broadcast media are covering the pandemic. He finds that both performance and ratings are up.

Welcome to your New Job – Now Stay Home

Ceisler Media's newest Associate, Shannon McLaughlin, describes starting her new role at home in the midst of the pandemic.

Crisis Communications Rules Apply During Pandemic

In chaotic times, proactivity and transparency remain as important as ever. Associate Director Anthony Campisi offers advice on COVID-19 crisis communications.


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