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News Cycles Faster Than Ever – Here’s How We Keep Up – June 2020 Newsletter

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A Message from Larry Ceisler

The torrent of news is quicker than ever. This newsletter reflects that.

I’m proud of our team – a collection of professionals working with me and our COO, Kate Wilhelm, who keep their eyes on the outside world. Knowing what’s going on in our community, our state and our country makes us better able to serve our clients.

In this newsletter, you'll see many of our people reflecting on all that has occurred in the last month. I have a piece offering my thoughts on the recent Pennsylvania primary and where politics is headed.

Managing Director Kurt Knaus clarifies how the pandemic has impacted politics in Harrisburg. Senior Associate Drew Murren takes a different look at the capital city – and the conflicting protests going on there.

Special Projects Manager Larry Miller reflects on recent protests and explains why the needed social change must come from both political parties.

Director Meredith Montalto writes a humorous piece we all can relate to, on seeking that balance of business and family while working from home. Krystal Bonner, our Director of Digital & Creative Services, notes how the pandemic has injected certain clichéd language into every ad and conversation.

And Keegan Gibson, Special Projects Manager for Western PA, smartly outlines disputes between reporters and management at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which came to a head over coverage of the protests.

There really is a flurry of news out there. That’s why we at Ceisler Media have put more focus on our media monitoring efforts. You’ll see a fine explainer here from Senior Associate Courtney Accurti.

We’ve got updates on our clients as well. Give it a read and let me know your thoughts.


Larry Ceisler

Principal, Ceisler Media & Issue Advocacy


Update on our Cherished Friend and Colleague, Kirk Dorn

I’m delighted to report Kirk returned home in early June after undergoing a heart transplant at Johns Hopkins back in March. As I told our staff, though Kirk has a new heart, he never lost heart – his resolve has been tremendous. Our gratitude goes out to Kirk’s terrific family, and we all look forward to catching up with our friend.

– Larry Ceisler


Our Viewpoints

Larry Ceisler on the State of Pennsylvania Politics

What’s the upshot of the recent Pennsylvania primary? Why did it take so long to count the ballots? Why did several incumbent Democrats lose their seats? Larry Ceisler offers insight on what’s happening right now.

Pandemic Alters Business as Usual in Harrisburg

Managing Director Kurt Knaus notes how COVID-19 has led to odd times in the capitol. Still, that hasn’t made things any less confrontational.

Just Relax, Folks. We're All in This One Together

Director Meredith Montalto muses on the stresses, and joys, of balancing client requests & potty requests while working from home during the pandemic.

In These Most Trying Times, Clichés Provide Comfort

Krystal Bonner, our Director of Digital & Creative Services, says the “new normal” has communications repeating the same trite phrases.

On Harrisburg Streets, a Need to Confront the Truth

Capitol rallies supporting “Black Lives Matter” carry more meaning than those demanding to open golf courses, writes senior associate Drew Murren.

We’re Keeping Ceisler Media’s Clients in the Loop

As the volume of news becomes a waterfall, our media monitoring skills cut through the clutter, says Senior Associate Courtney Accurti.

In Pittsburgh, a Newspaper at War With Its Readers

The Post-Gazette’s clumsy call to pull a black reporter from protest coverage over a tweet angered staffers, subscribers and advertisers, writes Special Projects Manager Keegan Gibson.


Miller's Musings

Bipartisan Bravery is Needed to End Our Racial Pandemic

Both parties share blame for problems in minority neighborhoods. Special Projects Manager Larry Miller offers ways a bipartisan effort could improve things.


Client News

Comcast NBCUniversal

In response to recent events fueling discussion and protest over structural racism, Comcast NBCUniversal is developing a comprehensive, multiyear plan to allocate $100 million to fight injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability. Direct cash and in-kind donations will focus on social justice, employee programs, awareness and education via its media networks, digital equity and small businesses.

In a demonstration of its commitment to digital equity, Comcast announced that through the end of 2020 it will provide 60 days of free service to new, eligible Internet Essentials customers. Comcast will also continue to waive, through the end of the year, the requirement that customers not have a past due balance with Comcast to qualify for the free offer.

Learn More

PHL Emergency Insurance Support Initiative

To help small businesses recover from damages of recent events or the impact of COVID-19, Councilman Allan Domb partnered with the West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative and the Barrister's Association of Philadelphia to launch an initiative providing volunteer lawyers and insurance professionals to help impacted businesses open their doors. Any impacted Philadelphia business can call Domb’s office to talk with experts and find out what's covered in their insurance policies, how to file claims or how to sift through the jargon of the policy.

Read More

Housing Authority of Baltimore City

The Housing Authority of Baltimore City partnered with legendary hip hop group the Sugarhill Gang on the latest aspect of its “Everybody is at Risk” COVID-19 prevention campaign. Using one of their most well-known hits, the Sugarhill Gang worked with HABC to remind residents to wear facial coverings and adhere to other CDC and Health Dept. recommendations, like social distancing, to stop the spread of COVID-19. The pioneering music group lost one of its own members, Rob “Da Noize” Temple, in April after he contracted the virus.

Watch Here

Healthy Relationships Curriculum

In an effort to help educators navigate the challenges of virtual learning, the Healthy Relationships Curriculum is offering free lesson plans, videos and resources. The curriculum is now used by more than 20,000 educators in more than a dozen states. It is designed to teach critical life lessons and social skills to adolescents and young adults who have special needs.

Learn More


Client Highlights

We're delighted to have brought together our client, Entercom Communications, with our friends at the PA 30 Day Fund. Listen to this spot, which ran on KYW-AM, highlighting the fund's great work in helping build back Philadelphia after the coronavirus and recent looting.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania clients have been using innovation and technology to fight the battle against COVID-19. In this column in the Centre Daily Times, President and CEO Stephen Brawley writes how an investment in innovation-focused small businesses is essential to PA's health and economic recovery.

Beloved Camelot Education Schools’ administrator Deb Singley retired this month after leading the Camelot Therapeutic Day School of the Quad Cities (Moline, Ill.) since 2014. The Quad City Times wrote a feature story on her surprise retirement parade. Deb was the visionary behind Camelot Education’s expansion into the Quad Cities, building the school from serving six students with exceptional needs at the beginning to almost 100 today.

Amid the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chester Housing Authority moved swiftly to make necessary changes and implement precautions to its procedures -- ensuring that residents and staff remain safe, informed and connected. The work, which serves as a model for other agencies, is highlighted in this video.

The Women’s Community Revitalization Project, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities, held a rally in Dilworth Plaza on May 28, calling on the Kenney Administration to uphold its commitment to provide $120 million to the Housing Trust Fund. Councilmembers Jamie Gauthier, Kendra Brooks and Derek Green spoke in support of affordable housing.


In the News

After the looting in the wake George Floyd's death, CNN's Michael Smerconish, a friend of Ceisler Media, ran a feature visiting Jeff Brown, CEO of Brown's Superstores. Mr. Brown is the owner of two ShopRite supermarkets that serve impoverished neighborhoods in Philadelphia that were ransacked during the events.


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