What Movies, TV – and Oprah – Tell Us About Our Business
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A Message from Larry Ceisler
It’s always interesting—and sometimes perplexing—to watch your own profession portrayed in movies or TV. I’m sure doctors and lawyers watch shows about their jobs and think, “It doesn’t work that way at all.” Sometimes I feel the same. This newsletter takes a fun look at how media portrays aspects of what we do at Ceisler Media. Director Michael Rodriguez writes about five of his favorite examples of movies or TV shows showing coalition building, issue advocacy or messaging. As Michael notes, our colleagues are “not always portrayed as knights in shining armor,” but the depictions are certainly entertaining. Speaking of entertaining, Senior Account Executive Alison Burdo pans the hit British TV show “Flack,” which depicts a celebrity crisis management expert working in a style that, well, we would never operate. Senior Vice President Kirk Dorn watched Oprah Winfrey’s recent two-hour sit-down with Prince Harry and Meghan and came away seeing important lessons for any high-profile person facing a challenging interview. You’ll also read an insightful—and slightly scary—blog on the future directions of social media written by Digital Associate Sharky Thomas. And there’s a fun list of useful blogs, podcasts, websites and social media platforms that our staffers find helpful in performing their jobs. Take a look. You may find them helpful as well. Finally, with most of us cocooned over the last year, we thought it would be fun to show our “Zoom rooms” (even though we use the Microsoft Teams platform)—the view we’ve all had of each other since last March. Here’s hoping that all of us will soon get out of those rooms and again meet in person. We’ve got interesting news about our clients, and a note about our COO & SVP, Kate Wilhelm, joining the Forum of Executive Woman. I’m very excited for Kate. Give it a read and let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you.
Digital Associate Sharky Thomas foresees more content sharing, worldwide chatter and... computer-generated celebrities.
We asked members of the Ceisler Media team to cite sources they read, listen to or follow for work. Here are some of their favorites.
Larry Ceisler in the News
With the 2022 race for one of Pennsylvania’s seats in the US Senate starting to percolate, Larry Ceisler’s expert political opinion is being sought out. In this piece for ABC News, Larry explains how the Democratic nominee for the seat will need to follow Pres. Biden’s lead in connecting with moderates, while the Republican seeking to replace Sen. Pat Toomey must make inroads in the suburbs.
And in this Philadelphia Inquirer article, Larry notes that supporters of Democratic candidates John Fetterman and Malcolm Kenyatta regard them very differently, even if their ideologies may appear similar.
Philadelphia teachers and school staffers began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations in February through the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The world-renowned children’s hospital was chosen to coordinate vaccination distribution for city education workers, first at CHOP’s Roberts Center and eventually at six other school sites around the city.
In an effort to support small, minority-owned businesses, Comcast launched Comcast RISE last year to equip small business owners with free media consulting services and technology makeovers. Of the first round’s 700 winners, more than 160 are located in the Greater Philadelphia Region (meet one here). Philadelphia and Chester small business owners were also able to apply to the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, which will provide direct grants of $10,000 each to 500 companies in five cities.
Cheyney University celebrated its 184th Founder’s Day in February, which included a touching tribute to recently deceased legendary men’s basketball coach John Chaney. The virtual event was highlighted by accolades from former women’s coach Vivian Stringer and several men who played under Chaney during his tenure from 1972-82.
Entercom’s Vice President of Social Impact Sarah Harris wrote about how audio and local news is essential in rebuilding trust in American institutions. Civic education is a key pillar of “Entercom Serves,” the company’s social impact program.
It’s been a year since COVID-19 changed our lives, and Maggie Feinstein has some advice: cut yourself some slack and give grace to others, too. She sees the “Anniversary Effect” annually as Director of 10.27 Healing Partnership, the organization that helps commemorate the October 27, 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The term refers to complex feelings that a calendar date evokes in those who’ve suffered trauma. And because of the pandemic, she writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, she sees signs of it everywhere. Read More
Mayra Linares-Garcia, VP of Public Affairs and Communication, was honored by “NYC Celebrates Women” for her “dedication to enriching and elevating women and communities of color.” Learn more here about Mayra and her work driving community impact across Liberty Coca-Cola’s territory in Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey.
Ceisler Media is proud to support the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance (PCA) 2021 Bear Affair, the organization’s most important annual fundraiser. This year’s event will be a virtual cocktail party and silent auction on May 6 to raise funds for the critical work PCA does every day to provide care and healing to victims of child sexual abuse and their families. Featuring personalities from the Philadelphia Eagles and amazing auction items, it’s a can’t-miss event! Visit Bear Affair for tickets and more details.
Nonprofit Future Works Alliance PHL hosted its inaugural event, “Women, Work and COVID: The Future is Still Female.” The event featured trailblazers from leading technology companies brainstorming and presenting pathways for employers to offset the detrimental effects the “pink recession” is having on our regional economy and ensure that advances made toward achieving workplace gender equity are not erased. Technical.ly Philly compiled the speakers’ suggestions for employers – such as permanently adopting the flexible and remote working schedules that many companies adopted during the pandemic.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recently published a letter to the editor by Keystone Votes’ State Coordinator Ray Murphy supporting the newspaper’s call to improve Pennsylvania’s vote-by-mail system. Act 77 made great strides in modernizing our elections, yet as Keystone Votes points out, there are small, commonsense fixes that almost everybody agrees on, and officials should work to make these changes to vote-by-mail and other election processes.
The Trust for Public Land’s Pennsylvania Director Owen Franklin explained the link between your ZIP code and extreme heat on the “Everything’s Changing Podcast.” Franklin also discussed the #HeatResponsePHL project and work being done to address urban heat in Philadelphia, partnering with community organizers and artists in Fairhill, Grays Ferry and Southeast Philadelphia to elevate voices around this social equity issue.
Through its partnership with The Ecology School in Maine, Nestlé Waters is extending a free educational opportunity for K-8 science teachers. The Teacher Institute for Watershed Science and Conservation, sponsored by Poland Spring, is a four-day, hands-on professional development program for teachers to learn more about ecology and how to inspire the next generation to participate in the STEM fields. This leading-edge Institute will take place over the course of four days in August, both virtually and at The Ecology School’s 105-acre riverfront farm in Saco, Maine. Interested educators should complete the Next Steps form on the website.
Following guidelines from the CDC and state and local health experts, Belmont Charter Network has reopened in-person instruction for about 60 percent of its K-12 students. The network recently had the opportunity to discuss its safe reopening measures with the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Maddie Hanna.
The Chester Housing Authority (CHA) is taking part in “Priority: Delco Thrive,” connecting people from across Delaware County to help struggling businesses that have suffered during the pandemic. The initiative calls for residents across Delaware County to support one small business each month with at least a $20 purchase. First up on Sunday, March 21: the Red Brick Café, located in CHA’s William Penn Homes at 514 W Union Street.
Congratulations to Ceisler Media COO & SVP Kate Wilhelm for being named to the Philadelphia Chapter of the Forum of Executive Women, a group working to increase the number of women in leadership roles, expand their impact and influence, and position them to drive positive change in the region. Kate first partnered with the Forum more than a decade ago when she was Executive Director of the Fairmount Park Conservancy, working on “Women for the Water Works,” a more than $8 million campaign to restore the South Garden and Cliffside Paths of the Water Works behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art. “The project was led by Leslie Anne Miller in honor of Ernesta Ballard, an ardent feminist from Philadelphia,” Kate recalls. “Leslie led a group of more than 100 women to complete this project as Ernesta's legacy. To join the group now is an honor and privilege. It also shows me the power of mentorship to support and expand the number of women executives eligible to benefit from the offerings of this esteemed group.”
It’s been a while since we at Ceisler Media have had the chance to share ideas in our conference room, bond over a cup of coffee or head out to lunch together. Like you, our view of each other has all been through computer screens. We’re hoping that all changes soon. Meanwhile, here are some of the favorite “zoom rooms” of our team.
Congratulations to former Associate Laura Frank, who has been named director of the Jewish Community Relations Council. Laura joined the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia as a public relations manager in 2017. She said her interest in working for Israeli advocacy and the Jewish community was sparked by a project with the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs during her time with Ceisler Media.
Former Ceisler Media Manager of Social Media & Digital Strategy Gabby Richards has joined the National Advocacy and Communications team at BerlinRosen, the New York City-based communications and campaign strategy firm. Gabby most recently served as communications director for US Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.) and was also the co-author of the House Democratic staff letter asking the Senate to vote in favor of convicting Trump in his impeachment trial earlier this year.