The Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society (PBPRS) has announced its new leadership team, which will serve a two-year term starting this month. The new president, Darisha K. Miller, is the director of media relations for Ross Associates Inc. Miller has served as PBPRS vice-president for the past two years, along with the Immediate Past President Shalimar Blakely. Blakely, president of A Peace of PR, will now serve as chairperson of the PBPRS Advisory board.
“It was important for us to put together a team that could continue to move PBPRS in the right direction,” said Blakely. “The organization is now in a great position that will allow us to focus on building a strong and active membership base.”
Miller has appointed Vincent Thompson, principal of Thompson Mediaman Communications, to serve as PBPRS vice president. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Merck Arts Education Center and Gallery was the site of the PBPRS annual membership celebration on Tuesday evening for about 40 guests.
“We should be proud that an innovative, bold, energetic group of professionals have survived these challenging times. It definitely hasn’t been easy,” noted Miller. PBPRS, which has recently entered into a partnership with the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC), provides PR professionals with a venue for professional support and development. Miller pledged the organization’s continued support of young up-and-coming PR professionals.
Founded in 2001, PBPRS is also making an effort to include more men in the group, and views the induction of Thompson as an extension of their campaign to equalize the gender discrepancy. “I’m a role model for other African Americans who need to see someone like me,” said Thompson. “The second thing is I uphold the legacy of African Americans who have done this before me, so that I can do what I do.”
During the ceremony, PBPRS bestowed it’s first-ever President Awards to radio personality Patty Jackson, newsman/activist J. Whyatt Mondesire, outgoing Channel 10 news director Chris Blackman and PR specialist David Brown.
“If I could leave you with one thing: I think the thing that has sustained me is having a good attitude,” said Jackson, who is celebrating her 30th radio anniversary. “I’ve seen them come, I’ve seen them go — you got to have a good attitude and you’ve got to love what you do.”
Mondesire recalled his legacy as one of the original founders of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalist (PABJ), who now owns the Philadelphia Sun newspaper, and is president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP.
“As a founder of PABJ in the ’70s, I know the benefit that comes from African Americans working in concert,” remarked Mondesire. “So, as the head of the oldest civil rights organization — 103 years old this summer — I’ve seen it. What we have to do is manage that relationship.”
For more information about the Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society (PBPRS), visit www.pbprs.com.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —In a Democratic National Convention that featured memorable speeches by first lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton, the nation’s first African-American president, Barack Obama, spoke to the American people Thursday night about his first-term accomplishments, and urged voters to elect him to a second term on November 6.
The threat of rain, thunder and lightning during an outdoor speech was the reason the Democratic National Committee and the Obama for America campaign decided to move the speech from the 73,000-seat Bank of America stadium into the smaller 20,000-seat Time Warner Cable Arena, where the first two days of events were held.
Obama for America campaign spokesman Tom Reynolds told the Tribune an estimated 65,000 people from all around the nation were expected to see Obama speak at Bank of America stadium, and another 19,000 people had standby tickets.
In an effort to please the thousands of potential voters who were disappointed they could not see Obama speak in person in Charlotte, the president participated in a conference call Thursday before his speech to thank supporters. Obama supporters around the nation, including thousands in Charlotte who had tickets, saw the speech at watch parties or in their hotel rooms.
Pennsylvania Democratic Chairman Jim Burn said Pennsylvania’s electoral votes are key to Obama’s chances of winning the election. He said in order to win, the state party must continue to stress the president’s record over the past three and a half years of job creation (including 29 straight months of national job growth) and saving the country from the possible worst fiscal collapse since the Great Depression.
“African-American voters are as important to Pennsylvania turnout and the success of President Obama as any of our bases,” Burn said. “Sure he (Obama) has a lot of work to do. Every campaign is like a snowflake — there are no two identical campaigns. Most Pennsylvanians, and most Americans, have already made up their minds about who they’re voting for. It’s all about the ground game now, and all about voter turnout. There is nothing in this Republican ticket that is conducive to African-American voters voting for it.”
The delegates to the convention from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware are leaving Charlotte fired up about the final weeks of this year’s campaign and ready to go do everything possible to re-elect President Obama and homegrown Vice President Joe Biden, a Delaware senator and Pennsylvania native. Biden also gave a speech accepting his vice-presidential nomination right before the president’s speech.
Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, the wife of Philadelphia State Sen. Vincent Hughes, attended the convention with her husband. She says she cannot fathom that any African-American would vote for Romney over Obama.
“Don’t look at me with your Black self and ask, ‘Why should I support the brother?,’” Ralph said. “Stop that foolishness about sitting this thing out. If you’re confused about who to vote for, vote for Barack Obama. What are you going to do? Give your vote to Mitt Romney by voting for nobody? That is madness.”
“Brothers and sisters in the beauty shops and the barber shops know when the okie doke is being played on them,” Sen. Hughes added. “ They know what’s up. We just have to act now like we got some sense and send the message out. When the president says ‘Do you have my back?, we need to stand up and say “yea brother, we’ve got you back and we’re going to stand with you and we’re not going to stand for this foolishness.’”
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who delivered a speech yesterday, said a Romney administration would be a disaster for the nation.
“To Mitt Romney, education is a luxury,” Nutter said in prepared remarks. “ As governor of Massachusetts, he vetoed universal pre-K. In his first year, K-12 schools saw drastic cuts that lead to teacher layoffs. He failed his students. Whose values do you want in the Oval Office? I know who Philly wants, who Pennsylvania wants, and who you want — President Barack Obama.”
Philadelphia City Councilwoman Marian Tasco, a delegate to this year’s convention, said now that the Democratic and Republican conventions are over, it is a two-month sprint to Election Day to convince Pennsylvanians and Philadelphians to vote for Obama and Biden.
“I think the public will understand that he (Obama) needs the next four years to complete his agenda,” Tasco said. “From day one, the Republicans made up their minds they weren’t going to do anything to help the president succeed. They don’t want him, and it is personal. I just have to say it — I just think it is outright racism.”
The Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society (PBPRS) has announced its new leadership team, who will serve a two-year term that began June 1 and will run until May 31, 2014.
The new president, Darisha K. Miller, is the director of Media Relations for Ross Associates, Inc. Miller has served as PBPRS vice president for the past two years, along with the immediate past president, Shalimar Blakely. Blakely, president of A Peace of PR, will now serve as chairperson of the PBPRS Advisory board. Miller has appointed Vincent Thompson, principal of Thompson Mediaman Communications, to serve as PBPRS vice president.
“As a premier communications organization we are working to promote an innovative team while ensuring our members receive support from the organization and the community,” said Miller.
“I’m excited to work in this capacity and with community partners to provide a positive business environment and learning experience for all.”
PBPRS’ new advisory board will serve the same two-year term.
Blakely is the new chair. David Brown is the immediate past chair. Board members include Attorney Nichole Badger; Anita T. Conner, CPA; A. Bruce Crawley; Anita Lewis; Rev. Lorina Marshall-Blake; William R. Miller IV; Jamila Patton and Dawn Angelique Roberts.
PBPRS, who has recently entered into a partnership with the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC), provides PR professionals with a venue for professional support and development.
“It was important for us to put together a team that could continue to move PBPRS in the right direction,” states Blakely.
“The organization is now in a great position that will allow us to focus on building a strong and active membership base.”
The new team will be introduced during the PBPRS Annual Membership Celebration, taking place June 12 at the Kimmel Center.
Experts say the public should expect a more aggressive President Barack Obama in tonight’s presidential debate, as he works to recover from a widely panned performance in the first one and tries to reverse the gains made by Mitt Romney.
“He has to give a good performance tomorrow,” said political consultant Maurice Floyd. “There was just a big disappointment in his [first] performance.”
That Obama performed miserably in the first debate is one of the few things not up for debate – the president himself apologized to supporters after the Oct. 3 event.
“I think it’s fair to say I was just too polite,” he told radio host Tom Joyner last week, adding that he would not make the same mistake in the next debate. “We’re going to take it to him.”
How well Romney was served by his win remains less certain. He did see a slight increase in his poll numbers in the days following the debate, but as the second one approaches, that bounce appears to be receding.
Both men have two remaining chances to deliver their messages through debates before voters head to the polls on Nov. 6. The first is at 9 tonight. That will be followed by the final debate at 9 p.m. Oct. 22.
Each of the three politicos who spoke to the Tribune used the word aggressive to describe how Obama has to appear. But,he has to do it in a balanced way, all three agreed.
“Romney’s strategy was very calculated in the first debate, but in the second debate he’s going to have to be prepared for a more aggressive Obama,” said Vincent Thompson, owner of Thompson Mediaman Communications.
Inevitably, this meeting will be compared not just to the first presidential debate, but also to last week’s vice presidential debate in which Vice President Joe Biden flayed Paul Ryan in a way that cheered Democrats but evoked ridicule from many Republicans.
Obama has to be similarly aggressive, but must also be careful not to evoke comparisons to the “angry Black man” and possibly alienate wavering independents.
“That was part of the problem that he had in his last performance,” said Floyd. “He has to show that he is strong, but he has to be more presidential.”
During tonight’s debate and the next, both men will have to focus on wooing independents.
With the heavily partisan atmosphere of this election season, most voters – polls suggest – have already made up their minds. Most estimates indicate that roughly 7 to 9 percent of voters remain undecided.
“The central focus of this debate isn’t his base,” said Seitu Stephens, adjunct professor of political science at Cheyney University. “He has to convince independent voters that came out for him in 2008 that he’s still the correct pick for them.”
The format for this week’s event differs from the first one in that it is a town hall-style debate, meaning that the questions will come directly from the audience. That will change the candidates’ approach and interest as well.
“The questions are from actual voters so you’ll see the American public will be more focused on it than on the last presidential and the vice presidential debate,” Stephens said.
That may help Obama, who typically polls higher in likeability than Romney, added Thompson.
For undecideds, the final debate, coming so close to Election Day, will likely have the most influence, Stephens said.
“The third debate has more influence on independent voters and on who best riles up their constituencies,” he said.
Floyd and Thompson pointed out that for many voters who have already made up their minds, it will be political entertainment.
Thompson noted that in 32 states voters are already voting – Ohio and Florida, two crucial swing states, among them. That changes the dynamic on Election Day, as many votes will have already been cast, and highlights the importance of voter turnout.
Thompson had a few words of advice for the Obama campaign in terms of local turnout.
“My recommendation is to pay the street money,” he said. “They need to make sure that the party operations are galvanized and organized.”
It is something the Obama campaign declined to do in 2008. Failure to do so again – in the face of increased voter apathy – could change the results on Nov. 6, Thompson said.
“If you lose because he didn’t want to spend money … what’s the point?” he said.