Philly Power Woman

Blazing A Public Relations Trail Keeps This Professional's Drive Ignited

“We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.” ~Sonia Johnson

Philly PR Girl is a full-time public relations firm based in Philadelphia for event planning, social media management, marketing and promotions. Owner Kate Marlys is a solid example of determination that makes a difference. She's planned, facilitated and attended hundreds of networking events. With an emphasis on organic branding and powerful online communications, Kate's enthusiastic team assists nonprofits and businesses of all sizes, on both a local and national scale.

They deliver the following services:  event planner, influencer collaborations, multimedia design, brand refreshing, search engine optimization, social media, public relations, foundation management and professional athlete public relations. 

Kate says most of the firm's clients can be categorized as entertainment, health and beauty, hospitality, nonprofits and professional organizations. 

West Chester Lifestyle asked Kate for some insights into the current domain of public relations.

The Philadelphia Building
1315 Walnut St, Suite 1119
Philadelphia, PA  19107
By Appointment Only

Public relations can be used to protect, enhance or create reputations. Please share your definition of PR by today's standards.  
To me, PR is all about connections. Knowing the right people to connect your clients to, and creating meaningful partnerships is what it's all about.

You started Philly Girl PR in 2012 after blogging about Philly's special events since 2010. In what major ways has your business environment and tools changed since then? 
Oh, not only has my business changed majorly over the years, but so has PR and digital media. Instagram wasn't even around when we started. Now digital media and PR go hand in hand. That's why social media is a core service we offer at Philly PR Girl. We love social media!

You state that you're in the business of building relationships. During the COVID-19 pandemic, what new strategies did you use to keep relationships going?
In the beginning of the pandemic, we started an Instagram live series called "On The Stoop," where I interviewed guests live on Instagram from my stoop in South Philly. I think I'll actually be bringing that back; it was a lot of fun and a great way to stay connected to our audience. 

How do you think the pandemic permanently altered the way we all expect to socialize and connect for business purposes? 
Honestly, it's still all about the video conference call. Although I miss having meetings in my office, it's just more convenient to hop on a video call, and it's much more intimate than a regular phone call. 

As a public speaker about the importance of networking, what do you think most people get wrong about networking? What do most people do well when it comes to schmoozing?
So, it's not just about networking, it's about the follow up. If you met a great connection at an event, did you send them a follow up email? Connect with them on LinkedIn? Follow them on Instagram? Yes, it's a lot of work, but you made an effort to meet them. Don't forget the importance of following up. 

Social media has been called the new department store this year. What's your favorite part about social media?  
I love learning about new products, companies and individuals doing good things in the world that I might not have discovered. TikTok is actually great for that. 

As a result of social movements that the U.S. (and the world) experienced in 2020, people are more culturally aware than ever before. Consumers are analyzing the companies they do business with to see what their stance is on public issues, which often thrusts companies' spokespersons or executives into the limelight. What leadership qualities do you look for in potential clients?
I try to only work with companies that I connect with. To publicize your client the right way, you really have to believe in their mission. I learned this early on in my career, and it's a core principle in my company. Believing in who and what you promote motivates you to work harder for them. 

Consumers demand authenticity these days. How do you prepare clients to deliver authentic answers to hard questions?
Oh yes, I coach my clients on how to answer questions because that's what publicists do, but I always advise them to be true to themselves and tell the truth. 

Disinformation is at an all-time high. As PR pro, how do you take an active role in clarifying and correcting misleading tidbits about your clients?
This goes back to connections, if you know the media you know who to reach out to right away if something misleading was published. I work hard however to relay proper information and facts to the media. 

Any new services you plan to launch by year's end or next year?
We're always looking for ways to expand our services. We're doing more digital marketing campaigns and website designs than ever. It's fun to get the team together to collaborate on creative projects like this. We all enjoy it! 

What's your favorite element of working within PR? 
Throughout the years, I've seen PR make a major difference in some of the small businesses I helped launch. Seeing a client succeed means so much to me. I also love working with nonprofits and planning events or fundraising campaigns that help expand their mission and cause. With events being back, I'm really looking forward to doing more of this soon.

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