Men in Communications Minute: Earl Harvey

harveyPublisher, Black Professionals News

Earl Harvey has been working in the field of marketing communications for over 25 years. He started Creative Source modeling agency in 1985 for ethnic models, one of only three minority owned modeling agencies in the country, and became an advocate for diversity in marketing and advertising. He employed 50 models nationwide and provided talent to the top marketing firms for promotions, advertising and fashion runway.
Earl was invited to join The National Alliance of Market Developers (NAMD), an organization of diverse consumer market professionals in 1995. They introduced the concept of diversity in consumer markets and are responsible for the introduction of ethnic advertising into the mainstream and the proliferation of black media. From there, Earl was President of the Philadelphia Chapter from 1996-2000 and served as National President from 2001-2004.

Under his leadership, the chapter quickly grew to the largest in the country, and was named Chapter of the Year for five consecutive years. Earl initiated a series of networking business card exchanges that became a catalyst for minority business development. He established the chapter’s “Buy Black Holiday Shopping Expo” in 2000, which has become an annual event for holiday shoppers encouraged by NAMD to support black-owned businesses during the holiday shopping season.

In 2001, Earl founded The Black Professionals Newspaper, which provides marketing and advertising assistance to the small business community and identify minority business supplier opportunities. The paper is an affordable way for small businesses and non-profit organizations to reach new consumers. The newspaper is the only minority-owned media outlet in Atlantic City and is distributed in Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey and Delaware. He is also launching The Atlantic City Times newspaper and, a website to showcase the history, culture and contributions of the African American community in Atlantic City.

Earl is the CEO of the Earl Harvey Media Group, a multimedia communications firm that promotes diversity in media, entertainment and marketing. The company produces multicultural programming and content for diverse consumers and advocates for the equitable distribution of corporate advertising and purchasing dollars to support minority vendors.

A native Philadelphian currently residing in Atlantic City, Earl’s family members have been in Atlantic City N.J. and Philadelphia, Pa. for almost 100 years. A graduate of Temple University with a B.A. in Communications, Earl is a member of the Temple University Black Alumni Alliance and serves on the board of NAMD, The Marian Anderson Historical Society and The Public Relations Council of Atlantic City. Active in many social and professional organizations, he has received community service awards from numerous local and national organizations and was recognized as one of the region’s most influential people by The Philadelphia Tribune newspaper.


Join us tonight as Earl Harvey moderates our info-packed panel of the most knowledgeable male communication pros in the area, at our annual Men in PR and Communications event from 6pm to 8pm at Clear Channel Radio, 111 Presidential Blvd, Suite 100, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. For more information, visit


Men in Communications Minute: Ryan Dennis

ryandennisRyan J. Dennis will offer his PR and multimedia expertise at our annual Men in PR and Communications event, happening tomorrow! This year’s theme, “How to Communicate Your Brand Through Entertainment and Social Events” will attract the who’s who in the Communications industry; you don’t want to miss it!

Interactive Content Manager, Skai Blue Media
Ryan J. Dennis is the manager of interactive content at Skai Blue Media, a multimedia public relations agency specializing in lifestyle, technology and fashion sectors. While studying broadcast journalism and digital media at Point Park University, Dennis received an apprenticeship and produced content for WBGN-TV. His production skills have led him to a successful career working in major media outlets including NBC, CBS, FOX, CW and the Pittsburgh Tribune.
From assigning stories during breaking news to producing live streams and web content, Ryan brings his passion for storytelling in the media industry. At Skai Blue Media, Ryan enhances client services and develops multimedia content. As the interactive content producer, Ryan promotes client events, creates videos, produces photo shoots, conducts media training and tackles the growing demands of social media.

Why Ryan was chosen as a Men in PR panelist:

Ryan brings a multimedia approach to event planning due to his extensive background in social media, photography, and video production.

Join Ryan and the rest of the panelists at our annual Men in PR and Communications event on Wednesday, May 22 from 6pm to 8pm at Clear Channel Radio, 111 Presidential Blvd, Suite 100, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. For more information, visit

Men in Communications Minute: Michael Morrow

MM_HeadshotMichael Morrow is a panelist for our upcoming annual Men in PR and Communications event! Michael has made his mark in the events and branding industry, making him a great fit for this year’s theme, “How to Communicate Your Brand Through Entertainment and Social Events.” Hear more from Michael and the rest of our panelists this Wednesday, May 22!

National Brand Manager, Philadelphia Status

Michael attended Millersville University and began studying marketing and advertising post-college. He shadowed several industry executives, read industry-specific literature and used the “try, fail, fix and try again” method.  While developing his marketing acumen, Michael recognized of the value of networking and creating long standing connections.  As a result, he fostered great relationships that developed into opportunities that set him on the path to where he is today. 

After spending several years trying to define and grow his business, Michael called upon his network of connections and created The Status Brand in 2010.  The Status Brand is an agency that focuses on weaving ambitious brands into multicultural communities around the country using creative advertising and strategic marketing. 

Unlike most agencies, The Status Brand owns and operates several online media outlets that attract and retain a consumer demographic that forward thinking brands are after.  The Status Brand currently operates in 17 markets: New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, Richmond, VA, Charlotte, NC, Columbia, SC, Tampa, FL, New Orleans, LA, Jackson, MS, Dallas, TX, Houston, TX, Detroit, MI, Houston, TX, Birmingham, AL, Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA. 

Why Michael was chosen as a Men in PR panelist:

Michael Morrow is one of the most powerful forces in Philadelphia’s nightlife scene.  With Philadelphia Status, he has created lasting relationships with some of the largest entertainment and beverage companies, attracting free concerts and other exciting events to the city.

See Michael and the rest of our panelists at our annual Men in PR and Communications event on Wednesday, May 22 from 6pm to 8pm at Clear Channel Radio, 111 Presidential Blvd, Suite 100, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. For more information, visit


Men in Communications Minute: Rashad Atkinson

Men in PRRashadRashad Atkinson will join the panel for our upcoming annual Men in PR and Communications event! One of the leading men in marketing and events, Rashad definitely has a lot to contribute to our theme “How to Communicate Your Brand Through Entertainment and Social Events.” Hear more from Rashad and the rest of our panelists on May 22!

CEO of Starpower Marketing and Co-Owner of Aura Nightclub

Rashad Atkinson has quickly evolved as a leading marketing consultant and manager for Philadelphia’s entertainment and nightlife scene. He is the co-owner of Aura RBL in Northern Liberties and co-owner of the leading edge Starpower Marketing Group. Rashad studied marketing and management at Delaware State University. Prior to expanding the capacities of Starpower Marketing group, Rashad was the marketing manager at Vault Nightclub in Old City.
Some of Rashad’s portfolio highlights include marketing specialist for Harrah’s Entertainment and All Star Weekend 2011, in Los Angeles. His celebrity roster for events include Jamie Foxx, Boris Kodjoe, cast members of VH1’s Love & Hip Hop, Lance Gross, Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Eagles and more. Rashad enjoys traveling and attending sports events in his spare time.

Why Rashad was chosen as a Men in PR Panelist:

Aura Nightclub has emerged as one of Philadelphia’s hottest nightlife venues. Rashad’s work has helped Aura become the premier location for exclusive product launches and celebrity meet-and-greets. 

See Rashad and the rest of our panelists at our annual Men in PR and Communications event on Wednesday, May 22 from 6pm to 8pm at Clear Channel Radio, 111 Presidential Blvd, Suite 100, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. For more information, visit

Men in Communications Minute: Brandon Pankey

Men in PR_BrandonP

Brandon Pankey will be a panelist at our upcoming Men in PR event! This year’s theme is “The Scene: How to Communicate Your Brand Through Entertainment and Social Events,” and Brandon’s work in the entertainment industry is a fine example of this. Learn a little bit about Brandon below and join us on May 22!

Account Manager, Sports and Entertainment Financial Group

Starting as an assistant to the Sports and Entertainment Financial Group president, Brandon Pankey has become one of the firm’s most valuable players. Pankey, 27, manages tours and finances for artists like Lil Wayne, Keri Hilson, Jill Scott and Drake.

Pankey and his partners have started Destined to Achieve Successful Heights, an initiative that aims to develop an entertainment industry charter school. “Too many young people want to be rappers, actors or athletes, not realizing there are so many opportunities behind the scenes,” Pankey says. “I push myself every day to grow and become someone remembered, in a positive way.”

Why Brandon was chosen as a Men in PR panelist:

As Philadelphia is on the rise as the go-to city for some of the hottest summer festivals, Brandon will play an integral role in planning the Roots Picnic and Philadelphia branding in local events that attract attendees from across the world.

See Brandon and the rest of our panelists at our annual Men in PR and Communications event on Wednesday, May 22 from 6pm to 8pm at Clear Channel Radio, 111 Presidential Blvd, Suite 100, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. For more information, visit

Scandalous! Our State of the Industry Event will feature Crisis Manager Pro and muse of ABC’s hit series “Scandal,” Judy Smith!

The second annual PR State of the Industry event, presented by PBPRS, PPRA and PRSA, is right around the corner and we are bursting with excitment! Taking place September 25 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, this year’s theme is “Reputation Management: Its Importance and Impact.”

Nationally known crisis manager Judy Smith will be the keynote speaker. Author of “Good Self, Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities into Your Biggest Assets”and the inspiration and subject of ABC’s hit show “Scandal,” Judy will share her insights and experiences that has gained her notoriety and landed her clients such as Monica Lewinsky, the Chandra Levy family and Michael Vick, to name a few.

And just when we thought we were overwhelmed with excitement to have Judy as the keynote, a few PBPRS gems will join the event as panelists for the various breakout panels! The event schedule is as follows:

7:30-8:00 a.m. – Registration/Networking/Continental Breakfast

8:30-9:15 a.m. – Corporate Philanthropy & Brand Management Breakouts

9:30-10:15 a.m. – Political Affairs & Non-profit Breakouts

10:30 a.m. – Noon – Keynote Speaker and Book Signing

Our very own Bruce Crawley will be a panelist in the Brand Management session, Dawn Roberts in the Non-profit session, Mellanie Lassiter in the Corporate Philanthropy session and Anita Lewis in Political Affairs. Confirmed moderators include Daily News Editor Mike Days, ABC Anchor Nydia Han, Philadelphia Business Journal Editor Craig Ey and Skai Blue Media President Rakia Reynolds.

Local media and PR pros, advice from a nationally sought-after crisis communications pro and awesome networking opportunities… Register for State of the Industry now!  Copies of Smith’s book will also be available for purchase at the event.

Like our Facebook page for a chance to win a ticket to the event or a signed copy of “Good Self, Bad Self.” Also, follow us on Twitter for updates, prizes and live tweeting at the event!

The Dangers of Mixing Politics and Branding (Chick-fil-A and Boy Scouts of America, take notes)

By Reggie Myers

Most brands try to steer clear of controversial topics such as sexuality, religion and politics.  However, as people increasingly evaluate brands based not only on their products or services, but also on the people delivering the products and services it can become increasingly difficult to steer clear of controversial topics or “play it safe,” even when it’s necessary.  In fact, playing it safe in today’s society can label your brand as boring, impersonal and socially unconscious.  Mixing your brand with controversy correctly can generate a positive uproar and grow your customer base, but mixing them incorrectly or unnecessarily can be a detrimental cost to your brand.

There are two brands that recently hurt their images when they carelessly mixed their branding message with “politics”: Chick-Fil-A and Boy Scouts of America (BSA).  Chick-Fil-A’s president, Dan Cathy, recently said the organization was “guilty as charged” in response to rumors that the franchise has supported conservative organizations against marriage equality.  He then went on the Kenneth Coleman Show, an independent online radio program, and continued to explain his views, going as far to say that he thinks America is “inviting God’s judgment” and says our generation has “a prideful and arrogant attitude” for its growing support of marriage equality.  Meanwhile, BSA recently told the press it was reconsidering its ban on LGBT members and leaders that was put in place almost two years ago. They announced two weeks ago that they would not revise their policies.

In light of these statements, both Chick-Fil-A and BSA have faced protests and boycotts.  Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is vowing to fight the opening of any Chick-Fil-A in the city, Equality Illinois is organizing a nationwide protest, and The Jim Henson Company (best known for The Muppets) severed its ties with the company.  The BSA is facing similar problems.  Eagle Scouts, who oppose the ban, are returning their medals to BSA in protest. Multiple petitions also have surfaced to put pressure on the organization.

On the other side, Gap and Ray Ban have benefitted from politicizing their brands.  Gap recently released ads to target the homosexual communities as a part of their “Be One” campaign. Ray Ban also joined the movement with their “Never Hide” campaign, featuring a homosexual couple, in what appears to be the 50s or 60s, walking down the street while holding hands. Reactions to these ads did not create much fanfare, which can be seen as a reflection of the times. However, these brands maintained their popularity and strengthened their customer base when they mixed politics with their brands.

What’s the difference between Chick-Fil-A and BSA mixing politics with their brands versus Gap and Ray Ban’s outcomes? The answer lies not only in their message but how it was incorporated.  Chick-Fil-A and BSA spoke about sexuality issues that deemed a particular preference or orientation wrong, without taking into consideration that people with that orientation or preference are indeed an integral part of their audience and consumer base, while Gap and Ray Ban made sure clearly demonstrated that they have a working knowledge of their constituency and a respect for differences.

How do you determine whether or not it’s safe to mix controversial topics and politics with your brand? When deciding whether to mix or not mix, consider the  following:

  1. Know your audience.  Always be aware of your target audience and its demographics.  What hurt Chick-Fil-A’s and Boy Scouts of America’s brands was being unaware of who their audiences were.  According to a new Gallup survey, half of Americans support marriage equality.  This means there is a good chance many of these companies’ supporters and customers are a part of the LGBT community or support the LGBT community.  By politicizing their brands without conducting the proper research, Chick-Fil-A and Boy Scouts of America alienated a surprising (for them) number of consumers and supporters who do not support their views.
  2.  Be aware of how your actions reflect on your brand.  Dan Cathy’s statements about marriage equality would have undoubtedly caused controversy, whether he was speaking on his personal behalf or the behalf of his company, because his views are increasingly unpopular in society.  However, it would have done less damage to Chick-Fil-A’s brand because he would have been speaking and supporting conservative groups as a citizen and not as a representative of Chick-Fil-A.  The blatant issue is Dan Cathy saying that Chick-Fil-A supports traditional marriage, and the use of Chick-Fil-A profits to support conservative organizations that are against marriage equality.  As a result, the increasing supporters of marriage equality may choose not to dine at Chick-Fil-A because they do not want their money going to causes they do not support.
  3.  Whatever position you decide to take, show respect for differences.  To be clear, this does not mean to forfeit your beliefs.  It means you should not alienate or offend your audience who may disagree with you when mixing politics with your brand. Chick-Fil-A failed to do this when its president went on The Kenneth Coleman show to make his comments about inviting God’s judgment onto America and how he feels redefining marriage has affected his job as an employer.  His comments show an unwillingness to recognize the opinions of people who oppose his views, alienating his audience.  Gap and Ray Ban, however, have shown their respect for differing opinions.  Both brands included a variety of couples in their campaigns so their audience can identify with one of the many representations throughout their campaign.

As one of my favorite PR professionals Kelly Cutrone says, “If you’re going to get in the ring, babe, you better know how to box.”  This statement doesn’t mean simply knowing how to throw a right hook.  It refers to how to communicate, what the rules are and what the potential consequences may be, and what strategic approach or style to use in a given situation.  The same applies to politicizing your brand.  The decisions you make and the positions you take with your brand can stay with it forever. Do your research and have a working knowledge of your audience; your brand and image depends on it. 

About the blogger:

Reggie Myers is a Temple University student from New Jersey.  He is an aspiring public relations and event planning professional.  Reggie is set to graduate from Temple in January 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications.  You can find out more at

Health Partners Event, Created by PBPRS Members, Wins National Award

Health Partners recently received a Cultural Competency Award from the Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) Center’s for Best Practices for its annual Crazy Praise Dance Showcase and Health Fair. The annual event was created by Health Partners’ Senior Community Relations Specialist Tasyhra Ayers and Communications and Public Affairs Supervisor Felicia Phillips, both PBPRS members.

The Crazy Praise Dance Showcase and Health Fair is a faith-based event that was developed as a creative way to educate Health Partners members while utilizing the opportunity to promote healthy living through dance. The free event attracts thousands of people annually and is comprised of a pre-showcase health fair and performances by praise dancers from local churches in the Greater Philadelphia region and some of the top artists in the gospel industry.

Health Partners, a not-for-profit health plan, received the Cultural Competency award at the MHPA Best Practices Awards Forum in Washington, D.C. MHPA is a policy and advocacy national trade organization which supports the needs of Medicaid managed care organizations (MCO) across the country. The MHPA Center for Best Practices is a subsidiary which highlights the member MCO’s that creatively control costs, as well as improves access and delivery of quality health care for its members. This national award recognizing outstanding cross-cultural programs was among several categories presented by MHPA for innovative best practices that improve the health of Medicaid beneficiaries.

PBPRS commends Felicia, Tashyra and Health Partners for their continuous success in promoting healthy lifestyles in minority communities. Congratulations on this national recognition!

The Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society Announces New Leadership Team and Advisory Board

PHILADELPHIA, June 1, 2012 –The Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society (PBPRS) has announced its new leadership team, who will serve a two-year term starting June 1, 2012 to 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 organization while ensuring our members receive support from the organization and the community,” states Darisha 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.

  • Board Chair and Immediate Past President, Shalimar Blakely
  • Immediate Past Chair, David Brown
  • Board Members 
  • Nichole Badger, Esq.
  • Anita T. Conner, CPA, MST, CFP
  • Bruce Crawley
  • Anita Lewis
  • Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake
  • William R. Miller, IV
  • Jamila Patton
  • 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 Shalimar 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, 2012 at the Kimmel Center. RSVP for this free event here:

About the Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society (PBPRS):

The Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society is committed to serving as an advocate, a resource and a venue for African-American public relations practitioners and professional communicators throughout the Philadelphia region. Please visit for additional information.

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Man in the Mirror: Kevin Parker

Philly Fashion Week co-founder, runway coach and stylist Kevin Parker will be the moderator at our Men in PR event, themed “Man in the Mirror: The Role of Personal Image and Style in Media”

Kevin Parker is also co-founder of the noted Philadelphia Fashion Week & FBH Modeling Agency. Philadelphia’s top runway coach, Kevin has trained over 900 models since 2005 in events such as Sensationnel Hair Idol, six seasons of Philadelphia Fashion Week and FBH Agency & FBH Modeling School. Kevin, along with business partner Kerry Scott, is also a fashion designer of the Tarantula Brand.

Kevin has dedicated his life to fashion by grooming quality models and creating a platform for stylists, models and designers to showcase their talents in front of industry insiders. His skills are multi-faceted; ranging from makeup artistry, hair styling, wardrobe styling and event producing.

FBH’s Philly Fashion Week attracts over 5,000 people annually through fashion show events, mixers and seminars. Philadelphia Fashion Week events reach the vast market of fashion designers, stylists, makeup and hair stylists and various fashion industry executives in Philadelphia and vicinities.

Why PBPRS chose Kevin to moderate Men in PR:

Kevin has created an avenue for style and fashion in Philadelphia, and has branded Philadelphia Fashion Week to possess a national notoriety. It goes without saying that this man knows about style and its prevalence in Philadelphia.

To see Kevin Parker discuss style and communications with the rest of our panelists, register for tonight’s event here: