Veteran Reporter Walt Hunter joins forces with Bellevue Communications Group for new media training initiative

Hunter will use his expertise to develop media training protocols for businesses, gov’t agencies, police departments, fire departments and EMT’s

walt-hunter-jpegPHILADELPHIA (September 20, 2016)— Bellevue Communications Group announced today that it has formed a strategic partnership with veteran reporter Walt Hunter to provide media training and media protocols for police departments, fire departments, and emergency responders. Hunter, who retired from CBS3 in May, served 44 years in the TV industry—36 of them as an Investigative Reporter for CBS 3 Eyewitness News and spent 29 years as a volunteer firefighter.

“Walt Hunter is one of the best television journalists in Philadelphia and across the country,” said Kevin A. Feeley, President of Bellevue Communications Group. “With his expertise, and our skilled media training seminars, Bellevue will offer the most comprehensive, real-life, media training programs in the country.”

Hunter spent 44 years covering police departments, fire departments and emergency responders in the Greater Philadelphia region.  He has received multiple awards including 16 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards, the most recent being the 2014 Emmy for “Crime News.” Hunter has been inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame and this month he has been presented with the Media-Life Time Achievement Award from the Local 22 Philadelphia Firefighters and Paramedics Union as well as the VIDOCQ Society Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor. He will also be honored with the Board of Governors award at the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Emmy awards September 24th.

“I’m eager to teach the best practices and to use my own experiences to help,” said Hunter.  Whether you are a business or government leader, firefighter or police officer, the reaction during the first critical moments after an incident will make a huge impact on a business, agency and the people you serve.  The media landscape continues to change dramatically with social media and cellphone videos.  Our media training seminars will prepare anyone for handling stressful, crisis situations.”

For decades, Bellevue Communications has offered media training seminars and reputation management services to corporate clients in the banking, defense, hospital, legal, academic and utility industries. The company also has a crisis communications division to help individuals and corporations when an emergency occurs.  This partnership will focus on agencies that face emergency situations on a regular basis and come in contact with the media and the public.

About Bellevue Communications Group

Bellevue Communications Group is a full-service public relations firm specializing in media relations, crisis communications and issue management. Bellevue was created in a joint venture with S. R. Wojdak & Associates, and Bellevue draws on Wojdak’s long-standing reputation as one of the preeminent lobbying and government relations firms in Pennsylvania. Bellevue is committed to the development of strategic, carefully tailored communications that put a premium on getting results for the client.

Samantha Byles Hired as Account Executive at Bellevue Communications Group



PHILADELPHIA– Bellevue Communications Group today announced that Samantha Byles has been hired as an Account Executive, effective immediately. In her new role with the company, Byles will support a number of the firm’s major accounts while assuming direct control of several other client projects as well.

“We are excited to have Samantha join the Bellevue team,” said Bellevue President Kevin A. Feeley. “She has outstanding qualifications and experience in public relations, and we expect that Samantha will work directly with a number of our client’s right from the start.”Samantha_Byles

Prior to joining the team at Bellevue, Byles managed all public relations for the 1200+ employee-owned engineering firm, Pennoni. Her duties and responsibilities included social media management, website maintenance, the production and publication of the quarterly newsletter, the creation of external and internal communications, as well as managing media relations and the writing and pitching of press releases. Her efforts earned placements in national and local industry publications and increased the firm’s presence on social media.

“I’m excited to be a part of a firm with such a respected and long-standing reputation in Philadelphia,” said Byles. “Their commitment to their clients is clear and is demonstrated through each project and its successes.”

A graduate of Temple University, Byles earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism, with a concentration in news-editorial writing and a minor in sociology. Before her time with Pennoni, Samantha developed and wrote for hyper-local community magazines, which were distributed to approximately 5,000 homes nationwide, with media company hibu. She also worked for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Business Journal, and several other local publications. At the Inquirer, Samantha published a front-page article on an unknown Philadelphia philanthropist, which earned her the 2013 Excellence in Student Journalism: Best News Writing award from Temple University’s School of Media and Communications.


About Bellevue Communications Group

Bellevue Communications Group is a full-service public relations firm specializing in media relations, crisis communications and issue management. Bellevue was created in a joint venture with S. R. Wojdak & Associates, and Bellevue draws on Wojdak’s long-standing reputation as one of the preeminent lobbying and government relations firms in Pennsylvania. Bellevue is committed to the development of strategic, carefully tailored communications that put a premium on getting results for the client.


PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention, in partnership with Impact Dimensions, the official merchandise provider for the Host Committee, announced the opening of a pop-up shop at the Comcast Center at 1701 John F Kennedy Blvd. The shop will be the official brick-and-mortar retail store of the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee, selling one-of-a-kind apparel, buttons, drinkware, and accessories, all with designs centered around “Philadelphia 2016.”

All merchandise depicts Philadelphia and its history in fun, unique images. Impact Dimensions worked with seven artists and apparel designers to create the merchandise, including: Duke & Winston, Brett Bender, LisaBeth Weber, Michael Fulkerson for doyle + associates, Dom Streater, Mary K. Dougherty & Associates, and Dan Duffy.Many of the items, such as the t-shirts, buttons, lapel pins, coasters, magnets and key rings, are union-made or –decorated and available online. All of the Host Committee’s merchandise is “made in America,” having been designed and manufactured in the United States.

The 400 square foot shop in the concourse of the Comcast Center will be open daily now through Friday, August 5. Shop hours are Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and Saturdays 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The online store can be accessed at


CBS Local 

Metro US


News Works 

Biz Journals 

PSP Awards Grant to Fund Pre-K Expansion

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia School Partnership (“PSP”) today announced it has awarded a $60,000 grant to Our Lady of Port Richmond Regional Catholic School. The grant will allow for expansion of the school’s existing pre-K program, plus classroom renovations and additional academic programs aimed at growing the school’s total enrollment by 40 students. Our Lady of Port Richmond (“OLPR”) is a Catholic school serving 406 students in pre-K through 8th grade. 65 percent of students are economically disadvantaged, and 62 percent receive financial aid. As part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the school provides a faith-inclusive education through a full academic course of study in addition to Catholic teachings.

OLPR will use the investment to support the renovation and conversion of classrooms and expanding its special education program, allowing the school to accommodate its rapid growth in both pre-K and K-8. The investment will also fund special education curricula and response-to-intervention (RTI) materials, as well as dedicated space for remedial reading and math rooms and assessment programs. New technology will also be outfitted for these classrooms.

Since 2011, PSP has invested over $53 million in Philadelphia schools to create better educational opportunities and help more than 20,000 students gain access to a high-quality education. These grants include approximately $34 million to public charter schools, $14 million to district schools and $5 million to private schools.

To learn more about enrollment at Our Lady of Port Richmond, parents and students should visit


Philly Voice 

Catholic Philly

How to Make Sure Your Story Is Seen

The following article was featured in last week’s issue of The Legal Intelligencer and written by vice president of Bellevue Communications Group, Jeff Jubelirer

How to Make Sure Your Story Is Seen 

Jeff Jubelirer, The Legal Intelligencer

June 24, 2016

Jeff JubelirerIf a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

You’re proud. Beaming in fact. You worked hard to land that story about your practice in the local business journal. And now you can’t wait to hear the accolades roll in from your boss, clients, colleagues and friend. But what do you hear? Nary a peep. No one sends a note, nor mentions the article in casual conversation. Was it a waste? After all, the whole objective was to showcase the great work you’ve been doing, but if no one saw it then it might as well not have been published, right? Wrong. Sure, you’re disappointed but there are many ways to ensure that your news is seen, read or heard. You just need to know where your stakeholders (clients, employees, shareholders, public officials and more) go to get news because they will value the story more if they’re consuming it on their self-selected medium.

There are thousands of different ways for people to get their news. With the continuing explosion of online news sites—whether credible sources of information or not—people are consuming what information they want, when, how and where they want it. How can you capitalize on this ever-growing number of options? Let’s look at several different channels that likely hold the answers to this question.

First, use social media. If you’re not posting the great news on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, LinkedIn page or your YouTube channel (if it’s a video), you are missing out on a huge opportunity. According to Pew, 64 percent of U.S. adults are on Facebook. Thirty percent of users rely on Facebook to get their news. There is added credibility when users see their friends post stories because that is a medium they chose to get their news. While overall, Twitter is not as popular as Facebook, it is when it comes to how people prefer to get their news.

The second channel is email. Many organizations utilize electronic newsletters to share news with their different stakeholders. Some use Constant Contact or similar online newsletter templates to connect with stakeholders who have generally opted in to receiving communications from you. These are often emailed out on a regular schedule. The nice thing about email is that it invites your recipients to read or view the information when they choose at their convenience and when they are interested.

Third is your firm’s website. Websites are often the place prospects first check out when they want to learn more about you and your work. Placing your positive story on the home page and including it on a news subpage are your best bets for getting it noticed by potential clients.

For reaching fellow colleagues or employees, internal private portals or your organization’s intranet is a great venue to get your news seen. This internal platform often serves as your firm or company’s home page, so it’s the first thing employees see when they log in after getting in to work.

While almost everything is available in a digital format these days, it behooves you to consider getting hard copy reprints of particularly special news. Sending a select group of recipients such as longtime clients or sought-after prospects a note along with a nicely formatted reprint of a news article makes for an impressive, albeit relatively expensive, mailing.

Finally, do not forget to consider asking a happy client, customer or vendor to share your good news with their own networks. After all, people give word of mouth as a marketing strategy the highest ranking for credibility. There’s no better marketing for you than having others get your story from one of their trusted sources.

Regardless of channel, make sure your story can be seen in a mobile-friendly way. Pew found that two out of every three people in the United States own a smartphone now, and 68 percent of them rely on it to follow news. Additionally, 67 percent proceed to share via their phones, news, videos, pictures or events happening in their community. This means ensuring that your firm or company website is responsive and adaptive to mobile platforms in addition to your desktop computer.

What are you going to do the next time good press comes your way? Will you have a plan to ensure it will be seen? After all, good stories are still treasured. They are just consumed in more places than ever these days.

Jeff Jubelirer is vice president of Bellevue Communications Group. He leads the development and execution of his clients’ strategic communications programs, including media relations, issue and crisis management and community relations. He also is an adjunct professor in crisis communication at Temple University.

Philadelphia Works Opens North Philadelphia Integrated PA CareerLink® Center

Philadelphia – On Monday, June 21st, Philadelphia Works, the city’s workforce development board, joined with the Rev. Luis Cortes, Jr., as well as elected officials, representatives from the PA Department of Labor & Industry and Department of Human Services to celebrate the opening of the new integrated PA CareerLink® Center located at 4261 North 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140.  This new center in North Philadelphia is third of four integrated PA CareerLink® centers now operating in convenient locations across the city under the “No Wrong Door” model of workforce service delivery. Under the new “No Wrong Door” model, the EARN program, a service previously for only Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients, is now integrated into the PA CareerLink® center.  The new model ensures ‘one-stop shopping’ meaning no matter how a job seeker or employer enters the system – through a center, on-line or through a community-based organization – there will be “no wrong door” and they will be able to receive the same types of services.


News Clips:

ABC Action News 



PHILADELPHIA, PA – On Monday, June 20th, the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention announced beautification efforts that will take place along North and South Broad Streets in advance of the Democratic National Convention. Beginning at City Hall, North Broad will be treated with improvements to streetscape, turf restoration, and new perennial garden plantings. The North Broad project is made possible thanks to a grant from Jody McNeil.  The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will paint a mile-long temporary mural on the raised median, which will serve as a vibrant gateway between City Hall and South Philadelphia. Additionally, on the South facade of City Hall, Center City District will install a temporary red, white and blue lighting array, which will include a programmable color-changing wash of the tower with moving lights and projected gobo images.

Renderings of the each of the projects can be found here.
The Democratic National Convention will take place in Philadelphia July 25-28, 2016.


To read more about the beautification efforts, check out the links below:

Newsworks WHYY

Philly Voice 

CBS Local 

Philly Magazine





PHILADELPHIA- On Thursday, June 16, Philadelphia Works, the City’s Workforce Development Board, in collaboration with The Workplace, celebrated the graduation of 25 participants in the inaugural class for the “Platform to Employment” (P2E) program. P2E is an innovative job training program for residents of Philadelphia who have been unemployed for 27 weeks or longer.

Graduates of the program completed the five-week long “bootcamp” training program which began May 11th.  At the event, they shared their personal stories of unemployment, as well as their current job prospects and what they have learned from the program.

P2E, which began in Southwest Connecticut in 2011, combines a five-week job readiness training course with personal and family support services and financial counseling, all at no cost to the participant. P2E historically has placed nearly eighty percent of its participants into work experience programs with local employers, with ninety percent of these participants subsequently moving on to full-time employment upon completion of the program.

Of the 25 participants, three were unable to attend the graduation as they are currently employed.

Philadelphia Tribune



Platform to Employment is currently recruiting for the next cohort. For more information on Platform to Employment and to apply online, visit:

Philly Ad Club Announces 2016-17 Executive Committee

PHILADELPHIA – The Philly Ad Club today announced the election of eight of its members to serve as the executive committee for the 2016-17, service year. Bernie Prazenica, President and General Manager of WPVI-TV/6abc in Philadelphia; Jill Deardorff, President & Chief Executive Officer at Deardorff Associates and Deardorff Digital; Paul Muller, President of the Tri-State Toyota Dealers Association; Amy Shearer, Chief Marketing Officer at The Philadelphia Zoo; Rob MacPherson, Director of Corporate Partnership at Philadelphia Phillies; Susan Buehler, Executive Vice President at Bellevue Communications Group, Amy Buckman, Manager of Public Relations and Special Events, Philadelphia Media Network, publisher of The Inquirer, Daily News &; and Brian Monahan, President of Comcast SportsNet have been elected to the executive committee to serve one-year terms.

The Officers, Board of Governors and Super Advisory Board of the Philly Ad Club are composed of the region’s leading advertising and communications professionals. They work to organize events and mentorship through the Philly Ad Club, as well as oversee all aspects of the Philly Ad Club’s work to provide comprehensive learning and networking opportunities to its’ members.

Now in its 69th year, The Philly Ad Club, a non-profit organization, has served the industry’s professionals with distinction. It is one of the region’s largest and most active trade associations, with more than 2,500 members. It represents Greater Philadelphia Ad Agencies, Greater Philadelphia Digital Agencies, Philadelphia Media Buying Agencies, other specialty agencies, Public Relations firms, Greater Philadelphia Broadcast and Print Media, and more. It also publishes Philly AD NEWS magazine, a full-color, bi-monthly publication that covers all that is Philly ad news. The trade publication is Greater Philadelphia’s ONLY comprehensive news source for the Advertising and Communications industries.

The new executive committee members and their elected role are:


Bernie Prazenica, as Board President
President and General Manager, WPVI-TV/6abc in Philadelphia

Bernie Prazenica is president and general manager of WPVI-TV/6abc in Philadelphia. Prazenica also oversees, its mobile applications and two digital channels. His career in television spans 35 years and a number of stations and markets. WPTT-TV in Pittsburgh was the first stop as an account executive; Richmond, Virginia’s WXEX-TV quickly followed, then back to his college town of Philadelphia to begin a long stand with WPVI-TV and ABC. Mr. Prazenica is a proud cum laude graduate of Temple University with a BA in Radio-TV-Film. He has been awarded the Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Award and is a member of the Conwell Society.


Jill Deardorff, as Board Chair
President & Chief Executive Officer, Deardorff Associates and Deardorff Digital

Jill Deardorff

Jill Deardorff founded Deardorff, an integrated brand and public relations agency, based on building customer delight by growing clients’ businesses through the use of strategic positioning, branding and breakthrough creative. Since 1984, Deardorff has garnered many local, regional, national and international awards for print, TV, radio, interactive and collateral, including most recently Best of Promotion awards from the Philly ADDY Awards, two years in a row. Outside of running her own company, she is actively involved with organizations that support the arts and help abused women and children. She graduated summa cum laude from Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Science Writing and a minor in Government.


Paul Muller, as Board 1st Vice President
President, the Tri-State Toyota Dealers AssociationPaulMullerPicture

Paul Muller is President of the Tri State Toyota Dealers Association and has been for over 22 years. He is the owner of the Team Toyota Auto Group with Toyota dealerships in Langhorne, Pa., Glen Mills, Pa., and Lawrenceville, NJ. At 67 years of age he has lived in Washington Crossing, Pa. most of his life, has been married for 46 years, and has four sons, all of whom are in business with Paul. He also has three daughters-in-law and five grandchildren.


Amy Shearer, as Board 2nd Vice President
Chief Marketing Officer, The Philadelphia Zoo

Amy Shearer

Since joining the Philadelphia Zoo in 2009, Amy Shearer, Chief Marketing Officer, has propelled the organization into unprecedented growth. A driving force at one of the city’s most iconic and beloved institutions, Amy leads marketing and business development by managing the development of the Zoo’s earned revenue strategy and growing visitor experience efforts.  In this regard she oversees the communication strategy, market research, advertising, media relations, programming and exhibition development, membership, corporate sponsorship, and sales analysis.  Welcoming nearly 1.3 million visitors each year, Philadelphia Zoo is positioned as one of the nation’s leaders not only in conservation education, but also in how to balance a non-profit’s mission with strong business goals. Shearer holds degrees in both Communication and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, she lives in Chester County with her two children.


Rob MacPherson, as Board 3rd Vice President
Director, Corporate Partnership at Philadelphia Phillies
Ro McPherson

Rob MacPherson is the Director of Corporate Partnerships for the Philadelphia Phillies, and an Adjunct Professor at Widener University. He has been with the Phillies since 1997, prior to which he worked in the radio industry for eight years, including time with CBS Radio Philadelphia and Greater Media Philadelphia. He graduated from Widener University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. MacPherson and his wife, Kim, live in Wallingford, PA with their two children.


Susan Buehler, as Board Secretary
Executive Vice President, Bellevue Communications Group

Susan has been at Bellevue Communications Group since October 2001 and was promoted to Executive Vice President in 2012. She spent 17 years in the television news Susan Red #4industry serving as an anchor, reporter, producer, and planning editor at Fox 29 in Philadelphia. Buehler won an Emmy Award in 2001 for coverage of the pier collapse at a nightclub on Delaware Avenue. At Bellevue, Susan provides and implements strategic plans for corporate clients as well as counseling clients on developing clear and concise messages. Susan earned her undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism from the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. She is a native of Bucks County and currently resides in Upper Dublin with her family.


Amy Buckman, as Board Treasurer
Manager of Public Relations and Special Events, Philadelphia Media Network, publisher of The Inquirer, Daily News &
Amy Buckman

Amy Buckman has been the manager of public relations and special events at Philadelphia Media Network since January 2015, after having nearly 30 years of live television experience under her belt, she’s an expert at handling deadlines and quickly changing situations, while remaining calm and goal-oriented. After nearly 10 years as a general assignment reporter for Action News, Buckman began producing and reporting segments for the “Saving with 6abc” franchise in September 2008. She began working at WPVI-TV in 1989, where she was a coordinating producer for AM/Philadelphia and the Senior Producer and Correspondent for both AM/Live and Philly After Midnight. Buckman graduated Kappa Tau Alpha from Northwestern University, receiving both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Medill School of Journalism.


Brian Monahan, as Board Vice President, Legal
President, Comcast SportsNet

Brian Monihan

Previously senior vice president and general manager of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, Brian Monihan now serves at the president since 2012. Monihan spent 10 years in New York working in the television sales market before returning to his home of Philadelphia and serving as the vice president of advertising sales at Comcast Spectacor. Monihan spearheaded the launch of pregame programs for all the Philadelphia Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, and Sixers and secured a multi-year broadcasting deal with the Philadelphia Union. Monihan received his bachelor’s degree in history and communications from Boston College and currently resides in Moorestown, N.J. with his family.


Mayor Kenney Joins Survivors and Families to Unveil Plans for New Holocaust Memorial Plaza

PHILADELPHIA (May 24, 2016) — Mayor Jim Kenney, joined by holocaust survivors and families on May 11th, announced plans to create a memorial plaza along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.  The Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation (PHRF) plans to create the plaza around The Monument to the Six Million Jewish Martyrs, which was made in 1964 by sculptor Nathan Rappoport.  Integral to the site – a plaza-like parcel bordering 16th and Arch Streets in Center City Philadelphia – is an educational component that will offer a powerful experience in which visitors will learn the tragic history of the Holocaust.

The plaza will include such installations as six themed columns meant to represent the Jewish martyrs, an eternal flame meant to represent light and hope, and a set of railroad tracks that ran from a Concentration Camp.

Learn more about the announcement and the plaza at the news links below:

ABC News

Fox News

 CBS PhillyMetro Philly

 Philly Voice

Catholic Philly

Jewish Exponent