Bizarre PR

By: Brittany Lorenz

On Saturday, April 10, a few other Penn State PRSSA members and I attended Drexel University’s Bizarre PR conference in Philadelphia. Because I live twenty minutes outside of the city, I really enjoyed learning about familiar locations and organizations throughout the area from a unique public relations perspective.

At the panel portion of the conference, Cari Feiler Bender, founder of Relief Communications, LLC, explained how her favorite aspect of public relations is being able to match the stories to the story tellers. She shared examples of bizarre methods she has used to do this, including a photo shoot she held of drag queens on roller blades in Love Park to promote a Black Tie Gay Bingo aids benefit.

Joseph Glantz shared portions of his book, Philadelphia Originals, which incorporates text and artwork to profile events and traditions in Philadelphia over time. He described how his career has evolved from law practice to database design to media analysis and how his background in these areas has helped him in public relations. He encouraged the audience to break through clutter of the media and find bizarre approaches to public relations.

Both of the speakers were extremely insightful and helped me to see my hometown in a new way. Bender and Glantz both use Philadelphia as a canvas for picture taking, story telling, and utilizing their environments to promote positive causes and organizations. They inspired me to do the same.

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