Philly Chit Chat had a Banner Year – A 2014 Review

Happy New Year, I hope you had an awesome 2 weeks off, or in that slow work mode that happens during the holidays. PhillyChitChat was started as a hobby in 2007, and in 2011 it became my full time job when I was laid off from my Paralegal position after 20 years.

I had always been curious about everything, and that’s why I started blogging. In the beginning I would blog about very local things like why are there so many banks on corners, or wow those Clay Aiken fans are really fanatical, a smattering of charity events (because back then there was barely a party a week to cover) and the occasional photo of a celebrity that popped into town (My hobby before 2007, shooting celebrities in NYC.) Fast forward today and The PhillyChitChat brand has blown up into one of the most successful new media outlets and placement services.

We’re the leading social diarist in the City, we break stories (We were
the first to tell you about Walgreen’s in Borders, the Pearl Property
grab, the Gallery Upgrade, and The Four Seasons and NBC moving into the
new Comcast building), we tweet leads (We tweeted in August 2013 that
Comcast was going to build a new building, then in Jan 2014 the Inky
confirmed it, oh and so many other stories, celeb sightings and
speculation.) we place stories and photos in nearly every top media
outlet in the City (as you’ll see below.) 
We partnered with several people to have PhillyChitChat pop up parties, thanks to Square 1682 (James Zeleniak, Punch Media, GM Matt Rafferty, Michelle Miller,  The Nouveau Image) and the Christmas Village (Tiamo and Kory Aversa) for fun, spectacular parties. We had contests, ticket giveaways and meet and greets. Thanks to my intern and mentee Ian Michael Crum, business consultant Christie Honigman, The Honigman Group and my admins Janine DeFeo and Crista Bateman (also known as my sisters.) Thanks to all the PR companies that hire me, the business, and for the invitations to cover your events. Below are some of the placements I’ve gotten in 2014.
I regularly contribute to 4 media outlets with four distinct audiences. I have a column at Philly Mag called the Scene. It’s my baby and I love it. I’ve been contributing to Philly Mag for 3.5 years.
In August I celebrated 3 years as a contributor to Fox 29’s Good Day.
Now I am a semi-regular on the #Fox29Weekend show too. Usually on Sunday
I’ve been with for 2 years.

Liberty City Press is an independent weekly newspaper distributed by the
Philadelphia Multi-Cultural News Network whose members include
Philadelphia Sunday Sun, The Philadelphia Gay News, Al Dia, The Jewish
Exponent, The Metro Chinese Weekly and The Metro Viet News. I’ve been with them for 3 years. My advice to people starting out is to start with these smaller papers to get the experience and your foot in the door.
Philly Daily News Molly Eichel regularly publishes my photos. 
This is country singer Brett Eldredge feeding a giraffe at the Philly Zoo.
Also this year I began contributing my photos to NBC 10 Phila website
In November I started to contributing to A.D. Amorosi’s column in the Metro Newspaper.

Then various news organizations carry my photos if they’re going to run a story. Often they write me because they know I have the photo as it was published somewhere or I did a story on a party where that person was.

Sometimes a PR person places my photo. I heard they were putting up the Palladino sign, I got a photo mentioned it to my buddy Kory and he said oh wait The Insider is looking for that photo. I feed stories to all the various outlets, usually when it’s bigger than I can handle.

And the Philadelphia Business Journal

I tweeted/Instagramed out that Zavino’s had acquired this corner property. I knew it was to be a wine bar, but didn’t have all the info. I don’t always have the means/time to find out the rest of the story, but it was exclusive as no one knew about it at the time. Thanks to the Phila Inquirer Insider and Zagat for citing my instagram as breaking the story.

I consult with PR, and clients on how to get their stories placed in the various media outlets.

Celebrities, it’s always fun to shoot them. I wear many reporter hats in Philly. I don’t just cover one subject or contribute to one publication.

I saw this story a Florida paper and tweeted about it. Many outlets cited me on breaking it here.

Definitely my favorite story ever in Philly.

Katy Perry will now be known as the nicest celebrity I ever met.

I mean photographed, LOL

I contribute photos to Philly Mag’s various sections

Thanks to Danya Henninger and Zagat for highlighting some of my favorite dishes from local restaurants. I sense the excitement people must have to be in my column (as I had to be in this column), and hold that in the highest regard when I chose which photos to run. It’s a difficult process because I know I’m going to disappoint someone. (Also Danya really sums up my career in this paragraph.)

I like meeting my readers and viewers.

This year a lot of the TV news outlets have come to me to get quotes on celebrity doings, and misdoings. That’s fun.

Author Thom Nickels wrote a book on Center City Legends – people who are overlooked or were underlooked in history, and he put me in his book. I didn’t really talk about me being in the book before because it’s kinda mind blowing, even more than The Palm restaurant putting my face on their wall. Here’s Thom with someone I admire, Carol Saline, author of the Sister’s books, and once an editor for Philly Mag, also once contributor to Inside Edition on 6ABC. She was my celebrity when I was growing up so it’s so excited to call her my friend now.

Oh and the highlight of my year. Thanks so much for your support, and trust that allows me to bring the stories to you, covering the who, what, when and where of Philadelphia.

Check out last weeks PhillyChitChat columns for the best events, and fashion.