Amy Buckman is the Director of School and Community Relations for the Lower Merion School District. She has been a PPRA member for two years.
After 25 years as a reporter and producer at 6abc Action News, Amy became the manager of public relations and special events for Philadelphia Media Network, publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com. In March 2108, she joined Lower Merion School District as the Director of School and Community Relations. She is an alumna, resident and parent in the District. Amy and her husband, Terry, have three sons.
PPRA: Who are your clients and what projects are you working on right now?
AB: As Director of School and Community Relations for the 8,600-student District, I manage a team that produces content for the district website and social media accounts, and facilitates district communication with parents and the wider community lauding student achievements and informing them about issues within the district, including the challenges of increasing enrollment, weather emergencies, budgets and policy and personnel changes. I’m also responsible for the Community Engagement Pathway of the district’s strategic plan.
PPRA: What is the favorite part about your job?
AB: Anything where I get to interact with our students. They are so bright and talented. It’s easy to advocate on their behalf.
PPRA: What was your latest and greatest accomplishment at your job?
AB: I’ve only been in my current position for a couple of months, but so far, I’m excited about spearheading the implementation of an app that will allow our student journalists to contribute to our social media presence. It’s important for our community at large to see and hear directly from our students and get their view of the multiple experiences and opportunities afforded them by the District.
PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?
AB: Never forget your organization’s mission — and if you don’t believe in that mission, you probably shouldn’t be doing that job. In every PR job, there are messages and situations that you have to handle that some people aren’t going to like. But if you’re messaging for the right reasons, you can let some of that roll off your back by staying mission-focused.
PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?
AB: The movie that makes me laugh out loud no matter how many times I watch it is “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”
PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?
AB: When I worked at the Inquirer, I loved walking around Independence Hall. The fact that our nation was born in that building is something that I think Philadelphians take for granted — but really is almost miraculous.
PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?
AB: Wiz Wit.
PPRA: Our PPRA 2017-18 PRoactive partnership is with Tree House Books. What was your favorite childhood book and why?
AB: I loved all the Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I didn’t think about it at the time, but they were books that featured strong women and showed what they could accomplish. I just knew I wanted to be those characters.