Withology Podcast: EPISODE 4, PARTS 1 AND 2 – BOB BROWN Listen Now


A Steady Drumbeat of Coverage

Philadelphia is home to some of the most innovative minds in the world – dreamers and doers from all walks of life dedicated to disrupting the status quo and impacting change. So when the creators of the B. PHL Innovation Festival came up with the idea to highlight innovation throughout the region, we jumped at the opportunity to support it.

With more than 200 sessions and 400 speakers discussing education to healthcare and technology to the arts, B. PHL was designed to spark dialogue and drive impact.

Working with client partners at B. PHL as well as Independence Blue Cross – the leading festival sponsor – a paid and earned media strategy blanketed the regional market resulting in strong media coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Business Journal, Philly Mag, iHeartMedia and more.

Questlove, an award-winning musician, producer, author, culinary entrepreneur and Philadelphia native, joined us at The Curtis Institute of Music where he discussed his inspiration and signed copies of his latest book, Mixtape Potluck.

Michelle Histand, executive director of B. PHL, welcomed guests to the first-ever B. PHL Innovation Festival.

Our CEO Brian Tierney interviewed Steve Schwarzman, CEO of the Blackstone Group, at the Fitler Club on October 15. The two discussed Schwarzman’s humble roots in Philadelphia, how he built Blackstone from the ground up and the importance of education and a positive corporate culture.

Coffee visionary Todd Carmichael imparted wisdom on B. PHL guests at three different events where he discussed innovation and how he finds inspiration and creativity in his line of work.

Bill Marimow, current senior advisor at Brian Communications and two-time Pulitzer Prize recipient, interviews Josh Kopelman on his experiences as a serial entrepreneur, investor and innovator.

Big Names for a Big Event

To draw significant attendance and help make B. PHL’s inaugural year a success, we knew that we needed headlining speakers to generate excitement and create that attention-grabbing wow factor. In order to achieve this, we leveraged our relationships to secure several of B. PHL’s featured speakers including Philadelphia’s own beloved musician, author and innovator Questlove; Stephen Schwarzman, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, a leading investment firm with $545 billion assets under management; and our friend Josh Kopelman, serial entrepreneur and founder of First Round Capital, who took a leap and was an early investor in companies like Uber, Blue Apron and Warby Parker. These nationally known names with Philadelphia ties complemented the B. PHL lineup perfectly and helped put the festival in the spotlight.

In its first year, B. PHL Innovation Festival attracted more than 4,500 attendees from across the region—and the country. The takeaway from the conference was clear: Move over Silicon Valley, Austin and Boston — Philly is the new hub for big ideas, imaginative vision, and disruptive thought leadership.


40+ Unique

Media Placements

67 Million

Total Impressions


Festival Attendees

Year Two: Igniting Positive Change

The creators of B. PHL felt a responsibility to address the unique circumstances we as a nation have faced in the festival’s second year, and set out to tell the story of innovation through three key lenses: economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19, social justice and racial equity, and personal creativity and inspiration.

We supported B. PHL and leading festival sponsor Independence Blue Cross through the shift to a virtual-hybrid format, which over three days offered attendees convenient access to keynote addresses from celebrities like Issa Rae, actress, writer and producer; America Ferrera, actor, director and producer; Pitbull, Grammy-Winning global superstar, entrepreneur and motivational speaker; M. Night Shyamalan, screenwriter, philanthropist, director and producer; and Nick Offerman, actor, writer and woodworker. The three-day festival also offered panel discussions, networking opportunities, a virtual film festival, cooking demos and other creative experiences, and a concert with Philadelphia’s own Amos Lee.

Along with our client partners, we recognized that, to make a virtual event truly impactful, it must stand out – which B. PHL certainly achieved. Brian Communications secured and planned poignant and timely discussions around diversity in the C-suite and board room, employee mental health, and wrongful conviction, while also coordinating a virtual tour of Penn Museum and a session on self-care.

Through a targeted earned media strategy, we also helped tell the story of B. PHL 2020 through a mix of local and regional media outlets including NBC10, KYW Newsradio, iHeart Radio, The Philadelphia Inquirer, PBS39 and more.

B. PHL 2020 attracted a global audience and convened some of the biggest and brightest visionaries during a time when this strategic and thoughtful content was clearly needed most.



registrants across 30 states and 40 countries


unique media placements


million total impressions