Deirdre Hopkins honored by Philadelphia City Council for historic position

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- When you see Deirdre Hopkins at events around the city, chances are, she's touting travel and tourism as Director of Public Relations for Visit Philadelphia.

Before that, she held a similar role at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Now, Hopkins has been elected the first African American President of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association.

It is a volunteer position. Hopkins is being honored by Philadelphia City Council on Thursday.

"It just means something so special. It's something like- I wish my dad could see. My mom's really proud of me, and she talks about me to everyone," Hopkins told 6abc.

Hopkins started volunteering with PPRA seven years ago and has risen through the ranks.

She emphasized the importance of diversity in communications.
"You know, every now and then you'll look at the newspaper or be on tv and someone will make a blip, and you'll be like, 'Wow, why did that happen?" I think that having a diverse- and even more importantly- an inclusive staff, really helps to prevent that type of error," Hopkins explained.

She added, "We customize our diverse markets for Latins, for African Americans, for LGBTQ, internationally, we are looking at innovations in Canada, so we try to take some time making sure everyone feels welcome to Philadelphia."

Hopkins spent her earliest years in California. When her father got a job at RCA, her family moved to Moorestown, New Jersey when she was 12.

Hopkins graduated from Colgate University and prior to going into public relations, she was a journalist for about 30 years.

"I worked in Los Angeles, Syracuse, and the Washington Post, before going to the Philadelphia Inquirer," Hopkins said.

The City Council Resolution from Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown states, "The City of Philadelphia is a better place to live, work and play because of her extraordinary efforts."

Hopkins' passion is evident.

"That is never lost on me, that if I do a great job, there's more hotels booked, there's more meetings at the Convention Center, there's more people in Reading Terminal Market. So I really can make a difference," she said.
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