Interview with Claire Shubik-Richards, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Prison Society, and Matthew Ray, Chief Creative Officer, ChatterBlast Media

The Partners:
Pennsylvania Prison Society and ChatterBlast Media

Partners since: 2019

How has the partnership evolved over time?

ChatterBlast first began a partnership with the Pennsylvania Prison Society (PPS) in 2019 when they supported the society’s Love Above Bars event with video and creative services.  “We were so compelled by their mission, volunteers and the people that they serve that we wanted to continue our collaboration, learn more about Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system and help PPS continue to shine a light on the situations facing incarcerated individuals in the Commonwealth,” explained Matthew Ray, Chief Creative Officer of ChatterBlast.

In 2020, ChatterBlast’s support expanded to social media content campaigns in an effort to spread awareness about dangerous COVID-19 outbreaks in prisons and to drive donations and awareness. Their goal was to assist the Prison Society in whatever communication needs arose so that the Prison Society can continue it’s very important work.

“The Pennsylvania Prison Society has spent the last 234 years stopping abuse in prison, supporting family and community connection and advancing sensible criminal justice policies,” said  Claire Shubik-Richards, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Prison Society,  “With increased isolation and fear amid virus outbreaks and lengthy lockdowns in 2020, the Prison Society needed more support from individual donors as it tirelessly worked to connect families and save lives.  Our communication needs kept increasing, and ChatterBlast kept helping.”

What do you feel is an innovative feature of the partnership?

Both the agency and the nonprofit learn from each other; it truly is a partnership. ChatterBlast’s Matthew Ray now serves on PPS’s board of directors, adding his communication expertise to a board of brilliant social justice advocates.

“As an agency, we get to innovate our storytelling capabilities by developing weekly media that talks about complicated, difficult subject matters, “ explained Ray. “ At the same time, we offer our social media expertise and help develop great marketing materials that PPS can use to share its mission, not only on social media but also for potential grant opportunities. Most importantly, we have learned a great deal about compassion, empathy and the human condition by working with PPS.  They have opened our eyes and for that, ChatterBlast is very grateful.”

Share a recent success story with employee volunteerism

“For the Prison Society’s end-of-year campaign in 2020, ChatterBlast knew that shining a light on incarcerated individuals’ experiences during the pandemic was crucial to encouraging donations. The Prison Society needed funding to support families who were looking for answers about their loved ones’ health and safety,” explained Shubik-Richards.

“We wanted to show what would be lost without the public’s financial contributions. Without being able to show or hear directly from people in custody, audio visualizations of their stories helped make that personal connection. We used these personal stories, told through custom animation and audio visualizations, across both email and social channels.”

The social campaign generated more than 100k impressions, and the Pennsylvania Prison Society received more than $10,000 in online donations during the campaign.


Example of ChatterBlast Media’s graphic made for Pennsylvania Prison Society’s social media campaign