David W. Brown has owned or managed several advertising/public relations firms throughout his 40+ career in Philadelphia. His most successful venture was BrownPartners, – which operated nearly a decade in this market – became one of the most decorated minority-owned ad agencies in the history of Philadelphia’s advertising industry. The company won almost every award in the field including three Pepperpots from the Philadelphia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA); a Gold Addy from the Philadelphia Advertising Club; and a Mosaic Award from the American Advertising Federation.
Brown has the distinction of being the only person to have served over his career as both the President of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Philadelphia chapter and the Philadelphia Advertising Club. He is also the only living African American inducted into the Philadelphia Public Relations Association (PPRA) Hall of Fame. With the Ad Club’s Movers and Shakers Pinnacle Award, Brown is the only African American to be selected for Hall of Fame honors by both Philadelphia’s largest advertising and public relations organizations.
He is a past recipient of PRSA’s National David Ferguson Award for Outstanding Contributions Education and is the first African American to be so honored. He is also the recipient of the Ofield Dukes Educator Award conferred by the National Black Public Relations Society (NBPRS) recognizing the best African Americans in the public relations industry that are making positive contributions in the community. It was named after the legendary African American practitioner who worked with music icon Stevie Wonder to make Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday. Professor Brown is the first Philadelphia practitioner to be selected.
He serves as Founder/Managing Director of CommonSoul Communications – a non-profit that provides strategic marketing services to other mission-focused organizations – with a particular focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). He led a team of professionals working with the Philadelphia Inquirer in its efforts to become an anti-racist institution. He has also worked with Resolve Philly – which seeks to challenge Philadelphia’s media industry to be more equitable, collaborative, and based in community voices and solutions.
Brown was named a “Champion of Change” by the Obama Administration for his communications work around empowering non-profits to make a difference in the communities they serve. He has the distinction of being recognized for his service to the community as a recipient of the Harris Wofford Active Citizenship Award – given to one Philadelphian or organization a year by the Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service Committee which operates the largest single day of service in the country. Brown is the Assistant Dean of Community and Communication at Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication where he has pursued level work in the Ph.D. Media and Communication program. An ordained Reverend in the United Methodist Church where he serves as a part-time member of the ministry staff at First Church of Media, Brown is a frequent contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer and WHYY in which he has been featured extensively on a range of urban issues.