Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lessons from Conference

77th Annual FPRA Conference
PR Now: Stronger, Smarter, Faster

The 2015 FPRA Annual Conference, held earlier this month in Orlando Florida, equipped attending public relations professionals for success with high-caliber speakers, lively networking sessions, and several recognition ceremonies that honored outstanding PR achievements and accreditation.

General sessions and breakout presentations highlighted current and emerging trends, tools, and tactics that add value to the PR industry today. As keynote speaker Keri Potts shared during her general session, Captain of Your Own Career, “Keep an eye on the future and fight to stay on top . . . Figure out what is important to you, and go for that. Be flexible if necessary, but never lose hold of confidence.”

Potts encouraged her audience to make tough decisions about their career and aspire to do great things. Other speakers at the conference echoed these sentiments, and provided tips and techniques in numerous areas: branding, analytics, content development, media relations, social media strategy, and more.

Join this year’s conference scholarship recipients as they share key takeaways during the monthly membership meeting on Sept. 1. Don’t miss your opportunity to hear wisdom from PR practitioners from Walt Disney World Resort, Google, and the Poynter Institute. RSVP online at

Friday, August 14, 2015

August Social Media Corner

Those of you who attended FPRA’s Annual Conference know firsthand the awesome energy that was flowing, but those who weren’t there had a chance to feel it through social media. The social media posts highlighted favorite speakers and sessions and announced and congratulated award recipients. They also showed how gorgeous everyone looked at the Golden Image Awards banquet and made everyone’s mouth water with the pictures of the infamous FPRA Chocolate Break and the Dillin Dessert!  These posts did more than make those who didn’t attend want to mark their calendars for next year – they trended on social media! The conference hashtag #FPRA2015AC was up to number three during the Golden Image Awards banquet on August 11. Here are a few tips to get your next event’s hashtag trending:

1.     Create a unique hashtag: Choose a hashtag that is unique to your event. Be sure you check to see that it hasn’t been used before and that it’s not been used in a negative way.  
2.     Start the conversation: Start using the hashtag in social media posts about the event and continue to use it as you post updates and relevant information throughout the event.
3.     Let attendees know the official hashtag and ask them to use it: Simply make attendees aware of the official hashtag and ask them to use it when posting pictures or Tweeting about your event.
4.     Offer incentives: Many guests will use the hashtag without an incentive, but offering up some sort of prize or even an upgrade at the event may give them more motivation. 

            These are just a few tips to help your next event trend. If you missed the conference, be sure to check out our Facebook and Twitter page to see our PR superheroes in action at the conference and examples of the #FPRA2015AC hashtag.  


Thursday, August 6, 2015

2015 Public Relations University: Feel the Magic!

Your PR University (PRU) planning committee is simply magical! Organizing and planning is in full swing and we’d like to reveal yet another exciting speaker: Alyson Lundell, Director of Corporate Communications for Universal Orlando Resort.

The majority of Alyson’s career has been in the tourism industry, yet in her current position with Universal she facilitated a number of attraction openings including; The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in 2010, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley in 2014 and TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D. Alyson also oversees publicity for annual events like Mardi Gras and Halloween Horror Nights.

Alyson will share a little of her PR magic with our chapter on Thursday, October 8. She will discuss the preparation that went into bringing one of the most beloved children’s books to life as a theme park that earns over $700 million in revenue.

Registration for PRU is open now at Take advantage of the early bird rates before September 9. The conference will be in Room U-102, Florida SouthWestern State College, 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers, FL 33919.

Monday, July 20, 2015

July Member Spotlight- Christina Prendiville

Christina is a local public relations and marketing consultant who has lived in Fort Myers since 2001. She promote her clients with dedication and expertise to communicate their message.  She brings a strong information-centric business background complemented by volunteer work in nonprofit community organizations--mostly the arts. Christina is a natural networker and an ideas person with an interest in connecting people, and is research oriented and information savvy. She is involved with several local professional organizations.

Christina is originally from Santa Barbara, California where she attended high school and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After graduation, she moved to Washington, DC and worked before graduating with a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland. That led to her job at an international executive search firm next door to the White House. At Russell Reynolds Associates, Inc. she was the lead Research Associate for the Software and Technology Practices. She lived in Washington, DC for nine years, before moving to Florida.

Christina has been involved in the SW Florida arts community since moving to the area. For over a decade, she has volunteered with the Southwest Florida Symphony Society, helping plan events and raising funds for the Symphony. Christina has played a big role in the public relations and marketing of both organizations for countless projects.

In 2007 she co-chaired the highly successful fundraiser “Gale Bennett – Live,” a series of two exciting art evenings featuring the late Gale Bennett painting before sold-out crowds. Between 2001 and 2012, she served as an officer and chaired or co-chaired a number of fund raisers. This includes 2009 Co-Chair of the Art Committee for the Southwest Florida Symphony’s 50th Anniversary. For this she helped secure a commemorative painting and 100 prints, valued at over $125,000, donated by a world renowned SW Florida artist for auction. 

In 2011, Christina co-chaired the Society’s inaugural “Yacht Hop” fundraiser, which received national honors in the annual Gold Book Award of Excellence competition by the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras. She accepted the award with a presentation during the League’s 67th National Conference in Dallas in 2012.

Christina has provided many years of marketing and public relations services to Gulfshore Ballet. She started volunteering in 2005 when her daughter began attending classes. Christina has handled public relations, media relations, sponsorship and fundraising, and served as Marketing Director over the years. In 2011, Christina founded and chaired the school’s annual signature fundraiser, “Enchanted Evening with Gulfshore Ballet,” in collaboration with Saks Fifth Avenue at Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers. 

Christina’s love of color and appreciation for art and the Florida landscape inspired her to begin painting in 2009. One of her favorite experiences is her time painting in Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny, France, in 2013, in Gale Bennett’s footsteps. She had her first art exhibit as part of Fort Myers River District Art Walk in 2010.

July Social Media Corner

Last month’s Social Media Breakfast was filled with great information! The experts we heard from made us aware of many things we should be doing, but also things we shouldn’t be doing. A recent article highlighted that social media can be the first, and one of the only impressions a consumer is getting of your company. It is vital that your presence on each of your platforms is giving off a good impression. According to the article, the “8 Big Social Media Marketing Mistakes Businesses Make (and How to Avoid Them)” are below:

1.     Not having a social media strategy.
A social media strategy is key to a clean and focused message to your followers. A good plan consists of social media goals, a content calendar, a clear policy and your brand voice.   

2. Creating accounts on too many social media platforms.
It’s hard not to jump on the bandwagon when a new platform comes out, but if it doesn’t fit your audience or you don’t have time for it, it’s not worth it. Having a consistent and clear presence on a couple of platforms is better than having an inconsistent and random presence on five. 

3. Paying for followers.
Having fake or non-existent followers is not only ineffective, but it could also negatively impact how people feel about your company.   

4. Talking too much about your brand and nothing else.
This is very important to remember. No one wants to be bombarded with only sales pitches and advertisements on social media. Be sure to mix in some fun, yet relevant, content.    

5. Not using hashtags correctly.
Hashtags can help gain more exposure, but if you use too many or they aren’t pertinent to your post or company, they are ineffectual.   

6. Sharing too much in a short period of time.
Posting one thing after another throughout the day is going to push people away. Do your research on the platforms you’re using to find out the recommended posting frequency.  

7. Neglecting to proofread.
This seems like a no-brainer for PR professionals, but it’s essential to take the time to double check each post before you publish.  

8. Not being “social” on social media.  
You are not just a keyboard behind a computer screen, you are a real person who is on social media to be social and build relationships. Your followers will appreciate the humanity behind your voice. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Membership Pinning

The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association is celebrating 30 years of enhancing the profession and we want to make sure that all of our members have the opportunity to share their pride of being a part of our great organization. During the 2014/2015 year, we have been acknowledging new members by providing them with FPRA pins and 'pinning' them at our general membership meetings. We are looking forward to continuing this tradition in the 2015/2016 year! 

If you joined FPRA during a time where this pinning was not in practice, we encourage you to contact the Membership Chair, Trish Robertson, to reserve your pin at the next luncheon. Contact Trish at

We encourage everyone to wear their pin with pride during all of the upcoming FPRA events!

Friday, June 26, 2015

On the fence about FPRA conference? Check out why you should say YES!

Your friends and colleagues have a lot to say about their experiences at FPRA annual conference.  Check out what the Southwest Florida Chapter members of FPRA have to say below....#thinkFPRA!

Karen Ryan, APR, CPRC   

Heidi Taulman, APR   

Trish Robertson

Barbara Anne Urrutia

Angie Strait, APR

Jessica Potts 

Jaimie Duthoy, APR 

Carla Ulakovic

Tiffany Whitaker 

Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC 

Kara Winton, APR, CPRC

Laura Puerto, APR

Nancy Johnson