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.  A natural networker and an ideas person with an interest in connecting people, she 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 here in 2001.
For over a decade, she has been involved with the Southwest Florida Symphony Society, helping plan events and raise funds for the Symphony. In 2007 she co-chaired the highly successful fundraiser “Gale Bennett – Live,” a series of two exciting art evenings featuring
Gale Bennett painting before sold-out crowds.

Most of Christina’s work for the Society has focused on marketing and public relations. Between 2001 and 2012, she served as an officer and chaired or co-chaired a number of fund raisers, several of them art related.  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 donated by world renowned SW Florida artist Darryl Pottorf for auction. The painting and prints are valued at over $125,000.

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 several years providing marketing and PR services to Gulfshore Ballet. In 2011, Christina founded and chaired “Enchanted Evening with Gulfshore Ballet,” an annual fundraiser in collaboration with Saks Fifth Avenue. She has volunteered with Gulfshore Ballet in Fort Myers since her daughter began attending in 2005, handling public relations, media relations, sponsorship and fundraising. She has served as Marketing Director.

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

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sneak Peak at the June 25 Social Media Breakfast

Our Social Media Breakfast is fast-approaching! We’ve assembled a panel of experts who will share their social media knowledge on Thursday, June 25.  Each panelist will discuss a different topic and give you tips and new strategies on how to transform your social media marketing. Read on to find out the inside scoop on the panelists and what they’ll be sharing!

Theresa Ayers, owner of The Get Smart Web will be talking about the Top 4, most current social media trends. Connie Ramos-Williams, owner of Conric PR & Marketing Publishing will be addressing the topic of creating a social media strategy. Andrea Fortin, Chair of Digital Media & Communications at Hodges University will speak about blogging. Ginny Cooper, owner of My Cooper Group will educate you with some Do’s and Don’ts of social media. Finally, Tiffany Whittaker, Director of Business Development and Account Services with Pushing the Envelope will close by explaining how to measure ROI with social media.

Join fellow FPRA members and community professionals for what is sure to be an informative morning! The Social Media Breakfast will be held at the Embassy Suites from 8-10 a.m. on Thursday, June 25. Admission is $40 for FPRA members, $50 for nonmembers and $15 for members of the FPRA student chapter. For more details or for sponsorship opportunities, contact Jessica Potts at (941) 347-6407 or e-mail To register for the event, click here

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Social Media Corner- The New Must-Have App

In the ever-growing world of social media there is yet another channel that PR pros will need to know about, Periscope. There are similar apps available, but currently Periscope seems to be the hot-topic in social media. It has a wide-range of users from celebrities promoting their new movies, to presidential hopefuls addressing voters, to parents sharing their baby’s first steps.   
Recently purchased by Twitter, Periscope is a video streaming app that allows users to easily relay live video globally from their phones. Your followers can view your video, make comments and send hearts. Sending hearts is similar to a like on Facebook, but on Periscope users can send as many hearts as they desire. Periscope is still fairly new, so there are some kinks that need to be worked out. For example, the app is only available on iOS devices, however the release of the Android version is said to be in the works. Another issue is users are broadcasting certain events illegally, so there is a lot of talk about copyright issues.
For PR professionals, this app provides another way to engage with your audience. It’s hard to predict the success of new apps, but the way Periscope is trending, it’s definitely something communicators should familiarize themselves with.  The app can be downloaded for free and if you sign up through your Twitter account it will help you connect with other users. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Member Spotlight: Margo Brewster

Margo Brewster is the new director of marketing and development for the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools. Margo Brewster comes with a wealth of experience having spent the last eight years at First Bank where she was instrumental in establishing relationships and acquiring new accounts within the community. She has also spent the last three years volunteering her time on several event committees and fundraisers.

Margo joins The Foundation as Marketing & Development Director as they continue successfully providing educational tools and resources to the teachers and students within our community. Margo is a native resident of Fort Myers and grew up attending Lee County Public Schools. She has played a role in the success of fundraisers benefitting many local organizations including Relay for Life, Goodwill Industries of SWFL, the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, and PACE Center for Girls.