Friday, December 26, 2008

Resolve to Invest in Yourself in 2009

It's fast approaching - that tick of the clock that signals a new year has begun. Don't be satisfied with the same old same-old. Make 2009 the year you invest in yourself by earning your APR or CPRC designation. Learn more at

Already credentialed? Keep up with your required CEU's by attending PRUniversity 2009. Read all about it at

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Power of PR – Handle With Care

Communicating - it’s the business of the public relations practitioner. And to a large extent communication involves symbols and stereotypes. Cutlip, Center and Brown remind us in Effective Public Relations that “The symbol offers a dramatic and direct means of persuasive communication with large numbers of people…Symbols have been used since the dawn of history to compress and convey complex messages to the multitudes”. We are effectively reminded of their power to communicate during the holiday season. We’re surrounded by symbols this time of year – icons like Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. Rudolph was the brainchild of Robert L. May, a 35-year-old advertising copywriter for the Chicago-based Montgomery Ward department store. In 1939, May was commissioned by his supervisor to create an original Christmas story that the store could give away to shoppers at holiday time. Drawing on his own childhood experiences (he had experienced ridicule because of his slight frame), May dreamed up a title character who was ostracized by his fellow reindeer because of his glowing red nose. For 69 years Rudolph has encouraged children (and adults!) to esteem character qualities over appearances. This morning I treated my 6-year old granddaughter to her first visit to a Cracker Barrel Restaurant. Her attention was drawn to the huge fireplace, where someone had “decorated” the deer head hanging there with a glowing red nose. She turned to me with a horrified expression and asked “Nina, is Rudolph dead?” It was a vivid reminder to me that as PR professionals we often handle powerful images and concepts and that we need to carefully consider all the audiences that may be impacted, even the smallest.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A December to Remember

Today's meeting got a jump start with a great networking session.

Kathleen Taylor, president-elect, took the reigns at today's meeting as Ginny was unable to attend. Kathleen introduced our board members, guests and led us through chapter business.

A friendly reminder to get your checkbooks ready and to clear your calendars for PRU on Friday, January 9 at Hodges University from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. As an added bonus, the first 75 participants to register will receive a special treat! The event will feature several wonderful guest presenters, crisis communications exercises and a can't-miss presentation from Joe Hice, APR, Associate VP of Public Relations for the University of Florida.

Kathleen took a moment this month to recognize several members who were celebrating their FPRA anniversaries and awarded them with a FPRA coffee mug and coffee to jump start the day.

This month's Rocking Chair award went to ....(drum roll)...Heidi Davis Taulman for her outstanding dedication to the newsletter. Congrats!

Next on the lunch plate was an introduction to December's gracious sponsor, Jaguar Data Systems Inc. The Jaguar Data Systems team gave away several poinsettia plants to several lucky guests and members.

The meeting ended with an informative presentation by Alison Drake of Alison Drake Marketing, Advertising and PR.

Alison examined the strong relationship between marketing, advertising and public relations by discussing what "spices" to add to the media mix to create a prize winning campaign.

Which campaigns made the list?

The notable "King" campaign for Burger King highlighted some very innovative thinking.

Also in the mix was a fairly new campaign by Haagen-Dazs which is directed at assisting the dwindling population of honey bees by introducing of new line of honey ice cream. Haagen-Dazs has pledged $225,000 from the ice cream's profits to aid honey bee research.

Want to see what all the buzz is about? You can view the Haagen-Dazs campaign at: