Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 10 PR Resolutions to Welcome 2010

As we get ready to ring in the new year, some of us will be making New Year's resolutions -- all well-intentioned -- but most of which will be broken before long. As public relations professionals we are use to setting goals to help us chart success, the key is making sure they are attainable. The Southwest Florida Leadership team has prepared a Top 10 List of PR Resolutions that will be easy to follow and will help each of us polish our PR skill set and try new things in 2010.

  1. Review the AP Stylebook (and buy the most current version if yours is old).We all get a little rusty and could use a refresher. Conveniently, AP Stylebook is available by subscription online and also is on Twitter.
  2. Try a new (at least to you) PR tool. Consider learning something new about social media!
  3. Use FPRA to try out or hone a PR skill – e.g. internal communications (newsletter articles and promotions), event planning (PR University) or management (committee chair).
  4. Begin the process to become an APR or CPRC. We provide lots of support (including financial), and those who have done it swear by the professional benefits that credentialing brings.
  5. Read a business book about a business other than PR.
  6. Review Chapter 496 of the Florida Statutes to see if it applies to you
  7. Be a mentor or find someone newer to the profession who wants a mentor. Not only will you learn more about yourself and your career through either process, but you likely will discover a life long friend.
  8. Donate your PR skills to a nonprofit, and get involved with events and projects in your community. You’d be surprised where those things lead. Do good while being good!
  9. Expose a friend to PR; invite a non-member (or even your boss!) to a meeting or event.
  10. Attend an FPRA event: Social Media Cafe, Image Awards, PR University, Pro Bono Day,Media Breakfast or others as they arise. And don’t forget the FPRA State Conference in August in Naples. It is close and convenient – and our chapter is putting on an event!You’ll have fun, gain knowledge that you can put to work right away and meet the nicest people…your fellow PR professionals.
Happy New Year from the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Image Awards - April 2010

We know that TIME FLIES and April 2010 will be here sooner then we think- so in the coming months, we will give you some handy tips to help you navigate your way through the process of preparing your Image entries.

Getting Started
  • Consider every project you are working on as a potential entry. In order to enter, some part of the project must take place between January 1, 2009 and mid-March 2010 (end date will depend on the deadline to be announced).
  • Write your plan now. Set your goals (broad) and objectives (precise).What are you trying to accomplish? You can have qualitative and quantitative objectives, but they must be specific and measurable.
  • Organize support materials. Keep a file for notes, surveys and documentation. Start saving copies of results, proof of research, before and after samples, e-mail correspondence or feedback, media clips, letters/notes, reference materials, photos, etc. If you start now, all you need to do is “put it together” later.
Categories to Consider

Most people think of the big stuff – marketing campaigns, special events, brochures, new Web sites, etc. But there are also entire categories for a poster or calendar, news release, written speech, electronic communications, presentation, or even a unique specialty item. If you
don’t have enough elements to enter Division A, you can try parsing it out. This
may give you the leading edge and make for a winning entry.

PR Students!

Did you know you can submit an Image Entry? Its true, students can enter a written speech, newsrelease, position paper or computer-generated communication. You can also enter any other category in the other professional divisions if they have something that doesn’t fit in the student division. As you complete your school or internship projects, you may have a gem hiding right in your portfolio. Just think how great it would be to tell future interviewers that part of your body of work won an award at the local, or even state level. That would definitely set you
apart from the crowd and really help your career “take off!”

The Guidelines

Yes, they matter. In fact, failure to meet the guidelines may get your entry disqualified. After you have burned the midnight oil to crank out a future winning entry, you would hate to have be taken out of consideration for not following page or spacing guidelines. There is a certain way to
submit or present your entry, what should be included and how your presentation materials need to be formatted. As the saying goes, “the devil is in the details.”

What you need to know...

Put most of your work into the two-page summary, not the notebooks. Seventy percent of the scoring is based on the summary of your project that sets out the reason and need for development of the public relations program or tool, how it was implemented and the results. The judges then review the support materials for professionalism, innovation and design to score the remaining 30 percent of the entry.

Make sure you address five elements in the two-page summary - Research, Objectives, Implementation, Evaluation and Budget.

If you don’t follow the directions, your entry could be disqualified or at the very least, overlooked. The summary should include all the elements and everything important about your entry. And it should be clear, concise and factual – not just creative. So by following the specific directions – your flight plan – you won’t “veer off course” and you will be able to reach your final destination (a.k.a. AWARDS!!).

2010 Conference: "The Big Picture"

What will bring you to FPRA Annual Conference? There are a lot of great
things happening already with the 2010 Annual Conference, and you won’t
want to miss the “The Big Picture!”

To be a part of "The Big Picture"...
  • MARK YOUR CALENDAR: August 8 – 11, 2010 at the beautiful Naples Grandein Naples, Fla. Did you know that Naples Grande Beach Resort is a certified Florida Green Lodging hotel?
  • RESERVE YOUR HOTEL ROOM NOW: Reservation link is up at
  • REGISTER NOW: Registration forms are ready! Not sure if you’ll have the budget for Annual Conference next year? Have some money left over in your 2009 budget? Take care of it now and relax! Go to to download your registration form
GREAT SPEAKERS CONFIRMED: Confirmed general session speakers include
Jim Lukaszewski, The Lukaszewski Group– Developing a Strategic Mindset: How
To Become a Trusted, Strategic Advisor; Lisa Malone, NASA– PR strategy around
sun setting of the Space Shuttle program; Deirdre Breckenridge, PFS
Marketwyse – Putting The Public Back In Public Relations as well as several
breakout session speakers on topics regarding:
  • •Building a Strategic Plan
  • Launch of the Disney Parks Blog
  • How PR Pros Avoid Legal Woes
  • What Your Boss REALLY Wants But Hasn’t Told You
  • Polishing Your Professional Reputation

TELL US what brings you to conference: In addition to the terrific programming and professional development opportunities, great networking is at Annual Conference because of you! Please email Kathleen Taylor, APR or Pam Nulman, APR, CPRC and tell us “What will bring you to Annual Conference?” for a chance to win an FPRA prize!

Keep an eye out for updates on the FPRA website. This is FPRA’s key professional development seminar, and the focus is on great speakers, of-the-moment topics and tried-and-true
strategies of public relations. Some other things to think about:
  • Do you know of potential sponsors of Annual Conference? Our sponsors help FPRA offset the cost of registration for attendees.
  • What items could your business donate to the FPREF scholarship fundraiser? Let’s help Southwest Florida Chapter co-chairs of the fundraiser Cheryl Garn, APR and Sharon Arnold obtain some great items that will pack the house for the night full of big excitement and big success.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ring in the New Year and new Calendar

With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season we are all scrambling to keep tasks and holiday treats in order.

As a helpful reminder, Dec. 31, 2009 is the last day to renew membership without incurring an additional fee.

As we open our 2010 calendars, let us not forget...

Save the date and get ready for an event jam-packed with the latest in the social media market. Topics inlude:

• Social Media Ethics, Butch Ward, Poynter Institute
• Utilizing Youtube for Citzen Engagement, Michelle K. Garnder, UCF
• A social media success story, Chris Griffith,
• And More!

Friday, January 22, 2010, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Royal Palm Yacht Club in the Fort Myers River District on West First St.

The 2010 State Conference: "The Big Picture: Bringing Public Relations Strategy and Leadership into Focus" will bring four-days of education, networking and fun to the Naples Grande from Aug 8-11, 2010. Register early, reserve your room and relax!

Save the dates: August 8 - 11, 2010
Location: Naples Grande

Looking for ways to mix business and fun together at 2010 Conference? Consider:
• Lending a hand in raising funds for the Florida Public Relations Education Foundation. By either volunteering for the fund raising committee, making a personal donation, or joining in the festivities with your fellow FPRA friends at the Sunset Social you will be sure to have a blast!
• Have you been looking to take a stay-cation? Why not extend your stay after conference and bring the fam! FPRA negotiates a group hotel rate for the conference, and you can extend your stay for the same nightly rate.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tips for Bridging the Budget Gap

As PR practitioners, whether in a good economy or bad economy, we should make the best use of our budget.

Throughout the past 25 years, Meg Geltner, General Manager for the Salvation Army of Lee County, Florida, has never seen a downturn like now. More challenging economic times have inspired some innovative public relations initiatives to generate community support. Geltner recommends:
- collaborative efforts with community partners who will also benefit, including governmental, for-profit and other non-profits;
- targeted messages and mediums for each donor group, cultivating each generation; and
- focusing on trends which will appeal to editorial boards and donors.

She also notes that with the advent of new technology and social networking, the role of the public relations staff has evolved. Even so, tried and true methods of communicating with donors, such as direct mail, should not be dismissed, and are still very effective.

As Director of Communications and Printing Services for Lee County Public Schools, Joe Donzelli is a one-man band. He faces not only the challenge of a limited budget, but also limited human resources. To counteract this, he has had to become very resourceful in locating talent within other departments in the school district to assist with technology and graphics.

Donzelli reminded us that although our metropolitan area has grown significantly, it's still considered a small market versus others such as Miami. According to Donzelli, only a small percentage of journalists actually have formal education in the field, and many reporters in our market are seeking experience in order to make a career move to a larger market. Because journalistic inexperience can sometimes cause inaccuracy, Donzelli recommends controlling your message by submitting ready-to-go materials to the media, including press releases and quotes they can use verbatim, and posting your own video messages and interviews on the web.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dr. Charles Fornaciari presents tough ethical issues in today's Web 2.0 world

Charles Fornaciara, Ph.D joins us from Florida Gulf Coast University for this afternoon's topic on modern professional ethics.

What do we mean when we refer to Web 2.0 technology? Wikipedia says that this media promotes interactivity and sharing of information on the web. How is this different from traditional media?
1. It's interactive - traditional media was a one-way communication. This allows everyone to become part of the message.
2. Unstructured environment
3. The communication flow is uncontrolled
4. Always occurs in real time, all the time
5. Web 2.0 is all about the end user

Fornaciara asks us several questions that get our brains churning - when does technology cross the line?

Facebook and Beacon - in November 2008, Facebook announced a new service called Beacon. Facebook members who took actions at Web sites of Facebook partners would have related information posted to their page. Users would have to explicitly prevent this action from happening on the partner sites. This produced an extremely negative reaction - 14,000 Facebook users posted a petition against the partnership. Facebook finally agreed to let users opt out of this service as a result.

Google's GMail ad words technology - Google opened GMail to invited users, but did not tell anyone that a program would be looking at the e-mails people were sending to find keywords that matched ad content. Matched ads would appear on the screens of target users. Using GMail is a voluntary activity, and ad words are still being used frequently.

Fornaciari offers suggestions to combat potential Web 2.0 ethical nightmares:
-Develop a list of guidelines and stick to them.
-Slow down and think before implementing. Consider potential problems and work through the scenarios.
-Be careful and aware of permissions and privacy acts.
-An organization must truly listen to its audience, instead of reverting to the traditional one-way broadcast communication.

Thanks to Dr. Fornaciari for a thought-invoking presentation!

PRU session: Effectively Integrating Public Relations and Advertising “Drive or Crash” with Michael Goldberg

In this digital day and age, it may seem like the “wild west”: everyone is working to be at the top of their game to ensure clients and companies continue to see the value of what we do. Michael Goldberg, EVP-Chief Marketing Officer of Zimmerman Advertising, says Pivotal to our survival is a realization that it is our job to “sell stuff.” No matter what position we are in, it is important that what we do has a positive impact on the bottom line – which never lies, said Goldberg. We must continue to be valuable.

Showing our value can sometimes be one of the main difficulties for PR professionals with all the intangible benefits that we know about, but we must adapt to stay in the game. Goldberg says we are at an intersection, and we must grab the wheel and drive if we want to make it in the future communications landscape.

Part of that survival is working together effectively with other players on the field. Goldberg talked about being relentless in pursuit of clients and customers by focusing on results. “There’s a thin line between brilliance and true insanity,” Goldberg said. He believes that sometimes, it the best ideas may just be the wildest at the time, but it is important to be fearless to achieve success. He used the Crocs shoes campaign to demonstrate how to connect to customers and boost the bottom line in a brave way (using voices from both those who love and hate those croslite plastic shoes!). This was a great example of how public relations and advertising worked together.

In other Wild West territory, digital age news, Goldberg reports that Social Media has overtaken the Pornography industry as the as the top reason people go online…hmm.

High Tech - High Touch Panel Discussion

Lynn Schneider, APR, CRPC; Tina Haisman, APR, CPRC and Newt Barrett addressing several issues, and answering questions. We'll try to get them all in here!

Q: If and when should PR jump into the conversation online?
Lynn: She says "The same old PR skills still apply!" Gave a real-life example about answering a negative comment on a public forum utilizing a personal approach and PR skills. Never argue opinion, just correct factual information when appropriate.

Q. Tell us about the "Million Dollar Coupon Campaign" and strategies to use.
Tina: The goal was to create buzz, the coupon wasn't expected to "sell" the house. Initially was going to use a traditional approach, but came across and decided to use the service as an experiment. When it hit the web Tina set up a Twitter account for the client and tweeted the headlines as they appeared. Tina emailed David Meerman Scott to thank him for his book "The New Rules of Marketing and PR" which inspired this approach. Scott replied and asked permission to use the project as an example on his blog and in the next edition of his book!

Q. Tell us more about how content marketing affects public relations.
Newt: Get a mental image of a book cover - "The Tale of Two Cities"..."It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". That's where we are now. Ten years ago the media controlled access to the public. Today you can go directly to the public. PR and content publishers are inextricably intertwined. Must think like publishers - discover what problems the target market is experiencing and create compelling, relevant information for them.

Other thoughts from panel?
Lynn: All of us are looking to build relationships. To do that find the affinity between you and your publics.
Tina: Some tech info - I chose the media visibility package from PRWeb because they distribute to the Associated Press.
Newt: Used a couple of examples of local folk using blogs to build a web-like internet presence, free marketing!

Lynn: For us, the number one source of quality leads is still through resident referals. Need to go back to the quantity vs. quality discussion. If I have x number of hours to devote to cultivating leads, where do I spend them?

For Newt: Once you build your blog, how do you get it "out there"?
Newt: The single most important thing is to understand who your target market is and that you market exclusively to that market. Combine timeless content with timely content, continually adding to the timely content. Be precise about what you write about. If the content is there you will be found!

Don't let your online voice develop multiple personalities! Solis shares some final thoughts.

Every brand has a voice online. A "personality style guide" should be developed to promote consistency. We don't want to convey multiple personalities once the online identity has been established. Above all, we must be transparent and believable. This is how we earn influence.

For information on influencing, go to to find out what to look for, how to follow influencers, etc.

Thanks to Mr. Solis for this informative session! You can e-mail him at

Next up: Lunch! I know my stomach is growling, how about yours?

Solis tells us how to listen, influence and help our audience find what they're looking for

Solis spent a year monitoring the social web. The important part is listening, documenting, and reaching your audience where they are talking about you most. This is not just Twitter and Facebook! There is not just one audience. People are going to their networks of influence to learn, ask questions and get feedback.

So, what exactly is influence? It's the ability to inspire action and measure it. If you give people something to do, activity and buzz increases.

It is important to be strategic in titling, describing and tagging your content. Use as many tags as are relevant. Be specific and know what your audience is looking for when creating these items.

We must also be aware that, once we engage our audience, we need to send them somewhere just as engaging. For instance, if someone clicks on your Twitter link because they are interested in a product you mention, would you send them to your homepage or straight to your Web store instead? Make sure you are pointing your audience to a place where they will be able to continue the interaction.

Solis tells us how to get involved - and how to track our efforts

It is ever-important for us to continue to learn about and decide how to reach this new audience. Experimentation is a must, and through that experience we will be able to find out what works -- and what doesn't. Tracking our activity and the response of our audience to each action allows us to really see the impact of what we do online.

But, Solis stresses this point:
Just because we have access to these social media tools doesn't mean we have something interesting to say!

By no means is it OK to post fake reviews, fake blogs or any intentional misrepresentation. These are found out very quickly!

The way social media is influenced (in order):
Customer Service, Communications, Branding, Marketing

For instance, an incident occurs, the organization has a listener to find out about it at which point customer service and communications are the most important responding forces.

We must find a way to keep our audience engaged and compelled. Did you know that YouTube is the second most popular online search engine? More people are going there to search for content - only second behind Google - looking for something to share. Everything begins with search, so we have to make sure that we show up where it matters! On every single social media site, the most important way to find the information we need is the search function!

Instead of using Twitter search, use a service called Collecta. It will bring every tweet as it happens, any blog post, any Flickr image and YouTube video straight to you in real time!

Use a service called Backtype to find information in the comments sections of blogs and other social media - this is where people talk! This allows us to find out what the general public - not just the blogger - is saying.

Brian Solis shows us how to put the public back in PR

Our next speaker, Brian Solis, Principal of FutureWorks, visits us straight out of California.

He asks us, "Who is using Twitter and Facebook for business purposes right now?" Nearly the entire room full of people shows their hands.

Solis shows us a comparison of monthly visits to popular Web sites:
CNN - 30 million
Twitter - 25 million
Facebook - 300 million
MySpace - 260 million

Did you know that more than 1 billion photos are uploaded to Facebook each month? Wow! These eye-opening statistics prove to us just how important social media has become in the constantly changing practice of PR.

People have said that social media is killing public relations, but this is actually our opportunity to step out from behind the proverbial curtain and influence this realm. Our audience is becoming more engaged and interested in interacting with us.

Social media is not just a broadcasting medium - instead, it is more about making connections. It's about creating an experience for our audience. It's about telling a story. So when Anheuser-Busch wanted to premiere their Super Bowl advertisements with a social media news release, Solis and his firm created a site that turned the cameras around and showed "the making of" the ads. They included video embedding code, links and other items that his audience could easily access, copy and paste into their own mediums.

If you want to create a social media release yourself, visit It is a free site!

What's NOT News Q & A

Is it possible to refocus a story? Example: Client was contacted to provide a counterpoint to the first position, first position was inaccurate.
Everybody has an agenda, people lie to the media all the time. PR needs to talk to the reporter, provide facts to counterbalance, engage in a dialog. Media does not WANT to broadcast inaccuracies.

What do you do if media gets it wrong, reporting inaccuracies?
Pick your battles. If you call a reporter on the mat on little bits, they will stop calling you to source. If the facts are inaccurate, provide the correct facts. We trade in credibility and we won't run from our mistakes!

Time's up! Thanks so much Judd Cribbs!

Up next...Brian Solis of Futureworks - author of "Putting the Public Back in Public Relations"!

What's NOT News...Final Tips

Eliminate the words "No comment" from your vocabulary. If you can't comment, explain why. The media wants every side, and wants the story to be accurate. They fact check, but they don't break down doors. Don't ignore them!

Air times are accurate to the second. Always be ready to do the story at a moment's notice!

Staging a news conference? Be aware of camera angles, lighting issues. Have your speaker available after the conference for short interviews - if you can arrange different backgrounds for each network, so much the better.

You may have several people you'd like to have interviewed at an event, but more than likely there's only time for one interview, so make sure you have a primary interviewee selected.

What's NOT News Continues...

Judd Cribbs continues with examples of using "people words", encouraging us to make sure opening lines are not loaded down with archaic language. (And yes, "archaic" would not be considered "people words"!) In other words, do away with the technological language, make it so easy a caveman could understand it. (And here Judd does his caveman imitation - you really should be here!)

Okay, so you've sent out your press release, what should you do next...

Respond! If you are contacted to provide a source, make sure you find out the reporter's deadline and confirm any appointments necessary to facilitate.

Respond! If your company uses an automated phone answering system, make sure there's an option for media to connect immediately; on your personal voice mail, make sure to offer the media a number to connect with you immediately; make sure the media has your cell phone number; do everything you can to facilitate communications.

Respond! Investigate a little further by determining WHY the media is interested in your story - how will it be presented, what is the media's goal. Open a dialog with the reporter. Both of you have key messages to get across, make sure they are not at cross-purposes.

So, the key for this section is...Respond!

What's NOT News

Welcome to PRU - High Tech - High Touch! Our first speaker is WINK-TV reporter Judd Cribbs, a perennial favorite in Southwest Florida. He's telling us about "the file", where all the press releases, notices, etc. are kept. They get over 1,000 emails a day! And about 20 reporters have access to it, to spread the work around!

So Judd is about to tell us how to get through "the clutter"....

Building the relationship is still important, it can be as simple as a phone call saying "Hi, I'm Jane Smith and I'll be sending you press releases about Company XYZ".

Must grab TV reporters' attention and QUICKLY. "News organizations have about 6 seconds to get the viewers' attention, and you have about the same amount of time to get ours!"

DON'T bury the lead! If your story is about 28 elephants walking down the street, make sure that's in the first paragraph.

Story angle: Make sure you're clear on the story angle in the press release. Remember that stories for TV must have a visual angle.

Looonnnggg press releases will be ignored, there's just not enough time to sift through them.

When you're writing/pitching, think about the viewers - who will care and why.

Don't tax the reporters' "mental energy units"! Write in "people terms". For example "members of law enforcement" = "cops"!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PR University - High Tech, High Touch

In just one month, FPRA will host PR University (PRU) at Harborside Event Center in Downtown Fort Myers from 9 a.m. until 5p.m.

Brian Solis, Futureworks – Social media guru from Silicon Valley. Has published several books and his most recent is “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations”. He is going to be passionately talking about how PR pros need to expand their scope by engaging everyday people and connecting with them in order to get their messages out in a broad scale. (books will be available for signing!)

Michael Goldberg, Zimmerman PR – His agency experience spans nearly 20 years with clients such as Hershey’s, Crocs, PepBoys, Target, Party City and many more he will share his knowledge of building a brand and the importance of strategic thinking as a PR professional. He will challenge us to grab the joy stick and really start driving!

Judd Cribbs, WINK-TV – Who better to tell us what is NOT news? Journalist today are looking for the techy, touchy stories. With a variety of mediums to keep their audience informed, limited staff and a much faster paced news arena, only the best pitches make their list. After Judd’s tips, your story will have a better chance!

Newt Barrett, Content Marketing Strategies, Tina Haisman Public Relations, Lynn Schneider, Shell Point – Real life stories of what type of content you should be providing, how to sell the idea of social media or technology to your boss or client and what to do-or not to do, when your company shows up in a blog. This panel of seasoned professionals share their words of wisdom!

And there’s more! All attendees receive:

· 2GB Flash Drive

· Bennett’s Fresh Roast beverages and to-die-for donuts

· Scrumptious boxed lunch

· Norman Love confections snack pack

· Reception at Hotel Indigo immediately following the event

Traveling to Fort Myers just for the event? Hotel Indigo is offering PRU guests a special: If you book a Friday night room, you will receive a free night certificate!

Attendance for this full-day event is only $75 for FPRA members, $90 for non-members, $30 lunch only. You don’t want to miss it!! Register at today! Seating is limited!

Special thanks to our sponsors: Briggs & Rogers Marketing & PR, Nulman PR & Marketing, mCreative, LCEC, Lee Memorial Health Systems, Florida Weekly, Hotel Indigo, Bennett’s Fresh Roast Café, Promotional Incentives, Charlotte Harbor Estuaries, Harborside Event Center, Norman Love

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Conference Winds Down, SWFL Chapter is still Sizzilin'

Though conference is cooling down, several SWFL members are still sizzlin' after their big win at last night’s 52nd Annual Golden Image Awards!

Bringing home Golden Image Awards for public relations programs were Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC, of Susan Bennett Marketing & Media along with Debra Webb, APR and Dena Geraghty of the Lee PACE Center for Girls for the “Grand Dames Tea”; Carolyn Rogers, APR, CPRC and Mary Briggs, APR, CPRC of Briggs & Rogers Marketing & PR for the “Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest”; and Phyllis Ershowsky, APR, CPRC along with Bill Valenti and Lee Golden of Florida Gulf Bank for the bank’s “Downtown Detour Survival Program”.

Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC, Ken Gooderham, and Tina Haisman, APR, CPRC of Gooderham & Associates earned an Award of Distinction for the “American Beach News Service”. Melinda Isley of M.Creative, and Sarah Owen of the Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc. won an Award of Distinction and a Judges’ Award for CCMI’s “NoFood4You” campaign.

Judges’ Awards in this division also went to Mary Briggs, APR, CPRC and Carolyn Rogers, APR, CPRC of Briggs & Rogers Marketing and PR for Mark Loren Jeweler’s “Mother’s Day Program”; and to Pamela Nulman, APR, CPRC, SWFL Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Marie Mosely, APR for the Susan G. Komen Southwest Florida “Race for the Cure”.

Winners in the division for printed tools of public relations were the Shell Point Communications Team for “Shell Point Life Monthly Magazine”; Melinda Isley of M.Creative, Lucy Costa of Promotional Incentives and Sarah Owen of the Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc. for CCMI’s “NoFood4You” t-shirt; and the Lee County Library System’s “Bookmobile Exterior Design”. Each of these teams won both a Golden Image Award and a Judges’ Award.

Also in the printed tools division, The Lee County Port Authority Public Relations Team earned both an Award of Distinction and a Judges’ Award for the “LCPA Employee Newsletter.”

Audio Visual tools of public relations are also recognized. Winning both a Golden Image Award and a Judges’ Award in this division was the Shell Point Communications Team for their video “Shell Point Today Process Improvement Hiatus”. The “Grand Dames Tea” DVD won a Judges’ Award for Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC, of Susan Bennett Marketing & Media along with Debra Webb, APR and Dena Geraghty of the Lee PACE Center for Girls, and Todd Schultz of NBC-2.

The Florida Public Relations Association conducts the Golden Image Awards competition annually to recognize outstanding public relations programs in Florida and encourage and promote the development of public relations professionalism in our state. Awards include the Golden Image Award, Award of Distinction and Judges’ Award.

Kudos to all of our members for their great accomplishments!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer is Heating Up as FPRA Annual Conference

The SWFL Chapter of FPRA is well represented in Boca Raton this week for the PR on F.I.R.E. Annual FPRA Conference. Chapter President Ginny Cooper, President-Elect Kathleen Taylor, APR, VP of Member Relations Phyllis Ershowsky, APR, CPRC, and Karen Ryan APR, CPRC will also be blogging from the sessions at the conference web site.

Hot off the presses...

The SWFL Chapter is on FIRE at this year's annual conference! Our chapter has just received the President's Award for Accreditation and Certification;the President's Award for Technology; and the President's Award for Chapter Administration (the Orlando Chapter also won this award). Go Team! :)

The Chapter Administration Award recognized the chapter’s excellence in management. A new chapter Web site designed by Upton Technology Group and administered by chapter President Ginny Cooper, along with the chapter’s efforts in social media led by Emerging Communications Chair Carla Ulakovic was responsible for the receipt of the Technology Award. The chapter’s dedication to professional development was honored with the Accreditation & Certification Award. Credentialing Chair Mary Briggs, APR, CPRC and Vice President of Professional Development Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC led qualified candidates through the rigorous processes to achieve the APR (Accredited in Public Relations) and CPRC (Certified Public Relations Counselor) professional designations.

Did you know...

The Southwest Florida Chapter has the largest number CPRC-credentialed members in the state!

If you would like to keep up-to-date with whats sizzlin' at conference check out the official conference blog!

For all of you tweeple, information is also available @fpra and @swfl_fpra.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August Meeting Heats up with Jeopardy: PR Ethics

Chapter Business
PRU- High Tech, High Touch is just around the corner!
Mark your calendars for Friday, Oct. 9
The PRU committee is finalizing the details for the can't miss event. So keep an eyeon your mail!
Pay Pal has been incorporated into our chapter website (sigh of relief). Members and guests must continue to register online and then fill in the Pay Pal information. The process has not been perfected yet, so bear with us as we work through the kinks!
Changes in meeting dues are effective at the Sept. meeting. Members: $18, Guests: $25 For those who do not pre-register, you will be assessed a $5 walk-in charge. We will also be charging for no-shows.

Conference is just around the corner and membership catching F.I.R.E- FPRA's Annual Conference that is! Keep checking for updates live from conference on:

Rocking Chair: This month's Rocking Chair goes to Deborah Shane for her work as programs chair. Congrats Deborah!

A big thanks goes out to this year's Chapter President, Ginny Cooper, for all of her hard work and dedication. FPRA SWFL has had a great year full of fantastic flavor incorporating fabulous firsts, fun, friendships and a foundation to continue paving new public relation avenues. Thank you, Ginny!

Do do do do, Do do do, do, do do, do, DOOT, do do do...

The pressure was on today as members and guests split into three teams to battle it out during a Ethics in PR Jeopardy game. On the line-- gift certificates to Red Salon of Cape Coral.

How do you think you would have stacked up in this tough competition?

Test your knowledge.

Today's categories: History, Truth or Consequence;Utmost Discretion; Clients and Employers, Ethical Education


Q1 - 1906
Q2 - 1938
Q3 - 1987
Q4 - 2000
Q5 - Edward Bernays

History Answers:

A1 - When did Ivy Lee present the declaration of principles?
A2 - When was FPRA founded?
A3 - What year did FPRA approve the Uniform Code of Ethics?
A4 - When was the PRSA Member Code of Ethics approved?
A5 - Who was the founding father of modern public relations

Truth or Consequence

Q1 - Commitment to ethical practice
Q2 - Bar or expel from FPRA
Q3 - Dual obligations
Q4 - Free inquiry
Q5 - Accuracy & Truth

A1- What is FPRA’s view on ethics?
A2- What are consequences of breach of ethics?
A3 - What does a PR professional have to balance between client/employer And democratic process?
A4 - What do members have to respect from clients, the public and the media?
A5 - What are standards to which members must adhere?

Utmost Discretion
Q1 - Public Naming
Q2 - Specific results & achievements
Q3 - Competing interests
Q4 - Gifts & Commissions
Q5 - Reputations of fellow practitioners

A1- What do members need to be prepared to identify regarding clients and employers?
A2 - What should a PR professional NEVER guarantee?
A3- What should never be represented without express consent of those concerned?
A4 -What should a member not accept from clients & employers unless given express consent?
A5 - What should a member NEVER Intentionally damage?

Clients and Employers

Q1 - Confidence & Privacy
Q2 - CSR
Q3 - Greenwashing
Q4 - Lying, spin-doctoring & deception
Q5 - The three R’s

A1- What should a memberscrupulously protect for present,former and prospective clients?
A2 - What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
A3- What is the habit of representing “green” practices inaccurately?
A4 - What do critics among journalists, policymakers and laymen often associate with the PR profession?
A5 - What are reputation, relationships and responsive rectitude?

Ethical Education
Q1 - Systemizing, defending and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior
Q2 - Dialogic ethics
Q3 - Advocacy Ethics
Q4 - Pre-emptory ethics research
Q5 - Underlying values

A1- What is ethics?
A2 - What was the system ancient Greek philosophers used to allow all parties to be heard?
A3 - What is the system whereby PR professionals represent the Clients or employers point of view?
A4 - What should a member do before a crisis of conflicting ethics ensues?
A5 - What should the PR professional fully understand about organizations
before developing an ethics strategy for them?


Final Q - What should the PR professional fully understand about organizations
before developing an ethics strategy for them?

Final A - What has dramatically affected PR Ethics in the 21st century?

How did you do in the FPRA SWFL PR Ethics Jeopardy?
It was a spirited battle between, Super Past Presidents, M&Ms, and Team Awesome, but the winner of today's game and Red Salon certificates was...(drumroll)...Team Awesome!

Photos from today's luncheon are posted at our Facebook page

Hot New Opporunites - FPRA on F.I.R.E:

FPRA's Annual Conference offers opportunities to ALL members. Even if you cannot attend conference, you can still join in the fun!

We just got word of a HOT new opportunity that could just sweep you and 4 friends/family members to Orlando for a two-night stay at the Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort and four (4) two-day Universal Studios park passes for a weekend of fabulous fun courtesy of Universal Studios. This gift package is valued at $1,000

Proceeds raised from the auction of this item will go to benefit the FPRE Foundation. The Foundation provides scholarships for students studying public relations and for our members for professional development and accreditation. Test your luck today for a chance to win a weekend getaway!

To enter your name in this drawing click here to make a $10 donation. Donations are not required and your name can be entered in this drawing by faxing your name, chapter name and phone number to (941) 906-1556.

FPRA will have you on the edge of your seat as the winner of this amazing package is announced at the on Monday, August 9 at the HOT STUFF/COOL CASH auction fundraiser.

Announcer Message: You do not have to be present to win. However, if you would still like to attend conference it is not too late to register!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Congratulations Kathleen Taylor, APR!

President-elect Kathleen Taylor earned her APR (Accredited in Public Relations) designation in June. The chapter heartily congratulates her on this accomplishment!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lead the Way!

July marks our annual Chapter meeting and what would be the most appropriate discussion topic you ask? Leadership of course!

A big thanks goes out to Gulf Coast Business Review for sponsoring the luncheon! We had a great turnout with quite a few guests!

For those of you who are not aware, PRU has been moved to October! The theme was announced at the meeting....drum roll, please....High Tech, High Touch. Stay tuned to the blog, facebook, and Twitter accounts for more information on the event!

If you missed yesterday’s meeting, you missed the presentation of the Chapter Member Awards for 2009! Congratulations go to:

2009 Rising Star Carla Ulakovic
2009 Chapter Member of the Year Laura Puerto
2009 PR Professional of the Year Tina Haisman, APR, CPRC

The SWFL Chapter welcomed Dr. Wilson Bradshaw, FGCU President for a refreshing chat on Leadership.

Dr. Bradshaw had members laughing throughout as he told tales of Brad's Follies.

We were left to mull over his four key points of success:

1. Seek first to understand then to be understood.
2. Be open to ideas.
3. Consider the consequences if you make a wrong choice. How will you handle the situation?
4. If you mess up, fess up. (Bradshaw reflected on the Holiday Cheer mess at FGCU last year)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Online Newsrooms with Ibrey Woodall

98% of journalists expect companies to have an online newsroom

Detroit Lions saved about $25k the first year they had an online newsroom, cut costs of sending out photos, etc.

Some common mistakes:
Lack of recognized URL (use
Bad design/navigation - Content not updated
Bury newsroom link on corporate site - don't bury it under "about"
Email alert delivery not targeted
PDFs instead of Word docs

Most important element - searchable archives!

Allow for more granular searches.

Have a lot of PR people? Organize them by subject area!

Okay, Ibrey is SO full of info...can't keep up. You just needed to be here!

RSS Feeds - News at your door

Birgit (like Beer and geet like Guitars...two of our favorite things) of Pauli Systems has launched into an RSS Feed presentation.

So you might be wondering..."What the heck is an RSS Feed?"

The answer: Standard since 1999 Real Simple Syndication (RSS Feeds)– Standard way to provide content across sites and tools

First step of social media is Listen, RSS feeds help you listen and organize the “noise” aka conversations.

(FYI: All of Birget’s slides are available on

Subscribe to feed in Twitter via search box and it will shoot you information by including a hash tag (#) then keyword you are looking for.

Google reader is an excellent way to sort through the “noise” to find what you are looking for with greater ease. An added perk is that you can share items that you've searched to help educate others via Google.

And yes...RSS Feeds are no subscription fees! This allows you to keep in the loop and get more information.

Other RSS Feeds

Technrati -- A Blog Directory.
How its used? - You have to claim a post a(technoroti walks you through this)

Next on the list of must use is Delicious -- and you can share you RSS Feeds from Google Reader here :)

Where are the people who are talking about the topics I want to Know about? Where to I find them? RSS Feeds are a great place to start.

Beyond the Google Reader are RSS Feed listening tools.

FriendFeed: This is a platform that shows you all over your feeds from Twitter, Blogs, and several other social media platforms that individuals may be.

Friend Feed Allows users to expand on conversations created on other mediums and shares them with all of your "friends".

New RSS listening tools online magazine rack of popular topics.

RSS Feeds Part Two...RSS Feeds As a Publisher

Some RSS feed driven e-mail broadcasts...

Live with Marketwire - Wickles Pickles

Googling "press release distribution"...title tags show up in bold. (Yes, if you're tech-savvy this is basic, but most of us here are basic!)

It's all about measurement...The Pheedo Network - targeting bloggers and RSS feeds that are industry-specific.

Robyn's giving us an overview of navigating the world of social media, great emphasis on aggregating your Twitter accounts, shortening url's, etc.

Hashtags! A way to follow tweets acording to topic. Just put # in front of the subject.

Check out your competition on

Yes, we have a chapter of the Social Media Club right here in SWFL!

Q & A with Robyn
How to use Twitter effectively...instead of "I'm walking my dog now", provide value to your followers and use links to give them more info!

What about all the acronyms/codes on Twitter? Where are all the definitions? Just Google them!

What qualifies "spamming" bloggers? Anything that's not relevant to the blogger! But yeah, there are gray areas.

Tina Haisman, APR, CPRC offers this advice on behalf of local reporters - if you're not really their friend, don't "friend" them on Facebook. It's a more personal network vs. professional.

From Lynn Schneider, APR, CPRC: Separating the internal and external, personal and professional in a large organization...where's the line? What about time management? Use filters, use delayed release applications for Twitter, aggregartion for posting.

Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC: How do you post a link? Starting with Facebook...
Well, ya gotta be here for this hands-on stuff, can't describe it!

Join us at Hodges University....

SEO and Social Media Releases with Robyn Medlin

Robyn is an account executive with Marketwire. (She loves the breath of fresh air and friendliness of the Southwest coast - we do too!)

Using the death of MJ as an example of the viral news and the need for an online presence.

Reviewing top social media sites by category according to Alexa rankings.

So much out there, and available by phone - NO DISTRACTED DRIVING!

Another caution - don't be a social media spammer. How to pitch without being one? Make the info accessible, easy to find and easy to share.

Standard vs. social media press release:
No live links or metatgs
No photo or video
No elements that encourage interactivity
Social Media Release...WOW! What a difference. Marketwire has awesome platform built in - you just upload Word doc and end product can include YouTube video, live links, page sharing on beaucoups sites.

Going live to see how this works on the back end...


Giving some away, thanks to Start Poken! Really fun way to exchange social media addresses! Who won the first round? Nancy Coker. Tiffany Esposito. Becki Reeves. Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC. Beth Lobdell. Harry Lookanan Jr.

Long tail = long love life!

What a hilarious start...revealing our inner pigs may reveal too much! This ice-breaker is destined to go down in FPRA history!

Reveal your inner pig!

We're starting by drawing pigs! Don't kow yet how trhat fits in, but...

SMC:TSC is about to start!

There's still time to join us and walk-ins are welcome!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Social Media Cafe: The Second Course Adds some Spice

The Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA The Social Media Cafe: The Second Course will be topping off the course with a few new additions.

In addition to the great line up of presenters, Flame Productions will be joining us once again providing heads shots for non-members at a discounted $25 and complimentary for registered FPRA members.

We are all hungry for social/ new media, but with all of the new Facebook , Twitter, Linkedin accounts, etc. how do we keep our contacts straight? Pokens are one way. This new gadget acts like a virtual business card thus making it easy to find your contacts on social media sites with which they are registered. As a bonus of the SMC: TSC has donated several Pokens for a special giveaway drawing. You won't want to miss out on this!

Our sponsors for the event: Hodges University, Bell Tower Crowne Plaza, Honey Baked Ham and

Register at Registration deadline is 6/19. Cost for members is $25 and $50 for non-members.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Are you hungry for a serving of social media?

The FPRA social media feast continues with the Social Media Cafe: The Second Course on Friday, June 26 at Hodges University in the conference room. Seats are limited. RSVP by June 19. Lunch is sponsored by Honey Baked Ham.

Register online
This lecture-style seminar will provide an in-depth look at blending social media with other Web 2.0 technologies such as RSS feeds; whipping up a Social Media Release; SEO for press releases; and how to get cooking with an online newsroom with social media interaction.

Our guest presenters for the event include:

Ibrey Woodall, Director - Marketing Communications, TEKgroup International, Inc.

Robyn Medlin,Account Executive, Miami Marketwire

Birgit Pauli-Haack, CEO and founder of Pauli Systems, LC

SMC Committee members Kristen O'Donnell and Carla Ulakovic will also be on hand to offer their Social Media expertise!

Event Check-in: 9 a.m.
Presentations: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Thank you to the SMC committee for all of their hard work. A BIG thank you to Hodges University for their continued support.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June Luncheon Recap

At today's luncheon, guests got a full serving of tips, tricks and FPRA love.

Kudos to our hard working and dedicated members who earned their CPRC credentials!

A round of applause goes out to:
Phyllis Ershowsky, APR, CPRC, of PKE Marketing and PR Solutions
Pamela Nulman, APR, CPRC of Nulman Public Relations and Marketing
Carolyn Rogers, APR, CPRC, of Briggs and Rogers Marketing and Public Relations
Karen Ryan, APR, CPRC, public relations manager of Lee County Electric Cooperative

Congrats ladies!

June's ROCKing Chair was awarded to...drum roll... Mary Briggs, APR, CPRC for an excellent job as credentialing chair.

The Chapter will soon set up a PayPal account, it should be ready for use in a couple of weeks. A reminder to all members and guests, it is helpful for our Hospitality Team if we register prior to the RSVP deadline, and no-shows will be billed.

Upcoming Events:

We are preparing to serve members their second helping of social media information on Friday, June 26 at Hodges University. The format has changed a bit, as we are moving on up to the conference room to accommodate the growing social media appetites of our members. We are also changing to a lecture-style seminar!

This lecture-style seminar will provide attendees a specialized look at incorporating social media with other Web 2.0 technologies. We have some great guest presenters for the event:

Ibrey Woodall, Director - Marketing Communications, TEKgroup International, Inc., will discuss online newsrooms with social media interaction.

Miami Marketwire’s Account Executive, Robyn Medlin, will discuss Search Engine Optimization for Press Releases and will introduce a Social Media Release.

Birgit Pauli-Haack, CEO and founder of Pauli Systems, LC, will share her knowledge on putting social media to work with RSS feeds.

Registration and Networking begins at 9 a.m. with presentations beginning at 9:30 a.m. The cost is $25 for members and $50 for non-members. Lunch is sponsored by Honey Baked Ham. Members and guests must register on no later than Friday, June 19. Registration should open today, but sign up quickly! Seats are limited. (The SMC appetizer sold out in the first week!).

Don't forget about conference!

Tips and Tricks:

Today's luncheon created a great buzz about the values of building strong FPRA relationships and the benefits these create!

Need help turning a PDF file into a Word Doc and Back into a PDF ...check out:

Do you need to create a PDF file but find yourself without Adobe? Check out:

Need help shortening links for Twitter? Check out: or

Are you part of a 501 (3) organization who is in need of purchasing software? offers deeply discounted rates for non-profits.

Have an Iphone and need help tracking mileage? Download the Mile Bug application

Looking for an audio script as part of your campaign? Check out:
Here you can find qualified voice professionals to meet your deadlines and specifications at a low cost! You provide a timeline, select the type of voice you are looking for and ask for auditions.

Looking for a visual component to a campaign? Save some time and search for footage on

Targeting an audience comprise of individuals 60 years +? Don't forget about Shell Point as they offer a wide variety of in-house publications.

Need help managing all of your social media sites? Check out Ping.FM (or others like it). Here you have one platform to manage all of your sites.

Need help with time management if you are working for multiple clients at a time? For a small monthly fee try --they offer a free trial.
Just looking for time management tips? Check out:

Always come prepared to a meeting. And always prepare for others...keep extra paper and pens on hand in case reporters and guests come unprepared (it's amazing how often this happens).

Keep abreast of industry trends with and

Attending FPRA is a great way to network, find new jobs and make great frienships!

Join us for our Annual Meeting in July with guest speaker Dr. Wilson Bradshaw, FGCU.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

FPRA Goes to The News-Press

Several members of FPRA enjoyed a visit to The News-Press Editorial Board Meeting on May 27, 2009, where Lynn Schneider, APR, CPRC; Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC and Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC gave a presentation on FPRA - it's mission, dedication to professionalism, it's widespread influence around the state. We shared our Code of Ethics with the Editorial Board and discussed ways we could improve the two-way conversation between our industries. Many thanks to Kate for arranging the visit!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Conference Brochure is Here!

The 2009 Annual Conference brochure is here.
It's sure to get you fired up about PR on F.I.R.E.!

Friday, May 22, 2009

New CPRCs for SWFL Chapter!

Congratulations to Phyllis Ershowsky, APR, CPRC; Pam Nulman, APR, CPRC; Carolyn Rogers, APR, CPRC and Karen Ryan, APR, CPRC for achieving the ultimate level of professionalism within the Florida Public Relations Association - the Certified Public Relations Counselor credentials!

The certification process was developed to recognize professional growth and achievement of senior members who have already earned the APR designation.

Candidates for CPRC must be a member of the Florida Public Relations Association and have a minimum of 10 years of professional practice in public relations.

The exam, which is administered throughout the year, consists of a written section, comprised of case studies, and an oral component, which requires the candidate to make a presentation to a panel of certified evaluators.

CPRC publicly says to senior management, boards of directors, clients and peers that you are officially among the cream of the crop of our profession. In addition, earning the CPRC credential is also a “lead by example” opportunity that says to peers and your staff that you value professional development, accreditation and certification. As members of FPRA, we are dedicated to enhancing the profession. Thank you for encouraging others to pursue their maximum potential with your example.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Snapshot of "Daddy"

We all have them…and depending on our generation they are high definition digital delights, captivating Kodak Ektachromes, fading Polaroids , scalloped-edged black and white bits of history or perhaps just imaginings. They’re pictures of our fathers and while some of us may be celebrating Father’s Day with them this month, some of us will be celebrating the memory of them. Still others may have fathers they’ve never known.

The word “father” is used to pay tribute to individuals who initiate or influence industries, the arts, fields of science…even our country has “Founding Fathers”. I doubt any of us had a personal knowledge of Edward L. Bernays, considered the “father” of public relations. He died in 1995 at the age of 103. Visually depicted in Cutlip & Center’s Effective Public Relations as a smiling, affectionate man, he nonetheless has an imposing presence. So much so that Life Magazine included him in its 1990 special issue, “The 100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century”.
• He broke new ground in 1923 when he taught the first public relations course at New York University
• His client list included major corporations, government agencies and U.S. presidents from Calvin Coolidge through Dwight D. Eisenhower
• He is credited with coining the phrase public relations counsel, which was introduced in his first book on public relations, Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923)
• He was a vocal proponent of licensing of public relations practitioners

In that last instance, does “father” indeed know best? Voice your opinion here!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Finish Strong"

The final quarter of the 2008-09 FPRA year begins with those two words of encouragement from Association President Lanette Hart, APR, CPRC - "Finish Strong". There were knowing smiles around the table from Executive Committee members who have served as chapter leaders as the rest of us took a much needed pause to catch our collective breath. Spring is always a busy time for FPRA, led by Local and Golden Image Awards programs. Followed by the June 5 deadline for the chapter newsletter competition, the chapter Web site competition and the legendary Chapter Management Notebook. Our chapter has been so busy this year, I'm wondering if it will all fit into a 4" notebook!

Southwest Florida Chapter - you have much to be proud of! We finished second in the Annual Conference Chapter Challenge; third in the quarterly stats for membership growth (Phyllis I am bringing the chocolate cigar home to you!) and garnered kudos from our liaison Jennifer Moss, APR for excellent programming (thank you Deborah) and our social media efforts (thank you Carla). And Mary Briggs, APR, CPRC is on the proposed slate of officers for the 2009-10 Executive Committee as VP of Professional Development! The slate will be voted on at Annual Conference.

10 Minutes to a Better Future
Jeff Nall, APR, CPRC, VP of Accreditation and Certification gave us props for our thorough coverage of all the credentialing tools and information on our Web site, including the recently produced APR and CPRC videos. They are approximately 10 minutes long each and give you the why and how to pursue professional credentialing. Jeff reminds us that if you're sitting on the fence, the first part of June is the last chance to complete your requirements, in order to be recognized at this year's Annual Conference.

I'm Hot Stuff! Ask me why?
So reads the buttons Adrienne Moore, APR, CPRC passed out, promoting our "Hot Stuff for Cool Cash" FPREF fundraising auction. Yes...complete with Donna Summer background music!

"Sustainable" is the password for the FPRA 2009 Annual Conference swag bag. If you or your clients have a product you'd like to get in front of over 200 public relations professionals, contact VP of Annual Conference Karen Smittle at

Did you know FPRA has an entry in wikipedia? Read it here:

And all the photos from official FPRA functions and meetings can be found on FPRA's flickr photostream here:

Friday, May 8, 2009

Make It a STAYCATION at Annual Conference

It's all the rage now, you know - the STAYCATION, vacationing right here in Florida. I've even seen the term DAYCATION used to promote visiting attractions within a day's drive of your hometown.

For the past several years I have wrapped a day or two around either end of Annual Conference. In 2006 it was an extra morning of waking up on beautiful Amelia Island surrounded by the luxury of the Ritz-Carlton. In 2008 it was an extra day shamelessly spent indulging at the Canyon Ranch Spa at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando. This year at's up! The conference room rates offered at these awesome resorts make it hard to say "no" to an extra night or two.

Why don't you try a STAYCATION this year? Give yourself a day or two extra to soak up some sun while all that knowledge you just gained sinks in!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Annual Conference Tuesday Speaker Line-up Released

We’ll start the morning with our 2009 Dillin Keynote Speaker, Eugene Campbell, Vice President of Community Relations and Minority Business Development for Walt Disney World Resort. Named #4 in a CSR poll, Disney is well known for its corporate responsibility. This presentation will focus on the Foundation and Reputation components of F.I.R.E. as Eugene talks about Disney’s comprehensive, integrated approach to corporate responsibility. He’ll also talk about how the company addresses crucial issues related to the environment, community, workplaces, product development, and other factors that shape stakeholder perceptions.

Interested in International CSR? Join Leticia Solaun, International Public Relations Liaison for CH2M HILL, for her presentation One Size Does NOT Fit All: Cultural Influences in CSR Decision Making.

Or join Joe Curley, APR, CPRC, and learn the ten strategies you need to earn a position on the management team at his presentation, PR is Not Always Loved by Management: Here’s How to Get the Romance Started.

Still a little confused by those financial statements and budgets? Finance 101: What You Need to Know about Financial Statements and Budgets so you can Communicate with Your CEO will help. Join Dennis Gayle, Senior Vice President of First Bank and Trust of Indiantown for this Educational session.

Wendy Cobrda and Amy Hebard, founding partners of Earthsense, LLC will Educate us on Green Public Relations and Marketing. Following their presentation, you’ll have the opportunity to hear about Green Printing and Paper from Wayne Dennis, Corporate Director of Sustainability for Mac Papers, and Kathy Paiva of FidelityPress.

And back by popular demand are the Counselors’ Network Roundtable lunch discussions. Our seasoned professionals will facilitate discussion about hot public relations topics.

We’ll wrap up Tuesday’s professional development with a panel session you won’t want to miss: “PR Under Fire.” What do you do when your employer, or you personally, are suddenly the focus of the community’s and the media’s attention? Here from public relations professionals as they talk candidly about their experiences in addressing challenges they’ve faced in their respective industries, how they have responded to those challenges, and how they continue to demonstrate the value of public relations and the bottom line return to their employers. Moderated by Suzanne Sparling, APR, FPRA Past President, panel members are Jack Levine, 4Generations Institute (non-profit); Lauri-Ellen Smith, APR, PIO for Jacksonville Sheriff's Department (government); and Deirdre Breakenridge, President, PFS Marketwyse (agency).

For more information on Annual Conference, go to

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Key to Unlocking New Media : SEO

Start your engines! Search engines that is. Today's guest presenter was none other than Charly Caldwell of ISG. Charly walked FPRA members and guests through the wonderful world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

For any member who was unable to attend, we'll be posting a helpful how-to guide provided by Charly to help us master the world of SEO.

Notable Nuggets from this awesome presentation...

TEST AND MEASURE - Using Web Tools. Public Relations professionals meet Google Analytics;this helpful (and free) tool helps us understand the behavior of individuals once they have reached a web site.
It is important to measure: a) Online visits b) both Online and Offline Conversions

Quickbooks Online - Its important to monitor your expenses to see where you can trim back. Mint is also helpful (and free) in monitoring your spending habits.

Getting into the nitty gritty:

Where to begin? - Charly says its important to view key word phrases in 3 categories
Learn - Longer Phrases in plain English. His example was if you are looking for a digital camera your query may be "digital camera + video capability"
Shop - During this phase individuals become more educated through research. Their quest for a digital camera may boil down to the google query " canon digital camera".
Buy - During this phase, the individual knows what they want and now they just need to know where to get it at the best value i.e. canon camera + specific model numbers.

Now the important part is linking these keyword phrases to your Landing Page (a web site, a blog, news release). The key is to strive for a 4 - to -1 optimization...meaning you would want to include your key word phrases in your page title, URL, header and body to help increase your display (page rank) on Google thus increase traffic. (Putting your URL on Facebook, Linkedin pages, popular blogs can help with this).

Charly's 5 Steps to Success
1) Define your goal
2) Create Content
3) Deploy Content
4) Drive Traffic with Social Media
5) Monitor Analytics

Chapter News!

The first installment of the Social Media Cafe was a great success! Thank you to all of those who registered and all of you who lent a hand. Mark your calendars for Fri. June 26 @ Hodges University - We are serving up the second course from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Congrats to Phyllis Ershowsky, APR, winner of The President's ROCK-ing Chair Award for May for her hard work on increasing chapter membership! We have grown 25%!

APR study sessions are in full swing! May 13 and May 20 will focus on preparing for the readiness review. You can attend at the offcies of Briggs & Rogers. Call Mary Briggs at 278-3900 for details.

Annual FPRA Conference is just around the corner. Anyone interested in playing golf at the event should contact Ginny for more details!

It has been announced that our chapter will be donating American Flags that have been flown in combat in Iraq for the conference fund raiser. We need gorgeous frames for the certificates of authenticity that accompany them. Drop your change in the box at check-in!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ready for a Golden Safari?

With a "super" Local Image Awards program under our "bat belts", it's time to polish up those entries (or create new ones!) for The 2009 Golden Image Awards Program! "Golden Safari" will have the judges hunting for the best public relations programs in the state. In 2008 our own Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC won the Dick Pope All Florida Golden Image Award - signifying the SWFAS Campaign to Build a New Detoxification Center was the best in the state!

All the details, as well as the Call for Entries can be found here on the Chapter's Web site. The deadline to take advantage of complimentary shipping sponsored by Gooderham & Associates is May 21, 2009.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Second Course!

June 26, here at Hodges University. Watch for details.

Get Cookin' with Twitter

Kirsten's favorite appetizer is wings! Twitter wings!
Twitter does have an introductory video on their web site. We're watching it now.
Ability to include links especially helpful for business.
Can't use boldface, italics, quotes, so be careful about your phrasing.
Why an organization might consider tweeting:
Product loyalty (ex: Albion's Oven tweets every time something comes out of the oven)
Brand following (ex: Obama campaign)
When you're in the news, send out a Tweet and link to the story
Web site that constantly updates
When you produce an external newsletter or alerts/bulletins
Who's your chef? What kind of online personality do you want to use?
The Happy Medium: Your Twitter Alter-Ego (just like 102.9 BOB-FM)
Create a character (ex: GoodLilly Tweets for Suncoast Goodwill)
Best practices:
You want people to be able to recognize you (and your avatar) - logo, storefront, branding image
Pick a user name that's easy to remember and close to your web address
Drive traffic to your web site
Shorten your links
Wanna follow Kirsten? @kbolesen

Break time!

No way can I catch you up on everything we absorbed about Facebook and Linkedin in the past hour! The range of knowledge and comfort among the guests is extreme. From novice cooks to experienced chefs, the room is full and everyone is all a-twitter. Speaking of Twitter, that's up next, with Kirsten O'Donnell of Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida.

Sometimes you don't know what you don't know until you ask! I had been ignoring some of the fun applications on Facebook like gifts and quizzes because of the disclaimer that said I would be opening up my contacts. I thought it meant that if I accepted a gift or took a quiz, then suddenly all my friends' info would be an open book. What it really meant was that I would open myself up to all my friends with the same app.

Facebook vs. LinkedIn

We skipped the break...too much to learn!

LinkedIn basically an interactive online resume.

Facebook account types:
Personal accounts - has ability to externally link to other accounts
Groups - can be formed about anything
Business Page - solely about organization

Carla is walking us through the set up of a Facebook account, explaining settings, what to use when....way too much info to take notes on. The whole presentation will be uploaded to the chapter's Web site,

Intro to Social Media

Pings and pokes and Tweets...what IS Social Media? The online technologies and practices which people use to share opinions, insights, and experiences with each other.

Identify Your Craving: What do you want to do - to position yourself professionally or just connect with friends?

Consult: Your organization, your boss as to whether or not they have limitations as to what you can say about your professional life.

Evaluate Your Choices: Keeping everything up to date DOES require time.

Choose Your Ingredients: Twitter and other microblogging sites are equivalent to the staus updates on Facebook. All the sites have different purposes: sharing, publishing, social games, rating sites. What are widgets? Icons which can be placed on a site as a link.

Not just for kids! The fastest growing demographic for facebook is 35-55!

Livestreams: One platform to organize all of your individual social media accounts and post once to update all (more on this later later)

Neilson: 200,000,000 users on Facebook as of last week. That's double the population from December until April! Social networking now the fourth most popular activity on the internet, even surpassing email!

Treat virtual communication as you would "real world" wouldn't wait a week to return an associate's voice mail, so don't wait a week to respond to someone's wall posting, tweet or poke!

Q & A
What about people who fill up your Facebook wall?
You can use customized settings at Facebook to control this. Pivacy controls are your best friends - learn how to use them to your advantage!

Social Media Cafe: The Appetizer

We're blogging live from Hodges University where the Social Media Cafe: The Appetizer will be served at 9:30. If you weren't able to attend, check here throughout the morning for tips, trends and links on everything social!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Get connected!

FPRA creates a new Facebook Page. Join us today and see new pictures from last week's Image Awards Gala!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

PR on F.I.R.E

The FPRA’s 71st Annual Conference is quickly approaching! The event will be Aug. 9- 12 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Interest is Boiling ...

Spaces are filling up quickly for the Social Media Cafe: The Appetizer.

Don't miss this great opportunity to network with Southwest Florida Communications Professionals and to whet your social media appetite!

As an added benefit to FPRA members who register for the event, Flame Productions will be snapping complimentary professional head shots to add some pizazz to your social networking accounts. There will be a cost of $25 for non-members (a fifty percent saving) who would like to have a professional head shot taken.

The event will be held:

Friday, May 1 @ Hodges University

9 a.m. Registration --Those registered members who are interested in having a head shot done, are encouraged to come at 9 a.m. to keep the lines moving smoothly. Head shots will also be taken during the morning breaks.

Presentations: 9:30 a.m. - noon

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's Time to Feed the Hunger

Do you find yourself wondering when would be the appropriate time to poke, tweet, and ping your colleagues? Or even wondering what poke, tweet, and ping mean?

FPRA has the answers! We are cooking up a series of workshops called The Social Media Café: Creating Your Social Networking Cookbook, to whet your appetite for all things social networking. The appetizer, a how-to-get-started in social media from the basic ingredients to all the new trimmings is ready to be served:

When: Friday, May 1
Time: 9 a.m. registration and networking
Program will run from 9:30 a.m. until noon
Where: Hodges University
Cost: $10
Registration Deadline: April 27

Flame Productions will be on hand to snap professional headshots you can use on all your social media sites. The cost of photography is $25 for registered guests, complimentary for FPRA members.

FPRA will walk you through the social media ingredients so you can create a recipe that is right for you and your organization.

Register for the course at Payment will be taken at the door, checks or cash only. But hurry, space is limited to 50 people!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

When the President Comes to Town

Our FPRA SWFL Chapter monthly luncheon meeting for April welcomed many past presidents, honoring them for their contributions. In coordination with the program topic, the SWFL Chapter welcomed FPRA President Lanette Hart, APR, CPRC, to town! She conducted a special recognition ceremony for our chapter's past presidents, giving each who was there an official quotes logo pin and thanked them for their past, current, and future service to FPRA. Past Presidents recognized were:

o Mary Briggs, APR,CPRC 1991-92
o Susan Johnson, 1998-1999
o Tina Haisman, APR, CPRC, 1999-2000
o Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC, 2001-02
o Karen Ryan, APR, 2002-03
o Barbara-Anne Urrutia, 2007-08
Lynn Schneider, APR, CPRC, 1989-1990 and Olivia Orth, 2006-07 were both present for the official photograph but were unable to stay for the meeting.

Lanette praised their experience and support as a rich history for us to learn and grow from. She encouraged new leaders to consider the opportunities and the incredible return on the investment that comes from chapter leadership – particularly as committee members, chairs, and board members. She officially opened up the nomination process. Immediate Past President Barbara-Anne Urrutia is leading the nominating committee.

Susan Johnson, the General Manager of Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre was the panel moderator. She introduced the topic of “When the President Comes to Town,” relayed a story of how the Broadway Palm handled an event featuring the future First Lady, Michelle Obama, and then introduced the panel:

Vicki Moreland, LCPA. RSW created the environment for the President to arrive and depart safely into Fort Myers when he came to town.

Marietta Mudgett, Director of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. She was asked by White House officials to put together a list of 40 community members who would be personally invited to attend the Town Hall Meeting with President Obama.

Jennifer Hobbic , Public Relations Manager for the City of Fort Myers. Jennifer worked in coordination with the White House Press representative to corral media clamoring to gain access to the event.

Shelly Flynn, Public Information Officer for the Fort Myers Police Department. Was called to work closely with Secret Service personnel to ensure adequate coverage and safety in our area when President Obama visited. Was part of the coordination to get him from and back to the airport. Enlisted the help of neighboring resources with the Lee County Sheriff’s Department and the Cape Coral Police Department.

Rose Rundle, Director of the Harborside Event Center. Rose coordinated the efforts to host the Town Hall Meeting (1500 guests!) when her venue was selected. Worked closely with police and other city officials to ensure safety, crowd control and proactive public relations before, during and following the event. Behind the scenes commemorative Thank You to volunteers can be found on their website, and linked here.

Save the date for next month's meeting at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 11:15 a.m. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

And That's a Wrap!

The inaugural PR Pro Bono Day is drawing to a close, with guests mingling and networking with the PR professionals here.

Connie Martin of the Make A Wish Foundation won the free lunch!

And congratulations to Cindy Burgess for a phenomenal job in organizing this event. The monthly ROCKing Chair Award goes to Cindy. Many thanks also to Vicki Collins and Joni Schopke of the Hospitality Committee.

Social Media & Blogging

Carla Ulakovic and Kathleen Taylor addressing social media.

What is it? Connectivity and relationship building online.
It's impossible to be on every site! Now there are organizing applications like Friend Feed.

Fourth most popular activities on the internet are social networking and blogging. (Higher than emailing!)

30% of the global population is now registered on FaceBook.

Where to begin?
Assess your needs
Research the site
Establish and protect
Know your limits

There are faux pas - most importantly make it a relationship. Have a conversation, don't just push your agenda.

Q. How can nonprofits use social media for fundraising?
More for sharing information about events, causes, not actually raising money through the social media site.

As a nonprofit, make sure you are ALLOWED by your national organization to do so!

Special Events

Carolyn Rogers, APR, Lucy Costa and Heidi Taulman are preparing their very visual presentation on Special Events.

Okay, it's lights out now...

Carolyn: We're speaking about special events at a special event! I want to make a strong plea - if you're going to have an event, have an event with a purpose. Events are not the most efficient way to raise money.

You can never plan too much!
Include a follow up strategy in your overall plan and make it timely
Remember your goals and include them in the recap to your constituents
Say thank you an average of 6 times to your volunteers, donors, etc.

My belief is that an event is made more memorable with a commemorative giveaway.
You can give the item away BEFORE the event, as a means to encourage attendance.
Make it part of the planning process, not an afterthought.
Photos of VIP's in hard hats and t-shirts...good
Photos of kids in hard hats and t-shirts...better! Media loves kids and pets as visuals.
If you are giving an award, make sure it corresponds to the level of the achievement.

Carolyn: Make sure no one else is doing an event the same time as yours! Target your audience by asking advice of your target audience.

Lucy: Always have a plan B.

PR Budgeting & Measurement

Doing a little flip-flop in the agenda here while Special Events sets up their very visual presentation...

Phyllis Ershowsky, APR and Pam Nulman, APR are discussing the whys, when and hows of measuring your your PR effort.

I liked Karen's pudding analogy:
Awareness objective - do they know who brought the pudding?
Acceptance objective - did they like the pudding?
Ability and action objective - has the behavior been affected? (Are they coming back for seconds? Asking for the recipe?)

Pam: Nobody likes to talk about budgets, especially PR people!
Does anybody actually have a line item for PR in your budget? Only 2 did!
How many have a marketing budget? Fundraising budget? (A couple more hands)

Four traditional ways organizations set budgets:
% of total revenue
How much competitors are spending
Specific task or goal
Expense everything, PR gets what's leftover
Plus: We don't need one because we can get it pro bono!

Fixed costs and variable costs: PR is usually a variable cost.
To handle PR in-house with dedicated staff, outsource it or do it yourself? Measurement and budgeting can help determine this.

Talking to the Media

Seguing into the next panel discussion, Susan's number one tip is to be available by telephone 24/7! A few more from her handout:
Do suggest possible feature stories, but be prepared to wait!
You must know the right reporter to pitch to!
Paste the text of your release into the news release.

Vicki: As the PR director for 2 airports, my role is "instant answer". It's okay to say "I don't know, I will find out for you and get back to you."
Take your glasses off on camera.
Be prepared to answer the 5 questions you don't want to!

The 3 C's ....
Control your side of the story.
Be Competent - don't step out of your area of expertise.
Concern - be concerned, show concern.

Importance of bridging technique:
A Answer the question
B Bridge to message you want to convey
C Communicate YOUR message

Practice! Rehearse in advance! Have your staff role play the media for you.

Buying time: repeat the question (as long as it deosn't have a negative in it)

You can correct errors

How to Write a Press Release

Laurel Smith, APR and Sharold Arnold of Gravina Smith & Matte are joined by Kara Minoui of Wragg & Casas. Kara is the chapter's Vice President of Communications and responsible for the chapter's press and media relations.

Sharon opened the discussion with a very important question - is your news actually newsworthy? It's a very necessary question to answer, and one which the media will ask before deciding whether or not to run your release and/or develop your news into a story.

Laurel is going over the standard AP format for press releases and handed out a sample press release to illustrate. Make it as easy as possibe for the media to pick up your release and run it with little or no changes necessary. Have someone who knows nothing about the release read it to help you determine if you have communicated clearly. Laurel encourages the audience to pick up a copy of the AP Stylebook, the journalists' Bible, at a local book store (+/- $20). She is hitting the high points of proper format.

Kara: The way you distribute your release affects your credibility. Best practice is to send the relase out individually. If that's not possible, use your email list in the bcc field - DON'T use the cc field to copy everyone you are distributing to. Put NEWS RELEASE in the subject field. Watch the size of your photos if you are sending accompanying photos, no larger than 1mg, but a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Watch your bounce backs and correct your personal media list accordingly.

Sharon: Write in the third person!

Q: Should you ever thank a reporter for their coverage?
Laurel: Absolutely, especially if it he/she has taken your release and developed it into a feature story. Be sure to cc their supervisor. Key your thank you on what they specifically did that benefitted you, not just "thanks for the great story".

Sharon: It's all about the relationships. A thank you I sent to a photographer has turned into a lunch with a magazine editor.

Q: Should you send attachments?
Laurel: We do both, attach a document and paste into the text.
Aside from Susan Bennett: For instance I sent out a release to the News-Press today and had a conversation about the fact that they use Macs and cannot open newer formats of Word documents.

Q: What about using read receipts?
Laurel: Perhaps to a specific reporter but in general I'd say no.

Q: Follow up calls?
Laurel: No.

Q: How do we know who to send it to?
A: Buy the chapter's 2009 Media Guide and Directory!

Q: Online press releases? Optimizing releases for the Web?
A: That's a whole 'nother panel discussion later today! (Laughter)

Q: General rule of thumb for timeliness?
A: Depends on the event, and on when you want it to hit. Give dailies a week; monthlies 90-120 days ahead.

Cindy brought Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC and Vicki Moreland of the Lee County Port Authority up to complement the discussion, since their topic was "Talking to the Media"

PR 101

The first session began with PR 101 - distinguished panelists include Karen Ryan, APR, Eileyn Sobeck Bador, APR, Julia Babair, APR, CPRC and our chapter president Ginny Cooper. After a brief introduction by Cindy Burgess and a welcome from Greg Gardiner of United Way -- he thanked the PR community for reaching out -- the panelists got started.

Ginny presented the Media Guide and Media Directory, announcing the $50 non-member price and order form availability. She presented What PR is NOT -- not marketing, not publicity, not fund raising. Must first make the distinction between PR and other functions of the organization. In some organizations, the same person handles PR and marketing - causing confusion. We sometimes add to the confusion by saying we handle marketing and public relations, integrated marketing without distinguishing the differences. In reality, marketing and PR are separate management functions with different but overlapping goals. PR is the management function that establishes mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. Marketing is more transaction-oriented, exchanges something of value. PR manages the relationships.

In non profits, PR defines organization mission, builds and maintains public policy, communicates through various channels, builds relationships with key publics. Tactics differ greatly to accomplish all of these.

Don't give into temptation of not doing research -- check your assumptions about your publics, figuring out who you want to reach, what you want them to do. What messages to you want to convey? Apply the info to your bottom line -- you need to raise money.

Julia Babair -- discussed PR planning that deals with communications, behaviors, opinions and evaluations. That's how PR plays a part in overall business plan. It's important to know what your organization trying to achieve. What is the overall goal?

The PR plan doesn't guarantee your success, but provides your strategic plan that is a road map toward success. As a PR professional, what does the management and Board expect? Enhance competitive edge, expects us to protect two assets: name and reputation.

Understand situation, target audiences, key publics, goals and objectives. You need strategic thinking to develop long term goals. How does the process begin? With research. You need to understand your situational analysis. Effective PR begins with listening and getting feedback. Many people just want to jump in or they are intimidated by research but it doesn't have to be expensive or difficult. You can do a communication audit to get feedback, conversations with employees or audiences. You can do surveys or focus groups -- there are many ways to accomplish that.

You need to identify your target audiences -- employees, shareholders, donors, the media. Develop your key messages. What facts do people need to know?

Now you're ready to set objectives -- realistic but they should stretch you. Should be very specific about knowledge and the outcomes you expect. Identify qualitative objectives -- specific and measurable.

Objectives provide direction and give you a plan to follow. You will be prepared. Need to evaluate criteria.

Strategic planning will result in positive programming. Increased management and Board of Director support.

Must understand who your audience is. Your audiences are board of directors, general public, clients whom you help. You need to come up with strategies and tactics for each of those publics. Before you create your message, figure out your best way to communicate with them. We want to be positive and keep going. Be targeted and strategic. Showed examples to illustrate her company being environmentally friendly -- her company has been green for 30 to 40 years -- shopping bag decorated with a frog "Plastic makes me croak." Also a flyer and device to cover CF lightbulbs. Demonstrating strategy and tactic when she presents info on her company. Explained there are newer methods and newer tactics but she still uses "old school" tactics to accomplish some of her objectives. With our pursestrings being so tight we have to be careful, be very targeted. Welcomes calls for additional help.

Discussed evaluation -- can be scary. Compared to making pudding -- research recipe, want to impress your mother in law (target audience), have to set objectives like how much pudding are you making, when does it have to be ready. Decide the right ingredients, how you are going to prepare and what is it going to look like. Evaluation -- shows proof in the pudding. It has to be successful to impress your mother in law. Need to think about it early -- how you are going to measure it. Need to plan this in advance so that you are measuring the right things. Was there enough? Did the people like it? Did they ask for your recipe? When you're thinking about evaluation, think about Survey Monkey ( developing the questions in advance. You can also do written surveys to part of your audience, or one on one interviews. Make sure you have an evaluation plan in place. Gather data as you go along so when you get to the end, it is already compiled. We keep a box at my office and put everything needed for evaluation into that box so it is all there at the end.

Went back to research component. Discussed Google alerts,, set up alerts to know what is being said out in the online world. You can do this personally, for your organization, for your event. One way of doing research - free and very easy.

Asked for questions:
Comment that she uses email address for Google alerts.

Five things that non profits gain include to inform and motivate your key audiences to dedicate themselves and work productively in support of your mission.

Question about survey after event, would you recommend exit survey or public survey through email? Karen answered that if done at an event, you can explore further, ask follow up questions. Related her experience with exit surveys.

Ginny: when you mention your sponsors, you should be able to come back and say here's what we did for your money and show them the value, three times the value of their dollars. You can prove what you did for them.

Karen: Exit survey can be tricky especially if there's an open bar - sometimes the data you get back is not reliable!

Question: Is it just being associated with the event that sponsors want to be remembered? Don't you have to know what the sponsor really wants out of it?

Karen answered that you have to know target audience, creating your objectives and having tactics that match those objectives. Her organization looks at their objectives for participating before they sponsor. Sometimes it is "the right thing to do."

Question: There are so many events, would challenge someone to guess who Downtown Diva wrote about last week.
Eileyn suggested that we need to be thoughtful and set our objectives carefully -- not just to be doing event or series of tactics, but to have reason behind that.

She answered that FPRA has helped her become who she is today, helped her professionally and with ethics.

Karen -- always keep your organizational goal in mind.

Question -- what are some other ways besides press releases to meet your goals?
Eileyn -- explained that she asked residents why they were moving out of her community. Based on answers, she understood the economic reason and gave her tools for outreach -- as a result, she had 10 move ins. She projected five in two months and got 10 in one month.

Second part of question - if we have a supervisor who is press release/event reliant, how do we suggest what worked elsewhere? Case studies?

Julia -- FPRA can provide you with those tools -- resources to ask questions, networking with people and find out what has been done, what worked, what hasn't worked.

Karen -- if you can get over the first hurdle of having a plan with good results, you will make them a believer. Talked about Twitter, referenced someone who has been incredibly successful with it -- Wall St. Journal story, video. Karen took those results to her CEO and now that door is open. Case studies are great for showing results.

Ginny -- discussed HARO - Help a Reporter Out, free service to get included in queries.

Karen - gathering the data as you go along allows you to make mid-course corrections. Mid course corrections are fine.