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!