Friday, March 26, 2010

PR Pro Bono Day: Media Sponsorships and Partnerships

Presented by Cindy Burgess, Communications Manager for The News-Press Media Group

The News-Press Media Group will consider partnering programs and events that:
  • Increase advertising revenue
  • Enhance our local content
  • Increase circulation, readership and viewership online
  • Delivers one or more of our targeted audiences and areas
  • Enhance the quality of life in Southwest Florida
Priority for partnership is given to businesses and organizations with which we have an existing relationship.

The News-Press Media Group will strongly consider organizations and events that appeal to the following target audiences and areas:
  • Mainstream Families
  • Midlife Success
  • Affluent Empty Nesters/Boomers
  • Reaching Adults in Lee County and in Southwest Florida
We use the following criteria when evaluating all requests for partnerships:
Does the program/event:
  • Reach one or more of our target audiences and/or geographic areas?
  • Offer readers and online viewers a unique opportunity?
  • Reinforce our image as a good corporate citizen  and community partner?
  • Provide an equitable relationship with Enquirer Media?
Provide the News-Press Media Group with:
  • The opportunity to be sole or exclusive print and online media sponsorship
  • A unique and important service or benefit to our readers, viewers and advertisers
  • The opportunity to provide a positive experience to our readers, viewers and advertisers
  • The opportunity to increase subscription or advertising revenue

PR Pro Bono Day: Preparing Printing for Direct Mail Marketing

Presented by Sue Lampitt, Account Representative, Intech Printing

For a successful direct mail campaign
  • Target your market - get personal, get relevant, get results
  • Create a clear consise message
  • Use creative and consistent branding
  • Database optimization/USPS regulations
  • Consult with your direct mail provider
  • Increase response levels with variable text and images
  • Test small, never spend a great deal of money on new marketing efforts that haven't been tested yet. Digital printing is an excellent way to do this.
  • Employ good graphic design elements
  • Ask for action
  • Repetition and relevance are required
  • Optimize your database, use personal URLs
  • Be familiar with the ever-changing USPS regulations
  • Bar coding is essential in Non Profit mailings

PR Pro Bono Day: Media Buying Basics

Presented by Wendy Payton-Enriquez,
Partner in pearl brand communications

Why buy media now?
  • Because out of sight IS out of mind. Advertisers see the highest growth in sales and net income during and after a recession.
  • You can take advantage of competitive opportunity
  • You can realize long term positive gain
  • You can find good deals
  • You can be a hero to your customers
Do your homework
  • Decide what you want to spend
  • Decide who your audience is
  • Discover what makes your audience "tick" - demographics and psychographics
  • Determine what your end game is: awareness, influence public opinion; drive traffic to Web site or storefront
  • Determine media vehicles based on the reach and frequency, gross ratings points, cost
  • Build your roster - use your reps as your consultants, use their data to your benefit
Think strategically
  • Own a medium or outlet
  • Look for exclusivity
  • Choose quality over quantity
  • Be picky
  • Don't overextend
  • Don't skimp on creative
  • Don't be afraid to try something new

Go for it!
  • Use written insertion orders
  • Hold media outlets accountable to performance
  • Make adjustments to your plan
  • When all else fails, call in the experts

PR Pro Bono Day: Elements of Effective Graphic Design

Presenter: Scott Qurollo, Partner, pearl brand communications

Scott begins with a humorous disclaimer that his presentation will "not make you as cool as Don Draper or land you a job at a big New York ad agency. It may however give you a leg up on your competition through better layout, and possibly make you more effective at promoting your product."

While referring specifically to ad layout, these basic elements of graphic design can be applied to any piece of design.

Determine your goals

  • What's your message?
  • Who is your audience? This will drive your style and layout.
  • What information needs to be communicated? Call to action, contact information.
Determine the elements of your layout
  • Graphic
  • Headline. Grabs attention, conveys your message.
  • Body copy. Provides support for message, draws reader further into ad.
  • Signature. Most typically this is your company logo, identifies who is running the ad.
  • Call to action. Not necessary if it is a branding ad.
Start designing with pencil and paper
  • Rough sketches save time
  • Strive for dominance and balance. Dominance gives design a focal point; balance draws the reader in and creates a "feel good" reponse

Use C.A.R.P. techniques
C=Contrast: creates intrusiveness (attention getting), adds interest to a page. Create contrast with color, dimensions (both within the ad and within the page).
A=Alignment: used to unify and organize; elements need to visually connect; find a strong line and use it.
R=Repetition: adds drama and visual interest; creates unity; underused! Use your copy as a visual element.
P=Proximity: grouping items creates unified elements; used to simplify and organize. Stand back from your ad and squint at it, counting the number of elements you see. If you have more than 5, start over, it's too much for the reader to digest.

Evaluate your ad, review your ad from the consumer's viewpoint and ask yourself:
  • Did I achieve dominance and balance?
  • Would it stop me?
  • Would it differentiate me from the competition?
  • Do I understand the message?
  • Is it persuasive ?

PR Pro Bono Day: Branding Yourself and Your Business

Presenter: Christin Collins, Corporate Sales Manager, Norman Love Confections

Three keys to personal branding:
  1. Name tag - with your company name, logo, colors - and use it!
  2. Note cards.  Hand write as many notes as you can.
  3. Introduce yourself with your full name and who you're representing.
Personal/self branding is about building a bond with the customer, showing you care.  Find out their passions and what's important to them.

Pretend you're peeling an onion when finding out what the customer wants and what's important to them.  Go to a deeper level to identify their needs.  Relating this to the non-profit world, you can grow commonality and build relationships by becoming involved in charitable causes. Let them know you care.  Be in the community, be passionate, be open, be celebratory of something off the topic of direct selling.

Remember it's not about you.  It's about the person you're talking to.  That's the key to being in the community, representing your brand and creating positive relationships.

PR Pro Bono Day: Customer Service and Surveys

Presenter:  Debbie Webb, APR, Executive Director for Hope Clubhouse

Customer service performed through building relationships.   You will be judged by what you do, not what you say.  If you truly want to have good customer service, make sure your business consistently does these eight things:
  1. Answer your phone.  Get call forwarding or an answering service.  Hire staff if you need to.  Make sure callers can get a live person.
  2. Don't make promises unless you will keep them.  Reliability is key to any good relationship.
  3. Listen to your customers.  Let the customer talk.  Acknowledge them and make appropriate responses; suggest how to solve the problem.
  4. Deal with complaints.  Give it your attention and you may be able to please this one person this one time.  
  5. Be helpful, even if there's no immediate profit in it.  It will build loyalty.
  6. Train your staff (if you have any) to be always helpful, courteous and knowledgeable.  Empower your staff with information and power to make small customer-pleasing decisions, so they never have to say, "I don't know," or, "I'll have to ask a manager."
  7. Take the extra step.  Don't just point the way, lead the way.
  8. Throw in something extra.  It doesn't have to be a large gesture to be effective.

Surveys are critical to providing good customer service.  This is how you know whether customers are satisfied or not. Ways to ask them... face to face, phone, mail, email a questionnaire or email an invitation to participate in a survey.  (Be careful not to violate the spam laws, though!)

The best time to conduct a survey is right after the service or contact.

A survey of one question, "will you buy from me again?" makes it too easy to answer yes, whether they mean it or not. Ask more questions to collect information about what to change, what not to change and buyer behavior.

However you decide to do your survey, the imporant thing to remember is to fix what people say they want fixed.  Let your customers guide your business.

PR Pro Bono Day: Media Interviews and How to Get your CEO Camera Ready

Presenter:  Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC
Susan Bennett Marketing and Media, L.C.

There are tricks to handling the media.  You can be in control.  Don't let the media control you.

Do your homework!
  1. What do you know about the publication or program?
  2. What do you know about the reporter?  Who's interviewing you makes a huge difference in what kind of approach you should take.
  3. Who's the audience for that publication or program?  This will help you give appropriate answers for the audience.
  4. Prepare a fact sheet about the issue.  You are the expert, not the media.  It's your role to teach them quickly.  Fact sheets allow you to get your message across in the way you want.
  5. What are your 1 or 2 clear messages?  That's what you want to focus on in your interview.  Everything else can be on the fact sheet.
  6. What questions do you NOT want to be asked?  Ask yourself how would you respond to that question if they do ask.  Be prepared ahead of time.
You should prepare and practice a "quotable quote" - a short 25-30 word statement or sound bite focusing on your key message, covering your primary point in simple, straightforward language.  Their clip will be 15-20 seconds out of the entire interview, which THEY select.  Keep your answer short and concise so it won't be taken out of context or edited inappropriately.  Use "nickel" words instead of "dollar" words -- use the shortest words possible.  Practice and rehearse this.

Here are some video examples of interviews gone wrong...  (Miss Teen South Carolina pageant)  (Sarah Palin Katie Couric interview)  (Miss California on Larry King)

Preparing your CEO:
  1. Review background materials.
  2. Know what primary message you want to disseminate. (see "quotable quote" above)
  3. Discuss the topic with members of your organization to discuss viewpoints and synthesize your best approaches.
  4. Practice practice practice.  Mock interviews.
  5. If your CEO needs notes, that's OK.
  6. Consider what your CEO or spokesperson wears.  Never wear white or black.  Wear solids, not patterns.  The best colors for men are pale blue or ecru. Glasses are fine.
  7. When the news is bad about your agency or company, never conduct the interview in your office.  That way, you can leave if you need to.  If the news is good, make sure your logo is front and center, though!
Another tip... Whenever you're being interviewed and there's a microphone or camera present, consider it live.  Whatever you say or do could be recorded and used.

Ways to answer...
  1. Direct and immediate answers are best.
  2. Do not ramble.
  3. Buy time.  Just because they're there, suddenly at your doorstep doesn't mean you have to do the interview that very instant.  Ask for 10 minutes to finish what you were doing.  Then use that time to prepare and develop your message.
  4. You don't have to answer every question that's asked.
  5. If you don't know the answer, say so, but try to find out the answer.
  6. Don't say "no comment" - it's never an acceptable response.  You can say the same thing without using those two dreaded words.  Come up with a friendly, alternative response.
  7. When the question is negative, never repeat the charge in your answer.
  8. Bridging is one of the most important techniques available.  A-B-C 
    1. Answer the question  
    2. Bridge to what you want to talk about 
    3. Communicate your message
How to avoid negative interviews:
  • Don't be caught by surprise. Develop contintency plans ahead of time.
  • Know your media representatives.
  • Develop a news release that answers the questions.
  • Assign a spokesperson who knows your issue, your stand on it, and who is articulate.
Do all these things and become an EXPERT SOURCE.  The media will call you when they are covering a topic, resulting in positive coverage for you and your organization.

PR Pro Bono Day: Sponsorships and Media Kits

Presenter:  Karen Ryan, APR, CPRC, Public Relations Manager, LCEC

Most our audience are individuals who are solely responsible for communicating with the media.  Anything you can do to keep the media informed will help result in positive media coverage. 

There are two forms of media kits:  printed and online.  You should have at least the online version which is least expensive, but you'll need to be sure to drive the media inquiries to the online version.  Karen is speaking today primarily

Tips for great Media Kits:
  • Less is More!  Include short, concise and relative background information about the company and key personnel.
  • De-Clutter: Leave out the large amount of detail - just provide the high-level snapshot.
  • Make it NOW.  Make sure the information contained is relevant and current.  Keep it updated to reflect current industry or community issues.
  • Don't forget the brand.  Include photo CD, images, brand/logo throughout the kit.
  • Double duty.  Duplicate your print version press kit online - but make sure it's also kept up to date. Send link to the media kit, not the attachment.  Many members of the media do not open attachments due to the dangers of computer viruses.
  • Be clever.  Do something creative to inspire opening and retention of your materials.  Attention-getting items don't have to cost much to have great impact.
  • Target the right person.  Research the correct contact person to avoid wasting your resources.
Checklist of things to include:
  • Cover letter
  • Contact information/physical location
  • Company overview
  • List of products and services
  • Key executive bios
  • CD high-res images
  • Your business card
  • Bonuses:  corporate metrics, demographics, testimonials, client list, case studies, recent media clips, awards, FAQ, corporate social responsibility

To optimize your sponsorship opportunities, utilize multiple mediums including traditional, social media, newsletters and mothers.  In making sponsorship decisions, some things to consider would include:
  1. Pick the right opportunity.  Does it reflect your corporate values, key messages?  Does it build brand awareness and reach the target audiencee?
  2. Sponsorships are opportunities, not outcomes.  What you do with the sponsorship is up to you.  Make the most of your message, think strategically.
  3. It's not the same as charitable giving.  Sponsorships are typically funded from ad budgets and outcomes should be measurable.
  4. Know what's imporant to your organziation and seek out those opportunities... face-to-face contact? networking? event tickets? logo placement?  distribution?
  5. It isn't always about the money.  Consider other ways you can give "in kind" through time and talent within the company to help the cause.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2010 Image Awards Banquet - Register Now!

CPRC tip: Fake it until you make it!

Submitted by Mary Briggs, APR, CPRC

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received is from my fellow PR pro, Teri Hansen, APR, of Priority Marketing. She probably doesn’t recall this conversation, but it has been burned into my memory. About twenty years ago, Teri approached me after an FPRA chapter meeting. I was surprised when Teri said I had been tapped to serve as the Chapter President. What, me? I was in my twenties and felt waaaaay too young and inexperienced to take on such an important role. When I expressed this to Teri, she said something I will never forget. “Fake it until you make it,” she said. “Act like you know what you are doing, and pretty soon, you will.”

I’ve always treasured that advice, so I’m passing it along to you. Present yourself with confidence and you’ll find your colleagues believe that you really do have what it takes. Act poised and professional, and voila, you are! Don’t let others see your uncertainty. Take on that stretch assignment and then go burn the midnight oil to figure out how to get it accomplished.

The thing about faking it is that pretty soon you aren’t faking it at all. Your positive thinking and can-do attitude will eventually turn you into a genuinely confident and poised PR professional! I’m not advocating arrogance, or encouraging you to think you are Superwoman. Be realistic, but aim high! Believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, and others will believe it too.

Now you know my secret. After 25+ years experience in public relations, sometimes I still second guess myself and occasionally question my abilities, but I never let them see me sweat, and neither should you!

Mary Briggs, APR, CPRC, is a marketing consultant and co-owner of Briggs & Rogers, a public relations and advertising firm based in Fort Myers, Florida. The firm specializes in media relations, marketing communications, branding, and issues management.

Mary is a certified public relations consultant, co-chairs the Southwest Florida chapter’s Credentialing Committee and serves on the Executive Committee of the FPRA State Board of Directors. Mary was named the 2006 Public Relations Professional of the Year by the Southwest Florida chapter of FPRA and has received numerous awards for her marketing and public relations programs.

APR Accreditation Study Tips!

Studying for your APR credentials? FPRA Accreditation Chair, Mary Briggs, offers some insights to help you prepare.
  • Create flashcards from the study materials (this helps with the material that is pure memorization).
  • Attend the chapter study sessions. You’ll learn from other members of the group and it will help keep you on track.
  • The day before the exam, do a last minute cram, then get to bed early and get a good night’s sleep.
  • Create your own case studies. Look at issues being covered in the local media and create a plan or part of a plan on how you’d handle it.
Call or email Mary to get more info or visit for more information on the APR process .

Member Spotlight: Wendy Payton-Enriquez

Wendy Payton-Enriquez applies an original mind and her instincts to help clients establish, articulate and achieve their integrated marketing communications goals. She uses her seventeen years of experience to guide marketing planning, brand strategy development and account service activities at pearl brand communications (

Wendy started her career in 1993 in the public relations department at The Florida Aquarium, a million-visitor tourist attraction in Tampa. Since moving to agency work in 1997, she has directed a broad range of accounts with annual budgets up to $15 million. After a six-year stint at Fort Myers-based Tweed Advertising, she and creative partner Scott Qurollo launched pearl in 2008.
She currently serves as president of the American Advertising Federation-Southwest Florida and is a member of Florida Public Relations Association. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing from Cleary University of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her work has earned numerous national advertising and marketing awards.

Crisis Management: What GM did in SM

Chris Barger of General Motors gives 5 important lessons to consider when handling crisis management through social media.

By: Samantha Scott
Lesson #1 – You can’t over Communicate
  • For general engagement and “normal” business, it’s better to strategize and choose right channels for your goal.
  • In a crisis, answering as many questions as possible and letting people know you’re listening is vital – both because those affected expect it, and because it introduces your perspective into the conversation – so a broad, all-platforms approach is most effective.
GM reached out to influencers by sending out the complete social media/communications plan to the likes of Chris Brogan, etc. telling them it was coming out the next day and telling them to watch. ALL of them wrote about it because it was a great case study, happening live.
 Lesson #2 – Let others tell your story
  • Others will be interested in how you handle your crisis from a social media perspective. So tell them, and let them tell others.
  • We didn’t contact anyone in hopes that they would turn into an advocate. We just wanted them to tell the story – and knew that the story would drive people to us.
  • Perceived loss of control is terrifying, but especially during a crisis. Do it anyway. You never really had control anyway.
 Lesson #3 – Measure, and report
  • Keep track of all the positive comments, conversations, etc.
  • Share them with your boss/client.
 Lesson #4 – Follow Up Matters
  • Community will expect continued engagement.
  • Reputational repair begins with demonstrating change, and the sense that you value the relationships forged during the crisis.
  • Absent significant follow up, community could see your reputational efforts as PR/marketing.
 Lesson #5 – Reputate
  • Ray Jordan, Johnson & Johnson – “reputate” as verb rather than “reputation” as noun.
  • “Get caught doing the right thing.”
  • Google search your company name with “wish” in front. See what consumers wish you had or did.
  • Apply principles of community. Actually listen & respond.
 There is someone in every digital community who has the “Oprah effect” for their group. Find them, talk to them, listen to them. If they get on your side, then everyone else in the influential circle will be too.
 When you’re recovering from a crisis and trying to rebuild a reputation you’re trying to win people over one at a time. It’s one at a time that matters.
Lessons Learned: Final Thoughts
  • Open, candid engagement can win admiration, mitigate negativity.
  • Need to be engaged prior to crisis to have earned credibility.
  • Engagement during crisis only goes so far; you have to back it up after the crisis with sincerity and action.
  • Social engagement CAN sell your product, even when your product is something as big as a car.
  • Success is only half in executing your program; the other half is TELLING people about what you’re doing (social, traditional, bloggers, etc.) If you have a good campaign or are doing something good, but no one knows, what good is it?
  • There is no “over.”
  • It’s not a campaign. It’s a commitment. You are promising to be there.
*Editor's Note: Learn more about crisis management and thriving in the Auto industry from Ford Motor Company at Annual Conference in August. Scholarships available through the SWFL Chapter; applications due Friday, March 26, 2010.

FPRA Membership dues increase November 2010

As you may be aware, the FPRA State Board of Directors had appointed a committee to conduct a much needed review of our current association dues amount (which has held steady since 1997!). Given the research and the financial needs of our organization, a slight adjustment was approved by the board.
Effective for the 2011 membership year, which begins November 1, 2010, annual membership dues for the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) will increase from $150 to $170. This dues change will apply to the following membership categories:
  • Individual Professional
  • Institutional Professional
  • Multi-Institutional Professional
(Additional members from the same company and location would be $160)
  • Allied
The Associate Member category, which is designed to extend membership privileges to those individuals who are temporarily not actively engaged in a public relations position (including recent college graduates), will remain unchanged at $52.50 for the maximum one-year membership.

This decision was not made lightly, as many of you may have read in the communication earlier this month from the FPRA state office. The facts you need to know about the reasoning behind this include:
  • FPRA has not increased its dues since 1997. During this time, the Association’s expenses have increased by 39 percent while revenues have only increased by 32 percent.
  • Not until 2007/2008 did the Association experience a deficit, which is why the State Board has not recommended an increase until recently.
  • This dues increase will allow the Association to reinstate the full 20 percent rebate to chapters. Chapter rebates were temporarily reduced to 10 percent in 2009/2010 to help balance the budget for the 2009/2010 year.
  • The increase will allow the Association to continue to set aside funds in reserves as recommended by the Association’s accountant and financial management, which will protect the ongoing financial viability of our professional Association.
FPRA is continually seeking ways to reduce costs for our members and control operating expenses of the Association. Some of these measures include:
  • Negotiating lower hotel rates ($125 room rate for this year’s Annual Conference in Naples) and other expenses for professional development events.
  • Seeking local sponsors and community resources to reduce costs of hosting quarterly State Board meetings.
  • Seeking sponsors to help support communication vehicles such as the Association’s Web site.
  • Minimizing print and postage expenditures by using electronic means for communication when appropriate.
  • Renegotiating telephone service fees.
Additionally, in November 2009, the FPRA State Board of Directors approved a new Association Policy titled “Membership Dues and Categories Review Policy.” This new policy requires an annual review of our membership classes and dues to ensure that membership categories reflect the needs of members and that membership dues are appropriate to meet the Association’s budgetary requirements.
Now, for those of you doing the math, Individual, Institutional and Allied memberships only cost $3.27 a week – a bargain price for the professional connections and career skill development that FPRA provides. About 80 percent of our membership dollars are spent supporting association-wide efforts, which govern our overall administration and connect us with fellow practitioners across the entire state.
The Southwest Florida Chapter is one of 15 from across the state (plus 11 student chapters), and each chapter contributes significant professional development opportunities in their local areas. Local chapters join together at the Association level to coordinate efforts and to create a statewide network with additional events and opportunities. The State office also conducts industry-wide research, sets goals, leads projects and performs other administrative, budgetary and organizational tasks that keep our organization running smoothly. As the association Web site states: The Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) is the oldest public relations organization in the United States. Members represent a variety of different organizations including private and public corporations, government entities, not-for-profits, counseling firms and independent practitioners. As a statewide Association, FPRA boasts nearly 1,100 professional and student members. As you can imagine, managing an organization of members who juggle volunteer roles and their day jobs can be very complicated and challenging.
We hope that you agree, this is a modest and necessary increase to ensure we can continue to offer the level of service, professional development and networking opportunities we have all come to expect from our professional organization.

What does it mean to be “connected”?

President’s Word, April 2010

By Kathleen Taylor, APR

Through flurries of life happenings, I’ve noticed how much of my work hinges on outside connections. It can be tough for independent types to admit it when they’re running their own show, but even if one person is pulling all the strings, someone or something at the other end is moving too. We all rely on these resources to come through both for ourselves and our clients or companies every day. Consider the many ways you are “connected,” and take note of the value FPRA provides its members with its enhanced networking opportunities and resources.

Know the inside scoop: Having access to the latest news provides helpful bits of information, some of which can give you insight into current similar or related situations you may be facing. For example, while stuck in parking-lot style traffic, I checked Facebook and learned the cause of the hold-up, reported by a friend. Being plugged into newsfeeds, Twitter streams and other sources connects you to all types of news. (FPRA-related example: the Annual Conference Facebook Fan page, our chapter Fan page, Twitter and blog stream are three continuous sources of the latest FPRA news.)

Access to helpful people: You know something I don’t know and likely, vice versa, and we can help each other that way. In today’s social society, we have access to potentially helpful people whom we may not even know yet. I posted to Twitter about my tax refund frustrations and received nearly instant help from a customer service member of Turbo Tax. When we can reach people who can answer questions, we overcome communication barriers and solve problems. Be it Twitter or the telephone, having a channel and knowing the right person to ask saves time and frustration. (FPRA-related example: Search or post a question using the Twitter hashtag (#) “FPRA” and get answers to your FPRA questions.)

Make miles feel like millimeters: I used to think my mother had eyes in the back of her head. With her seemingly inconceivable intuition, my mother kept my behavior in check whether she was on the other side of the house or across town from my actual location. In reality, she just knew the people who were watching over me, and they would let her know what I was up to. She was connected. Having resources in the community and beyond who can clue you into interesting and relevant happenings can give you an edge on unique opportunities you might not otherwise see by yourself. (FPRA-related example: By networking with other chapter members, you can learn about partnerships, programs and places where you could participate. Working alongside members in FPRA is an opportunity to forge relationships, which could translate into work referrals in the future!)

Tap into exclusive resources: These days, it seems you need a password to access everything, and some expert resources simply are not free. Different doors open for different people though. If you are connected to those people, you may find your research projects rolling a bit more smoothly. I had a legal question regarding a client’s PR, and an FPRA member helped me find just the resource to explain it all. (FPRA-related example: Say your client is considering expanding their business to neighboring areas of the state. Or maybe you are job-hunting and are interested in Orlando opportunities. As an FPRA member, you have a state-wide network of resources that can help you get your foot in the door.)

When you are a member of FPRA, you are getting more than discounted registration costs and incredible professional development programs. Your number one membership benefit (with perhaps immeasurable value) is a network of engaged professionals and life-long connections. Learn more about the value of FPRA in this issue of imPRess, and make sure to read the article about annual membership dues; we hope you agree that every dime of your association membership, is a dime well-invested.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What would you like to do in FPRA next year?

The FPRA year is far from over, but it’s time to begin planning for 2010-2011 already! According to our chapter bylaws, nominations for the Officer and Director positions open on April 1 of each year, and within 30 days a slate must be presented to the current Board for review. The approved slate is then presented to the general membership by June 1 of each year and is voted on at the chapter’s annual business meeting, held in July. This process is guided by our chapter bylaws and it all takes place in time to coincide with the statewide annual conference in August, when the President and President-Elect are sworn in as members of the Board of Directors on the state level. Depending on the dates, during our chapter’s August business meeting, outgoing Leadership Team members are recognized, incoming Officers are sworn in and Directors and Leadership Team members are installed. Then, before you know it, it’s September 1 and the new FPRA year begins! What would you like to do in FPRA next year?

Full job descriptions for each Leadership Team position can be found on the chapter Web site at

Send your nominations to Nomination Committee Chair Ginny Cooper at Nominations will close on April 23, 2010.

Please be advised that the Board adopted a policy in 2008-09 that all members of the Leadership Team must have been a member in good standing of FPRA for at least one year prior to assuming leadership responsibilities.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bridging the Generations

FPRA's March 8th luncheon theme was “Building Bridges for Mutual Benefit” and who better to speak to that topic than Jack Levine, communications and public policy consultant and founder of 4Generations Institute? 

Levine opened his candid discussion of the four generations by posing an introspective question, “Who helped shape you – positively or negatively - how to be or how not to be?”  Specific people in our lives, from previous generations, have been influencers.

At the turn of the last century (1900s), there were typically three generations in families: children, parents and grandparents.  Life expectancy has been increasing dramatically since then.  In 1908, the average life expectancy was 47; during the depression, it was 62; today – almost 80.  This longevity has led to the addition of a fourth generation: the great-grandparents.

Levine provided some additional statistics: of every 75 year old ever alive in the history of the United States, two-thirds are alive today.   Currently, there are 53,000 centenarians in our country.  With the current trend of longer life expectancy, in 30 years, there will be 500,000 centenarians.

Emotional and economic attention is needed for this surge in elder population and meeting their needs. According to Levine, “In order for us to have a future for all our generations, we need to have a plan.” 

One of the keys to that plan is intergenerational bridging, rather than segregating the older population.  Seventy-five percent of children under the age of five have two parents working. Teens need positive influencers that help them gain interests.  The older generations can help provide the younger generations with a brighter future by sharing learning and life experiences, passing down skills and interests to the later generations.

In business, these theories can be applied through communications which evoke an emotional connection to inspire a buying decision.  Levine dubs this an emotional intelligence – knowing the motivations for each generation.  Bridging the generations is about mutuality – approaching multi-generational community “with something”, rather than “for something.”

In closing, Levine encouraged us to leave a legacy as we personally work to bridge the generations.  What will you be remembered by?