Friday, April 30, 2010

2nd Annual Pro Bono Day helped the community

On April 26, nearly 50 guests from small businesses and non-profit organizations attended the second annual PR Pro Bono Day organized by the special projects committee of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) SWFL Chapter. Recognizing that budgets are tight given today's economic state, Pro Bono Day serves as the chapter's annual service project. Public relations professionals donated their time for this half-day workshop split into two sessions: Communications & Branding; and Media & Public Relations on a Small Budget.

Expert panel discussions and topics included:
Communication and Branding
  • Sponsorships and Media kits – Karen Ryan, APR, CPRC – LCEC
  • Media Interviews/How to get your CEO camera-ready – Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC – Susan Bennett Marketing and Media, L.C.
  • Customer Service and Surveys – Debbie Webb, APR – Hope Clubhouse
  • Branding Self and Business – Christin Collins – Norman Love Confections 
Media and Publications on a Small Budget
  • Elements of Effective Graphics – Scott Qurollo – Pearl Brand Communications
  • Media Buying Basics – Wendy Payton-Enriquez – Pearl Brand Communications
  • In-Kind Media Donations – Cindy Burgess – The News-Press
  • Preparing Printing for Direct Mail Marketing – Sue Lampitt – Intech Printing
"There was so much helpful information packed into the program," said Marian Dolan, PhD, The Choir Project. "Afterwards, I felt like I finally knew what to do and who I could turn to for resources. I am impressed and thankful that FPRA did this for the community."
Established in 1938, FPRA is the oldest public relations organization in the country. FPRA is dedicated to developing public relations practitioners, who, through ethical and standardized practices, enhance the public relations profession in Florida. Visit for more information on meetings, membership and much more.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

President's Word - May 2010 imPRess

By Kathleen Taylor - FPRA SWFL President

Writer’s Block? De-motivated? Frustrated with crisis? Feel like you’re missing something? It may sound crazy, but give it a rest, and the answers may come to you more easily. This April, I read an article that dissects this phenomenon in several parts. Part two is linked here.

The author of the blog “Awake @ the Wheel” is Jonathan Fields (@JonathanFields). He was a big hedge-fund lawyer once back in the 1990s, but he made some dramatic life changes. Countless work hours, boat-loads of stress, and one hospital emergency later, he decided to be awake – not just alive – in his day to day life. His career path since then has careened through different avenues, and his blog is a source of encouragement and ideas for taking your business game to new levels. Fields, a self-described “Career Renegade,” delivers a message about taking risks and living in the moment. At the same time, he urges us to find inspirational role models and work like the dickens to reach our dream goals.

Despite our best efforts to achieve those goals, though, it can feel like some people simply have an instinct that the rest of us are missing. Borrowing from his example, think of that person in your office (it might even be you!) who is cool as a cucumber, if not better than usual, when a project goes awry. The answers seem to come to this person so quickly and smoothly that you wonder why you didn’t think of it. Their secret, of which they may not even be aware, may have to do with the times when they let their mind wander. Fields goes into detail about a practice called attentional training, or AT by which people can learn to exercise their mind and notice more details. The secret, as it turns out, may very well be attributed to what people are doing off the clock that gives them the edge. Both meditative practices where you let your mind relax (such as yoga or running on a treadmill) and skill-type practices where you must focus intensely for an period of time (such as playing a musical instrument or running on a trail) are examples of active AT.

Fields describes other facets of AT that you can read more about on his blog, but what I took away was this: sometimes what your mind needs in order to get from Point-A to Point-B… is a break.

Get ready for the 2010 Golden Image!

The 2010 Golden Image Call for Entries is available. As your 2010 Local Image Team, we are sending this reminder to all of you so you have time to prepare your winning entries.

The Golden Image Awards competition is conducted annually by the Florida Public Relations Association to recognize outstanding public relations programs in Florida and to encourage and promote the development of public relations professionalism in our state.

What motivates a company or individual to enter the competition? It is the sense of accomplishment and pride when your work it recognized by your peers. It is a time for you and your company to shine in front of public relations and marketing professionals from across the state. If you already submitted an entry on the local level, you have done a lot of the work already. Now, you can now tweak your entries and re-submit for the state awards.

Please complete the Entry Form and prepare and submit your entry or entries as explained in the Rules for Entry. Entries that do not follow the Rules for Entry may be disqualified.

Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC, of Gooderham & Associates, is once again sponsoring the courier to take chapter entries up the State Office. If you would like to take advantage of this service, please make sure your entry is dropped off by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 to:

Gravina, Smith & Matte
1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd., Suite 160
Fort Myers, FL 33919

If you are sending your entry directly to the State Office - All entries are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 21, 2010. For Golden Image questions, call 941.365.2135 with questions. Entry and fees must arrive at:

Florida Public Relations Association
40 Sarasota Center Blvd., Suite 107
Sarasota, Florida 34240

For any general Image-related questions or to find out more about the courier/drop off, please contact us at (239) 590-4504.

2010 Local Image Awards

2010 Local Image Awards Winners

The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) recognized the best public relations, communications and marketing efforts in Southwest Florida during the past year at the 2010 Local Image Awards banquet. The event was held on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at the Paragon Flight Training Hangar at Page Field in Fort Myers, Fla.
The Local Image Awards competition is conducted annually to recognize outstanding public relations programs in Southwest Florida and to encourage and promote the development of public relations professionalism in our area. Winners demonstrate the very best examples of innovation, planning and design.

The Grand All Image Award, FPRA’s highest honor, was given to Sarah Owen of CCMI (Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc.), Melinda Isley, APR and Lucy Costa of Promotional Incentives for their work on the “NoFood4You” public service program. This project also won an Image Award in its category and a Judges’ Award, for maximizing results with a minimal budget.

Other awards presented:
  • Image Award and Judges’ Award: “Power to Share – An LCEC Community Partnership” by Teresa Renkiewicz and the LCEC public relations team
  • Image Award and Judges’ Award: “Cat Poo Coffee” by Bennett’s Fresh Roast and Melinda Isley, APR
  • Image Award: “The Million Dollar Coupon” by Tina Haisman, APR, CPRC
  • Image Award: “Tweet Town Hall ‘Real People, Real Time, Real Policy’” by Cyndee Woolley, APR
  • Award of Distinction and Judges’ Award: “Girls Night Out for Blessings in a Backpack” by Samantha Scott
  • Award of Distinction and Judges’ Award: “Love that Dress!” by Christin Collins, TLC Consulting and PACE Center for Girls, Lee County
  • Award of Distinction and Judges’ Award: “Spend a Night In – Instead of a Night Out” by Kevin B. Lewis and Michelle Phillips of Southwest Florida Addiction Services and Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC of Susan Bennett Marketing and Media, L.C.
  • Award of Distinction and Judges’ Award: “POPS POST, Florida Gulf Bank’s Intranet Newsletter” by Phyllis Ershowsky, APR, CPRC, Marie Mosley, APR and Stephen Gray-Blancett
  • Award of Distinction: “Lee County Port Authority Crisis Management and Communications Plan” by the Lee County Port Authority
  • Award of Distinction: “Celebrate Bonita! Festival 10th Anniversary by Phyllis Ershowsky, APR, CPRC, Marie Mosley, APR and Len Eckert
  • Award of Distinction: “March of Dimes – 20th Annual Signature Chefs Auction” by Samantha Scott
  • Award of Distinction: “Tyson Chicken Delivery” by Sarah Owen of CCMI (Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc.), Tyson Foods and Melinda Isley, APR
  • Award of Distinction: “Terry Wynter Auto Service Center Web Site” by Priority Marketing and Terry Wynter Auto Service Center
  • Judges’ Award: “Estero Fire Rescue Budget 2009” by Susan Lindenmuth, Assistant Fire Chief Mark Wahlig and Fire Chief Scott Vanderbrook of Estero Fire Rescue
Event sponsors were AirTran Airways, Paragon Flight Training, Bob Evans Restaurants, the Lee County Port Authority, The Cooper Group, Creative Events & Rentals, Full Circle Productions and Gulf Coast Business Review.

Established in 1938, FPRA is the oldest public relations organization in the country. FPRA is dedicated to developing public relations practitioners, who, through ethical and standardized practices, enhance the public relations profession in Florida.

For additional information on FPRA, please visit the Southwest Florida Chapter Web site at or the Association’s Web site at

Thank you Judges!

We’d like to thank our talented chapter judges for helping us evaluate the CWC Chapter entries. Thanks for taking the time to support the Southwest Florida Chapter with your expertise and keen eye for details!

Kathleen Taylor, APR
Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC
Carolyn Rogers, APR, CPRC

Kara Winton, APR, CPRC
Laurel Smith, APR
Tina Haisman, APR, CPRC

View pictures from the event!

Also, 2010 Local Image Award photos are available at You can view, download or send to a friend!

CPRC Hint: Growth and learning opportunities plentiful in PR

Submitted by Kara Winton, APR, CPRC
No one wants a static career, but without a little effort, it’s easy to be lulled into a sense of complacency. The more experience you acquire, the more comfortable you feel and the greater the tendency to do things the same way day in and day out.
However, one of the great things about the PR industry is that it’s always changing and evolving, and new and exciting ways of communicating are always around the corner. Fortunately for PR practitioners, opportunities to learn, grow and expand your PR toolbox abound.
I challenge you to take advantage of the many opportunities to infuse your career with enthusiasm. For me, the best example of this was when I pursued my Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). I remember sitting down fearful of “book learning,” but getting up with a new sense of excitement. I experienced the same thrill when I pursued my CPRC.
So, try one of these ideas on for size:
  • Find a mentor. The Southwest Florida PR community is SO supportive, and there are always people willing to help. Reach out to a senior PR practitioner and ask him/her to lunch.
  • Attend monthly FPRA luncheons and special events. It’s easy to sign-up for luncheons on a topic directly relevant to your job. But how about attending a monthly meeting that sounds a little less relevant?
  • Attend FPRA’s state conference. This year’s it’s just around the corner in Naples! What better way to add excitement than to hear about what other practitioners are doing around the state?
  • Pursue APR or CPRC. Sure it’s a commitment of time and energy, but I promise if you embrace the process you will walk away both with fancy letters behind your name and a new appreciation for why you love PR.
  • Sign up for a college course or two. Take advantage of the plentiful colleges and universities in Southwest Florida and enroll for a class on a topic that interests you.
  • Pursue a graduate degree. Better yet, why not work on a master’s degree? In addition to local options, online learning makes graduate education available at your fingertips.
The list goes on and on, but the important thing is making a move. Don’t be content with simply doing your job well … find a way to add some excitement to your daily task list. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Kara Winton, APR, CPRC has more than 19 years of media and public relations experience, and recently embarked on her newest career as a full-time mother and part-time graduate student. She has served FPRA in several capacities and currently is accreditation co-chair.

Scholarships allow FPRA members to catch “The Big Picture”!

In addition to recognizing excellence in public relations, the Annual Image Awards on April 14, 2010, provided the backdrop for awarding six Southwest Florida FPRA members with scholarships to attend the Florida Public Relations Association’s (FPRA) 2010 State Conference: The Big Picture: Bringing PR Leadership and Strategy into Focus, August 8-12, in Naples, Florida, at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.

All six recipients were awarded scholarships based on their current and past leadership contributions to the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA, a statement of what they hoped to gain personally and professionally from attending the state conference, and financial need.

Symbolic of the generational diversity in the public relations industry today, scholarship recipients this year represent professionals at various points in their career, from relatively recent college graduates, to Southwest Florida industry icons.

Recipients will share lessons learned and valuable tips garnered at the state conference with the SWFL Chapter membership during a panel discussion at the August business meeting.

Full conference scholarship recipients:

Angie Strait
PR Coordinator
Lee County Port Authority

Carla Ulakovik
Community Project Specialist
East County Water Control District

Partial conference scholarship recipients:

Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC
Susan Bennett Marketing & Media

Danielle Flood

PR & Communications Manager
ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organizational)

Kerri Goldsmith
Administrative Assistant
HBK Source Financial

Samantha Scott
Pushing The Envelope

FPRA/Ad Fed Social Mixer Planned for May 12th

The SWFL FPRA has teamed up with American Advertising Federation - Southwest Florida to host a social soiree on May 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the University Grill (part of the Prawnbroker Restaurant Group), at the corner of Summerlin Road and Cypress Lake Drive in Fort Myers.

Cost: $15 per person which includes appetizers, an adult beverage and great networking time.

Reservations to Angie Basile Payment will be accepted at the door. Contact FPRA VP of Community Relations Laura Puerto at for more details.

FPRA's May meeting to focus on Politics & PR

The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Tuesday, May 4th luncheon program from 11:30am to 1:00 p.m. at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers focuses on “Bridging Politics and Public Relations”. Learn from three of our area’s savviest political pros as they share their insights on the role public relations plays in shaping Southwest Florida’s political landscape. Lee County Commissioner Tammy Hall, Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington and Lee County Democratic Party Chairman Will Prather will discuss their experiences (both good and bad) with PR in politics and trends they see emerging in the 2010 elections season.

Lee County Commissioner Tammy Hall – Ms. Hall was elected to the Board of County Commissioners in 2004 and became the first woman to serve as chairwoman of the commission in 2005. Prior to her election to the Board of County Commissioners, she served as Ward 1 City Councilwoman for the City of Fort Myers.

Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington – Ms. Harrington has served as Supervisor of Elections since 2004, when she was appointed by former Gov. Jeb Bush to fulfill the unexpired term of retiring supervisor Philinda Young in 2004. She ran unopposed for election in 2008. Sharon has worked in the Elections office since 1989 and has worked previously as a fiscal officer, human resources director and assistant supervisor. 

Lee County Democratic Party Chairman Will Prather – Mr. Prather is an active leader in the Democratic Party including heading local campaign efforts on behalf of presidential candidate Barack Obama, and was elected chair of the Lee County Democratic Party following the presidential election. In addition to his political efforts, he is Executive Producer for the multi-state Prather Family of Theatres which includes the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre.

The cost to attend FPRA’s May luncheon meeting is $18 for members, $25 for non-members and $10 for students.  Walk-ins are welcome for an additional fee. For more reservations or information, visit

Sunset Social: Big 80's Style!

Everything was big in the 80s. Big hair. Big shoulder pads. Big shoes. And that was just the guys!

This year's Sunset Social at FPRA's 72nd Annual Conference will be celebrating the decade of decadence on Sunday, August 8 at 7:00 p.m. to kick-off the 2010 FPRA Annual Conference.

The 80s was a time for a new form of entertainment called music videos. Music videos and movie classics such as Footloose, Terminator, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, to name just a few, impacted an entire generation. To pay homage to this "big" era, members of this year's Annual Conference planning team are inviting you to participate in FPRA's 1st Moments of the 80s Video Competition Challenge!

Here’s how it will work: Get your chapter together to think of a creative scene from the 80s – a music video, a scene from a movie or even a TV show. Re-enact that scene or sing (or lip-synch) that music video and record it. Submit your Moments of the 80s Video on DVD (or upload) and we will show them at the Sunset Social on PR-TV. All the attendees will vote on the best Moment of the 80s!

If you have an idea, or your organization would like to help our chapter enter this challenge, please contact Kathleen Taylor, APR at

If you have any questions about the contest itself, please contact Sharon Arnold.

Don't forget to pull together your silent auction donation! Whether it's a 80s related or not, we are looking for big and small items to donate for the silent auction portion of the Sunset Social. The auction is the way we raise funds to support student and professional development scholarships. Contact Sharon Arnold, Trista Wallace or Kathleen Giery and let us know what items(s) you can donate!

To kick off the fun, here's an 80s mini-challenge! What movie is this dialogue from? The first person who e-mails Annual VP of Annual Conferece Wendy Crites Wacker with the correct, exact title of the movie wins a $10 gift certificate to use on a Scholarship Fundraiser Auction Item of his or her choice!

“I'm not fat.”
“Well not at present, but I can see you really pushing maximum density.”