Tuesday, June 29, 2010

President's Word: When putting it off is no longer an option

By: Kathleen Taylor
FPRA SWFL Chapter President

As the sun streamed through the afternoon rain, Josie the PR gal gazed out the window, ignoring the afternoon deluge of email. "I'll deal with that tomorrow," she said.

Josie sank in her chair and bemoaned the mound of work looming over her left shoulder. The contents of far too many individually labeled ivory manila envelopes bulged from all of the clippings and notebook papers full of scratch drawings and notes stuffed inside. She pulled out a folder from the back labeled "great ideas" and sighed at the irony of all those shiny new thoughts crammed in a dusty, forgotten folder. "When am I ever going to find the time to get to this?" she cried. "I'm so booked up with meetings and phone calls and daily duties that I'm too exhausted to actually go through all those ideas or even think about adding another project."

Josie felt so overwhelmed with possibilities that even simple routines had begun to feel monumental. She yearned for inspiration, yet dreaded the day a new project would come along. Her headache throbbed in her temples like a skipping CD track as a reminder of all the other things that she hadn't finished. This pile of work is taking over my life, she thought. My husband jokes that he should send out missing-wife flyers, my dog barks at me when I walk in the house, and my mom keeps waiting for me to call her back. I wish I had the first thought on how to balance all this.

Sound familiar? Josie's story is one that you may have shared time and again with an empathetic friend. Sometimes in our efforts to do it all, we get into this self denial-driven, vicious cycle of the I-would-if-I-coulds, and it can hold us back from getting anything done.

Delaying that phone call you keep meaning to make or holding back on delving into a new exciting project can be so easy when we're already overwhelmed. The good news is that sometimes it only takes a single line through a to-do list item to start a new rhythm.

When we buckle down and focus on one task, finish it, then pick up the next piece and repeat, we can boost ourselves back into a cycle of accomplishment. As we struggle to make it in this multi-task-oriented world, we can lose both our focus and our motivation. Putting off big tasks or delaying new challenges just makes the stack bigger for tomorrow. As Josie might say, who has time for that? Finding time to realize your passions means deciding that putting it off is no longer an option.

Whoa! Totally rad, BIG 80s Sunset Social planning gets a move on

Like we are SO sure, that you will want to be in the mix for all the adventures in FPRA at the Sunset Social at Annual Conference this year. Our version of the Breakfast Club amped up at First Watch in June to divvy up duties and brainstorm bombdiggity details for this year's event. The Sunset Social (formerly known as the Scholarship Fundraiser) is where FPRA conference attendees chill out from business duties to have dinner, mingle with colleagues and friends, and have some wicked fun bidding on silent and live auction items.

The 2010 Sunset Social is going to be a blast from the past, 80s style, with totally rad costumes, games of awesomeness and, like, fantabulous prizes.

Here are the dude-licious deets (you know, the details?):

What: BIG 80s Sunset Social
Where: FPRA Annual Conference, Naples Grande Resort, ballroom
When: Sunday night, August 8, 5-7 p.m.
Why: Networking and silent/live auction fundraising event for Florida Public Relations Education Foundation (FPREF)
Cost: $40 (separate from conference registration), includes dinner

Register and pay ahead: http://www.fpra.org/

*Conference attendance is not required to attend Sunset Social.

Whoa! Worried that your kicks aren’t rad enough for this bodacious bash? Don’t have a cow…check out these 80s flashbacks for ideas: http://www.inthe80s.com/glossary.shtml

*Breakfast Club posse above from left front: Tiffany Esposito, Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC Carla Ulakovic, Event co-chairs Sharon Arnold and Cheryl Garn, APR, and Pam Nulman, APR, CPRC.

Monday, June 28, 2010

What to Do When the Media Call (And the News Isn’t Good)

Media Training for PR Professionals
Wednesday, July 14
9 a.m. – 4:35 p.m.

A very special opportunity has been brought to FPRA Southwest Florida Chapter members, thanks to Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC! On July 14, spend an action-packed day at The News-Press and Waterman Broadcasting learning hands-on interview techniques that will sharpen your media relations skills. For full details, click here. This is a MEMBERS ONLY event and will be limited to a total of 25 attendees – first come, first served.

You’ll spend the morning at The News-Press, where you will:
  • Learn effective interview techniques from Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC
  • Participate in the morning news meeting with The News-Press editors
  • Tour The News-Press
  • Discuss ethical dilemmas faced by The News-Press editors and how you would respond to them
Then travel to Waterman Broadcasting to spend the afternoon with NBC-2 and ABC-7 executives, where you will:
  • Enjoy a working lunch with NBC-2 Executive News Director and Manager of Marketing and Promotions Darrel Lieze-Adams and Florida Weekly Publisher Pason Gaddis
  • Practice what you’ve learned about effective media techniques in on-camera interviews with NBC-2 Anchor Jamie Yuccas
  • Tour NBC-2 and ABC-7 with Waterman Executive Vice President and General Manager Steve Pontius
  • Watch the 4 p.m. News live in the NBC-2 Studio
Best of all, you get an entire day of media training for only $9.25, which includes a boxed lunch from Jason’s Deli. We will also offer a Chapter t-shirt at a discount if you purchase in conjunction with this event. Attend the media training day, get lunch and a t-shirt for only $20! Shirts will be distributed at the event.

Registration for this event is now full, but please email Angie Strait to join the wait list!

2010-2011 Board of Directors Proposed Slate Announced

It is that time of year again when we present to the full membership, a proposed slate of officers for the FPRA Southwest Florida Chapter 2010-2011 Board of Directors.

Listed below you will find the recommended slate for the 2010-2011 Board of Directors. The chapter will officially present this slate for a vote of approval by the membership at the member meeting on July 13, 2010, at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater at 11:15am. Register now by clicking here!

The Officers as approved, as well as appointed Committee Chairs on the Leadership Team for 2010-2011, will be officially inducted at our member meeting on September 7, 2010. If you have any questions, please feel free to Jessica Clark.

President: Pam Nulman, APR, CPRC

President Elect/Membership: Carla Ulakovic

Immediate Past President: Kathleen Taylor, APR

Secretary: Laura Puerto

Treasurer: Erin Comerford

VP Member Relations: Julia Babair, APR, CPRC

VP Professional Development: Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC

VP Communications: Jessica Clark, APR

VP Community Relations: Tiffany Esposito

Conference Update

Fantastic New Speaker Joins FPRA's Annual Conference Line-up!

Hear and learn from the Publix Super Markets Media and Community Relations Manager, Shannon Patten as she shares the research and strategies behind building the Publix GreenWise Market Brand

To learn more about this talk and others click here now!

Updated Media List is now available

The FPRA SWFL Chapter's media list has been updated. Members can now download the updated list free of charge. Just register under the Member Access button on the FPRA SWFL Chapter website, (if you havent already done so) to obtain your member password in order to access the file. Click here for a direct link to the FPRA SWFL Member Access login page.

Southwest Florida Chapter Celebrates 25 Years:

FPRA goes back to the 80s for July meeting

Join us for the July meeting as Lynn Schneider, APR, CPRC, takes us on a trip down memory lane and reviews the 25-year history of our chapter along with many highlights from its illustrious past. Lynn, who served as president of the chapter in 1990 and president of the state association in 1999, has unlocked the FPRA vault and dug out plenty of photos and videos from the chapter’s past including the amazing highlights of each year, the inspiring members who served in chapter leadership and on the board, and some interesting facts about our chapter that you probably don’t know!

Will the presentation include plenty of photos of members with hairstyles from the 1980s? Absolutely! Will there be embarrassing video footage of members in various skits and lip synching contests? You bet! Along this stroll down memory lane, we’ll highlight some of the news stories and public relations events that made the 1980s a decade worth remembering.

Don’t miss this chance to learn more about our chapter and the professionals who have been involved along the way. Join us for the lunch meeting from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre.Click here to register now!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How Competitive Are YOU in Today’s Marketplace?

Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC) certification are two proactive, affordable “short term investment/long term benefit” opportunities available to FPRA members. For less than the cost of many one-day seminars, Accreditation and Certification offer credentials that can last a lifetime.

Accreditation is offered through the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) to members of participating organizations, including FPRA. Though five years of public relations practice was previously required, ALL members are eligible regardless of years of experience. However, the objective, multiple-choice, computer exam does test a variety of knowledge, skills and abilities, so members interested in seeking accreditation need to be prepared in a variety of skill areas.

Certification is a unique, second tier credential offered exclusively to FPRA members. Candidates must have previously earned their APR and have ten or more years experience in the field of public relations. Though it is a second tier credential, it is not APR 2.0. This exam is a subjective exam that requires candidates to draw from their experience to solve problems and present solutions. Earning the CPRC credential involves passing a written exam (16 essay questions) and an oral exam (presentation of a public relations program or project).

For more information on Accreditation and Certification, as well as any available chapter or State Association rebates, please contact Mary Briggs, Accreditation Chair for the Southwest Florida FPRA Chapter.

Crisis Communication Planning – It Works!

By: Phyllis Ershowsky, APR, CPRC
From the time we take our first steps as PR assistants to the day we become experienced professionals, we are reminded about the importance of cultivating a thorough crisis communication plan. In most cases we file it away, secure in the fact that it’s there if we need it. For me, that was yesterday. The beauty of a well thought out crisis communication plan? It actually works.

Leaving out names to protect the innocent, no sooner had I completed a crisis plan for a new client than a crisis occurred: a key employee walked off the job without notice. She was the only full time person licensed to manage one of the major functions of this organization and without a replacement, the regulatory agencies warned they would shut down the business within the next two days. To complicate matters, this same employee called the media about the impending shut down and two TV stations got right on it. We had five hours to get control of the situation until the 6 p.m. news. What to do? Refer to our newly minted, trusty crisis plan, of course.

Within two hours, we appointed a spokesperson, drafted a statement for the media, coached the client, contacted the media with a response and set a time with the reporters for an update. The result? While the news stories ran as scheduled, the facts were presented fairly and the points we made in the statement were mentioned right up front. There was little drama and the impact was minimal.

Here were the lessons learned:
  1. By planning calmly and rationally in advance, we were prepared for the worst.
  2. We had an immediate plan to put into action – no time was wasted. 
  3. Because we were so calm and organized, the client was too – and that made a huge difference in the outcome.
I highly recommend preparing a thorough crisis communication plan for your client’s or organization’s peace of mind – and yours as well!

Phyllis Ershowsky, APR, CPRC and principal of PKE Marketing & PR Solutions, has more than 25 years experience developing creative strategies to help clients establish positive reputations and relationships with their key publics. She is also an adjunct professor at Florida Gulf Coast University and has served as our local FPRA chapter's vice president of member relations for the past two years.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Media Breakfast Panel Discussion

We welcome to the front table:
  • Matthew Bernaldo, Interactive Assistant News Director for Waterman Broadcasting
  • Mei-Mei Chan, Publisher and President of The News-Press Media Group
  • Jean Gruss, Editor of Gulf Coast Business Review
  • Osvaldo Padilla, Managing Editor of Florida Weekly
  • David Sendler, Editor of Gulfshore Life
  • Amy Tardif, FM Station Manager and News Director of WGCU Public Media

Amy: Several ways to listen to WGCU - web, high definition radio, on iPhone...
Choose to cover a story based on news value, location, of prurient interest. With new media we are now bringing small video cameras on news stories. WGCU personal Facebook and Twitter sites are monitored. Have a news story? Send it to wgcunews@wgcu.org.
No multiple sends
Don't follow-up with phone call
Don't send a flyer or newsletter in place of a press release
Faxes are so 2005

David:  We are stepping up in the social media arena. On Facebook, Twitter, using email newsletter. Keeping to traditional subjects to our audience - dining, fashion, lifestyle. Looking for stories that get us "on the inside." Gulfshore Life newsstands sales ahead by 6% in  over last year!
Use a seductive subject line
When you are attempting to place story and don't succeed, be gracious

Matthew: I get 100 emails on a slow morning...anything you can do to increase efficiency of email is helpful
Please don't send me attachments!
Tell me why my audience should care
How is it going to be visual?
Don't sell all the time on social media channels, give me other value

Osvaldo: You are welcome to call be "Waddy", everyone does! We are primarily a print product, and I agree with Mei Mei Chan of the News-Press, in the end it's about story-telling. We do rely a lot on press releases. Send your releases to me. We do accept attachments.
Artwork always helps to get your items placed
We give preference to non-profit events
Summertime is a better time to get into Florida Weekly
Like to print forward-looking stories - events, trends, issues
Deadlines - we work about 2 weeks in advance, deadline should be one week prior to publication
Plan stories in meetings every 4 - 6 weeks, so pitch that far in advance for issues articles
You sacrifice control over the story once the release is in our hands!

Jean: Very targeted to the people who own and manage large companies along the Gulf Coast.
Understand who our reader is. Media guide is online at www.review.net
Give me first crack at a story
Enjoy discussing the merits of a story
I never turn information away, so send me everything you've got
Must ask yourself why our readers should care?
Be ready to share financial data if you are a nonprofit, including tax returns
Trends: increased role of government in business; web presence

Mary Briggs, APR, CPRC, Briggs & Rogers Public Relations: What are your plans for political coverage this coming year?
Osvaldo: A little bit difficult for us, we can't do what the daily papers do. You will see some political coverage but do not expect every issue to be covered.
Mei Mei: Much more multi-media and interactive this year than ever before. Creating a centralized information base online. Particularly focused on local races.
Amy: Collaborating with other public TV and radio stations on covering the statewide races, amendments. October "Voices for You" will be dedicated to political races and amendments.
Jean: How politics affects business, entrepreneurs running for office.

Kathleen Taylor, APR, Chapter President: How do you deal with errors and corrections?
David: If it's a factual mistake, we will print a correction. The trick is where will you put it?
Jean: We fix them right away.

Jennifer Berg, Lee County Economic Development: How many of you are following with other publications' and organizations social media sites?
Matthew: Sole criteria is that you're local and you don't annoy me. We actually do get stories and information that way. Make it obvious that you're local.
Mei Mei: Don't expect that to cover you, as we are inundated with info. At the end of the day relationships are important.
Osvaldo: Thinks Twitter and Facebook are way overrated. We don't follow anybody's accounts. We do check websites.

Tricia Goins, Habitat for Humanity: What is the best way to build that relationship?
Mei Mei: Call and ask to sit down for a meeting.
David: I love good ideas, so anyway you can bring them to my attention. You lose body language and voice recognition when not in person.
Matthew: Talk to our anchors and reporters when you see them out.
Osvaldo: Be our eyes and ears in the community. Share stories even if they are not part of your agenda.
Amy: We're really, really small, and I wear four hats and have kids, so if everyone wanted to go to lunch it would take a year! But if you call and say we should do a story about "x" I will go online and check it out.

Question via Twitter: Are any local journos using Foursquare as a resource?
Matthew: Still figuring out how to use it for media purposes, not too many people locally are using it. From a news standpoint one good use recently re: the NYT marked the location of theTimes Square bomb.

Samantha: How does having a good relationship with a PR professional affect your approach to a "bad news" story?
Matthew: Don't bring up the friendship. If the news is bad you've just got to suck it up and take it.
Osvaldo: I think we've all been in that position, this is a small town. It's uncomfortable. But we don't try to cover stories that are "good" or "bad". We're there to lay out the facts of the story.
Mei Mei: Transparency. If you don't share it, it will be discovered. The more you share, the more we'll use. So your role in controlling the story relates to transparency. Our job is to get the story as right as possible, with your help. 

And that's a wrap!

Blogger: Ginny Cooper, Immediate Past President

Mei-Mei Chan - The Road Ahead

Mei-Mei Chan, (pronounced "me-me") became President and Publisher of The News-Press in March 2010.  She has a broad knowledge of the media industry holding positions in news, circulation, and advertising. 

She shared a little about her history and transition to living in Southwest Florida.  Mei-Mei was born in Canton, China to the first woman in the village to go to school and an uneducated father.  When she was two, she and her mother and father escaped to Hong Kong, and eventually to America when she was 7.

Professionally, she's worked throughout the country, including Idaho, Illinois, and across the country in Seattle, and started out as a cub reporter.  She said that Southwest Florida has a wonderful quality of life.  She especially loves wearing sandals and no socks - which garnered a chuckle from the audience. 

She believes leadership is also a lifelong journey, with many tools and lessons learned along the way.   Mei-Mei discussed navigating a changing landscape, pondering how to stay ahead of the curve.

Changes in landscape... remembering our journey from the first PCs, the first ebay and Amazon purchases in 1995,  first cell phones, to today when 25% of homes don't even have a landline phone.  We also remembered the start of YouTube, where there were 32 billion videos watched in March 2010.  All these changes have occurred in just 15 years. "Ceaseless, creative chaos."

Changing consumer... rising to the chaos, consumers are in control with 24/7 demand, content and access.  People can and will say anything and are no longer naive regarding pricing.  The younger generation is the "D" generation - digital.  If it's not online, it didn't happen.  There are over 100 million blogs today, combined with Twitter and other social media - this has changed society. People are connected all the time.  The new landscape is all about social sharing and social currency.  Consumers are fragmented, fickle and fluid.  They trust their network more than so-called experts.

Implications for communities, businesses and professionals... How strongly are we performing in the social ecosystem in terms of digital differentiation, loyal followers, authenticity, guiding/bridging/leading, reaching wider and deeper to a more challenging audience.  Another factor is considering access for individuals to these social communities, and also what content to provide.  You need sophisticated campaigns across the media to reach consumers throughout the buying process.  Embrace and lead with authenticity.

New media effect on traditional media... The effect of this on traditional media has been a survival of a cataclysmic storm.  Secular changes include classified categories changing, content ownership and have created perplexed advertisers.  Mass media has been redefined.  For newspapers, their unique challenge is their gigantic existing cost structure, including printing and distribution.  Newspapers are adjusting.  Only a handful have actually closed and major metro newspapers are still dominant in their cities.  Newspapers and their web sites remain the strongest of any media in their markets.  Traditional newspapers are trusted, respected brands with a wide portfolio of content and advertising. 

There's room and space for everyone.  Although traditional media still powers the world with 67% of top news sites tied to legacy media (50% of them newspapers), at the end of the day, it's about content and storytelling and using devices to fit your life.  Traditional media is in transformation and still powering the world.

Locally - The News-Press... has been around for 126 years.  3 of 4 adults read their portfolio of products each week in print and online.  Sunday circulation is growing.  April page views to News-Press.com were 12.86 million, and unique visits spend an average of 25 minutes on the site.  The cornerstones of free press are connecting, reflecting, challenging and leading. Chan assures us The News-Press is healthy and staying ahead of the curve.  

Blogger:  Kerri Goldsmith, FPRA SWFL Emerging Media Chair