Sunday, May 15, 2011

Media Breakfast 2011


Best in Southwest Florida Public Relations Programs Recognized

Winners of the Grand All Image Award from Lee County Port Authority at the 2011 Local Image Awards.
Champagne, cupcakes and plenty of applause awaited the recipients of the 2011 Local Image Awards at a special May 2nd event held by the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA).

Recognizing the best public relations, communications, and marketing efforts in Southwest Florida during the past year, this year’s Image Awards recipients are:
  • “SWFAS Celebrates 30 Years of Recovery” by Kevin B. Lewis of SWFAS and Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC of Susan Bennett Marketing & Media, L.C. Image Award and a Judges’ Award.
  • “Child Care Turns the Corner” by Beth Lobdell of Child Care of Southwest Florida and Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC of Susan Bennett Marketing & Media, L.C. Image Award.
  • “Rocket Harley-Davidson Ownership Transition” by Samantha Scott, Pushing the Envelope, Inc. Award of Distinction and Judges’ Award.
  • “Posing for the Cure” (calendar) by Susan Lindenmuth, Estero Fire Rescue. Award of Distinction and Judges’ Award.
  • “Early Learning Coalition Literacy Buddies” by Samantha Scott, Pushing the Envelope, Inc. Award of Distinction.
  • “2010 Southwest Florida Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure” by Miriam Ross, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Southwest Florida; and Phyllis K. Ershowsky, APR, CPRC and Marie Mosley, APR, PKE Marketing and PR Solutions. Award of Distinction.
  • “California Closets Southwest Florida Goes Social” by Samantha Scott, Pushing the Envelope, Inc. Award of Distinction.
The Grand All Image Award, FPRA’s highest honor, was given to the Lee County Port Authority for its internal campaign “Lee County Port Authority United Way Campaign 2011.” This project also won an Image Award in its category and a Judges’ Award, for maximizing results with a minimal budget.

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.

Congratulations to all this year’s Image Awards winners and good luck at the state level Golden Image Awards in August.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Entries for Golden Image Awards Due May 20th

Get the peer recognition you deserve for your PR efforts by entering FPRA’s 2011 Golden Image Awards. The Call for Entries is now available online at

The Golden Image Awards competition is conducted annually by the Florida Public Relations Association. The awards recognize outstanding public relations programs in Florida and encourage and promote the development of ethical and effective 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.

Complete the Golden Image 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. The deadline to submit an entry is May 20th, 5:00 p.m., to the FPRA state office in Sarasota. Address: FPRA 40 Sarasota Center Blvd. Suite 107, Sarasota, Florida 34240.

This year’s award recipients will be recognized at a special gala on Tuesday, August 9th at the Naples Grande Resort in Naples, Florida. The Golden Image Awards are the highlight of FPRA’s annual state conference. Set Grande Expectations for yourself and get the recognition you deserve!

Annual Conference Update

 Scholarship recipients are off to Annual Conference in August 

Part of our chapter’s commitment each year is to provide a limited number of member scholarships to annual conference. This year six Southwest Florida FPRA members were awarded scholarships to attend FPRA’s state conference: PR2011 The Evolution of Public Relations, August 7-10, in Naples, Florida, at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.

Scholarship recipients were selected 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.

We are very pleased to present scholarships to three first-time conference attendees, in addition to three veteran PR professionals and past conference attendees.

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

Congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients:

Partial scholarships

Jessica Clark, APR
Shell Point Retirement Community

Ginny Cooper, APR, CPRC
The Cooper Group

Kirsten O’Donnell 

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida

Full conference scholarships

Erin Comerford 
Lee County Port Authority

Melissa Simontis, APR 
PACE Center for Girls, Lee County

Kathleen Taylor, APR
The News-Press Media Group

Tailgate Party to Kickoff 2011 Annual Conference

Don your Alma Mater colors and show your school spirit at the ultimate tailgate party and class reunion as FPRA kicks off the 2011 Annual Conference on Sunday, August 7th at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.

Slip back in time to your college days of football games, school songs and tailgate parties, all while supporting the Florida Public Relations Education Foundation. Experience the chapter challenge cheerleading competition, chow down on burgers, dogs and beers, and bid on outstanding silent and live auction items.

The $45 fee for the fundraiser is a separate cost from the conference registration fee, but well worth the price of admission to be part of the tailgate party of the year. Come cheer on our chapter video being coordinated by our two head cheerleaders: Michelle Nagel and Kirsten O’Donnell. Need more info: visit

FPRA Student Chapter members graduate from FGCU

Danielle Ronno, Elizabeth Paz, David Simmons, Joy Tutino, Marie Kennedy
On Sunday, May 1, seven members of our FPRA Student Chapter graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University. For the first time ever, they wore light blue FPRA "honor" cords provided by our professional chapter in recognition of their commitment to the student organization. Led by the student chapter president, David Simmons, this was the culmination of a very successful year that included a series of panel discussions, workshops and guest speakers. Two student scholarships will be awarded to attend this year's annual FPRA conference taking place in Naples this August, and our FPRA Internship Program has been reactivated this summer. Congratulations to our student chapter -- their motivation, energy and enthusiasm ensures a bright future for the PR profession!
Audrey Chow, Susan Holland, David Simmons, Jaime Jones
Susan Holland, Professor, Intern Advisor and FPRA Liaison, David Simmons, Jaime Jones

Credentialing Corner: Managing Up

Managing Up: A PR Strategy for Connecting with The Boss

By: Kathleen Taylor, APR

Designing a message around a particular audience is what makes the difference between bland words on a page and a personal letter that elicits action. The ability to key in on what makes an audience tick is a skill that public relations pros can put to valuable use for themselves as well as their companies.

It’s called managing up. With a clear understanding of your how your boss, project manager, client or executive prefers to work and receive information, we can discern ways that we can adapt and build working relationships that benefit our managers, the company or project, and ourselves.

Reaching different audiences effectively requires understanding what they need and what tool best delivers the message to that audience. If someone is a new club member, we may assign a long-time member mentor to befriend them. To limit rumors and reduce panic in a crisis, we may decide to send regular updates to the media in order to keep people informed.

Selecting the right communication strategy with your boss is very similar. For example, say your boss needs to deliver detailed updates up the chain of command about current programs you manage, and they prefer to digest information in writing before needing to discuss it. It’s a good idea to provide the information your boss needs at regular intervals by email. Casually mentioning that the project’s going great as he’s heading to a lunch meeting with his boss does not meet his need. It also will not promote a strong and trusting relationship between the two of you.

Developing a trusting relationship with your boss or client could help you earn an account or gain support for an important communications program or new customer strategy. Learning and attending to your boss’s needs, and being open about your needs as well, helps reduce misunderstandings. Plus, the day feels less stressful when everyone gets along.

Success in this communication strategy depends on having an existing healthy relationship, so pay attention in your interactions now. What are your boss’s preferences, leadership styles, time constraints and priorities? What are their weaknesses? Take note of ways you can adjust your communication and management style in ways that help others feel confident and more prepared. Consider what makes them tick, and be one step closer to hearing “yes” to that new project you’re pitching. Manage up!

PR Professionals Recognized as Outstanding FGCU Alums

FPRA Leadership team member Melissa Simontis was recently awarded Florida Gulf Coast University’s highest alumni award – being named a distinguished graduate and inducted into the Alumni of Distinction Society.

Melissa is a 2008 FGCU MBA graduate and serves in numerous community leadership positions in addition to FPRA. She currently works as the Development Director for the Lee County PACE Center for Girls. 

Member Samantha Scott was accepted into FGCU’s Soaring Eagles Society, which recognizes outstanding graduates within the past decade who are making a difference in their profession and community. Samantha is the owner of Pushing The Envelope, Inc., a mixed media marketing communications firm in Southwest Florida and is involved with numerous local charities.

Congratulations to these two remarkable young PR professionals!