Saturday, August 13, 2011

Southwest Florida Named FPRA Chapter of the Year

At the FPRA Annual Conference on August 8th, the Southwest Florida Chapter was recognized as the 2011 FPRA Chapter of the Year by State Association President Jennifer Moss, APR, CPRC.

With Katy Perry’s “Firework” blasting through the ballroom and bringing everyone to their feet, twenty-five chapter members worked their way to the stage to accept the award along with Chapter President Pamela Nulman, APR, CPRC.

State Association President Jennifer Moss, APR, CPRC cited the following accomplishments of the Southwest Florida Chapter during the past year:

  • The Chapter worked as a team to establish a roadmap and set ambitious goals to maximize value for their members including updated Chapter policies, procedures and job descriptions; detailed budgets and financial reporting and an in-depth strategic plan.
  • Came together to cover the vacant position of Programs Chair as a team, pitching in to develop program ideas, recruit speakers and deliver 12 months of innovative programming with increased meeting attendance - including the full day PR University and the Annual Media Breakfast.
  • Stressed member recognition throughout the year at meetings, in the chapter newsletter and in social media through introduction of board members, recognition of those going above and beyond their duties within the chapter and recognition of those promoting PR in the community. Award programs honoring image winners, newly accredited members, chapter award winners, and special recognition of dedicated long-term board members were also a central focus.
  • Pulled together to revamp their Image event at the last minute moving it from an evening to a luncheon program that would still be special and memorable for the members receiving rewards - resulting in a strong turnout of members, bosses and clients.
  • Focused on student members, involved senior members and provided opportunities for members at all levels to get involved on committees and participate in networking and community service programs.
  • And, they produced and distributed the fabulous Southwest Florida Chapter’s 25th Anniversary book “Rise and Shine”. A project that utilized the skills and resources of 40 contributing members to complete. Most definitely exceeding expectations!
  • Finally, the chapter consistently emphasized the “We” - relying on the teamwork of its board and its members to overcome challenges, get creative and produce amazing results.
The Chapter was also recognized for its efforts in Student Development the past year. The Chapter set aggressive goals to increase support to developing future PR professionals, in particular working with the student FPRA Chapter at Florida Gulf Coast University. The Chapter also coordinated the Student Track at the Annual Conference and rein-stated the Chapter Internship Program this past summer.

Presidents Word: One Chapter Ends, Another Begins.

 By: Pamela Nulman, APR, CPRC

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go…

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

- Green Day

As I write my final President’s Word and look back on my year as president of the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association I can’t help but get a little emotional when I think about everything our chapter has accomplished in the past 12 months. I can’t thank our leadership team enough for its dedication and passion, as well as our membership as a whole which continues to remain strong and dedicated to giving back to our community and strengthening our profession.

As this chapter in my life closes and another begins, I thought I’d share my top 10 favorite FPRA memories and “takeaways” as president.

1. During our leadership team kick-off retreat trying to guess which baby pictures belonged to our new leadership team members. It’s amazing how many of us were clearly destined to be “PR stars” even in our earliest years. Takeaway: Success starts with a strong foundation.

2. Attending our first state association board meeting and getting to share the excitement and stress of beginning our year with other presidents from around the state. We found out we all shared an equal amount of fear, but were there for each other. Takeaway: A strong, supportive network is critical to success.

3. We held our first board meetings ever via conference call this year. Takeaway: Technology can be our friend and make our lives easier.

4. While in the hospital over the Christmas holiday many of my “FPRA” friends stopped in to visit, sent flowers and one even brought me a Christmas outfit to wear – Santa socks! Takeaway: You can never have enough friends and they will always exceed your expectations and surprise you.

5. Incoming President-Elect Carla Ulakovic stepped up to the plate and coordinated the January mixer and led the February business meeting when I was ill and couldn’t attend the events. Takeaway: Always have a wing man (or woman in this case). Trust them - they have your back.

6. Our annual community PR Pro Bono Day is still one of my favorite FPRA events and our special projects team did a phenomenal job on this year’s event, with some 75 community leaders in attendance. Takeaway: We have a responsibility to always give back.

7. If you want things to run by the book, involve Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC; if you want them to run on time (or even finish early) seek out Jennifer Moss, APR, CPRC; and if you want to put on an elegant event with just a dash of spice, call Ginny Cooper. Takeway: Know where talent lies and embrace it.

8. Compiling the Chapter notebook to document our Chapter’s history this past year was a painful and time consuming process, but when completed I couldn’t help but be proud of everything we accomplished. Takeaway: Measurement always matters! Just do it!

9. Watching my husband put together “thank you” and “fundraising” baskets, chauffeuring me to meetings when I couldn’t drive, attending FPRA events and repeatedly loading my car with FPRA meeting materials. Takeaway: Never forget your family is in this with you. Take care of them and thank them often for their support.

10. Being recognized as “Chapter of the Year” at this year’s state conference was definitely a highlight of my career. Thanks to every one of our FPRA members for making it happen. Takeaway: FPRA rocks!

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your president and for a terrific FPRA year. I have had the time of my life.


The Evolution of PR to headline September Meeting.


Catch the highlights of the recent FPRA annual conference at the upcoming September meeting of the Southwest Florida Chapter.

With a focus on the how public relations has changed through the years and where the industry is headed, five local PR professionals will share insights gathered from thought leaders and industry icons who spoke at the conference. This is your chance to hear the latest PR industry trends in a fun and interactive format.

Also during the September luncheon meeting the 2011-2012 Southwest Florida leadership team will be installed. The executive team of Carla Ulakovic, president; Jessica Clark, APR, president-elect; Pamela Nulman, APR, CPRC, immediate past president; Michelle Nagle, treasurer; and Laura Puerto, secretary; will lead a nine member board and a twenty member expanded leadership team.

Meeting Details 
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
11:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre
Register online:
Members: $20.00
Guests: $25.00
Students: $10.00

PR Professional of the Year for Second Time

Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC
Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC

Recognized as the 2011 PR PRofessional of the Year for Second Time

Each year the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association honors a member who exemplifies the highest standards of the public relations profession in Southwest Florida. The recipients of this award are nominated by the chapter membership in recognition of their commitment and support of FPRA and the Southwest Florida chapter, our local community and public relations profession as a whole.

The honoree of this prestigious award displays a professional attitude and exercises professional conduct in all of his or her activities. They are supportive of fellow public relations professionals and constantly strive to raise the professional standing of FPRA and our industry in all their endeavors.

Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC is this year’s PR Professional of the year, marking the second time in the 25-year history of the chapter that this honor has been bestowed on the same member twice.

A member of the Southwest Florida Chapter since 1997, Kate has served in numerous positions on the board of directors and if you’ve had the pleasure of serving on the board with her there’s one thing you learn very quickly – she’s an Expert in keeping order (that’s Roberts Rules of Order) and making sure we do everything by the book as a chapter.

The other thing you recognize right off the bat about Kate is that in a world where many people are looking for quick answers and quick fixes, she is truly a thinker, a problem solver and someone you can depend on to give a well thought out response to any question or issue. And, she’s never afraid to speak her mind – even when it comes to tough issues.

Kate has served at the state board level and she served as our chapter president in 2001 – 2002. Today, she continues to serve our chapter as Vice President of Professional Development.

She is a passionate advocate of continuous learning for our membership and is dedicated to helping our emerging PR professionals in launching their careers. She’s also game to try anything fun and has been a frequent star in chapter videos over the years.

Kate is president of Gooderham & Associates, Inc., a Fort Myers, Florida consulting firm established in 1986. The firm specializes in issues management, public information campaigns, grassroots organizing, governmental lobbying and monitoring, coastal permitting and strategic planning.

Believing it’s never too late to learn something new and continue to grow in your profession, Kate recently became president of Southwest Florida Events Inc., a Florida not-for-profit corporation dedicated to combining fun, fitness and support for local charities through multisport events. The organization’s first event, a sprint triathlon, will be held September 17 & 18 on Captiva Island.

FPRA SWFL Chapter Member of the Year

Phyllis Ershowsky, APR, CPRC
Phyllis Ershowsky, APR, CPRC 

Named the 2011 FPRA Southwest Florida Chapter Member of the Year

Each year the Southwest Florida Chapter selects one member who exemplifies the FPRA spirit and gives generously of his or her time to make our chapter successful. Characteristics of this individual often include:
  • Actively participating in chapter programs and projects
  • Supporting the chapter to help raise the level of professionalism in our community
  • Displaying a professional attitude and standard of conduct at all times
  • And, is always supportive of fellow public relations professionals.
It’s always difficult to select our chapter member of the year as so many members contribute above and beyond on a regular basis to make our chapter successful. This year’s recipient is a little different though in that much of her work is actually with another FPRA chapter – our student chapter at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Dedicated to supporting our next generation of PR professionals, Phyllis Ershowsky, APR, CPRC has been our chapter’s education chair for the past two years, serving as our professional chapter’s liaison to the student FPRA chapter and now, she also has the honor of being named our Chapter Member of the Year.

During her time as education chair, Phyllis has:
  • Helped triple the number of student members
  • Attended virtually every student event
  • Helped the students gain university funding for next year
  • Helped promote student activities throughout the year in the professional chapter newsletter
  • Purchased FPRA blue honor cords for graduating PR seniors
  • Coordinated student scholarships for this year’s state conference
  • Conducted student focus groups to gather information for the state conference student track
  • Serves on the team coordinating the student track at state conference
  • And lastly, this summer she brought back the chapter’s internship program.
Outside of FPRA, Phyllis is the owner of PKECreative, Inc., as well as an adjunct professor at FGCU. She also serves on the board of directors for the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce and serves as vice chair for AMI Kids. In her spare time she runs marathons and enjoys sharing her personal and professional experiences on her blog.

Two Local Public Relations Professionals earn Accreditation

Krista Cartee and Samantha Scott receive APR designation

Krista Cartee with FPRA SWFL Chapter's Accreditation Co-Chairs Kara Winton and Mary Briggs.
The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) is pleased to announce that two members recently earned professional public relations accreditation. Krista Cartee of Priority Marketing of Southwest Florida Inc., and Samantha Scott of Pushing The Envelope Inc. have both received the designation of Accredited in Public Relations (APR).

Cartee and Scott join more than 4,300 active public relations professionals worldwide who represent an elite group of highly skilled professionals committed to practicing with exemplary ethical standards.

To earn accreditation, candidates must pass an oral presentation and a rigorous written examination administered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), which is an alliance of eight national and statewide professional associations dedicated to furthering the field of public relations and the development of public relations professionals. FPRA is a member of the UAB.

Cartee is the account services manager at Priority Marketing, where she has worked since 2006. Prior to joining Priority Marketing, she served as the executive director and marketing director for the Conductive Education Center of Orlando, a 501(c)(3) non-profit center for children with motor disabilities, overseeing operations, fundraising and marketing.

Samantha Scott with FPRA SWFL Chapter's Accreditation Co-Chairs Kara Winton and Mary Briggs.
 Scott is the owner of Pushing the Envelope, an award-winning mixed marketing communications firm servicing clients locally and around the country. She is on the board of directors for the Children's Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida, a past education chair of the Florida Public Relations Association Southwest Florida Chapter, a former president of the American Advertising Federation Southwest Florida chapter, the volunteer PR and Marketing Chair for the March of Dimes Southwest Florida, and a triathlete in her spare time.

The Florida Public Relations Association is dedicated to developing public relations practitioners who, through ethical and standardized practices, enhance the public relations profession in Florida. For more information on the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, visit

August Meeting Recap: FPRA Explores Writing for the Media

By: Kerri Goldsmith, Social Media Chair 

Kara Winton, APR, CPRC
Some things never change. However, other things like the AP Stylebook always do. At the chapter’s August luncheon meeting, Kara Winton, APR, CPRC, shared some recent updates and common mistakes when it comes to writing in AP style.

Why is it important to use the AP style guidelines? The Associated Press Stylebook is considered “the journalist’s bible”. Writing for the journalistic world is different than standard marketing or advertising communications. You’ll enhance your credibility and let journalists know you draft serious copy. Writing in the format they prefer also increases the likelihood your news release will be published as closely as possible to the version you submitted.

New in 2011, in addition to expanded food and social media sections are recommendations for spelling, punctuation and capitalization of the following terms:
  • email
  • cellphone/smartphone
  • bed-and-breakfast
  • 911 call
  • ecosystem/ecotourism
  • iPad
During an interactive session, Winton invited attendees to identify some of the most common AP style mistakes in some sample news releases. Here are just a few of them that should be avoided:
  • Abbreviation of the states is NOT in the post office format. It should be Fla. Instead of FL.
  • Telephone numbers should be hyphenated 239-123-4567 rather than with parentheses.
  • Do not capitalize the “southwest” when using the location southwest Florida.
  • Website in AP style, is all one word, not two.
  • The numbers one through nine are spelled out; numbers 10 and above are used as numerals.
  • Use a.m. and p.m.; not AM/PM or am/pm.
The AP Stylebook is updated each year, and the 2011 spiral-bound edition was released in May. You can also purchase an online subscription or edition for your smartphone to receive more frequent updates. AP Stylebook is even on Twitter as @APStylebook. For some laughs, read tweets from @FakeAPStyle.

Members bring home the Gold at Conference

This year a number of Southwest Florida Chapter members received recognition for outstanding public relations programs, promotional and collateral materials and special events on behalf of their organizations and/or clients. Winners of the prestigious Golden Image Awards this year include:



Award of Distinction
Child Care Turns the Corner
Recipients: Beth Lobdell, Child Care of Southwest Florida, Linda McNabb, Child Care of Southwest Florida and Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC, Susan Bennett Marketing & Media


Award of Distinction
Lee County Port Authority United Way Campaign 2011
Recipients: The Lee County Port Authority Public Affairs Team – Vicki Moreland, Barbara-Anne Uruttia, Angie Strait, Erin Comerford


Judges’ Award
Early Learning Coalition Literacy Buddies
Recipient: Samantha Scott, APR with Get Pushing


Award of Distinction and Judges’ Award
SWFAS Celebrates 30 Years of Recovery
Recipients: Kevin B. Lewis, Southwest Florida Addiction Services and Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC, Susan Bennett Marketing & Media



Award of Distinction and Judges’ Award
Posing for a Cure
Recipient: Susan Lindenmuth, Estero Fire Department


Award of Distinction Launch News Release
Recipients: Priority Marketing, VIP Realty Group,

Credentialing Corner: OMG. LOL. TTYL.

Advice, recommendations and news you can use from the chapter’s seasoned professionals

By: Melinda Isley, APR

By now many of us have learned what these letters mean in text messages, Facebook updates and Twitter posts. But is showing how hip we are to the younger set doing us PR professionals a disservice, especially since we have the AP Stylebook so ingrained in our brains that even our handwritten holiday and birthday cards follow proper AP style? I realize LOL and ROFL have been added to the Stylebook, but I decided to find out what some of our reporter and editor friends would think if we sent them emails or texts with these slang terms.

The News-Press’s Downtown Diva (Stephanie Davis) says she draws the line on social event notifications by text when the sender finds it too exhausting to spell out their words.

“Personally, I think we can learn a lot from the younger generation – I’m just not sure that knowing how not to spell out actual words is a valuable social skill,” she wrote in a recent column.

Cindy Pierce, editor of Naples Florida Weekly, says while she doesn’t text a lot and hasn’t noticed a lot of PR professionals emailing her with slang terms, she would be a little put off if it did occur.

“I just want them to be straightforward and tell me what I need to know,” she said.

“It seems like the nature of Facebook is to let those terms slide, but if you are trying to make a professional impression, I would say it’s a good idea not to use those shortcuts,” added Phil Borchmann, editor of Gulfshore Business Magazine.

The News-Press reporter Francesca Donlan had an interesting example to share.

“This is a TRUE actual email sent to me: Hi Francesca, Do you think it's OK/PC to use "WTF" in a press release about a Teen Camp that is going to teach texting/email etiquette to kids? I polled all the reporters around me and we sent back a resounding NOOOOOOOOO. I think it's perfectly fine to do it in friendly emailing and appropriate considering the context but generally, I would say no. It just says teenager to me!”

“Slang and texting shorthand destroys the credibility of the message,” said Darrel Lieze-Adams, executive news director and manager of promotions for Waterman Broadcasting. “We get emails from viewers daily upset over misspellings and mistakes in our grammar. Having a complete command of the English language does not include using cute, trendy jive. Just because people say "ain't" doesn't mean it should become an acceptable part of our vernacular!”

In today’s fast-paced electronic world, let’s remember to present our professional selves and our writing first in all our communications to ensure we aren’t jeopardizing a mutually beneficial relationship down the road.

Don’t forget you can subscribe to and stay up-to-date on all the latest AP Stylebook guidelines.

My life as an Intern…Final Chapter

David Simmons
By: David Simmons

As summer comes to an end, so does my wonderful internship with FPRA.

After leaving the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, I worked with Margie Byers, from the Lee County Library System and their Annual Reading Festival. Working with Margie and the library was a great and unexpected experience. I say unexpected mainly because every day you learn something new, and I had no idea of the extent of the services that the library offered. I am extremely grateful to have worked with Margie and the wonderful staff. I have learned a lot about the reading festival and 20,000 plus attendees that they were expecting this year. Even though I was only an intern for two weeks, I helped with media contacts, a QR Code reading festival hunt plus, I found my opinions were highly valued. I was also able to join Margie at a presentation for the Fort Myers Kwanis Club, and must say they are extremely nice and very giving.

After completing my internship with the Lee County Library System, I immediately started with Kate and Ken Gooderham, with Gooderham & Associates, Inc. based in Fort Myers. While I was there I was able to help with the Inaugural Galloway Captiva Triathlon working on crisis management planning and social media tactics. This was also a great experience for myself, and the Gooderhams’, because I happened to be their first ever intern. I was able to participate in multiple activities including observing meetings with county officials, meetings with journalists, and even produced and edited my first ever video.

Internships are the best and closest thing to the real job, and sometimes they lead to being offered a paid position. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have an internship. An internship gives you the chance to figure out what you love to do and run with it. I would love to thank the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, Phyllis Ershowsky, APR, CPRC, Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC, Pam Nulman, APR, CPRC, Tiffany Esposito, Margie Byers, APR, and everyone else who supported me during this internship. I will be forever grateful.

David Simmons
FPRA Southwest Florida Chapter Intern
Summer 2011

Member Spotlight: Jessica Clark, APR

Jessica Clark, APR
Since 2007, Jessica Clark, APR, has been working in the Public Relations department at Shell Point Retirement Community. As the Public Relations Coordinator, she handles all external media relations and special events that promote the lifestyle with lifecare offered at Shell Point. Clark works closely with local media outlets to ensure that newsworthy stories and events related to Shell Point reach Southwest Florida residents. She also assists reporters with stories related to the senior industry.

She works closely with the Shell Point sales department to aid in the communication of specials and pricing for future residents. She also assists the sales team by planning and executing large-scale events such as Shell Point’s annual open house and fashion show.

In addition to handling the PR, media, and event planning for Shell Point, Clark also serves as a news anchor on Shell Point’s daily television program, Shell Point Today.

Prior to joining Shell Point, Clark worked at the United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties, where she oversaw the Public Relations, media relations, and event planning for their campaigns and community events. The experience at United Way was instrumental in the advancement of knowledge for Clark while also making long-lasting connections with multiple individuals in the local community.

In 2001 she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Speech Communication degree with a focus on Public Relations from Valdosta State University, and received her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2008.

Friday, August 5, 2011

FPRA State Conference - Follow Along Online!

The FPRA Annual Conference is coming soon, starting this Sunday. If you can't make it, but want to follow along, we encourage you to use the FPRA Blog. They'll be updating it throughout the conference with information, photos and more.

For those of you attending, you might want to use this to catch up on sessions that you couldn't make! Either way, please take advantage of this fantastic resource and thanks to all the bloggers helping to make it possible!