Thursday, May 24, 2012

Free Professional Development Webinar For FPRA Members

On May 30 from noon to 1:30 p.m., FPRA members will be able to watch, via streaming video, an iCast titled: The Role of Public Relations in Advocacy,  This professional development opportunity is free to FPRA members only and will focus on: 10 Rules of Engagement, The Keys to Successful Messaging, How to Measure & Evaluate Progress Along the Way, Appropriate Methods for Communicating Results & Next Steps.
This iCast can only be accessed on the member log in page called Active Members.
If you can’t remember your FPRA website user name and/or password, please contact the State Office by clicking here. Just ask for your password and this information will be emailed to you within one business day.

Southwest Florida Chapter calls for Annual Award Nominations

Nominations are currently being accepted for the annual Chapter awards. To nominate someone for one of the following awards, email Carla Ulakovic . The nomination deadline is June 8, and the winners will be announced during our annual meeting on July 10 at Broadway Palm Dinner Theater.

Awards are for chapter members. Please indicate which award you are nominating a candidate for and include a description of why you think they are the best match for this year’s awards.

The three awards categories are: The PR Professional of the Year; The Rising Star; and The FPRA Chapter Member of the Year:

PR Professional of the Year
Our chapter honors a member who exemplifies the high standards of the public relations profession in Southwest Florida with the PR Professional of the Year Award. The recipients of this award display a professional attitude and exercise professional conduct, are cooperative and supportive of fellow public relations professionals, and are very interested in raising the professional standing of FPRA in our community. Think of this person as one who both leads by word and deed. She/ he is a person you respect for their work and for their determination constantly improve.

Chapter Member of the Year
The Southwest Florida Chapter Member of the Year is one who goes above and beyond in their commitment of time and energy to ensure the success of the chapter. Not only has this recipient embraced the creative thinking and opportunities for participation in chapter programs and projects, but she or he also serves as an ambassador to the community of what FPRA is all about. Basically, this person excels at their profession, and enjoys giving back to this chapter to inspire future PR leaders to learn and grow through FPRA.

Rising Star
The Rising Star award recognizes and up and coming leader in our chapter. This is someone who has shown enthusiasm and passion for the profession, and where ever you see them, they are likely to be making a positive difference through their service to chapter events, career pursuits and in other arenas. We like to encourage our members to seek opportunities to get involved, and the Rising Star awardee is someone who puts this call into action.

Local media professionals to share industry insights at FPRA Media Breakfast June 21

By Gail Dolan, MBA

Four local media professionals will share their diverse perspectives and experiences at a Media Breakfast from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 21 at the Holiday Inn Airport/Town Center located at 9931 Interstate Commerce Drive in Fort Myers.  Hosted annually by the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA), the Media Breakfast helps local businesses get the most out of their media relations strategies.

The local media pros who will share their insights and tips on effective media relations are Phil Borchmann, Editor of Gulfshore Business Magazine; Darrel Lieze-Adams, Executive News Director, Waterman Broadcasting; Penny Moore, Grassroots Editor, Naples News Media Group; and Steve McQuilkin, Business and Real Estate Editor, The News-Press Media Group.

Admission is $40 for FPRA members, $50 for nonmembers, and $15 for members of the FPRA student chapter.  Reservations are being accepted online at

The Media Breakfast is sponsored locally by Gulfshore Business, Pushing the Envelope, The Cooper Group, and The News-Press Media Group. For more details, or for sponsorship opportunities, please contact Tiffany Esposito at or (239) 992-2943.

Don’t Forget to Register for FPRA's 74th ANNUAL CONFERENCE

August 5-8, 2012
$595 Registration Fee (Member Rate)
Lodging at The Renaissance World Golf Village Resort

Guestrooms: $139  

For four days, FPRA members, as well as other PR professionals around the region, join together for one common goal — to enhance their career through professional development seminars led by nationally recognized speakers and networking opportunities.

By offering experts on a variety of industry-related topics, FPRA’s goal for Annual Conference is to present tools, tactics and strategies that its members can immediately apply and implement in their jobs.

Be sure to check out the Conference Agenda for a list of dynamic speakers and unique excursions like a trip to the World Famous Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.

Looking for some reasons to persuade your employer that conference is a great investment in your future. FPRA has compiled the Top 10 Reasons to Attend Conference.

Lunch Recap: “Putting the ‘Special’ in Events

Carolyn Rogers, APR, CPRC, CFRE and principal of SimplifyPR presented “Putting the ‘Special’ in Events” at this month's luncheon. Ms. Rogers is the event and PR coordinator for the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, Lee County’s all-time largest netting fundraising event, and one of the top 10 wine auctions in the USA.

Carolyn's top tips to make your events special are:

1.  Don't rely on corporate sponsors.  Individuals make up the largest portion of donors.
2.  Pause for the cause. Highlight the reason for the event in a memorable way.
3.  Find a common passion that brings people together: Wine, Food, Dresses, etc...
4.  Have Fun!

Built on a platform of proven fundraising techniques and a strong public relations plan, the year-long planning for the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest involves the oversight of a cadre of grassroots supporters and incorporates the generosity, teamwork, skills and contacts of numerous bidders, volunteers, donors, and sponsors. During the last four years, the event has grown from netting $750,000 to $2.3 million. Part of its legacy is the Fund-a-Cause auction lot that this year raised $400,000 to purchase nine incubators for The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, adding to the seven incubators purchased in the prior three years cumulative.

With more than 25 years of experience in public relations, marketing, advertising and nonprofit fund development, Ms. Rogers holds a bachelor's degree in mass communications with a specialization in public relations from the University of South Florida, Tampa. She has achieved Certification as a Public Relations Counselor (CPRC), and the Universal Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), and is also a member of FPRA’s Counselors' Network. As former development director at both The Children’s Hospital and Canterbury School, she has also achieved certification in professional fundraising through CFRE International.

Ms. Rogers’ work has been recognized by the Florida Public Relations Association with Golden Image Awards for best public relations program in the state for special events in 2010 and 2009, and for best community relations program in 2008. Her work has also received local awards including recognition by the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA for public relations programs, special events and printed tools, and a 2009 Silver ADDY awarded by the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Advertising Federation for best brochure/sales kit. SimplifyPR is a full-service marketing and public relations firm located in Fort Myers, Florida.

APR Trivia - June

Q: True or False: Accredited public relations professions earn more on average than non-accredited professionals?

A: True (According to a 2005 PR Week/Ferry International Salary Survey).

I'd be lost without...

I’d be lost without my Single Sheet Newspaper Cutter. This handy-dandy tool quickly cuts through the top sheet of a newspaper so you get a clean and professional clip every time. Available at

Mary Briggs
Lee Memorial Health System

FPREF Still Accepting Donations

Every donation large or small will help FPREF reach its $25,000 goal through the "Every Member Campaign". Donations help support programs like scholarship funds for college students, Annual Conference scholarships for its professional members and to support the APR program.

Please consider joining the Southwest Florida Chapter and help support the professional development of professional members and students by making a contribution. The Southwest Florida Chapter Board has voted to match funds donated by our Chapter members up to $300.

Click here to contribute today!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

President's Word: Show Me the Money! - Decoding the Chapter Budget

By Carla Ulakovic

For many, budgeting is often the elephant in a room. Though necessary function of business, it seems to be everyone’s least favorite topic of discussion.  I would like to take a moment to show our members the money, so to speak, and decode how the Chapter raises and uses funds. 

Reporting Responsibilities: Each Chapter president and board members are ultimately personally responsible for the finances of their chapter and have responsibility to  our Chapter members to share the chapter’s finances.  In an effort to maintain transparency and meet with guidelines from the State offices, our Chapter has been announcing our treasury totals at each chapter meeting. For those interested, the Chapter keeps all financial records up-to-date and available for review by chapter members.

At our monthly meetings of the board of directors, we review a detailed Treasurer's Report outlining all sources of income and expenses. The treasurer also compares actual figures against projections to ensure the budget stays in balance.

Quarterly, each Chapter president must provide reports to the state executive committee to demonstrate results, as well as the effective use of budgets and resources. At the end of each year a report is then due to state as a recap of all executed activities – the ultimately goal of which is to stay within the allotted yearly budget.

Planning and Preparation: At the beginning of each year, the incoming board of directors reviews the financial accomplishments and situations from the previous year. This review process helps set chapter goals for the year and allows the board evaluate financial resources needed to reach these goals in the new budget.

Additionally, our Chapter sends out a membership survey at the start of the year to ask members for input as to what types of programs and offerings each member would like to see in the year ahead. The board of directors then has the responsibility to set goals to achieve these programs while avoiding strain on chapter finances.

Auditing: Each Chapter must arrange for an annual audit and or review at the end of each fiscal year. Findings are then reported to the State office and the state files the necessary tax forms.  Financial Reviews of the chapter have been conducted internally by a three-member review committee.  If there is issue with the Chapter financing, state can recommend a professional audit at the Chapter’s expense.
Operating Expenses: The State bylaws require each Chapter to maintain at least six month’s operating expenses in a savings account, CD, etc.
So the money our chapter has in the savings account should almost be considered invisible money as it is to only be used in dire situations. This then means all events, programs and offerings for the year must be achieve through funds solely from the Chapter Checking account.

How do we raise money?
In these economic times, everyone is doing less with more. Though it may seem like the Chapter has a very healthy treasury, it is important Chapter funds are used.
1.      Membership - A healthy membership is critical to maintaining a healthy treasury.  A percentage of individuals membership dues are returned to the local chapters to help develop programs, etc. Renewing your membership by Oct 31 is critical because it allows for the chapter to plan for any dips in membership early on. An unexpected decline in membership, can negatively impact overall chapter finances. So, as a rule of thumb, chapters often try to grow their treasury to help offset any drop in future membership.
2.      Sponsorships – This year we reintroduced annual sponsorships and continue to offer sponsorship opportunities for our special events. Though we have a healthy treasury now, sponsorships are still crucial to the sustainability of our Chapter. They provide an opportunity to reach and educate our members and to cover the costs of producing programs as well as any dip in attendance or speakers fees.  Without sponsorships our Chapter would not be able to provide the frequency and caliber of programs that members have indicated they want through surveys.
3.      Chapter luncheons – Typically a nominal profit is made off our Chapter luncheons. Member participation in Chapter events from luncheons, to mixers and professional development seminars is crucial to maintaining a healthy treasury.
Where do we spend Chapter finances?

At the start of each year the board of directors determines where Chapter finances will be distributed. Sponsorship, member participation and member rebate help build our treasury so that we can offer programs such as:
·         Membership Scholarships
·         Scholarships to annual conferences,
·         Sponsorship of annual conference,
·         Chapter programs and special events
·         Maintains Chapter resources like our web site
·         Image Awards
·         Chapter Awards
·        Accreditation

This is a cycle that begins again with the passing of the torch from one leadership year to another.

Social Media Corner: Getting Permission

Social media is sharing, but what if it's a business sharing a photo of a customer, event attendee, client or one of their staff person's children? There are many permission restrictions to be aware of - and respect - when sharing images and other content on social media.
By Samantha Scott, APR

So, you just held a great event and want to share pictures of attendees on your company/organization's Facebook page or other social media platform. But wait. Did you get permission first? So often, we as public relations and marketing professionals think only about communicating the story, event, news, etc. that we forget about some of the legalities and rules associated with our work. Social media is no exception.

While we can share any photo or information we want, virtually, on Facebook, Instagram and other photo sharing sites, problems could arise if a photo is shared that an individual isn't proud of, doesn't like or otherwise takes offense to. In that case, you must be prepared to either 1) stand your ground because you've protected yourself with a waiver or other signage about video/photo surveillance or 2) quickly remove the image and make ammends.

Beyond personal objections, there are also copyright conflicts that could arise. This relates to any intellectual or otherwise, property of businesses/people that are shared without their permission. This becomes a potential problem with sites like Pinterest where "re-pinning" or duplicated sharing is expressly encouraged. 

As PC World ( points out, "While Facebook users repurpose others' content regularly, Facebook asks each time you upload a photo if you have the permission to use it. The legal burden lies with the original person who posted the photo rather than those who share links to it."

A simple way to protect yourself, your company or organization is to have everyone either sign a photo/video release waiver or have it auto checked when they register for an event or otherwise. This can be as simple as:

I hereby grant permission to COMPANY NAME or their authorized agents, representatives or employees to use photographs and/or video taken of me or my child(ren) for use in company promotional materials, on their website and/or social media platforms and to use such photographs without notifying me. I hereby waive any right to inspect or approve the finished photographs or printed or electronic matter that may be used in conjunction with them now or in the future, whether that use is known to me or unknown, and I waive any right to royalties or other compensation arising from or related to the use of the photograph.

A side note, you should be personally aware of what apps you allow to operate on your computer, Facebook account and even your phone (Apple or Android). As some reports have pointed out, they can not only access your images at will, but some can even share them without your permission! Learn more and protect yourself: