Thursday, January 30, 2014

I'd be lost Without - February 2014

I can’t live without Twitter so file this under #ConfessionsofaTwitterAddict.  Twitter is the only tech-related platform or tool where I can claim to be an early adopter, having launched my account during its infancy in 2007. Originally used to keep in touch with Grad school friends, today it’s my go-to social media platform for a multitude of activities and varying levels of engagement. And yes, it’s usually the last thing I look at each night and the first thing I check every morning.
How I use Twitter:
 - As a News Feed to stay on top of breaking news locally, nationally and globally. 
Ÿ - To connect with reporters.
-  To get the latest professional news and to connect with other professionals in PR and Higher Education.
- To share class information with students and connect with students through direct messages.
I even connect on Twitter with both my children who have accounts. 
There a numerous platforms to help manage and maximize engagement and analytics for Twitter (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Social Sprout, plus a host of others) just be aware most have limited free accounts in addition to paid premium accounts                                                                         
Pam Nulman, APR, CPRC,

Education Chair

APR Trivia - February 2014

Question: True or false: The APR credential is good for the life of the PR professional who earns it?

Answer: True; however every three years, APRs must meet maintenance requirements and submit documentation.

Twitter Tips from the Top - Social Media Corner

Submitted by Jodi Huntoon, Social Media Chair

With more and more brands using Twitter to connect with their audience; it’s a vital component of a well-rounded PR plan. 
In a recent article, big brands like Starbucks, Delta and Wal-Mart received accolades for having a stellar Twitter page, pages that are specific to PR.  So, what are some of the best Twitter practices used by these top companies that we can use for our own PR? Some of the suggestions provided were no-brainers but others may serve as helpful reminders or a new idea to keep your followers following.
Some of the stand-out tips included:
·       In the Twitter bio page; include a link to other Twitter handles within that company.  For example, customer service, investor relations, human resources, so folks know exactly where to go to get the specific info they’re seeking
·       If the company is publicly traded; it is recommended to share earnings updates
·       Retweet news coverage
·       Tweet visual media as much as possible
·       Sharing links to corporate blogs or to recent website updates
·       Includes an email address to all press inquiries directly on the bio page for those with tight deadlines
·       Retweet third-party articles that are relevant to the business
·       Even though it may not be PR news;  includes updates on sales and promotions

To check out more Twitter tidbits, read the full article at

President's Word - January 2014

Hello again,

February is the “month of love,” playing host to Valentine’s Day, but just as our February meeting will have a twist, so does my article this month.

I’d like to take this month to “show some love” to fellow chapter leadership for all they do for us throughout the year, specifically those who tend to fly under the radar. This may also give you, as a member, a better idea of the many opportunities and services provided – some of which you might want to take advantage of!

·      Heidi Taulman, APR – Starting at the top, Heidi is your President-Elect and will take over leadership of this chapter in August. In the mean time, she’s also your membership chair and is working on a membership orientation event to help connect new members with the chapter. Stay tuned.
·      Kara Winton, APR, CPRC – A seasoned chapter member, Kara consistently offers her expertise to help others serving as our accreditation chair. In fact, she’s just kicked off another round of study sessions. If you’re interested in earning your APR or CPRC, contact Kara today!
·      Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC – Kate has been with our chapter for many years and is always supportive of the organization and its members. A leader in her profession, Kate also serves as the VP of Professional Development, working hard to ensure plenty of opportunities for you to enhance your career.
·      Trish Robertson – Trish is a fairly new member of the leadership team and is responsible for coordinating the team that provides all of our chapter communication. Know what’s going on with the chapter each month? Enjoy the photo albums on Facebook? Benefitted from PRU? You have Trish (and her team) to thank.

There are many more talented people who make up our leadership, but these individuals work hard and often aren’t recognized. If / when you see these individuals in the future tell them “thanks” or give them a pat on the back. We all need a little appreciation from time to time and what better month to give it than the month of love?

As always, thank you for being a member of the Southwest Florida chapter of FPRA and for what you bring to our profession. See you soon and don’t forget to - Think FPRA!

Samantha Scott, APR

Support the Image Awards! Sponsorship Packages Available

Sponsor the 2014 Local Image Awards! 
When you sponsor the 2014 Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association Local Image Awards, top communications and public relations professionals in the region will see your company is a winner. 
Image Awards is an annual event to recognize outstanding communications, marketing and public relations programs by area non-profits, government organizations and public relations firms. Image Awards have become a standard of excellence and demonstrate the very best of innovation, planning and design. 
Your sponsorship offers a unique opportunity to reach an influential target audience – people who use and recommend services, purchase and promote products every day. And, that’s just while they’re at the office! 
We are currently looking for sponsors for the award ceremony, which will be held on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The deadline to reserve your sponsorship is Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. 
Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Your 2014 Local Image Awards Committee

Sponsorship Opportunities 

Museum-level Sponsor - $150 
Two tickets to the Local Image Awards event 
Table space to promote your company at event check-in 
Your company’s logo and/or name on all event promotions (invitations, newsletter, programs, signage, website, etc.) 
Your company’s logo on a PowerPoint slide visible during networking and other portions of the event 
One collateral piece distributed at each seat 

Gallery-level Sponsor - $100 
One ticket to the Local Image Awards event 
Your company’s logo and/or name on all event promotions (invitations, newsletter, programs, signage, website, etc.) 
Your company’s logo on a PowerPoint slide visible during networking and other portions of the event 
One collateral piece distributed at each seat 

Studio-level Sponsor - $50 
Your company’s logo and/or name on all event promotions (invitations, newsletter, programs, signage, website, etc.) 
Your company’s logo on a PowerPoint slide visible during networking and other portions of the event 

Sponsorship Level (check one): Museum ($150) Gallery ($100) Studio ($50) 
Company Name: 
Contact Name: 
Mailing Address: 
Sponsorship deadline is Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. 
Please make check payable to FPRA. Email this completed form to, or mail with check to: 
Lee County Port Authority, Public Affairs, 11000 Terminal Access Road, Suite 8671, Fort Myers, FL 33913 
For any questions, please contact us at 239-590-4502

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Determination A MUST! - By Laura Puerto, APR

With chapter study sessions around the corner and "season" still in full swing, you're probably looking for help and motivation to earn the coveted APR anywhere you can find it! Look no further. Laura Puerto, APR, 10 year PR veteran, chapter secretary and recent APR recipient, was published by the Universal Accreditation Board on her journey to accreditation. Congratulations, Laura! If you need an extra push to help you through classes, keep reading:

Determination a MUST! - Laura Puerto, APR
Before you embark on your APR journey, you must be determined to succeed! It took me almost 10 years in the public relations world before I felt ready to pursue my APR. I know that may sound odd to people considering there is no set amount of years required to go for your APR, but in my tenth year as a public relations pro is when I finally felt ready to go for those coveted three letters.
After talking to my husband to ensure he supported what was sure to be many months of studying, I joined my local APR study courses. I immediately secured a book from Amazon and reviewed the syllabus for the course — marking all-important dates. Before I walked into the first study course, I brainstormed a timeline for myself. And like any good public relations person, I vowed to meet all of my personal APR deadlines.
First deadline — complete my Readiness Review document. Although this seemed daunting at first look, I really enjoyed walking through my experience, program and public relations knowledge base. I proudly and methodically completed all 18 pages of it.
Second deadline — prepare for the dreaded Readiness Review presentation. I practiced in front of seven of my co-workers (even my boss). Even with practice, I shed a few nervous tears before walking in and rocking my presentation with an almost perfect score!
Third deadline — study and sit for the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations. I studied for three weeks straight (on lunch breaks, nights and weekends), everything from recommended books to study session notes to the APR study guide.
I found the most value in the APR Study Guide, which provides exercises to test your skills. It also provides case studies and helps you to think like an APR. I also met with other people pursuing their APRs, and worked through exercises with both my study session teacher and boss (both are APR, CPRC).
My three biggest tips for pursuing your APR are to (1) be determined (2) set up a timeline for yourself, and (3) do as many case studies as possible. For me, case studies brought all of my experience and APR studies to fruition. Although the reading, studying and even stressing are all part of the process, these three things were most valuable to my APR success! Without determination, deadlines and case studies galore, I wouldn’t now be Laura Puerto, APR!

Laura Puerto, APR, has served as the public relations specialist at Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) for the past 10 years. Puerto earned her bachelor’s degree in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University. She’s volunteered her time for 10 years with the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA, including serving on the board of directors for ten consecutive years. Puerto was honored as the FPRA Rising Star in 2007, Chapter Member of the Year in 2009 and Unsung Hero in 2013., January 14, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Seeking Chapter Sponsors

Our chapter is dedicated to providing programs and activities that enhance the success of public relations professionals as well as other professionals in our Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades Counties. FPRA members work for some of our area’s largest businesses and organizations, and because of the nature of public relations, are some of the most well-connected professionals in Southwest Florida. There are over 100 members in Southwest Florida and an average 100 guests attending 15 annual events with over 100 people in attendance.

To ensure that the Southwest Florida chapter offers superb programs, opportunities, and networking events, we offer sponsorship opportunities to our local businesses and partners. There are multiple levels to participate as an annual chapter sponsor. Please visit our website to view these options along with the many benefits available to our sponsors. These five options range from $250 to $1,000. By sponsoring the Florida Public Relations Association SWFL Chapter, your business, product, or organization will be showcased as a leader in our community.

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to hearing from you!