Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Meet the Panelists for Media Breakfast - Jimmy Dean, Harbor Style

JD has lived in and helped chronicle this region of SW Florida for almost 40 years. His media career began as baby-DJ at age 12 and made the transition from broadcasting to print at age 27 when he moved from NC to Florida. He was one of the founders of SARASOTA Magazine and past publisher of that title and Gulfshore Life and Gulfshore Business for many years before selling that company to the Robb Report.

Failed miserably at retirement.

Now, for almost 8 years, he has been working with a talented team of magazine professionals, building HARBOR STYLE Magazine into another regional powerhouse to benefit the community, and the people who live, work and play here.

Meet the Panelists for Media Breakfast - Osvaldo Padilla, Florida Weekly

Osvaldo Padilla is the managing editor of the Fort Myers edition of Florida Weekly. Most of us know him by his nickname, "Waddy." He has more than 20 years of experience as a writer, journalist and media personality covering news throughout Florida. A graduate of the master’s program at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, he has covered Capitol Hill for media outlets in Oregon and the Keys, and served as a reporter for WINK-TV and the News-Press. His work has appeared in GEEK Magazine, Lincoln Road Magazine, on Inside Edition and Tru-TV. During his time at Florida Weekly the paper has won dozens of awards including General Excellence from the Florida Press Association and his writing has garnered awards for investigative, health and business writing. Aside from his career in journalism, Waddy is also a Florida Certified General Contractor.

Meet the Panelists for Media Breakfast - Phil Borchmann, Gulfshore Business

For more than nine years, Phil Borchmann has served as the editor of Gulfshore Business, a monthly business-to-business publication covering Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties.

Before his arrival in Southwest Florida, Borchmann spent nearly 15 years working as a reporter at newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune and the Rockford Register Star in Rockford, Ill., his hometown. Borchmann is a graduate of Illinois State University.  

Meet the Panelists for Media Breakfast - Steve McQuilkin, The News-Press

Steve McQuilkin (Mick-QUILL-Kin) is the New Economy and Education editor at The News-Press.

At The News-Press, McQuilkin also has been executive metro editor, data editor and real estate editor.

Before coming to Southwest Florida in 1999, McQuilkin covered the tobacco industry for the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal, where he wrote a history of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. with two other reporters.

Prior to that he was a reporter, copy editor and bureau chief for The Tampa Tribune. He started his career at the Boca Raton News after graduating from the University of Florida.

Steve is runner, church deacon and history buff who enjoys spending time with his wife Karen and daughter Jilan.

He is a semi-native who grew up in Pinellas County after spending his first 10 years as a Navy brat in various spots along the East Coast.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chapter Awards Nominations

It's that time of year again to start thinking about your fellow FPRA members and all they've done throughout the year. Write a blurb about the deserving peer you'd like to nominate and send it to Samantha Scott, APR. Chapter nominations are due on Monday, June 9 and winners will be announced at the July luncheon. Below are descriptions of each award. Please note, not all awards will be given each year.

Good luck to all!

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.

Unsung Hero

The Unsung Hero Award was created to recognize the contributions of an individual SWFL FPRA member for their hard work and dedication to the chapter 'behind the scenes' that helps to enhance and promote the Public Relations profession. This award honors an individual who consistently provides support and assistance to the chapter and its professional goals without hesitation.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Any longtime public relations professional who has dedicated their career to the profession and the advancement of it is eligible. It will not necessarily be given annually.

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 to constantly improve.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Get to know your Media Breakfast panel - Jean Gruss, Business Observer

Jean Gruss, Business Observer

Jean Gruss is the editor for the Lee and Collier areas of the Business Observer, a regional publication that covers business news from Tampa to Naples. The Business Observer has offices in Fort Myers and Naples and is available in print and online at

Before joining the Review in 2005, Jean was an editor with the Kiplinger business publications in Washington, D.C. Jean started his media career in 1991 with the Panama City (Fla.) News-Herald where he was business editor. From 1994 to 1999, Jean was a business writer for The Tampa Tribune, where he covered commercial real estate and economic development.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May Member Spotlight, Beckie Reeves

Beckie Reeves has been the Marketing Director for Frantz EyeCare for 15 years and has been instrumental in helping the offices of Dr. Jonathan Frantz grow into one of our areas’ most well-known and respected eye care practices. Beckie’s background in healthcare marketing started in her home state of Ohio where she was Communications & Marketing Director for Good Samaritan Medical Center in Zanesville, OH, for more than 20 years.

Going from a mid-sized hospital with a multitude of responsibilities involved in heading up a four-member communications team, to utilizing her skills at a busy multi-specialty eye care practice, Beckie has found the achievements and challenges very similar, albeit much more hands on in her current position.  She especially enjoys working with the 100+ patient-focused staff members (including 11 doctors) at Frantz EyeCare and constantly reinforces with them the need to exceed patient expectations.  Among her many responsibilities at Frantz EyeCare, she creates the advertising and PR campaigns, manages all of the media buys for the practice, writes a weekly employee newsletter, and creates patient forms and collateral materials for the many services the practice provides for its patients.

Beckie’s department at Frantz EyeCare also includes an Outreach Coordinator who serves as the liaison with referring doctors and facilitates health fairs and exhibits throughout our SWF service area, and an Online Marketing Specialist who handles all of the social media, website, SEO, email marketing, and video production for the practice. Ophthalmology is a highly competitive business in SWF and Beckie and her team constantly look for ways to differentiate Frantz EyeCare from the many other eye care practices. Working for a medical director and eye surgeon like Dr. Jonathan Frantz, who is always on the cutting edge of technology, and who appreciates the value of PR and marketing, helps give her team the means to make that happen.

Before joining Frantz EyeCare, Beckie had the opportunity to work with Susie Bennett for two years. That experience was an excellent transition from Ohio into the PR and marketing arena in SWF.

Beckie studied Journalism at Ohio University in Athens and Zanesville, OH, and attended a two-year healthcare management program while working at the hospital. With an ever-present thirst for learning, she finds the programs offered at FPRA meetings to be an excellent resource for keeping up to date in the world of communications, not to mention the many friendships that she has made throughout her nearly 16 years of membership.  

Monday, May 12, 2014

May Luncheon Recap - Cloud Computing

Last week’s monthly SWFL Chapter luncheon left members a little more keen on Cloud Computing, among several other technology adaptations we all frequently face every year.  James Ritter, founder and CEO of Pulse Business Solutions, discussed with our chapter the importance of understanding what our friends in the IT department are really talking about and how important it is for communicators to have knowledge of the ever-evolving  technological realm and the necessity for PR pros to begin a dialogue on how to solve any issues and adapt to new technology in order to send, receive and secure valuable information.

It’s a fact that IT solutions and upgrades are transforming the workplace and saving businesses thousands of dollars, and it’s time us PR pros to start getting social about technology.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Step By Step to Golden Image video

Wondering what to do with your Golden Image entry now that you've dotted your I's and crossed your T's? Being the first year that Golden Image is submitted completely digitally, State FPRA thought you could use some help. Take a moment to look at this great video sent to help walk you through the steps of submitting your Golden Image entry on the website.

Click here to view the video

Friday, May 2, 2014

How to Boost PR Productivity via Cutting-Edge Technology and The Cloud

Join us at the May luncheon to learn more about cloud computing from James Ritter, founder and CEO of Pulse Business Solutions!

Are you hooked on the idea of boosting PR, marketing and advertising agency productivity?
In this new economy, if you cannot collaborate, you’re done. Gone is the super-competitive mentality of the 1990s. As we adapt to changing markets, clients and employees, PR agencies are finding that they need to evolve from competitive to collaborative cultures. But to do that, we need to think critically about the IT that we use and how to migrate our companies toward more collaborative technologies—such as the cloud.
As communicators, “being social” is no longer just another prerequisite for getting along in our jobs. Rather, we are currently experiencing a fundamental shift in how we interact with the world, and essentially, in how we get the information that we need in a global marketplace.
The goal of the Lunch and Learn is to allow attendees to walk out of the presentation knowing enough to at least recognize their own business challenges and begin a dialogue with their IT department / IT Service Provider about how to solve those issues with Cloud Computing.
1). We will explore the most common business challenges in a PR agency today: remote communications, collaboration and aging, vulnerable servers .
2) Next, I will briefly demo corresponding IT solutions that are, in fact, transforming the workplace and saving businesses money: unified communications, collaborative platforms and cloud computing.