Thursday, November 20, 2014

November Speaker Ned Pope, explained how to take your business to the "Next" level

At the November luncheon, Ned Pope from Florida Next explained how his organization works with Floridians around the state to help build a better Florida. Florida Next works with young people, small businesses, entrepreneurs, etc. helping them take their ideas/products/services to the next level. Florida Next helps these people create actual plans of action, financial support and execution "running it like a business, not a charity." Florida NEXT has built relationships with large corporate and private donors and helps put the donors in contact with the entrepreneurs. Pope referred to the approach as the "nice shark tank" or "dolphin tank." Throughout his presentation Pope stressed the importance of asking donors what they want to get out of their sponsorship and also being sure to think mobile with your organization/company/event website. Pope stated that more people access the internet via mobile devices than standard computers and so it's crucial to make sure your website has a mobile version.

Ned Pope is a fifth generation Floridian with a long track record of success in project management and implementation. In his time at the Florida NEXT Foundation, he has implemented programs such as Give Day Tampa Bay and Impact Forums. Pope previously served as the vice president of Alternative Dispute Resolution and Project Management for the Collins Center for Public Policy, where he directed and administered six court- ordered mediation programs and a statewide mediation program sponsored by Fannie Mae.

Pope also served under Alex Sink as director of external affairs during her administration as chief financial officer of Florida. Before taking that position he served as the Department of Financial Services’ primary certified contract negotiator, representing the state as lead negotiator in the 2008 Worker’s Compensation Medical Case Management Project. In 2007, Pope co-managed and developed the nationally recognized searchable contract transparency website, currently known as “FACTS”. Before going to work directly for DFS he served as the operations manager for the agency’s Hurricane Insurance Mediation Program, administered by the Collins Center from 2004-07.

Ned Pope is a 2001 graduate of Georgia Southern University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Print Management/Publishing, and 2004 graduate of Florida State University, with a Master of Science degree in Communications, New and Interactive Technology. He is also the owner and CEO of the Pope Management Group, a project management firm that consults private companies on workflow efficiency and compliance with their government contracts.

Pope lives in Tampa with his wife, Merris, daughter, Avery, and son, Miles.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Member Spotlight- Trish Robertson

Trish Robertson is the Election Communications Coordinator for the Collier County Supervisor of
Elections Office. The Communications Coordinator maintains working knowledge of Federal and State Election Laws and internal practices and procedures serving as a supportive role to the entire Elections Office. Trish creates, manages and distributes communications for the Elections Office through various media outlets, office publications and social media channels. Additionally, she works closely with the Training and Voter Outreach Departments assisting in the development and execution of election worker recruitment strategies, election worker trainings, and voter education.

Trish is a proud member of the Florida Gulf Coast University alumni where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree Cum Laude in Communications with a concentration on Public Relations.
Trish has been a member for the SWFL Chapter of FPRA since 2011 and currently serves as the President-Elect.

In her free time, Trish volunteers as a Girl Scout Leader for Troop 100 and enjoys gardening and DIY projects.

W: (239) 252-8052
C: (772) 538-2157

Local Image Awards 2015- Think Strategically!

Even though the deadline for entries is three months away, your Local Image Team is preparing for the 2015 Local Image Awards. And, so should you!

Review your work from January 2014 through the competition deadline of March 11, 2015, to look for potential Local Image entries. Think strategically by being selective and determining the best category for your project. The key to success is meeting all the criteria of a public relations program: Problem Statement/Situational Analysis, Research, SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) Objectives, Audience, Action Plan/Implementation, Evaluation and Budget. You can even find Golden Image winning entries from previous years on the FPRA website at that can help you see what it takes to get an award. 

If you are on the fence about entering in general or want to talk a project through with someone, we are here to help. Your Local Image Team can be a great sounding board for a question on whether to enter something or if you are not sure which category to enter. We are here to assist you and make the process easier. 

In addition, we are once again calling on some chapter “Image Experts.” If you have never entered before or some time has passed, you may need a little bit of guidance. Just let us know and we will work with you or find an Image Buddy! This program has helped several of our members succeed in entering – and winning – in Local and Golden Image. Image Buddies are there to offer encouragement and advice on how to submit an award-winning entry. This hands-on experience should help you feel more comfortable about asking questions and make entering Local Image a little less intimidating.

If you have any questions about Local Image and/or would like help from an Image Buddy, please contact Vicki Moreland at or 239-590-4502.

Maintaining Social Media Presence During The Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner! This means more parties and events, jam-packed calendars, and hopefully, a little time off from work to enjoy the season with family and friends. Recent statistics show that two-thirds of shoppers will use social media to find gifts, so maintaining your company’s presence on all of your social media channels is essential. With a little advanced planning, you can come up with a strategy to ensure you continue to connect with your audience during this busy time of year.

One of the first things you should do is put together a content calendar for all of your social media platforms. Having posts planned in advance is always helpful, but during the busy holiday season it will ensure you consistently have something to share. Be sure your plan contains a good mix of content types and interesting posts to keep your followers engaged. Utilize the excitement of the holidays and keep important dates in mind such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday when trying to come up with ideas.

Once you’ve created your calendar, take the time to schedule your posts. You can schedule Facebook posts up to six months in advance using their scheduling tool.  Other platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter, don’t have that option, so you’ll need to use a managing system such as Hootsuite to schedule those posts. The scheduling process is very easy, but it does take some time, so the sooner you can start the better. While it’s not always recommended, linking your Twitter and Facebook accounts during this period is an option. In doing this, you will only have to schedule the posts on one platform.

 A good strategy in place will ensure that you won’t overlook your audience during this eventful time of year. Create a plan, schedule your posts, and check “Social Media” off of your holiday to-do list. This will also help ease some stress, so you can enjoy the holidays while continuing to engage with your fans and promote your business.