Blog

Thank You For An Amazing 2015!

PRSA Tampa Bay members gathered this past week at Fleming’s Steakhouse in Tampa to celebrate a great year at our Membership Mix & Mingle event in support of Metropolitan Ministries.

Thank you to those who attended for joining us and making our Toy Drive event a success!

We collected over 40 toys for infants, toddlers, school-aged children and teens. Gifts included learning games, building sets, arts & crafts, journals, beauty products and approximately $150 in gift cards. Our donation will help Metropolitan Ministries fulfill its mission to bring toys to children in need this holiday season. 

In addition to mixing with members and guests, we heard from 2015 President Marissa Segundo, who recapped the amazing year we had at PRSA.

As we reflect on this year, we’d love your feedback, too! If you haven’t already, please provide feedback on your membership experience this year by filling out our two-minute Membership Survey. As a member of the chapter, your thoughts are instrumental in helping us improve and enhance the value for members in the coming year.

Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season, and we look forward to connecting with you in 2016!

 

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PRSA Tampa Bay Member Spotlight

Bart Graham, Sr.
Media Center Volunteer Team Leader
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

I am a new member of PRSA National, PRSA Tampa Bay Chapter and the PRSA Entertainment and Sports Section. I am also working the chapter's volunteer committee, so we will be contacting you too to ask you to volunteer with the chapter!

Before answering my questions, I first want to thank everybody for welcoming me in the chapter! Chapter President Marissa Segundo, APR helped me get started with the chapter and allowed me to team up with Volunteer Coordinator Chair Carrie Johnson-O'Brion. Membership Retention Committee Chair Shereen McCall keeps us busy providing us with the names of the new members.  And Marissa and Board Member Betty Carlin, APR allowed me to work the registration desk at the Port Tampa Bay event in September.  It was a pleasure meeting many of you there!

Tell us a little bit about your career, educational/professional background and how you got to where you are today.

My road to my current position is long and winding.  I took two years of Mass Communications classes from Southern Illinois University but my BS is in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  I have extensive account management, event recruitment, and sales experience in the IT industry while I was with Tech Data.  My passion is auto racing and in 2005 I decided to volunteer for the St. Petersburg Grand Prix in the Media Center.  I started on the literature table and now I am a volunteer staff leader at the race overseeing 30 plus volunteers of the Media Center.  I like to brag that we have the best volunteer team around and I feel fortunate to be part of the IndyCar family for this event.  I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with many local and national media along with nationally known auto racers and series officials.  I have learned so much about media relations over these years thanks to the press officers I have worked for.

What do you suggest students do to stand out among applicants in the competitive job market?

I would tell students to network, network, network.  Got involved and make sure to complete their LinkedIn profile!

When you see a great story in the press, what's your immediate thought?

When I see a great story I am not shy about sending a note to the writer telling them how much I enjoyed reading the story.

What are some of your personal hobbies outside of work/PR?

I like to say that I am a plane, train, and automobile type of guy.  Also, I am now a boat guy after the Port Tampa Bay presentation.  The movie, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, with Steve Martin and John Candy is one of my favorites!  To my chapter friends, if you ever want a racing outing at our local short tracks or information on auto racing please feel free to reach out to me.

Have you ever done anything out of the ordinary to apply for and/or get a job?

I ended up getting the Traffic Manager position at WorkPlace after being the President of the Tampa Bay Transportation Club.  My WorkPlace job led me to Tech Data.  I am a firm believer in volunteering.  You may never know where it will lead you!

Thank you for your submission, Bart. Be sure to connect with him on LinkedIn.

If you would like to submit your information for a future Member Spotlight, please fill out the form here.

 

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PRSA Tampa Bay Helps Neighbors Brush-up Their Interview Skills

By Elizabeth Watts, APR
Public Service Chair

We’ve all been there and it can be nerve-racking. Yes, the dreaded job interview!

But practice makes perfect, right?  

PRSA Tampa Bay members helped several Sulphur Springs neighbors practice putting their best foot forward in a mock interview workshop during United Way’s annual Day of Caring on October 1. 

Chapter members interviewed 14 job seekers at the United Way Sulphur Springs Resource Center, helping them practice and improve their job interview skills.

  

“This was a rewarding and fun way to give back to our community and pass along some tips that we, as professional communicators, use every day,” said PRSA Tampa Bay Chapter President, Marissa Segundo, APR.    

PRSA Tampa Bay volunteered nearly 30 hours of professional service.  

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“Reroute Your Thinking” – Rebranding insights from Port Tampa Bay

Port Tampa Bay is the largest single economic engine in west-central Florida, contributing more than $15 billion in economic impact and affecting more than 80,000 jobs. Until recent years, this was largely unrecognized by the Tampa Bay community. Enter Karl Strauch and the rebranding campaign of Port Tampa Bay.

Karl Strauch, VP of brand development and strategic alliances for Port Tampa Bay took on the complex task to rebrand Tampa’s port and elevate its reputation. Strauch said their biggest issue was how they were perceived by the community, business and government leaders and the Port’s customers.

Just how were they perceived? “That bulk port with a little bit of cruise business.”

The Port knew they needed to make a change. They changed their name from the Tampa Port Authority to Port Tampa Bay. An enhanced logo followed suit, as well as updated marketing materials, promotional efforts and an enhanced Tampa Bay business and community presence.

The Port worked with economic development organizations, hosted business and government leaders and held educational and community outreach programs to help get their new branding message out. Their new tagline became “Reroute Your Thinking.”

The result of the rebranding campaign was a more engaged, recognizable Port community that embraces the Port’s new look, name and message positioning, and customers who appreciate the value that Port Tampa Bay can bring to them.

Save the Date

Join keynote speaker Preston Rudie as he covers best practices and pitfalls to avoid when transitioning from journalism to public relations on Friday, October 23, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Westshore Marriott. 

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Help Lead PRSA Tampa Bay

PRSA Tampa Bay wants you! Annual elections are quickly approaching and we are looking for members to volunteer or nominate others to serve as an officer, board member, committee chair or committee member.

Getting involved in the chapter’s leadership helps members build valuable business relationships, hone special skill sets and position themselves as leaders in the industry and community. Remember, we are a volunteer-led organization and your service to our chapter is essential.

Elected official positions available in 2016 include President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Assembly Delegate and Board Director (two openings). The first step is to complete our Willingness to Serve form, noting in which capacities you would be willing to serve the chapter next year.

Your service is not limited to elected positions. Lead or be an active volunteer in one of 13 committees. Please complete the Willingness to Serve form to show your interest in a non-elected leadership position.

We also encourage members to nominate other members from the chapter. To nominate one or more members, with their permission, for an elected position.

Please complete the Willingness to Serve form by Thursday, Sept. 10. And if you have any questions, you can email nominations@prsatampabay.org

QuickStart Your Leadership Skills Scholarships Available
Receive valuable chapter leadership training at PRSA Sunshine District QuickStart Program, Sept. 25-26 in Apopka, Fla., scholarships are available.This annual leadership training brings together current and incoming chapter board members to discuss PRSA governance, treasury, accreditation and committee leadership. 

There is no fee to attend QuickStart; scholarships will cover travel expenses (hotel, mileage reimbursement) up to a combined total of $200. The recipient will need to pay travel expenses up front and submit receipts for reimbursement following QuickStart. Any transportation and hotel costs beyond the $200 combined total are the responsibility of the attendee. 

If you are interested in attending QuickStart and would like a scholarship, please complete the application as soon as possible. Scholarship recipients will be required to fulfill a role, such as blogging or social media posting, during QuickStart. Be sure to indicate in this application the role(s) you will commit to perform if you are selected.

 

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Seven Common and Confounding Errors All PR Pros Should Know

By Joseph Priest, Corporate Writer, Syniverse

Do you have any pet peeves that cause you to groan when it comes to grammar and style in PR writing? Are there any words you see misspelled over and over? Any punctuation marks you see misused that make you cringe? Or any written-in-stone AP style rules you see broken that raise your hackles?

In my role as writer and editor over the past 15 years, I’ve developed my own list of some of the most common – and apparently confusing – errors that I come across again and again. To help PR pros be on guard against these, I selected seven and shared them in an article published in this month’s PR Tactics, “Seven Common and Confounding Errors All PR Pros Should Know.”

In the article, I’ve created a quiz in which I’ve included an example of each error in the form of a sentence. I urge you to try the quiz, spot the mistake, and check your answers against the explanations. All answers are based on the 2015 issue of the Associated Press Stylebook, although in one explanation I include commentary to provide guidance on a rule that is particularly confusing. (It’s actually the single most confusing style rule in PR, I’ve come to believe.)

Good luck on the quiz! Email me at joseph.priest@syniverse.com to let me know how you do.

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Do You Want to Join the PRSA Tampa Bay Board?

Annual elections for officers and board members for the PRSA Tampa Bay Chapter to serve during 2016 will occur electronically in mid-November. Getting involved in the chapter’s leadership helps members build valuable business relationships, hone special skill sets and position themselves as leaders in the industry and community. Remember, we are a volunteer-led organization and your service to our chapter is important.

Here are the elected positions available in 2016:

President-Elect
The President-Elect shall, in the absence of or disability of the President, exercise the powers and perform the duties of the President. Election as President-Elect requires that the person must have served at least one year in another position on the Board of Directors. He/She shall also serve as the Chapter's Parliamentarian, assist the President and perform such other duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.

Secretary:
 
The Secretary shall keep records of all meetings of the Board of Directors, send copies of such minutes to Society Headquarters, handle assigned Board correspondence and maintain Board correspondence files, and perform all other duties customarily pertaining to the office.

Treasurer: (Two-year term)

The Treasurer shall receive and deposit all Chapter funds in the name of the Chapter in a federally insured financial institution. He/She shall issue receipts and make authorized disbursements after proper Board approval in accordance with Chapter fiscal policies, prepare the Chapter's budget, make regular financial reports to the Board, render an annual financial statement to Chapter members through the Chapter website or another medium, handle new Member billings as directed by the Membership Committee chairperson, and perform all other duties pertaining to the office.

Assembly Delegate: (1 position available)

The Assembly Delegate shall be Accredited and serve as the Chapter's representativeat the meeting of the PRSA Assembly, and shall be elected by the Chapter membership for a three year term in accordance with the provisions of the Society's Bylaws. To be eligible for service as an Assembly Delegate, a Member must have served a minimum of one year as a Chapter Officer or Board Member. No Chapter delegate having served a full three year term may be elected to a succeeding full term.

Director: (2 positions available)

Directors shall be elected each year by the Chapter membership at the Chapter's annual meeting to fill vacancies. Elected Directors shall serve a three year term beginning January 1 following their election and until his/her successor is elected and takes office.

The Nominating Committee, according to the Chapter’s Bylaws, will prepare a slate of candidates (minimum of one, maximum of three) for all available offices. To do this, we strongly encourage everyone in the chapter to complete our Willingness to Serve form, noting in which capacities you would be willing to serve the chapter next year. Your service is not limited to elected positions. We are asking you to select what committees you may be interested in chairing or becoming a member.

We also encourage members to nominate other members from the chapter. To nominate a member for an elected position, please enter his or her name under the appropriate position. You can nominate more than one person for each position, but please check with prospective nominees before you submit their names.

We are asking that everyone complete the Willingness to Serve form by Thursday, Sept. 10. If you have any questions, please emailnominations@prsatampabay.org

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SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY: QuickStart Your Leadership Skills

Are you looking to volunteer for a leadership role in the PRSA Tampa Bay Chapter, but have no clue where to begin? QuickStart is the answer. The PRSA Sunshine District hosts an annual leadership training and professional development conference for current and incoming chapter board members. The conference includes sessions on PRSA governance, treasury, accreditation, leadership and networking.

This year’s QuickStart will be held September 25-26 near Orlando. And PRSA Tampa Bay is offering five scholarships for chapter members to attend the workshop for promising future leaders.

About the scholarship: The scholarship recipient will be required to fulfill a role, such as blogging or social media posting, during QuickStart. Be sure to indicate in this application the role(s) you will commit to perform if you are selected. There is no fee to attend QuickStart; therefore, this Tampa Bay Chapter scholarship will cover travel expenses (hotel, mileage reimbursement) up to a combined total of $200. The recipient will need to pay travel expenses up front and submit receipts for reimbursement following QuickStart. Any transportation and hotel costs beyond the $200 combined total are the responsibility of the attendee. If for some reason the recipient is not able to attend QuickStart, the scholarship will be awarded to someone else.

To be considered, please complete the application by 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. A selection committee from another PRSA chapter will choose the scholarship recipients; winners will be notified by Sept. 2, 2015.

 

 

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SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY: 2015 PRSA International Conference

The PRSA International Conference is the perfect place to hone your PR skills and learn tools on the latest trends impacting the industry.

“Right now, communicators have more tools and opportunities than ever before. How do we ensure that we’re making the most strategic decisions that will lead to greater results? We come together, exchange insights and build powerful relationships. At the PRSA 2015 International Conference, we’ll connect on the best practices that will become the future of PR,” said Kathy Balfour, APR, PRSA 2015 Chair and Vice President of Communications at Acosta Sales and Marketing.

PRSA Tampa Bay is offering one scholarship for a member to attend the conference Nov. 8-10 in Atlanta.

About the scholarship: The scholarship recipient will be required to fulfill a role during the conference, such as blogging or providing social media posts. Be sure to indicate in this application the role(s) you will commit to perform if you are selected. The Tampa Bay Chapter scholarship will cover the conference’s registration fee ($1,195) and partial travel expenses (hotel, flight, mileage reimbursement, etc.) up to a combined total of $200. The chapter will register and pay the registration fee for the selected recipient. The recipient will need to pay travel expenses up front and submit receipts for reimbursement following the conference. Any travel expenses beyond the $200 allotment are the responsibility of the attendee. If for some reason the recipient is not able to attend the conference, the scholarship will be awarded to someone else.

To be considered, please complete the application by 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015. A selection committee from another PRSA chapter will choose the scholarship recipient; the winner will be notified by Sept. 2, 2015.

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August Program Explores Measurement in the Digital Age

Pictured: PRSA President, Marissa Segundo, APR; Shonali Burke, IABC; and President-Elect, Jennifer Dunn

Before developing a strategy for a public relations campaign, you must first ask yourself two questions: What are you are trying to do? Why is it important?

Shonali Burke, president & CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc., shared this insight and many others with PRSA Tampa Bay members and guests at the Le Meridien Hotel for her presentation on “Smart PR Measurement in the Digital Age.”

Shonali stressed that there is no set formula for PR measurement. You must listen, analyze and then implement and improve. She explained that while there is no exact method, there are ‘Seven Deadly Sins of Bad Measurement’ to avoid. Those include:

  • When impressions are the be-all & end-all
  • “AVE” & “ROI” – gasp, shudder and barf
  • Anyone remember “research?
  • Not quantifiable or time bound
  • Not focusing on what we’re trying to achieve
  • Not using measurement to inform decisions
  • Not tying it to business outcomes

 

She also shared the tip to make sure your objectives are measurable and time bound, and remember that ‘Buzz’ is not a measurable objective.

Save the date:
The next PRSA Tampa Bay luncheon will focus on the Port Tampa Bay Rebranding Campaign at Brio Tuscan Grille on Sept 22. 

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