Ring in the New Year with Chief Stephanie Spell

Chief Stephanie Spell will be the featured speaker during the January Lunch-N-Learn, Jan. 23, at the Hilton Naples. Stephanie will share how the Collier County Sheriff’s Office social media team used wit and an informal writing tone to engage and calm a frazzled community before, during and after Hurricane Irma.
In addition to the team’s around the clock coverage, nightly “Reality Checks” summed up each day’s events, providing followers with all the information they needed in one crisp and conversational post.
After the storm passed, the team posted CCSO drone and Aviation Bureau video footage that provided followers with visuals that showed them where the damage was and – just as importantly – where it was not. The agency’s Facebook page had a reach of 2 million during the week of the storm, evidence that CCSO was a go-to source for reliable Irma-related news.

Click Here to Register

Chief Stephanie Spell heads the Community Engagement Department within the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. As a member of Sheriff Kevin Rambosk’s executive command staff, she provides leadership for several law enforcement bureaus, including Public Information and Media Relations, Crime Prevention, Planning and Research, Victim Advocate, Senior Services, Minority Affairs and Volunteers.
Chief Spell has been with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office since 1987. She is the co-author of the book “The People’s Commissioner Donna Fiala” (The Seymour Agency, 2017) and she was also named as one of the 2013 Women of Power by Florida Weekly. Chief Spell is an accomplished outdoorswoman who enjoys fly fishing, skeet shooting and adventure travel.

Miromar Development seeks Public Relations Manager

Miromar Development Corporation, a multi-faceted real estate company with a growing portfolio of residential and commercial properties located in Southwest Florida, is seeking an experienced Public Relations Manager. This is a full time position for an in-house corporate marketing department.  The right candidate will be an experienced writer able to develop themes and write feature articles, advertorials, and press releases, select appropriate photos and submit to media.  Other writing and editing responsibilities include letters, newsletters, email announcements, occasional speeches, social media messages, advertising and brochure copy.  The right candidate will have solid local media knowledge and contacts, be able to pitch editors with feature article ideas and conduct necessary interviews for information gathering and quotes.  The Public Relations Manager also assists at promotional events.   Experience with placement in state, regional and national media is a plus.

Requirements: College degree in communications or journalism and samples of published work.

Please submit your resume via email to hr@miromar.com. For more information about Miromar, visit our website at www.Miromar.com.


Top SWFL Attraction Seeking Marketing Director

One of Southwest Florida’s top attractions is seeking an experienced marketing director for its family of waterfront businesses collectively known as Salty Sam’s Waterfront Adventures. Individually they are Parrot Key Caribbean Grill, Bootleggers Waterfront Barbeque, Salty Sam’s Marina, Sight Sea-R Cruises and the Salty Sam’s Pirate Ship. Because of the various businesses, the position is both challenging and refreshing in its variety of annual promotions and events supported by an aggressive marketing budget.


“Every day at Salty Sam’s is an exciting new adventure,” says Matt Hanson.  “We are always working on a new project, promotion, event, or ad. From promoting our restaurants to putting events together on the Pirate Ship.  The job is challenging, intellectually stimulating, and always a lot of fun.”

Salty Sam’s would like to find a highly motivated marketing professional who has proven experience in advertising, social media, promotions, and event marketing. Duties include advertising placement, social media management, ad and coupon tracking, creative direction and event/promotions management. The position will work closely with owners, management teams, and media reps and ideally the individual will have a working knowledge of social media, Microsoft Office Suite, and design software.

“As far as marketing jobs go in Southwest Florida, this is one of the best,” says Pason Gaddis, Publisher of Florida Weekly and a Salty Sam’s customer.  “Salty Sam’s is a unique family owned, family friendly company that embodies the coastal attractions that draws thousands of people to our area every year.”

About Salty Sam’s Waterfront Adventures:  Perched on the water’s edge of a thriving wildlife aquatic preserve, the world famous Salty Sam’s Waterfront Adventures is a water-bound recreation destination for all ages. Offering everything including power boat and kayak rentals, fishing and sightseeing charters, unique gifts and souvenirs, the Salty Sam’s Pirate Ship, the Parrot Key Caribbean Grill – voted Best Waterfront Restaurant since 2005, Bootleggers Waterfront Barbeque, and the nearby Key West Express ferry. Salty Sam’s is also a full service marina with boat service, repairs, and storage. To start your waterfront adventure, call 1-888-796-6427 or visit www.SaltySams.com for more information.

Interested candidates can send a resume in MsWord or PDF format to Matt@SaltySams.com demonstrating creativity and relevant experience. Additional examples, campaigns, promotions, portfolio samples, etc. are welcome to be included as well. Pay based upon experience.  EOE/DFWP.

First ever PR Conference at Sea

PRSA Sunshine District Conference – June 23-26, 2017

PRville 2017: The PRSA Sunshine District Conference at sea | Friday, June 23 – Monday, June 26, 2017

North Florida PRSA welcomes you to the Sunshine District Annual Conference 2017 home port! We are so excited to announce we are casting off the lines and shoving off from boring hotel-based conferences! We’ll spend three glorious days at sea mixing our professional development with pleasure boating on Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas. This is quite possibly the very first PR conference held on the high seas anywhere in the world.

We’ll have all the features you’ve come to love about the annual district conference with none of the boring stuff. You can even bring along a spouse, friend or traveling companion to enjoy this beautiful three-day weekend. While we’re at sea, we’ll be learning about the latest trends in our industry, building our skills and gaining experience through the shared stories from our top-notch speaker lineup.

This conference is truly a departure from the ordinary PR conferences. So don’t be a landlubber and reserve your seat today. Guarantee your PRVille registration at preferred rates by paying a refundable deposit of $200 per stateroom any time through April 8. Payment in full is due by 5 p.m. on April 9. Bon Voyage!


January 2017 President’s Message

Photo by Brian Tietz

Educate, Engage & Energize!

As we begin 2017, we look toward a new year full of new ideas, new goals and new opportunities!
Our previous organizational leaders have laid the solid foundation upon which we have built a strong reputation as the foremost authority on public relations and communications issues in Southwest Florida.

As the 2017 Gulf Coast Chapter President, I am honored to continue their work and to lead our board of incredibly talented business professionals. Although we represent various industries and specialties, we are all committed to professional excellence and recognize the need to emphasize the core values of the ethical practice of public relations.

In the year ahead, we will offer a wide array of learning opportunities to enrich the educational and interactive experience for our members and guests. This year’s theme is Educate, Engage & Energize for Professional Excellence. We will kick off the year with our first lunch-n-learn gathering on January 24 at the Hilton Naples.

We hope that you will join us as we strive to create a positive and progressive environment for open communication and collaboration, respecting diversity, ingenuity and individuality.
If you have any questions about our organization, please contact me at pfultz@viliving.com

Let’s work together to make it a thoughtful and thankful 2017!

Pamela Fultz
Chapter President

January 2017 Lunch ‘N Learn

PRSA Gulf Coast Chapter January 2017
Lunch N Learn –
How Millennials are Shaping the Future

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Gulf Coast Chapter,  will examine how Millennials are shaping the future of strategic communications and will explore generational differences and trends and their effects on public relations professionals.

We welcome speakers Kellie Nolan and Crystal Wimperis of
Be Brilliant!® Marketing. They will address the topic,
“How Millennials Are Shaping the Future.”

Kellie Nolan
Kellie provides strategic communications counsel and tactical marketing support to help clients connect with customers, employees, communities, and other stakeholders. At the heart of her work is an ability to understand clients’ needs and distill complex information into meaningful messages and memorable brand stories.
Kellie is an experienced communications strategist and PR veteran. She is co-founder and managing partner at Be Brilliant! Marketing, the marketing agency she and her husband run together. From their office in Fort Myers, the Be Brilliant Marketing team works with local, national, and international clients.

A communications professional for more than 30 years, Kellie has developed and managed public relations and integrated marketing programs for local and global clients in a range of B2B and B2C market segments, from agriculture and construction to medical technologies and retail. Kellie also works with clients on internal and corporate communications, and leads workshops on brand messaging and media training.

Crystal Wimperis
Crystal is a marketing and design specialist at Be Brilliant!

® Marketing. She creates visuals that fuel clients’ marketing efforts. Whether it’s designing graphics for a clients’ social media page, website, or an event, her priority is creating designs that gets clients noticed.

Crystal’s lifelong passion of business and art led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in marketing and graphic design at the University of Minnesota Duluth. In fact, she was first person in the U.S. to hold this new degree. She enjoys keeping up with the latest trends in graphic design and the fast-changing world of social media marketing. She is especially proud of the design work she’s done on a variety of marketing materials for local nonprofit events, including the Lee County Cattle Baron’s Ball and the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Naples Hilton, 5111 Tamiami Trail North, Naples

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Networking
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Lunch and Presentation

$27  PRSA Members
$35  Non-Members
$20  Students

*No shows will be billed if no prior notice given and only checks accepted at the door. NOTE: To guarantee seating and meal, reserve online and pay through PayPal by FRIDAY, January 20th.  No cash is accepted at the door.  Checks are accepted and must be provided at the time of the luncheon.  No shows will be billed if no prior notice given.  Thank you.

PRSSA 2016 International Conference – Breanna Rigg

A commentary from FGCU student Breanna Rigg, whom the Gulf Coast Chapter of PRSA sponsored.

Breanna Rigg
Breanna Rigg

Breanna Rigg

Waking up at 5 a.m. was not my idea of a fun way to start a Friday morning, but it was worth it when the PRSSA National Conference was only a few hours away. Located in beautiful Indianapolis, a city I had never been to, the conference boasted top PR professionals from some of the best companies in the world. I was thrilled to be attending and to surround myself with inspirational and motivational individuals for the next three days.

Day 1: Saturday, Oct. 22

After the national PRSSA board of directors welcomed us and presented chapter awards, it was time for the keynote address from Allison Melangton of Hulman Motorsports Corporation. Melangton was not only an outstanding speaker, but we learned so much about the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis and how it is not just about sports, but it is about making an impact in the community. Best of all, Melangton was only the second woman to run the Super Bowl, and did so in a way that engaged the community more successfully than football ever could.

“Sporting events are great, but what happens around them is more important.” –Allison Melangton

After the fantastic keynote address, we moved onto crisis communication with Myra Borshoff, APR and fellow PRSA from Borshoff and Jen Dial, from Eli Lilly and Company. From this, we learned about many large scale crises that these professionals have dealt with in the past, including the Indiana State Fair stage collapse in 2011. Takeaways included the importance of being transparent, avoiding the phrase “no comment,” and staying calm. We also learned about the thee A’s of crisis management: acknowledge, apologize and action.

From there, we moved to a session about storytelling with Lindsey Groepper from BLASTmedia and Sabrina List from 500 Festival, Inc. The first and foremost thing that we learned is that press releases are actually used too frequently, and that PR doesn’t equal press releases. Both speakers emphasized the necessity to only write a press release when there’s a story to tell. We also learned about media pitching, and how important it is to personalize each pitch.

“The way you pitch to GQ is different from how you pitch to TechCrunch is different from how you pitch to Buzzfeed.” –Lindsey Groepper

The highlight of the day was hearing from Warner Bros. Television Publicity. Almost 30 minutes before the session began, the line outside the door looked like a line for a new roller coaster at Disney! PRSSA volunteers actually had to turn away attendees because of the large audience. We heard from Jeff Tobler, Lisa Mitchell and Brian Carrillo about the numerous exciting aspects of their jobs in publicity. All three get to travel a lot and manage specific aspects of publicity for a few different shows from Warner Bros., due to 11 publicity field offices all over the world and every show being launched globally! Though I am not personally interested in pursuing a career in entertainment PR, it was very exciting to see how that particular industry works. And, most exciting, the Warner Bros. team gave us free cupcakes afterwards!

cvidgsaxgaahglb-jpg-largeDay 2: Sunday, Oct. 23

This morning’s keynote address was Meet the Living Legends of PR, sponsored by The Plank Center. We got to hear from Bridget Coffing of Emeritus McDonalds Corporation and Mike Fernandez of Burson-Marsteller, with Brian Price of Starwood Retail Partners moderating. The extensive careers of both these professionals was incredible to hear about, particularly about branding and how no two companies are alike. Additionally, we learned about mentor/mentee relationships and how to make the most of both being a mentor and a mentee. Takeaways included having thick skin and having knowledge of data analytics.

“Every time you go into a McDonald’s restaurant, you enter a brand.” –Bridget Coffing

Hands down, my favorite session of the conference was “The Courage to Be Authentic” from David Grossman of The Grossman Group. During this workshop, we were asked the question “Who are you? What do you value? How do you find a job or passion that’s important to you?” We learned that authenticity is about being truthful with yourself and others, in a kind and respectful way, and that respectfully authentic leaders know that relationships are about everyone except themselves. In order to be fully authentic, you need to bring curiosity, the idea of accepting who you are and the focus of what you can control to the table. Not only did David Grossman tell us the story of his life and how authenticity has made him who he is today, but he did so in a beautifully articulate manner, and gave the room free copies of his book “No Cape Needed.”

Following the session on authenticity, we moved into another one of my favorite sessions from the conference: the PRSA General Session. We first heard from Dr. Derreck Kayongo, CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights and co-founder of the Global Soap Project. Not only did I love hearing about social responsibility and corporate philanthropy, but Dr. Kayongo was a hilarious and inspiring speaker. We learned about the Global Soap Project and how important it is to instill charity into your company and in your life, and he shared his personal acronym for success: SELF, which stands for service, education, leadership and faith. After this, we learned from astronaut Scott Kelly about his year in space. Kelly taught us that you have to take risks and be willing to fail to see if you can achieve something. He also told us that President Obama challenged him to Instagram his year in space, which allowed him to use social media to engage the public through his journey.

We finished the day with the “Where Are They Now?” session hosted by the New Professionals Section. We heard from Nick Lucido of Krispr Communications, Heather Harder of Prosek Partners, Brian Price of Starwood Retail Partners with Jessica Noonan of Weber Shandwick as moderator. In this session, we learned a great deal about how to go about our future job search. Most importantly, we learned to utilize not only your own network, but your network’s network, as well as teaching yourself the things you don’t know. Hearing from such a motivated and successful group of young professionals was so inspiring, and I hope to be in their shoes in a few years myself.

cvisel4xyaa3uaf-jpg-largeDay 3: Monday, Oct. 24

We started off the day with the PRSA professionals, joining them for their general session featuring Theresa Payton of Fortalice Solutions and Mark Emmert of the NCAA. Payton was the former chief intelligence officer for the White House under George W. Bush’s administration, and shared with us a wealth of knowledge regarding cybersecurity and technology. Although some of the information was a little over our heads, we learned so much about how quickly the industry and our technology changes. After, we heard from Mark Emmert on the multitude of facets that the NCAA is involved in, other than simply basketball. With 19K teams, 475K student-athletes, 1100 colleges involved in the network, it is an underestimate to say that the NCAA is a large industry. We learned that college sports create a sense of community, brand recognition, and allow schools to reach out to alumni around the world. Emmert stated that the NCAA is in the “human development field,” not the sports industry, due to all the extensive community work that they do.

To end the day and the conference, we got to mingle and network at the career development exhibition, get free headshots and have a PR pro critique our resumes. I got to talk to representatives from Edelman, Burson-Marsteller, Weber-Shandwick, and many more companies featured at the fair, which was an amazing opportunity.

Altogether, my LinkedIn connections grew, my knowledge base expanded, and my motivation increased after this amazing conference experience. I was so lucky to have the opportunity to attend, courtesy of the Gulf Coast Chapter of PRSA, and learned more than I could have ever imagined.

Board Member Spotlight Story/Background – Denyse Mesnik, APR

Denyse Mesnik, APR
Denyse Mesnik, APR

How did you hear about the PRSA Gulf Coast Chapter?

In the late 1990’s, Leslie Eicher, APR approached several of us about starting a PRSA chapter in Naples. I’m privileged to be one of those founding members. Leslie generously gave her time and professional guidance, working diligently with us to formally establish the Gulf Coast chapter in 2000. She helped us build our inaugural board of directors and guided many of us through our APR accreditation. In 2002, I attained my APR under her mentorship.

What made you join as a member?

When we started the chapter, I was Beasley Broadcast Group’s corporate communications executive. The educational support provided by PRSA National, combined with the opportunity to network and collaborate with local public relations and marketing practitioners, made the decision to join PRSA an easy one.

Why did you join the PRSA Board and what position do you serve?

Currently, I serve as Gulf Coast Chapter’s Assembly Delegate and, on a district board level, as PRSA Sunshine District’s Secretary. Since our chapter’s inception, I’ve benefited from serving in many of the board positions. I learned new things about myself and about leadership from each one, especially as President. I would encourage everyone to consider participation as a board member. It’s a very rewarding and educational experience.

Where do you currently work and what is your day to day like?

This past January, after 25 years with the Company, I stepped down as Beasley’s Vice President of Corporate Communications and founded The Mesnik Group. It’s an exhilarating time in my professional life as each day I look forward to the challenge of running my own business and to the joy of assisting a variety of clients with their PR and communications needs. I’ve reached a point in my career where the ability to mentor stays top of mind. Serving on the industry’s MIW Radio Group (Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio) Executive Committee is volunteerism I truly enjoy and something on which I spend a good bit of time.

denyse-family-webWhat do you love best about your job?

The best part of my job is creating, nurturing and maintaining relationships. Naples is my hometown and I’m blessed to have many personal and professional friendships here. The majority of my business career has been spent in radio broadcasting, and I’m equally fortunate to have built strong ties over the years with colleagues in the media and music communities. For me, a day spent helping people achieve their goals is a day well spent!

What do you enjoy doing on you spare time?

Like most of us, spare time is hard to come by. My children are now young adults (and I’m so proud of them!), so my husband and I are enjoying traveling more than we could when the house was full. We both work, so weekend trips suit us best. We’ve started exploring Florida State Parks, they are very diverse and incredibly beautiful! Closer to home, I love to read and I’m drawn to sunset. Sitting on my childhood beach as the sun dips into the Gulf, with my toes in the sand and a good book in my lap, is a treasured moment.

Email: denyse@mesnikgroup.com
Phone Number: (239) 250-9833
Website: http://www.MesnikGroup.com

2016 PRSA Gulf Coast Chapter Holiday Party

Nibble, Sip, Chat and Celebrate Gulf Coast Chapter PRSA at VOM FASS
Don’t miss our last session of 2016!

Join us on Tuesday, November 29 for a unique – and flavorful – private networking experience at VOM FASS. Our hosts, manager Willie Doyle and Chef Joan, will prepare delectable small bites and a special holiday cocktail for us. During our visit, we are welcome to sample exclusive cask-aged vinegars, exquisite oils, superior spirits and liqueurs from around the world. Enjoy networking with colleagues and hear from Vom Fass manager, Willie Doyle about the origins and creation of their worldly offerings.

GCPRSA Holiday Networking Event
November 29, 2016
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
VOM FASS (located at Mercato , next to Chipotle)
9100 Strada Pl #2112, Naples, FL 34108

Come for the spirits, come for the treats, but most especially, come for the camaraderie!

To Register – Click Here

Breanna Rigg
Breanna Rigg

PLUS November 29 is #GivingTuesday so all proceeds collected from the registration fee will support our PRSA student scholarship fund used to help fund registration fees for local college students to attend the National PRSSA conference each year. This year we helped FGCU student Breanna Rigga attend the PRSSA session in Indianapolis. See the Breanna Rigg story – Click Here

Want to know a little more about Vom Fass? Check out these links: