What can APR do for you?

Not just anyone can do what you do.
As a skilled public relations professional, you know that your success is dependent on staying relevant, resourceful, and inspired. The Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential certifies your drive, professionalism, and principles, setting you apart from your peers and positioning you as a leader and mentor in the competitive public relations field. Building on the foundation of your educational degree, the APR keeps you current on today’s best practices and applications in the ever-evolving communications world.
The APR:
  •  Asserts professional competence
  • Communicates professional expertise, plus personal and professional dedication and values
  • Reflects progressive public relations industry practices and high standards
Preparing for the APR is an exercise in success, as the process provides an assessment of your proficiency and accurately calibrates your craft, contacts, and career goals. Where extra support is needed, I’ll work with you and introduce to a tremendously skilled and experienced network of mentors, providing you with a lifetime of guidance and expertise.
For more information, CLICK HERE!
Karen Platt, PhD, APR+M

2019 Board Members sworn in by Mayor Bill Barnett

Photo (from L-R): Courtney Jolly Goff, Scott Frazier, Cindi Withorn, Catherine Bergerson, Sara Dewberry, Kaydee Tuff, Pam Fultz, Madeline Young, Russell Tuff, Julie Pedretti, Mayor Bill Not shown: Niccole Howard, Margie Hapke, Karen Platt, Donna Heiser

During the January meeting, Gulf Coast PRSA installed 2019 officers under the direction of Naples Mayor Bill Barnett.

  • President Julie Pedretti: APR (Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation)
  • President-Elect Catherine Bergerson: (Conservancy of Southwest Florida)
  • Past-President Niccole Howard: (Collier County Childcare Resources)
  • Secretary Sara Dewberry: (Kudzu Kreative)
  • Treasurer Scott Frazier: (Collier County Public Schools)
  • APR (Accreditation) Chair Karen Platt: APR+M
  • Communications Kaydee Tuff: (Shelter for Abused Women & Children)
  • Communications /Social Media Madeline Young (Greater Naples Chamber)
  • Diversity & Inclusion Chair Pam Fultz, APR (Vi Bentley Village)
  • Ethics Chair Donna Heiser: APR (Ave Maria Law School)
  • Membership Chair Courtney Jolly Goff (Naples Zoo)
  • PR Chair Margie Hapke: (Collier County Government)
  • PRSA National Delegate Russell Tuff (Social-Impact)
  • Program Chair Cindi Withorn: (Community Foundation of Collier County)

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community with a mission to “make communications professionals smarter, better prepared and more connected through all stages of their careers.” It represents more than 30,000 members comprised of communications professionals spanning every industry sector nationwide and college and university students who encompass the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

The premier organization for PR and marketing professionals in Collier County, the Gulf Coast Chapter of PRSA, was founded in 2000 and has grown to 60 members who benefit from monthly education programs, periodic networking events and assistance with becoming accredited in PR.

February 2019 Breakfast Munch-N-Learn

News gathering and producing your own content 

News gathering and producing your own content
This month we are pleased to welcome Richard Kelly, Chief Operating Officer of Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, the fifth largest Make-A-Wish chapter in the world.

Richard will talk about how his nonprofit—one of the most respected nonprofit organizations in South Florida—has been able to set itself apart from others. Key strategies he will discuss as part of his case study presentation include becoming their own content producers and creating news-gathering teams.

Richard joined the Make-A-Wish staff as director of special events in 1997, was promoted to Executive Vice President of Brand Advancement and Chapter Operations in 2006 and named COO in August 2017.

Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida (www.sfla.wish.org, @makeawishsfla) has a sole mission: creating life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Since 1983, the Southern Florida branch has granted more than 12,000 wishes and expects to grant more than 600 wishes this year alone.

Networking begins at 8:30 am. Registration, networking and breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m. The presentation begins shortly after 9 a.m. Breakfast includes breakfast sandwiches, bakery, juice and coffee.

Cost: $30 for PRSA, $38 Non-Members, $25 Students
Reservations must be made by Friday, Feb. 22, 2019

*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, Feb. 22. No cash is accepted at the door. Checks are accepted and must be provided at the time of the featured event. No shows will be billed if no prior notice given.

February 2019 President’s Message

Last month, I asked you to think about what you need and want to grow personally and professionally in your PR, marketing or communications role. What can the Gulf Coast Chapter and the PRSA national organization do to help you develop skills to succeed in your current role and prepare for the next opportunity?

Last month, I asked you to think about what you need and want to grow personally and professionally in your PR, marketing or communications role. What can the Gulf Coast Chapter and the PRSA national organization do to help you develop skills to succeed in your current role and prepare for the next opportunity?

When you receive our short survey, please take a few minutes to help us help you. If you also receive a phone call from one of our board members, please share and expand on your ideas about the career and professional needs you have. Then, armed with information from the formal and informal surveys, our board will determine how we can help you now and into the future.

We want to be the organization that attracts and engages more local PR, marketing and communications professionals. When we better understand your needs and the needs of those who are not yet our members, we’ll be able to provide the tools—beyond lunch programs—to engage (and retain) current members and to attract new members.

As a PRSA member, you join 30,000 other PR professionals. Member benefits include access to the PRSA jobcenter, the opportunity to apply for the annual Anvil Awards (national PR awards) or attend the PRSA International Conference (ICON) in San Diego from Oct. 20-22. You also can join one or more of the 14 professional interest sections available. I finally enrolled in the Health Academy group, which appealed to me because it includes 900 of my peers from across the country. I know my PRSA membership will bring even greater value because of this section membership.

Finally, if you have thought about accreditation in PR, you’ll want to connect with Dr. Karen Platt, APR+M, the GCC-PRSA APR Chair, who recently moved to Southwest Florida from the Washington, DC, area. She can help guide you through the process, including providing information about upcoming APR boot camps. See more information on the benefits of APR in Karen’s message below.

If you are not yet a member, reach out today to our enthusiastic Membership Chair Courtney Jolly Goff at cjolly@napleszoo.org

Julie Pedretti
Chapter President

September Lunch-N-Learn: The Thin Line Between PR and Marketing

Public Relations Society of America
11:30 am, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018
at Hilton Naples
Speaker Teresa Araque, AVP Marketing/Public Information Officer for Hodges University, will discuss the thin line between public relations and marketing.
The luncheon will be held Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Naples Hilton. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. Lunch and presentations begin at noon. Lunch includes a chicken salad and dessert. A vegetarian option is available.
Reserve your seat today.
CLICK HERE to register and reserve your seat!
Teresa M. Araque
AVP Marketing/Public Information Officer
Hodges University
As the AVP of Marketing and Public Information Officer for Hodges University, Teresa brings more than 20 years of public relations and marketing experience.
Teresa earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with specialties in sports and feature writing from Ball State University, Muncie, Ind. She worked as a local reporter for the Naples Daily News and Bonita Banner, and then as a public relations expert for a local advertising agency, and a large corporation. In 2000 she launched WordPlay, Inc., a full-service public relations and marketing company. Prior to joining Hodges University in August, she was the Director of Communications and Public Information Officer for Florida SouthWestern State College.
Over the years, she has been involved with several non-profit and civic organizations, including as a founding member and past president of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)/Gulf Coast Chapter, and as the public relations director for the Taste of Collier for 10 years. Currently, she is a board member for Sports Club, an after-school program. She was selected by Gulfshore Business magazine as a Top 40 Under 40 business professional.

2018 Ethics Month – September  

Every September PRSA observes Ethics Month. This year’s theme is:  PR Ethics Counsel:  Be Prepared. As your Chapter Ethics Officer, I am pleased to share with you some resources that PRSA is offering including webinars, twitter chats, podcasts and blogs.

For more information visit https://www.prsa.org/ethics/ or contact me at dheiser@avemarialaw.edu.

Donna C. Heiser, APR, CRFE
Ethics Officer and Past President -PRSA
Chief Advancement & External Affairs Officer
Ave Maria School of Law

Below are some tools you can use to add to your ethics preparedness toolbox:

If You Have Five Minutes

Read a blog post on PRSAY.prsa.org. There will be posts about ethics throughout September:

  • Week 1: “Ethics and You: Leading the Way,” with Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Week 2: “Personal Ethics Assessment,” with Bob Frause, APR, Fellow PRSA
    • Are you living what you ethically advised?
    • What is a good “Ethical life?” Where are the areas you are not willing to differ from your personal code of ethics?
  • Week 3: “Ethical Decision-Making Models,” with Kathy Fitzpatrick, J.D.  and Diana Session (two separate blogs)
  • Week 4: “Building Relationships and Credibility as an Ethics Counselor,” with Marlene Neill, Ph.D., APR

Read an article:

If You Have 10-15 Minutes

Review presentation slides and watch a video:

The March 28 PRSA Richmond luncheon “Ethical Breaches” featured communication and marketing thought leader, consultant and educator Jacqueline Strayer. Download (PDF) her presentation slides or, if you are a PRSA Richmond member, log-in to the PRSA Richmond website to download the presentation. One of the last slides has a link to an NPR story and video highlighting a speech given at a U.S. Air Force Academy prep school following a 2017 incident involving racism on campus.

If You Have an Hour

Participate in a live webinar Sept. 13 at 3 p.m.: How to Prepare a Personal Crisis Plan with Debra L. Bethard-Caplick, APR and Bobbi J. Simmons, APR. PR practitioners must sometimes make tough decisions when faced with job-related dilemmas. How do you call out unethical or even unlawful behavior on the part of employer or client without damaging your own career at the same time?

By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Create a crisis preparedness plan
  • Recognize key situations that require advance preparation to preserve a person’s reputation
  • Vet future career opportunities based on adherence to the PRSA Code of Ethics
  • Handle the aftermath of an ethics-based career crisis you didn’t create.

Participate in a nationwide Twitter chat about ethics. (Use the hashtag #EthicsMonth and tag @PRSARVA in your posts to let everyone know you are a member of the PRSA Richmond Chapter)

  • Sept. 4 at 8 p.m.: Ethics Counsel Today: No Boundaries: Moderated by Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, with Ella Minty Member of the Board of Directors, Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and Co-Chair CIPR Energy Leadership Platform. Join PRSA and public relations colleagues around the world as we examine and discuss the ways in which…and the reasons why…communicators today have to be ever mindful of varying perceptions of what constitutes ethical practice. Ella Minty is a London-based management consultant specializing in risk and reputation management.  University lecturer, public speaker and published author, Ella has almost 20 years’ experience working for international governments, institutions and multinational businesses with a focus on investment markets, lender organizations, national and international media, and non-governmental organizations.
  • Sept. 18 at 8 p.m.: PR Ethics Curriculum: Hosted by the PRSA Educators Academy/ Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) PR Division & AEJMC Media Ethics Division and featuring BEPS Member Marlene S. Neill, PhD, APR. Dr. Neill is an assistant professor at Baylor University and teaches courses in public relations and advertising. She has published a book and 17 articles in journals such as Journal of Media Ethics, Public Relations Review, Journal of Advertising Education and Journal of Communication Management.

Watch an on-demand webinar:

  • Incorporating Ethics in the Public Relations Classroom: Tips, tools and resources for communications educators (available until Sept. 14): For those who are training the next generation of communicators, you should catch this webinar before it is no longer available. In this webinar, three leading public relations scholars discuss how they incorporate ethical topics into their public relations classes. They offer teaching techniques and resources that can help increase meaningful classroom discussions about ethical issues.
  • The Ethical Expectations of Leadership (available until Sept. 19): Leaders and especially those who advise and counsel them must recognize the ethical expectations of everyone inside and outside the organization. Failure to meet these expectations has palpable negative consequences. This program discusses the expectations and the consequences of failure to meet those expectations. 

August 28 Lunch N Learn – Sports Marketing in Collier County

Sports Marketing in Collier County Leveraging the CVB

How did Collier County become the nation’s pickleball epicenter? And how can Public Relations professionals leverage the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades, Convention & Visitors Bureau to enhance your outreach objectives?

Join the August 28 PRSA Gulf Coast Chapter’s lunch and learn where we will hear from Speakers Jack Wert, Executive Director and JoNell Modys, PR Director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades, Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The two will lead an informative presentation about the exciting plans for sports in Collier County, including landing the national Pickleball tournament. Also they will provide practical tips and fresh resources you can use today to enhance your PR and Marketing plans.

The luncheon will be held Tuesday, August 28 at the Naples Hilton. Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. Lunch and presentations begin at noon. Lunch includes a chicken salad and dessert. A vegetarian option is available.

CLICK HERE to reserve your seat today.

Jack W. Wert
Executive Director
Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB)

Jack has dedicated over 25 years to tourism destination marketing. He has created and led two destination marketing organizations in Florida, first in Seminole County near Orlando and for the past 14 years in Collier County.

Jack holds the designation of Certified Destination Management Executive (FCDME) and Professional Destination Manager (PDM) and is Past Chair of the Florida CVB Association and serves on their Nominating Committee. He has also served on the Visit Florida Board of Directors, is the Immediate Past Chairman of the Destination Marketing Association Accreditation Board (DMAP) and serves on the DMAI Advocacy Committee.

In Southwest Florida, Jack serves on the Advisory Boards for the Florida Gulf Coast University Resort & Hospitality Management School, the United Arts Council of Collier County and the Collier County Lodging and Tourism Alliance.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


JoNell Modys
Public Relations Manager
Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) 

JoNell has been with the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau for seventeen years – fifteen of those years in-house and two as the public relations director for the bureau’s previous marketing agency. She handles travel and tourism public relations and communications, working closely with travel writers, editors from around the country and the world to publicize the area as a premiere vacation and business travel destination, and with the bureau to ensure the quality of all of its promotional materials.

She has specialized in travel and tourism public relations since 1997, when she went to work as the public relations manger for Cunard Line shortly after their move to Miami. She has worked for several agencies specializing in luxury travel clients. Her past client experience includes work for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami; the Loews Miami Beach Hotel; the Connoisseurs Scotland group of luxury properties, The Moorings yacht charters and more.

Prior to working in marketing and public relations, JoNell was a broadcast journalist and producer. She has worked on the air in radio and television in Honolulu and Orlando and for the Computer Chronicles show on PBS. Her interactive media credits include her role as assistant producer on the Pocahontas Storybook interactive CD from Disney Interactive.

Communications and Public Information Officer: FSSC

Florida Southwestern State College is seeking a Director of Communications and Public Information to serve as the official public information spokesperson of the College and is responsible for communicating the strategic actions and priorities of the College. This position develops and implements strategic communications initiatives for the College and its programs, resulting in increased understanding and support of Florida SouthWestern’s mission and deeper engagement with key constituents.

The Director reports to the Vice President for Economic Development and External Affairs and works closely with College leadership ensuring the strategic action communication goals are met. Effectively translates the executive vision of the College across all mediums ensuring the consistent communications of the College’s message and brand. This is an administrator on annual contract position.

For more information CLICK HERE