Celebrating 20 in 2020!  President’s Message
Catherine Bergerson

Dear Members,

In 2000:

  • Tom Brokow anchored NBC Nightly News
  • Bill Gates left Microsoft to pursue charity work full time
  • Mark Zuckerberg was in high school
  • The sale of CD’s peaked at $943 million
  • Blockbuster Video declined the chance to buy Netflix for $50 million*
  • Judy Bricker and Denyse Mesnik launched the Gulf Coast Chapter of PRSA!

With the advent of social media to the reconfiguration of the news industry, the world of media, communications and public relations has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. One of the most impactful to local PR professionals, was the launch of our PRSA Gulf Coast Chapter. For two decades, we are proud of the many ways our chapter has grown and adapted to the changes in our industry and our community. Today, we are closing in on 70 members – a record for our “boutique” chapter. Our financial position is strong. Our programs are attracting new and diverse crowds. And, we are having a lot of fun along the way.

We are ever-grateful for the founding members who mobilized the team and put the wheels in motion for our local chapter. Special 20th anniversary celebration plans are getting started. If you or a colleague would like to get involved in our special planning committee, please reach out. We are looking for ideas, input and support.

As we head into the roaring ’20s, we are focused on growing networking and professional opportunities for you. We will offer relevant, proactive programs with tips PR professionals can put to use right away. We want to be the premier PR, communication group you choose to be a part of each month. What do you need and want to grow personally and professionally? What programs and activities will help you advance in this ever-changing media landscape? The PRSA Gulf Coast chapter is here as your resource.

Our first lunch and learn program focuses on the changing face of local media. You will hear from Jim Schwartzel, President of Sun Broadcasting. Sun Broadcasting owns WINK news, several local radio stations and recently purchased Gulfshore Life and D’Latinos. He will be joined by Tom Doerr, WINK News Director. The two will discuss, Local Media Acquisitions: What it means for the communicator. The program will be held at Vi at Bentley Village on Tuesday, January 28.  Networking starts at 11:30am. We are partnering with our friends at the Press Club of Southwest Florida. Seating is limited. Please register today.

Also at this luncheon, your newly-elected PRSA Gulf Coast board will be introduced. We will have a brief induction ceremony led by Mayor Bill Barnett. We look forward to seeing our long-time friends and meeting new colleagues.

Cheers to 20 years! 

Catherine Bergerson
President, 2020 Gulf Coast Chapter PRSA

P.S. Please stay connected to us throughout the year. If you can’t join us in person each month, I encourage you to like, share, and help promote our activities. 

Celebrating 20 in 2020! President’s Message