Category Archives: Florida

LeaPplay: One LeaP Class Member’s Perspective

Last summer I was selected to be a part of the Greater Pensacola Chamber’s Leadership Pensacola program. It’s similar to leadership programs in other cities with a series of opportunities to explore the local community, understand its infrastructure, and potential for future growth. I’ve enjoyed meeting other professionals in the program and I’ve learned a great deal about Northwest Florida.

SH0144 Leap logo(2)What I am most proud of from this experience is the opportunity I’ve had to be a part of LeaPplay, a class project to renovate the playroom space at The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart. We’re essentially giving the playroom area an extreme makeover that will give the young hospital patients a vibrant and roomier space to play, read and watch movies. It’s a place they can go to get out of their hospital room and enjoy the same activities they would if they were at home.

While I won’t be ripping out walls or installing new flooring (we leave that to the professionals who have kindly sponsored LeaPplay!), I am helping to spread the word about our project to media, potential donors and others who have an interest in helping our cause. Our dedicated marketing committee launched the LeaPplay brand in just a few short weeks last fall. Local creative agencies Appleyard Agency and Clever Ogre provided the project’s graphic identity and website, respectively. We’re using videos on YouTube and commercials produced courtesy of Cox Communications to tell our story on television. We’re active on Facebook and Twitter, and we’re speaking to local civic and community groups throughout the area. You may even see a car wash or two as we look for any potential avenue to get support for LeaPplay and make the new playroom a reality for the kids at Sacred Heart.

It’s been fun to be a part of this grassroots effort and we’re not finished yet. If all goes as planned, we’ll raise the funds necessary to begin construction in March and cut the ribbon on the brand new play space in May. If you would like to learn more or donate to LeaPplay, please visit leapplay.org.

Sunshine – Yes, please

This week is National Travel and Tourism Week. It’s something I might not have given much thought to before I lived in Florida, where the industry has a tremendous impact on the economy, but travel and tourism is in fact one of America’s largest industries. According to 2012 data reported by the U.S. Travel Association, the industry generated $2.0 trillion in economic output, with $855.4 billion spent directly by domestic and international travelers that spurred an additional $1.1 trillion in other industries.

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As if anyone needs convincing that vacations are a good idea, you can add helping our economy thrive to the list of benefits! Uncle Sam not only wants you, he wants you to lounge on the beach and hike in the mountains.

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So where will you go this year? Here are three beautiful Florida beaches you should consider — and I should know. I’ve been to each of them and I wrote these stories:

Panama City Beach
Perdido Key
Rosemary Beach

If you go or if you’ve been before, what do you love about these beach towns? Enjoy the sunshine!

Pensacola PR Professionals Host Annual Networking Gala

If you will be in the Pensacola area this Wednesday night, grab a friend or co-worker and join the fun at the FPRA Pensacola Chapter’s annual Making History Networking Gala. There’s no cost to attend, just come ready to network and bid on some fantastic auction items to benefit our local Florida Public Relations Association chapter!

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Amy Minchin Creative is proud to be a part of this event. For the silent auction, we’ve donated 2 tickets to the University of Alabama Crimson Caravan event in Orange Beach, Ala., featuring Head Football Coach Nick Saban and the 2013 BCS Championship Trophy. (Read about the Crimson Caravan on al.com) If you are not as obsessed with Alabama football as we are, that’s okay, too. There are many other great items to bid on, including valuable ad space donated by various local media outlets.

All proceeds benefit the Florida Public Relations Association – Pensacola chapter, which funds student scholarships annually and supports professional development opportunities for local members.

Want Your Business to Stand Out? Join the Crowd

Find common ground with others and grow business together. In one Northwest Florida county, that connection is the beauty and diversity of the natural environment.

There is strength in numbers when it comes to capturing the attention and more importantly the business of your customers and prospects.

Sure, big numbers in your marketing budget can help, but not everyone has that luxury. By numbers, I’m referring to your organization and those around you — peers in your industry, in your neighborhood, in your target market. By identifying others who share something in common with your business and creating opportunities to work together for your mutual benefit, everyone wins.

I recently had an opportunity to do some writing for a print publication promoting a Santa Rosa County, Fla., tourism program, the Beaches to Woodlands Tour. The Beaches to Woodlands Tour encompasses more than 40 events taking place across this Northwest Florida county along the Gulf Coast. It offers something for everyone — locals and tourists alike — every weekend in October. There are marine life encounters, running and cycling events, a golf tournament, hay rides and a corn maze, tiki carving, an automobile show, and dozens more activities. There is even a fox hunt (a subject of which I’d have no knowledge without the Beaches to Woodlands Tour).

Many of the events are fundraisers for local non-profit organizations. Individually they might not garner the publicity that a county-wide program with a concentrated marketing effort is able to achieve. Tour coordinator Karen Harrell does a great job of organizing and marketing the Tour for the Santa Rosa County Tourism Development Council. She utilizes traditional media, the Tour website and social media. You’ll find information here on Facebook, for example.

The organizations’ collective participation makes it a low-cost, high impact strategy to raise awareness for their individual businesses and events, while also promoting the diverse geography and cultural opportunities of the area.

So what does this mean for you? If you want to stretch your marketing and PR dollars, look for opportunities to come together with those around you. Businesses can join with other merchants nearby to lure current and potential customers to a special event. Your local Chamber of Commerce or Economic Development Council may offer these avenues. Conferences and festivals need vendors and sponsors, and they often provide an affordable way to get in front of your target customer base and showcase your organization alongside others in your community. If it’s a cause you’re advocating for, find others who share your position and team up to spread the message. Industry associations and lobbying groups do this daily on the federal and state levels. Whether it is sales you’re after or the hearts and minds of your stakeholders, you never have to go it alone.

How has your business or organization taken advantage of joint marketing or public relations opportunities? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.