Time: Registration – 8:30-9:00am, Program – 9:00am – 4:00pm
Location: Florida SouthWestern State College, Building AA, Room 177, 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL 33919

Registration cost: $99 members, $129 future members, $49 students. Registration includes breakfast and lunch.

The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) brings its annual one-day professional development seminar to Florida SouthWestern State College.  This year’s event, “Mastering the Art of Storytelling & Crisis Communication” will including presentations and workshops on effective storytelling, engaging the media to enhance your organization’s reach, and how to deal with unexpected events that impact your business and audiences.

PR University showcases industry-leading professionals in business, education, healthcare, media, and more, all sharing best practices, takeaways, and case studies on how to use your brand’s story to engage, educate, and entertain.

Open to the public, this event provides seasoned and young professionals, business owners, and anyone who communicates their brand story to any audience with real-world tools and techniques they can use in their daily work.

PR University offers valuable education, professional development, and networking opportunities with presentations from a lineup of dynamic speakers.

2023 Presentations: 

  • Crisis Communications Round Table with Holly Smith, Public Affairs Administrator, Volusia County Tax Collector and adjunct professor, Emergency Management Institute
  • Stories2Share and Narrative Storytelling with Sean Martinelli, Murrow Award-winning NBC2 reporter
  • Once More, With Feeling – Effective Storytelling Through Video for Engagement and Audience Retention with St. Matthew’s House’s Tommy Short and Joe Loverde
  • Using Storytelling and Data to Boost Your Campaigns with Arthrex, Inc. campaign management team Heather Doane, APR, CPRC, and Mindy Hollister
  • A “Sunshine” Chat with Arlyn Knox, Chief Marketing Officer at Redwood Logistics


Who Should Attend?

  • PR, communications, and marketing leaders looking for actionable takeaways to improve their brand storytelling and crisis communications response
  • New communications professionals who want to learn best practices for telling their brand’s stories
  • APRs looking to gain continuing education credits toward their APR renewal


About Our Speakers

Heather Doane, APR, CPRC, has combined her passions for creative content and research-backed strategy over 15 years in marketing, communications and journalism. After 7 years as a journalist, she worked for several years in public and community relations before taking an account management role at a leading full-service agency, finally landing at Arthrex, Inc, a global medical device company headquartered in Naples. In her current role at Arthrex, she supports the company’s numerous national and global education campaigns for surgeons and patients, focusing on content and campaign development strategies, and collaborates with cross-functional teams on process development and improvement, content and marketing strategy, launch and operations, and messaging development. She currently serves as accreditation co-chair and newsletter chair for the Southwest Florida chapter. She has also served as president, VP of Communications and many other positions and is the recipient of several Golden Image and Local Image awards, including two local Grand All Image Awards. 

Mindy Hollister, MBA, is an editorial creative whose professional expertise in biopharmaceutical and medical device marketing spans more than 18 years. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Pennsylvania State University, Mindy worked briefly for the CBS affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA, and wrote freelance for a local weekly paper. In 2005, she joined the Medical, Legal, and Regulatory Operations team with vaccine manufacturer Sanofi, where she fell in love with health care marketing and never looked back. Mindy later obtained her MBA in marketing from the University of Scranton. Mindy joined Arthrex in 2017 and leads the Marketing Content Editing team. With her passion for absorbing and effectively communicating extremely technical medical information and her in-depth understanding of industry legal and regulatory standards, she has instituted standards, policies, and procedures that improve the effectiveness of Arthrex brand messaging while compliantly promoting products. She is currently focused on integral team initiatives that include, but are not limited to, streamlining the content development and review processes, providing strategic content support to highly visible product launches and campaigns, and formalizing standard operating procedures and internal training materials.

Arlyn Knox is a results-focused marketing executive with over 18 years of global marketing experience creating innovative, high performing teams and building pipeline for SaaS technology leading brands. She has built global marketing teams through high-growth phases including strategic acquisitions and pre-IPO phases across various industries including supply chain, CRM, and ERP. Arlyn brings expertise in leading and developing teams across marketing focused on creating marketing generated revenue through innovative campaigns including ABM, developing/launching a brand, driving net new customer acquisition, post-merger integration, new product launch, public relations, analyst relations, and strategic partnerships. Arlyn is currently the Chief Marketing Officer for Redwood Logistics, attended The George Washington University for her BA and Florida Gulf Coast University for her MBA.

Joe Loverde is a video and marketing professional who uses over 13 years of experience to create content with end goal usage in mind. Joe got his start in advertising working Haystak, and automotive SEM agency, where he managed accounts and learned the ins and outs of Search Engine Marketing. That position led to Mercedes-Benz of Naples where he would work as their Digital Marketing Director. This is where he would start to really see the value in high quality content creation and its effect on driving engagement and sales. He would then go on to work for CONRIC PR and Marketing as their Digital Marketing Director, creating data driven ad and social campaigns with clients across various industries, including non-profit, for-profit, and government agencies. His love for video grew in this time and he would then start his own business known as Project SetGo which focuses on video content marketing solutions for small to medium businesses and non-profits. He currently serves as Digital Content Creator for St. Matthews House. He graduated from FGCU with his Bachelor of Science in Marketing in 2010.

Sean Martinelli brings viewers emotional and heartfelt stories from across Southwest Florida. He joined the NBC2 team in 2018 to launch Stories2Share, which airs Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays at 6 p.m. Sean is committed to thoughtful journalism that highlights the best in our community. Some of his stories will make you laugh. Others make you cry. Most encourage you to think. The best ones do all three. During his time at NBC2, Sean’s reporting has earned ten Suncoast Emmy Awards and five regional Edward R. Murrow awards. In 2022, Stories2Share won the National Edward R. Murrow for Best News Series… and it won a National Murrow again this past year. In his free time, Sean is a dedicated volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. He is also a frequent guest speaker in college journalism classes across the country.

Thomas Short has four years of experience in non-profit marketing and communication and has gained valuable insights into effective video production strategies that drive engagement and audience retention. Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from FGCU, which he earned in 2019, as well as a Master of Public Administration from the same institution, which he completed in 2022. Thomas honed his video production and marketing skills as a Communications Specialist for the Lee County Tax Collector from 2019 to 2021, where he directed and produced videos, edited visual content, and managed all social media platforms. Currently, Thomas serves as the Marketing and Analytics Manager for St. Matthew’s House. He is passionate about storytelling and creating engaging content that resonates with target audiences.

Dr. Holly Smith is a public relations professional with 15 years of government experience at the municipal, county and state levels. She has also served as an instructor, anchor, and producer during her career. Since 1998, Dr. Smith has managed communications for most departments/service lines in governmental agencies. During activations of Volusia County’s (Florida) Emergency Operations Center (EOC), she handled public information efforts and conducted and coordinated live EOC broadcasts on the local public broadcasting station. Dr. Smith has also been involved in several major crises that drew national and international news media coverage to Volusia County, including the wildfires of 1998 that burned nearly 140,000 acres and Volusia County, Florida’s 2000 Presidential election recount during which 184,018 ballots were hand-counted in a public forum. During the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, she represented the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County as a spokesperson and governmental liaison. Florida’s triple punch from Hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Jeanne during six weeks in 2004 provided an opportunity for the newly formed Volusia/Flagler Public Information Network to test its plan. Dr. Smith spearheaded the effort to form the network in 2004. Today the group includes public information officers from local cities, hospitals, the American Red Cross, representatives from the tourism sector, and Daytona International Speedway. In her first year as the first marketing/public relations manager for the city of New Smyrna Beach, Dr. Smith centralized external communications, upgraded the city’s website, developed public information plans for a successful annexation effort, and launched a marketing plan for a 25-year visioning initiative that included solicitation of citizen input. She also developed and maintained an integrated marketing/branding effort for the NSB Waterfront LOOP, a community redevelopment initiative in New Smyrna Beach, which received national recognition from the Alliance for Innovation. For more than 20 years, Dr. Smith anchored and produced weekly feature segments for Volusia County’s television and radio programs. She served as on-camera talent for the “Healthy Lifestyles” series, a health and wellness program funded through a grant from the National Institutes of Health and also anchored a live news-brief segment on local cable. Dr. Smith has been an adjunct faculty member since 2022 at the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), National Emergency Training Center, in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Currently she is a member of the Volusia County Tax Collector leadership team as the Public Affairs Administrator. Dr. Smith has earned a bachelor’s in elementary education and a master’s in communications from the University of Central Florida. She also has a doctorate in chiropractic medicine from Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida.

  •  January 26, 2024
     8:00 am - 4:00 pm
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