By Brian Hamman
“Don’t make me do it.  Don’t make me!” urged WINK News Anchor Lois Thome.  “Don’t make me open your press release as an attachment.”  Thome was the first in a list of distinguished speakers that presented to about 50 PR pros at PR University earlier this month.
Thome kicked off the day with a presentation on “Bad News Releases.”  She shared tips including:
  • Send your release directly to the correct editor
  • Get to know a reporter in your field
  • Be persistent not a pest
Thome was followed by Michelle Bono, APR, CPRC, who outlined some of her award winning strategies for public relations planning.  Bono demonstrated how “Big Ideas” can get attention and convey a message.  One example was the flash mob her team used to raise awareness about a street project.
Other speakers on the agenda included:
  • Tara Tyler, “How Not to Write Commercials”
  • Dr. Hank Hine, “How We Opened the New Dali Museum and helped St. Pete become an International Arts Destination”
  • Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC, “Sunshine Laws”
  • Joe Curley, APR, CPRC, “Crossing the International Border”
FPRA SWFL would like to thank sponsors:  The News-Press Media Group, LCEC, J.J. Taylor Distributing, Fort Myers River District.  Also, thanks to the Southwest Florida Community Foundation for offering half scholarships to non-profit attendees.