public relations southwest florida

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ChristinaBy: Christina Garcia

Since starting at PTE, I have learned so much about working at a mixed marketing communications firm that I can’t comprehend everything that I needed to learn when I began this internship. I have learned about important writing styles and PTE preferences that have become habitual to me as well as important marketing concepts to understand when working at a communications firm.

Before I begin anything, I always set my margins to 1” and change my font to Century Gothic, which is the correct format for most documents we write at PTE. While this may not be the same at each firm, it is always important to know the company’s style to keep consistency and remember proper branding. I also have learned AP style, which the preferred writing style for public relations and journalism. AP style includes omitting the oxford comma, putting periods after a.m. and p.m. and not including ordinal numbers when listing dates. Although one may think these details are just minutiae, they can make a huge difference when submitting a news release to the media and getting media coverage. I am 100% in favor of the oxford comma (we have friendly in-office debates about this), so I have had to break out of my typical writing style to become a better writer.

In addition to breaking my habit of the oxford comma, I’ve also had to break my habit of always writing for advertising. As an advertising minor, I automatically gravitate toward trying to persuade or sell when I am writing documents. This has made writing for public relations a challenge for me. I have had to learn to adjust my word choices, consider my target audience and alter my writing style to remain informative when I am writing news releases.  So far, I have worked on many different PR projects, which has given me a tremendous amount of experience outside of my advertising studies.

I have had many experiences working on class projects create ads, copywriting and analyzing a brand or market, but that does not compare to the hands-on learning I have received at PTE. If there was any question in my mind if I could do marketing, PTE has taught me what I need to know to go into my career and be successful. If there was one tip I could pass on to future interns, it would be to always ask questions, but trust your instincts if you have a good idea.

I have learned so much at PTE and I am excited for these last few weeks to gain even more experience before my internship ends!

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Photo By Brian TietzFor those who don’t know, Pushing the Envelope is BIG on community service. In fact, it’s one of the key traits that make up our company culture. Everyone at PTE serves on non-profit boards, volunteers their time or donates financially to several charitable organizations in Southwest Florida. So, it was only a matter of time before we decided to offer our services to a community organization that needed our help. Back in February we developed a grant program as part of our ‘Push It Forward’ initiative. We would donate 10 hours of PR/Marketing services to be used however the grantee wished. Only non-profits were eligible to receive the grant. After a long process of reviewing many wonderful applications, PTE chose to award the grant to Beacon of H.O.P.E.

Founded in 2004, Beacon of H.O.P.E. is a little-known entity that takes a pro-active approach by providing activities and programs that improve the welfare of the Pine Island community. Despite their best efforts and hard work, Beacon needed to boost their awareness and so they asked for us to develop a comprehensive and strategic marketing plan for them to implement.

Using strategies and tactics such as incorporating email marketing, improving media relations, enhancing internal communication and social media efforts, developing corporate partnerships and leveraging fundraising events, the marketing plan for Beacon of H.O.P.E. allowed the Board of Directors to see that just by making a few small changes and adding a few more tasks they could vastly improve their reputation in the community and grow the organization.

Donating my time and developing this marketing plan was extremely rewarding. Being able to donate my knowledge, my skills or even just my blood, sweat and tears reminds me why I do what I do and how important it is to offer your gifts to others. After all, we all have something we can give of ourselves to impact positive change.

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Photo By Brian TietzAs I’m writing this blog on Mother’s Day it’s difficult to not only reflect on my own mom, but on all mothers that I know. Each one of these amazing women has made sacrifices for their children, feels guilt when they aren’t able to be as active or involved as they would like to be, has to juggle multiple priorities and responsibilities, loves unconditionally, wants to provide the best opportunities for their children, and the list goes on. I feel very grateful to know these women and to be able to learn from them.

My own mom was a working mother. She worked long hours, overtime and even went back to school for her master’s degree. My mother is one of the most driven people I know. She invests her time, energy and expertise 100 percent into her career and into any activity she’s involved in. By watching her, I learned the value of being fully invested in the work that you’re putting out and doing the best job you can.

me and mom

Because of my mother’s inspiring example of doing her very best, I was able to have a multitude of opportunities growing up. Art classes, horse-back riding lessons, ballet tuition, two study abroad trips to London, sorority membership, adventures in France, Italy, Mallorca, etc.… All of these experiences have made me

who I am today and none of them would have been possible without the hard work of my mother (and my father as well). As I’m now in my fifth year of being a productive member of the workforce, the experiences I’ve gained help to shape my creativity, attitude and perspective. All of these factors provide value to the work I produce and to the people that I interact with.

I’m so grateful that my mother is who she is and that she’s my confidante, my sounding board, my travel partner and my ally. Love you Mom!

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Exit Blog Spring 2015 Internship

Written By: Kayla Chasney



I would like to thank Pushing the Envelope for welcoming me into the company for the past few months. I have gotten more out of this internship then I could have ever imagined. Working in an agency setting has helped me immensely with time management skills and adapting to be more flexible. This new experience has definitely taken me out of my comfort zone, but at the same time has helped me gain confidence in my professional skills. I really have enjoyed being exposed to the communications side of marketing and gaining experience with public relations.

During this internship I have been able to directly apply what I have been learning in class to assist with a variety of clients. For example, I am currently taking a social media marketing class at Florida Gulf Coast University and I have done projects for PTE that mirror exactly what we discuss. I love that I am able to learn in class and then get hands on experience at the same time. College courses can’t prepare you for the ‘real world’ like this internship has.

Pushing the Envelope has helped mold me into a business professional and prepare me for future positions. The mentoring sessions with Samantha have given me great insight and tips for applying for jobs after graduation. Overall, this opportunity has been eye opening and helped give me direction for my future.

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Our team is excited to be celebrating the 9th anniversary of Pushing the Envelope! PTE was founded on February 1, 2006 by Samantha Scott, APR and Derek Scott. To commemorate this joyous occasion, we’ve put together a quiz of 9 true / false questions about PTE. Test your knowledge of our company, and we’ll reveal the answers below!

1. PTE was originally an ad agency.

2. PTE started in Cape Coral.

3. PTE is currently employed by all women.

4. PTE has moved 3 times.

5. PTE has a public relations internship program, which has trained a number of young professionals thus far.

6. Each team member has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from a university in Florida.

7. PTE has worked with clients in 8 states across the U.S.

8. Most of PTE’s team members have or are currently holding leadership positions in organizations outside of work.

9. PTE has serviced a number of pro bono clients, but will not be accepting any more. (See below for answer and SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!)

Now… ready for some answers? Here it goes!


1. PTE was originally an ad agency.


Typewriter What is Your Story

Pushing the Envelope began as a direct mail and printing company, then morphed into the marketing communications firm it is today. As we sought out opportunities, we evolved and adapted to best reach the goals of our clients. We take great pride in identifying the needs of our clients and creating and implementing custom marketing strategies to successfully achieve those goals.

2. PTE started in Cape Coral.


While Cape Coral is home to some of us, PTE actually began in Bonita Springs, a bit further south. For the majority of our existence, we’ve made Fort Myers our home base. Centrally located in the bustling town many northerners migrate to for their winter paradise, we love all that Fort Myers has to offer with regards to business as well as leisure!

3. PTE is currently Powered entirely by women.



(From L to R): Samantha, Diana, Lisa and Tiffany huddle around our collected non-perishable food items for our annual CAN IT! campaign.

While we have had men on our team in the past and we do work with men, our team is currently made up of all women. Did you know that PTE is actually a certified Minority Owned Business?

4. PTE has moved 3 times.




We’ve called four different office spaces our home over the past 9 years and are excited about our new home that we just moved into in November 2014. As we are growing, this office gives us plenty of room to expand and add to our team.


5. PTE has a public relations internship program, which has trained a number young professionals thus far.



Our fall 2014 interns (from L to R): Morgan Reed, Angela Navarro and Chelsea Bear.

PTE does in fact have an internship program, but we train our interns in more areas than just public relations. We also introduce them to other areas in the communication field, including: Internet marketing, social media management and branding. We’re excited to have a new crew of interns this semester too!

6. Each team member has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from a university in Florida.


While all of us are now working in the field of communication and marketing, we each acquired different degrees from separate universities.

samantha scott, apr, public relations fort myersSamantha Scott, APR (PTE President) graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with an emphasis on Advertising.






Tiffany Whitaker (Director of Business Development and Account Services) graduated from Hodges University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.




Photo by Brian TietzLisa Davanzo (Public Relations Specialist & Communication Ally) graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication.




Photos by Brian Tietz

Diana Leadley (Digital Marketing Coordinator) graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication.





IMG_0079_thumbnailVanessa Fernandez is currently pursuing two bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University and will be graduating this spring.






7. PTE has worked with clients in 8 states across the U.S.


PTE has serviced clients in not 8, but 10 states across the U.S., from local businesses in Florida to national enterprises.

Here’s the list: Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

8. Most of PTE’s team members have or are currently holding leadership positions in organizations outside of work.


FPRA Image Awards

Tiffany (middle) and Samantha (right) accept an award at the 2014 FPRA Image Awards.

While we each take pride in our roles working together at PTE, we also each have outside interests and passions in which we are involved.

Samantha is the immediate past president of the Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA), as she recently completed her term.

Tiffany recently completed her term as the Sponsorship Chair on the FPRA Board of Directors and is currently  serving as Treasurer.


Diana is the one in green. Okay, not helpful. She’s the youngest one. Can you spot her?

Diana Leadley serves as the Young Alumni Coordinator on the Greater Fort Myers Area Michigan State University Alumni Club Board of Directors.






9. PTE has serviced a number of pro bono clients, but will not be accepting any more.

We can’t even find words to express how FALSE this is!

We love giving back to our community and enjoy working with our pro bono clients. In celebration of our 9th anniversary, we’re rolling out a new grant called “Push-It-Forward.” With this grant, we’ll be adding a new client to our pro bono projects and dedicating 10 hours (9 for our anniversary and 10 for the start of a new business year). We are excited to announce that we are now accepting applications. Click HERE to apply!

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