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samantha scott, apr, public relations fort myers By: Samantha Scott, APR

As many of you know we work with Scott Fischer Enterprises (SFE) and, most notably in our market, their newest and largest endeavor – Six Bends and Six Bends Harley-Davidson. What you may not know, however, is how much branding is involved in that project and how handlebars can drive a multi-million dollar project. Allow me to introduce you to the lore of Six Bends, a case study in branding.

 

Six Bends, Six Bends Harley-DavidsonSix Bends as a name, concept and brand was the brainchild of Shook Kelley, a branding and urban development organization. It started with handlebars that were made popular in the 1970s. Over months of research and work they created meaning, adding layers of detail and depth to the overall brand of Six Bends Harley-Davidson.

We had the opportunity to help implement it and drive all the communication surrounding it. It is now a worldwide destination for Harley-Davidson enthusiasts, a community event center, a weekend hang out, an attraction for passersby and residents alike. How? Six Bends was designed to be a place where everyone belongs, but where everyone can get something unique- an experience unto their own.

This sounds great, but from a marketing and communication perspective, how do you implement that? How do you support that with messaging, involve employees and customers – your tribe – in perpetuating this? The answer Read the rest of this entry »

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I was told throughout my childhood that it would be impossible to “change the world,” and that I should not take on such a large feat as I would likely be disappointed. I never let this sway my belief, though, that each of us has the potential to make a difference for any cause we care about. As president of No Race | No Hate , a student organization at Florida Gulf Coast University focused on celebrating diversity and demystifying the concept of race, I was proud to work with my peers to launch an interactive project on our campus. Our project, coined the Peace Wall, prompted students and staff members to finish the phrase, “I will change the world by…”.

The No Race | No Hate Peace Wall at Florida Gulf Coast University

After reading the responses, we gathered a group of students to ask how they would go about creating the changes they wrote about, but the responses Read the rest of this entry »

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News-Press People of the YearBy Samantha Scott, APR

President / Grand Poobah

I recently had the opportunity to attend The News-Press’ annual People of the Year event – a time when business and community leaders alike come together to recognize those making a difference in Southwest Florida. It’s an inspiring morning to say the least.

For those of you who couldn’t attend, I’d like to share. Tom Uhler was the keynote speaker, and he offered his “10 Life Lessons“. I’d like to share them – and add a few thoughts of my own – with you.

1. Do the right thing.

This sounds so simple. Most of the hardest things are. Admitting when you’re wrong; saying you’re sorry; learning to say “no”, but they are often the most important. At PTE, this is one of our critical drivers. Ethics is a key component in our culture and we subscribe to a “reputation above riches” belief system. (Proverbs 22:1)

2. March to your own drummer.

Just because someone says you can’t or you’re made to believe you’re different – so what? No one believed the Wright brothers either. It’s okay to stand out from the crowd. In fact, in business that’s exactly what you want to do!

3. Say please & thank you – and mean it.

Maybe it’s because I’ve lived in the south so long, but this is important to me and something I try hard to do, both personally and professionally. Sometimes you’ll even hear me say ma’am or sir! It goes back to the little things, the simple things. Saying “please” and “thank you” communicates respect and appreciation. Couldn’t we all use a little more of that?

4. Optimism is the only reality.

This can be a hard one to swallow when wars are being waged, innocent people are hurt or when life just seems hard. But it’s true. Things may be different now than they were 30, 40, 50 years ago, but overall, we’re better off. Just consider the vaccines, new protective measures in cars and new technology created every year!

5. Take yourself seriously if you want others to.

This one is for the young professionals out there, the up and comers, our interns and future leaders. Life is fun, it’s good to enjoy yourself, but it’s also important to be professional and take yourself seriously. Dress for the job you WANT, not the job you have. Don’t be afraid to work hard – even if you don’t feel like your effort is being noticed right away. Think and act like a leader if that’s what you strive to become.

6. We’re never alone in our efforts.

As a Type A personality, I’ve often been guilty of either taking everything on when I didn’t have to, or believing I’m alone because I was too naive or open to see others who were there to help. Whether it’s a project for work or volunteering, there’s always someone else who’s capable and/or interested in the same thing. Tom’s advice is to enlist the skills of others that are complimentary to yours – then you both succeed.

7. Chance favors the prepared mind.

This is one of my favorite quotes, and I’m sure many of you reading this have heard it before. It’s short and sweet, but speaks volumes. We must be ready for opportunity and open to accepting it. We have to remain curious. The example Tom provided was of Sir Isaac Newton. Many had seen apples (or other objects) fall to the ground. No one asked before “why does stuff always fall?”. Newton did. He was curious.

8. Give back.

This also ties into our company culture and the culture of many of our clients. One of which, Scott Fischer Enterprises, was a finalist for the Business of the Year category at the People of the Year awards. Giving back can be anything from time to talent to funds. We ALL have room to give a little. It may be inconvenient, it will cost us something, but in the end each one of us can make some kind of difference. One easy way is to become a Literacy Buddy or to donate blood.

9. Smile.

Not only does smiling make you more pleasant to look at, it’s also good for you. In fact, according to Fast Company, it changes your brain! It improves your mood and can improve the mood of others. Just think about how you feel on a rough day when someone you don’t know smiles at you at the grocery store or is nice to you in traffic. It’s a nice change, isn’t it? Why did we start scowling all the time anyway?

10. “We become what we think about”

Earl Nightingale coined this concept, and it’s true. If we think about positive things, life doesn’t seem so bad. If we focus on all the things that have gone wrong, how our health could be better, that the weather isn’t that great or are generally negative, then we have a negative outlook on life. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying some days the glass doesn’t get knocked over or spring a leak, but let’s commit to a glass half full mentality.

 

In the end, Tom’s life lessons aren’t anything new. We’ve likely heard or read them all before, but are we living them? If not, why not? As business leaders, professionals and active parts of society, why can’t we try to? We each have the same opportunity to be a “person of the year”. We just need to live up to our full potential – and support each other in doing the same.

Congratulations to all the finalists and to all the winners! You are inspirations to all of us in Southwest Florida and shining examples of how good humanity can be. May we all take a lesson or two, or ten, from you.

So, I leave you with this… We have a choice about how our day will turn out. No one else controls that. Be happy and people will want to be around you – and they’ll be happier. Sounds like a good plan to me. Will you join me?

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SignPushing the Envelope, Inc. will host the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce for a ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5, followed by a special complimentary presentation titled “PR Today: Are You in the Game?”

“PR Today: Are You in the Game?” will cover:

•  What is Public Relations in 2015?

•  Where are your opportunities?

•  Are you prepared?

Pushing the Envelope will be celebrating our nine-year anniversary in business, as well as our recent move to a new office space. The community is welcome to join in the celebration that will include light hors d’oeuvres, refreshments, and networking, as well as a special presentation following the ribbon cutting. The Pushing the Envelope offices are located at 9111 West College Pointe Drive, Suite 110 in Fort Myers.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, February 3rd at info@getpushing.com.

We hope to see you there!

- The PTE Team

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By Vanessa Fernandez

Communication Coordinator

 

I realized I would choose a career in communications in fourth grade when I noticed that my journal had more content than my homework. Since then, my love for writing has grown, eventually branching off into event planning, print media design, journalism and public relations.

It only follows that the highlight of my senior year at Florida Gulf Coast University has easily been accepting a position as a Communication Coordinator at Pushing the Envelope. Though I am in the busy final months of my undergraduate career, I could not pass up the opportunity to join the award-winning PTE family to further develop my public relations skills. I am eager to be working with clients to manage their social media presence and online reputation, in addition to assisting account allies on other tasks.

I am currently studying at FGCU to obtain my bachelor’s degree in both Philosophy and Communication, with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Digital Media Design.  I am the Membership and Marketing Director for our university’s student chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, as well as the founding president of an organization focused on diversity and cultural awareness. To supplement my coursework I have completed undergraduate research on social media trends and best practices for non-profit organizations of Lee County.

With my energy and focus dedicated to doing the best work for our clients, I am excited for the experiences I will encounter in my new position at PTE. If you have any tips or just want to say hello, feel free to email me at vanessa@getpushing.com.

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