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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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By Michaela Jones

Marketing and Communications Intern

Hello! My name is Michaela A. Jones I am a new intern here at Pushing the Envelope (PTE). I am 18 years old, making me the youngest member in our group of interns. All of them have been in college for a while and have received degrees, while I just graduated from high school. I attended Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School in Miami where I was a member of multiple clubs, including softball, volleyball, and their award-winning drum line. Originally, I hail from Newport, Rhode Island, but due to my father being an officer in the Navy, we didn’t live there for long. My family and I moved around quite a bit when I was younger, and after a couple of years of this pattern, we finally settled down in the sunny, exotic city of Miami when I was six years old. I lived there for 12 years until recently, when I was accepted into college here in Fort Myers, so I packed up my bags and made the move.

After moving from the east coast to the west coast, I started attending classes at Florida Southwestern State College (which most of you know as Edison Community College) and I’m currently working for my AA.  I am part of certain clubs including DIVE Club, which involves scuba diving and beach conservation throughout Florida – the first step in the direction of my dream career. I hope to pursue a career in the medical field, but more specifically Physical Therapy (PT).

While interning here at Pushing the Envelope, I hope gain experience of a company setting and to also get a feel for different occupational pursuits – to see what else is out there – in case I don’t want to go into the medical field. I also hope to gain knowledge on how the workforce works and what are best professional practices and etiquette.

Well, here I am on the Gulf side, and I am ready to get down and learn what I need to know to have a successful life. And I am excited to begin this intern program to start this next chapter in my life!

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By Angela Navarro

Marketing and Communications Intern 

My name is Angela Navarro, and I am one of the new interns for the Fall Internship Program at Pushing the Envelope.  Currently, I am enrolled in one of my last semesters at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), due to graduate in spring of 2015 with a Bachelors in Communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in marketing.

When I first started at FGCU I did not have an interest in Communication or Public Relations, I was an undeclared major with out much knowledge of what Public Relations even was.  I first found an interest and passion for Public relations and marketing while attending one of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) student chapter meetings around my junior year. Soon afterward, I started taking courses pertaining to PR and marketing and came to find that public relations was the right field for me; and now I am a senior, and the Secretary for the Student Chapter of FPRA.  After graduation I hope to go to graduate school, obtain my APR, and stay a member of the FPRA.

Working with others was one skill that I learned through the FPRA. Mixing and collaborating ideas in meetings came in handy with my courses. In these courses, I gained hands-on experience not only working in groups, but with clients as well.  Many of my course projects consisted of developing campaigns for these clients.  While I did gain some knowledge about the ins and outs of campaigns and clients, I am thrilled to be interning for Pushing the Envelope and hope to gain real world public relations and marketing experience.

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By Chelsea Bear

Marketing and Communication Intern

 

Hello! My name is Chelsea Bear and I am extremely excited to announce that I am one of the new interns at Pushing The Envelope (PTE) for the Fall Internship Program.  I am currently a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), pursuing my bachelor’s degree in communication with a specialization in public relations.  I was born and raised in Florida, right outside of Fort Lauderdale in a city called Sunrise; which is also home to the Florida Panthers.  Three years ago I moved to Fort Myers to attend FGCU and couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.

As a student I have always loved being involved; therefore, I am an active member of various organizations and clubs on campus at FGCU.  In my free time, I enjoy cheering on the Eagles at different sporting events, as well as relaxing with my friends on the beach.  As a Florida native, I have grown to appreciate the sunshine and picture perfect locations that this area has to offer!  I also love to travel, listen to music and to simply be surrounded by my family and friends.

Originally when I began my journey at FGCU, I was unsure of the specific degree I was most interested in pursuing.  Once I started taking communication and public relations introductory courses, my passion for this field of work formed, and I realized that this is the direction I want to lead my life.  As a result, I am here at PTE looking forward to the upcoming months and what they will bring.

I have learned about public relations in the classroom, but nothing can compare to the hands on experience of learning the true day-to-day lifestyle of a PR specialist.  I am eager to truly embark in this journey and to gain knowledge about social media strategies, reputation management and branding to name a few. Working alongside the professional staff and fellow interns, I am anticipating a very rewarding experience here at Pushing The Envelope!

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By Morgan Reed

Marketing and Communications Intern

 

Hello! My name is Morgan Reed and I am originally from Houston, Texas. I am currently in my last semester at Florida Gulf Coast University in pursuit of my bachelor’s degree in communication with a dual concentration in communication studies and public relations. I moved to the Fort Myers area three years ago and have fallen in love with the city. From the surrounding environment in our local community, to the university, and all the businesses that have been prospering over the past few years, I could not imagine myself anywhere else and couldn’t be happier to have chosen this area as my home.

As successful individuals in the public relations industry, it is important to be curious and to look beyond what is and envision what could be. The key is to always look ahead, see where the industry is going and anticipate trends. In my everyday life I am constantly living this way – continuously searching for new opportunities and creating new ideas. I feel that with this quality I have I could be very resourceful and efficient in the public relations industry.

From this internship experience with Pushing the Envelope, Inc., I am hoping to gain as much hands on experience in the public relations sector as I can. I am always planning ahead and staying organized and feel with my critical thinking skills and action-oriented attitude, I could learn a lot over these next few months. I hope to gain transferable skills that I can apply to a wide variety of industries, since I am still indecisiveon what direction I want to go in after graduation. Learning the ins and outs, so to speak, of the public relations sphere is something I am hoping to understand better after this 10-week opportunity as well.

One area I would like to gain more understanding on in particular is the elements involved in branding – building partnerships and communications with clients and the community. I also hope to learn what social media strategies and engagement can help a businesses prosper. I am looking forward to working with each member of the Pushing the Envelope team and to gain insight and knowledge from their experiences so I can better understand all the elements that are essential when managing a successful mixed marketing communications firm.

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Can It LogoThe holidays are right around the corner, and with Thanksgiving only weeks away, we’re excited to announce the kickoff of our 4th Annual CAN IT! Campaign! Each year, Pushing the Envelope teams up with local restaurants, shops, salons and more to collect non-perishable food items to benefit those who the Community Cooperative Ministries, Inc. serves. We invite you to join us in partnering with CCMI to provide meals for those who are less fortunate right here in Southwest Florida.

We’ve set up drop-off locations across the greater Fort Myers and Naples areas to collect non-perishable food items from October 20 to November 20. Last year, we exceeded our goal of 1,000 items, and this year we’re kicking it up a notch to 1,500 items. We won’t be able to reach this goal and feed those in need without your help. Next time you’re dining out, boarding your animal for vacation or even having your hair or nails done, bring along a few cans and place them in the wrapped boxes on your way in. Every food item helps, so even one can makes a huge difference.

Would your business like to join in and serve as a drop-off location? Contact us today at (239) 221-2858 or email us, and we’ll set you up with a collection box and flyer for your business!

CAN we feed the hungry in Southwest Florida? Yes, we CAN!

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We’re hiring! Are you looking for an opportunity to advance your career in the field of communications, marketing and public relations in a fast-paced and team-oriented environment? Pushing the Envelope, Inc. is excited to announce the search for a Public Relations Specialist / Project Manager!

Our team here at PTE is dedicated to providing the best possible communication and marketing solutions to a variety of clients, which involves team collaboration to identify areas of improvement, create solutions and present those solutions to our clients.

As the Public Relations Specialist / Project Manager, this person will develop and execute public relations strategies and serve as a client liaison, while working closely with the Brand Manager and other Project Manager. They will also assist with production services, which include: PR activities, reputation management services and social media strategy.

Pushing the Envelope, Inc. is excited about its continual growth and looks forward to bringing on someone who will become a part of it! If you’re interested and would like to apply, please check out the Careers section of our website!

Now Hiring

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By Lindsey Blest

Marketing and Communications Intern

Hello, my name is Lindsey Blest. I am a new intern here at Pushing the Envelope (PTE). I hail from further north than most of the interns at PTE, from a county called Lancaster in Pennsylvania – more affectionately known as home to the Amish. (Disclaimer: I am not Amish.) I am a country girl by address, but a city dweller at heart. Outside of my studies, I am an avid runner, long-time barista, and freelance photographer.

The field of communications is vibrant and vivacious, always expanding into the cusp of what drives society. I long to be a part of that vibrancy, which is why I am majoring in communication at Lancaster Bible College (LBC).

As I pursue a degree in communication, I desire to build a foundation of experience in order to propel me out into the workforce after graduation. The highlights of my undergrad career thus far include: being the editor-in-chief throughout the publication of the first three issues of Charge, LBC’s fine arts magazine; working as the communications coordinator for two campus cafes; and completing a journalism internship with Lancaster Newspapers, Inc.

So what brings this northerner south?” you may be wondering. The reason involves more than palm trees and sunshine. As I searched for a summer internship to follow my sophomore year, I looked for a location outside of my hometown, wanting to expand my connections and experience. I have previously dabbled in a number of communication-related fields, but none that were prevalently public relations. I stumbled upon Pushing the Envelope in my research and quickly realized an internship with PTE would not only offer me exposure to public relations but also other facets of marketing and communications.

From PA to FL, here I am, in Fort Myers, beginning a summer internship with Pushing the Envelope. I am quite excited to learn and absorb all that I can about marketing and communications from this team of professionals!

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