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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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Vote for PTE as the “Best PR Firm” in Gulfshore Business’ Best of Business Poll

 

Forewarning – shameless plug/request about to ensue… It’s that time of year again. It’s time for your voice to be heard and for the Southwest Florida business community to recognize the best of the best – and we need YOUR help!

Annually Gulfshore Business produces a list dubbed “Best of Business”. This is compiled via votes (each person can only vote once) by community members just like you. We’re a little biased, admittedly, but we think we stand a pretty good chance of being named “Best of Business” for the PR firm category. If you agree, we need your help!

Please vote for us today! Voting ends May 16th.

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We strive to not just to meet expectations, but to exceed them in everything we do. No matter how big or small the job, from doing a complete brand design to customizing a client’s Facebook page, we strive for excellence.

Have you worked with us before, or are you just a fan of our blog? Are you a non-profit we’ve assisted? Whatever our relationship, please consider taking 30 seconds to vote for Pushing the Envelope as the Best PR Firm in Gulfshore Business’ Best of Business poll.

We appreciate it. In the end, we owe our success to you!

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CAM00035Hello! My name is Arantza Calligari and I am one of the new interns here at Pushing the Envelope. I am a communications major, with minors in marketing, advertising and philosophy. I attend Florida Gulf Coast University or, if you watched last season of College Basketball, Dunk City!

I am outgoing, competitive, athletic and love being outdoors. My passion in life centers on the ocean and helping others. My favorite activity is combining my two passions and getting involved in causes such as Surfers For Autism, where I’ve helped children and young adults with autism and related special abilities spend the day surfing and enjoying the waters on Fort Myers Beach. I began as a communication major focusing on public relations; since I am always talking, I figured it was a great fit. Yet when I took my first marketing class, I was fascinated with the thought of building and maintaining relationships; I connected it with my passion of helping others.

As I drove to my internship for the first time, I was anxious and exited to apply the principles I had learned in the classroom to real life situations. On my first day, just hearing Samantha and Tiffany talk to each other about upcoming campaigns for their clients was rewarding. What I’ve learned so far is that knowing a marketing principle and knowing how to apply it is completely different. I feel as if I have so much to learn and I couldn’t be in a better place to do it. I foresee ten weeks of non-stop learning, fun projects and great mentors.  I look forward to gaining experience strategically, working with and utilizing social media to reach S.M.A.R.T. goals.

I am so fortunate to have such an incredible opportunity to learn the ins and outs of marketing and communications. I can’t wait to share this experience and everything I learn with you. Lets get pushing!

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CAM00012For the last year, I have kept telling myself that I have time to find a job, and an apartment, and all things related to graduating and truly becoming an adult and a member of the “real world”. As it turns out, a year goes by faster than one thinks. However, on the cusp of graduation, I can find solace in the fact that I am building a strong resume with Pushing the Envelope.

Before I tell you about my internship with Pushing the Envelope, let me give you a quick tour of…well, me! I was born in Bombay, India, but spent the first nine years of my life in Dayton, Ohio. When I was nine years old, my family moved down to Naples, Florida, where we have been ever since. I will be graduating from Florida Gulf Coast University in the spring of this year (2014), with a major in Marketing and a double minor in Advertising and Information Systems & Operations Management. In my free time, I love reading, traveling, binge-watching TV shows on Netflix (it’s kind of a bad habit), spending time with family and friends, doing anything “arts & craftsy”, playing tennis and watching football. After graduation, I hope to work for an advertising or marketing firm, specifically with something involving athletics and social media!

I am so excited to be joining the team at Pushing the Envelope! I truly believe this internship will help me develop my skills, both in the business world and otherwise. For example, this internship will help me hone in on my social skills including how to work with different clients.

Given that my true career passion lies in advertising and anything social media related, I can’t wait to learn more about the influences social media has on how a company does business as well as the different ways to successfully apply social media on a professional – as opposed to personal – level. In addition to learning more about social media marketing, I am also excited to be exposed to other components of marketing that I know less about, such as PR, branding, copywriting, as well as web design and development. This internship will help me become a well-rounded marketing professional. I think it’s safe to say that when May 10th rolls around, I will have the knowledge I need to walk across the graduation stage with confidence in my ability to pursue my passion in marketing and advertising!

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CAM00009On one of the foggiest mornings I’ve seen in the two years I’ve lived in Fort Myers, FL, I drove to my first day as an intern at Pushing the Envelope. Looking back, it feels like I have been driving here for the past two years, as there were many detours along the way.

As a young girl, I saw silly commercials and terrible magazine adds thinking, “I can do better than this.” Never did I think that could possibly be something I would want to pursue as an actual career. With much trial and error, and possibly more than a few changes in my chosen major, I have finally found what I am passionate about and am excited to be learning from people who share my same passions.

This is actually my second dip in the marketing intern pool; previously doing two summers as an intern in the marketing department at Moss and Associates, a very successful commercial construction company. However, my experiences there were a very different type of marketing. I am interested in exploring the other avenues of the industry, such as the use of social media, branding, public relations and website analytics. After doing my own research, I couldn’t think of any better place for me to learn the ins and outs of mixed-marketing.

Finally, here I am eager to soak in all they have to offer and teach. As a very impressive company, I know that all they have to instill in me will only help me to thrive in the future world of marketing. I hope to take every day here as a new learning experience and never a routine. I am very grateful for this opportunity and would like to thank Samantha, Tiffany and everyone at Pushing the Envelope for taking their time to teach my internship team and me.

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samantha scott, apr, public relations fort myers

 

 

 

 

By: Samantha Scott, APR
Grand Poobah / Owner

It’s during this time of year that we think about the changing of seasons (even though we can’t see it here in Florida), holidays, family gatherings and generally a full work and personal schedule. Do we take time to also think about those less fortunate, right in our community?

Just the CanAt Pushing the Envelope, we do. I don’t share this to brag, but to inspire you and perhaps seek your support. Tomorrow, Friday, October 25, we will kick off our 3rd Annual CAN IT! Campaign, a food drive to benefit Community Cooperative Ministries and those in the community they serve. Our goal is to collect 1,000 non-perishable food items to be donated just before Thanksgiving. Last year we were honored to exceed this goal and helped many people along the way.

This isn’t just a shameless plug, however. Some of you may be wondering, what does this have to do with public relations, marketing, etc. as that’s what this blog is about. It has quite a lot to do with it in fact.

What is your company doing to help others this year? Or dare I ask, what has it ever done? Successful PeopleI wrote a post last year about giving back and the PR benefits. Helping others goes beyond making you “feel good” or providing a momentary reprieve or assistance. If you do a fund raiser, sponsor an event, do a food drive as a business these are all what we call “goodwill building opportunities.” You are showing your employees, your stakeholders, the community in which you live (which likely includes potential customers or clients) that you care and are willing to give up a little time or money for a worthy cause.

If you are in the Southwest Florida community, I would ask you to consider donating to our food drive (here’s your shameless plug), but also to consider doing something on your own too. If you are outside the Southwest Florida market, you can help others too. Maybe there’s not enough time to do it this holiday season, but now is the time to start planning for next year!

Imagine how we could change the world if we all committed to helping just one person. Happy holidays – and happy helping!

 

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By: Alex Fernandez

Internet Marketing Strategist

We’ve all probably heard the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” at least once or twice. It was popularized by a Mr. Bert Lance, Director of the Office of Management and Budget for the Carter administration of the ‘70s.

Just because it isn’t broke doesn’t mean it should remain the same, however.

Anything can be optimized, or made better. Just because something is working well, it doesn’t need to be left alone. This applies to marketing communications just as it does to a nation’s finances, or even simple consumer products.

computer evolutionTake the fan, for example, which Dyson now makes sans-blades called “Air Multipliers” in order to remove an unpleasant effect they call “buffeting”. Most people probably weren’t aware that their fans were “unpleasant” until Dyson optimized the design. Miller Genuine Draft has even optimized their beer can to provide a smoother pour, calling it the “Push Top Can.” Both products weren’t broken, but the brands optimized them to create new marketing opportunities.

It would seem that today’s trend is following the maxim, “If it ain’t broke… OPTIMIZE it!” In some ways, the constant churning of new ideas can come across as cheesy or gimmicky. However, this marketer would much prefer the risk of being gimmicky, over the risk of complacency. While there have been instances of backfire (such as “New Coke”), for the most part, a competitive market demands innovation.

Optimization by PTE

This actually ties in with what PTE does for our clients, right here in Fort Myers, Florida (and beyond). As a marketing communications firm, we are constantly optimizing our communications efforts. In my day-to-day goings-on, I’m constantly optimizing clients’ websites and content strategies. Just last month, we had a client praising us for a high return on the previous month. When awesome things like that happens, it doesn’t mean, “Good enough, you can stop now”… It means “keep pushing the boundaries, because you’re onto something!”

Optimization is what “Pushing the Envelope” stands for in a lot of ways. It involves going beyond doing “what works” and finding new, creative ways to accomplish our clients goals. Optimization also creates the best possible experience for the customer, by providing them with additional value or utility.

How can we “push the envelope” or optimize for you?

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samantha scott, apr, public relations fort myers

 

 

 

By: Samantha Scott, APR

Grand Poobah / Owner

For those of you working for national brands the question sometimes arises, “do we really need a local PR person or local PR effort?” Sometimes the answer is “no,” but sometimes the answer is “yes” and it all comes down to the scenario.

Matt Hyde, President & CEO of West Marine with Mayor Randall P. Henderson, Jr. of Fort Myers (photo credit: Vandy Major)

Matt Hyde, President & CEO of West Marine with Mayor Randall P. Henderson, Jr. of Fort Myers (photo credit: Vandy Major)

One prime example is work we did with West Marine when they opened their Fort Myers flagship store in 2012. An international brand with locations all over the country and existing presence in the Fort Myers market, their communications team sought out local public relations assistance.

Why? They understood the two primary benefits:

 

  1. Having a local PR presence means having people on hand, in the town you’re working in to handle situations as they arise – a face and person, not just a name and email address.
  2. Local PR people have local connections. We know area journalists, media outlets and the market better than any media database could ever know.

Big brands tend to have more people and often times more money to spend on communications and outreach to the markets in which they do business, but it doesn’t always mean they have the necessary, critical connections to journalists, media outlets, consumers and stakeholders that make the biggest impact. We were able to help West Marine because we could pinpoint their audience, the key media that delivered messages to that audience and facilitate other arrangements (music, venue, community participation).

Scott Fischer, CEO & Founder of Scott Fischer Enterprises with members of local media in Huntsville, AL.

Scott Fischer, CEO and Founder of Scott Fischer Enterprises with members of local media in Huntsville, AL.

Local public relations DOES matter for national brands – if they are new to a market, want to foster new relationships or, in some cases, mend relationships with consumers or media. We’ve also been called on to aid in local public relations and crisis communications for national brands when something goes awry at a specific location. In those cases, having someone who knows the surrounding circumstances, mindset of the community and its residents, but can also speak on behalf of the brand is critical.

At PTE, we work with large and small companies, local start-ups and national, even international brands. The opportunities we’ve had (and currently have) to work with national brands are all unique, but have all benefited from a strong, well connected and professional local presence. (In fact we even won awards for some of them!)

If you’re interested in gaining exposure for your national (or local) company, or just want to talk about public relations, get in touch. We’d be glad to help.

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