Category Archives: Online Media Management

News Peeks for Yarncrafters: Vintage Knitting Needles

Laurel Hill, the innovative, environmentally friendly source for needles, notions and accessories for passionate yarn crafters, brings back a blast from the past with their vintage Boye Balene II knitting needles.

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Thousands of knitters are nostalgic for the flexible, quiet Boye Balene II needles which are no longer in production. The good news is that they are available in limited supply at Laurel Hill (LaurelHillOnline.com).

Boye needles feature patented speed tips and perfection points designed to help prevent dropped stitches. Originally created to replace real baleen, derived from whale jawbones, Boye was the only manufacturer to achieve the comfort of real whalebone, developing needles warm to the touch, pleasant feeling and flexible. These needles quickly became very popular back in their day and since being discontinued, the few left are considered collectibles.

Laurel Hill has limited availability in selected sizes of Boye Balene II needles that have never been used and are packaged in their original sleeves for a cost of $5 per pair. For more information or to order visit www.LaurelHillOnline.com.

About Laurel Hill (LaurelHillOnline.com)

Founded more than a decade ago, Laurel Hill is an innovative, environmentally friendly company dedicated to producing the highest quality exotic handmade knitting needles, crochet hooks, and accessories at reasonable prices. Laurel Hill is a socially responsible company whose mission is to source and offer natural sustainable products from the U.S. and abroad that have a positive impact on our communities.

 

 

In Fort Myers: A Hometown Hero Brightens the Day

There are days when we can all use a ray of sunshine.  And yesterday, that ray was Vonda Chatman, a team member at PDQ in Fort Myers, Fla.   She was working inside the restaurant when suddenly a violent thunderstorm began, causing a power outage inside and flashes of lightning outside.

PDQ's CFO Nick Reader drove down from Tampa to congratulate Vonda on going above and beyond.
PDQ’s CFO and co-founder Nick Reader drove down from Tampa to congratulate Vonda on going above and beyond.

Vonda said, “It lit the whole building up and then everything just went off. I saw the lightning hit the pole. I looked over and saw the lady shaking a little and the daughter looked like she was dazed.”

A pregnant woman and her family had just left the restaurant when a bolt of lightning, strong enough to knock out power, shocked her as she was leaning against the bus stop shelter.

Without thinking of her personal safety, Vonda raced outside to offer assistance. She helped the woman and her small child back into the restaurant. The mother and child were taken to Lee Memorial Hospital.

Vonda explained, “I just kicked into mother instinct and just ran out there. I don’t care if I would’ve got shocked as long as I know they were okay. She got some medical treatment. I feel better now.”

PDQ patron Lynndy West wrote on Facebook: “Another example of PDQ team’s commitment to the community! Way to go Vonda! Amazing community partners and exceptional team members! Awesome food too!”

Vonda sharing her story during an interview with  NBC2 Fort Myers
Vonda sharing her story during an interview with NBC2 Fort Myers

Operating Director Scot Chausse was happy that everyone was okay. “Lost a little bit of power. Lost some electronics,” he said. “But we just basically saved a life. PDQ did.”

Thanks, Vonda, for bringing a little sunshine in after the storm – we are lucky to have someone like you in our community.

News Peeks from PKE: Out & About in #SWFL

PDQ guests can win “A Year of Fresh”

Guests who enjoy PDQ restaurants on 10 separate days during the month of July are eligible to win “A Year of Fresh,” gift card prizes ranging in value from $125 to $500, which can add up to free PDQ for a year.

Participation takes place online at eatPDQ.com where guests can create an account and register for the contest. They can then enter the transaction numbers on their receipts to track their visits. There are email reminders, incentives and special offers along the way.

The contest ends on July 31 and those who recorded 10 visits at any PDQ location will be entered into the drawing which will take place at a grand prize party taking place at the Gulf Coast Town Center location on Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. and at the Cleveland Ave. location on Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. Each location will announce its own winners of the Grand Prize ($500 PDQ gift card), Second Prize ($250 gift card), Third Prize ($125 gift card) and many other prizes. Those eligible for the drawing will also be entered to win a pair of round-trip airline tickets courtesy of Coca-Cola for travel within the U.S. and its territories used by Dec. 31, 2016.

For rules, regulations and other contest details visit eatPDQ.com.

 In Southwest Florida, restaurants are located at 12499 Cleveland Ave. and 17470 Ben Hill Griffin Pkwy. in Fort Myers. Restaurants are open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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Star Spangled Bonita added sparkle to July 4th!

The City of Bonita Springs’s annual Star Spangled Bonita event was a sparkling success.  Taking place at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs, the festivities began at 4 p.m. and included a kids’ amusement area, the annual old-fashioned bed race, eating contests and live entertainment from The Ben Allen Band and Railhead. The night sky lit up with a spectacular fireworks display and laser light show after dark.

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The City of Bonita Springs would like to thank the following sponsors: Gator Country and Renda Broadcasting, Bonita Springs Infiniti, Buffalo Chips, Royal Scoop, Adams Produce, The YMCA, The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs, Fitzgerald’s, Heaven Scent Flowers, The News-Press Media Group, Bonita Daily News, The Banner, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, Center for the Arts, Seminole Gulf Railway, Advanced Disposal, PKE Marketing & PR Solutions, Lee County Sheriff’s Department, Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District, iconDo Inc., Arc of Life Spinal Care, Suncoast Credit Union, Trinity Chiropractic, Hole in One Golf Carts, American House and Kinexis Chiropractic.

Restaurant news: Wacky Sunglasses at PDQ

The future’s so bright…

PDQ celebrates National Sunglasses Day

 Yes, there is an official annual National Sunglasses Day and PDQ will celebrate in style on June 29 with “Wacky Sunglasses Day.” Wacky sunglass wearers will be rewarded all day at both Fort Myers locations with a 50 percent discount off any one purchase.

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PDQ #SWFL Restaurants are located at 12499 Cleveland Ave. and 17470 Ben Hill Griffin Pkwy. in Fort Myers. Restaurants are open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

PDQ, which stands for People Dedicated to Quality, is a fast casual restaurant specializing in fresh hand-battered chicken tenders, made-to-order sandwiches, daily cut fries, hand-spun milkshakes and fresh salads with dine-in, drive thru or catering options. www.eatPDQ.com.

PKE News Briefs: Weekly Peeks from #SWFL

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA (June 4, 2015) —

Lee County Schools names PDQ Business Partner of the Year

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Team members from PDQ with their award from Lee County Schools

Fast casual restaurant PDQ was awarded Business Partner of the Year at the annual State of our Schools/Partners in Education Breakfast at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre on May 29 in Fort Myers, Fla. Gulf Coast Town Center PDQ operating director Amy Johnson accepted the award from the Lee County School District and The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools.

Since the restaurant opened last year, PDQ has become involved in the community by cooking on site at events at Three Oaks Elementary, Pinewoods Elementary and Bonita Springs Charter and Estero High School. They have donated food for Three Oaks Middle School’s open house, and provided catering for beloved coach Jeff Sommer’s memorial service at Estero High School. PDQ has also given gift cards to reward students and as recognition for faculty and staff. They also participated in Veteran’s Park Elementary Teacher Appreciation lunch.

PDQ’s Fort Myers locations are at 12499 Cleveland Ave. and 17470 Ben Hill Griffin Pkwy. in Fort Myers. www.eatPDQ.com.

Hazelden in Naples older adult program serves as model for Betty Ford Center

Originally developed by Hazelden in Naples last year, a unique program designed to treat substance abuse in older adults will be replicated by the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, CA. Both organizations are part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

The Recovery@50+ program was created at Hazelden inSouthwest Florida to treat what has been called one of the fastest growing health problems in this country: substance abuse in older adults. Addiction in older adults is estimated as high as 17% of the population.

Since the program started in November of 2013, several hundred clients have completed the Naples program with an outstanding success rate that has been noticed by other treatment centers around the country. The Betty Ford Center is collaborating with the Naples team to develop their version of the program, titled Recovery@60+ to be more in line with their demographic makeup which skews a bit older.

Brenda J. Iliff, M.A., executive director of Hazelden in Naples said, “It was exciting to see the true team effort involved with this project, making the process both meaningful and timely.”

Iliff pointed out that as baby boomers age, the rates of alcohol and drug abuse will continue to rise through the year 2020. Older adults are less likely than younger adults to recognize the need for treatment. The incidence of addiction in adults over 50 is rising because of a decreased ability to metabolize substances, greater access to drugs for pain and anxiety (physical and emotional) and combining drugs, including alcohol. These factors establish a platform for chemical use, misuse and addiction, especially since substance use issues many times mimic medical concerns, making screening and assessment more complex. The need for specialized programs to address the unique concerns of people 50 plus are key.

The close collaboration between Hazelden in Naples and the Betty Ford Center will continue through the anticipated August launch date in Rancho Mirage.

Ultimate Mosaic introduces new option for creative, social outlet

Mosaic Class
Phil & Paige LeBoutillier with their mosaic works in progress

 Wilson Lopez and Lili Gequelin, owners of Ultimate Mosaic, in Fort Myers, Fla., announced that they now offer classes in mosaic art. Participants experience two-hour sessions to learn the basics of mosaics and to create their own work of art to take home or give as a gift.

Classes are offered on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. or Saturdays from 2 to 4 p.m. with a minimum of eight people for each class. A fee of $45 includes all materials, refreshments and personalized instruction from mosaic artist Wilson Lopez.

“We are happy to offer something new and different to the community,” said Gequelin. “Perfect for date night, couples outings, girls night out and corporate events, those who have joined us so far are really having fun with their projects.”

“Our goal is to provide a new, fun creative outlet,” commented Lopez. “We may even discover someone’s hidden talent along the way who can progress along with us as the art form grows in Lee County.”

Ultimate Mosaic’s gallery and studio are located at 11400 Metro Parkway, Suite 3 in Fort Myers, Fla.

For more information on classes or the gallery visit UltimateMosaic.com or call 239-931-4649.

 

 

Life in PR: Practicing Mindfulness in the Workplace

Welcome 2015 – a New Year invites us to set new intentions, navigate a new course and improve the way we manage our personal and professional lives.  I recently saw a segment on 60 Minutes where Anderson Cooper attends a workshop on how to practice mindfulness (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mindfulness-anderson-cooper-60-minutes), a concept less about spirituality and more about concentration: the ability to quiet your mind, focus your attention on the present, and dismiss any distractions that come your way.

mindfulness

As explained in The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/opinion/sunday/the-power-of-concentration.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0) the formulation dates from the work of the psychologist Ellen Langer, who demonstrated in the 1970s that mindful thought could lead to improvements on measures of cognitive function and even vital functions in older adults.

I have enjoyed learning more about this practice, but how does one actually put it to work? For my professional life in a boutique PR firm, I would embrace the ability to occasionally quiet my mind and focus my attention on the present – and it would be amazing to improve my cognitive function – all of this would certainly benefit my clients and my business.

It would be great to occasionally quiet the mind.
With all this going on it may be a challenge to quiet the mind.

 

So after a great deal of thought on the subject, here are a few ways I am going to practice mindfulness in 2015.

 

1. Forget about multi-tasking.

After years of feeling fully confident that I can do 10 things at once — talk on the phone, email, and write my to-do list, I am saying goodbye to multi-tasking.  Let’s see what happens when I focus on one project until it comes to a natural stopping point before starting the next one. Granted there may be situations that arise somewhat suddenly, but I am going to do my best to complete one thing at a time. I will get back to you to let you know how this worked out.

2. Remember to breathe.

Even the most basic yoga classes remind you that “it’s all in the breath,” and I am going to try to take that to heart – or lungs in this case.  Would it be so crazy to stop in the middle of a late breaking news release to reflect and take a breath?  I think not – on the contrary, a moment’s pause might even improve the writing. It might offer a chance to think of a few more points to add to that media response, or to provide a client with calm advice in a crisis. Yes, you have permission to breathe.

3. Do something you love…every day.

You know the old adage about putting the oxygen mask on before you try and help someone else?  I am going to try and listen to it and to do the things that give me oxygen.  Reading, yoga and running are three activities that pump me up for the day, wake up my mind and body and improve my mood and alertness.  And talking to my long distance children by phone or Facetime simply gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling.  So instead of putting those things off due to meetings, deadlines and lack of time – I am going to try and do MORE of those things.

Watch for my upcoming blog, "Chasing Success" about Running and Business.
Running makes my life better!

I can already hear my inner Puritan sternly commanding that I steer away from this nonsense and get back to work.  But if all the experts are right, shouldn’t these steps lead to a more fulfilling, productive professional (and personal) life?  And won’t all this help me to become an even more focused and effective PR professional? There’s only one way to find out!

What are you going to do to improve your work life in 2015?

Life in PR: Lessons Learned Along a Country Road

“It’s all in the details.” A common refrain, but one that we don’t always focus on in our fast-paced, get-it-done-now PR life.  A few days ago, I started off on my favorite mountain running route on Beech Mountain, NC, the cool breeze blowing past, lush greenery whizzing by my peripheral vision.

RhododendronsAs I reached the summit of the first hill (a huge accomplishment for the FL flatlander I am), I suddenly came face to face with a large female deer (a doe, right?).  Her huge brown eyes did not even blink – she just stood still, staring at me as I slowed to a walk and got my bearings. She didn’t follow me which was a relief, since I did not have a Plan B in mind should she be in an aggressive mood.

That’s when I decided to remain at this pace, to take in my surroundings and focus on all the little things I had never seen before on this very familiar route.  Yes, it IS all in the details.  Here are three things I realized during my solitary country walk:

1. Pay attention to details now and save time later.  Yes, it’s true – no matter how much we think we can multi-task, reflecting on the here and now and mentally recording information for later use is proven to be more productive in the long run. Rushing inevitably leads to mistakes, omissions and unsatisfying results.

2. Reflect upon how smaller elements add up to the big picture.  If you are always looking 10 steps ahead and only achieving a “macro” view, you are less likely to plan a logical course from point A to point B.  Allow yourself to understand the steps you need to take to reach your goal and the more equipped you will be to replicate the experience later, and to explain to your client or boss how you achieved the desired result.

3. Enjoy the experience and become more creative.  I know, you’ve heard it a million times in many different ways – “be present,” ” be in the moment,” “be mindful” – but did you ever really try to do it?  It’s not easy, but let’s face it – for most of us in PR, life/work is pretty fun (except when you’re dealing with a crisis).  We have the opportunity to build relationships, to participate in community, and to be creative – whether it’s for traditional marketing materials or online content.  You will be surprised how just a few minutes out of your usual routine can result in some of your most extraordinary “wow” moments.

Try it today -whether you are on a mountain, near a beach or in proximity to busy city streets, get out, take a walk and notice what is around you. You may be surprised, you may be delighted, and best of all, you may be inspired.

 

Let me know what you find out there!

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The PR Life: One Perfect Work Day

Under the category “better late than never,” I decided to spend one whole work day following the rules I have been reading about for years.  And you know what?  This stuff really works – I had a delightfully fulfilling and creative day.  And all it took was listening to expert advice and acting accordingly!  Here’s what I did: Continue reading The PR Life: One Perfect Work Day

From the PR Perspective: 5 Highlights of the Perfect Relationship

If you are in the business of marketing and/or public relations, you understand the value of building and nurturing relationships.

For most of us, five to seven years is the average longevity of the client/PR practitioner engagement — businesses change and grow, people move on and circumstances change. It’s always a little sad, but new opportunities come along and we begin anew.  For my practice, the best example is a client whom I have worked with for more than 11 years…a PR “love story” of sorts that started before the company’s birth and ends now more than a decade later as the company finalizes its sale to a larger corporate entity.

Continue reading From the PR Perspective: 5 Highlights of the Perfect Relationship

New Year, New Day, New Ideas

Starting a New Year opens the door to a fresh start, but in the world of public relations, we are always on the cusp of something new, no matter what the calendar says.  To remain valuable to our clients, we must always be among the first to gather, process and present new information – seeking out what is relevant, helpful and informative should be second nature.  And that’s what I love about this profession… Continue reading New Year, New Day, New Ideas