Category Archives: Writing Services

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.

BoyeNeedles

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.

 

 

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

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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: 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!

RockWallWishingWell
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CountryRoad

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

Father’s Day from a PR Perspective: Four Things I Learned from my Dad

Although my earliest career goals included teacher, veterinarian and newspaper reporter (like Lois Lane), looking back on it now, I was surely in training to be a Public Relations professional.  Some of that training included learning how to speak like an adult from the time I was very small, introducing people to each other when I thought it would be mutually beneficial, and finding the positive side of almost every situation.  With Father’s Day approaching,  I have to thank my Dad for teaching me four very important things that have remained essential to my professional life – I hope these nuggets will help you in yours!

 


 


1. Read, read, read!  I was fortunate to be on the receiving end of the bedtime story from day one.  That led to early reading and a never-ending reading list provided by both my parents .  They had an excellent repertoire that included the classics, great literature, history, current events and popular culture.  I followed their  lead, and still do, reading anything I can get my eyes on.  Of course, this has helped in my career- not only reading public relations-related books and journals, but extending to novels and poetry that inspire creativity. You never know what you will pick up while you are reading.

 2. Write it down! My Dad is one of the greatest unknown writers of all time.  No, he hasn’t published the Great American Novel or even the Great American short story, but he has written consistently and well his entire life.  Letters to the editor, letters to his children and grandchildren, articles in his community newspaper — all evoking deep emotions, strong opinions or family stories he prefers to write about rather than share out loud.  Yes, he’s a quiet person – but you can learn a lot from his writings.  So whether it’s a hereditary trait or something learned, writing well has always been a priority in my world.  Even though texting and tweeting are part of our everyday lives, remember to keep writing in full sentences as well.

 

3. Listen! Most of us in the field of public relations love to talk…a lot.  There’s always so much going on, so much to share, it’s hard to contain ourselves.  My Dad has always been very quiet, but a really good listener – I know that because he can repeat conversations we had 30 years ago.  I have learned from him that it’s good to let the other person talk sometimes and to really hear what they are saying.  This is especially important with our clients because we must listen intently to grasp the true meaning of their vision  – and we have to understand that vision in order to communicate it to others.  So this one is really important.

 

 

4. Embrace a strong work ethic! In my Dad’s day he came out of the army and worked for the same company for 45 years, retiring with the gold watch and everything that goes with it.  I have had three positions over the span of my career and I have read that many people can expect to change jobs an estimated seven times. No matter what your tenure is, I have learned from my Dad to perform beyond expectations, to respect deadlines and to follow up and follow through.

 

As you reflect on Father’s Day, I hope you have learned as much from your Dad as I have from mine.  Please write in and let us know what you’ve learned. Happy Father’s Day!

 

PR Reflections: Learn with ardor

Abigail Adams said, “Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”

Even more than 200 years later, her words resonate – especially in today’s world where messages and impressions continuously surge around us but  may never be absorbed nor applied.  From a public relations point of view, real learning takes place when we internalize and process information and then use it to enhance organizations’ relationships and reputations among their publics. There are five specific actions we can easily incorporate into our daily PR lives to ensure that we “learn with ardor”:

Read!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That means as much as you can of every genre. For me, the single most important way to learn is to read: newspapers, blogs, lifestyle magazines,  industry journals and novels.  Yes, novels!  (See Anne Kreamer’s Jan. 2012 blog post). You never know where the next creative idea will come from – often a single word or powerful image can open the door to a new way of thinking (if you let it!)

Listen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you ever watch the TV show, “House”?  Just when it seems that all is lost and there will be no diagnosis for the mystery illness, Dr. House grasps on to a nugget of conversation that lights up his synapses and solves the problem — lives are saved! While your results might not be as extraordinary, you can still learn a tremendous amount by truly listening to others around you.  This is your opportunity to garner knowledge from other people’s experiences and expertise, and use it to help yourself and others.

Observe!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step away from your desk and look at the world around you.  I just read a NYT article about the lost art of conversation — sad but true.  So often our heads are down, our eyes focused on our little screens, that we can miss both the simplicity of a friendly conversation and the huge, amazing things happening right in front of us. Look around and take it all in – you’ll get more out of life and have more to talk about!

Ask!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even if you’ve taken the time to listen, and lifted your head to observe, there may be still more to learn. Develop your sense of curiosity, that urge to know more, and take it to a higher level.  Ask the questions that come to mind, or look for further details online, or even walk through the doors of a library.  Take ancestry.com, for example – you can learn a great deal about your family history by visiting the website.  Even better is when the featured celebrity on “Who Do You Think You Are”  actually visit a library. That’s when they dig deeper into real documentation, perusing the archived records that bring their pasts alive and make them meaningful.

Connect!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Abigail Adams quote, connecting is the key to attending to your learning with diligence.  All those precious morsels you’ve gathered by reading, listening and observing will just float freely through your imagination if you don’t find a way to corral them and use them purposefully.  The best way we can use our information in the field of public relations is to apply our new knowledge to help someone else.  Have you read about a technology advancement that you can pass on to one of your clients to make their business run more smoothly?  Or did you hear someone discussing an upcoming seminar that would help a business associate further his/her career? Perhaps you’ve just met the perfect collaborator for your next venture — and your next learning opportunity.

What have you learned  lately that you would like to share?  We would love to hear about it here!

Looking forward to your comments.

 

Happy learning!

Phyllis

 

 

 

 

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

What Can a PR Pro Learn from Zumba?

Zumba…it’s described as an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party and today I experienced it for the first time. Since for me the lines between work and play are hopelessly blurred, I can’t help but discover important lessons in this one hour event.  As a matter of fact, there are three things I learned today… Continue reading What Can a PR Pro Learn from Zumba?

Connected to Stay Collected

As I was logging on this morning from my mountain retreat, I was thinking how grateful I am that our house is wired for wireless and how easily I can work from here when I landed on Anne Tergeson’s article in today’s WSJ.com, “When Guests Check In, Their iPhones Check Out.” I stopped what I was doing to read it, and I started thinking… Continue reading Connected to Stay Collected

Learn Something, Teach Something…Every Day

Recently, I attended an event in Fort Myers, FL called The Grande Dames Tea, The Wisdom of Age, which featured three inspiring women from our community who shared their stories and their philosophies.

One of these women was Myra Janco Daniels, founder and president of The Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, FL and The Naples Museum of Art.  She regaled us with great anecdotes and sweet memories, but one piece of advice really resonated with me.  She encouraged the audience to “Learn something every day, and teach something every day.” I have been trying to do so ever since… Continue reading Learn Something, Teach Something…Every Day