The City of Orlando Leads The Way in LGBTQ+ Inclusion

By: Veronica Figueroa Fernandez, PRSA Orlando Diversity & Inclusion Chair

Last year was a banner year for the LGBTQ+ community in the city of Orlando and throughout Central Florida. Not only did Orlando receive a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, a nationwide evaluation of equality in municipal laws, but Orange County adopted the city of Orlando’s resolution to better integrate with certified LGBTQ-owned businesses in Central Florida. 

For Orlando, showing its support to the LGBTQ+ community is not just an act of civic responsibility. According to Felipe Sousa Matos Rodriguez, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Senior Specialist for the City of Orlando, supporting LGBTQ-owned businesses is an important economic development strategy. 

“The City of Orlando is a city for everyone and we are proud of our diversity. [The LGBTQ+ community] is the backbone of our economic growth,” he said. “The goal of our diversity program is to support minority, women, and now LGBTQ-owned businesses by giving them educational opportunities and exposure to potential contracts.”

With this resolution, Orlando recognizes the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s certification process which certifies that LGBTQ+ individuals own at least 51 percent of a business, tracks the city’s contracts and spending with certified LGBTQ-owned businesses, and commits to increased outreach with the Pride Chamber, Orlando’s local chapter of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. 

“Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Orlando City Council truly believe in making sure that our residents have equal opportunity to thrive in our city,” Rodriguez added. “This is yet another clear example of how the City Beautiful leads the way in Florida. Our message to LGBTQ+ business owners is simple – the City of Orlando wants to do business with you.” 

Cities across the nation have given underrepresented minority groups an opportunity to land public contracts. Now there is an effort to include LGBTQ-owned businesses in that process. Felipe Sousa Matos Rodriguez shared with us the value of becoming an LGBTQ-certified business in Orlando and marketing tips for businesses and their allies. 

What are the benefits of becoming a certified LGBTQ+ business owner? 

Felipe: “The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce offers a network of over 200 corporate and government partners seeking to do business with LGBTQ-owned businesses. They also have more than 1,000 certified businesses ranging from technology to professional services and newly-certified businesses will have full access to this incredible network. Additionally, the LGBTQ+ community spends $917 billion annually, and 75% of these individuals are likely to buy brands that are LGBTQ+ inclusive. The certification can lead to greater business exposure and greater appeal to consumers looking to spend money on businesses known for welcoming and inclusive nature.”

How many LGBTQ+ owned businesses does the city of Orlando have? What industries are represented? 

Felipe: “As we are only able to track the businesses that choose to get certified, we don’t have a definitive number of how many LGBTQ-owned businesses there are. We estimate that there are hundreds in Orlando and the surrounding area, if not more. Businesses who get certified are usually business-to-business because of the benefits involved, and a majority of our local LGBTQ-owned businesses are directed to consumers. Some of the industries represented are hospitality, professional services, technology, construction, and real estate, to name a few. 

Whether they make delicious treats like the ones sold at Se7en Bites or provide incredible event pictures like the ones taken by J.D. Casto Photography, our LGBTQ+ community is thriving with innovation. We encourage all LGBTQ+ owners to get certified. Our local Pride Chamber is happy to help anyone interested in the process.”

What are your best marketing tips for businesses that want to identify as LGBTQ-owned or friendly? 

Felipe: “The typical LGBTQ+ consumer is very engaged and they never forget positive inclusionary steps taken by large corporations or small businesses. Businesses seeking to attract them as patrons should consider financially supporting local LGBTQ+ nonprofits, sponsoring LGBTQ+ events, and placing ads in their local LGBTQ+ publications. Other steps could include using symbols such as the rainbow and transgender flags inside their business and creating nondiscrimination policies to protect their LGBTQ+ employees from workplace discrimination.”

What does Pride mean to you? 

Felipe: “As an immigrant and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, there is never a day that goes by that I don’t reflect on the meaning of ‘pride.’ When I first came out my mother did not accept me and when I moved to the United States, I learned firsthand the obstacles faced by immigrants. These experiences shaped who I am today and I believe they made me stronger. I am grounded in our long history as a community and our fight for equal rights. Pride is not just a month of the year; it is our collective commitment to continue working towards a world where children won’t have to experience discrimination or family rejection. We come from a long line of leaders who fought before us. It is our duty to continue their legacy. Pride is walking in our neighborhoods, holding our loved one’s hand and hoping that one day that won’t be a sign of courage, but simply a display of love. I chose to work under the visionary leadership of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Commissioner Patty Sheehan because they truly believe in inclusion. They have never shied away from doing the right thing for our community, even when it wasn’t popular. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity and we are working hard to make sure our LGBTQ+ residents have a voice in their local government.”

Orlando’s inclusive policies date back to the 1973 non-discrimination ordinance. Since then, it has been at the forefront of LGBTQ+ inclusion. The city became the first government agency in Central Florida to create a domestic partnership registry in 2011; enforced City and Federal laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations; supported multiple local LGBTQ+ organizations such as the Zebra Coalition and the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida; created programs in support of LGTBQ+ youth; and provided resources for those affected by the Pulse tragedy; among many other initiatives, you can learn about here

Through their inclusive efforts, Orlando has paved the way in advancing LGBTQ+ acceptance and, in turn, has attracted new businesses to the area and helped their bottom line. PRSA Orlando has a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, and we believe that efforts such as the ones taken by the City of Orlando are essential to creating a thriving culture of belonging. 

President’s Letter: June 2020

Pandemic, Protests and Public Relations

As a global pandemic continues to impact us and we begin to show some 

signs of recovery, we have yet to recover from what divides us. We have seen peaceful protests and calls for change, as well as unrest, grip our nation in the past week. Some very close to home.

I do not pretend to know what it is like, but I do hope for peace. Forgiveness. Resolution. 

I do not pretend to know the answers, but I do know as public relations practitioners we know the power of communication — written, verbal and non-verbal. But not communication just to talk, but to listen, to understand. We need to be open. Raw. Honest. And we need to take action. 

We hear the pleas for justice and we cannot be silent. We need to communicate. Embrace our differences. Champion diversity, inclusion, equity, and equality regardless of thought, cultures, disciplines, ideals, gender, disabilities, sexual orientation and age.

PRSA Orlando proudly stands united with our Black members, colleagues and friends. Communicators — let’s do what we do and make a difference. Together. Change the world for now and for future generations. It begins with you. With me.

PRSA Chair T. Garland Stansell, APR, challenges us in his letter to members that although “communicators cannot single-handedly change the tide in our country, we can be a conduit to lead others to acknowledge the importance of using their voices in constructive ways — ways that help to move us through these troubling times and beyond to become better individually and as a society.” 

We are challenged to use our voices to stand for those who are hurt and frustrated. Now, more than ever, we also need to listen to those voices to help guide us in our action so that we may continue to further diversity, inclusion and civility in our organization.

We’re still in conversation as a board to figure out the best way to support, and we welcome feedback from our members. Please reach out if you would like to share ways in which our organization can serve. 

Rich Donley, APR
2020 President, PRSA Orlando Regional Chapter
rdonley@mccicorp.com
407-347-9675

Key Takeaways From Adweek’s Diversity & Inclusion Summit

By: Veronica Figueroa Fernandez, PRSA Orlando Diversity & Inclusion Chair

Adweek’s inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Summit, brought thirteen chief marketing officers and brand leaders from top global organizations together for a virtual event to discuss how diversity, inclusion, equality and equity are growth drivers across all business sectors. 

Diversity and inclusion in business and marketing are often pushed to the sidelines during times of crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic, but these brand leaders agreed that now is the time to double down on those efforts and find ways to creatively and meaningfully engage with underrepresented communities. 

Continue reading to see how some of the featured speakers at the summit are creating more inclusive workplaces and navigating D&I in their business and marketing strategies, and the takeaways you can incorporate into your own practices. 

Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at P&G

Marc’s thoughts on the COVID-19 crisis: 

“During these times of crisis, diversity and inclusion, and equality in general, take a step back. The people who have been historically discriminated against tend to suffer disproportionately. What is distressing about it is that the very people who are marginalized are those working in the frontlines, such as women, African Americans, Hispanic Americas, Asian Pacific Americans, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.”

Marc’s thoughts on implementing D&I in business and marketing: 

“Don’t wait for anybody. If you’re not doing multicultural marketing in the US, you’re not doing marketing. Get your company to embrace D&I. If they don’t, leave.”

How P&G has taken action: 

“We recognized very quickly that many groups of people did not have access to the most basic of products, so we pivoted our annual relief efforts to COVID-19 relief efforts to make sure that we were supplying families in need, focusing on the hardest hit communities.”

Key Actions You and Your Company Can Take:

  • Refuse to snap back to what and who is familiar, and instead step forward on equality and inclusion.
  • Restart equal. Hire equal. Pay equal. Share equal.
  • Join forces to be a force for good. Don’t admire the problem, shine the light on it.

Antonio Lucio, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Facebook

Antonio’s thoughts on the COVID-19 crisis: 

“We need to make sure that diversity and inclusion isn’t one of the casualties of this pandemic. There is a need to accelerate progress, and I am worried that things will go back to square one, which will not work moving forward. The business case has proven time and time again that diverse teams perform better, and as roles continue to be cut or furloughed, we need to keep diversity and inclusion at the forefront.”

Antonio’s thoughts on implementing D&I in business and marketing: 

“Everyone likes to talk about the nice part of D&I, but it is hard. It is supposed to be hard. When you have a diverse group of people bringing different experiences, it is going to create some friction, but unless you’re willing to look at someone in the eye and accept the fact that their thinking is going to make your campaign better and move the company forward, then talking about D&I means nothing.”

How Facebook has taken action: 

From the beginning of the global health crisis, Facebook has been supporting the global health community’s work to keep people safe and informed by providing factual information in all six United Nations languages (English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish), among other efforts.

Key Actions You and Your Company Can Take:

  • Stay vigilant and address inequality head on.
  • Keep measuring your progress.
  • Take action.

Diego Scotti, Chief Marketing Officer at Verizon

Diego’s thoughts on implementing D&I in business and marketing: 

“Cannes was cancelled this year, and when the organizers put out their statement, they said that the creative community wouldn’t be able to put forward the work that would set the benchmark because of the circumstances. I would say that many brands are putting out some of the most meaningful, purpose-driven and diverse work at this time.”

How Verizon has taken action: 

“We are very focused on Pride month, but this year the parades won’t be there. We decided to launch a virtual campaign in June called “Voices of Pride,” that’ll amplify and promote the stories of that community.”

Additionally, Scotti touched on adfellows, a diverse and inclusive fellowship program created by Verizon designed to help individuals break into marketing and advertising. “Bringing all of these voices together to tell their stories… is the best way that we can keep moving forward.”

Key Actions You and Your Company Can Take:

  • Collaborate.
  • Help each other.
  • Champion outside-the-box thinking.

Claudia Romo Edelman, Founder of We Are All Human

Claudia’s thoughts on implementing D&I in business and marketing: 

“The Hispanic community is disproportionately affected and equipped. Many of them do not have enough information on the coronavirus pandemic because it is not being correctly translated or it is not reaching them. Now is not the time to stop engaging with this market. This is the time in which you have to increase representation in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes, and let us know that you see us. The Hispanic community is loyal and they want to see you champion and invest in their community.”

How We Are All Human has taken action: 

We Are All Human’s Hispanic Star Response & Recovery Plan has provided a resource directory and a marketplace for talent and services during the pandemic. They, along with their corporate partners, have also provided necessary resources such as food and routers to underserved communities.

Key Actions You and Your Company Can Take:

  • Maintain or increase your ad spend in the Hispanic market.
  • Support Hispanics as employees, consumers, and community.
  • Hire, promote, retain and celebrate Hispanics within your workplace.

Cynthia Chen, GM and President of Consumer Health at RB

Cynthia’s thoughts on the COVID-19 crisis: 

“There has been a lot of stigma toward the Asian community. When you think about the United States, the word ‘united’ stands out, but it has felt very divisive. It is 2020, and this is not acceptable. What our leaders say has a huge impact on their audience, and as a brand we have the unique responsibility to spread the truth.”

Key Actions You and Your Company Can Take:

  • Involve the community.
  • Build coalitions beyond Asian Americans.
  • Provide utility – empathy is not sufficient, utility is critical. It is about the lives and livelihoods of our people.

Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO at GLAAD

Sarah’s thoughts on implementing D&I in business and marketing: 

“Include LGBTQ+ people in your ads because it really does move the needle and drive acceptance and policy that supports that community.”

“When you market to a marginalized community, make sure that your company understands D&I and that there is an inclusive culture in your organization. You are not just marketing, you are joining a movement and that means more than putting a rainbow on a product. That means that we need you to stand up for us, and we will expect you to do so. There are going to be missteps. Don’t let fear stop you. The most important thing is the intention, that you’re looking to embrace and engage with a marginalized community, not just make a dollar from them.”

Key Actions You and Your Company Can Take:

  • Don’t just market to our community. Join our movement.
  • When done right, LGBTQ+ inclusion in ads is good for your bottom line and can also advance LGBTQ+ acceptance.
  • Ensure trusted experts from the community are brought in on your ad or campaign.

Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient

Marc’s thoughts on the COVID-19 crisis: 

“One of the things that is very clear is that today, in this moment of crisis, D&I and equality for all is a business imperative. We are seeing the gender and racial gaps widen, and if we don’t activate change consciously we will widen the gap. This is our opportunity to get rid of junk and bring forward the positives. Look at the things during this crisis that have led to creativity and equity. Let’s not rewrite history, let’s create our future together. Shut that door and bring open a new one in advancing women and equality.”

Key Actions You and Your Company Can Take:

  • Create metrics that matter and hold yourself accountable.
  • Ensure you are not only filling your pipeline with diversity, but are also mapping the pathway for success.
  • Life stage accommodations to ensure you attract and retain the best talent, not just the available talent.

Bozoma Saint John, Chief Marketing Officer at William Morris Endeavor

Marc’s thoughts on current events: 

“What are we doing? Are we going to keep having these nice conversations about diversity and inclusion and expect something to change? We need to ensure that this conversation doesn’t stop with hashtags.”

“I challenge us to be uncomfortable having the conversation. Don’t sit by—when you’re quiet your silence is a weapon too. We can’t have nice conversations anymore. I want everyone to be enraged like I am enraged. I am an angry black woman today—and I want you to be too.”

Key Actions You and Your Company Can Take:

  • Be enraged.
  • Be enraged.
  • Be enraged.

Stephanie Buscemi, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Salesforce

Stephanie’s thoughts on implementing D&I in business and marketing: 

“Business is a platform for change. Businesses have a responsibility to give back and create change.”

“Instead of creating a separate team that audits things for inclusivity, it’s in the DNA of the company.”

“Tell the stories of underrepresented communities. You cannot be what you cannot see.”

How Salesforce has taken action: 

In 2014, Salesforce launched Trailhead, a series of free online tutorials that coach beginner and intermediate developers who need to learn how to code for the Salesforce platform, with the goal of driving the creation of nearly 3.3 million new jobs by 2022. Through Trailhead, Salesforce hopes to attract more women and minorities and other diverse audiences to the software world.

Key Actions You and Your Company Can Take:

  • Amplify diverse stories and hear across your community.
  • Scale globally, while providing your community with the tools to mount their own local campaigns.
  • Educate your entire organization on the need for deeper structural changes that value all of us.

Jason White, Chief Marketing Officer at Curaleaf

Jason’s thoughts on implementing D&I in business and marketing: 

“The cannabis industry has been built on the backs of people in jail, and as the industry flourishes, a lot of these folk are not allowed to participate. There is a stigma attached to this industry that needs to change. How do we allow people to participate in this industry and honor the communities and the people who have been marginalized?”

“If we’re going to be part of change, we have to make it part of our business model.”

Key Actions You and Your Company Can Take:

  • Send a message – hold recruiters accountable for DE&I (diversity, equity & inclusion).
  • Shine a light – invite us to the community of normalcy, while requiring the same accountability and transparency.
  • Change the narrative – encourage careers in cannabis and don’t perpetuate the cannabis stigma.

If you weren’t able to make the summit, you can catch the recordings here. The original and extended version of this blog post appeared on Laughing Samurai

Afternoon Coffee Break Idea Swap Recap

We held our second “Coffee Break Idea Swap” on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. We had nearly 20 members on the virtual meeting and discussed a variety of topics. Here’s a summary of what was covered.

Media Relations 

Question: What advice do you have for explaining to the CEO that some stories are still media worthy during this COVID-19 era? 

  • The media is hungry for feel-good and community stories to counteract negative headlines. An example is the success Joe Culotta has had highlighting volunteers during this time with their virtual luminary campaign
  • Continue to use tried and true techniques—regular pitching works if it is timely. 
  • Newsrooms were already slim, but are now even more so. Remember to let your newsroom contacts know you understand their needs (and pain) and become a resource to help them better do their job. One way to do so is to pitch relevant topics or tailor your pitch to current issues. 
  • Keep in mind, many papers are furloughing or significantly reducing hours, so some reporters may not be working a regular schedule. Timeliness is key and have source availability ready when you pitch so you can schedule interviews on the spot.
  • Because they are already stretched so thin, when you pitch a story to a journalist or broadcast outlet make sure to provide video and image assets. 
  • Monitor what is happening and build trust with your CEO (and external clients). “Be the umbilical cord for the client” and feed them the types of stories that are being covered and what types of stories would be appropriate for the corporation or client.  
  • When communicating during a crisis, you need to have options for different scenarios and situations because things change quickly, so don’t rely on one scenario and be ready to update your pitch based on the latest information. 
  • While email is still the preferred method for reaching journalists and many agree that it has been successful, social media is another tool to reach out to media contacts. Many are overwhelmed with email or aren’t getting calls to their office numbers, so social media is a great way to build a relationship with media contacts. One great tool is Twitter Messaging. Facebook Groups is another tool to look for building relationships with media contacts. Reporters are on social media as much as the rest of us and picking up their ideas there, too. One practitioner has had success reaching journalists through discussion threads on mommy groups and another posted content in three or four “farm to table” Facebook groups which popped up as a result of the media. 

Webinar Marketing

Questions: What advice do practitioners have for marketing webinars to key audiences and charging for them?  Rosen College is offering a webinar to alumni, but wondering if it makes sense to broaden the audience? What are others charging for webinars? 

  • Depending on the purpose of the webinar, if it is for retraining, then focusing on offering to alumni for free is an excellent benefit to alumni who may be in need right now. If it is meant for branding or lead generation, it might be good to open it up to a wider audience of potential students. 
  • Consider charging for non-alumni or non-members and consider giving discounts to target groups. 

Working from Home Tips

  • Block the bottom of glass doors so your dog doesn’t bark whenever somebody walks or drives by.
  • When doing phone meetings, consider taking a walk. Some have found walking meetings very helpful. 
  • Take a break at lunch and get some fresh air!
  • Don’t neglect your self-care. Work out, spend time with your family, eat well. Find your simple joys. It’s too easy to become “on” 24/7 right now, working before sun up and well past sundown… but don’t.
  • Build in some discipline to leave your phone and computer behind after the work day, get enough sleep. Take care of yourself, go outside and walk with your dog.
  • Be intentional about when to turn on and off; when your priorities aren’t in order everything suffers. 
  • Manage expectations of your family, bosses and clients. Be sure to let them all know when you are available… and when you aren’t. Set up some boundaries and let your colleague know that you will be unavailable after a certain time. 

Job Search Support

  • Check PRSA Orlando job board and PRSA National JobCenter.
  • Keep networking. 
  • Stay as flexible as you can, if that means you sidestep into a job that isn’t QUITE PR, or take advantage of this time to update your resume, learn some new technology and fill in the blanks with things you haven’t had time to do. 
  • Consider writing some articles on LinkedIn to be top of mind. Recruiters are still  very active on LinkedIn right now and your keywords will help their search. 
  • UCF is offering a few free basic classes right now – like “creating WordPress sites” that could help add to your skillset.
  • Create a website and/or blog showcasing your work and writing.

Internal Communications/Transitioning Back to the Office

Question: How are others managing internal COVID-19 communications when we are getting mixed messages from political leaders and scientists? What does going back to work look like (provide face masks, hand sanitizer, what’s crossing the line)? And, we have to consider the environment where kids are not going back to school and don’t have access to summer camps…

  • The biggest challenge is making sure our workspace is safe and avoid lawsuits in the future. When is or isn’t it safe to come back to work and can employees continue to work from home if they wish? 
  • Twitter announced they’re allowing their team members to work from home forever! Well, the employees that are able to do their jobs remotely. Which really helps with parents with kids who aren’t in school. Perhaps this will influence many other companies. 
  • Stefanie Macfarlane, who works with attorneys at RumbergerKirk, noted that there are protections for workers with health conditions and parents who lack childcare that those employees can be accommodated to work from home, or in cases where they cannot, qualify for unemployment, but if an employee refuses to go back to work because they are afraid, they may lose their job. According to Employment and Labor Attorney Linda Bond Edwards, “Most importantly, workplaces should pay particular attention to guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Department of Labor and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other entities that regulate workplace issues. The EEOC has prepared a question and answer document (“What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws”) that answers most employer questions.

President’s Letter: May 2020

Resilience. Reconnection. Reinvention.

Among all the negativity and “noise” in the world, I continue to be inspired by the selfless acts of kindness and coming together (virtually). There is resilience, reconnection and reinvention.

Despite the pain and loss, altered lives, fear and uncertainties of what’s to come, we are coming out of this not only changed, but also stronger. Life will not be normal as we once knew it. It will be a “different normal.” What did we discover (or re-discover)? What have we learned? What will we do differently going forward?

As communicators, the coronavirus has continued to put the spotlight on communications, albeit taking different forms than what we might have been accustomed to. But we are resilient and know how to reinvent ourselves, since we are used to the only constant: change. 

Some of you have noted how you now have earned a seat at the C-suite table. Your value has been there, but now it’s front and center and getting accolades. You should be proud of continuing to make a difference for your companies, organizations, clients and communities despite the uncertainty. I look forward to seeing your award-winning programs and learning from them.

Do you know a member who deserves kudos? Share them with us. Do you have good news to share? Share them on Good News Fridays on our Facebook page!

Thank you to those who completed our Communicating in Crisis survey. See this newsletter, our website and social media channels for other upcoming programs, professional development and networking opportunities. Be sure to register for our upcoming virtual programs:

  • May 12, 4 p.m.“Afternoon Coffee Break Idea Swap” is a chance for members and non-members to grab a cup of coffee and join us for a virtual conversation (FREE). We had so much fun and received positive feedback from our first one last month that we’re doing it again. We will be moderating the Zoom conversation, sharing pro-tips and exchanging ideas for solutions on hot topics.
  • May 21, 8:30 a.m. –  “Coming Together for Good in the Midst of Crisis,” with presenter Heather Morgan, APR, VP of Brand & Communications at Children’s Home Society of Florida. Learn practical tips to help your own organization or clients prepare for and respond to crises, motivate and engage staff at all levels, reach audiences with the right message during pivotal times, and appropriately position your organization. Free for members; $15 for non-members.

Thank you for all you do! Stay healthy. Stay safe! If you have questions or ideas, please contact me directly.

Rich Donley, APR

2020 President, PRSA Orlando Regional Chapter

PRSA Coffee Break Idea Swap

We held our first Coffee Break Idea Swap on Thursday, April 23. There were about 20 members who joined the virtual meeting and we covered a number of topics. Here’s a recap of what we discussed.

Media Interviews/Press Conference Tips: 

  • When using Zoom or other video conferencing for a press conference or large group, begin the meeting with everyone on mute and have them send questions through chat. You can call on people and unmute them for question/discussion. It’s helpful to have someone moderate the chat to point out things to the moderator (via text or whatever is efficient) that he/she may miss due to hosting. 
  • Facebook Live is a great tool for interacting with audiences. 

Translation of Important Information: 

  • Remember to translate, especially during a crisis. It’s important to communicate in all of the languages of your audience. 

Video Chat Tips:

  • Camera/Blocking: Make sure the lens is as close to eye level as possible. Background should be relevant or interesting, but not distracting. 
  • Lighting: Have light on the subject’s face, not the back. Can be window light or lamp (but don’t sit in front of a window). Light on the eyes is important in how the subject will be viewed. 
  • Mic: use a mic, can be a headset, or your headphones from iphone, just don’t broadcast from the laptop. 
  • Remember to speak to the camera rather than the screen.

Making a Quick Video for Social? Here Are Some Free Tools: 

  • Adobe Spark and Camtasia

Event Cancelations: 

  • Many are moving events to the fall, October/November, but even still there is no definitive point when we can be certain that it is safe or people will feel comfortable with large crowds. 
  • As we plan for events in late summer or fall, many are looking at physical changes that may need to be made to accommodate social distancing measures or consider virtual options. 

Work From Home Tips: 

Decompress at the end of the day – step away from your work station –here are some ideas that were shared: 

  • Take a walk to clear your mind and get fresh air.
  • Enjoy some afternoon tea or coffee break. 
  • Change your view and work on your patio if you can. 
  • Go outside to play with your dog.
  • Put on your calendar the things you are doing that takes you away from work, like schedule your yoga, etc. With WFH, everyone thinks you’re always available. 
  • Cooking can be therapeutic and a nice way to take a break from work. 
  • Take shifts with your spouse with the kids.
  • Make a schedule for the kids (and yourself too).
  • Remind yourself and your team that you still need to take vacation time, even if you have nowhere to go. You need to find opportunities to break away.

Communicating/Handling Email While Working From Home: 

  • Email Management – email is out of control for some of us. While you may just want to delete a lot of them, many offices have moved to tools (chat and project management) for quick questions and conversations: Slack, Trello, Microsoft Teams (internal communications), Monday.com and Wrike. 
  • One participant says she prefers Slack over email to communicate with organizations and welcomes Microsoft Teams over more email. 
  • Look for unique ways to reach out to people as email may not be the best way to reach people right now.
  • Monday.com is easy to tag people with tasks and keep projects separated. One participant said she uses it for freelance clients and projects and it cuts down on email. 

Communicating with Compassion and Standing Out from the Clutter During a Pandemic: 

  • Produce thought leadership content to break through the clutter. 
  • Host Virtual Roundtables for our clients with others in their industry so they can discuss best practices with peers. 
  • Remember that client/brand contacts are human beings, too. Don’t make every communication about work. Check on how they and their families are doing.
  • Consider video requests or send fun e-cards. 
  • Bring clients together and facilitate the conversation as we talk to a variety of organizations and hear more than they may be hearing. 
  • Omni Productions (Orlando) will be offering a free recording session in their studios during the month of May for Central Florida organizations as their way of giving back to the community.

Going Back to Work (in the office)—What are your companies planning at this time? 

While there are still a lot of unknowns about when or how we are going back to work, here’s what some shared: 

  • Be part of the conversation about bringing employees back to work to ensure we are helping communicate concerns and processes. 
  • Going “back to work” will be very gradual and different depending on the organization. Many are looking at what changes will need to be done in the office environment and how many people will be in the office at one time. 
  • Properties are looking at downsizing scenarios as many companies may choose to keep employees remote as it saves money for less office space and is good for the environment. 
  • On the flip side, some employees will want to go back to the office as many extroverts thrive in that environment. 
  • For all the advances in technology we’ve made and by becoming more accepting of WFH, in-person communication is still so important. Though our new world will be much different in the coming months, a return to in-person engagement will be important.

The Importance Of Translating & Transcreating Your Marketing Campaigns

By: Veronica Figueroa Fernandez, PRSA Orlando Diversity & Inclusion Chair

We live in a globalized society, and while it feels like we are all interconnected, it is easy to forget that cultures and traditions vary from place to place. When developing a multicultural marketing strategy, it is important to have content properly adapted into the language being used in the target markets because content that resonates with readers in one market may miss the mark in another. 

Spanish is the second most common language in the United States, with around 20 percent of the population in Florida speaking Spanish at home. That is an estimated three million people. After Spanish, Haitian Creole is the third most commonly spoken language in the state of Florida. The United States has a growing Hispanic population of more than 59 million people who are projected to reach a collective buying power of $1.7 trillion in 2020. Investing in quality translations for marketing to the U.S. Hispanic market is not just smart; it makes good business sense. Do you really want to leave that much of the population untouched by your messaging? 

Poor translations can hurt your business and can potentially hurt the integrity of your brand, or cause a loss of revenue. In 2009, HSBC Bank invested millions of dollars in an advertising campaign in which they translated their tagline “Assume nothing” in their target countries. However, the translation came across as “Do Nothing,” and it cost HSBC $10 million to fix the issue. They eventually changed their slogan to “The World’s Private Bank.” 

Avoid Machine Translation

While services such as Google Translate and Babel Fish are easy and simple to use, their results are often inaccurate. Sure, using the service while on an overseas adventure might help you have a simple conversation with someone, but because machine translation is literal, it translates text without applying any human intelligence to the translation. For many marketers on a budget, Google Translate is an attractive translation tool because there isn’t a cost attached to use it. And while machine translation can save you money upfront, the resulting lack of engagement on campaigns and social media posts with potential and existing customers coupled with the drops in conversion creates a false economy.

Your audience can tell you’ve used Google Translate. According to an analysis by Politico in early 2019, every Democratic candidate for U.S. president had significant spelling mistakes on their Spanish websites and some of the pages even read as if they were directly plugged into Google Translate. Despite their good intentions to represent and resonate with the Latino electorate, the errors produced the opposite effect, prompting Spanish speakers to question how seriously the candidates were vying for their vote. 

Know Your Audience and Their Culture

When translating content, it is important to understand your audience, their values and their culture. As an example, there will be distinct variations in vocabulary and speech between Spanish-speaking countries. Because there are about 10 major Spanish dialects, and that Spanish is the main language spoken in 20 sovereign states, one territory, and a common language in the U.S., messaging tailored to a Mexican audience might not necessarily make sense to a Puerto Rican or a U.S. Hispanic market. It is crucial to your campaign’s success to knowing exactly who you are producing the translation for. 

Translate VS. Transcreate

Very often, marketers use the words “translate” and “transcreate” interchangeably, and while both are common language service options, there is a subtle variation between the terms. Rather than a word-for-word translation, some of your marketing campaigns will need transcreation – the adaption of content while maintaining the existing tone, intent, essence and style of the original message to resonate with the intended international audience. In order for your campaign to find success, it must be tackled by a linguist who can inject their own creativity, authenticity, and cultural knowledge.

Increasing your sales strategically through transcreated content and campaigns can drive brand recognition in new markets. Back in the 1980s, car manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors launched the Mitsubishi Pajero SUV, named after the Pampas cat, but it had to swiftly change the name of the model to the less suggestive Mitsubishi Montero for Spanish-speaking markets. 

When introducing urBeats to the French market, headphone manufacturer Beats by Dre hired a translation service to develop a French slogan for the product. The literal translation of its English slogan, “Made to take a beating,” did not make sense to French consumers. The team came up with the slogan, “Conçus pour résister à tous les tempos” (“Made to resist all tempos”), a play on the French phrase, “Conçus pour résister à tous les temps” (“Made to resist all weather conditions”), which resonated with the market. 

Final Thoughts

At the simplest level, businesses and brands taking educated risks are often the ones attracting the attention and resonating with a wider audience. Whether you’re looking to translate or transcreate an upcoming marketing campaign, keep in mind the tips discussed and remember that being daring and creative can play an important part in your multicultural marketing strategy. If adapting your content to Spanish or another language is not something you have the ability to do in-house, please visit our chapter directory on the MyPRSA portal to connect with local agencies with those capabilities. 

Resources for COVID-19

As COVID-19 presents new challenges for communication professionals, we have compiled a collection of local and national resources to assist during this time. This collection includes online learning tools, informative research and communications tips. 

News and Updates: 

Free On-Demand Webinars: 

Virtual Events and Live Webinars: 

Articles and More: 

You can also find helpful resources on PRSA’s Crisis Communications Resources page.

April is APR Month

April is APR Month — but APR Month has nothing to do with Annual Percentage Rates. A second, less recognized, definition for APR is Accreditation in Public Relations.

In the world of communication professionals, Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) is a credential earned by public relations practitioners who commit to the profession through ethical practices and sound judgment, strategic perspectives, knowledge of best practices and the use of the research planning-implementation-evaluation (RPIE) process.

Unlike other professions (e.g., physicians and attorneys), the field of public relations does not require licensure or certification to practice the craft. But it does require expertise, knowledge and training to be a successful and strategic public relations professional and counselor. The decision to pursue the APR is both personal and professional.

So why should a company or organization care if its public relations employees have earned their APR?

Accreditation is a mark of distinction. The APR is earned through a rigorous process. Practitioners are required to present their knowledge to Accredited peers for review. This is followed by a comprehensive examination that tests candidates’ knowledge of the field. Perhaps most importantly, the credential signifies an understanding and commitment to a Code of Ethics, and ability to think and plan at the strategic level.

In today’s business climate, it is critical that an organization’s public relations function adheres to ethics. The complexities associated with technology, societal change and instantaneous news make ethics more important than ever as the profession matures.

As evidenced in a recent study completed by faculty at Baylor University*, Accredited public relations practitioners possess more confidence in providing ethical counsel to senior leadership than their non-Accredited peers. In today’s business climate, a solid understanding of ethics is critical to an organization’s success.

The public relations field has moved far beyond the stereotype of spin doctors and press agents of the 20th century. Today’s PR practitioners play a vital role in reputation management, crisis communications and issues management. A seasoned public relations pro operates at the strategic level, focusing on target audiences and measurable results, not just flashy media coverage and publicity tactics.

But how do companies and organizations know they are hiring the right person? The APR credential signifies that a professional possesses the competence necessary to operate at a strategic and ethical level in an increasingly complex communications world. Hiring managers and clients who choose Accredited public relations professionals know that they have chosen competent individuals committed to providing strategic and insightful advice and counsel.

Questions about APR? Mimi Flatley, APR — mflatley@tcco.com and Laura Lord-Blackwell, APR — laura.lord@ocfl.net are here to help.

President’s Letter: April 2020

We’re All in this Together

 

I hope this finds you healthy and safe. We all have been personally impacted by COVID-19. 

We have experienced lost lives, sickness, unemployment, pay cuts, business loss, increased workloads and stress. And the list, unfortunately, goes on. But we have also seen numerous heroes, including first responders, nurses, doctors, military personnel, grocery workers, truck drivers and more.

We also have witnessed businesses recreating themselves to assist, people leveraging their talents to sew masks, teachers reaching out virtually to their students, people doing random acts of kindness, and, of course, public relations/communicators providing crisis counsel and keeping their publics informed. And this list, fortunately, goes on.

Our thoughts go out to all of you as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times. It will change our lives forever. However, we’re #orlandostrong. We’re all in this together. 

Your PRSA Orlando Board has come together, virtually of course, to discuss creative ways to continue serving our members, including networking (virtual mixers/socials and idea swaps) and professional development (webinars, resource sharing, tips/advice, mentoring, etc.). Watch for our member survey to gauge your interests and needs. See this newsletter, our website and social media channels for updates.

I’m very proud of our board, members and sponsors that have stepped up during this uncertain time. Thank you for your continued support.

Stay healthy. Stay safe. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing. We will get through this!

If you have questions or ideas, please contact me directly.

Rich Donley, APR

2020 President, PRSA Orlando Regional Chapter