NewmanPR Named Global Travel Communicator Finalist

Miami-based NewmanPR, which has represented Florida Keys & Key West destination marketing offices for nearly 40 years, is one of four Global Travel Communicator finalists in the inaugural Global Travel Media Alliance competition.

The agency was chosen for its “Connect and Protect” initiative that was produced for the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, focusing on sustainability throughout the Florida Keys while motivating visitors to include experiential, transformational, environmental and voluntourism activities during a Keys vacation.

GTMA is an alliance formed … Read the rest

As If Public Relations Wasn’t Already Shady Enough, Now There’s ‘Black PR’

Buzzfeed News offers up an exposé of something called “Black PR” in its investigative piece, “Disinformation For Hire: How A New Breed Of PR Firms Is Selling Lies Online.”

The subhead is actually chilling: “One firm promised to ‘use every tool and take every advantage available in order to change reality according to our client’s wishes.'”

Look, public relations is a cynical business, but the people quoted in this article are like supervillains of cynicism — unembarrassed and even proud … Read the rest

The Trouble with Travel Industry Awards

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

The public relations business thrives on awards, or, more accurately, the awards business thrives on public relations. Clients love receiving awards and so public relations practitioners are willing to spend time and sometimes money to “win” them.

Three recent awards presentations have gotten my hackles up about the whole shameful business.

I begin with the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards, which some consider the “Oscars of the travel industry”. Travel Weekly cultivates a reputation as the “newspaper of record “in travel, … Read the rest

ASTA and Costco Compete for PR

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Last week the “Today” show aired a segment about how to save money when booking a spring break getaway. The secret? Book through Costco Travel, a membership club that charges $55 per year to consumers for the privilege of shopping for commodities at a Costco warehouse store or buying travel products online at the Costco Travel website.

The reporter booked a Fairmont Inn stay in Sonoma Valley, California, and an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, … Read the rest

Travel Survey Results Should Concern Cruise Lines

Morning Consult recently released “The State of American Travel 2018,” a nationwide survey of 2,200 adults. The title of the survey conveys a sense of comprehensiveness and breadth that the report itself does not actually display, and some of the methodology and conclusions do not hold up to close scrutiny.

However, it’s one of the many travel industry surveys that are intended to draw broad, somewhat obvious conclusions that generate media coverage:

• Americans want relaxing, affordable vacations.
• Younger … Read the rest

NewmanPR Stops Domain Squatter from Cashing in on Hurricane Irma

On Monday morning, Sept. 11, I received the call. The day before, Category 4 Hurricane Irma had passed directly over the Lower Florida Keys, sideswiping South Florida and sweeping up the state.

I was loading our car – we had evacuated Miami to a Fort Lauderdale hotel – to head home to see what mischief Irma had wrought.

Andy Newman of our agency and Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi were on the line. Roman wanted NewmanPR – which has represented … Read the rest

Karly and Loretta: The Story of a Girl, a Paddleboard and a Chicken

Sometimes it takes a creative eye, no matter how storm-weary. A stroke of luck. A sense of humor.

A chicken on a paddleboard.

NewmanPR’s video of Keys resident Karly Venezia and her year-old pet chicken Loretta on a paddleboard have gone viral.

Free-range chickens are common in Key West, but uncommon on paddleboards.

Global networks and TV stations, the Associated Press, Reuters, “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” online sites and a veritable “flock” of other media outlets picked up … Read the rest

‘Fred’ Is an Inspiration for Florida Keys Residents

With apologies to Joyce Kilmer: “I think that I shall never see a thing as lovely as Fred the tree …” 

A welcome sight cheered weary Florida Keys locals returning home this week after Hurricane Irma struck the islands Sept. 10. His name is “Fred.”

He’s a salt-sprayed Casuarina, known locally as an Australian pine tree. Fred is growing out of a roadbed on the historic Seven Mile Bridge, built in 1912 as part of the famed Florida Keys Over-Sea … Read the rest

How Not to Get a Job in Public Relations #3: The LinkedIn Connection

I will admit it took me a while to warm up to LinkedIn. I was an early adopter, but I didn’t really grok what the social media platform was all about.

In its early days, I don’t think LinkedIn was too sure of itself either, for that matter.

I had a routine: every Friday afternoon before shutting down the computer and heading home for the weekend, I would devote 10 minutes to expanding my network — thematically. One week the … Read the rest

How Not to Get a Job in Public Relations #2: Lose ’em at the Salutation

It happened again. I recently received an email from a prospective applicant with the salutation “Hi NewmanPR Team!”

Over the years I have also received uncountable emails addressed to “To Whom It May Concern,” “Hiring Manager,” “H.R. Department” and any number of other impersonal, nameless salutations.

Some of the cover letters were spot-on, cogent, energetic and well-written. Often they accompanied a resume with relevant work or internship experience and solid educational credentials. In many cases, I was tempted to contact … Read the rest