Thursday, November 8th, 2018- PRestige Awards Tampa Bay PRSA
I was extremely fortunate to attend this year’s PRestige Awards presented by the Tampa Bay chapter of PRSA and sponsored by Business Wire. The event was held downtown at the exquisite University Club of Tampa. The view of Tampa Bay atop the 38th floor was awe-inspiring.
Now in its fourth year, PRestige Awards continues to set out and recognize outstanding public relations programs and tactics by PR professionals and students. The awards program is open to both PRSA members and non-members in Florida and from across the country.
This year’s keynote speaker was Sara Margulis, CEO and Co-Founder of Honeyfund, who shared her rich background in online marketing and described the entrepreneurial spirit that paved her pathway to success. Sara shared how an idea created with her husband grew from her own needs into a promising business plan.
Her instantaneous crowdfunding start-up idea landed her on various media outlets. Honeyfund became a winning contestant on Shark Tank, and from there was featured on Good Morning America, the Martha Stewart homepage, televised segments, and various magazine publications. Sara attributed the success of her company as luck…“When you have a great product that people want to use, the media coverage will fall into place.”
I learned from Sara’s story that success is not all about luck but is truly more about hard work. She shared the moment when she fell in love with public relations during her college studies, a feeling and passion that resonated with many in attendance, including myself! She described the sensation as “getting that tingling feeling” when she was able to “marry science and creativity to bring messages to a key audience.”
Sara continues today to lead the crowdfunding industry, and push industry standards to make the best services available for consumers. She emphasized the value of digital media, and how an online presence is vital to your brand. Sara makes the most of her online media by using key influencers to promote her product. This was great advice for those in attendance who use similar target platforms.
One of the best highlights I took away from Sara’s speech was her reasons for moving her business to Tampa Bay. Hearing Sara speak on behalf of the growth she foresees for the future of Tampa Bay was inspiring, and makes me proud to attend and grow my professional network here. In fact, the Tampa Bay chapter is “one of the largest and longest-standing chapters in Florida with a history dating back to 1964,” according to Tampa Bay PRSA. I commend Sara’s mentor for pushing her in the first steps to bring her business here, as Tampa Bay is an amazing place to work and live.
Excited by the growth for the city and state of Florida, I found it an honor to see all of the achievements awarded to public relations tactics and programs promoting this same growth. It was wonderful to hear all of the Florida entries and how they have contributed to the overall economic and social success of the state. With awards given to our own downtown Tampa and our neighboring cities, Clearwater and Orlando- we are more connected here in Florida than ever.
I congratulate all of the winners at the PRestige Awards and thank them for their hard work that has brought great success to the state of Florida. I also would like to especially congratulate the newest accredited members who received their “APR” pins: Nikita Bhappu, Joshua Carrasco, Robyn Felix, and Curtis Krueger. Tampa Bay PRSA has seen a 300% increase in new APR accredited members in the past year.
A very big thank you to Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, for inviting me to this event. Kirk has been an amazing mentor to me and familiar face within PRSA- our PRSSA chapter thanks him for all of his hard work and dedication to push for our success. Kirk’s enthusiasm for public relations, and selfless devotion to helping others has truly been a blessing. I walked away from this event with so much more knowledge and insight on behalf of PRSA. I truly discovered why this nationwide organization is so crucial to public relations professionals. Being the founding president of the University of Tampa’s chapter, I always am looking to grow student involvement and educate current members on what exactly PRSA has to offer. I cannot wait to excitedly share information from this event with my chapter.