A Lesson from College Football: the Camera is Always On

January 4, 2018

by Katie Gomes

For many Americans, the holiday season is synonymous with college football.  From bowl games to playoffs, there are numerous opportunities to kick back and relax, and watch America’s favorite sport.  Last week, college football also provided an opportunity for America to learn a valuable lesson in public relations when University of Texas’ head football coach, Tom Herman, was caught mocking University of Missouri’s quarterback, Drew Lock … on national television.

As a Missouri native and fan of Mizzou, our 33-16 loss to the Longhorns was a shame to see, but even worse was Herman’s disrespectful gesture, waltzing along the sideline while imitating Lock’s touchdown celebration move.

Not only did he exhibit poor sportsmanship, but he also encouraged the team to join.  Before the display ended, fans were already reacting on social media, either in disgust or in defense of Herman’s actions.

Whether he meant to openly taunt Mizzou or was genuinely caught red-handed, what Coach Herman quickly learned was a lesson we often teach in Curley & Pynn’s Message Matrix® program: “assume the cameras are always rolling.”

But wait … there’s more:  role models should model the best behavior.

Here’s to hoping other teams take note as they prepare to compete in the championship game next week.

The Making of a Holiday Message

December 18, 2017

by Dan Ward

Each year, Curley & Pynn attempts (and usually succeeds) to develop a holiday card that ties back either to the practice of public relations or, more frequently, to issues that have made news in the past year.

We mailed a “hanging chad” card after the 2000 election, made fun of news polls that missed so badly in 2016, and lampooned the ACA rollout by launching our own FrostyCare Marketplace.

This year, we set out to find something from 2017 that we could turn into a positive, and hopefully funny, holiday message.  And we failed.  We pored through headline after headline, and became increasingly depressed.  Political fights, natural disasters and dozens of harassment claims do not lend themselves to fun, festive jokes.

And then it came to us.  What we all need after a year of depressing headlines is what we all turn to (some of us secretly) to lift our spirits … pictures of kittens and puppies!

And so we present the C&P 2017 holiday card, featuring headshots of our own four-legged friends and family.  We hope it brings you a little “Paws-itivity” for the year ahead.  And we also hope you can pay it forward with a little pawsitivity of your own.  Share photos of your own furry, fuzzy family members with the tags #CandP #Pawsitivity.  We can all use some positive news and images this holiday season. Happy Holidays!




















Our thanks to Jim Hobart and Macbeth Studios for a fun, tail-wagging photo shoot!

Dangers of Cut & Paste

September 26, 2017

by Roger Pynn

I always feel bad when I’m reviewing résumés and come across an applicant who self-eliminates with a stupid mistake.  I feel bad because I long ago decided it isn’t my job to teach someone to read what they write before sticking it in the mail.

Today’s example was a chap who appeared to be a pretty good fit for a job we have open (see description below if you are someone interested in joining a really good PR firm that demands excellence of itself to provide excellent service to excellent clients).  However, he sent a cover letter along with his résumé and some writing samples in which he clearly had cut and pasted a paragraph from another cover letter he’s using in his job search.

His opening paragraph was OK: I am writing to express my interest in the position of Communication Specialist with Curley & Pynn. As a communications professional with over a decade of experience reaching out to the public I know what it takes to get people talking.

But two paragraphs down things went south: I will love to be able to bring my assets to The Florida Bar Foundation as your next Marketing Coordinator and Social Media Coordinator.  I am excited about this opportunity and welcome the opportunity to discuss with you my credentials. Please contact me to arrange an interview. I look forward to meeting you and thank you for your consideration.

No … the boldface and underlines were not his, but added for emphasis.  I just wanted to make sure you saw it.  I let slide that this guy actually said, “I will love to be able to …”  Lord, this guy has a college degree!  Albeit, from an online school I’ve never heard of before.  He positions himself as a Seasoned bilingual communications professional experienced in network, cable and local news, with both English-language and Spanish-language speaking audiences.

Now … to the real reason I wrote this post.  We’re looking for good talent.  Please see below, email us or pass the word.  Extra points to those that get our name right.

It’s time to stop “working” and start getting paid to do what you love.  At Curley & Pynn – The Strategic Firm®, our award-winning team of creative thinkers is excited to offer you this opportunity.  As a communications specialist, you can do big things in an environment that will challenge you to contribute 100 percent every day, while empowering you to succeed.

Our specialists play a critical role in the implementation of communications strategies for clients from varied industries.  No two days are the same at Curley & Pynn, but there are several things you can expect to do:

  • Research, research, research.  It’s the bedrock of every communications plan.
  • Write compelling stories about our clients, their products and services for news releases, blogs, social media posts and more.
  • Publicize those stories by pitching them to news media, developing eye-catching collateral, planning and executing events, and more.
  • Brainstorm new and innovative ideas that bring our strategies to life.

What you need:

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, public relations, journalism or a related field.
  • Overwhelming desire to grow your career.
  • Writing skills stronger than the Hulk.
  • Annoying obsession with details.
  • No fear to call a reporter, get rejected and call again.
  • Confidence to raise your hand and take responsibility for new projects.
  • Penchant for to-do lists and ability to juggle.

Ideally, you’ve had some on-the-job experience and are ready for the next step in your career.  Solid internships and a high level of maturity go a long way, too.  Experience with graphic design and digital marketing will earn you bonus points.

What we have:

  • Experienced, friendly and enthusiastic mentors who will always have your back and are invested in helping you grow.
  • Long-standing relationships with some of Florida’s most well-respected organizations, including globally recognized brands.
  • Generous benefits:  a competitive salary, health benefits, three weeks of paid vacation time, financial support for professional development activities and reimbursement for continuing education.
  • Work-hard, play-hard mentality, which often leads to cookie breaks, birthday celebrations, happy hour and more.

Interested?  Email your resume, writing samples and a meaningful cover letter to Dan Ward at dward@thestrategicfirm.com.  In your cover letter, tell us which of the Five Steps to Professional Success you have applied on the job.

For The Win

September 2, 2016

by Vianka McConville

While the ultimate measure of success in public relations is meeting and exceeding client goals, it’s nice to receive recognition from your peers as well.  I’m proud to say our team was recognized for several exciting public relations programs and projects at the recent Florida Public Relations Association Golden Image Awards Gala, giving us more trophies and plaques to decorate the halls and walls of our office.

C&P took “home the gold” (the gala was Olympics themed) with the top scores in each category for the following programs and projects:

  • The Corridor’s annual magazine as a tool to tell the story of a growing high tech region and of the pioneers who push innovation forward locally.  The magazine served to introduce media to the region, earning coverage and exceeded circulation by 1,000 copies over the previous year.
  • Promotion of The Corridor’s 20th anniversary, divided between an industry luncheon and support from Florida Trend to feature the region. These efforts recognized long-time partners and further shared The Corridor’s message beyond the 23-county region.
  • National Airlines’ launch into commercial flights through media events and outreach which exceeded objectives for media coverage by 300 percent, and was planned and implemented in only three weeks.

Additionally, we received an Award of Distinction for C&P’s For The Win digital magazine, celebrating our firm’s 30th year in the business.  The magazine achieved an impressive 49 percent email open rate and increased social media engagement on the firm’s Facebook page.

It’s an honor to be part of a team that is ready, willing and able to go above and beyond for our clients.  These awards are just a small glimpse into our work.



August 5, 2016

by Vianka McConville

Inspired by the book, I, Robot, Brian Nave grew up to work and play with robots every day.  He owns Ormond Beach’s LOGICOM Logic Systems and has competed on “Battle Bots” several times.  His team controls Captain Shrederator.

Nave’s story is just one of many in the 23-county region known as the Florida High Tech Corridor.  For more than 15 years, Curley & Pynn has been digging up stories like Nave’s to showcase the people, research, innovation and pioneering work in the central part of the state that has helped support a growing tech hub.  Those stories are curated to produce award-winning content and shared through The Corridor’s annual magazine, which was recently updated with a new digital version online.

The magazine serves as a tool for partners in economic development to further demonstrate what high tech industry looks like in Florida.  Read the cover story to learn more about Nave’s fascination with robots and other stories on interesting things you may not know are happening right under your nose.

How do you share client stories?

Curley & Pynn Wins Big for its Clients

April 21, 2014

by Vianka McConville

We have said it before and we will continue to say it, winning professional awards has numerous benefits for business.

As a team that practices what we preach, Curley & Pynn recently submitted projects to the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) annual Image Awards.  We poured sweat and tears into exceeding client expectations (as is the norm around here) and were recognized by FPRA and honored with the local chapter’s highest awards.

Curley & Pynn was recognized for the rebrand of Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida State College), the development of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council’s annual magazine, florida.HIGH.TECH 2013 and received FPRA’s highest honor for the launch event introducing Drive Electric Orlando to the community.

Winning an award is fabulous, but leveraging the win is key for any business.  First and foremost, the opportunity allows C&P to further elevate our clients.  Our clients depend on strategic counsel and guidance backed by years of industry knowledge and research.  What better way to reward continued trust than showcasing a proud moment for the company in the community?

Companies can tout a win to reinforce local prominence, seek desirable employee candidates and showcase an aspect of regular business that may not warrant attention otherwise.

Submitting awards can be time consuming, but we are glad to have put in the time for the Image Awards and look forward to opportunities to come.  We encourage you to do the same.  Remember, you can’t win unless you submit.

A Joyful Afternoon

March 8, 2012

by Kim Taylor

Over the holidays, the team at Curley & Pynn added a few extra items to their shopping lists—toys for a very special charity, Jarrett’s Joy Cart.

Named for Jarrett Mynear, a six-time cancer sufferer whose life was taken by the disease at age 13, the charity aims to provide joyous moments and experiences for children in crisis.

We’re proud to be led by the team at OrLANtech – who are both our friends and the leaders of the Orlando Chapter – in a toy delivery at Florida Hospital for Children in what promised to be a joyful afternoon.

Want in on the joy?  Find out how you can help here, or join in the conversation on the Jarrett’s Joy Cart Facebook page.

Employee Appreciation in My Own Words

March 2, 2012

by Kim Taylor

Happy National Employee Appreciation Day!  When I read this Inc. headline I wondered why I hadn’t seen a row of Hallmark cards to remind me this day existed.  But, then I thought, who needs a card, we have a blog—and what better place to publicly praise my colleagues, the team at Curley & Pynn.

Roger Pynn
Roger puts the “Pynn” in Curley & Pynn. (Nothing gets by me!)  He’s the consummate connector.  The relationship builder.  The community guy.  The omniscient co-founder whom we rely upon every day.  He’s built this business over more than 27 years and spends his days advising clients in ways too many to mention.

Dan Ward
Many have tried, but few have been able to out-wit my business partner.   But, he’s good for much more than a laugh.  He’s freakishly smart and a dogged client servant.  Better said, if his clients aren’t happy, he’s not happy.   One of the best writers I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

Kerry Martin   
When people say that someone is “wise beyond their years,” I’m pretty sure they’re picturing Kerry in their head.  I marvel at her attention to detail, organization, sponge-like qualities (especially on the hard subjects) and cheerful demeanor … even on Monday mornings.  I learn something from her daily.

Heather Keroes
Heather’s unique and deliberate style is unmatched here.  She’s taught us about the often-untapped world of YouTubers, and balanced out our team with her marketing savvy, social media expertise and vast knowledge of travel and tourism.  And, she knows a thing or two about a Honey Badger.

Julie Primrose
They say never trust the quiet ones, but we trust Julie beyond measure.  Sometimes you just know, and with Julie, we just knew.  She’s precocious and has proven she can tackle any project thrown her way.  I’m not sure what’s in the water out there at UCF, but I hope they keep making them like this.

Connie Gonzalez
Without question, my right hand woman.  Loyalty can’t be taught—it’s innate and Connie proves that every day.  She makes life easier for all of us and makes it look like a breeze.  In her spare time, she plays the role of Super Mom to her four kids.

Jon Hanson
We’ve been lucky enough to have some great interns over the years, and Jon’s no exception … yet another shining example of the strength of UCF’s Ad/PR program.  He’s given us some sage advice about eating oysters, too, that I won’t soon forget.

There you have it; who will you appreciate today?


August 5, 2011

by Dan Ward

My two partners re-tweeted this today about double-dip recession worries. Let’s face it, after the debt ceiling mess, the stock market tumble and the worrisome signs on job creation, we’re all worried.

The question is: what are you doing about it?

No, I’m not asking whether you’re saving more or dining out less. Rather, what are you doing in your profession to deal with this anxiety? If you’re worried, doesn’t it make sense that your bosses and your clients are worried, too?

We have a saying here, “Focus on what keeps the client awake at night.” What are you doing to address the financial worries that are keeping your companies and your clients awake right now? What are you doing, now more than ever, to make yourself an essential part of their success, an essential part of their ability to survive and thrive in a struggling economy? What are you doing to identify new opportunities for them to grow their business? What are you doing to help them connect with and preserve beneficial relationships with their customers?

If you want to put your mind at ease, it’s their worries that you should be worried about.

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas in This Happy E-Mail!”

December 17, 2010

by Dan Ward

I’ve noticed that our reception desk is devoid of the usual clutter of holiday cards this year, and while I’m sure there’s a possibility that we’re simply no longer popular and have fallen off of many holiday lists, I think there’s another factor at play: the holiday e-mail card.

As the holiday envelopes have dwindled, the “please open your holiday message here” e-mails have quickly grown.

I’m curious whether others have noticed this as well, and whether you think this is positive or negative. Certainly an e-mail card is more cost-effective, important in today’s economy. It’s also more environmentally friendly. But does it still provide the same personal touch as an envelope and a stamp?

Personally, I’m happy for any holiday message I receive, whether in the form of a card, e-mail or tasty cookies (hint, hint).

As for us, we’re sticking with snail mail and are keeping the tradition alive this year of a more than a little off-the-wall holiday card, because nothing says Happy Holidays like Frosty, WikiLeaks and the TSA.

Stay tuned for a major leak …

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