Posts Tagged ‘public relations tampa’

Big Kids Can Play at the Zoo Too!

Friday, October 4th, 2013


Living in Tampa Bay, we are blessed with natural recreation in our gorgeous beaches, rivers, lakes and parks. I moved here from Ohio in 1994 and have never regretted my decision because there is so much to see and do – and I still haven’t done everything.

One thing I have done, though, is spend plenty of time at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, a nationally acclaimed zoo I can be proud of – a zoo once again recognized as the top family-friendly zoo in the U.S. by Parents Magazine.

No doubt, on a daily basis the zoo is an awesome place for kids, with over 1,500 animals, plenty of educational opportunities and fun activities. But the zoo also holds a lot of amazing cultural festivals and special events throughout the year, like ZooBoo for Halloween (runs from late Sept. – Oct.), complete with some haunted houses that I’ve heard are so terrifying I won’t go in. I stick to the kiddie ones, thank you very much. But still – it’s fun for kids and adults as well.

There’s also Wild Wonderland (during December), complete with holiday and winter themed animals, activities, food and events, but my personal favorite comes right in middle of the fall events: Zoofari. The tagline couldn’t be better. “Eat. Drink. Rock.” Well, maybe you could add “Dance” in there too?

Zoofari, scheduled for Nov. 2 this year, is the zoo’s oldest fundraiser, created 27 years ago to increase awareness and knowledge of the zoo and raise money for the care and conservation of the animals (90 species at the zoo are currently endangered). I always attend Zoofari as a participant and “eat, drink and rock” my way through the zoo – which is full of restaurants, dessert stands, coffee bars (and other bars) and bands, but every year I take note of all the people involved – the restaurants, the entertainment, the artists, the volunteers and the staff. It’s a colossal effort made by many to create a night of great tastings and fun for the guests, and I’m not surprised it was named “Best Festival or Event” by Tampa Bay Metro Magazine.

If you want to experience something really special – a night under the softly lit, sidewalks of the zoo filled with great scents, flavors and music – plan on attending this year’s event. Or volunteer. Or become a sponsor. Event information is online at the zoo’s web site,, or you can call 813-935-8552, ext. 275 for tickets.

One final thought – wear your comfy shoes that night, because you’re certain to want to explore all corners of the event, which spans nearly every part of the zoo grounds. Go once, and you’ll go every year. I guarantee it!



Important News for PR Writers

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Heads up to all those who write press releases and other content for the web!

Google is changing its search criteria again. But there is good news!

If you are already producing strong, well-written and well-structured news releases, the new criteria will not hurt your communication efforts online. In fact, it might actually end up helping — but only if you’re doing things right to begin with. Here’s a helpful article that explains further, with some useful graphics as well.

Let’s Go Lightning!

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

If you’ve been to even one Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game, you know the cheer. It’s short. It’s easy and it’s catchy. Even my toddlers could recite it and clap along.

If you haven’t heard the cheer, I hope you soon will. The Lightning have emerged victorious after the first AND second rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs. We were fortunate to attend the last home game in series one , and it was definitely one of the best hockey games I’ve been to yet – excluding, of course, the actual Stanley Cup win.

We followed up with a home game in series two — game 3. Had to watch the grand victory last night on television, but sometimes that is just as good.

From a marketing standpoint, there is a real bonus to the regular team sponsors who purchased arena signage along the ice and those who have sponsorships on the Jumbotron and throughout the game. The television coverage is phenomenal and viewership increases for playoff games far beyond what a sponsor gains from a regular season broadcasted game.

I spent some time preparing a sponsorship proposal for one particular client (twice), and I am still puzzled as to why they did not pursue at least some piece of this highly visible opportunity.

For others who have not considered it, contact the Lightning Corporate Sponsorship office. You will be pleasantly surprised by the variety of opportunities available … and you will wish you had done it before they made it to the playoffs!

A Social Media Rant

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Posted May 4, 2011 but written on Feb. 23, 2011

It seems like so many people have so much to say these days. I wonder, were we always so full of thoughts to share, frustrated with so few outlets and such a small voice?

No, I don’t think so. I think social media has made everyone a would-be expert. Everyone has a comment. Everyone has a thought, opinion or perspective that needs to be heard.

Sure, it’s healthy! Vent it all out here, there and everywhere.

Now, don’t get mad at me … but I just went on Facebook and I was bored. I use it mostly for business purposes … long story … but Heidelberg PR exists for the very purpose of sharing information – that’s my job! So, a large percentage of the information I post on Facebook & Twitter, etc. is client related. These are great tools to share news …

But! The problem is that the “real” news is getting lost in the “would be news,” “wish it was news” and “I don’t care if it’s news, I’m saying it anyhow” clutter that just goes on and on. To sift through the heap of whatever-anyone-wants-to-post and find the true gems of information is really getting challenging.

So, what does this mean for the professional communicators of the world? Is social media really a tool to target audiences and create meaningful relationships with people? Or is it mass communication thrown out there for a “catch as catch can” craps shoot?

The tools are getting smarter. They tell you who you might know. They tell you who you might want to connect with. I like that … but only to a certain extent. As in real life, I am prudent, strategic and calculating about these online relationships because for me, they are for business. Yes, I enjoy a reminiscent “hello” from old classmates and neighbors now and then, but I really don’t need to hear from their siblings and cousins and their neighbors unless we were once friends in real life. And even if we were, do we really have anything much to say to each other today?

Here’s the hard truth about Julie Heidelberg online!

  • I do not accept all friend requests.
  • I do not seek out past acquaintances just to watch my followers, friends or connections tick up.
  • I do not automatically follow you back if you follow me.
  • I will un-friend and severe ties to you immediately if you are inappropriate or radical.
  • I do not enjoy random contact from complete strangers.

So, why am I sharing this? Why am I all worked up?

Well, it’s partly due to a stand of conversation I’ve been following on Linked In ….

[flash forward to April 29, 2011] …

Yes, so, this is perfect. I did not publish this post on Feb. 23 due to technical difficulties. I just reread it and I was laughing out loud — especially when I got to the end, which illustrates my point perfectly. My original intention was to come back and finish my rant, but I never got to it. And now today, two months later, I don’t even know what it was that launched me into this tirade, nor do I care enough to go back, figure it out, and make my point.

I think my point is made. We have to remember that sometimes this online world just doesn’t matter. So, here’s to keeping it real in the world of breathing humans, smiling faces and sharp minds.