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Sally Dee Recognized as a 2024 Business of Pride Honoree

Celebrating Pride and Achievements in Our Community

Each year, the Tampa Bay Business Journal partners with the Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber to recognize individuals and companies in the region making strides in advancing equality in the business world. This year, 27 individuals and companies will be honored in the Business of Pride Awards on June 18.

As we commemorate Pride Month, Playbook Public Relations is overjoyed to share that our president and CEO, Sally Dee, is one of the 27 honorees this year. Sally’s recognition is a testament to her influential role in the community. Her leadership at Playbook and her active involvement in our community have led to significant strides in promoting equity and inclusion.

Sally Dee’s Impact on Our Community

A significant chapter of Sally’s journey was her involvement with Community Tampa Bay (CTB), where she served on the board for eight years, including two as the board chair. CTB aims to empower individuals to have meaningful conversations with those who may not look, live, or love like them, fostering a society free from discrimination. Their mission, close to Sally’s heart, is to cultivate inclusive leaders to change communities through dialogue and cross-cultural interaction.

Currently, Sally serves as chair of the Inclusive Committee at the University of South Florida (USF) Alumni Association. This position allows her to ensure that every USF alum feels a deep sense of belonging and welcoming, irrespective of their background. The committee focuses on creating engaging programs and initiatives that not only celebrate diversity but also encourage alumni to participate in meaningful, inclusive dialogues.

Playbook Public Relations: Promoting Inclusion in Business

As president and CEO of Playbook Public Relations, Sally has guided our company to proudly focus on helping LGBTQ+ owned businesses and professionals. By leveraging our expertise in public relations, we’ve created platforms for these individuals and their ventures to gain visibility and recognition, thereby challenging stereotypes and fostering a more inclusive business environment.

Through targeted campaigns, we’ve highlighted the contributions of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs such as Bob Glaser, president and CEO of Smith & Associates Real Estate, showcasing their talents and achievements to a broader audience.

Honoring Frank Clemente

We are also thrilled to share that our client Frank Clemente, founder and creative director of Franklynn Visual Marketing, is listed as an honoree. As a valued client of Playbook, Frank’s journey and achievements testify to his efforts in creating a more equitable business environment and his commitment to inclusion.

Our Commitment to Uplifting the Community

At Playbook Public Relations, seeing our clients like Bob and Frank thrive is not just a source of pride; it’s a reaffirmation of our mission to uplift and empower every individual and business we have the privilege to work with.

Why You Should Hire PR Teams During a Crisis

The public relations (PR) profession extends beyond event planning, celebrity management, and media tours. PR professionals focus on building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders and managing positive information flow. They are experts in crisis communication, making them valuable during challenging times. Here are five reasons to hire a PR team during a crisis.

  • Expertise in Crisis Communication

PR professionals are trained to handle crisis communication effectively. They craft messages that resonate with stakeholders, manage media inquiries, and navigate sensitive issues transparently, aligning with brand values.

  • Strategic Planning and Execution

PR professionals take a strategic approach to crisis management. They develop comprehensive plans, conduct risk assessments, and prepare for various scenarios, enabling quick and decisive responses to minimize negative impacts.

  • Maintaining Stakeholder Trust

During a crisis, trust is crucial. PR professionals maintain trust through clear communication, empathy, and taking responsibility when necessary.

  • Navigating Media Backlash

In today’s digital age, news spreads quickly, and media backlash can intensify during a crisis. PR teams have experience dealing with journalists, bloggers, and social media influencers. They manage media relations, ensuring accurate and consistent communication across channels amid fast-spreading news and potential backlash.

  • Rebuilding Trust and Reputation

After a crisis has passed, PR teams play a crucial role in rebuilding trust and repairing damaged relationships. They implement reputation management strategies, engage in proactive outreach, and communicate your company’s commitment to addressing issues and making meaningful changes.

Hiring a PR team during a crisis protects your brand, reputation, and long-term success. PR professionals bring expertise, experience, and a strategic approach to crisis communication, helping clients emerge stronger afterward.

Understanding Crisis Communication

Crises occur unexpectedly, so your team must always have plans ready for such situations. This is crucial for businesses of all sizes and industries because crises can happen to anyone at any time.

Crisis communication involves communicating with internal and external stakeholders during a crisis to address concerns, provide information, and manage the narrative. It requires strategic planning, quick response, and effective communication to tackle the challenges posed by a crisis. In this blog, we’ll explore what crisis communication involves, its key components, and why it’s essential for businesses and organizations.

Key Components of Crisis Communication

  • Preparedness

Effective crisis communication begins before a crisis occurs. Organizations should have established communication plans, protocols, and designated spokespersons. This involves identifying potential risks, conducting risk assessments, and developing strategies to address various scenarios.

  • Quick Response

Timing is crucial during a crisis. A prompt and coordinated response is necessary to address the situation before it escalates. This includes activating the crisis communication or PR team, gathering accurate information, and assessing the crisis’s potential impact.

  • Transparency and Honesty

Transparency and honesty are vital in crisis communication. Organizations should communicate openly about the crisis and the steps being taken to resolve it. This builds trust with stakeholders and shows accountability.

  • Clear and Consistent Messaging

Consistency in messaging is key during a crisis to ensure everyone receives the same information. All communication channels should convey the same key messages, including media statements, social media, internal communications, and customer interactions. This helps avoid confusion and presents a unified response.

  • Adaptability

Crises are unpredictable, and situations can change rapidly. Crisis communication strategies should be adaptable to respond to evolving circumstances and new challenges. This may involve adjusting communication tactics, revising messaging, or addressing new issues as they arise.

Why Crisis Communication Matters

  • Protecting Reputation

A well-implemented crisis communication strategy can protect an organization’s reputation and brand image. By being responsible and transparent, organizations can reduce negative perceptions and maintain stakeholder trust.

  • Minimizing Impact

Effective crisis communication can minimize the impact of a crisis on operations and relationships with stakeholders. Quick and decisive action helps manage the situation and prevent further escalation.

  • Building Resilience

Organizations that excel in crisis communication build resilience. They learn from past crises, implement improvements, and become better prepared for future challenges.

Crisis communication is essential for organizations to manage crises effectively, protect their reputation, and build resilience. By implementing preparedness plans, transparency, clear messaging, and stakeholder engagement strategies, organizations can navigate crises confidently and emerge stronger.

Embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Public Relations

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in public relations must be considered in today’s dynamic world. PR professionals are crucial in shaping public perception, building relationships, and maintaining trust between clients and their audiences. Embracing DEI principles aligns with ethical standards and enhances PR efforts’ effectiveness and impact. These five factors highlight the significance of DEI in the field of PR.

Reflecting Society’s Diversity: 

One of the main reasons for embracing DEI in PR is to mirror society’s diversity. Our communities have various cultures, backgrounds, beliefs, and perspectives. PR campaigns incorporating diverse voices and narratives resonate better with audiences because they feel seen, heard, and understood. Additionally, diverse teams can bring various ideas and creativity, leading to innovative PR strategies that capture attention and drive engagement.

Building Trust and Credibility: 

Trust is the foundation of effective communication and relationship-building. PR initiatives prioritizing diversity and inclusion demonstrate a commitment to authenticity and fairness. Audiences are more likely to trust organizations that value diversity and promote equitable practices. Organizations can strengthen their credibility and maintain long-term trust with stakeholders by fostering a culture of inclusion within PR teams and campaigns.

Addressing Social Issues Responsibly: 

PR professionals often navigate complex social issues and crises. DEI principles guide PR strategists in addressing these challenges with sensitivity and empathy. By incorporating diverse perspectives and advocating for equity, PR campaigns can positively contribute to social change and promote inclusivity.

Expanding Audience Reach: 

Diverse audiences have different preferences, values, and communication styles. PR strategies that embrace diversity are more likely to resonate with a broader range of people, expanding the reach and impact of messaging. Whether targeting specific demographics or engaging with global audiences, DEI principles enable PR professionals to craft compelling narratives that resonate across cultural boundaries.

Enhancing Client Reputation: 

Clients that prioritize DEI in their PR efforts attract diverse talent and enhance their reputation as inclusive and socially responsible organizations. Consumers and stakeholders increasingly expect organizations to demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in today’s competitive landscape. PR plays a vital role in showcasing these values and maintaining a positive reputation with the public.

In conclusion, DEI is a foundational principle that drives meaningful and impactful public relations efforts. By embracing DEI, PR professionals can create campaigns that reflect the range of society, build trust and credibility, address social issues responsibly, expand audience reach, and enhance client reputation. As we navigate an evolving media landscape, prioritizing diversity and inclusion in PR is not just the right thing to do; it’s strategic and necessary for success.

Celebrating Women’s History Month

As Women’s History Month winds down, our hearts are filled with admiration and respect for the countless women who have shaped history, broken barriers, and paved the way for future generations. Women’s History Month is a time of celebration, reflection, and recognition of women’s remarkable contributions worldwide.

At Playbook Public Relations, we are proud to be a women-owned and run public relations firm dedicated to amplifying the voices and stories of our clients who are making a difference in their communities and industries. 

Founder and CEO Sally Dee is a prime example of what we celebrate for Women’s History Month as a successful business owner who contributes significantly to her community. 

Her road to success, however, was dynamic. Sally, a three-time Academic All-American, attended the University of South Florida, where she played for the nationally-ranked women’s golf team and graduated Cum Laude in 1994 and then set off for a career on the LPGA tour.

On the LPGA Tour, Sally had five top-10 finishes before an elbow injury cut short her career. While playing on tour, Sally always had a passion for the “business side” of golf. She acted as her own agent and created a successful marketing and branding strategy that helped secure endorsements with Callaway, Nike, Adidas, Titleist, and Lacoste over the course of her career.

After golf, she worked for two Fortune 500 companies, then went back to school and graduated with an MBA from USF in 2011. Sally founded Playbook Public Relations in 2012. Playbook Public Relations is a full-service public relations and marketing firm with a diverse portfolio of clients and continues to grow each day.

Another crucial team member at Playbook is Sarah Lesch, VP of Operations & Strategic Communications. She has a knack for understanding people. Thus, this skill translates into her uncanny ability to create messages that are clear, creative, and have widespread appeal. She has extensive expertise in PR & social media management with a comprehensive understanding of governmental service agencies, start-up business enterprises, and nonprofit corporations.

Rachel Hillery is the newest member of the team as a Public Relations Account Executive. Coming from a large defense corporation, she brings an in-depth understanding of communication between all sides of business within a vast network. As a dedicated and results-oriented professional, she excels in strategic communication, enjoys building strong relationships, and brings positive energy to the workplace.

This month serves as a reminder of our progress and the work that still lies ahead for women. It is a call to action to continue advocating for gender equality, amplifying diverse voices, and creating opportunities for women to thrive in all aspects of life.

As a women-led firm, we understand the importance of representation and empowerment. We are committed to using our platform to uplift and support women-owned businesses, organizations, and initiatives driving positive change in the world.

Join us this Women’s History Month as we celebrate women’s strength, resilience, and achievements everywhere. Let’s continue to write history together and inspire future generations of trailblazers.

The Power of Brand Storytelling

In the increasingly competitive business industry, where there is an overlap between several products and services, the power of brand storytelling makes all the difference in becoming top of mind. Looking over the idea of increasing sales, successful brands recognize the need to connect with consumers on a deeper, more emotional level. In this blog, we will discuss the impact of brand storytelling and the best practices for creating meaningful connections.

What is Brand Storytelling

Creating Emotional Connections:

  • At its core, brand storytelling is about creating emotional connections. When a brand shares a compelling story that resonates with the values or challenges of its audience, it goes beyond being just a product or service. It becomes a necessity in the consumer’s lifestyle.

Building Trust and Authenticity:

  • Trust is the backbone of any successful brand-consumer relationship. By sharing authentic stories, brands humanize themselves. When consumers see the human side of a brand, they are more likely to trust and connect with it.

Memorability and Differentiation:

  • In a competitive market, being memorable is a strategic advantage. Brands that tell stories, especially those with unique narratives, stand out. The power of an unforgettable story helps to differentiate a brand from its competitors and stay in the minds of consumers.

Maintaining Customer Loyalty:

  • Customers are not just buying products but investing in experiences and emotions. A brand with a compelling story becomes more than a one-time purchase. This emotional connection breeds loyalty, turning customers into long-term advocates.

Critical Elements of Effective Brand Storytelling:

Authenticity and Transparency:

  • Authenticity is crucial in brand storytelling. Consumers can detect when a brand is genuine, and brands that openly share their values, successes, and challenges create a transparent and trustworthy image.


  • The power of brand storytelling lies in its consistency across all areas. Whether through social media, advertising, or customer service, maintaining a consistent narrative reinforces the brand’s identity and message.

Customer-Centric Narratives:

  • Effective brand storytelling places the customer at the center. By addressing their needs and desires, brands can create narratives that resonate with their target audience, maintaining a sense of understanding and connection.


  • The most powerful brand stories are adaptable and evolve over time. As businesses grow and markets change, brands that can adjust their narratives while staying true to their core values remain relevant and engaging.

Successful Examples of Brand Storytelling:

Nike: “Just Do It”

  • Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign is a classic example of powerful brand storytelling. It encourages individuals to overcome obstacles, take risks, and achieve greatness—aligning perfectly with the brand’s positioning as a symbol of empowerment.

Patagonia: A Commitment to the Environment

  • Patagonia’s brand story is intertwined with a commitment to environmental sustainability. By sharing their journey to becoming a responsible and eco-friendly brand, they connect with consumers who share similar values.

As industries continue to evolve and products increasingly overlap, the power of storytelling becomes essential to the success of brands. This blog has explored the transformative impact of brand storytelling by focusing on emotional connections, trust-building, and differentiation. 

The Importance of Thought Leadership

In the rapidly evolving landscape of business and innovation, thought leadership has become a driving force that takes organizations to new heights. Thought leadership goes beyond expertise; it is also about sharing ideas, innovation, and influencing the industry narrative. In this blog, we will look into the importance of thought leadership and how it can help clients, individuals, and organizations.

Defining Thought Leadership:

Thought leadership is not just about possessing knowledge; it’s about actively sharing, influencing, and inspiring others. A thought leader is someone who not only understands their industry but also has a unique perspective that stimulates conversations and sets trends. It’s a role that demands continuous learning, adaptability, and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of conventional thinking.

Building Credibility and Trust:

One of the fundamental aspects of thought leadership is the establishment of credibility and trust. When individuals consistently demonstrate a deep understanding of their field and offer valuable insights, they build trust. People look to thought leaders for guidance, advice, and solutions, leading to enhanced credibility and a positive reputation. Spin Sucks explains that to develop thought leadership, you must follow the E-E-A-T acronym. This stands for experience, expertise, authority, and trust. Therefore, if you demonstrate your expertise through experience, authority, and trust will be established.

Influence on Industry Trends:

Thought leaders shape industry trends by being proactive contributors to the conversation. They share their insights through articles, blogs, speaking engagements, or social media, influencing how people think about specific topics. By doing so, thought leaders have the power to change their industry and contribute to its growth and development.

Creating a Positive Impact:

Beyond professional success, thought leadership enables thought leaders to make a positive impact. By addressing pressing issues, sharing knowledge, and advocating for positive change, thought leaders can contribute to improving their communities and the world. 

Fostering Continuous Learning:

Thought leaders are committed to continuous learning and personal development. They strive to stay ahead of the curve and remain relevant in their respective fields. This commitment benefits the thought leader personally and contributes to the entire industry’s evolution.

Thought leadership has become a crucial driver of progress in a world that thrives on information and innovation. Those who embrace this role have the power to shape the future, influence industry trends, and make a lasting impact. 

5 Key PR Trends to Look for in 2024

As the world of public relations (PR) continues to evolve, staying ahead of emerging trends is crucial for success. As we enter 2024, several trends are poised to shape the PR landscape, driven by technological advancements, societal shifts, and evolving communication dynamics. Let’s explore the key trends that define the field in the coming year.

      1. Data-Driven PR:

Data has become the cornerstone of effective PR strategies. In 2024, we can expect an increase in the use of data analytics in PR campaigns. PR professionals will leverage advanced tools to analyze audience behavior, sentiment, and engagement metrics. This data-driven approach will enhance campaign effectiveness and provide valuable insights for more targeted and personalized communication.

      2. AI-Powered Communication:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reforming the PR landscape. AI-powered tools are being used for media monitoring, content creation, and even crisis management. In 2024, we anticipate a rise in chatbots for handling routine inquiries, allowing PR professionals to focus on more strategic tasks. Additionally, AI-driven analytics will help predict trends and optimize communication strategies.

     3. Purpose-Driven PR:

Consumers are increasingly drawn to brands that align with their values. Purpose-driven PR, centered around social responsibility and sustainability, will be a key trend in 2024. Companies must authentically communicate their commitment to social causes, fostering stronger connections with conscious consumers.

     4. Rise of Virtual and Hybrid Events:

The events landscape has significantly transformed, with virtual and hybrid events becoming the norm. In 2024, PR professionals will continue to utilize these formats for product launches, press conferences, and brand experiences. Virtual events offer a global reach, while hybrid events balance in-person and online engagement, catering to diverse audiences.

     5. Influencer Relations 2.0:

Influencer marketing has evolved, and in 2024, we will witness a more strategic and data-driven approach to influencer relations. PR professionals will collaborate with influencers whose values align with their brand and leverage analytics to measure the real impact of influencer campaigns. Micro-influencers, with their niche and engaged audiences, may gain importance.

As we dive into 2024, PR professionals must be prepared to navigate a dynamic and quickly evolving landscape. Embracing AI, purpose-driven communication, and innovative content strategies will be essential for success. By staying adaptable and incorporating these trends into their plans, PR professionals will find success and build meaningful connections with audiences.

The Essentials for Every Press Kit

In the field of public relations, developing a compelling and informative press kit is essential for effectively communicating a brand’s message to the public. These kits are valuable resources that give journalists and other stakeholders necessary information about a client’s company, product, or event.

What Should Be Included in Your Press Kit?

  • Boilerplate

A boilerplate is an overview of the most crucial brand details. It should include a concise yet descriptive snapshot of the brand, mission, and core values. More helpful things to incorporate are vital milestones, achievements, and relevant background information that helps others understand the brand.

  • Compelling Press Release

Craft a captivating press release that captures the critical details of the central message that your client is trying to promote, whether it is an upcoming event, product launch, or significant achievement. Ensure that the release is written in proper journalistic style to answer the who, what, where, when, why, and how questions. This way, there is less work for the journalists, who will be more likely to pick up your story.

  • Biographies

Biographies are a great way to help journalists learn about the driving forces behind each company – the staff members! This is an opportunity to showcase critical employees and their backgrounds and accomplishments. 

  • Logos

Including a variety of high-quality, up-to-date logos ensures that journalists will not use an outdated version that may be found somewhere else online.

  • High-Resolution Images

In today’s online climate, consumers are visually driven, so high-resolution images are crucial. These images help journalists enhance their coverage to make it more engaging. Ensure these files are easily downloadable and in a widely available format. 

  • Contact Information

You should provide clear and concise contact information for media inquiries. This should include the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of key media contacts within the brand. This will help motivate building positive relationships with the media. 

  • Socials

Incorporate links to the brand’s social media platforms. Journalists often use these platforms to gather additional information about the brand to engage with audiences. It also makes it easy for them to follow the brand and stay updated on future events and announcements that may need to be picked up.

  • Fact Sheet

Providing a detailed fact sheet is a great way to give the public essential information about your client’s company or brand. While this is also an overall summary of an event or a brand that offers vital information, it is more concise than a backgrounder and acts as a quick reference for reporters. 

  • Press Coverage

Including previous press coverage and media gives a brand credibility and shows that people care. This also will highlight some of the most exciting events and accomplishments that the client has achieved. 

In conclusion, a well-organized and informative press kit is one of the most valuable tools in any public relations strategy. Including these essential elements will ensure that your press kit effectively communicates the brand’s message and positively gets the media’s attention. 

Remember, regular updates to a press kit are crucial to reflect any changes or developments to the brand.

Why Social Media Monitoring is Important

Today social media has become an integral part of our lives. It allows people to connect with family, friends, and even their favorite brands. For public relations experts, social media monitoring has become a prominent tool for managing a client’s image online. This means that now more than ever, consumers are looking to social media to seek validation for potential purchases and gain insightful information. Therefore, public relations experts and social media managers must stay on top of what people say about their clients.

Social media monitoring is the process in which you actively overlook what customers and followers say online about the brand. Understanding these conversations and comments allows you to react appropriately and effectively to help a client best. Here are some benefits of social media monitoring. 

  • Improving Brand Reputation

By staying in the loop about what people express online, whether positive or negative, it is easier to respond appropriately to your audience’s needs. When you can effectively communicate with your audience in a timely manner, it builds trust and, in turn, produces a positive reputation.

  • Crisis Management

Social media monitoring allows organizations to monitor the public’s sentiment during a crisis or emergency. By tracking real-time conversations, brands, and social media managers can respond promptly, address concerns, and reduce potential damage to their reputations. This helps to control the narrative better and achieve business goals.

  • Competitor Analysis 

Social media monitoring helps you understand where your brand stands compared to your competitors. Competitive insights are essential to stay on top of your competitors. By acknowledging what works well for them and what does not, you can adjust your social media strategy to stay top-of-mind in the industry.

  • Stay on Top of Trends

Social media monitoring provides valuable insights into consumer preferences, sentiments, and trends. By analyzing social media conversations, you can identify customer needs, gauge brand perception, and refine marketing strategies appropriately. In addition, you can monitor the top keywords and hashtags used in your industry and track how they change over time.

  • Identify Key Influencers

Social media monitoring is a great way to track who is talking about your client the most and who could be a potential resource in the future. Influencers are a valuable tool to get the word out about a brand or product. If you are already keeping track of who is talking about your brand the most and who engages with it the most, it simplifies the search for influencers. 

In conclusion, social media monitoring should be an integral part of a public relations expert or social media manager’s daily schedule. Social media is not going anywhere, so staying on top of trends related to your client and conversations happening around your client is the best way to keep them in a positive light. Understanding your online presence and audience will help you develop the best possible strategy for your client.

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