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Kivvit Director Kelly Penton Celebrates Two Years at the Miami Office — And Offers Some Advice

Kivvit Director Kelly Penton Celebrates Two Years at the Miami Office — And Offers Some Advice

It’s been two years since the opening of Kivvit’s Miami office, and in that time we have built a diverse roster of clients that include some of South Florida’s most high-profile and impactful organizations. Many of those clients have brought us on board to manage the communications and public affairs surrounding an important city commission or council approval for their planned developments. While each issue requires a customized approach, there are four fundamental steps we recommend for a successful approval.

  1. Develop your message early. The way you describe your project is extremely important as it will guide how the public and elected leaders perceive it. You want to carefully craft project messaging at least a month in advance of a commission review and use that messaging as the basis for all collateral materials (fact sheets, etc.) and your own talking points.
  2. Focus on the greater good. Elected leaders are concerned about their constituents, not your project. It is critical to frame how a project will benefit the greater good, rather than focus on the bells and whistles of the development itself. For example, you want to talk about how a proposed hotel will bring jobs and activate a derelict site, not the luxury amenities it will offer guests.
  3. Build a strong coalition in advance. This involves reaching out to surrounding business owners and residents, as well as any other organizations that will be impacted by your project. The goal should be to identify supporters who are willing to be vocal, attend m
    eetings, serve as sources for the press and author letters to the editor.
  4. Develop a strategic media relations plan. Early on, you should determine if and when you need to be proactive in reaching out to the media about a proposed project. More times than not, it is better for you to go to the press before they find out through others about the development; this allows for you to frame the story and avoid being caught on the defensive. Having a media relations team that has relationships with reporters who will be covering the project is key, as they can more effectively manage the timing and delivery of news.

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