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Influence President featured as guest on “This Week in South Florida”


Helena Poleo, President & Strategic Communications Director at Influence Communications  joined “This Week in South Florida” as a guest on May 15, 2016 to discuss the severe food and health issues in her home country of Venezuela.  The discussion with Michael Putney, veteran journalist at WPLG Local Ten News, involved other Venezuelan leaders in the South Florida community.

You can watch the full show here.

LBA: “Building Transportation” Breakfast Featured in Miami Today

Miami, FL - The Latin Builders Association (LBA) brought together the key government officials whose mission is to implement transportation, transit and mobility solutions throughout Miami-Dade County during its Signature Breakfast: Building Transportation today, March 16, 2016.The panel consisted of the following government officials: Aileen Boucle, Executive Director of Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO); Alice N. Bravo, Director of the Department of Transportation and Public Works of Miami-Dade County; Gus Pego, P.E., District Secretary for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT); Javier Rodriguez, Director of Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX).”Taking the lead and working with the Public and Private sectors to develop solutions to Miami-Dade’s traffic challenges in order to create a more vibrant, livable, sustainable Miami-Dade County is a top legislative priority of the LBA as it affects economic development, affordability and quality of life in our community,” said Alex Lastra, President of the Latin Builders Association.

The breakfast, hosted by Bilzin Sumberg and held at their offices in Downtown Miami, served as an informational opportunity and a call to action for LBA members and guests, who had the opportunity to participate in a Q&A and ask the panel questions regarding mobility, future projects, funding, and potential solutions to the transit issues facing Miami-Dade County.

For hi-res photos, please contact Sabrina Paz Riesgo
Check coverage of the event in an article in Miami Today!
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Florida lawmakers back in Tallahassee

Florida lawmakers are back in Tallahassee this week, and they have more to discuss than the budget. On the agenda in 2016: up to $250 million to attract out-of-state businesses, a wide range of tax cuts that could eliminate all income taxes on manufacturers and retailers, medicinal marijuana for the terminally ill, and even year-round daylight savings.

Top issues for our clients include public information requirements placed on Citizens and private property insurers, the potential for Florida’s Education Commissioner to become elected rather than appointed, and new details as to how Amendment 1 dollars can or cannot be spent across the state.

Influence Communications clients appreciate our unique hands-on, collaborative approach to managing their brand message and position. We stay on top of what’s going on in public affairs to ensure our clients don’t miss opportunities for positive exposure and thought leadership.

Don’t miss this opportunity; call us today 305-741-3051 or email us at


Influence Communications Vice President joins The Education Fund Board

edfundHelena Poleo, Vice President of Influence Communications, has joined the board of The Education Fund, whose mission is to provide private sector leadership and support for innovation in public education. Over 30 years, The Education Fund has raised more than $46 million for Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

” The team at Influence Communications feels passionately about giving back to our community. I am honored to serve on the board of The Education Fund and make a difference in a subject so near to my heart such as education in our public schools,” said Poleo.

Founded in 1985 with a grant from the Ford Foundation, The Education Fund acts on the belief that the health of Miami-Dade County begins with the quality of its public schools. By preparing and inspiring public school leaders and teachers, we impact student achievement and parent participation. By maximizing student potential, particularly for children living in poverty, we raise hopes and improve families’ futures. Our initiatives leverage private-sector investments and galvanize awareness of critical issues in public education. Our mission is to maximize students’ potential, ensure they each graduate, and provide each one with opportunities for success. Our programs benefit all schools, teachers and students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

For more information or to donate, please visit

Helena also serves as a mentor of high school girls in Women of Tomorrow, and is a founding member of the Young Professionals Board of the Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science.


Getting coverage as newsrooms shrink

If you are in media relations, it’s no secret that newsrooms are shrinking and reporters have less time than ever to dedicate to stories.

According to The American Society of News Editors’ annual newsroom census released last week, 2013 saw a net loss of 1,300 full-time newspaper journalists.This means that if you’re a PR professional, you have to work even harder to get your story placed.

Here are a few tips to help you get coverage.

1. Make your pitches count. Is your press release or press event really newsworthy? If not, then it is even more unlikely that you will get coverage. In fact, in sending non-newsworthy pitches to reporters, you potentially harm your chances of getting press in the future.

2. Foster relationships. This hasn’t changed from when newsrooms were full and Craigslist was just an idea. Meeting reporters for backgrounders is a good practice, and any reporter worth his or her salt will welcome talking to you about potential news events.

3. Keep media lists updated. A media list you compiled at the beginning of the year is already outdated. Some of the reporters have moved on, and others are covering different beats. The more targeted and up-to-date you are with your list, the more success you will have in reaching a reporter.

4. Social media. Go directly to your client’s customers on social media, but remember that no one likes commercials. Engage in real conversations in a real voice, not one generated through legal or marketing departments.

5. Paid media.
 With earned media becoming more challenging, savvy media outlets are realizing businesses will pay to get placement. Just be sure you get information about ROI before you go this route. Placing an article in a newspaper that gets buried in its digital edition and is not searchable is a waste of time and money.


Tips provided by PR Daily.