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Contact: Sara Im, 727-512-3017, moc.liamg%402maeTyhtlaeHMona Giordano, 727-457-3755
Oct. 2, 2019

Women Entrepreneurs to Discover Ways to Transform Businesses

SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. – Women-business owners will get valuable information to bring their companies to the next level at the 4th Women Celebrating Entrepreneur Conference on Oct. 12.
The event takes place at the Harborside Christian Church in 2200 Marshall St, Safety Harbor, FL, from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Women Celebrating Entrepreneurship conference is sponsored by A&B Insurance/Florida Blue, Sheryl Nicholson, CSP, coach, trainer, Podcaster and Fiona Melvin, a financial adviser with Edward Jones.
The conference will feature four speakers: Sara Im, award-winning author, inspirational speaker and owner of Smart Healthy Living; Mary Ellen Hastings, million dollar mindset coach, author and speaker; Mona Giordano, inspirational speaker, author and social media coach; and Sheryl Nicholson, CSP, coach, trainer, author and podcaster. 
This conference will discuss four key areas to improve a business:
Optimizing social mediaIncreasing salesInfluence powerfullyValue and use time effectively
 “It's going to be a truly transformational day that will leave participants feeling refreshed, inspired and confident to take their business to the next level,” said Im. “They will walk away with powerful breakthroughs in four big areas of their lives and businesses.” 
Besides the seminar, participants will enjoy lunch, door prizes, vendors, networking and fellowship. Tickets for the conference cost $39 and can be purchased through Eventbrite. Seating is limited. If interested, contact Im, 727-512-3017.

Part 3 of what makes something newsworthy follows. In parts 1 and 2, I gave you an overview of editors' thinking and more specifically ideas for entrepreneurs. In Part 3, you will see more reasons why something might be newsworthy to editors. 

What Makes Press Releases Newsworthy? Part 3

by Louise Harris

Editors and news producers have the power to decide what to air or print. They can choose the items for online publications. However, they need ideas from start-ups and entrepreneurs. To be better at deciding what types of ideas editors want, you can send releases on these categories.
1. Upgrading Technology – Today, if you blink, your technology is already out of date. Editors like trend stories, especially toward the end of the year. Therefore, if you have upgraded technology that will be the next trend, you are likely to interest journalists. Even if your new technology is not the next trend, it still makes a good story because it will make lives easier on consumers. Microsoft and Apple send releases for every new upgrade even if the technology is relatively the same as the previous version. 
2. New Infrastructure – Infrastructure encompasses a lot. It could refer to schools, water systems, transportation, levees and dams, distribution systems, recycling systems, and computer operating systems. Whatever your new infrastructure is, you are likely to be a hit. All of those items in the list are story ideas for journalists. There are financial gaps for what is needed and what funding is available. Journalists love to follow the money. This applies to operating systems too. Companies often don't have budgets for upgrades. Government agencies have to implement upgrades in short bursts. Often private corporations implement new technology first before government. The amount of money relating to infrastructure is staggering. Therefore, if you have a story idea about infrastructure, send the release. You are probably going to get picked. 
3. Funding – Speaking of money, if you are doling out money, winning money or asking for money, you should send a release. I am referring to venture capital, seed funding and crowdsourcing, such as a Kickstarter campaign. If you are venture capitalist, and you have just awarded a large amount of funding to an entrepreneur, journalists want to know. By the sam token, if you are the entrepreneur that just received that large funding, you also should send a release. If both organizations send the release about the same award, you will get journalist interest immediately. However, before any award can be given, it first must be proposed. Therefore, if you are a venture capitalist that is planning to award a large funding amount, tell the world. And, if you are an entrepreneur looking for funding or starting a Kickstarter campaign, you should send a press release. Many crowdsource funding opportunities require that you get media attention. Faselis Growth offers templates on seed funding releases if you don't know how to do it.
4. Celebrities/Politicians – Famous people just have to sneeze and the story will go viral. Celebrities and politicians will be covered even if you don't think what they are doing is newsworthy. Therefore, it is a good idea to invite local celebrities or local politicians to your grand opening. If you have landed a celebrity as a sponsor for your product, then you should announce that. And, ask their publicists to do the same. The same is true if a politician is happy you have opened your doors. Make sure the public and the media know what you are doing with your celebrities and politicians.
5. Industry Influencers – A new category of celebrity is industry influencer. These are the leaders in a field that entrepreneurs follow. They give ideas on how to run a business, especially for start-ups. They are becoming famous because they have produced content in blogs, videos, books, lectures, workshops and social media. They are followed by both media and entrepreneurs. Therefore, if you are one or are working with one, you should send a press release. Even if you have based your business upon an influencer's model, you should send a press release. That will tell journalists that you respect their advice and are going to be not a fly-by-night type of business. 
If you are unsure whether your idea for a press release is newsworthy, the experts at Faselis Growth and other companies will give your release an evaluation and help you make it newsworthy. You should ask for help if you don't know. That one might not be newsworthy, but something else might be.
This is the final article in the series.
You can be sure that you will always know what is newsworthy when you ask the experts of Faselis Growth and Faselis Professional solutions. 
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Lawsuit Claims Company Sells Timeshares Using Illegal Practices

by Louise Harris

Berkley Group Inc. of Florida allegedly violates federal and Florida consumer laws when it tries to get people to purchase timeshares, according to a lawsuit filed recently.
According to the complaint, Berkley Group violated the Telephone Communications Protection Act and Florida's Unfair Debt Collections Practices Act during the periods 2011 through 2013. Specifically, the complaint alleges unfair debt collection practices, use of recorded voices multiple times to entice plaintiffs to buy the timeshares and invasion of privacy. Plaintiffs obtained the Finn Law Group to represent their interests in the lawsuit. Proper notification was given to the Berkley Group
After being advised that the Finn Law Group represented the timeshare owners, Tatyana Yeremenko, Yuriv Yeremenko and Karen Davis, and to direct all correspondence through the law firm, the company ignored the repeated requests and continued to contact clients directly to try to , an invasion of privacy.
“Our main goal is to get the clients released from what we see as an unfair lifelong contract obtained via deceptive business and sales practices,” said Michael Finn, senior partner of Finn Law Group P.A. of Largo, Fla.
The Yeremenkos purchased a timeshare unit in Grandview Resort in Las Vegas. Davis bought a timeshare unit at Vacation Village at Parkway resort in Kissimmee, Fla. After purchase, timeshare owners were called using an automated dialing system to collect debts and harassed the plaintiffs into either paying the debt or continue to receive the debt collection calls.
The lawsuit, Yermenko, et al. vs. The Berkley Group Inc., et al., case No. CACE-13-028175, was filed Dec. 31, 2013, in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court in Broward County, Fla. The Berkley Group has not filed its response, said Finn, but he expects a motion to dismiss to be filed soon. If the court denies the motion to dismiss, Berkley Group would have to file an official response to the allegations.
Pattern of Consumer Complaints
Because of a pattern of allegedly fraudulent business practices, the Better Business Bureau has revoked its accreditation of Berkley Group in November 2013. It cited a pattern of complaints from consumers alleging high pressure and misleading sales tactics from Vacation Village Resorts, which is owned by Berkley Group Inc. 
Consumers said they were not free to leave timeshare presentation after several hours and the sales representative created a false sense of urgency to buy timeshares. More than 200 complaints have been filed with the BBB against the company.
However, the company said it does not show any evidence of misrepresentation or wrong doing and will not release timeshare owners from obligations. Berkley Group said representatives share a meal with families invited to resorts. They provide all details of ownership programs, but they are not pressured to sign.
Consumer Groups, FTC Recommend Caution
Both consumer groups, such as Public Interest Research Group, and the Federal Trade Commission, urge consumers to beware of companies like Berkley Group. FTC has a pamphlet on its Web site that gives basic information regarding timeshares and vacation plans. The tip sheet offers what consumers need to know before buying timeshares and when they want to sell them.
The agency has sued at least 10 companies for illegal robocalling, said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at PIRG.
“Some timeshares are good products, but most aren't. That's why they are often sold with a lot of high pressure, deceptive tactics,” he said. Consumers should not buy during the sales presentation and think through the purchase.
The plaintiffs seek monetary damages and attorney fees, Finn said. 

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