Isla Public Relations LLC © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Isla public relations LLC
Why Isla PR? Because as an experienced media and communications pro, I have a lot to offer. I've held several executive positions in my career, and I've also been recognized for my television work: by the Hispanic Journalists Association for a documentary, and by the Texas Association of Broadcasters for a weekly adoption series. My transition from news to public relations is a good story about following a dream but first, let me start at the beginning.
I was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, at the very southern tip of the state along the Mexican border. After high school, I earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and landed a job right away back home at KRGV-TV in Weslaco,Texas. I later joined the news team at KGBT-TV in nearby Harlingen. As any young journalist who aspires to move up to a larger market, when KHOU-TV in Houston called I accepted a job to cover news in the big city. I spent seven years at KHOU as a reporter/assignment editor until a random assignment changed my life. While reporting on a local scuba show, I was introduced to scuba diving. My curiosity about the sport led to a full scuba certification, and I discovered a passion for the sport and the lifestyle that comes with it. I had long dreamed of visiting exotic island destinations, and diving was a doorway to adventure travel.
Ultimately the travel didn't give me enough "island time" to satisfy my longing. I wanted more, so I had to make one of those "now or never" decisions. After a 13 year career in TV news, I took a chance with a PR job in the Cayman Islands, one of the world’s top dive destinations. In this Caribbean paradise I found a new home, life-long friends and an exciting new career - international tourism marketing. Cayman is a Caribbean hotspot with a close-knit, sophisticated and cooperative tourism/hospitality industry. For 12 years I helped promote the Cayman Islands, an easy sell with such a beautiful destination. I worked with many tourism partners to put Cayman's best foot forward in the competitive Caribbean market.
Most of that time I was a team member for Red Sail Sports, a top resort dive, watersports and retail company on Grand Cayman. As Director of Sales and Marketing, I helped craft company strategy to establish a brand beyond Cayman, and promote it in key markets in the U.S. and England, building a bridge between the Caribbean and prospective customers through trade shows, sales blitz’s and media outreach. These are all skills I use today to assist my clients both in the US and abroad.
During the early 1990’s, I was Red Sail Sports' first Group Sales Coordinator (the company was newly-formed), so I helped develop its incentive travel program with hotel partners, primarily the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman, with site inspections, media familiarization trips and other sales outreach. It was really fun to spearhead the company's group activities program, which has now expanded to include a destination management department for corporate groups. Red Sail Sports remains the premier watersports and retail provider for Grand Cayman’s top hotels.
Shortly after my arrival in the Cayman Islands, I met my husband, singer/songwriter James "Sunny Jim" White, who was the artist-in-residence at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman for more than a decade. During our years in Cayman he absorbed much of the Caribbean influences that now shine in his original music. We moved back to the US in 2000 with our twin daughters, and we now call the beautiful Southwest coast of Florida home. I manage and promote my husband's thriving music career - Sunny Jim enjoys an international following and travels extensively for shows across the U.S. and overseas. His original music is often heard on Jimmy Buffett’s Radio Margaritaville on Sirius Satellite Radio.
I returned to news for a short time in Sarasota, working for both SNN News 6, the Herald Tribune in-house TV station, and the Observer Group of newspapers. I also served as Communications Director and spokesperson for the Catholic Diocese of Venice from 2007 - 2010.
A few years ago I was approached by several friends in Cayman who needed help with company public relations, so I founded Isla PR. With my background in journalism, broadcasting and added skills with social media, I can help craft and execute a successful media and communications action plan for any business, large or small. As a storyteller I draw on my experience to come up with interesting news stories that might have been overlooked, and I prepare them as press releases tailor-made for broadcast, print or social media, and then pitch them to reporters and editors. My clients also share these stories via social media with their customers for more personal and frequent contact. Deadlines are no problem for me - a TV journalist is governed by the clock, so I know how to work on deadlines. And as a "Tejana" I'm also bi-lingual – with Spanish and English - a skill that often comes in handy.
I'm currently based at the HuB in downtown Sarasota. The HuB is a collaborative work space that is home to a growing creative and tech community, giving me access to great pool of pros in web design, illustration, photography, music, software design and more. Isla PR is a family operation! My daughters Hallie and Katie, both Illustration graduates of Ringing College of Art and Design, are designing projects that include CD jackets, posters, flyers and T-shirts. My husband James produces audio for soundtracks, TV and radio spots.
Thanks for checking us out.