TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 20, 2018) – Port Tampa Bay’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously during the Port’s monthly business meeting on November 13 to exercise the first extension option of the three-year contract with HCP Associates, Inc. for strategic communications from November 1, 2018 to October 31, 2019.

“HCP provides exceptional depth and enormous talent in the media consulting services they provide to Port Tampa Bay,” said Port Tampa Bay President/CEO Paul Anderson.

Throughout the year, HCP Associates has worked with senior PTB staff on a range of issues, offering the most support for the Director of Public Relations, Samara Sodos, who has no direct support staff. HCP staff have assisted Sodos with multiple media requests, social media, social media development, and media strategies. HCP has also handled media relations for Sodos in her absence. In addition, HCP has provided services for several other PTB departments including marketing, branding, and executive initiatives.

“From social media tactics to strategic communications strategies, HCP offers tremendous support to the port’s public relations efforts, “said Sodos. “The creativity, organization, and overall guidance from HCP and its staff is truly remarkable.”

HCP’s engagement has boosted the Port’s brand awareness with various media outlets through the scheduled postings of positive and engaging stories. Press releases elaborated on projects, events, and other newsworthy announcements. Content was shared on both traditional and digital platforms. Since the Port’s works affects millions of individuals, efforts were made to reach wide audiences. An emphasis was placed on the circulation of positive media relations at both a state and local levels.

Within one year, HCP’s work with PTB’s social media channels and proactive public relations tactics have “humanized” the Port’s numerous services and increased social media followers by 185 percent.

Two Awards of Excellence were won working with Port Tampa Bay’s Director of Public Relations, Samara Sodos on “Glory Delivers Hope.” HCP and Port Tampa Bay teamed up to “humanize” Port services to aid the public’s understanding of the work that PTB provides for the region and the country. The Tampa Bay Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) awarded two awards of excellence to Port Tampa Bay and HCP in the categories of “Media Relations” and “Video/Long-Form Production”.

Port Tampa Bay is Florida’s largest port with over 37 million tons of cargo transported through the Port each year. In addition, the Port has over 5,000 acres in terms of physical size. Unlike PTB, most of the ports around the United States only handle a few types of cargo. Categories of cargo that pass through PTB includes: liquid bulk, dry bulk, break-bulk, containers, automobiles, cruises, shipbuilding, and repair.