PUNTA GORDA/ENGLEWOOD BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2019) – Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau was presented with the prestigious Henry Award this week, the highest honor in the Creativity in Public Relations category, presented by VISIT FLORIDA at the Flagler Awards. The awards are an annual, statewide competition recognizing outstanding Florida tourism marketing.


The Henry Award recognized the destination’s exceptional public relations efforts and creative response to the red tide bloom which wreaked havoc on the states gulf coast in 2018. This esteemed award solidified Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach’s innovative approach to crisis communications after naturally occurring organisms threatened the top assets of the popular beach destination.


Through a grant-based recovery program with VISIT FLORIDA, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach created their most successful advertising campaign to date, the post-red Tide response – “Are You Beach Ready?” When the red tide was no longer present in area waters, the destination hosted key media influencers around the area’s beaches and islands and could therefore experience the beautiful clean beaches themselves and promote the “Beach Ready” message. The goal of the campaign was simple, tell and show visitors the beaches are ready for them to return with their families.


“In 2019, despite the bloom’s impact and the resulting misperception that our beaches were unsafe, this campaign was one of the most successful in our history, and is illustrated by the record-breaking numbers our destination has seen year-to-date in 2019,” said Wendie Vestfall, tourism director for the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau.


For more information on Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach, visit PureFlorida.com. Engage with the destination on social media at @RealPureFlorida on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.