Balancia Dedicated To Success

By  //  August 3, 2013

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'COLLABORATION IS THE KEY'

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA — Donna Balancia thinks the Space Coast is a little piece of heaven on earth.

Donna Balancia, veteran journalist and public relations pro, views Brevard as a "piece of paradise." (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Donna Balancia, veteran journalist and public relations pro, views Brevard as a “piece of paradise.” (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

And as a promoter, she wants the rest of the world to think so too.

Balancia, a veteran journalist, who is president of Balance Marketing and Public Relations of Melbourne, is among those who form the backbone of the Space Coast.

“It’s so important for us to take stock of our collective experiences and apply them to our goals for the future,” Balancia said.

“Collaboration is the key to success for the Space Coast.”

ONE OF FIRST FEMALE JOURNALISTS TO COVER NFL

Balancia was one of the first women sportswriters to cover the NFL, she created new types of promotional strategies for film producers in Los Angeles, and she collaborated with scientists in her news coverage of evolving technologies in San Diego.

Balancia was one of the first women sportswriters to cover the NFL, she created new types of promotional strategies for film producers in Los Angeles, and she collaborated with scientists in her news coverage of evolving technologies in San Diego.

In Brevard County, where she lives, Balancia teams with top entities, promoting businesses and getting the word out on the wonders of the Space Coast.

“We live in a unique and beautiful place that is rich in history and diversity,” Balancia said.

“We have a smart workforce that is able and ready to work.  We have great weather, a wonderful school system and a legacy of space exploration. These are the aspects of our county that I continually communicate to everyone I meet.”

ESTABLISHED REGULAR COVERAGE FOR BREVARD TOURISM

Donna Balancia has promoted the Space Coast world-wide, pictured here with PGA Pro Golfer Bobby Clampett (image for Space Coast Daily)

Donna Balancia has promoted the Space Coast world-wide, pictured here with PGA Pro Golfer Bobby Clampett. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Balancia came to Brevard County from San Diego when she was recruited as a business writer for Gannett’s Florida Today newspaper. At the paper, she established regular coverage of Brevard’s tourism industry.

But coming to what she calls “Paradise,” followed a long line of impressive credentials and news jobs from United Press International in New York City to covering the entertainment business in Los Angeles. Balancia started at Gannett as a reporter when she was 19 years old.

It is tougher today for young people to get work, but Balancia believes that through  volunteering — and good timing — people can create their opportunities.

INSPIRATIONAL BEGINNING

Balancia’s first newspaper job was a result of a breaking news story she volunteered for her local paper, the Reporter Dispatch, of Westchester County, N.Y.

“I drove over to the newspaper office, sat down at the typewriter and wrote my first news story,” Balancia said.

“The story ran in the paper the next day with my name on it and I was hooked.”

“I was 19 and enrolled in my first news writing course in college,” Balancia recalled.

“One day, I was in my car at a stop sign when a guy in a tiny Toyota sped on by me, followed by two police cars, sirens blaring.  All of them stopped shortly ahead of me and the speeder took off on foot.  I approached cautiously, with my notebook in hand.  I told the police officer I was a journalism student and got the information about the events that were unfolding. I called the local paper to ask if they wanted the information and the editor said ‘Come on in to the office, and write up the story, kid.’  That made me feel great!

“I drove over to the newspaper office, sat down at the typewriter and wrote my first news story,” Balancia said.

“The story ran in the paper the next day with my name on it and I was hooked.  Based on my work on that afternoon, Gannett offered me a job, and that turned into a career.”

MENTOR TO ASPIRING JOURNALISTS

Donna Balancia with Patti Smith, an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist, who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement (image for Space Coast Daily)

Donna Balancia, left, with Patti Smith, an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist, who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Through her work, Balancia mentors many aspiring journalists and communications graduates.  She says it is more important than ever for young talents to talk directly to potential employers in an age where a resume is sent via email and lost in the black void.

“Always make the extra step to get the employer’s attention,” Balancia said. “Volunteer your time to charity, help out employers for free.  Get out there so when a position does come up, they remember you.”

Volunteering is a life-long ambition, Balancia says. Like many others in Brevard County, she gives her time to charities and various projects.

During her years in Hollywood covering the film business, Balancia interviewed everyone from President Bill Clinton to Clint Eastwood and hundreds of other celebrities, entertainers and executives.

“I am so fortunate and I want to give back,” Donna said. “I never thought I would be fortunate enough to live somewhere like the Space Coast.  To me, it’s Paradise.”

From her first job at Westchester Gannett, Balancia went to work at United Press International in New York City, where she covered sports. After some years, she moved to Southern California to cover entertainment and film, technology and biotech before she was recruited to work and live in Brevard County and come back to Gannett.

During her years in Hollywood covering the film business, Balancia interviewed everyone from President Bill Clinton to Clint Eastwood and hundreds of other celebrities, entertainers and executives.

Donna Balancia covered several Academy Awards events in Los Angeles from the Red Carpet (image for Space Coast Daily)

Donna Balancia covered several Academy Awards events in Los Angeles from the Red Carpet. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

Balancia provided the critical editorial support for Al Pacino in his bid for the Best Actor Oscar, which he won for his portrayal of Colonel Frank Slade in Universal’s  “Scent of a Woman.”

CLICK HERE TO READ BALANCIA’S INTERVIEW WITH WOODY ALLEN

Balancia also gave important editorial input on Tommy Lee Jones’ Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for the Warner Bros. film “The Fugitive.”

CLICK HERE TO READ BALANCIA’S INTERVIEW WITH STEVEN SPIELBERG

Balancia’s love of the beach inspired much of her work over the years. And she is proud of her work with the U.S. Lifesaving Association, which gave her its public service award for her articles on the importance of lifeguards to Brevard County.

CONTINUING INFLUENCE ON BREVARD MEDIA COMMUNITY

Balancia gives talks to groups on the importance of always staying strong no matter what the odds.

“I come from several generations of Americans who still believe that your dreams will come true if you work for them, ” Balancia said.

“All of our lives have been blessed with wonderful people and outstanding moments. When the going gets rough, remember that it is through the challenge that you will grow. And when all else fails, take a walk up the beach here and everything will be all right.”


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