Content Managment – What you can learn from Tampa Bay’s Notorious Pirate – Gasparilla


Pirate ship makes its way to the convention center followed by the Mosquito Fleet of boats in Tampa Bay.

In late January, the residents of Tampa Bay channel their inner pirate and take to the bay and streets in tribute to the notorious pirate, Jose’ Gaspar, nicknamed Gasparilla. As the last known Buccaneer that traveled the Spanish main and Mexico his legacy lives on with the only fully rigged pirate ship and 1/2 a million people that spend the month to celebrate daring, adventure and risk-taking to the max. The legend is that the day of his supposed retirement, he spied a British merchant ship passing offshore. Unbeknownst to him, it was the USS Enterprise, a U.S. Navy Warship in disguise returning from the Barbary Coast. As he pulled up to board and pillage, a battle ensued and Gaspar’s ship caught on fire. Rather than give up and meet his certain fate of a public hanging, Gasparilla wrapped a heavy chain around his waist and jumped off the bow of his ship. The crew that had remained on shore, took Gaspar’s considerable treasure inland and buried it in different places along the coast – none of which has ever been recovered. And now, the city celebrates with a huge parade, 120 krewes, and every seaworthy boat in the bay accompanies the Gasparilla pirate ship to the Tampa Convention Center to steal the keys from the Mayor.

When I view images of the Mosquito Fleet that accompany Gasparilla as it travels down the Hillsborough River and around Treasure Island, I think of how much useless content exists and clogs our emails, websites, newsletters and blogs. How many times have you read a blog on what to do to make your company more successful and walked away feeling like it was a platitude? Maybe it is time to channel our inner pirate as a writer. Be bold or go home. At least make the information disseminated useful, interesting and compelling to read, or don’t write it at all.

Or in other words, it may be better to plunge into the depths of the unknown than to meekly travel with eyes wide open to a certain quick and boring death.

About Leslie Allen

Leslie (Maxwell) Allen has over 30 years of providing marketing and PR support for companies coast-to-coast, small to large companies that specialize in three major industries: Automotive Aftermarket, Heavy Duty Aftermarket and Powersports. Over the years, Allen has assisted with copywriting for award winning campaigns, developed marketing and PR campaigns and developed and executed events attended by thousands of people. Wildcat Communications is a cost effective way to build more exposure and increase brand awareness.

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