Quotes Corner

August 7, 2014


Summer Break: A college prof heads to work instead of the beach

By: Joan McCain
Program coordinator of the Ad/PR program at UCF

With my oldest child starting college this summer, I decided to not teach a summer course for the first time since 2006 to spend as much time as possible before she started classes during summer session. I decided that in February, and over March’s Spring Break I took a dozen students on a tour of advertising agencies and PR firms in Chicago. I have done the same tour in New York and San Francisco every Spring Break since 2009.

Those tours remind me how much I loved working in an ad agency myself, and I decided to take that nostalgia and use it for, what I called, a “professional sabbatical.” The first agency I thought of calling was Fry Hammond Barr, in downtown Orlando. In my professional life before UCF, the company I worked for hired FHB as its agency, and I recruited and hired Sandra Gerlt, FHB’s associate creative director, to teach Advertising Copywriting as an adjunct.

I called Sandra and asked if I could be an intern in the creative department, writing ad copy three days a week over the summer.

The timing was perfect, as a recent Ad/PR alum, Cesar Vallejo, who had been hired as a copywriter, had gotten accepted into the Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) program, which is a 10-week summer internship program sponsored by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), and he would be working in Austin, Texas all summer. I could take his place.

So, I started three weeks before Cesar left for his internship to get trained. I went to FHB Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and wrote radio spots, print collateral, digital ads, and print ads for Stein Mart and Nemours Children’s Hospital. I spent 12 weeks as an intern.

I wanted to use this experience to see what has changed and learn new industry practices that I could bring to the classroom. And what has surprised me is how little has really changed. Yes, there are new digital tools for doing things like time sheets and file storage, and Facebook ads now require copywriters to write in Excel in a rigid character count (man, was that a culture shock). But the idea generation, the project management, the relationships between agency and client–none of that has really changed. It’s like riding a bike.

I am extremely grateful to FHB for giving me this opportunity and allowing me to work with its incredibly talented team. And this experience showed me how being an intern is an incredibly learning experience—no matter how old you are.



Member PRofile: Megan Mills

August 6, 2014

Magan Mills

What is your title and company name?
Communications Director
Greater Orlando American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I handle all communications functions of the American Heart Association in Orlando, Volusia/Flagler and Brevard. I’m also the state lead for media advocacy efforts working closely with our team in Tallahassee. In a broad sense, I manage, plan, direct, control and implement a strategic communications program, with an emphasis on health communications, media advocacy and public relations support for fundraising events, programs and initiatives.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I’ve attended various FPRA events and seminars sporadically for about five years, but am a proud member of less than two months.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
I always look forward to the FPRA Media Roundtable/Mashup event. Even if you attend each year, there’s always something new to learn in the fast-changing world of media relations. Plus, it usually helps spark a good story idea!

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
At my previous job at an agency, I had the opportunity to work with a few celebrities and networks I thought were so cool at the time. Now working in the non-profit realm, it changes your scope a little. We featured a family as our mission moment at the Orlando Heart Ball this past March. I got to know the family as we worked together on media and pre-publicity, but most importantly got to know Skylar, six-year-old heart transplant survivor. Helping Skylar’s mom articulate their story and how they’ve been affected by the works for the AHA, then seeing the crowd respond overwhelmingly with donations, support and kind words  — that trumped any star-struck high I thought of as an “achievement” at the agency.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
My guilty pleasures are crime shows and rap music.

Contact info:

Fall APR Workshops

July 31, 2014

APR Workshops Start Monday, September 8

If you’ve ever thought about becoming accredited, now is the perfect time to take that dream and make it a reality. By becoming an APR, you can take your career to the next level. The APR credential is a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice. Candidates earn accreditation based on broad knowledge, strategic perspective and sound professional judgment.

Fall workshops begin Monday, September 8 with a free information session for prospective candidates to learn more about becoming an APR. Please join us.

When: Monday, September 8 at 6:30 pm

Where: Orlando Health Strategic Communications Office
45 W. Crystal Lake, Suite 201, Orlando, FL 32801 (Located in the SODO shopping complex)

Follow signs to Orlando Orthopedic Outpatient Surgical Center and take stairs or elevator to the second floor. The Orlando Health Strategic Communications office is located around the corner to the right when exiting off the elevators or directly across the hall when exiting the stairs.

*Free parking offered in the Crystal Lake parking garage
Are you ready for the APR?
This one-hour orientation is an overview of the APR process and covers these topics:

  • APR Overview
  • Study Guide
  • Knowledge | Skills | Abilities (KSAs)
  • Application Process

About the APR Workshops
The Orlando chapters of PRSA and FPRA will be hosting a free eight-week series of APR workshops on Monday evenings from September 8 – October 27 at the Orlando Health Strategic Communications office. The sessions are from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and led by seasoned APR facilitators who guide discussions on topics that will be covered on the APR computer-based exam. The workshops are not required “classes” but rather a professional development networking group of mentors prepared to help you succeed.

Visit the official Web site of the Universal Accreditation Board: www.pracceditation.org for the Candidate’s Process Chart for the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations and the Application.

To learn more, contact:
PRSA APR Coach Mandy Taylor, APR: 407-758-2581, mandy.taylor@orlandohealth.com
FPRA APR Coach Sheridan Becht, APR, CPRC: 407-780-4497, sheridanbecht@embarqmail.com

FPRA Orlando Chapter Awards

July 7, 2014

Call for Nominations: Member of the Year and Bob Davis Award

The FPRA Orlando Area Chapter is now accepting nominations for its two annual awards: Member of the Year and the Bob Davis Award.

The Member of the Year Award recognizes one member of the Orlando Area Chapter who has made a significant contribution to the Association through outstanding leadership, demonstrated enthusiasm, extraordinary involvement and loyal support.

The Bob Davis Award is named in honor of Dr. Bob Davis, Ph.D., ABC, APR, CPRC, retired professor from the University of Central Florida who gave tirelessly to our chapter and FPRA for over three decades. This award honors an individual who has worked behind the scenes in the past year to support FPRA. It’s our way of recognizing an “unsung hero.”

Candidates must be nominated by someone in the profession. Please include a written narrative of no more than 500 words detailing why the person should be recognized, the accomplishments/contributions that illustrate why the candidate warrants consideration, and the inclusion of committee work and/or other FPRA involvement. Nominees must be active FPRA members in good standing. Individuals may not endorse more than one candidate per award.

Nominations for members of our Board of Directors are appropriate.

Nominations should be sent to Orlando Area Chapter President Cynthia Lambert, APR at CLambert@metroplanorlando.com no later than Thursday, August 14.



Member of the Year – Sara Channing
Bob Davis Award – Laura Kern, APR

Members of the Year – Cassie Roach and Brian Craven
Bob Davis Award – Susan Ennis, APR, CPRC

Member of the Year – Stefanie Macfarlane, APR
Bob Davis Award – Jennifer Gammage

Member of the Year – Doreen Overstreet, APR
Bob Davis Award – Rachael Gmerek

Member of the Year – Jamie Floer, APR
Bob Davis Award – Tami Karaba

Member of the Year – Keith Salwoski
Bob Davis Award – Amanda Forbes, APR

Member of the Year – Chris Gent, APR, CPRC
Bob Davis Award – Cynthia Lambert, APR

Member of the Year – Bob O’Malley, APR
Bob Davis Award – Rachel Kingston

Member of the Year – Bonnie McGuire
Bob Davis Award – Sheridan Becht, APR, CPRC

Member of the Year – Brie Turek
Bob Davis Award – Chris Gent, APR, CPRC

Member of the Year – Jeni Hatter
Bob Davis Award – Trent Flood, APR

Member of the Year – Bill Randolph
Bob Davis Award – Doreen Perez

Member PRofile: Katarina Dos Santos

July 3, 2014

Katarina Dos Santos

What is your title and company name?
Public Relations Associate
Orange County Government

Give a brief explanation of your job.
As part of Orange County’s Communications team, I am responsible for monitoring and managing the Orange County social media pages. I support the team with editorial efforts, including writing news stories, news releases and monthly newsletters. Additionally, I assist in bilingual outreach and any other special projects or events that require PR collateral.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I have been involved with FPRA going on three years now, two as a student member through Quotes and this year as a professional. I joined Quotes in college because, as a PR major, I wanted to get involved with an organization that would provide me with the tools to network with local professionals and learn about the industry I was studying. I then went on to be the president of Quotes where I was able to take further advantage of the benefits and opportunities FPRA offered.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
My favorite FPRA event is Image Awards. I have had the opportunity to work on Image Award submissions in my last two internships, so I really understand the value and the importance of them. Then to be able to share my work with my peers and learn about all the wonderful campaigns they have also created at the award ceremony is truly a wonderful experience.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
In December, I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Advertising/Public Relations from UCF, in less than four years. During my time at UCF I held multiple student leadership positions, while managing fives internships as a full-time student. I am very proud of my accomplishments, both academically and professionally, and look forward to applying that same work ethic in my career as a new PR practitioner.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
People may not know that I have a duck phobia. The swans at Lake Eola give me major anxiety!

Contact info:

Guest Blog: Editorial Calendar Planning

July 1, 2014

Need Help with Your Editorial Calendar? Look at the Calendar.

Doug Richards.jpg

By: Doug Richards, City of Orlando

Father’s Day. The World Cup. The first day of the school year.

Most likely, events like these have nothing to do with your organization and your role as a public relations practitioner. But the happenings could relate to your digital content editorial calendar. Editorial calendars have become a valuable tool in planning website, blog and social media content. Looking at current events, as well as forward and backward, can aid in creating your calendar.

Check the Calendar
Holidays provide a wonderful opportunity to engage with your audiences, while also promoting your organization and building its brand. Do not wait until December to start thinking holidays. Are other special days relevant to your company? If your organization works with environmental groups, do not forget Arbor Day or Earth Day. Are women your target audience? Thank them on Mother’s Day.

Stay Current
The World Cup and the U.S. Men’s Soccer National Team have attracted plenty of attention this summer. Tying your organization to that buzz is possible. Could a blog post where your co-workers share their favorite sports moment, or photos of them playing sports as kids inspire your audience to do the same?

Look Back
Trends like #TBT (Throwback Thursday) have proven that audiences have an interest in content that highlights the past, regardless of how old that past really is. When creating your editorial calendar, remember to look back. What was your organization doing a year ago? Were there any major announcements five years ago? Are there photos from past events that can be shared? Content marketing is always evolving, but looking at the calendar is a good way to add to your editorial calendar with timely, relevant content.

Quotes Corner

June 4, 2014


Where I Hope to See Quotes in the Coming Year
By: Thevenin Campton

Winston Churchill, a 20th century politician who refused to accept defeat during WWII, once said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” For student organizations, this is especially true. As a senior, I’ve had the pleasure to experience several organizations within the UCF community. Through my time with them, I came to realize that while many of them strived, even more were struggling to grow and had hit a point of stagnation. More often than not, this was simply because they refused to adapt to what the University’s student body wanted. For student organizations that focus on a very specific topic, such as Quotes, it’s important to be able to adapt to not only those who have a direct interest in the particular topic, but also to those students who may have a side interest in it too. When the executive board of Quotes was elected, we met that week to plan for the success of 2014-2015 year. And through the innovation of several new ideas, we hope to increase the relevance of Quotes within the Orlando community, thereby increasing our bulk membership, member participation and satisfaction, and our organization’s overall participation within the professional community.

For the past six semesters, Quotes has had an average membership count of about 45. We hope to increase this number by at least 50 percent. To do this, we plan to tackle several objectives such as tastefully redesigning the design of the club’s website and implementing a two-click online application process for joining. We hope to place more pictures onto the website and improve the consistency of our blog. Outside of the website, we hope to broaden Quotes’ appeal within UCF by appealing not only to Nicholson School of Communication students, but also to College of Business students, such as those studying marketing and entrepreneurship. Lastly, to draw in students who have yet to be accepted into the Ad/PR program, I plan on implementing a program in conjunction with the UCF Ad Club to help students improve their chances of gaining acceptance. We’re striving to make Quotes more than just a “seminar club,” as one member said.

In the past, Quotes was a club that met bi-weekly. Each meeting hosted a public relations or communication professional that spoke to the club. While the organization will continue to invite professionals to speak, we plan on providing members with even more interactive opportunities. In the coming year, we will be encouraging our members to participate in social events and in many of the FPRA and PRSA seminars where we will be providing carpools to the events – so be on the lookout for us!

Quotes is changing to improve the quality in which it builds future professionals. It is the sincere hope of the entire executive board that the organization will serve as a conduit between aspiring students and professionals. We want to continue improving the relationship between the two communities and fostering connections that will help students better understand the practice and importance of public relations.



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