Image Awards Sponsor Spotlight: KUA

April 7, 2014

KUA LOGO  gold sponsor

Kissimmee Utility Authority is a proud sponsor of this month’s FPRA Image Awards gala in Orlando. The utility is no stranger to the Image Awards competition, having won more than 120 Image Awards and Golden Image Awards over the past two decades. In 1998, KUA brought home the state’s top PR prize—the Dick Pope All Florida Image Award—for its daily electronic employee newsletter, the KUA Morning Minute.

KUA not only leads in the public relations profession but in all areas of business, having earned the state’s second best utility safety record in 2013, Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission’s William C. Schwartz Industry Innovation Award, Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year Award, four time recipient of the American Public Power Association’s Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) reliability award.

Awards also include Florida Municipal Electric Association’s Community Service Award, Orlando Business Journal’s Best Places to Work Award, Florida Hospital’s Healthy 100 Workplace Wellness Award, American Heart Association’s Gold Level Fit-Friendly Award, and a Top 25 winner in the Orlando Sentinel’s Top 100 Companies for Working Families program.

This recognition anchors our belief that employees perform at their best and are happy to do so when provided with great tools and a positive, encouraging environment. These awards are a reflection of our commitment to our employees, and ultimately the 64,000 customers we serve in Osceola County.

Congratulations to all this year’s FPRA Image Awards recipients!

2014 APR Spring Readiness Reviews

April 3, 2014

Good luck to the candidates who participated in the Spring 2014 APR Classes and are now preparing for their readiness reviews to be held on April 11 at the Orange County Administration Building in Downtown Orlando.

We anticipate that this round of reviews will include three outstanding candidates!


Celebrating 50 Years of APR!

For 50 years, the APR has been 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.

The Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) serves as the governing body that has administered and managed the Accreditation process since its inception in 1998.

Accredited professionals are committed to lifelong learning, continuing education, giving back to the public relations community and the professional development of other practitioners.


Are you ready for the APR?  Our Fall 2014 Session will be here before you know it!

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


To learn more, contact:

PRSA APR Coach Kathleen Prihoda, APR: 407-828-3814,

FPRA APR Coach Lisa Nason, APR: 407-836-7343,


Chapter Rewind: Mission-Driven Marketing

April 3, 2014


By: Kerry Martin, APR

Not every company has a mission as community-focused and inherently beneficial as that of East End Market, the neighborhood market and food hub in Orlando’s Audubon Park Garden District.  But thanks to Heather Grove, East End’s community manager and speaker at last month’s FPRA breakfast program, you can take some of East End’s mission-driven marketing strategies and apply them to your communication efforts.  Here are some top takeaways:

  • Positioning:  What attributes of your company’s mission align you with some like-minded organizations and push you away from other competitors?  East End’s family of community organizations are united for one goal, and though they don’t outright compare themselves to other companies in the industry, their own vision sets them apart.
  • Internal PR:  How can your employees/members become your strongest advocates for your mission?  At East End, there is a monthly internal customer service award to support their mission-driven strategy.
  • Positivity:  What would your communication look like if all of your messaging was positive?  There is a lot of negativity that East End could describe in its content and marketing from pesticides to pollution to hunger, but all of their communication efforts instead focus on the positive side of farming and food culture.
  • Engagement:  How can you better engage your audiences through social media?  East End asks its fans and followers to join their movement through hosting events (both live and virtual) that educate and entertain.  When they find people who want to be a part of the mission, they empower them to be evangelists for the cause.

East End Market is a wonderful new asset for both our local food and farming community as well as our PR and event planning community—did you know that the facility serves as a wonderful venue site for a variety of occasions for up to 200 people?  Learn more at

Member PRofile: Alayna Curry

March 31, 2014


What is your title and company name?
Community/Government Relations Coordinator
Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I serve as the public liaison to both members of the community and elected officials. I give frequent presentations to local civic groups (Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, Chambers of Commerce, etc.) on transportation funding, the benefits of tolling and the operation of our agency. On the government side, I attend public meetings for MetroPlan Orlando, Tri-County League of Cities and county/city commissions to take part in the transportation conversation. The thing I love most about my job is getting to meet and interact with new people every day!

How many years have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I’ve been a member of FPRA for three years.  Although I hadn’t even attended a breakfast meeting yet, I was sent to the 2011 Golden Image Awards alone to accept an award. I got to know many of our chapter’s leaders and was eventually asked to join the board as the VP of Image Awards. Since then I’ve also served as board secretary and, this year, I’m VP of Interactive Media with my co-chair, Laura Kern, APR. We manage social media, the chapter website and our monthly newsletter, PRoclaimer. FPRA has been great for both my professional development and networking with members of the PR community. With a recommendation from another board member, I was able to secure an interview for my current job with the Expressway Authority.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
My favorite event so far was the 2012 Annual Conference in St. Augustine. Even though I was already serving on the board, I didn’t feel very connected yet. This event gave me the opportunity to really get to know my fellow board and chapter members. My favorite moment was at the Golden Image Awards … we got to meet Gumby!

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
Many of you know that I love to sing. In 2009, I was invited to participate in the grand opening press event for Disney’s American Idol Experience. Ryan Seacrest hosted the event, and I performed in front all seven of the previous Idol winners (Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia Barrino, etc.), Paula Abdul, other Idol contestants and Simon Fuller, the creator of the show. That night, I took home the attraction’s first “Dream Ticket” – a fast-pass to the front of the line at the real American Idol auditions. It was one of the greatest nights of my life and I’m proud to be the holder of Dream Ticket Serial Number 0000001.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
Some people may not know that I’m a licensed fitness instructor after hours. I teach Zumba and indoor cycling at LA Fitness. I lost 40 pounds after college and have found a new passion for health. I’ve made so many new friends on this journey and love helping people reach their own fitness goals too. Check out my Zumba website and Facebook fan page for more info. I’d love to have you in one of my classes!

Contact info:

Quotes Corner: Latest Updates

March 11, 2014


By: Fernando Agudelo, Quotes President

Chicago Spring Break Trip

Last week, Quotes took 15 students on an unforgettable trip to Chicago – a city where art, culture and history combine to offer one of North America’s most unique and beautiful big-city attractions. Despite the cold weather, students got the opportunity to visit some of Chicago’s best PR agencies and network with top professionals. Students visited Ogilvy & Mather, Havas Worldwide, Orbitz Worldwide and Manning Selvage & Lee. They even got to meet UCF Ad/PR Alumni working in the city during a special brunch. It may not have all sunk in the minds of these students yet, but the business part of this trip has value to them. And they will all experience it in different ways, which is what makes these trips special.

Intern Pursuit

Many of you have already registered for our bi-annual Intern Pursuit. As a reminder, it will be held on Thursday, March 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the UCF Pegasus Ballroom. Intern Pursuit is an event for employers looking to recruit advertising, public relations and marketing interns for the 2014 summer and fall semesters. There’s still time to register, so if you’re interested, email our VP of Events, Kaylee Randall, at To view the list of participating employers, visit:

Bob Davis C-Day

The staff and student leaders from the Nicholson School of Communication have expanded C-Day to COMM Week, a weeklong professional development series for communications students from March 17 to 22. The 2014 COMM Week event schedule includes presentations on technology, personal finance, professionalism as well as area-specific workshops.

Join us as we go back to the roots of COMM Week with a casual pizza party, provided by the Orlando Area chapter of FPRA, in honor of C-Day founder, Dr. Bob Davis. The event is from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is located at Lake Claire in UCF. It will give students and professionals an opportunity to network in an informal setting, hope to see you there! For more information about COMM Week, visit:

Agency Tour

Last month, Quotes took 10 students to two agencies in Winter Park. Students got the opportunity to learn what it’s like to work at an agency while they heard from professionals describing their work, client relationships, management styles and more. We visited Linda Costa Communications Group and Sara Brady Public Relations. A student participant said, “I really enjoyed the variety of agencies we visited. It helped me to better understand what type of agency I could see myself with in the future. It was great getting one-on-one time with staff members too in the agencies.”

Past participants found the agency tour to be very valuable to their professional development. We’ll be having another agency tour on Wednesday, March 29. CCH Marketing & Public Relations has already agreed to host us but we are still looking for another agency to visit. If you’re interested in participating, email me at To check out a recap of the latest tour from the agency perspective, visit:

Chapter Rewind: February Breakfast

March 10, 2014

Feb Breakfast

Not only did last month’s chapter breakfast help educate FPRA members on the Hispanic market, it also helped to dispel some common misconceptions about engaging in PR strategies to reach this growing audience.  The following list includes some tips provided by the speakers that were also live tweeted by @FPRAOrlando: Jeannette Rivera-Lyles of Eleven 11 Communications, Sharon Miranda of Univision 26 | Noticias Central Florida and Ana Karina Tovar of Telemundo Orlando.

  • Hispanics are the largest demographic using Twitter. So use hashtags in Spanish!
  • Children and family is really what drives the Hispanic community.
  • Keep your translations as neutral as possible. Don’t focus on one community’s dialect.
  • It is NOT necessary to have a press release in Spanish. Don’t be afraid to send something in English.
  • Think ahead! Is there a Spanish-speaking representative who can do an interview?
  • Partner with a worthy Hispanic organization. They can lend you a hand.

Can’t make the FPRA breakfast?  Make sure you follow our twitter stream (@FPRAOrlando) during each breakfast for more great takeaways such as these.


Ana-Karina Tovar
Twitter: @TelemundoORL and @AKToVa
Email press releases to:  and

Sharon Miranda
Twitter: @shamiranda
Email press releases to the assignment desk or with producer Rhaiza Robles

Jeannette Rivera-Lyles
Eleven 11 Communications

Maria Isabel Sanquirico
Eleven 11 Communications
Cell (813) 420-2922
Twitter: @MariaIsabel_29

Joe Curley Rising Star Award

March 10, 2014


The deadline for nominees for the Joe Curley Rising Leader Award is quickly approaching. The award was created to identify and honor up-and-coming individual FPRA members that demonstrate emerging leadership traits along with dedicated active involvement in FPRA Chapter activities, programs, functions and events. The goal of the award is to help recognize personal dedication and engagement of members with two to five years of membership, and to help build a healthy leadership stream at the local chapter level. Here are some key dates to remember:

  • Nominees must be a current member of the chapter and a member of FPRA for a minimum of two years prior to nomination, but not longer than 5 years.
  • Nominees must complete the nomination form and submit it, along with an updated resume and a professional head shot, to their chapter president for consideration by March 31.
  • Each local chapter board will review all nominations received at one of their scheduled meetings in April and select one representative from their chapter as their “Rising Leader Honoree” for that year.
  • Once identified, the honoree’s nomination, resume and head shot , along with additional comments the local chapter board wishes to provide as back up to the nomination, should be submitted to the Florida Public Relations Education Foundation Chair Ginya Carnahan, APR, CPRC by April 30. Ginya’s email is

Click here for the nomination form.


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