Chapter Rewind: March Breakfast

April 8, 2015











Chapter Rewind: March Breakfast
Crisis Communications with Sara Brady

When it comes to crisis communications, Sara Brady is truly a pro. In fact, she was our 2012 Central Florida PR Pro of the Year. As the president of her own agency, Sara works tirelessly to fix, clean and put out fires all over the county. She’s like our very own Olivia Pope.

At our March breakfast Sara shared tips for how to deal with your client, your boss and the media when a crisis arises. First and foremost, good PR people need to understand the news business. You can’t outsmart the media if you don’t understand how they work. You should always be one step ahead. Crisis managers must be critical thinkers, empathetic, non-judgmental and realistic. Most of all, you have to trust your gut, even when your counsel isn’t well liked or received.

As the crisis manager, you need to know all the facts and identify your objectives. It’s what the client wants, not what the media wants. Everything comes down the five Ws – Who, What, Where, When and Why. Who was involved? What were the events that transpired? Where did it happen? When did it occur? Usually the hardest answer to get out of someone is the why. It’s not easy, but you must always tell the client the truth. It may not be what they want to hear, but it’s what they need to hear. The consequences are very real.

When everyone’s hair is on fire, your job is to be the voice of calm, reason and hope. Not everything is a crisis. Sometimes you have to stop talking and get your client to stop talking too. The issue may not be worth dealing with in the media.

Overall, crisis management is about leadership. It’s about being an authentic team player, stepping up to the challenge, juggling multiple issues and often sacrificing your time, sleep and energy. Whens things get overwhelming for you or your client, remember that a deep breath and some fresh air really helps put things in perspective. Stay calm!

For more great tips and tweets, follow @SaraBradyPR and check out her blog.

Quotes Corner: Spring Break in the Big Apple

April 8, 2015













Spring Break in the Big Apple
By: Jacqueline Kooser
Quotes Director of Communication

While most of my classmates packed their bikinis and sun screen, I was getting my gloves and heavy jackets ready to take on the city that never sleeps for my senior year spring break. Ad Club advisor Joan Mccain organizes a trip each year for Quotes and Ad Club members in order to experience big city agency life. After launching my blog this past fall and interviewing several bloggers based in NYC, I thought it would be awesome to experience the city as an adult for a few days and see what kind of feedback I would receive from professionals in the area about relocating to a big city after graduation.

The #KnightsInNewYork landed at LaGuardia a chilly Saturday afternoon and headed to the alumni mixer, where students were able to connect and mingle with UCF alumni that had successfully made the move to the big city. I found this to be the most beneficial part of the trip since interacting with people who took the same classes and interned in the same area as me is somewhat comforting when dealing with graduation tunnel vision. Sunday was spent exploring the city’s most popular areas such as Central Park, Little Italy, Brooklyn Bridge and more. Monday and Tuesday were spent touring some of the biggest and baddest advertising agencies in the city. We started off at BBDO and McCANN, getting the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of their overall visions, goals and wants for incoming employees. Meeting with HR reps and account executives was very interesting and insightful.

Tuesday morning we were up early and to tour Ogilvy & Mather, where we connected with UCF Ad/PR alum Brandon Maxwell. He gave us an incredible tour of the office space and coordinated four presentations, not only with an HR rep, but an employee from each department. We learned about what a day looks like for creative, a digital researcher, an account executive and a copywriter. After snapping our group photo we were off to McGarry Bowen. There we got an inside look at recent trending campaigns that the agency had put together and learned about the history of the agency and the value they have in strong employees.

On Wednesday morning I ended my trip by visiting the 9/11 Memorial Site. When riding the subway back to our hotel, I had a very happy thought enter my mind: “A year ago, I wouldn’t have ever traveled to a big city with people I didn’t know, and I definitely wouldn’t have done so in order to grow professionally.” As another academic year comes to an end, I find myself viewing opportunities such as the trip to NYC as a real gift. Being a part of the FPRA student chapter has helped me transform into the young lady I have wanted to be since I was in high school, and I can’t wait to apply all that I have learned in my future career and the next few months leading up to graduation. I hope to work towards opening many more great gifts before graduation in December 2015, and I am lucky to say that I have a wonderful network here in Central Florida that I am striving to make proud.

Member PRofile: Lauren George, APR

April 7, 2015

Lauren George













What is your title and company name?
Senior Account Executive
Costa Communications Group

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I’m a bit of a hybrid with a decade of experience in journalism, media relations, community relations, and internal and external communications. As a senior account executive at Costa Communications Group, I provide professional and strategic public relations counsel to a wide variety of clients – ranging from nonprofit and higher education to healthcare and law firms. In addition, I generate impactful media coverage for my clients.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I’ve been an FPRA member for four years. I joined the organization because of the excellent networking opportunities and endless support for professional development, and I’m thankful to be part of such a stellar group of public relations professionals. Since joining, I’ve served on the local board as vice president of professional development and vice president of membership.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
Too many to choose from. I like the diversity – from monthly breakfasts to media roundtables to state conferences. I leave each event with takeaways that can immediately be applied to my job.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I’ve been fortunate to have several exciting achievements throughout my career. I’d have to say the highlight thus far, though, is when I earned my APR in 2012. It required a tremendous amount of hard work and late nights, but it was definitely worth the investment. While becoming accredited was a proud accomplishment, the process itself was truly valuable because it broadened my knowledge base and taught me so many lessons on how to do my job better.

What was your first job?
My first job out of college was at WTSP Channel 10 in Tampa. I was hired as a graphic artist and also wrote stories for the evening news broadcasts.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
I was a competitive gymnast for several years and competed across the country. The sport taught me many life lessons, including dedication, teamwork, setting and reaching goals and, most importantly, always doing your best.

Contact Info:

Chapter Rewind: February Breakfast

March 12, 2015

Javon Scott








FPRA Orlando’s February Breakfast: A Student’s Perspective
By: Javon Scott, UCF Student

Being new to the city of Orlando and to the University of Central Florida, I was beyond elated to attend my very first FPRA Orlando event. Getting the opportunity to network and meet professionals in the field I’ve dreamed of for years is something I’ll never forget! The morning of, I ran around my house in search of something to wear so I could make great connections and a great first impression. I was a nervous wreck seeing everyone walk in. I practiced saying, “Hello, my name is Javon” maybe five times. One would think I was preparing for a job interview.

The breakfast brought out Prismatic’s Stephanie Darden, who gave a wonderful presentation on her “baby,” ProjectDTO. The project takes on the challenge of redefining what Downtown Orlando actually is. Darden and her team conducted many surveys via social media outlets (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to see what “Orlandians” really enjoy or dislike about Downtown. With some wanting more family orientated activities and some wanting more nightlife events, ProjectDTO covered all bases to make the changes that people want. For someone like myself who recently just moved here, I’ve seen nothing wrong with Downtown, but the response was huge. Homelessness was something that really stuck out to me, as Ms. Darden pointed out that many didn’t like how high the homeless population was in Downtown. This offers a great opportunity to help the homeless population together and change the community’s perception on the issue.

As Ms. Darden presented her project, I took a step back mentally to actually analyze where I was. For my first visit, I felt like a young professional being greeted with open arms of people who share the same passion as myself. I realized at this moment that all the practicing and rehearsal I did before entering the event was beneficial, but not necessary. I felt as if I was surrounded by a group of peers I’ve known for years! The professionals in attendance loved the fact that, as students, were eager to learn more outside of the classroom and ask questions about their everyday life in the workplace. Getting to take a selfie with the president-elect of FPRA Orlando, Laura Kern, APR, was probably my favorite part of the experience, especially because it got over one hundred likes on Instagram. I highly recommend that any student studying Public Relations at UCF attend an FPRA breakfast. It’ll be an eye opening experience and one step closer to your dream job!

Javon Scott 2

Member PRofile: Cristina Calvet-Harrold

March 9, 2015















What is your title and company name?
President, CCH marketing + public relations

Give a brief explanation of your job.
In addition to leading our business development efforts, I oversee media relations and strategic direction for the majority of our clients. Thankfully, I’ve surrounded myself with a great team who can take a great strategy and run with it to produce measurable results.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I joined FPRA 2 years ago. I enjoy the networking and fellowship provided through my membership.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
I really enjoy Media Mashup. I appreciate the opportunity it affords my team to learn more about the local media and how best to work with them.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I’m very proud of the awards I have won, including the Don Quijote Award, Orlando Business Journal Women Who Mean Business and UCF Notable Knights. However, I’d have to say that my greatest achievement is growing my business at least 25% each year since we opened in 2007 despite some challenging economic circumstances.

What was your first job?
In high school I was a Disney cast member. Believe it or not, I used to work in food service at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride!

Tell us something people may not know about you.
I love to travel, and so far I have been to 34 different countries (and counting).

Contact Info:
407-228-1901 ext 3

Member PRofile: Gabriel Soltren

February 12, 2015















What is your title and company name?
Technology Trainer
Orange County Library System

Give a brief explanation of your job.
Orange County residents and non-residents can learn new skills quickly by taking their choice of many technology courses available at the library. I am an instructor and trainer with experience teaching several of the subjects. Beginners and experts alike can benefit from the training. From Microsoft Office programs, to the accounting software QuickBooks, to video production classes, I’ve taught it. The courses can help anyone improve their skills and their ability to get ahead.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
As a former community outreach coordinator, I joined the Florida Public Relations Association Orlando Area Chapter last year to learn from other professionals and to improve my skills. The workshops provided me with a wealth of information. Presenters gave us examples of best practices in public relations. So far, FPRA membership has exceeded my expectations. For example, during the “ER for PR” professional development workshop, we learned from Alissa Gutierrez, director of marketing and communications at the Florida Chapter of the ALS Association, about the viral “Ice Bucket Challenge” video campaign. The campaign was probably the biggest viral fundraising story of 2014. Gutierrez shared some of the lessons that she learned and helped her organization locally during the national campaign.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
FPRA Orlando’s breakfast meetings were great. For example, IKEA Orlando marketing specialist, Kendra Ferguson, shared at a meeting that on Tuesdays children eat for free at their store. Ferguson explained that the company’s reason for providing free food was to help people that cannot always afford groceries.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I was recently selected to participate in a behind the scenes look at City government. As part of the 2015 City of Orlando Mayor’s City Academy, my goal is to become a better informed and a more involved citizen while learning more about local government.

What was your first job?
My first full-time job was working as a casual employee at the U.S. Post Office in Winter Park at Christmas time. Every now and then, we would get a letter addressed to the “North Pole” for Santa Claus. Temporary jobs sometimes lead to more opportunities. I was asked to stay longer and the extra income helped me to pay for my first new car.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
Last year, I worked on a reality television show. The production is back for another season and is currently filming in Orlando. Click here to learn more about the program.

Contact info:

Quotes Corner

February 9, 2015

By: Jacqueline Kooser
UCF Ad/PR Major

Quotes, the PR Club at UCF, is gearing up for another great year of professional development. First off, the executive board would like to extend a sincere thank you for hosting us at FPRA events, participating in Intern Pursuit and for staying connected to our members. We really do appreciate it and would not have had such a successful semester without all of your support. Second, we have some fresh new ideas for 2015 that we would love for you to be a part of.

With the help of our advisor, Lindsay Hudock, and the never ending perseverance of our president, Thevenin Campton, the board members of Quotes have teamed up with the rest of the Nicholson School’s communication majors to form the first ever communications fraternity at UCF: Zeta Phi Eta. Our rush week will be held from Feb. 3 until Feb. 7, and we hope to bring at least 20 young and aspiring professionals to your attention stemming from various backgrounds of writing and rhetoric, human communication, journalism, radio television and more. If anyone has any suggestions, advice and or ideas to contribute to our new community, feel free to reach out and let us know.

Quotes is setting up spring semester agency tours and scheduling guest speakers for our bi-weekly Thursday meetings. Each meeting is held at 4:30 p.m. in the Nicholson School at UCF’s main campus. We are eager to expose our members to every aspect of the public relations field possible, so feel free to email to reserve your opportunity to speak at one of our meetings.

Although 2015 is the start of a new year, it is also the end of one chapter and the beginning of another for two of our board members. In May, Thevenin Campton and Xenecia Farrell will be graduating from UCF. We hope to make this the best semester yet for them, and hope to see them off into the start of their careers. Also, the upmost congratulations are extended to our Director of Events, Xenecia Farrell, for becoming a MAIP finalist. We can’t wait to see where this opportunity takes you! Our Director of Membership and Director of Communications, Rosie Cappos and Jacqueline Kooser, will be traveling to the big apple come spring break, in order to tour some of the finest PR and Advertising firms.


This is going to be a great year with lots of room for our members to grow. We look forward to participating in FPRA events throughout the semester and getting to know more of Orlando’s best PR professionals.



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