Title & company: Communications Officer, Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS)
Give a brief explanation of your job: My main role is to serve as the spokesperson for Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) and handle all media/public relations needs. In addition, my other responsibilities include supervising our Community Involvement Department and our Communications Team comprised of Graphics, Marketing, Multimedia, and Web staff supporting our schools and district. For those of you with children in our school-system, I also serve as one of the main voices on your many school district phone calls you probably receive at home throughout the school year. #SorryNotSorry
How long have you been a member of FPRA and why did you join? I’ve been a member of FPRA for so long I actually don’t quite remember when I started. I believe I joined after college once I started officially working in the PR industry as a way to network and learn from my fellow peers and professionals. I’m guessing it’s likely been for approximately 17-19 years.
Can you share with us why you’ve decided to remain an FPRA member? In my opinion, there’s many benefits to being an FPRA Orlando member. For me, it’s an opportunity to network and learn from my fellow PR practitioners. Everyone in the Chapter comes with their own unique skillset, knowledge, and experience so, it’s great to be able to reach-out and know you can get help in areas that may not be your forte or bread & butter. I also really enjoy sitting on the APR panels and assisting with Image Award Judging because I find it serves as a tremendous learning experience seeing how various organizations and/or individuals handled their various PR campaigns. I always come away from that with a few best-practices or new ideas that I often wish to try myself in future tactics and/or campaigns. Most of all, FPRA also serves as one big support group. Only fellow PR practitioners know what we experience in our day-to-day work lives. We all have similar stories to share and similar craziness we’ve experienced. I feel like we’re able to lean on each other, laugh, cry and even sympathize together because only we truly know what it’s like to walk in each other’s shoes.
What has been your favorite FPRA event so far? As MANY of my fellow FPRA colleagues probably already know…it’s most-definitely the Image Awards Gala dancing the night away with my fellow PR Practitioners to the beats of the musical group “We Want More” (formerly the Kaj Bros.)!
Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional): My greatest personal achievement hands-down is being a Dad. However, on the professional side of things, I’d have to say the achievement I’m most proud of and that is the most meaningful/rewarding to me is being a mentor to my many former UCF interns who’ve gone on to have successful careers in the PR-industry and then subsequently watching them shine by paying their experiences and knowledge forward with interns of their own. It gives me great satisfaction to give back and hopefully lend some of my knowledge and experience to those just starting out. It’s even more fun and surreal when your former interns start hiring your other former interns. That’s when you know you’ve truly come full-circle and are beginning to quite possibly encroach on 5-degrees of Kevin Bacon status in-regards to UCF PR interns.
What was your first job?: Technically, my very first job was in high school opening the Target in Oviedo, FL where I started as a Cart-Attendant/Cashier. But, my first serious full-time professional job after graduation from UCF’s Master’s Program (Mass Comm.) was with the non-profit organization Senior Resource Alliance where I served as the Marketing/Communications Manager.
Fun fact: I’m really into all things Sports, Star Wars, & Punk Rock/Ska Music. UCF Games, Warped Tours, & chillaxing on the beaches of Scarif are my jam.
Michael Lawrence, Communications Officer
Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS)
400 E. Lake Mary Blvd.
Sanford, FL 32773