Member PRofile: Lauren Neuman

November 10, 2015

Lauren NeumanGive a brief explanation of your job.
I work on an account team with two other PR pros. Together, we manage an account load of varying sizes and needs – from traditional PR, to social media, to branding, in industries including real estate, food and beverage and retail. Specifically, I’m responsible for PR efforts for a local tech firm and a home builder.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I joined FPRA about four years ago for the awesome professional development and networking opportunities.

What’s your favorite FPRA event?
The Media Mashup event is my favorite – it’s such a valuable opportunity to sharpen media relations skills and build relationships. This past year, I got a unique perspective and appreciation for the process, when I served as event co-chair.

Tell us an exciting achievement.
This past year has been an eventful one – I got married and moved into a senior AE role. 2016 will have a lot to live up to!

What was your very first job?
For a brief time in high school, I had two part-time jobs: cashier at Panera Bread and clothes folding extraordinaire at Abercrombie & Fitch. Believe it or not, I much preferred the faster pace of food and beverage!

Share a fun fact that people may not know about you.
I’ve had a basic understanding of the Spanish language my whole life, but my recent honeymoon to Costa Rica inspired me to sign up for a class online. I want to be fluent someday!

Contact info:
(407) 849-0100

FPRA Member Milestones

November 7, 2015

Membership Milestones

This month we’re celebrating several people who have reached membership milestones. Thank you for spending so many years with us!

Timothy Trudell
Lisa Burby
Michael McCarthy
Cassie Roach
Steve Triggs, APR

Albert Brian Craven
Judith Pariseau
Amanda Forbes Mestdagh, APR
Lisa Nason, APR

Bob O’Malley, APR
Alyson Lundell

20 YEARS  
Daniel Ward, APR, CPRC

Chapter Rewind: 2015 Professional Development Workshop

November 6, 2015

By: Gabriel Soltren

Meet the Headliners

We heard from a number of great speakers at this year’s Professional Development Workshop. Held at Leu Gardens, the theme of the event was “Meet the Headliners.” Below is an overview of each of the sessions.

Shooting at Strozier Library – Dave Northway, Tallahassee Police DepartmentDave Northway

David Northway, Public Information Officer, with the Tallahassee Police Department spoke about the Strozier Library Shooting at Florida State University. In November 2014, a shooter opened fire at the main campus library and injured at least three people. Law enforcement officers responded quickly and surrounded the shooter. They ordered him to drop his gun. The shooter refused and he was shot and killed.

Northway explained that during crisis situations people usually go into circular reasoning asking themselves questions repeatedly. For instance, what am I going to do? The key is to ask yourself these types of questions before a crisis happens. As a police officer, Northway plays the “what if” game. “What if a bad guy comes in during this conference?” he asked. “What would I do? How would I escape?”

Northway provided crisis communications takeaways from his experience. For example, after the library shooting, his voicemail filled up fast; therefore, he set up a Google phone number to handle the large number of phone calls. The Tallahassee Police Department recorded their press conference and posted it on YouTube. When reporters called for a follow-up story, he directed them to the full press conference online. Reporters could also use the video footage for their story. Northway stated that he received training from the Florida Law Enforcement Public Information Officers Association.

Dave Northway“The media is like a big hungry dog,” he said. “You have to feed it or it will go somewhere else.” For example, they may interview a student that could provide wrong information. Northway explained that the police department named the shooting the Strozier Library Shooting early on and avoided negative headlines associated with the name of the city and the university.

Hear the Roar! How the Orlando City Soccer Club Started a Movement – Lenny Santiago, Orlando City SoccerLenny Santiago

The second keynote speaker Lenny Santiago, Vice President of Communications, with Orlando City Soccer spoke about his public relations experience during the club’s first Major League Soccer season. Orlando City Soccer has a worldwide following. The club’s player Ricardo Kaká “has a 60 million social media following globally,” Santiago said. When he posts online, it instantly gets a large following. More than 300 media persons came to the first game. Major publications covered the club. National television networks broadcasted the matches and brought publicity to the City of Orlando.

Santiago mentioned that in 2016 they will start a men’s United Soccer League team named Orlando City B (OCB) and a National Women’s Soccer League team named Orlando Pride. OCB will play in Brevard County and Orlando Pride will play in the Orlando Citrus Bowl. “The Orlando Pride logo features the iconic fountain on Lake Eola,” Santiago said. Three superstar players will play for Orlando Pride including Olympic gold medal winner Alex Morgan. “She is the equivalent of Kaká in media requests,” he said.

Lenny Santiago

Maria Isabel Sanquírico, Vice President of Professional Development, Laura Kern, APR, President, Lenny Santiago, Vice President of Communications, Orlando City Soccer, Heather Smith, APR, Vice President of Professional Development and Alayna Curry, President-Elect.

The Orlando City Club is building a stadium in the Parramore Community. The Orlando City Foundation is focusing their work in that community. For example, the Orlando City Foundation built a futsal court in Parramore. The futsal court will be used to support a free after school program.

What Can Another Penny Do For You? – Tre’ Evers and Christina Morton, APR

Christina Morton, APR

Christina Morton, APR and Tre’ Evers with Consensus Communications spoke about their 2015 Golden Image Award winning Seminole County Penny Sales Tax Public Information Campaign. The campaign for local government raised some questions. Since they were working for local government, they could not express support for or against the sales tax. “Lawyers had to approve everything,” said Evers. They could only inform residents about the sales tax. For example, they could explain how the money was spent in the past to build schools, a pedestrian bridge over I-4, and for trails in Seminole County. The campaign won the Florida Public Relations Association Golden Image Award in the category of public service.

 Tre' Evers

Research provided evidence to support that voters typically loved local government and believed that state and federal government were more dysfunctional. “We knew that going in,” said Evers. Voters favored paying more taxes for schools and less for roads. Morton and Evers explained that direct mail was more effective than email in this campaign because it reached more residents. “Email is like a melting ice cube,” said Evers. Emails go away. Many people change or close their email accounts every few years.

Tre’ Evers, Political Consultant and Communications Specialist, Consensus Communications, Laura Kern, APR, President and Christina Morton, APR, Senior Account Executive, Consensus Communications.


Repositioning a Global Name: Rebranding Port Tampa Bay – Karl Strauch, Port Tampa Bay

Karl StrauchKarl Strauch, Vice President of Branding Development with Port Tampa Bay, spoke about rebranding the full service port. The Port of Tampa was known as Florida’s largest cargo port but not for cruise ships. However, the port has a thriving cruise line business. “PR singlehandedly saved us,” said Strauch. To better tell their story, they invited officials that had never been to the port. Many did not know about the port’s economic impact. For example, they noticed that the governor had not been to the port. They invited him. They also engaged the local mairtime community, community based organizations, chambers of commerce and economic development organizations.

Port Tampa Bay provides many businesses with better shipping routes. Strauch explained that Port Tampa Bay can save companies 4 to 5 travel days in delivering products to their customers. Four days can make a big difference when distributing fresh fruits. They adopted the regional name Port Tampa Bay because it represents a larger geographical area than just the city of Tampa. Their messages included “It’s faster, it’s cheaper, and it’s safer. We’ll spoil you everyway but rotten. Reroute your thinking.”

Karl Strauch

John Finn, Karl Strauch, Vice President of Branding Development, Port Tampa Bay, Jamie Floer, APR, CPRC, Susan Vernon-Devlin, Assistant Vice President of Membership

Port Tampa Bay from Port Tampa Bay on Vimeo.

Quotes Corner

November 6, 2015

On October 30, Lindsay Hudock, Vice President of Student Outreach and Lisa Malone, APR, CPRC, NASA Liaison to the University of Central Florida Nicholson School of Communication led a group of members Quotes, the PR Club at UCF, to a behind the scenes tour of the Kennedy Space Center.

Kenedy Space Center

2015 Professional Development Workshop

October 7, 2015

Meet the Headliners

2015 Professional Development Workshop

You don’t want to miss this year’s event!  Hear from the PR professionals who took on – and successfully tackled – some of the most visible initiatives of the last year.

This year, topics include:

  • Shooting at Strozier Library: A crisis communication study from the Tallahassee Police Department
  • Hear the Roar! How the Orlando City Soccer Club started a movement
  • An Award Winning Campaign: What can another penny do for you?
  • Repositioning a Global Name: Rebranding Port Tampa Bay

Get a crisis communication case study from the Tallahassee Police Department who responded to a shooting at FSU’s student library, managing a national media onslaught and quelling concerns with anxious students and faculty.  Find out how the Orlando City Soccer Club launched a colossal movement across the region, generating an energized and rapidly growing fan base for the area’s newest sports team.  Learn about the creative and compelling campaign that took home a Golden Image Award for educating the community about a challenging issue –the increase of a county-wide sales tax.  And hear from the marketing executive of Tampa’s largest economic engine, Port Tampa Bay, about how they successfully repositioned a global brand.

This year, speakers include:

  • Dave Northway, Public Information Officer with the Tallahassee Police Department
  • Leonardo Santiago, Vice President of Communications for the Orlando City Soccer Club
  • Tre’ Evers, Co-founder of Consensus Communications
  • Christina Morton, APR, Senior Account Executive with Consensus Communications
  • Karl Strauch, Vice President of Branding Development and Strategic Alliances for Port Tampa Bay

Attend the half-day event which includes a hot breakfast.  We hope to see you there!

Members – $40
Non-members – $50
Students – $30

For sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, please contact:

Heather Smith, APR

Maria Isabel Sanquirico

Chapter Rewind: October Breakfast

October 7, 2015

By: Gabriel Soltren

Nate Long, Laura Kern, Alayna Curry

Retargeting Gone Wrong: 5 Easy Steps to Angry Customers

Nate Long, Strategic Marketing Consultant, was the guest speaker at our September chapter breakfast. In his presentation, Retargeting Gone Wrong: 5 Easy Steps to Angry Customers, Nate advised members not to “creep people out” by following them online when targeting specific audiences.

Nate Long, also known as @theprguy on Twitter, owns Nate Long Marketing and Amplify Entertainment. His expertise includes identifying intenders, who are people that go online to find something. For example, if you go online with the intention of learning about vacationing in Orlando, you are an intender of Orlando Vacations.

“Retargetting is marketing based on actions taken,” said Long. The retail company Target is “almost too good at predicting,” he said. One of the retargeting stories gone wrong was that Target knew that a 15 year old customer was pregnant before her father knew it. The father complained that the retailer was sending pregnancy related advertisements to his teen daughter. Target marketers knew that she was pregnant because an algorithm based on her purchases predicted a high probability of pregnancy. Target learned that advertising specific products to customers that they believe are pregnant is carried out better when shown with unrelated products, for example, lawn mowers. Retargeting is okay “As long as you don’t spook them,” said Long.

Companies can use retargeting to sell items including shoes. For example, if you click on a link to buy shoes and find that the shoe ads are following you when you go to a CNN webpage or a YouTube webpage, the odds are that a cookie in your computer is telling the marketers that you visited a shoe store. Companies that offer remarketing services include Ad Rule and Perfect Audience.

Member PRofile: Heather Smith, APR

October 7, 2015


Give a brief explanation of your job.
The Public Affairs Division is the outreach arm of the Sheriff’s Office and we work closely with residents, businesses, schools, non-profits and faith-based groups to safeguard our community through education and crime prevention. The Division is comprised of the Public Information Unit, the Neighborhood Services Unit (crime prevention deputy sheriffs), Code Enforcement, School Crossing Guards, and Volunteers. As the director, I provide the leadership and strategic direction to a phenomenal team of professionals, and together we serve 430,000+ clients – the residents of, and visitors to, our county.

How long have you been in FPRA? Why did you join?
I originally joined the Capital Chapter in 2006 and relocated to the Orlando Chapter in 2012. I joined for the professional development; I love learning what’s new and what’s next in our industry.

What’s your favorite FPRA event?
The Professional Development Workshop, of course! It’s always a fast-paced, jam-packed forum to hear from some of the best in our business, connect with other PR professionals, and still make it back to the office for the afternoon!

Tell us an exciting achievement.
In 2013, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office handled security for the State vs. Zimmerman Trial, and for 40 days we were in the spotlight while we calmed community concerns, quashed rumors, and managed an international media campground just steps away from our back door. Later that year, our investigators toppled a multi-state, illegal gambling enterprise that resulted in more than 50 arrests and the closure of dozens of internet cafes. The case prompted state policy changes, and generated a flood of public and media interest. My colleague and I were named Public Information Officers of the Year by the Florida Law Enforcement Public Information Officers Association that year.

What was your very first job?
The first thing I actually got paid to do was teach tennis at summer camp. I began doing PR work at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about 15 years ago when I was tapped to do executive speech writing and head up some of the agency’s special events.

Share a fun fact that people may not know about you.
I went skydiving last year for the first time. It was originally planned as a surprise birthday present for my boyfriend, but then I figured jumping with him would be a better way to celebrate together – so I did!

Contact info:


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