Member PRofile: Jacqueline Kooser

August 11, 2016
Jacqueline Kooser

Jacqueline Kooser
Social Media Coordinator
Evōk Advertising

Give a brief explanation of your job. 

As a social media coordinator, I work with the account managers and social media manager in order to manage social media profiles across a variety of platforms for our clients. My day-to-day duties consist of creating engaging content for our clients’ audiences, creating and monitoring paid social media advertisements for our clients, and reporting on analytics across all platforms. I analyze and communicate the success of social media engagement and reach with the client and my manager in order to create new strategies, copy and calls to action each month to further the success of our clients.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join? 

I was a student member and board member of the FPRA student chapter at The University of Central Florida for 3 years. I joined the organization to better familiarize myself with the industry, meet key players in the Orlando community, and to network with PR professionals in the area! This will be my fourth year being involved with this organization, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it!

What was your favorite FPRA event?

My favorite FPRA event would have to be the Orlando Area Chapter’s Media Mashup! I was unable to attend this year, but after attending last year’s successful event, I walked away with so much knowledge gained. I really enjoy how the community comes together, from the newsroom side and the PR side, to learn from one another and to enjoy each other’s company.

Tell us about an exciting achievement.

An exciting achievement for me was earning my APR Student Certification this Spring of 2016! I took a course at UCF that prepped me for the certification exam, and it was truly a great experience to pass the exam and come full circle with what I learned freshman year, and all the experiences gained over my 3 and a half years in college, including internships and course work.

What was your first job?

My first job after college was a full time graduate internship at a prestigious communications firm in Cleveland known as Dix & Eaton. After the program was complete, I leaped back to Orlando to fill the shoes as social media coordinator at evōk!

Tell us something people may not know about you.

A fun fact about me is that I am a HUGE Cleveland sports fan! Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, I was brought up to be a diehard fan, so it’s safe to say that I am still fan-girling over the Cavs National Championship win! GO CAVS!

Contact info:
(352) 552-6119

Chapter Rewind: Media Mashup

August 11, 2016
2016 CFL FPRA PRSA Media Mashup by 106FOTO-079-X3

FPRA Orlando President, Laura Kern, APR, Javier Correoso, Public Affairs Manager for Florida, Uber Technologies, and Lauren Leetum, APR.

Chapter Rewind | By: Elyssa Wiener


This year’s Media Mashup was a huge success and a phenomenal networking opportunity, not only for industry professionals but also for students. The first speaker came to us from Uber to discuss crisis communication. Listeners learned tips on dealing with media when it comes to a crisis, and how to present yourself as a company spokesperson. This was a great learning opportunity for students because it showed how a large company like Uber handles a crisis and how a PR professional would handle a situation that isn’t necessarily ideal. One of the biggest takeaways from this speaker was no matter what, always start with the most important message. This is a great tip for students who might not know how to handle an in-person interview or deal with a company crisis that’s being shoved in their face.

2016 CFL FPRA PRSA Media Mashup by 106FOTO-098Later on, we attended a panel discussion entitled “Breaking Through the Clutter” where we learned that recently, digital is becoming more important than print in the news industry. Since everything is becoming more digital, there is a huge push for video-related material to be used in addition to news stories. This is great news for students, most of whom are already well versed in apps and programs such as GIFs, Boomerang or other graphics that can be used across all mediums

2016 CFL FPRA PRSA Media Mashup by 106FOTO-188The networking portion really kicked off when attendees got the chance to break off and meet with speakers they were interested in, in a speed-dating fashion. Some of the professionals available were from People Magazine, The Daily City, iHeart Radio and much, much more. Getting the opportunity to choose who you want to learn from and ask any relevant questions you can think of was an incredible opportunity. Students were able to get a handle on how communication jobs are run in different fields which is an experience that can never be topped. To look back at the event, check out #mediamashup16 and don’t miss out next year!

2016 CFL FPRA PRSA Media Mashup by 106FOTO-279-X3

FPRA Orlando President, Laura Kern, APR, President-Elect Alayna Curry, APR, Cristina M. Calvet-Harrold, APR, Julie Hall, APR, Alyson Lundell, APR, CPRC, Vice President Accreditation Jeff Grainger, APR, Beth Swanson, APR, and Lauren Leetum, APR.

2016 CFL FPRA PRSA Media Mashup by 106FOTO-084-X3

Vice President of Professional Development & Media Mashup, Heather Smith, APR and Vice President of Professional Development & Media Mashup, Maria Isabel Sanquírico

2016 CFL FPRA PRSA Media Mashup by 106FOTO-124-X3

Mark Schlueb and State President Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC – 2016 Media Mashup

Click here for more 2016 Media Mashup photographs.

President’s Message

August 11, 2016
Laura Kern

Laura Kern, APR, FPRA Orlando Area Chapter President

Dear Orlando members,

It’s been such a pleasure serving our chapter as president this year. I am very proud of all we’ve accomplished. Our chapter’s 21-member board of leaders were so impressive in their responsibilities and willingness to go above and beyond with helping each other and the entire chapter.

Here are just a few of their accomplishments this year:

  • Our monthly professional development meetings moved around our region and record numbers of members came out to network and learn together.
    • And, we held our first live streamed program with nationally recognized social media and branding expert, Ted Coiné
  • More than 100 PR practitioners came out to Central Florida’s Media Mashup this year, which brought back our media roundtables and incorporated more digital tactics for today’s PR pros.
  • Orlando’s membership remains strong, with more than 100 talented professionals who understand the importance of continued professional development
  • We welcomed four new APRs and one CPRC to our ranks this year.
  • You will soon see the fruits of much behind-the-scenes labor during the past year, when we reveal our brand new website. Stay tuned!
  • Supporting a thriving student chapter at UCF, Quotes grew to be 60 members strong, and many students regularly attend our professional events looking to learn from our members.
  • This year’s Image Awards was another amazing night to celebrate all we accomplished in our careers, with 66 percent of submissions winning an award.

What an amazing year! Through the board’s dedication, the Orlando Chapter is stronger than when we started. I’m so thankful for our board and supportive members, for your hard work and answering the call when volunteers were needed.

I hope you will join me in celebrating their accomplishments at this month’s breakfast on August 25 where we will also be installing our new leadership team led by Alayna Curry, APR. I’m confident this new group will take the chapter to even greater heights.


Laura Kern, APR
FPRA Orlando Area Chapter President

Contact me anytime!

Member PRofile: Jonathan Gabriel

July 13, 2016
Jonathan Gabriel

Jonathan Gabriel
Coordinator, Digital Marketing & Social Media, University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Give a brief explanation of your job. 

My position is tasked with formulating and implementing social media strategy for the UCF College of Medicine at Lake Nona. I create and post visual content – imagery, graphics, video – and monitor and respond to conversations happening around the college, UCF Health and the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences. I am also involved in designing flyers and other publications, updating the website, and writing and editing stories for news.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?

This is my first official year as part of FPRA! I just joined this spring, though I’ve been to some previous events prior to becoming a member. I wanted to be a part of this organization in order to network with other communications professionals and really develop those strong relationships in the community.

What was your favorite FPRA event?

I would say the Media Mashup. There’s always really interesting panel discussions and speakers covering the gamut of media, and this year is no different! Folks from Uber, PlayList Live, the Orlando Sentinel and iHeart Radio will be there, just to name a few.

Tell us about an exciting achievement.

I was recently promoted to a new position at the College of Medicine, so that’s pretty exciting! I’m looking forward to taking on new challenges and growing as a professional. In addition, I’ve been experimenting with Slack, a popular team messaging app, to build a community of higher education folks in public relations and social media. I started the community this past December, and we currently have over 140 participants from colleges across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium and Australia.

What was your very first job?

My very first job involved working as a bagger at Old Time Pottery. Although it didn’t pay a lot, I picked up some valuable lessons in customer service and being able to communicate with people and make their day just a bit brighter than it was before.

Share a fun fact that people may not know about you.

I used to karaoke – I’ve done Metallica and Billy Idol before! I also love binge watching shows on Netflix when I have time – House of Cards and Daredevil are two of my favorites.

Contact Info:
Twitter: @jongabriel

Chapter Rewind: June Breakfast – Tornado Takeaways: Lessons in Crisis Communications

July 13, 2016
Jason Bartolone, Alayna Curry, APR, Julie Hall, APR, and Drew Winchester at AAA Heathrow.

Jason Bartolone, Alayna Curry, APR, Julie Hall, APR, and Drew Winchester at AAA Heathrow.

Tornado Takeaways: Lessons in Crisis Communications

Chapter Rewind | By: Gabriel Soltren

Sarasota County’s Jason Bartolone and Drew Winchester managed communications during a tornado crisis in 2016 that produced 132 tons of debris and a visit by the governor.

As former journalists, Jason and Drew answered questions from CNN, Weather Channel, Telemundo, Huffington Post and others. At one point, Jason was being interviewed on CNN while Drew spoke with Good Morning America.

Drew Winchester, Media Relations, Sarasota County and former journalist provided crisis communications takeaways.

Drew Winchester, Media Relations, Sarasota County and former journalist provided crisis communications takeaways.

Drew told Florida Public Relations Association Orlando members that there was a misconception that Sarasota County’s older community did not use social media. However, it became obvious that they did. During the crisis, Sarasota County government reached 1.1 million people on Twitter.

Social media became the primary means of communication with reporters. Local government provided news updates on Twitter. They also provided behind-the-scenes photographs on social media. To save time, they published a statement giving reporters permission to use photographs posted on social media.

Drew Winchester, Media Relations, Sarasota County and former journalist provided crisis communications takeaways.

Jason Bartolone, Media Relations, Sarasota County and former journalist provided crisis communications takeaways.

“Media interest was greater on the second day,” Bartolone said. They shared second and third day stories with their media partners about life saving efforts and debris cleanup efforts by emergency responders.

The pair participated in annual county hurricane preparedness training and knew what had to be done. You must have a plan in place but, during a crisis, plans change. For example, they replaced most traditional media releases with incremental posts on Twitter. “Social media is the future of communications,” said Bartolone. “All the local reporters were on it.” They said that reporters retweeted and broadcast their messages.

Click here for more photographs from the June 2016 FPRA Orlando Breakfast meeting at AAA Heathrow.
FPRA 2016 June Breakfast

Call for Nominations: 2016 Chapter Awards

July 13, 2016

Call for Nominations: 2016 Chapter Awards

The FPRA Orlando Area Chapter is now accepting nominations for its two annual awards. The Member of the Year Award recognizes one member who has made a significant contribution to the Association through leadership, enthusiasm, involvement and support.

The Bob Davis Award is named in honor of the late 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.

Candidates must be nominated by someone in the profession. Please include a brief 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 Laura Kern, APR at no later than Monday, Aug. 1.


Member of the Year – Jeff Grainger, APR
Bob Davis Award – Julie Hall, APR

Member of the Year – Alayna Curry
Bob Davis Award – Nicole Huie

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: Kelda Senior

June 12, 2016
Kelda Senior

Kelda Senior
Public Information Coordinator Quest Corporation of America

Give a brief explanation of your job. 
I oversee public information for over 15 construction projects for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX): I develop community awareness plans for projects in the construction phase, identifying potential impacts to the public as a result of construction; Build alliances and corporate partnerships; Coordinate resolution of issues, visiting project sites, residential and business properties to address concerns;  and produce project informational fliers, fact sheets, traffic alerts and website updates for active construction projects.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I’ve been a member of FPRA for two years. I joined FPRA because of the organization’s reputation of supporting public relations professionals. The networking and professional development opportunities were reasons for my decision to join and become an active member of FPRA.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
This year’s Image Awards was a stellar event. It was inspiring to see other communication professionals recognized for their hard work, creativity and dedication to what they do.

Tell us about an exciting achievement.
Being recognized by Lake Business Magazine in their 2015 “30 Under 30” issue.

What was your very first job?
I worked at Old Navy for two years during high school.

Share a fun fact that people may not know about you.
During graduate school, I spent some time in Seoul, South Korea, where I learned about some of Korea’s innovative approaches to local government challenges. Although I never acquired a taste for the popular Korean dish, kimchi, I discovered my love for another traditional Korean dish, bibimbap.

Contact info:
phone: 904-703-1578
Twitter: @keldasenior


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.