Member PRofile: Dan Ward, APR, CPRC

February 10, 2016
Dan_Ward, APR, CPRC

Dan Ward, APR, CPRC
Vice President/Partner
Curley & Pynn

Give a brief explanation of your job. 
I provide strategic communications advice and counsel to clients in the utility, higher education, travel/tourism and economic development industries; manage our Message Matrix® message and media training program; and, support account teams that deliver outstanding results to clients every day.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I first joined FPRA in the mid-90’s for networking, professional development and leadership opportunities.

Tell us an exciting achievement.
Being named the PR Professional of the Year in 2013 was a true honor, and I’ll forever be grateful to FPRA for that opportunity. I get the most satisfaction out of achievements that aren’t public – things like receiving words of thanks from a client, and watching members of our team succeed and grow. On the personal side, my most exciting achievements are works in progress … two little girls who are growing up to be intelligent, thoughtful (and occasionally exasperating) young ladies.

What was your very first job?
I quit my first job at Winn-Dixie after one week and a million cuts and bruises from unloading box after box of canned goods. My first job in the industry was an internship with The Family Journal, which provided a great education on writing and editing.

Share a fun fact that people may not know about you.
Fun fact (something people may not know about you). In addition to my Journalism degree from UCF, I proudly hold a degree in clowning from Cooker T. University.

Contact info:
Curley & Pynn, 258 Southhall Lane, Suite 130, Maitland, FL 32751, (407) 423-8006.

Chapter Rewind: January Backstage Pass

February 10, 2016
FPRA Backstage Pass - Goodwill Industries

Images from the Backstage Pass, hosted by FPRA Orlando Area Chapter on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. Photo Credit: Chris Gent, APR, CPRC

Chapter Rewind | By: Gabriel Soltren

January Backstage Pass, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida

January’s Backstage Pass event took place at Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. William Oakley, CEO/President of Goodwill Industries, presented a brief history of the organization. Goodwill Industries was started by a Methodist Minister in Boston in 1902. Today, the nonprofit has 165 independent organizations.

Goodwill Industries

Goodwill Industries is one of the first “social entrepreneur organizations,” Oakley said. In Central Florida, Goodwill operates 27 retail stores. They provide job training for people with difficulty getting jobs. example, they help people that have been released from jail or have disabilities to get jobs. Oakely explained that they went from doing little marketing to aggressively marketing their services.

Goodwill IndustriesFPRA member Judith Pariseau, Vice President of Public Relations, spoke about the Goodwill Industries public relations campaign. Goodwill Industries developed a public relations and advertising campaign to increase visibility and to increase donations. The campaign included pre and post perception surveys, TV spots, radio spots, billboards, and print ads.

Goodwill Industries hired a public relations firm, Linda Costa Communications Group, to assist with media buys. They reduced expenses by using TV commercials produced by a partner organization in another state. After testing the TV spots with local audiences, a commercial featuring a sister that Goodwill Industries helped to find a job for their disabled brother succeeded.

Click above to see the “Jim and Shannon” commercial. The results of the public relations campaign included more than 60 media placements. The number of donors increased by 16 percent.

Goodwill Industries

The tour of Goodwill Industries included a backstage look at their operation. Pariseau showed members the book donation operation. Donated books are sorted and the best books are cleaned and given to school children. Other books are either sold online or they are recycled. The organization receives many donations of clothes. They improved their service by providing newer stores and convinient drive through donations. Idealy donors would not have to get out of their cars to make a donations.

Quotes Corner

February 10, 2016

By: Tiffany Berthiaume
Quotes President

2015 is a thing of the past for Quotes, the PR club at UCF. Elections have taken place and we have a wonderful new executive board for the 2016 school year:

Tiffany Berthiaume

Javon Scott
VP of Strategic Communication & Planning

Joel Hawksley
VP of Membership

Spencer Rhodes
VP of Operations

Karina Saad

Nikki Bloomfield

Quotes has started the semester off with two fantastic PR professionals, Mark Schaub and Jennifer Bisbee, APR. Members were thrilled with the amount of knowledge they were able to take away from each of those meetings. This spring semester we are looking forward to the agency tours and guest speakers planned at our bi-weekly Thursday meetings. Quotes is also preparing for a special trip to Tallahassee for members and professionals.

Each meeting is at 4:30 p.m. in the Nicholson School of Communication on UCF’s main campus. Our goal is to offer incredible opportunities for professional development, networking and the understanding of public relations for every student, no matter their major.

Many things are in the works for Quotes this year. A major one being Intern Pursuit. Students are already getting their resumes together and researching potential companies. It will take place on March 16 at 6 p.m. in the Pegasus Ballroom on UCF campus. If you are interested in taking part in this event, please feel free to email

We could not have had such successful semesters if it wasn’t for the support of FPRA. The past and present executive boards would like to say thank you. It’s been a phenomenal experience being able to participate in FPRA events and staying connected to the professional world as a student.

Cheers to 2016!

Member PRofile: Ashley Tinstman

January 13, 2016

Ashley Tinstman

Give a brief explanation of your job. 
As communications specialist at Curley & Pynn, I implement public relations and marketing strategies for a diverse range of clients in the high tech, travel and tourism, higher education and economic development industries. I enjoy my job because no two days are the same and I get to do a little bit of everything, whether it’s media relations, marketing communications, research or social media and blogging.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I joined FPRA in 2010 as a member of Quotes, the student chapter of FPRA at the University of Central Florida—and it was one of the best decisions of my professional career. FPRA has been instrumental in my professional development, and since I joined, I have created lasting connections with dozens of PR pros. My FPRA membership was also incredibly valuable during my job search right after I graduated college. The job board and monthly networking opportunities ultimately helped me land my first job.

What’s your favorite FPRA event?
My favorite FPRA event is definitely the Professional Development Workshop. It’s a great opportunity to hear and learn from so many leaders in our industry, and the event offers valuable networking as well. I look forward to it every year.

Tell us an exciting achievement.
I’d have to say my most exciting achievement has been launching a blog about entertainment and pop culture. I started it three years ago on a whim with low expectations, and it’s now grown to have an audience of more than 41,000 readers. It’s taken a lot of time and effort, but I am incredibly proud to have built something with a loyal and dedicated audience.

What was your very first job?
My first job was as a billing clerk for my parents’ business in high school. I sorted and organized patient files, billed insurance companies, made follow-up calls to patients and assisted with general office duties. And just because I worked for my parents, that doesn’t mean they went easy on me! I definitely learned the value of a strong work ethic and attention to detail.

Share a fun fact that people may not know about you.
I am an unapologetic and enthusiastic Taylor Swift fan. I have seen her in concert three times so far, and if you asked me, I could recite the lyrics to any of her songs (yes, even from her very first album).

Contact info:

Orlando Area APR Workshops Begin Monday, February 15

January 13, 2016

Jeff MarshallBy Jeff Marshall Grainger, APR
VP of Accreditation

Considering APR accreditation?  Now is your opportunity to learn more about the process and decide if you want to take your professional development to the next level.

Beginning Monday, February 15, the Orlando area chapters of PRSA and FPRA will offer a free eight-session workshop to help you navigate the accreditation process, organize your Portfolio for presentation to the Readiness Review panel, and prepare for the APR examination.  Workshop topics are based on the APR Study Guide and cover broad foundational knowledge, strategic perspective, and sound professional judgment.

Spring Workshop sessions will be held Monday evenings from 6:00 – 7:00 pm beginning February 15 at the Orlando Health Strategic Communications Office (45 W. Crystal Lake, Suite 201, Orlando, FL 32801 in the SODO shopping complex. Free parking.)

Earning the APR credential is a mark of distinction and demonstrates your commitment to the public relations profession and ethical practice.  Practitioners who’ve earned their APR say the process helped them develop both their skills and professionalism.  Military public affairs practitioners planning to earn their APR+M may also benefit from attending the workshop.

APRDon’t miss this chance to learn and network with local, practicing colleagues.  For more information, contact your FPRA APR Coach:

Jeff Marshall Grainger, APR: 407-739-7747

Guest Article | Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC

January 13, 2016


Why was the student afraid of the y-intercept? She thought she’d be stung by the b.

Lost already?  You’re not alone.  As professional communicators, we rarely encounter math problems – let alone corny math jokes.  But, contrary to the notion that we public relations people are terrible at math, as humans, we inherently learn and work more efficiently with formulas, rules and reminders.  We rely on formulas to solve and analyze many of our problems, we rely on rules to help us set boundaries and we have reminders to help keep us on track.

So, it’s no surprise that, for us, the definition of public relations can boil down to a simple formula:  Relationships + Responsibility + Reputation + Results.

When applied in just the right measure, these four key elements result in an effective public relations practice:

Developing relationships is at the core of what we do.  After all, “relations” is in the job description.  We must create lasting relationships with our stakeholders, including customers, employees, community leaders, investors, elected officials and members of the media, just to name a few.

The definition of a relationship centers on the importance of two-way communication, made even easier today with “smart” technologies.But here’s the key:  Relationships must be genuine.Without it, credibility is instantly lost.

Public relations professionals can’t focus so intensely on our own messaging that we forget to open our ears.Whether feedback is positive or negative, simply listening shows a genuine interest in the stakeholder experience.And that can transform a relationship from bad to better.

In our profession, there’s a lot at stake.  An organization’s success hinges on its reputation, its relationships and, ultimately, its results.And, public relations contributes to all three.

Clients hire us to make big decisions and we must be accountable, regardless of a positive or negative outcome.We’re bound to make mistakes, but excuses are not the solution.  We must own the problem, react quickly and learn from the experience.

Taking responsibility for your actions, and holding yourself and others within your organization accountable, is essential.It’s in this commitment to integrity that we can all lead by example and guide clients to do the same.  In fact, at Curley & Pynn, we think responsibility is so important that we integrated it into the foundation of our company culture.

Can you name a business owner who isn’t concerned with their reputation?  Thriving businesses with bad reputations simply do not exist.  People associate with people they like and trust.  It’s one of the many reasons we’re in business.

Public relations serves as the conscienceof an organization. The C-suite relies on our strategic approach to maintain a company’s credibility in the marketplace.  Clients turn to us to guide them, help shape company culture, and identify opportunities to display their commitment to employees and the community.  It’s our job to influence an organization’s trustworthiness, dedication to stakeholders and corporate citizenship, and then share that story with the public.

If you want to spark an instant friendship with a public relations professional, offer their client a seat on “Good Morning America.”  With nearly 5 million viewers, it’s one of America’s most-watched morning news programs – a coveted opportunity.
However, smart public relations practitioners know it’s not just about getting a big opportunity.  The true value our profession is not our output.  It’s our outcomes.  While it’s nice to set a goal of distributing five press releases a year or securing 10 high-profile interviews for your CEO, the real question is:  What results will your efforts achieve?
Our business is a social science.  Our clients want customers, voters, advocates and friends, and we have to figure out how to get there.  We can’t just secure opportunities with shows like Good Morning America for the sake of a good story.  We must secure meaningful opportunities that will motivate audiences in thought and action.  We must achieve results.

Public relations should dovetail not only the company’s overall marketing plans, but also its strategic business plan.  Your objectives should reflect the company’s objectives and have an impact on the bottom line.  That’s how you get a boardroom seat.  That’s how you influence company strategy.  And that’s how you ultimately drive the best results.

So, what’s that =
You can’t do a job well unless you know what’s expected of you.  The sum of these parts is our take on what our clients expect of a good public relations practitioner.

And equally important to success is that your client knows you can do the math.

Excerpt from For The Win, which can be found at

Member PRofile: Chris Gent, APR, CPRC

December 14, 2015

Chris Gent, APR, CPRCGive a brief explanation of your job. 

My department holds responsibility for the utility’s internal and external communications, including marketing and advertising, media and public relations, employee outreach, special events and corporate philanthropy. KUA serves 67,000 electric customers in Osceola County.

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

I joined FPRA in 1995 as a way to foster my professional development and career growth. Since then, I have built a network with literally hundreds of public relations practitioners across the state. Membership in FPRA has allowed me to advocate for the profession, mentor students, earn recognition through its Golden Image Awards and Image Awards programs and serve in numerous leadership roles to support the association.

My year as FPRA State President was all about innovation and enhancing member services. During that year, we increased membership, we honored a record number of professionals for accreditation and certification, we increased the number of entries in our Golden Image Awards program and we waved goodbye to three-ring entry binders and welcomed a new electronic submission process. Over those 12 months as president, I traveled 6,080 miles and visited all 15 FPRA professional chapters—some several times—as well as two of our student chapters. It was an amazing experience!

What’s your favorite FPRA event?

My favorite FPRA event is undoubtedly Annual Conference. The conference is a tremendous opportunity to network with FPRA members and hear from speakers and thought leaders from across the country. The conference is a terrific way to expand your thinking through new perspectives, useful insights and timely case studies. The return on investment is solid and the value can’t be matched.

Tell us an exciting achievement.

Serving as FPRA State President was certainly an exciting achievement and a highlight of my career. I look forward to my next big adventure when I take over as chairman of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce in 2017. It’s a much larger board than FPRA (85 total) and comes with more diversity and responsibility.

What was your very first job?

My first job was as a stock boy at an automotive repair garage in Satellite Beach, Fla.,at age 15. I received,opened and unpacked automotive parts, sortednew tires, organized vehicle batteries, made coffee in the customer lobby, cleaned bathrooms, swept parking lots, etc.Once I was old enough to obtain my driver’s license,I served as valet and delivered repaired vehicles to the customer’s home or business. I held that job until I graduated from high school. My biggest take away from that experience was the importance of always recognizing the contributions of your frontline employees.

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

Before my wife Laura and I were even dating we had the opportunity to visit the Dirty Dancing movie set in Lake Lure, North Carolina. It was so cool to walk around the small studio where Johnny Castle taught Frances “Baby” Houseman to dance,to see Johnny’s cabin and the staff cabins, to walk across the log where they practiced balancing, to walk up the stairs where Baby carried the watermelon and to stand on the stage where the “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” closing scene was shot. It remains one of my all-time favorite movies.

Laura and I have seven children, ages 21 to 2, and they keep life fun and very active!


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