Member PRofile: Megan Paquin, APR

September 12, 2016
Megan Paquin, APR

Megan Paquin, APR Marketing Manager Hyatt Regency Orlando

Give a brief explanation of your job.

Ranked Orlando’s No. 1 meetings destination, Hyatt Regency Orlando is the second largest convention hotel for the Hyatt brand. As marketing manager, my role encompasses all aspects of the marketing mix – creative, public relations, digital ecommerce, social media, to name a few. Our team is responsible for increasing awareness and revenue, as well as engagement with our guests, clients and colleagues.

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

I joined FPRA in 2010 because I wanted to meet likeminded professionals and learn best practices. I recently returned to FPRA after moving out of the country. It’s been great to be back to re-connect with the local industry, and old friends!

What’s your favorite FPRA event?

Media Mashup. It’s the most efficient way to meet with an abundance of media and local professionals alike, to take a pulse on what’s important in our community and how we can align our communications strategies.

Tell us about an exciting achievement.

Earlier this year we welcomed our first daughter, Ryan Nicole, and becoming a mom is hands down my most exciting achievement ever.
First job: I started my career as a public relations coordinator with MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas where I specialized in international media relations and major broadcast, and was a part of the opening team of CityCenter which is the largest privately-funded development in United States history.
Tell us something people may not know about you.

I’m in the final stretch of earning a master’s degree in behavioral economics from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Two semesters left!

Contact information:

Chapter Rewind: 2016 Board Inductions & Award Recognition

September 12, 2016
The 2016 - 2017 Board of Directors at the Installation Breakfast. Photo Credit: Chris Gent, APR, CPRC

The 2016 – 2017 Board of Directors at the Installation Breakfast. Photo Credit: Chris Gent, APR, CPRC

Laura Kern
Laura Kern, APR gave a recap of the previous board year and thanked outgoing members for their service.

Remember the television show “Miami Vice” and the University of Florida “The Gator Nation” public relations campaign?


Joe Hice, APR, CPRC, Chief Marketing Officer & Senior Vice President, Enterprise Florida. Photo Credit: Chris Gent, APR, CPRC

Joe Hice, APR, CPRC, provided the Wellcraft speed boats used on the TV show and as former University of Florida associate vice president for marketing and public relations, he developed the PR campaign to make the university more visible.

Joe Hice, APR, CPRC, chief marketing officer & senior vice president at Enterprise Florida recommended taking daily action on the most important and creative things first. Check your email later. Hice provided leadership advice from his 31 years as a professional with an Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). His suggestions included communicating your mission verbally, in writings, in drawings and in any way possible. “Try to leave a legacy,” he said. He advised members to speak about their mission every day to get buy-in from others.

Member of the Year

Heather Smith, APR

Congratulations to Heather Smith, APR with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, who was honored as our Member of the Year. This award recognizes one member who has made a significant contribution to the chapter through leadership, enthusiasm, involvement and support.


Bob Davis Award

Congratulations to Lauren George, APR winner of the Bob Davis Award. This award is presented to someone for their “behind the scenes” volunteer efforts. It is named in honor of the late Dr. Bob Davis, former UCF professor and mentor.

Alayna Curry--2016


Alayna Curry, APR
Central Florida Expressway Authority

FPRA state president Terri Behling, APR, CPRC presided over the induction ceremony for new FPRA Orlando president Alayna Curry, APR and the 2016-2017 Board of Directors.

Click here for photographs from the 2016 – 2017 Board Installation breakfast.


Award Winning Orange County Government Communications Division

September 12, 2016

Award Winning Orange County Government Communications

[L-R] The Events and News and Information team of the Orange County Communications Division; (top row) Administrative Assistant Patricia Deutsch, Public Information Officer Doreen Overstreet, Assistant Manager of Communications and Digital Marketing Nadia Vanderhoof, Supervisor of Events and Special Projects Kasey Brinkley, Digital Communications Editor Whitney Ramirez, Multimedia Digital Coordinator Katarina Dos Santos, Communications Intern Lisa Kauffman, (bottom row) Senior Graphic Artist and Editor Lisa Damerst, Public Information Officer Carrie Proudfit, Communications Division Manager Ann Marie Varga and Events and Special Projects Coordinator Stephen Sperandio, gather to discuss ongoing newsroom efforts.

Orange County Government is the recipient of several awards from the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA), the National Association of Counties (NACo), The Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Since being elected in November 2010, Mayor Teresa Jacobs has been a staunch advocate for citizen involvement and continues to champion broader technological advances through pioneering web, mobile applications and social media in Orange County.

“We are deeply committed to reaching a broader demographic through advancements in technology and digital media,” Mayor Jacobs said. “Our digital world moves at light speed and we recognize Orange County’s role in Central Florida’s fast paced interactive communication landscape. We are working every day to maintain and expand traditional and digital public engagement tools for our 1.2 million citizens, our agency partners and 66 million annual visitors.”

Mayor Jacobs was the first sitting mayor in Florida to feature a Social Media Ambassador program in her 2014 State of the County address. Under Mayor Jacobs leadership, and inspired by the success of the initiative, Orange County’s Technology and Social Media Workgroup was formed. The program brought together local, technology-savvy online influencers and now operates as a think-tank on emerging technologies, social media and mobile applications.

“For the last decade, the County’s news and information operation was primarily reactive,” said Ann Marie Varga, Orange County Communications Division Manager, who was appointed by Mayor Jacobs in December 2013. “In early 2014, we launched a proactive outreach program designed to reach citizens of all ages using a range of communication tools. From our innovative online Newsroom and companion OCFL News app to our phenomenal social media engagement and citizen outreach, the priorities of the Communications Division are telling the Orange County story and providing news and information instantaneously through traditional and mainstream digital platforms.”

In April 2016, Orange County won three awards at the FPRA 2016 Image Awards. Orange County received the Judges’ Award in Public Information for Outreach to Community Publications, the Award of Distinction in Special Events for Mayor Jacobs’ Walk, Ride, Thrive! pedestrian safety program and the Award of Distinction in Online Engagement for Social Media Engagement Revamp. The FPRA Image Awards competition is conducted annually to recognize outstanding public relations programs and has become a standard of public relations excellence in Florida.

In June 2016, Orange County received the NACo 2016 Achievement Award for its program titled “Digital Newsroom Media Center Transformation,” in the category of Civic Education and Public Information. The NACo Achievement Awards Program recognizes innovative county government programs.

In July 2016, Orange County was among the top 10 U.S. counties named winners of the 2016 Digital Counties Survey. The survey, conducted by CDG in partnership with NACo, identifies the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that save tax dollars through newfound efficiencies; boost transparency, cybersecurity and engagement; or innovate through unique and exciting projects.

The PRSA Radiance Awards – which highlight Florida’s public relations campaigns that demonstrates excellence in research, planning, implementation and evaluation – recognized the Communications Division in the Public Relations Product Website category for the team’s Newsroom Media Center transformation efforts.

The efforts of Orange County’s Communications Division have been recognized by respected industry trade organizations. In October 2014, the Communications Division received Ragan PR Daily’s Top Digital Award for Best Community Engagement, recognizing the groundbreaking success of online outreach efforts with citizens during Mayor Jacobs’ 2014 State of the County address. In April 2015, the group also received FRPA’s Judges Award for Audio/Visual & Online Tools of Public Relations for outreach during the 2014 State of the County.

Through the Orange County Newsroom Media Center, Orange County Government provides citizens and visitors a look at the region’s many milestones, a variety of feature stories and the latest news about the County and its leadership. Orange County’s mobile applications – OCFL News, OCFL 311, OCFL Alert, OCFL Atlas and OCFL Serves – help keep citizens apprised of the latest regional news and emergency weather alerts.

Orange County’s Newsroom Media Center was the central location for all information relating to the Pulse nightclub tragedy, including updates from the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office and statements from Mayor Jacobs.

On June 12, a gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 others inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It is considered the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman and the deadliest incident of violence against the LGBTQ community in U.S. history. Still under investigation by the FBI, the Pulse tragedy is also considered the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Prior to the launch of the enhanced Newsroom Media Center in April 2014, the County’s newsroom was static with two to three news releases posted monthly and approximately 2,000 online page views annually. In contrast, the Newsroom Media Center received more than 710,000 online page views in 2015. During the month of June 2016, the Newsroom Media Center received nearly 117,000 online page views from citizens, national, local and international media organizations. During the same timeframe, almost one million social media accounts were reached through Orange County’s digital team.

For more information on the OCFL mobile apps and to download the apps on your Android or Apple mobile devices, visit


Nadia Vanderhoof, MA
Assistant Manager of Communications and Digital Marketing
Orange County Government
201 S. Rosalind Ave. 3rd Floor
Orlando, FL. 32801
Office: 407.836.5464
Mobile: 407.616.7316

2016 Membership Renewal

September 12, 2016

It’s membership renewal time. We hope you were able to set aside some discretionary income in the budget to retain membership in FPRA. For those of you with limited funds, your Orlando chapter is offering one full and one partial scholarship for membership renewals. We also have a scholarship for students who are advancing to their professional careers. The deadline to apply for these scholarships is Friday, October 14, 2016.
If you wish to apply for a membership renewal scholarship please send me an email at with responses to the following questions:

1. How long have you been a member of FPRA? Why is membership in FPRA important to you?
2. What kind of work do you currently do? Is more than 50% of the work you do related to PR?
3. What have you learned from your year(s) in FPRA that impacts your current job?

Once again, scholarship application are due by 5pm on Friday, October 14, 2016. Please send your responses to A committee will the evaluate responses and award the scholarships accordingly.

Quotes Corner

September 12, 2016

Fall 2016 Kickoff of Quotes, the PR Club at UCF

Quotes PR Club 2016 Kickoff

(Back row, from left to right) Joel Hawksley, Quotes UCF VP of Membership, Karina Saad Delgado, Quotes UCF Webmaster, Lindsay Hudock, Quotes UCF Faculty Advisor, Javon Scott, Quotes UCF VP of Strategic Communication and Planning, Jonathan Gabriel, FPRA Orlando VP of Student Outreach
(Front row) Elyssa Wiener, Quotes UCF President, Tiffany Berthiaume, Quotes UCF Vice President

2016 Board Installation Breakfast

2016 Quotes PR Club Officers

FPRA Orlando President-Elect Lindsay Hudock introduced Nikki Bloomfield, Historian, Karina Saad Delgado, Webmaster and Elyssa Wiener, President of Quotes, the PR Club at the University of Central Florida during the August board installation breakfast at The Coop Restaurant in Winter Park.



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.