Member PRofile: Holly Cammisa

June 13, 2018

Holly Cammisa
Account Coordinator, CCH Marketing

Give a brief explanation of your job.
In my role, I create and solicit content for social media channels, maintain online reputations for multiple high-profile clients, coordinate media relations and ensure brand consistency on all projects.

How long have you been a member of FPRA and why did you join?
I joined FPRA last October to connect with industry professionals. There’s no better way to learn than by networking with talented peers.

What has been your favorite FPRA event so far?
My favorite event was Defending the National Championship. As one of UCF’s 2017 alumKnights, it was exciting to learn the communication strategy behind our undefeated football season. Charge on!

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I was honored to be a 2017 recipient of the Golden Quill Award for outstanding AP style writing from UCF’s advertising/public relations program.

What was your first job?
My role as an account coordinator at CCH Marketing is the first full-time position I’ve held since graduating in December 2017. I enjoy working with my colleagues because they continuously motivate me to do the best I can to meet my clients’ needs.

Contact Information:
holly@cchmarketing.com

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Chapter Rewind | PR Consultant Panel

June 13, 2018

Relationships Are a Two-Way Street

By Kacie Escobar

As much as I’d like to believe myself to be the next Paul Rand (designer of IBM, UPS, ABC and other world-famous corporate logos), the truth is my graphic design skills don’t go much further than a customized template in Canva.  While this often does the trick, I’m smart enough to know when it’s time to call in the big guns.

It’s not uncommon for public relations practitioners to partner with colleagues when work requires the development of certain assets outside our wheelhouse.  From bosses to co-workers to agency clientele, we all service “clients” every day, yet it can be easy to forget what it takes to be a good one.  Thanks to Evolve Design Group’s Mark Calvert, CDB Productions’ Vivian Richardson and Macbeth Studio’s Jim Hobart for serving as guest speakers at our May breakfast meeting and reminding us how to behave when the tables are turned.

Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:

  • Check your expectations.  Key to a successful partnership is realistic expectations – not just deep pockets.  It can be equally rewarding to work with a small company on a tight budget if their expectations are realistic and they understand the value of services being rendered.  Good clients realize the finished product is often more complicated to create than it looks.  They also understand that no one works for free.
  • Don’t try teaching a cat to fetch.  Get a dog.  In other words, do your research to ensure the vendor is a good fit for your project.  If you don’t already have vendor relationships, Google should be your best friend.  Conduct research to find vendors who deliver the service you seek.  Review their case studies and portfolios, years of experience and staff size, and narrow down the list based on your priorities.  Check references if their client list is public.  Only then will you be ready to reach out.
  • Know what you want.  What does success look like to you?  Define what you want to accomplish before reaching out.  Develop a project brief summarizing your vision, including the problem or opportunity you face, the audience you aim to reach, your plan to use the deliverables, ideal timeline and budget.  Your vendor will then have enough information to provide educated recommendations and guide you in the right direction based on their expertise.
  • Trust.  No one likes being micromanaged.  Before you jump in to control the creative process, think about how much time and money your partners have invested into honing their craft, and why you’ve called upon their expertise rather than attempting to do the work on your own.  The best clients provide constructive feedback and respect the creative process.

Just like any relationship, the client-vendor relationship is a two-way street.  Next time you’re looking to engage a vendor, I hope you’ll consider these insights.

 


Quotes Corner

June 13, 2018

Applying to Internships Abroad

By Daniel Diab, Vice President of Quotes, the PR Club at UCF

Daniel Diab

Daniel Diab

We all want to take that next step that’ll help us experience new things and new places. By interning abroad you get a feel for different work environments before making the choice of where you want to work after graduating. Unfortunately, we usually lack the confidence it takes to apply abroad. Like many others, I was guilty of thinking I wasn’t good enough despite the reality of things.

We tend to take for granted the prestige we gain from universities in the United States, such as UCF. Just like we tend to think we are not good enough for work abroad, people abroad tend to think the same about working in Florida. What is even more special about programs in our institutions is that we get to intern during the semester. Many institutions abroad might not give their students as much flexibility, which leads to students in the U.S. having more work experience on their resumes.

During the spring semester, I was so caught up with my Orlando internship and midterm exams that I let many of my ideal internships pass me by. I had completed three internships already, and as a senior, I did not want to settle for just anything, so I started thinking of what opportunities I still had left.

I was in Lebanon for the week seeing family when a couple of my friends suggested I find an internship while visiting. I said that if I was going to work abroad I wanted something with a little name recognition. What I hadn’t given much thought to, though, was the fact that many great companies such as Leo Burnett have locations in over 70 countries.

UCF’s Ad/PR program has always been very competitive yet nurturing, and thanks to the events held by the faculty and Quotes, such as Intern Pursuit or resume workshops, I was able to differentiate myself from the crowd. After sending a respectful email with my resume and work samples attached, I was admitted into the Leo Burnett Academy before I knew it. I had not even considered applying to them before, but here I was interning for them abroad.

The Ad/PR program at UCF is very competitive, and because of that, students tend to take themselves for granted sometimes, not realizing the opportunities we have are a privilege many would love to have. The only way to find out is by reaching out. In the worst case, organizations thank you for your time; in other cases, you gain the opportunity of a lifetime.


Quotes Corner

May 10, 2018

Editor’s note: Please consider donating to Quotes’ GoFundMe to help the club’s executive board attend the FPRA Annual Conference.

“What’s next?”

By Brooke Jones

Brooke Jones

Brooke Jones

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a princess when I grew up. And a ballerina. And an astronaut. However, as I started growing up, I realized none of those career options were viable for me. After I graduated high school, everyone and their mother (and my mother, for that matter) asked, “So, what next?”

What next. Those two words will drive any 18-year-old out of their mind. Truth be told, I didn’t have a clue, other than I was going to UCF and needed to make up my mind quickly.

At my freshman orientation, an advisor told me I had enough credits to be a junior, so I needed to pick a major. Immediately. In a panic, I said the first thing that popped into my mind – advertising. I’ve always been a creative girl and, well, Mad Men made advertising look interesting, so why not? I was feeling pretty good about my declaration until the advisor asked, “Do you mean advertising and public relations or marketing”? After glancing at the class requirements for each of the majors and seeing business calculus under marketing, I obviously picked advertising and public relations, whatever that was. Little did I know that was going to be the best decision I made during my college career.

Over the next couple of years, I fell in love with public relations. Every class I took was interesting and they all built upon each other. My classes taught me how to write, create and effectively communicate. I tried my hand at a few internships and discovered the vast amount of career opportunities and different employers a PR practitioner could have.

It wasn’t until I joined UCF Quotes that I got the most out of my student experience. Before Quotes, I was isolated in my love for public relations. Once I joined, I began to form connections and friendships with both professionals and my peers. Finally, I was able to share my passion with like-minded people. Quotes gave me the ability to be a part of a professional association, networking opportunities, fun tour experiences, and so much more. Because of Quotes, I was able to go on a behind the scenes tour of EA Sports and hear a presentation from Daryl Holt, the chief operating officer. I was able to enter the FPRA’s Image Awards and ultimately go home with an award. I found an internship that turned into a job at Intern Pursuit, a networking event Quotes cohosts every fall and spring semester. Quotes helped shape me into a well-rounded, well-connected advertising and pubic relations student.

For any advertising and public relations student, my advice to you is in addition to working hard in classes, get involved with Quotes and other similar clubs. Like everything in life, you’ll get out of this field what you put in. In order to be successful, you must work hard, listen to feedback and make connections. Start applying for internships as soon as you can and try to complete a variety of them. I never thought I would want to work in an agency, but after interning at one, I found I like agency life and accepted a job there. You’ll never know what you like unless you try it, and internships are a great low-pressure way to try things out.

Now as I’m about to graduate college, I know the inevitable “what next” question is going to be coming. But the question that had my 18-year-old self terrified no longer seems daunting. My time as an advertising and public relations major at UCF and a member of Quotes has prepared me for what’s next to come, a fulfilling career in public relations.


Member PRofile: Susan Leavens

May 10, 2018

Susan Leavens
Social Media Coordinator, Seminole State College

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I tell the story of Seminole State College one social media post at a time. It’s my job to craft updates about alumni, school wide events, campus announcements, and overall keys messages to our followers. I get the fun of engaging with students about activities, programs, athletic events, and more, and build authentic relationships with them.

How long have you been a member of FPRA and why did you join?
I’ve been a member of FPRA for two years and I joined when I noticed the benefits that came from the membership. The informative events, the good causes and of course, the friendships.

What has been your favorite FPRA event so far?
The ones where I learn valuable information that I can mold to work for our brand… so basically, all of them.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
Creating catchy, memorable copy for our marketing campaigns. I’m most proud of our summer marketing campaign #SeizetheSummer

What was your first job?
A cook at Universal, I hated it and quit in two weeks. I need something a little bit more creative.

Fun fact:
I like to embarrass my children (and sometimes my husband) by bursting out in song (and sometimes dance) whenever, and wherever, the mood strikes me and I can swat flies with a swatter like a ninja.

Contact Information:
susanaleavens@gmail.com


Chapter Rewind | Fall Therapy: Learning to Walk with Integrity When You are Destined to Fall Along the Way

April 6, 2018

By Gabriel Soltren

Falling down on the job can be a learning experience, according to Ginger Broslat, APR, CPRC.

At the March breakfast held at The Coop in Winter Park, Communications Consultant & FPRA Vice President of Accreditation and Certification Ginger Broslat, APR, CPRC, spoke about falling down and getting up and how it related to the public relations profession.

Ginger Broslat, APR, CPRC

Ginger Broslat, APR, CPRC

“Most people get hurt when they try to stop the fall,” she explained. Trying to stop the fall does not help. Hands and wrists can get hurt and getting up too fast can cause more injury. In her experience, Good Samaritans with good intentions can also make it worse. They need to know how to help.

She compared falling down to the public relations profession. PR professionals are often called to help persons that have fallen on the job. The fall could be a lapse of good judgment. It could be a report that looks too good to be true or an exaggeration. Everyone will eventually fall, so professionals should know how to fall and get up correctly.

A code of ethics can help make the right decisions. Broslat recommended having the FPRA code of ethics handy. It can be a lifeline during a crisis. She explained that the Enron scandal that led to its bankruptcy was not just the misappropriation of funds. The cover up and destruction of evidence made it worse. To sum it up, she gave everyone cards with the Florida Public Relations Association Code of Ethics. The code helps professionals make the right decisions without coming across as judgmental.


Quotes Corner

April 6, 2018

5 Reasons to Earn Your Certificate in Principles of Public Relations

By Keyonnia Small, Quotes UCF Ambassador

Keyonnia Small

Keyonnia Small

The Certificate in Principles of Public Relations is an entry-level credential designed to demonstrate a fundamental level of knowledge for graduates as they enter the public relations profession that helps those who earn it #StandOutInPR. UCF is one of only four universities in Florida to offer a preparation course. Although you can’t add any fancy initials after your name to indicate you earned this certificate, as someone who has recently passed the exam, I can personally attest to its value.

Here are five reasons to earn your Certificate in Principles of Public Relations:

1. Enhances your understanding of practical theories and their application. Before studying for the exam, I had no idea what the two-step flow of communication was. The theory says that media messages take place in two steps: from the media to opinion leaders, and from opinion leaders to the public. This explains why celebrities are asked to promote products on social media and why film critics are invited to see films before anyone else. It’s the credibility of the sender that persuades the receiver to respond to the message, not the message itself.

2. It’s great preparation for when you take the APR examination later. Earning the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations while you’re still in college or as a recent graduate can give you a boost on the path to earning the APR. Many of the foundation materials covered are complementary to what you will later study for the examination for Accreditation in Public Relations. The textbook is even the same, so you might want to rethink getting rid your copy of Cutlip & Center’s Effective Public Relations just yet.

3. Differentiates you from other recent graduates. Setting yourself apart from dozens or – in some cases – hundreds of other job candidates is a challenge. If an employer is deciding between two candidates with the same major and the same years of experience, having the certificate could be the leg up you need to secure the position you want.

4. Expands your professional network. The Orlando area chapters of FPRA and PRSA offer a free weekly APR workshop series that student members preparing for the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations are more than welcome to attend. This is not only a great opportunity to get extra help with specific sections of the exam, it’s also a great opportunity to network with PR professionals from various industries. You never know where one interaction might lead.

5. Boosts your resume. Show employers you mean business by adding the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations to your resume. Not only did you earn your degree in public relations, but you went the extra mile to become certified, which further demonstrates your commitment to the public relations profession.

Earning the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations has always been a goal of mine. The process has given me a greater understanding of the profession and the role of PR within the modern business environment. I bet it will do the same for you.