Chapter Rewind: 2017 Annual Conference



The President’s Award for Student Development and Accreditation and Certification was presented by State President Terri Behling, APR, CPRC to Orlando Area Chapter President Alayna Curry, APR and Lindsay Hudock, Orlando Area Chapter President-Elect.

State President Terri Behling, APR, CPRC presents Chris Gent, APR, CPRC and Kayla Stanley, APR, Kissimmee Utility Authority with the 2017 Grand Golden Image Award.

Grand Golden Image Award
2016 Osceola Hurricane Handbook
Chris Gent, APR, CPRC and Kayla Stanley, APR
Kissimmee Utility Authority

Golden Image Award
Judges’ Award and the Golden Image Award
2016 Osceola Hurricane Handbook.
Chris Gent, APR, CPRC and Kayla Stanley, APR
Kissimmee Utility Authority

U.S. Launch of EA “Play to Learn” Digital Education Initiative
Curley & Pynn

Golden Image Award
Florida High Tech Corridor Council’s florida.HIGH.TECH 2016
Curley & Pynn

Award of Distinction
KUA 2015 Annual Report – Gather Round
Chris Gent, APR, CPRC and Kayla Stanley, APR
Kissimmee Utility Authority

Award of Distinction
Cemetery Balloon Safety News Release
Chris Gent, APR, CPRC and Kayla Stanley, APR, Kissimmee Utility Authority

Award of Distinction
Transportation Disadvantaged Program Video
Mary Ann Horne and Cynthia Lambert, APR of MetroPlan Orlando

Judges’ Award and the Golden Image Award
Arnold Palmer Hospital’s Good Night Lights video news release
Orlando Health Media Relations

Award of Distinction
The New Metro Plan
Cynthia Lambert, APR, Mary Ann Horne and Susan Ennis, APR, CPRC

Judges Award
Love and Courage: UCF Unites in the Aftermath of Pulse
UCF Communications & Marketing

Judges’ Award
The Grads Are Back
Orange County Public Schools

Golden Image Award
Orange County Utilities – Automated Curbside Collection Program
Jamie Floer, APR, CPRC

Award of Distinction and a Judges’ Award
Fighting DUI: Using Partnerships to Create Awareness
Courtney Gilmartin and Amanda Sellers 

Golden Image Award
SCPS Website
Seminole County Public Schools and SoloDev

Click here to see Golden Image Award photographs.

Chapter Rewind: 2017 Annual Conference

Susan Vernon-Devlin

Fireside Chat – The Value of Communicators During the Pulse Nightclub Tragedy

By Susan Vernon-Devlin

Tragedy! It’s a defining moment that forever changes the way we communicate. With the Pulse nightclub shooting Orlando joined the list of cities like Paris and Sandy Hook. Mayor Dyer took this tragedy very personally. Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC’s introduction of the Mayor and his Deputy Chief of Staff Heather Fagan was interrupted by an explosive mic squeal leaving us feeling shaken…briefly. It appears that even a year after Pulse we are still all on edge. And so the Fireside Chat began.

Read more.

Building the Pitch on Research & Technology

By Katarina Dos Santos


No, according to AAA’s Senior Public Relations Program Coordinator Mark Jenkins who reports that the company still has success with traditional releases.

Strategic distribution that is timely and localized and includes multi-media attachments to help bring the press release to life (sound bites, infographics, photos) account for AAA’s increase in story coverage.

Read more.

Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds

By Maria Isabel Sanquirico


Just like a speed dating, or dating in general, it doesn’t work, so why should it work with the media? Developing strong and mutually beneficial relationships with reporters is crucial to being successful in media relations and it can make your job easier.

According to Michelle Leff Mermelstein, PR Manager for Sprint Nextel, putting yourself in the shoes of the reporter is key. Imagine if day in, day out, you picked up the phone or checked your email only to get a constant barrage of messages relating to subjects that had nothing to do with you. It could be overwhelming and the probability of your pitch ending in the trash folder is high.

You must spend time cultivating meaningful relationships and show genuine interest in the reporter’s work. Follow them on Twitter. Share their stories. Engage with them.

Read more.

Selling The Intersection of Branding and Digital Communications

By Laura Kern, APR

Ensuring your brand is relevant in digital communications happens when you shift your consumers’ mindset, own your funnel, and enter the future of customer experience.

David Capece began his talk by asking the audience to identify their target audience in three words. What are your three words?

Our brands have multiple audiences, which makes this so hard and the complexity of audiences continues to grow in the more diverse our organizations become.

Digital communications allows brands to target their audiences to such a sophisticated degree that the spend in digital will overtake television spending within the next few years.

Read more.


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