Chapter Rewind: March Breakfast

April 8, 2015











Chapter Rewind: March Breakfast
Crisis Communications with Sara Brady

When it comes to crisis communications, Sara Brady is truly a pro. In fact, she was our 2012 Central Florida PR Pro of the Year. As the president of her own agency, Sara works tirelessly to fix, clean and put out fires all over the county. She’s like our very own Olivia Pope.

At our March breakfast Sara shared tips for how to deal with your client, your boss and the media when a crisis arises. First and foremost, good PR people need to understand the news business. You can’t outsmart the media if you don’t understand how they work. You should always be one step ahead. Crisis managers must be critical thinkers, empathetic, non-judgmental and realistic. Most of all, you have to trust your gut, even when your counsel isn’t well liked or received.

As the crisis manager, you need to know all the facts and identify your objectives. It’s what the client wants, not what the media wants. Everything comes down the five Ws – Who, What, Where, When and Why. Who was involved? What were the events that transpired? Where did it happen? When did it occur? Usually the hardest answer to get out of someone is the why. It’s not easy, but you must always tell the client the truth. It may not be what they want to hear, but it’s what they need to hear. The consequences are very real.

When everyone’s hair is on fire, your job is to be the voice of calm, reason and hope. Not everything is a crisis. Sometimes you have to stop talking and get your client to stop talking too. The issue may not be worth dealing with in the media.

Overall, crisis management is about leadership. It’s about being an authentic team player, stepping up to the challenge, juggling multiple issues and often sacrificing your time, sleep and energy. Whens things get overwhelming for you or your client, remember that a deep breath and some fresh air really helps put things in perspective. Stay calm!

For more great tips and tweets, follow @SaraBradyPR and check out her blog.

Quotes Corner: Spring Break in the Big Apple

April 8, 2015













Spring Break in the Big Apple
By: Jacqueline Kooser
Quotes Director of Communication

While most of my classmates packed their bikinis and sun screen, I was getting my gloves and heavy jackets ready to take on the city that never sleeps for my senior year spring break. Ad Club advisor Joan Mccain organizes a trip each year for Quotes and Ad Club members in order to experience big city agency life. After launching my blog this past fall and interviewing several bloggers based in NYC, I thought it would be awesome to experience the city as an adult for a few days and see what kind of feedback I would receive from professionals in the area about relocating to a big city after graduation.

The #KnightsInNewYork landed at LaGuardia a chilly Saturday afternoon and headed to the alumni mixer, where students were able to connect and mingle with UCF alumni that had successfully made the move to the big city. I found this to be the most beneficial part of the trip since interacting with people who took the same classes and interned in the same area as me is somewhat comforting when dealing with graduation tunnel vision. Sunday was spent exploring the city’s most popular areas such as Central Park, Little Italy, Brooklyn Bridge and more. Monday and Tuesday were spent touring some of the biggest and baddest advertising agencies in the city. We started off at BBDO and McCANN, getting the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of their overall visions, goals and wants for incoming employees. Meeting with HR reps and account executives was very interesting and insightful.

Tuesday morning we were up early and to tour Ogilvy & Mather, where we connected with UCF Ad/PR alum Brandon Maxwell. He gave us an incredible tour of the office space and coordinated four presentations, not only with an HR rep, but an employee from each department. We learned about what a day looks like for creative, a digital researcher, an account executive and a copywriter. After snapping our group photo we were off to McGarry Bowen. There we got an inside look at recent trending campaigns that the agency had put together and learned about the history of the agency and the value they have in strong employees.

On Wednesday morning I ended my trip by visiting the 9/11 Memorial Site. When riding the subway back to our hotel, I had a very happy thought enter my mind: “A year ago, I wouldn’t have ever traveled to a big city with people I didn’t know, and I definitely wouldn’t have done so in order to grow professionally.” As another academic year comes to an end, I find myself viewing opportunities such as the trip to NYC as a real gift. Being a part of the FPRA student chapter has helped me transform into the young lady I have wanted to be since I was in high school, and I can’t wait to apply all that I have learned in my future career and the next few months leading up to graduation. I hope to work towards opening many more great gifts before graduation in December 2015, and I am lucky to say that I have a wonderful network here in Central Florida that I am striving to make proud.

Member PRofile: Lauren George, APR

April 7, 2015

Lauren George













What is your title and company name?
Senior Account Executive
Costa Communications Group

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I’m a bit of a hybrid with a decade of experience in journalism, media relations, community relations, and internal and external communications. As a senior account executive at Costa Communications Group, I provide professional and strategic public relations counsel to a wide variety of clients – ranging from nonprofit and higher education to healthcare and law firms. In addition, I generate impactful media coverage for my clients.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I’ve been an FPRA member for four years. I joined the organization because of the excellent networking opportunities and endless support for professional development, and I’m thankful to be part of such a stellar group of public relations professionals. Since joining, I’ve served on the local board as vice president of professional development and vice president of membership.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
Too many to choose from. I like the diversity – from monthly breakfasts to media roundtables to state conferences. I leave each event with takeaways that can immediately be applied to my job.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I’ve been fortunate to have several exciting achievements throughout my career. I’d have to say the highlight thus far, though, is when I earned my APR in 2012. It required a tremendous amount of hard work and late nights, but it was definitely worth the investment. While becoming accredited was a proud accomplishment, the process itself was truly valuable because it broadened my knowledge base and taught me so many lessons on how to do my job better.

What was your first job?
My first job out of college was at WTSP Channel 10 in Tampa. I was hired as a graphic artist and also wrote stories for the evening news broadcasts.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
I was a competitive gymnast for several years and competed across the country. The sport taught me many life lessons, including dedication, teamwork, setting and reaching goals and, most importantly, always doing your best.

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