Member PRofile: Gabriel Soltren

February 12, 2015

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What is your title and company name?
Technology Trainer
Orange County Library System

Give a brief explanation of your job.
Orange County residents and non-residents can learn new skills quickly by taking their choice of many technology courses available at the library. I am an instructor and trainer with experience teaching several of the subjects. Beginners and experts alike can benefit from the training. From Microsoft Office programs, to the accounting software QuickBooks, to video production classes, I’ve taught it. The courses can help anyone improve their skills and their ability to get ahead.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
As a former community outreach coordinator, I joined the Florida Public Relations Association Orlando Area Chapter last year to learn from other professionals and to improve my skills. The workshops provided me with a wealth of information. Presenters gave us examples of best practices in public relations. So far, FPRA membership has exceeded my expectations. For example, during the “ER for PR” professional development workshop, we learned from Alissa Gutierrez, director of marketing and communications at the Florida Chapter of the ALS Association, about the viral “Ice Bucket Challenge” video campaign. The campaign was probably the biggest viral fundraising story of 2014. Gutierrez shared some of the lessons that she learned and helped her organization locally during the national campaign.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
FPRA Orlando’s breakfast meetings were great. For example, IKEA Orlando marketing specialist, Kendra Ferguson, shared at a meeting that on Tuesdays children eat for free at their store. Ferguson explained that the company’s reason for providing free food was to help people that cannot always afford groceries.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I was recently selected to participate in a behind the scenes look at City government. As part of the 2015 City of Orlando Mayor’s City Academy, my goal is to become a better informed and a more involved citizen while learning more about local government.

What was your first job?
My first full-time job was working as a casual employee at the U.S. Post Office in Winter Park at Christmas time. Every now and then, we would get a letter addressed to the “North Pole” for Santa Claus. Temporary jobs sometimes lead to more opportunities. I was asked to stay longer and the extra income helped me to pay for my first new car.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
Last year, I worked on a reality television show. The production is back for another season and is currently filming in Orlando. Click here to learn more about the program.

Contact info:
gabriel@soltren.net
www.linkedin.com/in/gabrielsoltren

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Quotes Corner

February 9, 2015

By: Jacqueline Kooser
UCF Ad/PR Major

Quotes, the PR Club at UCF, is gearing up for another great year of professional development. First off, the executive board would like to extend a sincere thank you for hosting us at FPRA events, participating in Intern Pursuit and for staying connected to our members. We really do appreciate it and would not have had such a successful semester without all of your support. Second, we have some fresh new ideas for 2015 that we would love for you to be a part of.

With the help of our advisor, Lindsay Hudock, and the never ending perseverance of our president, Thevenin Campton, the board members of Quotes have teamed up with the rest of the Nicholson School’s communication majors to form the first ever communications fraternity at UCF: Zeta Phi Eta. Our rush week will be held from Feb. 3 until Feb. 7, and we hope to bring at least 20 young and aspiring professionals to your attention stemming from various backgrounds of writing and rhetoric, human communication, journalism, radio television and more. If anyone has any suggestions, advice and or ideas to contribute to our new community, feel free to reach out and let us know.

Quotes is setting up spring semester agency tours and scheduling guest speakers for our bi-weekly Thursday meetings. Each meeting is held at 4:30 p.m. in the Nicholson School at UCF’s main campus. We are eager to expose our members to every aspect of the public relations field possible, so feel free to email quotespresident@gmail.com to reserve your opportunity to speak at one of our meetings.

Although 2015 is the start of a new year, it is also the end of one chapter and the beginning of another for two of our board members. In May, Thevenin Campton and Xenecia Farrell will be graduating from UCF. We hope to make this the best semester yet for them, and hope to see them off into the start of their careers. Also, the upmost congratulations are extended to our Director of Events, Xenecia Farrell, for becoming a MAIP finalist. We can’t wait to see where this opportunity takes you! Our Director of Membership and Director of Communications, Rosie Cappos and Jacqueline Kooser, will be traveling to the big apple come spring break, in order to tour some of the finest PR and Advertising firms.

 

This is going to be a great year with lots of room for our members to grow. We look forward to participating in FPRA events throughout the semester and getting to know more of Orlando’s best PR professionals.

 


Chapter Rewind: January Backstage Pass

February 6, 2015

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By: Mary Ann Horne

January’s Backstage Pass event at the Orlando Citrus Bowl offered unique views of the 79-year-old venue. FPRA Orlando members learned about the stadium’s history and its recent reconstruction from Orlando Venues Marketing Division Manager Kirk Wingerson before taking an eye-opening tour.

Wingerson explained how the stadium — home to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl game and other events –- got much more than a facelift during its $207 million rebirth. The project involved 90 percent new construction, a rebranding with Orlando in its name and a fresh marketing campaign around the “Get Into It!” slogan.

The stadium’s re-launch was accompanied by a giant media, social media and public relations effort. Wingerson discussed the considerations that went into such a high-profile project, including keeping the neighborhood informed, working with various government and community groups, and laying out a vision for the facility’s future. In addition, he said, the reconstruction was on a “highly accelerated schedule” to get the venue ready for this year’s bowl games.

“We were game-ready,” Wingerson said, by New Year’s Day 2015. That doesn’t mean the job was complete. In fact, he said, the reconstruction effort continues – as evidenced by workers still on the property the day FPRA visited.

The presentation –- scheduled one year to the day after the stadium reconstruction began — was held in the East Club area, which offered a stunning view of the field. (FPRA Orlando has the distinction of being the first local organization to meet there.) Afterward, Wingerson led the tour, which included stops in the press box, media room, locker rooms and a stroll to the 50-yard line for photos.