Renew Your Membership Today!

October 11, 2013

By: Michael Lawrence, APR

By renewing your FPRA membership, you are setting yourself up for another powerful year of networking, professional development and personal growth. FPRA is one of the best investments you can make in your career. Renew today for a more prosperous tomorrow.

Renewing is easy!  Simply follow one of the steps below:

Oops!  Have you misplaced your renewal form or just don’t have it handy?  No worries, click the link below:

Your FPRA membership will expire on October 31, 2013.  Yes, that’s Halloween!  To maintain your active membership status, renewal forms must be received no later than November 1.

But wait … there’s more!

We’re offering TWO membership scholarships for some worthy PR practitioners, simply fill-out the application below and email it in by October 25 for consideration.

Quotes Presents: Intern Pursuit

October 3, 2013

Kaylee Randall

By: Kaylee Randall, Quotes VP of Events

Professors, mentors and the experts students follow on Twitter constantly preach the value of good writing skills, networking and experience in the field. UCF gives us the tools to sharpen our writing, Quotes connects us with a network of peers and professionals and Intern Pursuit sends us on our way to a résumé of experience.

Internships are required for graduation from the Ad/PR major at UCF, and with good reason — the PR field is evolving as we speak. It’s absolutely necessary to be immersed in the profession if students plan on getting a job after graduation. Internships provide that hands-on experience we can’t learn in a classroom. So, how do students get an internship that we know will prepare us for the career we want?

Sure, we can search the web. Every major PR organization has a fantastic online job bank that lists available internships. But most of the local companies offering those internships will have a representative at Intern Pursuit, or at least they should. As an employer, wouldn’t you be more inclined to offer an interview to someone you’ve already met in person versus the faceless résumé in your inbox?

At Intern Pursuit, the brightest and best communication students that UCF has to offer will all be in one place, eager to meet employers. Interns from UCF will add value to your growing company, and learning from you is an important part of our education. Today’s students are the communications experts of the future and giving us an internship lets you help shape that future.

Intern Pursuit will be held Thursday, October 24 in the UCF Student Union (Pegasus Ballroom) from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Will you be there? Register your organization at

Member PRofile: Zenaida Kotala

September 30, 2013


What is your title and company name?
Senior Communications Coordinator, University of Central Florida

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I proactively pitch and respond to media with a focus on promoting research and technology that UCF faculty and students produce. My “clients” include the College of Medicine, College of Sciences, College of Engineering and Computer Science and the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences among others. I assist in facilitating national and local television and print press visits to UCF such as NBC Nightly News, NPR Science Friday and the Chronicle of Higher Education. I also assist in crisis management and work with other partners in the community and across the university on a variety of media and public relations projects.

How many years have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I joined FPRA in 2008, two years after I switched careers from journalism to public relations. I wanted to get my feet wet before joining a professional organization.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
Tough. I’ve enjoyed every event I’ve attended. But the best must be the 2013 FPRA state conference. It was the first time I attended the conference and I really enjoyed the seminars and meeting members from across the state. I was also thrilled to see so many members of the Space Coast and Orlando chapters win awards. I live on the Space Coast and know many members in that chapter and I work and call many Orlando chapter members friends.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
Best achievement so far, has been working with NBC Nightly News during a five year process to tell the story of UCF’s College of Medicine. The first year’s efforts lead to a piece on the evening news that showcased some of our first few students and their dreams of becoming doctors. They were gambling on a brand new and then unproven medical school. Through continued communication with NBC, four years later the same crew and reporter came back and produced a new story focused on the students’ journey. They highlighted what role UCF played in their success of landing at some pretty prestigious residency programs where they will continue to live their dreams of providing the best medical care possible. Their gamble paid off and, today, UCF’s medical school has more than proven itself on a national stage. The two very favorable pieces aired on the evening news to millions of households across the nation.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
When I was in third grade, my school principal called my parents at the beginning of the year claiming I had an issue distinguishing fact from fiction. Why? Because when I turned in an essay on “What did you do on your summer vacation?” I wrote about being caught in the middle of a gun battle. When the teacher said I couldn’t possibly, I argued with her. So my poor parents had to go in to see the principal. Well, the principal was quite embarrassed to find out I had traveled to El Salvador with my mother to visit relatives. The country was in the middle of a very bloody civil war and we had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. We had to hunker down for several hours before we could leave. It is still a very vivid memory. The experience helped me when I started my journalism career as police reporter in California. Police officers were impressed that the rookie reporter didn’t run in a panic the first time she heard multiple shots fired.

Contact info:

#FLBlogCon13 Recap

September 30, 2013

By: Laura Kern, APR

Bloggers and social media enthusiasts from across Florida gathered at Full Sail University for the third-annual FLBlogCon September 21. Founded by local blogger Bess Auer, the one-day conference has grown with this year’s sold out crowd filling the Full Sail LIVE venue, 300 strong.

With four different tracks to choose from, breakout sessions focused around website building, social media tools, the money and business of blogging and tips for beginner and intermediate bloggers. To see most of the presentations from the day, visit FLBlogCon’s slideshare.

My favorite session was “Use Instagram and Vine Like A Rock Star,” presented by Full Sail University’s social media team Melissa Albers and Jimi Kunkel. Check out their presentation to learn the best practices, pros/cons and the brands that are killing their audience engagement on each platform.

Here are some more highlights for those managing a brand’s social media engagement:

  • Tagboard is a hashtag tracker that pulls in hashtags from across the interwebs: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Vine and Google+.
  • Google Hangouts can be a great way for a brand to get face time and grow your audience.
  • Pin chats are an evolution of Twitter chats, learn more at
  • Pinterest has launched multiple Rich Pins that brands can take advantage of. Make sure to go through Pinterest’s verification process to see analytics of all pins that come from your site.
  • Find and listen to your audience on Triberr, in addition to being a great resource of content for you to share with your audience.
  • Social media analytic platforms FLBlogCon attendees recommend: Raven, SumAll (in beta) and tailwind

Check out these Twitter chat tips and tricks:

  • Find existing chats: Google doc listing (; @ChatSchedule, search Twitter; keep an eye on hashtags used in your stream or follow these chats: #GetRealChat, #BrandChat, #SMChat, #BlogChat, #SEOTalk
  • Hosting a chat: choose a short hashtag that is not being used or can be misconstrued and register it (, promote, create a landing page and a Facebook event page, tweet it out (a lot) and use a tool to help you moderate (
  • Analyze your chat: count the number of tweets, retweets and participants
  • Reporting tools:, and
  • Download a transcript with Storify or (subscription service)

#1 SEO tip: Google has evolved, so much so that it can judge the quality of your content, you no longer have to manipulate your content to add keywords. Write well for your audience and Google will notice.

Think About It: Image Awards 2014

September 30, 2013

By: Vianka McConville & Megan Licata, APR

We hear it time and time again – “I don’t have time to submit an Image Award.”

The Image Awards recognize the best in our field. Earn the recognition your work deserves and plan now to submit your compelling campaigns or innovative print and digital tools of public relations for consideration in the 2014 Image Awards.  Take a few steps now to relieve last-minute stress in January:

  • Review the 2013 Call for Entries to see common Image Award categories.
  • Start a list to brainstorm work created in 2013 for possible entry submissions.
  • File supporting materials for programs or tactics. Include items demonstrating research, planning, implementation and execution of your program.
  • Think outside the box. Image Awards categories offer opportunities to showcase campaigns, as well as individual tools and tactics such as press releases, newsletters, written speeches, videos and more. Often, these entries require less work to complete than the traditional campaign entries.

You’ve worked hard for your time at the podium. Visit the Image Awards table at FPRA Orlando’s Professional Development Workshop on October 24 to view past Image Award-winning entries and brainstorm ideas with your 2014 Image Award event organizers.