Chapter Rewind: Backstage Pass Event at Nemours Children’s Hospital

January 30, 2013

Twenty members of the Orlando Area Chapter participated in a backstage pass event on Friday, January 25 at Nemours Children’s Hospital. The program kicked off with presentations, led Nemours executive staff, highlighting the details of the organization’s successful grand opening (this past October). During the opening week, Nemours completed seven events in five days to reach various target audiences which equated to a sum of 10,000 people receiving first-hand engagement. These events allowed the Nemours public relations team to emphasize their primary message: Nemours Children’s Hospital was built by families, for families. Karen Kent, Director of Marketing Communications, and Josh Wilson, Manager of Public and Community Relations, outlined how this ‘family’ initiative was accomplished under the direction of a family advisory council that participated in many aspects of the building process, such as facility design and the hiring of physicians.

Following the presentation, Orlando Area Chapter members enjoyed a facility tour. This included visualization of rooms with patient-controlled lighting. Among the many choices families have at Nemours, children are encouraged to select the light color of their room, a simple yet empowering experience for the young patients. FPRA was the first PR group to receive a detailed recap of the hospital’s grand opening strategies.

View event photos.

Nemours Grand Opening

FPRA-OAC student chapter hosts Intern Pursuit at UCF

January 30, 2013

Quotes, the FPRA-OAC student chapter, invites you to attend Intern Pursuit on March 28 at the University of Central Florida (in the Pegasus Ballroom of the Student Union) from 6 to 8 p.m.  The bi-annual internship fair is uniquely designed for students (and potential employers) in communication-related fields of study. As an added bonus for dues paying members, Quotes is offering early admission from 6 to 7 p.m. to grant these students with an opportunity to interact with employers in a more intimate setting.

IP jpegIntern Pursuit helps young professionals connect and network with Orlando employers, and entertains more than 200 students each semester. Attendees exhibit skills in advertising, public relations, marketing, event planning and graphic design, and are often required to complete a semester of internship before graduation.

If you are interested in hiring an intern and would like to reserve a space at Intern Pursuit, please register at or email Devin Shoemaker at or

February 2013 Monthly Program: 7 Secrets of the New Media Relations Superstars

January 24, 2013

Popular media pitching coach Michael Smart has landed positive coverage on the front pages of the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. People who’ve heard him speak credit his intensely practical tips for subsequent placements in the Wall Street Journal, Today, CNN, the New York Times, and the top blogs in their markets.

In this top-rated presentation, you’ll learn how to adapt to the dramatic changes in the media landscape and score big placements for your organization. Here’s how:

  • 4 ways to create a newsworthy story angle when you don’t seem to have any news
  • The two-part approach to grab any journalist or blogger’s attention every time
  • The systematic formula for establishing and building relationships with top journalists and bloggers without ever meeting them
  • Case studies from PR people just like you that inspire huge media relations success!

Michael Smart head shot hi resMichael Smart, principal of MichaelSMARTPR, has been landing top-tier coverage for 15 years. He’s also trained more than 4,500 communicators from Geneva to Bangkok and Green Bay to Malibu how to boost their media and blog placements, including pros from Aflac, GlaxoSmithKline, Disney, Verizon, all the big PR agencies, many other companies, associations, and non-profits, large and small. Michael is regularly the top-rated presenter at public relations industry’s largest conferences.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Networking – 7:30 a.m.  |  Presentation – 8:00 a.m.

Location: Citrus Club

(The Citrus Club is located on the 18th floor of the BB&T Bank Building, at the corner of Orange Avenue and Jackson Street in downtown Orlando. Parking is available in the Jackson Street parking lot and the Lincoln garage on Orange Avenue. Meter parking is also available on the adjacent streets. )

Register Today: $25 for members | $40 for nonmembers | $15 for students

This event is brought to you by FPRA Orlando and PRSA Orlando.

PRSA Orlando logo FPRA Orl

ENHANCE your career with the APR: Prep Sessions Start February 21!

January 22, 2013

By Michael Lawrence, APR, FPRA Orlando Accreditation Chair

Now that it’s a new year, it’s probably time to start accomplishing some of those pesky 2013 resolutions.  For some of you, that might mean finally obtaining your Accreditation in Public Relations (APR).  When bringing this up to many of our members to promote the APR process, the biggest hurdle always seems to be TIME.  I understand time can be a challenge.  There never seems to be enough of it.  Work, family, extracurricular activities, and life is a lot to juggle.  But let me ask you, what PR pro doesn’t multi-task these days?  It’s essential to succeed and inherent in our profession.  The truth is, we make TIME for the things that matter most to us.

So, I guess the real question should be, does enhancing your career matter to you?  Can you make the TIME to invest in yourself and your future?  Hopefully, that answer is YES!  There are numerous local PR pros that have come before you and succeeded, all with busy work and personal demands of their own.  They weren’t magical witches, wizards or rocket scientists with the ability to bend or freeze time.  They were simply just ordinary people who set a goal for themselves and had the persistence to stick to it.

To be honest, obtaining your APR isn’t an easy process, it takes dedication, commitment, and yes, TIME.  But it’s achievable.  More importantly, it’s worth it!  The APR designation gives you the opportunity to further demonstrate your competency and credibility when working with colleagues, clients and management.  Even if you’re a seasoned professional, the APR process will likely improve and enhance your skills while further advancing your knowledge base.

Our Orlando area has a very high APR candidate success rate, due in large part to the strong joint accreditation coaching program available through the local chapters of PRSA and FPRA. During an eight-week workshop series, local accredited professionals take participants through a step-by-step program, outlining the KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) required to become accredited. The time together provides a venue for knowledge sharing and peer connections. Workshops are every Thursday evening at 6:15 p.m. in downtown Orlando, and last only an hour. These workshops aren’t mandatory, but they’re definitely encouraged and will help further prepare you for success.  Even if you aren’t sure whether you are ready to formally enter the process, all PRSA and FPRA members are welcome to attend the orientation and sessions to learn more.

Spring 2013 APR Workshops

Thursday, February 21 — Thursday, April 25

6:15 – 7:15 p.m.


Mayor Carl T. Langford Park
Community Room
1808 E. Central Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32803

Member PRofile: Tim Trudell

January 18, 2013

DSC_5863Title & Company: “I’ve been the Senior Media Relations Coordinator at Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) for three years.”

Years In FPRA: “I’ve been a member of FPRA for 3 years. Prior to my PR career at OUC, I worked as a television news reporter for about 10 years. I wanted to learn more about the field of public relations and meet professionals who could share their experience.”

Favorite FPRA Event: “I enjoyed listening to Lisa Malone, who served as a guest speaker at a monthly breakfast event last year. She talked about her experiences at NASA which was very interesting.”

Explanation Of Your Job: “My primary focus is on media relations, but I also still kind of report. I shoot, edit and write stories about some of the great projects and employees here at OUC. I enjoy getting to know them, but it also makes me better at media relations because I have a greater understanding of the work they do. We put the videos up on our YouTube channel.”

Exciting Achievement: “The learning curve of my job was an achievement. Initially, I had to work to understand some of the rather complicated terms surrounding electric operations. I remember the first time I got a call. I had just stepped into my role and was told, “the static got into the primary and we refused the lateral.” I was so confused! Thankfully, I actually now know what that means and how to explain it. Also, I was very proud to receive a state FPRA award last year for a video on our employee charity campaign.”

Fun Fact: “I am married to another former reporter and current FPRA member, Laureen Trudell.”


Final Thoughts: “After moving around a lot as a reporter, it’s nice to be somewhere without constantly wondering what your next media market will be.”

FPRA Launches 2013 Webinar Series

January 15, 2013
The Florida Public Relations Association is excited to present its new web-based professional development series! Kicking off this month will be two nationally recognized speakers: Jenny Schmitt and Jim Joseph. Cost to participate in the first two webinars for members have been significantly discounted and more webinars are coming online starting in March, many of them free of charge to members only!

Registration for the January 31st webinar with Jenny Schmitt on “Emerging Social Trends, Technologies & Tools” is open now.

To ensure an interactive and efficient program, only 25 virtual seats are available … so register today!
*If you are a member of FPRA, visit the Active Members page for your member webinar discount code. Your code will be at the bottom of the page under the FPRA e-facts news link. YOU MUST BE LOGGED IN TO ACCESS THE ACTIVE MEMBER PAGE. If you don’t remember your username and or password, please contact the State Office at (941) 365-2135, ext. 306 or email

2013 Orlando Area Chapter Image Awards – The Stars of PR

January 14, 2013

Let your star shine bright in the 2013 OAC Image Awards!

image awards logo

Calling all public relations and communications professionals… It’s that time of year again, the time to bring together your best work in a backstage tour of just how it’s done. Whether it’s a “highlight reel” of an online program, a “docudrama” played out in a speech, or a “travel network spotlight” on your company — or any one of the other qualifying programs (see official rules) – we want to see! And since it’s FPRA’s 75th anniversary year, what better time to show how the profession can shine?!

Submit your best work from the past year no later than February 28, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. to be considered for this year’s local Image Awards.

The Image Awards have become a standard of public relations excellence—showing off the work of Central Florida’s Stars of PR!

Call for Entries
For the complete list of competition rules and to download the 2013 Call for Entries, CLICK HERE.

Entry Due Date:
February 28, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.

Entry Fees:
Division A, B or C
FPRA member $35
Non-member $50
Student FPRA member $10
Student Non-member $15

Division D
(Students only)
Student FPRA member $10
Student Non-member $15
(NOTE: Students are eligible to enter the Image Award Competition in Divisions A, B or C)

Save the Date!
The Local Image Awards ceremony will be held April 11, 2013. Watch this space (and PRoclaimer) for all the details.

For more information about the 2013 Image Awards, please contact Megan Licata or Lorena Streeter at

Call for Judges
The 2013 Image Awards team is looking for judges to help make the Stars of PR success. We need APRs, preferably those who’ve also won an Image Award in past years, to judge entries from the Capital Chapter. The more the merrier (and we mean that), so that each judge has as few entries as possible to review. Contact Lorena Streeter at if you can help. Judging will take place at a place/date TBD sometime during the last two weeks of February.

APR Information Session on February 21

January 14, 2013

Have you been considering earning the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)?

APR is a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice.  Candidates earn accreditation based on broad knowledge, strategic perspective and sound professional judgment.


Thursday, February 21, 2013, at 6:15 p.m.

Mayor Carl Langford Park (Community Room)

1808 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, FL 32803

Are you ready for the APR?

This one-hour orientation is an overview of the APR process and covers these topics:

  • APR Overview
  • Study Guide
  • Knowledge | Skills | Abilities (KSAs)
  • Application Process


Visit the official Web site of the Universal Accreditation Board for the Candidate’s Process Chart for the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations and the Application.


About the APR Workshops

APR workshops last an hour and will be held weekly on Thursday evenings at the Langford Park Community Room on East Central Boulevard, just east of the downtown core. The sessions are led by seasoned APR facilitators to guide a discussion on topics that will be covered on the APR computer-based exam.  The workshops are not required “classes” but rather a professional development networking group of mentors prepared to help you succeed.

To learn more, contact:

FPRA APR Chair, Michael Lawrence, APR : 407.246.2782