Title & Company: Owner, DeVault Communications & Editor, Orlando Family Magazine
Years in FPRA: 3.5
Favorite FPRA Event: Media Roundtable! This speed-dating style event is a win-win for both PR professionals and media liaisons. PR pros get face time with media contacts with the opportunity to gain detailed insight into how/when/what to pitch. Media contacts can quickly gather story ideas.
Business history: I started my career working at local television and radio outlets before following my heart into the non-profit sector of public relations. As Director of Communications for the American Heart Association, I represented a voice which served so many impacted by heart disease and stroke, our nation’s leading killers. I preferred to sideline traditional scare tactics surrounding health messaging and instead focused on empowering consumers with uplifting messages and prevention tools. I functioned as a one-man-band wearing numerous hats (as many PR professionals do): media relations, cause marketing, strategic planning, public relations, internal/external communications, consulting, relationship building and management.
In 2011, I branched out on my own to form DeVault Communications, LLC─a boutique PR firm. I continued to serve clients in the medical and non-profit section such as Central Florida Regional Hospital, UCP of Central Florida and Bcenter.com. While Central Florida Regional Medical Center had plenty of experience with public relations strategies, I had the opportunity to secure many PR ‘firsts’ for UCP and Bcenter.com, such as in-kind radio public service announcements, educational billboards and the production of a television commercial starring Hollywood celebrity Cheryl Hines.
In addition to my PR focus, I like to think that I sort of re-invented myself over the past three years by becoming a magazine writer and editor. I’ve turned the tables within my profession─instead of pitching to journalists as a PR professional; I’ve become the media contact as the editor of Orlando Family Magazine.
Explanation of job: I am fortunate to hold two roles. As an independent PR consultant, I can serve clients through media relations, cause marketing, strategic planning, public relations, internal & external communications and relationship building. Currently, I am helping a client to obtain 501c3 status which will completely impact future opportunities, including execution of PR strategies.
In my role as editor for Orlando Family Magazine, I drive all editorial content from generating story ideas to seeing the finished product hit the page. This includes managing writers, editing copy or personally crafting a piece that I am passionate about. Additionally, I participate in magazine layout, website, social media and newsletter development. I love communicating positive messaging that will serve and enrich Central Florida families.
Why FPRA?: The connections I’ve gained through FPRA are truly invaluable! I know that the peers within this outstanding organization are and will remain fantastic mentors throughout my career.
I have enjoyed serving on the Board of Directors, but especially enjoy the opportunity to coach students and young professionals. I’ve worked with a number of interns, served as a guest speaker at local colleges and grade schools, and participated in University of Central Florida’s Media Roundtable / Comm Day.
Exciting Achievement: I am honored to have received a 2011 FPRA Image Award of Distinction and 2011 FPRA Judges Award. I’m equally as grateful to have been recognized by employers including such honors as the 2007 Greater Southeast Cause Marketing Award, 2007 National Rome Betts Award of Excellence for Cause Marketing, and 2006 Rao Musunuru Staff Award of Excellence Honorable Mention for Health Initiatives. And it definitely was exciting to be a 2012 nominee for the Orlando Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.
Fun fact: My husband has dual citizenship (Spanish and American) and we love to travel the world!