Why Image Awards? Insight of a 2012 Image Award Winner

December 10, 2012

By Nina Zapala, director of public relations, Anson-Stoner

NinaThe Anson-Stoner PR Team won two honors at the 2012 Golden Image Awards in the Press Release Category, including: Windjammer Landing “Steals” Headlines—Award of Distinction and Windjammer Landing “Steals” Headlines—Judges’ Award.

Entering the FPRA Image Awards is an ideal way for Anson-Stoner to showcase its prowess in the PR industry. The Image Awards, through the evaluation process, allow the agency to compare itself regionally via judge’s feedback in areas such as: comments, scoring and the overall review of the entry. These are invaluable tools as they provide the agency an opportunity to review its strengths and weaknesses in the areas of campaign strategy, planning, implementation and measurement. This evaluation is also used internally to help educate the PR team and bring up discussions of current campaigns for improvement and evaluation. Of course, Anson-Stoner also uses this award as a way to generate local and regional press highlighting the agency’s expertise in the area of public relations.

Another benefit of entering the Image Awards is that it allows Anson-Stoner to educate clients on the value, role and importance of public relations. Specifically, this 2012 Image Award case allowed Anson-Stoner to educate clients on the impact that a single press release may have on awareness and positioning.

Anson-Stoner also believes that the Image Awards generate positive news both internally and externally for clients. For example, clients benefit from winning awards as this news reflects exceptional work and can be shared amongst employees. Externally, news releases can be generated, mentions can be posted across client social media channels and the agency also suggests a copy of the award be prominently displayed in the office. This is a win-win for the client as this news spreads to customers as well.

Why did Anson-Stoner choose the press release category? The Image Awards press release category was entered for several reasons. Today, many naysayers say the press release is dead. We disagree. Any communication that is well written and timely, and offers beneficial information to its target audience is as valuable as a white paper, a content rich blog post, a client fact sheet, and more. Anson-Stoner created a press release as part of the overall campaign strategy for Windjammer Landing Resort to help generate awareness in the U.S. and position the resort as a family-friendly, affordable option to travelers visiting Saint Lucia.

We assumed the Golden Image Award was bestowed on Anson-Stoner for the following reasons. First and foremost, the press release accomplished a crucial goal for the resort in generating awareness about the property in the U.S. on a national level. Secondly, the press release highlighted the fact that the resort was family-friendly and affordable—two marketing objectives that were part of the overall positioning for the client. Thirdly, not only did the press release get picked-up in key target markets, but it was also syndicated to top dailies in the U.S., thus generating awareness for the client in secondary target markets.

The rewards for entering the Image Awards are multi-faceted and Anson-Stoner believes that the ongoing success of any great PR campaign is through learning, evaluation and peer review. These tools allow the agency to grow and keep abreast of the ever-changing PR landscape.




MERGE Event Raises Scholarship Funds

December 7, 2012

The Orlando Area Chapter hosted the first installment of the 2012-2013 MERGE networking series and scholarship fundraiser on Friday, November 30th at the RDV Sportsplex Den for a fun-filled night of ice skating. Forty-five public relations students, FPRA members and their families attended the event to raise funds for the UCF Nicholson School of Communication’s Scholarship and the Organizational Communication Program of the Hamilton Holt School of Rollins College.

A scholarship donation ($10 adults, $5 children) covered entrance to the event, skate rental, complimentary pizza, hot chocolate, popcorn and other refreshments. Combined with a scholarship fund donation from the event sponsors, Bright House Networks and Kissimmee Utility Authority, this MERGE event raised more than $2,000!

Click here to view all photos of the Orlando Area Chapter’s MERGE event.

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Member PRofile: Meghan Yost

November 26, 2012

Title & Company:

Communications Specialist, Seminole State College of Florida

Why did you choose FPRA?

“I’ve been attending FPRA events for the past six months, but became an official member about two months ago. I just recently 
switched jobs, moving out of the television news industry and into the public relations field. Joining an association like FPRA is helping me make that transition as well as become more connected to the PR community and foster my skills.”

Favorite FPRA event:

“So far, my favorite FPRA event has been the Professional Development Workshop at Rollins College. I attended the Marni Jameson’s (Orlando Sentinel) breakout session on pitching to the media and Rachelle Lucas’s session on working with bloggers and social media. Both women were engaging speakers who offered great insight into their respective fields.”

Explanation of your job:

“As a communications specialist at Seminole State, I assist with the overall marketing and media relations efforts of the college. I write press releases to pitch to news outlets, as well as articles featured in the school’s online newsroom. Since coming on board, I’ve created the school’s YouTube channels and Pinterest page. I also maintain the college’s existing social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter. In addition, I’ve been involved in the production of videos for college-wide events and student informational pieces. I also update the television shows aired throughout all four campuses.”

Exciting Achievement:

“I’ve been fortunate to have had several exciting achievements throughout my career. As a producer at FOX 35 News, I sat in the front row of the courtroom for the Casey Anthony trial, and interviewed Governor Rick Scott about the Trayvon Martin incident. Also, as a reporter for Ivanhoe Broadcast News, I traveled to Spain to interview international medical and science experts.”

Background & Insight:

“I’m originally from a small town in Connecticut with strong ties to my hometown. It’s the same town my parents grew up in and that just about my entire family lives in. Five years ago, I took a chance by moving to Orlando for an internship. That internship turned into a career. I would tell young college students that if they’re presented with an opportunity that may or may not be outside their comfort zone, to take a chance on it. You never know where it will lead you.”

Contact info:


Fun fact:

“In the past, I worked in Walt Disney World’s entertainment department, helping to bring Mickey and Minnie Mouse to life!”