FPRA Member Profile: Amber Ford

November 4, 2011

Membership Stats: Ocala Chapter Member 2005-2010 / Orlando Area Chapter 2011-present

Title: Marketing Communications Designer, CloseMaid Corp. (Div. of Emerson Electric Company)

Favorite FPRA Event: “Professional Workshops – they are continuing education seminars for PR professionals.”

Favorite Membership Benefit: “Connecting with PR professionals. FPRA allows you to gain experience outside of your everyday practice.”

Specialties: Graphic creation and manipulation (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign), brand development and positioning, strategic planning, mass communications writing, social media and web management.

Summary: For nine years I have created literature, packaging and point of purchase graphics for products being sold in major home improvement retailers and other big-box stores. In my position, I work directly with product and channel managers, sales managers and design engineers to develop creative and strategic product communications and initiatives.

I think creatively and strategically, and I am extremely detail oriented and organized. From idea generation to execution, I love seeing a project through every stage. Rather than trying to work with what is known, I proactively envision how something could be and then develop a way to get there. I strive to continuously learn and grow, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and skills for others’ developmen

Other Info:

Amber has been married for 13 years and has two sons – Noah (5 yrs.) and Erik (15 months). The Ford family is in the process of moving from Ocala to Orlando. Amber’s portfolio can be viewed at www.fordspace.net/amber

Upcoming Events – November Issue

November 4, 2011

November 9, 2011: Image Awards Committee Meeting. You’re invited to join the Image Awards Committee to help bring to life one of FPRA’s greatest nights of the year. The first meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Florida Dairy Farmers Conference Room in Maitland.  Meet with fellow PR professionals to discuss theme ideas, event logistics and recruiting entry submissions of the best campaigns from the year. For more information, contact Kerry Martin or Alayna Rivera.

wkmgNovember 16, 2011: Backstage Pass Event, a unique behind the scenes opportunity. WKMG Local 6 will host a special TV experience for participants from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm. Enjoy a station tour, hear from TV news experts and participate in a Q&A.  


DeceRonald Housember 15, 2011: FPRA Share-a-Meal Outreach. Join with your fellow FPRA colleagues from 8-11 a.m. to make the holidays a bit brighter for those in need. Help serve breakfast at the Ronald McDonald House at Arnold Palmer Hospital.

MERGE: 1st PR Mixer a success

November 4, 2011
By: Cassie Roach
Over 15 public relations professional came together on Wednesday, November 2nd for the newly introduced networking series and scholarship fundraiser events called MERGE. The event took place at the Bar Louie Orlando Tavern & Grill and was devoted to networking and increasing the PR professionals reach to others in the Orlando area.  All proceeds collected at event fund scholarships for the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida and the Organizational Communication Program of the Hamilton Holt School of Rollins College.  The series will continue in 2012 with additional networking opportunities & a MERGE: Trivia night. View photos here.

Benefits of membership renewals

November 4, 2011

Laura ColeCongrats to Laura Cole, Rollins College, for winning the renewal prize for October – two tickets to the Orlando Calling! Renew by the end of November and have the chance to win two tickets to the Orlando Ballet or renew by December and have the chance to win two comp breakfast meetings.

Check out this YouTube video to hear why FPRA members across the state value their membership.

Already renewed? Help us put a face beside your name! Log onto FPRA.org  and upload your headshot to the membership directory today.

Thinking About Accreditation (APR)?

November 4, 2011

APR information and study sessions will begin on February 6th for any FPRA or PRSA members in the Orlando area. Our chapter’s study process has proven higher success rates than the national average because we bring in expert guest lecturers, provide you with examples from peers who have recently earned their APR and target our lessons to the key exam areas. Please contact Kristin Jimenez, VP of Accreditation, to get more information about the study sessions. Don’t miss out on these FREE opportunities. Email: Kristin.jimenez@flhosp.org or cell: 407-399-0157.

QUOTES Corner – Students Perspective

November 4, 2011

Suited Up for Intern Pursuit

By: Ashley Tinstman, FPRA Quotes Member / UCF Student

It’s that time of year again. College students are tweaking their resumés, attending internship fairs and scheduling interviews with potential employers.

On Monday, Oct. 31, the Advertising/Public Relations program at UCF held its bi-annual internship fair, Intern Pursuit. Nearly 70 employers were in attendance looking for the best writers, the most creative minds, the most dedicated students and … the best dressed.

That’s right. Professionalism is one aspect of the internship search that students often overlook. They have flawless portfolios, outstanding resumés and a radiant smile, but they often forget that their skirt is much too short and their plunging neckline is too revealing. According to Randall Hansen, a professor of business at Stetson University, the most common mistake new employees make is under-dressing. You want to be recognized by your employer for your work ethic and writing skills, not your wildly inappropriate outfit. Appropriate attire should be top of mind for students getting ready to go on an interview, but that begs the question: what do I wear?

To help students who are asking themselves this question, the FPRA Quotes board decided to put on a small fashion show at one of their recent meetings to address any fashion flaws. Two board members wore a revealing and unprofessional outfit, while other two other members were dressed much more conservative – and the visual comparisons help to make the issue clear. We even took it a step further to make a video of our meeting, so that students at UCF and other universities can learn why it’s so important to pick an outfit that is suitable for potential employers but looks stylish, as well!

Here are some additional tips for both guys and girls on what to wear and what not to wear in a professional setting.


·         Wear a nice pair of slacks or knee-length skirt

·         Wear a conservative shirt or blouse

·         Wear a blazer or suit jacket

·         Wear close-toed flats or moderate heels

·         Wear a tie

·         Make sure your belt and shoes match

·         Put on natural-looking makeup

·         Comb your hair

·         Shave or trim facial hair

·         Use deodorant


·         Wear revealing tops

·         Wear short skirts or dresses

·         Wear jeans

·         Wear T-shirts

·         Wear open-toed shoes, flip flops or sneakers

·         Wear stilettos

·         Wear fishnets (Yes, I’ve seen this one at least a few times)

·         Wear too much jewelry or makeup

·         Look like a mess!

If you follow these rules, you’ll be sure to impress any potential employer looking your way. You already have the tangible skills they’re looking for. Now show them you’re the young professional they’re looking for too!

Intern for Hire

By: Amelia Guldi, FPRA Quotes Member / UCF Student

For the first time, Quotes, the PR club at UCF hosted its biannual Intern Pursuit on campus in Pegasus Ballroom on Monday, Oct. 31. Although the weather was not completely in our favor, the event proved to be nothing short of a success.

Students seeking internship opportunities were in direct contact with communications professionals from across the Metro Orlando area. Employers in attendance ranged from non-profit organizations to agencies and corporations.

Students transformed themselves into hopeful young professionals; complete with their best work attire, resumes in hand and prepared elevator speeches. Intern attendance ranged from first-time hopefuls to four-time veterans, nonetheless all set to impress the employers and land that pivotal position.

As conversations began flowing, the stress slowly began to fall from students faces; they realized (believe it or not), employers are human too and although it was Halloween, there was nothing to be afraid of.

After having completed three internships and in the midst of my fourth, I can completely relate to the inevitable anxiety surrounding the process: preparing the resume, speaking with hundreds of strangers, nailing the interview and landing the internship. Intern Pursuit was absolutely vital to my success in attaining my internships and building my network.

Professional Development Workshop Delivers Inspiration and Tricks of the Trade

November 4, 2011

By: Laura Cole, Rollins College

“It’s PR—relate with your publics.” – Dan Ward

Let’s face it: the Internet and new technologies have changed—and will continue to change—how we work. The media environment and communications channels are more nebulous and less hierarchical. Individuals whose voices would have been muffled or silenced only a decade ago, now have the potential for local, national and global outreach. This is great news for communications, but means more work for communications professionals.

Organized around the theme of “The Evolving PR Landscape” and held on Wednesday, October 19 at Rollins College, this year’s professional development workshop offered tips for staying ahead of all those changes—and inspiration for staying energized while the landscape continues to shift and expand. The breakout sessions were designed to allow attendees to choose between an eagle’s eye view and a down-in-the-dirt ant’s perspective.

The first breakout session featured Jim Knight, senior director of training at Hard Rock International, and Erik Erickson, search marketing executive at Fry Hammond Barr. Knight offered insight on how to make your brand stay relevant by hiring rock stars and empowering them to be your most powerful brand ambassadors. According to Knight, “unique people create unique experiences,” and it’s this uniqueness that empowers individuals to “treat every client like a first date.” Focusing on the more niche area of search engine optimization, Erickson incited attendees to “write for people, but tweak for robots.” He also dispelled some popular Google myths. For example, did you know that Google stopped ranking metatags for web rankings three years ago? Well, now you do—and can free up anytime you may have used on that to focus on building keywords into your copy.

The second breakout sessions featured Dan Ward, vice president and partner at Curley & Penn, and Ana-Klara Anderson, a litigation associate at Thomas & LoCicero. Providing an overview of the shifting in the media universe, Ward encouraged attendees to embrace the Twitter revolution and to “twitterize” messages. Not only are more people thinking in 140 characters or less, but they’re also turning to social media sites as their primary news source and for interaction with the companies whose products and services they’re using. For that reason, he warned those listening to “know the difference between an answer and a response.” Looking at public relations from the legal side of things, Anderson informed participants that “online comments are like a modern Liberty Tree.” And while such locales are great for rallying people to your cause, they can be a PR nightmare—but only if you let them. Her advice? Spell out a policy for user-generated content on your website and stick to it.

The keynote, delivered by Vice President of Client Relations at Sara Brady Public Relations, Inc. Scott Bowman, offered a chance for those in attendance to take a step back from their work and consider how to navigate a work-life balance in this 24/7 world. Yes, technology places the world in our hands—but there are times when we may need to disconnect. The former senior executive at the Orlando Magic talked about a policy at the Magic where cell phones were banned from executive-level meetings. The underlying message of giving respect to the people around us applies as much to meetings as it does to client interaction and reinforced suggestions for the earlier sessions. Namely, we may live in a digital, always-accessible world, but the people in it crave that one-on-one individualized attention. And as PR professionals, we have the opportunity to do so—on both a micro and a macro level.