Upcoming Events

September 6, 2011
� September 15, 2011 – Board Retreat: 8:30-11:30 at Farris & Fosters Chocolate Factory in Baldwin Park

 � September 22, 2011 – September Chapter Meeting: Speaker Roy Reid, APR, Partner at Consensus Communications, and member networking at The University Club

 � October 19, 2011 – “The Evolving Landscape of PR”, a regional Professional Development Workshop hosted by FPRA-Orlando Area Chapter. The event will take place at Rollins College beginning at 8:00 a.m. with morning sessions at the Crummer SunTrust Auditorium and the Luncheon & Keynote Presentation in the Galloway Room beginning at 12:00 p.m.

September 2011 Member News

September 6, 2011

Shaloni Prine’s title has changed to Coordinator of College Alumni Relations, University of Central and is working with the College of Science and the Rosen College of Hospitality and Management. UCF graduates looking to become involved in their alumni chapter should contact Shaloni Prine at shaloni.prine@ucfalumni.com

Heather Morgan, APR, Children’s Home Society of Florida, is the recipient of the Karen Plunkett scholarship made possible by the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation.  The scholarship is for the Rollins College Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Certificate in Leadership Practice program. Congratulations!

Former Orlando Area Chapter President Bob O’Malley is running for Mayor of Altamonte Springs. Best of luck Bob!

Congratulations to Susan Ennis, APR, CPRC, founder and president of EnSpire Communications, for joining the state board of directors. She will serve as VP of Accreditation and Certification on the 2011-2012 FPRA Executive Committee and work with local chapters to provide continuing education opportunities and professional certification to Florida’s communications professionals.

Annual Conference Delivers on its Promise and more – By Stefanie Macfarlane, APR

September 6, 2011

This year’s conference theme, PR 2011: The Evolution of Public Relations, celebrated the changes in our industry and, as promised, helped prepare me for the future. Better still, it helped me envision my own future which, as a freelancer, can often seem murky and unknown.

For me, attending the Annual FPRA conference is a no brainer. Where else can you attend presentation after presentation filled with informative case studies to sharpen your skills and learn how to utilize the latest tools better serve your clients or employer? Unfortunately, attending this year’s conference seemed out of reach for me—until I realized that our chapter offers scholarships to cover the cost of registration.  What a great way to meet our goal of providing educational opportunities to our members. It also is a fantastic way to raise the level of professionalism in our community by providing avenues for practitioners to stay abreast of the latest best practices and tools. I am honored to have received one of two scholarships awarded and hope this will provide you with just a small taste of what you missed if you could not attend yourself.

Here a few of the lessons I brought home to share with you:

  • Social Media: For those who have not yet jumped in and started taking advantage of the new social media toolkit, then don’t wait any longer. Incorporate social media into your existing communication plans. Start small and gradually build your presence. For instance, set up a Facebook page that you post company messaging before allowing comments.  For more details about how CSX Hopped on the Social Media Train, check out the conference blog.
  • Crisis Communications:
    • During a crisis, there are many tools that can help you get information into your publics hands at record speed (think Flickr for photos).
    • Be ready to adapt your tools for the existing crisis. You might not have planned for the exact crisis that’s occurring, but if you have a game plan for communicating quickly, you can adapt your plan.  For example, Lynn University found itself in the middle of an unlikely crisis where students were in Haiti for a service project (Journey of Hope) were caught in the earthquake of 2010 and used an alert system setup for hurricanes in order to keep a steady stream of information in the hands of its publics. In addition, the school quickly added media to the alert system and had an effective way to relay important facts in a stressful situation.
    • Look for ways to transform the organization after the crisis. Lynn University took a terrible tragedy and found a way to create an ongoing program of community service. Learn more at: Communicating Through a Tragedy: The Haiti Crisis at Lynn University
    • What CEOs Need from PR Professionals:  One of my favorite presentations because it was filled with practical advice for every practitioner. I found the speaker to be engaging and informative, but better still, she reminded me of what I love most about public relations and inspired me to pursue that path.  I met the speaker at a networking event later in the day and spoke with her more about my goals. I can’t say how meaningful it was that she took time to offer advice and listen to me.  Check out this awesome blog entry. I felt as if I were there all over again listening to the speaker! What CEOs Want and Need from PR  

Annual Conference Member Experience: By Jennifer Gammage, Marketing Director, Central Florida Cancer Care Center

September 6, 2011

I attended FPRA Conference in 2010 for the first time and was eager to attend in 2011, but my center budget didn’t have room for the extra cost. I spoke with a colleague who had decided to apply for one of the two scholarships and said to myself, “Why not?” I applied for the scholarship and won! My center was thrilled to hear that I’d won the scholarship and they agreed to cover my hotel costs. So off to conference I went, bent on absorbing every bit of new information that I could.  Each session was an opportunity to learn something valuable and take it back to my center and improve on practices we have in place or a chance to try something new.  It was also a chance to realize there were items that I was missing and things that I should be doing that currently were M.I.A.  I had a wonderful time at conference and enjoyed the networking with peers and getting to know each of them better.  In addition, I got to face a fear of mine and actually blogged about a session.  I haven’t heard anything about the blog being downright awful, so I will count it as a triumph over my blogging fear!

Did You Miss Annual Conference? Check Out the FPRA Blog

September 6, 2011

The 73rd Annual Conference, “The Evolution of PR,” came to a close on August 12.  The conference featured three jam-packed days of state-wide networking and sessions from nationally recognized companies such as McDonalds, Universal Studios, Edelman Digital and MSL.  If you were not able to attend, you can experience the sessions from your computer by visiting the  FPRA blog at www.FPRABlog.org.

 Here is one example of a session blog on the breakout session, “Past PR Programs Get a Facelift for the Future” by AAA Auto Club South’s Joanna Newton, senior project manager, and Jessica Brady, public relations manager and spokesperson. 


Save the date for next year’s Annual Conference, August 5-8, 2012 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.

Two Members Awarded for Orlando Chapter Leadership

September 6, 2011

Congratulations to two members, Stefanie Macfarlane, APR and Jennifer Gammage, who were awarded for their leadership and volunteer efforts with the Florida Public Relations, Orlando Area Chapter. 

Stefanie Macfarlane, APR was named the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter Member of the Year, which honors outstanding leadership, demonstrated enthusiasm, extraordinary involvement and loyal support.  Stefanie led the chapter’s accreditation program for two years and made our chapter the statewide leader in accreditation.  Under her leadership she led four extensive APR workshops of nine sessions each –that’s 36 total sessions – which included coordinating workshop speakers, locations and Readiness Reviews.  She’s recruited members for the program, served as a mentor to all going through the process, coordinated the awards ceremonies at the past two Central Florida Media Roundtables, reinstated the local APR reimbursement and created a LinkedIn group with topics to help members study for the exam. 

She also publicized and revived the CPRC program in Orlando.  Two years ago the program was little known to Orlando members and under her leadership, six practitioners have now received their CPRC is only two years.

Jennifer Gammage of the Central Florida Cancer Care Center was awarded the Bob Davis Award, an “unsung hero” award that honors an individual who has worked behind the scenes in the past year to support FPRA.

Jennifer served on the Image Awards committee and acted as a third co-chair.  She solicited sponsorships, both in kind and monetary, which helped ensure the event was profitable; attended all committee meetings; wrote articles for the chapter’s newsletter promoting the program; collaborated with vendors; created spreadsheets; and assisted with the script and presentation.  She volunteered on entry day, at judging and the night of the event, and she was always available to answer questions, as she had served as an event co-chair the year before.

Thank you Stefanie and Jennifer for exceeding our expectations.