Babinchak Promoted to Agency Vice President

August 15, 2011

ORLANDO, Fla. (July 14, 2011) – John Babinchak II, respected journalist and a longtime business editor at the Orlando Sentinel, was promoted to vice president of CBR Public Relations.

Babinchak joined CBR in 2007 as its managing director.  He was promoted based on his “commitment to client service, ability to lead and his journalistic integrity,” said Lori C. Booker, APR, founder and CEO of CBR.

“John is one of those rare journalists who immediately and effectively applied what he learned in the newsroom to providing critical counsel to CEOs and marketing directors,” Booker said “John is a dedicated mentor and leader who commands respect in boardrooms and newsrooms here in Florida and beyond.”

Babinchak attended the University of Florida and is a resident of Winter Park, Fla.

CBR, founded by Booker more than 25 years ago, successfully represents an array of blue chip clients, from Fortune 100 corporations to pivotal local organizations. Some have remained clients for more than 15 years. The company has offices in Orlando and Melbourne, Florida. For more information about CBR, visit

Are You Ready to Stand Out from a Crowd?

August 10, 2011

Stand out from the crowd and become accredited 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.

Learn more about accreditation at an information session on Monday, September 12. We will provide an overview of the APR process and the free eight-week study program. All interested candidates are invited to attend. Also, APRs who have recently completed the process will be available to answer questions and offer advice.

Information Session and Study Program Kick-off:
Monday, September 12 at 6:00 p.m.
Location to be determined

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

APR Study Program Workshops
APR workshops are free to active FPRA or PRSA members and will be held weekly from September 12 through November 14 at a convenient time and location for participating candidates.  The one-hour sessions are led by seasoned APR facilitators to guide a discussion of core topics that will be covered on the APR computerized exam.  The workshops are not required “classes” but rather a professional development networking group of mentors prepared to help you succeed.

If you are interested in starting the APR process or would like to learn more about it, please contact: Stefanie Macfarlane, APR– 321.578.1722 or

Congratulations to FPRA’s Newest APR:
Congratulations to Mike Lawrence, APR who earned his accreditation in July.

Nonprofit PR Pros Learn to Boost Productivity

August 10, 2011

By Cynthia Lambert, APR

No one’s job is getting any easier.  With tightening budgets and staff reductions in recent years, PR pros are expected to do more with less.  But how can we get it all done?  At FPRA’s recent nonprofit roundtable program, attendees learned to boost productivity by better managing their time.

Laureen Martinez, chief public relations officer at the American Red Cross Mid-Florida Region, was the perfect person to share time management tips.  She serves as the main spokesperson for four American Red Cross chapters within Central Florida and covers a territory of 13 counties.  Additionally, she is also responsible for government and community outreach, media relations, website content, crisis management, and social media.

Here are just a few of Laureen’s secrets on how to make the most of your day:

  • Plan and Prioritize. If you don’t plan and prioritize, you’ll find yourself drifting and working in a scattered, disjointed way.  Don’t waste time on what’s not important and stay fully focused in the moment.  Write out your priority list for the next day before you go home.
  • Ban Procrastination.  Putting things off wastes not only your time, but also your energy and thoughts. When you procrastinate, much time is spent thinking and worrying about the things you need to do.  Do the last thing you want to do first.
  • Stop Interruptions.  Interruptions prevent you from being focused and pull you away from important things.  Get to know your phone’s “do not disturb” feature for when you really need to focus.
  • Teamwork.  Learn to delegate.  It’s a waste of time to think you need to do everything because no one ever does it as good as you. You’ll end up doing too much and having insufficient time to focus only on what you’re really good at.  Use your team of volunteers.  You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.
  • Meeting Agendas.  Meetings can be a real waste of time if there isn’t a specific reason, agenda and timeframe for holding them.  Make a concise agenda for every meeting to keep everyone focused on the task at hand.
  • Email, Internet and Phone.  It’s easy to spend quite a bit of time on these items without even realizing it. These are some of PR pros’ biggest time wasters.  Schedule a time to return calls and do research on the internet.  To save time on social media, try developing an editorial calendar so you don’t have to waste time coming up with a topic for your posts or tweets.

Special Thanks to our Sponsor
Special thanks to Enspire Communication, our presenting sponsor for the nonprofit roundtable.  Without your support, it wouldn’t be possible for us to offer this free benefit to our nonprofit members.

FPRA State President at Next Orlando Area Chapter Meeting

August 10, 2011

Please join the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter on Thursday, August 25 for a coffee and breakfast networking event with incoming FPRA President Melanie Mowry Etters, APR, CPRC, CPM and your industry peers as we welcome a successful year. The Member of the Year and Bob Davis Award recipients will also be announced.

Register at
When: 8 a.m. Registration/Networking; 8:30 a.m. Program
Where: University Club, 150 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, Fla.


Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation to Offer Karen Plunkett Memorial Scholarship

August 10, 2011

Recipient Will Attend the Rollins College Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Certificate in Leadership Practice Program

ORLANDO, Fla., July 18, 2011— The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation in Winter Park, Florida is again offering the Karen Plunkett Memorial Scholarship for the Rollins College Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Certificate in Leadership Practice program. The scholarship is awarded annually to a public relations or communications professional in Orange, Osceola, Seminole or Lake County. Preference will be given to an individual who is involved in the community or who has connection with a nonprofit organization. Applications are due by August 19, 2011.

The Certificate in Leadership Practice is designed for nonprofit professionals, including emerging leaders, who are ready to take their leadership skill set to the next level. Attendees develop a comprehensive understanding of their personal leadership style through self-assessment, learn about organization dynamics and the role leaders play at all levels, and learn how to be more effective leaders within their current or future leadership positions.

Click here to download the application form. For additional information about Karen Plunkett or the Certificate in Leadership Practice visit or call 407-975-6414.