Give a brief explanation of your job.
I help lead the team at Universal Orlando, who works tirelessly every day to help media and influencers understand why they MUST cover our destination. Through creative planning and tactical execution, we show how Universal Orlando immerses our guests in EPIC storytelling allowing them to swing above the streets with Spider-Man, soar above Hogwarts castle with Harry Potter or break into dance with the adorable Minions. I also help oversee our efforts around outrageous annual events, including the nation’s best Halloween event, Halloween Horror Nights.
How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join? #myFPRA
I have been a member of FPRA for more than 17 years. I was excited to join as a professional member upon graduating from college because I already knew the incredible benefits that being a part of this association would bring to me and my career. The professional development opportunities alone continue to help me grow as a professional, but the leadership opportunities both at the chapter and Executive Committee level have helped me grow as a leader within my company and for my team. If I’ve learned anything from my time in FPRA it’s that you have to put yourself out there and get involved in order to truly reap the benefits FPRA has to offer – and you’ll make lifelong friendships in the process.
What was your favorite FPRA event?
My favorite FPRA event, by far, is our annual conference each August. The forum that is created for networking, career development and creative thinking is unlike any other convention I have attended. This year’s incredible line up of speakers proves how invaluable those four days can be. That coupled with the professional comradery and family environment is what brings me back year after year. If you have not attended an annual conference, you truly have not seen how amazing our Association is.
Tell us about an exciting achievement.
I’m most proud of my personal achievement of being the mother of two incredible boys, (Cooper (6) and Holden (4). They are truly my little monsters. However, from a professional standpoint, the work I was able to do with our amazing team as we launched The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade back in 2010 remains my all-time career high! The shared passion for the brand and the new levels of immersive story telling we accomplished not only in this new theme park experience, but also in our communications efforts surrounding the launch of the area was, hands down, the most challenging yet rewarding work I have ever been a part of in my career.
What was your first job?
My first job was working for my parent’s in their small PR agency in Winter Haven, FL. Their agency held the FPRA State Office account and my dad served as the Executive Director for the Association. This was my first look inside our incredible group and allowed me to meet so many members, assist with their needs and be a part of the Golden Image Award Entry processing that the State Office handles each year. This was back in the day of three-ring binder entries with paper copies and samples of work. As I would process the entries, I would see the amazing work people in our profession across the state were doing each year. This stayed with me as I went into college at Florida State University and I was finally convinced by one of my mentors, Jay Rayburn, APR, CPRC, to go with what was in my blood and become a PR professional myself.
Tell us something people may not know about you.
I think many would be surprised to know that I started as an active member of the Dick Pope Polk County Chapter where I served as chapter President back in 2003. Outside of FPRA, I love scuba diving, although I don’t do it nearly as often as I would like, and I have a bit of a shoe obsession!
You can follow Alyson on Twitter @AlysonUOR or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.