Quotes Corner

February 14, 2019

Quotes’ Bright Spring Semester and What it Holds in Store

By Oluwatoyin Lasisi, VP of Membership, Quotes UCF

Oluwatoyin Lasisi

As spring comes into bloom, Quotes plans to sprout its petals this semester. With new board members bringing fresh ideas and old ones upholding all that the club stands for, this semester will prove to be one of the best.

We have already seen strides in membership with nine new members and six more on the cusp of joining as well – this all within the first three weeks of returning from winter break. We are proud to be expanding as we have, and plan to go beyond potential advertising and public relations students, working to gain students from business, marketing and more. The public relations field is extensive and vast; we hope to reach students who might have looked past the many possible opportunities they have in the field.

The past weeks have been productive and eventful ones. We held a welcome back social at Pop Parlour and had a great turn out. We spoke to prospective and returning members about what we have planned this semester, what Quotes stands for, and our purpose. There was a small giveaway and the lucky winners won an assortment of prizes. The following week we held our first faculty panel. Four instructors from the Nicholson School of Communication and Media came out and spoke about previous experiences in their respective fields and careers. One of the faculty members that joined us was former FPRA Orlando President Lindsay Hudock. The panel was a huge success with students, many of whom felt it was informative and helped them get a more in-depth understanding of what the future looks like in their potential careers. The student feedback has been great and may even lead to the panel becoming an annual event. These events were just the beginning of what we have in store for the rest of the semester. Our next event will be a tour with the City of Orlando, which we are very excited about.

We strive to become better each semester and actively look for ways to improve the organization. These events and socials have really allowed us to see what our members respond to best. We hope to build on this for an even stronger foundation for the future.

Reminder: Don’t forget about Intern Pursuit!

The FPRA student chapter – Quotes, the PR Club at UCF –  formally invites you to Intern Pursuit on March 20 at the University of Central Florida.

The bi-annual internship fair, unique to students in communication-related fields, is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Pegasus Ballroom of the Student Union.

Intern Pursuit has been highly successful in providing great interns to employers like you in the past. This opportunity to meet with more than 200 students and find an intern is a truly unique one. We strive to give students a chance to apply what they have learned in the classroom combined with what they learn from professionals like you.

If you are interested in being an employer at this event, please fill out the application.

New this semester:

Want to help your internship stand out? Learn how to become an Intern Pursuit Featured Internship.

Sponsorship Benefits – $60, form can be downloaded here.

  • Promotion of your internship as a Featured Internship across the club’s social media platforms in the weeks leading up to Intern Pursuit
  • Your internship, including description and benefits, featured on the Quotes website complete with a link to your website
  • Event signage identifying you as a featured internship in the ballroom at Intern Pursuit
  • The opportunity to select your Intern Pursuit table location in advance

All benefits provided on a first-come, first-served basis.


LeadershipFPRA Rewind: CN Winter Symposium

February 14, 2019

By Ali Beemer

LeadershipFPRA Class III’s year is in full swing, and as a member of the class, I have to say, it’s been an amazing experience thus far. The group of 15 professionals from across Florida, seven of whom are from the FPRA Orlando chapter, reconvened for our second session January 24-25. Our group was able to participate in FPRA’s Counselors Network (CN) Winter Symposium in St. Augustine – a professional development conference attended exclusively by senior-level professionals. Not only was it a fun networking opportunity, it also gave many of us in the leadership class learning opportunities that were unmatched in our industry.

Our itinerary began with the first speaker of the symposium, David Riggleman, communications director for the City of Las Vegas, who started a powerful discussion on the mass shooting tragedy that occurred on October 1, 2017, and the city’s response. It was a raw and emotional conversation for everyone in the room, no matter the experience level. We took away many important crisis key learnings from David, who had to remain calm through his own emotions and stages of grief during the tragedy itself. One of the most impactful takeaways was the importance of having an effective emergency response plan and implementing training across all levels for alignment when tragedy strikes. Many of us are so busy with our day-to-day responsibilities that we don’t prioritize training, particularly crisis training. It was a great reminder that crisis training should be a priority and the day-to-day is not guaranteed.

Next up was Mickey Nall, APR, CPRC, to discuss the ever-changing landscape of influencer engagement and PR strategy. This is a convoluted topic for many of us since the strategy and landscape continues to evolve daily. What makes someone an influencer? Are high numbers important anymore? Do they provide the ROI that’s worth the (sometimes extremely high) price tag? Mickey gave us a true deep-dive into the world of influencers currently and what’s next, including the rise of the micro-influencer – great news, a high following doesn’t always equal high return. Plus, some really important statistics to consider when looking to increase your influencer budget (i.e. More than 50 percent of women have purchased a product endorsed by an influencer, according to Digital Marketing Institute – I’m guilty of this). And who knew that Aunt Jemima was the first influencer (thanks, Mickey)?!

After the session concluded, it was time to explore the beautiful city of St. Augustine as a group. Tours of the historic (and beautiful) Flagler College and the unique St. Augustine Distillery were on the agenda, giving us the perfect opportunity to get better acquainted with our fellow colleagues. We concluded our evening with a group dinner and compared thoughts on our experience at the Winter Symposium. For many of us in LeadershipFPRA, it was our first time at this conference and we all agreed that the opportunities offered – the intimate group size, the open conversation and the schedule of events – all made this experience smart, engaging and fun.

Interested in becoming a part of LeadershipFPRA and joining the fun? Click here to learn more about the LeadershipFPRA program and stay tuned for information on joining next year’s program.

Photo credits: Chris Gent, APR, CPRC


Chapter Rewind: New Year, New You

February 14, 2019

By Mark R. Richardson, Manager, Public Relations, Media Relations, & Communications, Seminole State College of Florida

With the start of a new year, most of us tend to make New Year’s resolutions such as eating better, exercising more, or trying to give up bad habits. One resolution that you can make any time of the year that will have a substantial impact on your life is to learn something new.

At FPRA Orlando’s January professional development breakfast held at Seminole State College in Sanford, we explored the many paths that are available for public relations professionals to continue their education. Whether it be a certificate program to gain an in-depth understanding of Microsoft Excel or pursuing a master’s or doctorate degree, the options are endless.

FPRA state accreditation chair Ginger Broslat, APR, CPRC; Associate Professor and Assistant Director of Academic Programs for the Nicholson School of Communication at UCF Melissa Dodd, Ph.D., APR; Summer Pessatore, Student Admissions Specialist at Seminole State College; and, Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business Recruitment Manager Linda Puritz discussed the numerous opportunities available for PR professionals to take their careers to the next level.

We learned that, with today’s technology, you don’t have to sit in a classroom to take a course. With a computer and an internet connection, you can take online classes as an alternative to on-campus classes.

Keep in mind that online classes aren’t for everyone. They require a unique commitment as well as good time management skills, motivation and self-discipline. They are neither easier nor more difficult than on-campus courses, but they do call for a special kind of dedication. You should take stock of yourself and examine your learning preferences before enrolling in any online class.

Regardless of what learning environment is best for you, it’s up to you to take the next step to not only improve yourself but also the world around you, because as Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”


Member PRofile: Steven Calamusa

February 14, 2019

Steven Calamusa
Sr. Communications Coordinator, Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC – The Reliable One)

Give a brief explanation of your job.
Within the Corporate Communications team, my team and I handle customer, employee and crisis communication efforts.

How long have you been a member of FPRA and why did you join?
I’ve been a member for about two years. FPRA is a great way to connect with those who fully understand and appreciate what we do day-in and day-out.

What has been your favorite FPRA event so far?
The 2018 Image Awards. This was my first FPRA event, and it was great to see such great work from our local PR/Communications community. I was also honored to be present to see Alyson Lundell, my former boss at Universal Orlando Resort, named PR Pro of the Year. She truly deserves it!

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I earned my MBA from UCF in May 2018.

What was your first job?
Non-professional: Summer Camp Counselor; Professional: Public Relations at Universal Orlando Resort

Fun fact:
I’ve committed to experiencing at least one new country every year of my 30s. Two years in and I’ve hit 11. Can’t wait to plan my next!

Contact Information:
scalamusa@ouc.com