Member PRofile: Jonathan Gabriel

July 13, 2016
Jonathan Gabriel

Jonathan Gabriel
Coordinator, Digital Marketing & Social Media, University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Give a brief explanation of your job. 

My position is tasked with formulating and implementing social media strategy for the UCF College of Medicine at Lake Nona. I create and post visual content – imagery, graphics, video – and monitor and respond to conversations happening around the college, UCF Health and the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences. I am also involved in designing flyers and other publications, updating the website, and writing and editing stories for news.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?

This is my first official year as part of FPRA! I just joined this spring, though I’ve been to some previous events prior to becoming a member. I wanted to be a part of this organization in order to network with other communications professionals and really develop those strong relationships in the community.

What was your favorite FPRA event?

I would say the Media Mashup. There’s always really interesting panel discussions and speakers covering the gamut of media, and this year is no different! Folks from Uber, PlayList Live, the Orlando Sentinel and iHeart Radio will be there, just to name a few.

Tell us about an exciting achievement.

I was recently promoted to a new position at the College of Medicine, so that’s pretty exciting! I’m looking forward to taking on new challenges and growing as a professional. In addition, I’ve been experimenting with Slack, a popular team messaging app, to build a community of higher education folks in public relations and social media. I started the community this past December, and we currently have over 140 participants from colleges across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium and Australia.

What was your very first job?

My very first job involved working as a bagger at Old Time Pottery. Although it didn’t pay a lot, I picked up some valuable lessons in customer service and being able to communicate with people and make their day just a bit brighter than it was before.

Share a fun fact that people may not know about you.

I used to karaoke – I’ve done Metallica and Billy Idol before! I also love binge watching shows on Netflix when I have time – House of Cards and Daredevil are two of my favorites.

Contact Info:
Twitter: @jongabriel

Chapter Rewind: June Breakfast – Tornado Takeaways: Lessons in Crisis Communications

July 13, 2016
Jason Bartolone, Alayna Curry, APR, Julie Hall, APR, and Drew Winchester at AAA Heathrow.

Jason Bartolone, Alayna Curry, APR, Julie Hall, APR, and Drew Winchester at AAA Heathrow.

Tornado Takeaways: Lessons in Crisis Communications

Chapter Rewind | By: Gabriel Soltren

Sarasota County’s Jason Bartolone and Drew Winchester managed communications during a tornado crisis in 2016 that produced 132 tons of debris and a visit by the governor.

As former journalists, Jason and Drew answered questions from CNN, Weather Channel, Telemundo, Huffington Post and others. At one point, Jason was being interviewed on CNN while Drew spoke with Good Morning America.

Drew Winchester, Media Relations, Sarasota County and former journalist provided crisis communications takeaways.

Drew Winchester, Media Relations, Sarasota County and former journalist provided crisis communications takeaways.

Drew told Florida Public Relations Association Orlando members that there was a misconception that Sarasota County’s older community did not use social media. However, it became obvious that they did. During the crisis, Sarasota County government reached 1.1 million people on Twitter.

Social media became the primary means of communication with reporters. Local government provided news updates on Twitter. They also provided behind-the-scenes photographs on social media. To save time, they published a statement giving reporters permission to use photographs posted on social media.

Drew Winchester, Media Relations, Sarasota County and former journalist provided crisis communications takeaways.

Jason Bartolone, Media Relations, Sarasota County and former journalist provided crisis communications takeaways.

“Media interest was greater on the second day,” Bartolone said. They shared second and third day stories with their media partners about life saving efforts and debris cleanup efforts by emergency responders.

The pair participated in annual county hurricane preparedness training and knew what had to be done. You must have a plan in place but, during a crisis, plans change. For example, they replaced most traditional media releases with incremental posts on Twitter. “Social media is the future of communications,” said Bartolone. “All the local reporters were on it.” They said that reporters retweeted and broadcast their messages.

Click here for more photographs from the June 2016 FPRA Orlando Breakfast meeting at AAA Heathrow.
FPRA 2016 June Breakfast

Call for Nominations: 2016 Chapter Awards

July 13, 2016

Call for Nominations: 2016 Chapter Awards

The FPRA Orlando Area Chapter is now accepting nominations for its two annual awards. The Member of the Year Award recognizes one member who has made a significant contribution to the Association through leadership, enthusiasm, involvement and support.

The Bob Davis Award is named in honor of the late Dr. Bob Davis, Ph.D., ABC, APR, CPRC, retired professor from the University of Central Florida who gave tirelessly to our chapter and FPRA for over three decades. This award honors an individual who has worked behind the scenes in the past year to support FPRA.

Candidates must be nominated by someone in the profession. Please include a brief narrative of no more than 500 words detailing why the person should be recognized, the accomplishments/contributions that illustrate why the candidate warrants consideration, and the inclusion of committee work and/or other FPRA involvement. Nominees must be active FPRA members in good standing. Individuals may not endorse more than one candidate per award.

Nominations for members of our Board of Directors are appropriate.

Nominations should be sent to Orlando Area Chapter President Laura Kern, APR at no later than Monday, Aug. 1.


Member of the Year – Jeff Grainger, APR
Bob Davis Award – Julie Hall, APR

Member of the Year – Alayna Curry
Bob Davis Award – Nicole Huie

Member of the Year – Sara Channing
Bob Davis Award – Laura Kern, APR

Members of the Year – Cassie Roach and Brian Craven
Bob Davis Award – Susan Ennis, APR, CPRC

Member of the Year – Stefanie Macfarlane, APR
Bob Davis Award – Jennifer Gammage

Member of the Year – Doreen Overstreet, APR
Bob Davis Award – Rachael Gmerek

Member of the Year – Jamie Floer, APR
Bob Davis Award – Tami Karaba

Member of the Year – Keith Salwoski
Bob Davis Award – Amanda Forbes, APR

Member of the Year – Chris Gent, APR, CPRC
Bob Davis Award – Cynthia Lambert, APR

Member of the Year – Bob O’Malley, APR
Bob Davis Award – Rachel Kingston

Member of the Year – Bonnie McGuire
Bob Davis Award – Sheridan Becht, APR, CPRC

Member of the Year – Brie Turek
Bob Davis Award – Chris Gent, APR, CPRC

Member of the Year – Jeni Hatter
Bob Davis Award – Trent Flood, APR

Member of the Year – Bill Randolph
Bob Davis Award – Doreen Perez