Chapter Rewind | Orlando Police Department

July 10, 2018

Breaking News: The Hunt and Capture of an Accused Cop Killer

By Jeff Grainger, APR

Agencies, companies and Public Relations departments can and should break their own news. The Orlando Police Department (OPD) is doing that every day via social media, according to Michelle Guido, OPD’s public information officer. Guido was our host and guest speaker for FPRA Orlando’s June professional development breakfast.

Credit: Chris Gent

The event kicked-off with a surprise guest appearance by Chief John Mina. He stressed the importance of working with the community and being as open and transparent as possible. For a police department, embracing public information not only helps in crime prevention and catching bad guys, but can humanize the police department and spread good news.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina
Credit: Chris Gent

For OPD’s public information office, they focus on breaking their own news. Gone are the times when a law enforcement agency had to rely on traditional media for coverage. On their Twitter page alone, the police department has more than 120,000 followers. That’s a greater reach than the 6 p.m. newscasts of the four network TV affiliates. Michelle also suggested to use news judgement to know when a story will go viral.

The case study she gave was the chase and eventual capture of accused killer Markeith Loyd. From the initial call to the public for residents to be on the lookout for Loyd, to his eventual capture, the story played out on OPD’s Twitter page before there was a chance for local news stations to cover it or for the daily newspaper to break the story.

The event concluded with tours of the OPD Headquarters building, which is less than a year old. The chapter was also very happy to have FPRA State President Ryan Gerds, APR, CPRC in attendance.

Quotes Corner

July 5, 2018

Don’t Pull The Ladder Up Behind You

By Jonathan Gabriel, FPRA Orlando Vice President of Student Outreach

Jonathan Gabriel

Jonathan Gabriel

“All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I’ve been
And how I got to where I am…”

– Brandi Carlile, “The Story”

Next month marks two years that I’ve served on the board of the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter. In that time, I have been blessed to impact the lives of UCF public relations students. August will be the start of another school year, and one more opportunity for me to attend Quotes’ kickoff event at Pop Parlour, the trendy gourmet popsicle shop on the main campus.

I always look forward to this event because it’s a chance to see these future professionals at the very beginning, to till the soil and nurture the seed that will blossom later on. Over time, they’ll impress me with their work ethic, energy and growing confidence. But at the kickoff, many are still tentative, milling around towards the back, whispering to the friend next to them who brought them. They think this club, this career path, might be the one for them, but they aren’t completely sure.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “don’t pull the ladder up behind you?” It has been my lodestar throughout my career. As professionals, I believe it is our responsibility to help the next generation succeed; that’s why I attend Quotes events. That’s why I help them find inspiring speakers and put together career panels.  It’s why I work with students to give them the courage to talk to an employer at Intern Pursuit. It is immensely fulfilling to see a student’s face light up with gratitude at a resume workshop, knowing that the edits I’ve suggested may get her one step closer to that dream internship. And in helping these students, I help myself as well. I become a better communicator. I identify rising talent who could become my next intern or colleague. I leave the world a little bit better than I found it.

How can you get involved?

  • Ask me about opportunities to speak to Quotes members, either at one of their meetings or as part of a tour of your organization. You can contact me at
  • Talk to one student at an FPRA event. If you can’t locate one, come find me or one of my fellow board members and we can connect you. It just takes five minutes: tell the student what you do. Ask where their professional interests lie and give them your business card. Networking can be daunting at first for many students. By granting a student a few moments of your time, you’ve increased their confidence and helped them start to build their network.

I hope you’ll join me this year in the work of bettering the lives of these young people. Even the smallest amount of support can make a world of difference.

Member PRofile: Ashlynn Webb

July 5, 2018
Ashlynn Webb

Ashlynn Webb
Public Relations Coordinator, Universal Orlando Resort

Give a brief explanation of your job.
At Universal Orlando Resort, I assist with public relations efforts for annual events – such as Halloween Horror Nights – new attractions and new product launches. Additionally, I’m responsible for pitching various media to garner coverage, writing press releases and more.

How long have you been a member of FPRA and why did you join?
I become a member of FPRA in 2014 through Quotes, the PR Club at UCF. I first joined to network with local professionals and to learn more about the industry but I had no idea FPRA had so much more to offer. Throughout my time, I’ve learned so much from the amazing, dedicated professionals in the association, I’ve reconnected with friends and I’ve gotten some phenomenal career development opportunities, which I wouldn’t have received anywhere else.

What has been your favorite FPRA event so far?
My favorite event has to be my first taste of FPRA’s annual conference, which was a student field trip to Universal Orlando Resort to learn about the remarkable PR efforts behind opening The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. I still remember telling all of my friends they had to come with me and I was giddy the entire time.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
A personal achievement of mine – I’m thrilled about – is getting the chance to serve on the 2018 – 2019 FPRA Orlando board.

What was your first job?
My first official job is my current position at Universal Orlando Resort, which is my #DreamJob. But before Universal Orlando, I interned at Orange County Animal Services.

Fun fact:
One summer in high school, I taught myself how to play guitar and I’ve played ever since. And, yes. I named my guitar – her name’s Bell. Some other things people don’t really know is that I love to draw, paint and all things Harry Potter. #HufflepuffRules

Contact Information:
You can follow me at @AshlynnUOR or email me at