Chapter Rewind: Media Mashup 2019

July 16, 2019

By Ali Beemer

June has officially come and gone, and so has Central Florida’s 2019 Media Mashup. This year’s event brought a change of scenery into the mix alongside the strong networking and education opportunities that makes this annual event a staple in the Central Florida public relations community.

Surrounded by the beauty of Harry P. Leu Gardens, a botanical oasis located just outside of Downtown Orlando, attendees at this year’s event heard from a variety of speakers – each equipped with a specialty to help educate all levels of PR professionals – and had the opportunity to network with some of Central Florida’s top journalists. First up was Orlando Magic’s Chief Communications Officer, Joel Glass, who shared multiple key learnings and moments from his 20-year tenure with attendees during the breakfast keynote. Joel also gave attendees a glimpse into the day-to-day operations for his team, how his professional journey led him to the Orlando Magic and the specific tools he uses to measure PR successes in today’s 24-hour news cycle. See you out on the court, Joel!

Next on the agenda were the first two breakout sessions of the day, one lead by Doug Boemler Wareing of AKINSPARKER and the other lead by Joel Staley of JCS Communications. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about either how to create great content on a not-so-great budget or the difficult task of media training for the c-suite – both providing essential education to even the most seasoned of PR pros.

Once the first round of breakout sessions concluded, it was time for a change of pace – or change of scenery, dare I say. Attendees had the opportunity to attend our Speed Networking session, which offered special networking opportunities with some of Central Florida’s finest journalists from a wide variety of outlets. Outlets in attendance included the Orlando Sentinel, Orlando Weekly, WHERE Magazine –Orlando, El Sentinel, WKMG-TV, WFTV-TV, Florida Politics, icFlorida, Orlando Date Night Guide and WMFE-FM.

The event continued with the second round of breakout sessions, which featured three different opportunities for attendees to choose – an in-depth analysis on collaboration leading to something “super” through a successful cross-platform marketing campaign, a panel on partnering with the unique media segment of bloggers and influencers and a panel on independent consulting and what it truly means to be your own boss. Each session had a unique presenter (or multiple) with very distinctive topics that provided both variety and opportunities to truly step into another professional’s shoes.

To conclude the event, Eric Deggans from NPR shared his top tips for PR professionals to continuously adapt in the ever-changing media landscape, including many simple and effective ways to assist journalists throughout their day-to-day woes. He also shared some incredibly insightful and eye-opening examples of racism in media while sharing how we can all identify and correct this behavior in not only our professional careers in PR, but our personal lives as well.

And if that wasn’t enough, Media Mashup attendees were provided free admission to experience the beauty of Leu Gardens following the conclusion of the program. Once again, Media Mashup proved to be the must-see media relations event for Central Florida PR pros; but, we couldn’t have done it without our inspiring speakers who made this event a truly fulfilling educational experience. Plus, how can I forget our amazing sponsors for this year’s event, many of whom joined attendees at Leu Gardens in the vendor exhibit area?! These sponsors included PRSA Orlando, Orlando Magic, &Barr, Xperient. Day Communications, Eleven 11 Communications, Octavian Cantilli Photography, Curley & Pynn, MBI Direct Mail and Poston Communications.

Finally, thanks to everyone who attended this year’s event – it would not be possible without your attendance and willingness to learn. We hope to see you at Media Mashup 2020!

Member PRofile: Joe Culotta

July 16, 2019
Joe Culotta

Joe Culotta
Director, Communications at American Cancer Society

Give a brief explanation of your job.
My primary focus is to raise awareness about our local efforts in the fight against cancer through traditional and digital media. This includes promoting our signature events, highlighting the latest cancer research statistics, showcasing the services we provide and maintaining relationships with our local TV, radio and print media partners. Even though we’re a national nonprofit, I work to get local cancer survivors, volunteers, caregivers and businesses to share their story and connection with cancer, so the local community can connect and understand our national mission.

What has been your favorite FPRA event so far?
The AdventHealth rebrand panel. I sometimes get to collaborate with their communications team so I like to see how they are sharing their story in the Central Florida community.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
My first day with ACS was on Oct 1st and October is breast cancer month. I had 27 days to help execute our marketing and PR plans for six Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks in my region including the Orlando walk, which is the largest in the nation (65,000 attendees). I came in and hit the ground running and managed to generate a ton of media coverage before and after the Orlando walk. Thanks to the coverage, our local team efforts and the Orlando community coming together, the Orlando walk was able to raise $100,000 more ($749,000 total) and raise attendance by 10,000 compared to the previous year.

What was your first job?
Chick-Fil-A in the Melbourne Square Mall. Working the kitchen was hard because I caught myself eating a lot of nuggets rather than packing them in for customers to enjoy. Also, I can tell you from firsthand experience that everything is indeed made fresh.

Fun fact:
I’m a Yelp Elite which means that I’ve written A LOT of reviews for restaurants in town and cities I’ve visited. I enjoy this platform because I use it to practice my writing for work and I’m the go-to person with my friends when it comes to recommending places to eat. Also, I don’t like to say I’m an “elite,” so I prefer to say that I’m a “certified foodie according to Yelp”.

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