Member PRofile: Bob Kealing

March 14, 2018

Bob Kealing
Senior Public Affairs Administrator for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office

Give a brief explanation of your job.
During the course of the day I handle media calls and inquiries, coordinate interviews, do interviews and help tell our agency’s story through our social media platforms.

How long have you been a member of FPRA and why did you join?
I joined FPRA last year, so I’m new to the organization.

What has been your favorite FPRA event so far?
I had the good fortune to attend the FPRA’s recent seminar in Daytona Beach featuring speakers from Las Vegas and Tampa Police Departments. Their accounts of dealing with the Vegas mass shooting and Tampa serial killer were moving and illuminating.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I’m a five-time Emmy-winning former news reporter. The last was for my coverage of the Pulse mass shooting in 2016; a day many of us will never forget.

What was your first job?
My first job was at a small cable television station in Lawrence, Kansas where I attended the University of Kansas, William Allen White school of Journalism.

Fun fact:
As a fun fact, I’ve co-founded two historic landmarks in Florida: The Jack Kerouac House in Orlando and Gram Parsons Derry Down in Winter Haven.

Contact Information:
bkealing@seminolesheriff.org
407-665-6900 (desk) or 407-473-4698 (cell)

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Quotes Corner

March 14, 2018

4 Tips for Intern Pursuit Success

By Alex Heirston, Quotes UCF

Have you signed your organization up for Intern Pursuit on March 22? Learn more: https://quotesucf.com/internpursuitregistration/

Alex Heirston

Alex Heirston

The countdown is on, as Intern Pursuit is rapidly approaching. UCF communication students are racing to update LinkedIn profiles, re-write resumes and rehearse elevator pitches. Intern Pursuit is stressful – it’s a Nicholson student’s chance to get a highly sought-after internship, and maybe even a first job. To make sure you stand out – the following are a few tips to help you walk in and out of the Pegasus Ballroom with confidence.

  1. Do your homework. The best medicine for pre-Pursuit anxiety is preparation. When the last Intern Pursuit rolled around I knew I wanted a writing-intensive internship, preferably paid. A few days before the event I spent a couple of hours researching and devised a plan. I started with a basic Word document and listed three things under every company attending Intern Pursuit: what internships they were potentially offering, a cool tidbit I found on their website and one question I could ask employers at the booth. I made sure that the booths I focused on were offering an internship that was going to give me the experience I wanted. The question for employers would be about anything from a case study on their homepage to something as simple as “will this give me writing experience?” Being able to say “when I looked at your website” is an automatic confidence booster and can help you stay in control of nerves.
  2. Take a chill pill. Walking into a room that seemingly holds your entire future is terrifying. It can be hard to stay calm when there are opportunities a few steps in every direction.  As an Intern Pursuit veteran, I want to emphasize that taking a second to step away from the chaos and finding a place to catch your breath is okay. At my first Intern Pursuit, I was terrified that employers were watching my every move – they definitely weren’t.  It’s okay to break away from the crowd if it means that you’re going to be more confident walking over to your dream employer’s booth.
  3. Bring a notebook. There’s so many new names and faces that you encounter at Intern Pursuit, and it can be hard to keep all the information in line. After visiting every one or two booths, I parked myself in a corner and jotted down a few notes about who I talked to. I wrote their name and hopefully something memorable from our conversation. Taking a mini-break between every few booths can help you remember what you talked about with each person, and make the night less of a blur.
  4. Follow up. No matter how dazzled employers were on the night of Intern Pursuit, you should send a follow-up email within a few days. Employers meet even more people than you do, and just sending your name and a note isn’t going to jog anyone’s memory. They are people too. By using a personal connection, you can increase your chances of response, and ultimately, an internship! If you took notes during the event, this is a great time to pull them out and reference something you and the potential employer talked about. Take care when sending the follow-up email. You caught their eye at Intern Pursuit – the follow-up is your chance to capture their heart.

This event is a great experience that forces many of us to get out of our comfort zones and in front of employers. Maybe you won’t have a great conversation with everyone you meet and that’s okay. The number-one tip, which is even more important than flossing in the bathroom beforehand, is to just be you. Be yourself at the booths, and you might just find your next internship.


Chapter Rewind | UCF Athletics

March 14, 2018

Defending the National Championship

By Jacqueline Kooser

February was full of fun for the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter, especially since our monthly breakfast featured the success of Orlando’s hometown team. On the morning of February 22, FPRA Orlando members and guests gathered for a breakfast at the University of Central Florida’s Wayne Densch Center to hear from Andy Seeley. Seeley serves as the UCF Associate Athletics Director of Strategic Communications, and was eager to share some insights and strategy that came about when the department was faced with defending the UCF Knight’s ‘National Championship’ as the football team went 13-0 after winning the Peach Bowl.

Exciting video highlights were shared, including key plays that lead the Knights to a win against Auburn on New Year’s Day. Seeley shared that three words changed the entire direction of UCF Football’s messaging, and those three words were “national champs, undefeated.” As those three words came from UCF VP and Director of Athletics, Danny White, the discussion began: how aggressive could UCF go after the National Championship message? The answer, according to Seeley, was “to go all in.”

Seeley explained that the administration believed that UCF Football deserved the National Champion recognition, which lead to a week full of relationship-building, communication and celebrating with key stakeholders and the Orlando community. The week following the Peach Bowl win was full of hard work with Walt Disney World, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County, in order to put together numerous celebrations for the team. The parade at Walt Disney World and celebratory block party held in Downtown Orlando were just part of the conversation that has carried on for months regarding the win and the National Champion title. Short, powerful videos created conversation, continued celebration, and pushed the narrative that UCF Athletics truly wanted for the university. Thanks to all of the support from the community, the university and strong relationships, the energy for the current recruiting season is electric, and ticket sales are thriving.

February’s breakfast left all attendees eager for the 2018 football season, and reminded all of us how important the Orlando community is.


A Message from the President

March 14, 2018

Lindsay Hudock

Spring is a busy time for FPRA. It’s full of opportunities to recognize excellence, reward hard work and grow as leaders in our industry. We have a number of awards and scholarships to offer as well as leadership opportunities in the chapter. I’m hoping you might find that some of them are right for you or one of your FPRA colleagues.

Chapter leadership – In Orlando we’re fortunate to enjoy a large, healthy, active FPRA family, something that’s only possible through strong, dedicated chapter leadership. We’re currently building the board for the 2018/2019 year and are looking for chapter members who would like to be a part of the leadership team. Whether it’s serving in a board position or on a committee, there are many opportunities to be a part of the leadership team. If you’re interested in getting more involved, please contact our immediate Past President Alayna Curry, APR.

LeadershipFPRA – Regardless of how long you may have practiced, the LeadershipFPRA program is designed to help you hone leadership skills good for a lifetime. Graduates of the LeadershipFPRA program will be better equipped to not only function as PR professionals in their respective workplaces, but also strengthen their rightful seat at the boardroom table and to evolve into further leadership roles in FPRA, their communities and the industry. The state is currently accepting applications for the next class, which begins with an orientation at this year’s annual conference. Response to the program has been so favorable that last year our chapter board voted to offer two full tuition scholarships to chapter members who might like to pursue this program.

We hope you might consider applying for the program and giving the chapter the opportunity to support you in this leadership and professional development opportunity. For more information about the program and to apply, visit: https://www.fpra.org/leadershipfpra/. To apply for an Orlando Area Chapter scholarship click here and complete the application by April 30.

Joe Curley Rising Leader Award – Are you a rising leader? The Joe Curley Rising Leader Award was created to honor up-and-coming FPRA members who demonstrate leadership traits along with active involvement in FPRA chapter activities, programs, functions and events. The goal is to help recognize personal dedication and engagement of members with two to five years of membership, and to help build a healthy leadership stream at the local chapter level. If you’re interested in being considered for this award, let us know! Nominations are due by March 31. Click here for more details.

FPRA State Awards – The most prestigious awards FPRA has to offer are the John Dillin and Doris Fleischman Awards. A single recipient is chosen for each and honored at the Golden Image Awards Gala at annual conference each year.  Do you know someone who should be considered for the highest honor FPRA has to offer? Nominations are due April 6. Click here for more information about the award criteria.

And finally, mark your calendars for the Image Awards at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24 at 1010 West. We hope you’ll join us for a speakeasy-themed unveiling of this year’s Image Award recipients and honoring our PR Pro of the Year, Alyson Lundell APR, CPRC. Reserve your seat or corporate table today.