Member PRofile: Alyssa Chandler

November 7, 2017

Alyssa Chandler
Public Relations Information Officer, Orange County Animal Serivces

Give a brief explanation of your job. 
Coordinate media relations, strategize and manage all advertising efforts, manage social media

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
Two years in FPRA – I joined to meet my peers and challenge myself in the field. I find that surrounding yourself with talented professionals encourages you to rise as well.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
Definitely Wondermade! Marshmallows + friends + public relations = GOALS.

Tell us about an exciting achievement.
I recently got accepted into grad school at the University of Florida. I will be pursuing a master’s in public relations starting in January and I’m so excited to continue growing.

What was your first job?
Right out of college, I was the Community Relations Director at a chiropractor’s office.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
I just got married in October! We honeymooned in Thailand and it was the vacation dreams are made of.

Contact Information:
Alyssa.Duross@ocfl.net / Cell: 407-405-4579


Chapter Rewind | Crisis Communications Professional Development Workshop with Sachs Media Group

November 7, 2017

By Jonathan Gabriel

(From left to right) Ron Sachs, Sachs Media Group Founder & CEO; Lindsay Hudock, FPRA Orlando Area Chapter President; John Peck, Sachs Media Group Vice President of Public Relations; and, Jeff Grainger, Florida Municipal Power Agency Public Relations Specialist II

Last month at the UCF Executive Development Center, the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter received hands-on training in the essentials of crisis communications from Ron Sachs, Jon Peck and the team at Sachs Media Group, a strategic communications firm headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida. Both Sachs, founder and CEO of the company, and Peck, vice president of public relations, worked in journalism and served as top communications aides for Florida governors.

“He is possibly the most accomplished media consultant in the state of Florida,” said Lindsay Hudock, FPRA Orlando president, about Sachs. “His thought leadership and ideas have created projects that generate local, state, national and even worldwide attention.”

Sachs and Peck split attendees into two groups and gave them a simulated crisis to handle. Picture the scene: a tractor trailer carrying potentially hazardous materials has exploded and burst into flames in the fictitious city of Jenkins, Florida. As the city’s PIO, what do you do?

Breakout Session

“We want you to think through the responses that would be required from the various agencies, including the city, your elected officials, police department, school district, local emergency management,” said Peck.

Of course, like a real crisis, things on the ground didn’t stand still, forcing communicators to adapt their strategies to accommodate new situations. As groups discussed effective responses, Sachs and his team shared new information learned about the crisis, including social media posts and TV news reports created especially for this exercise. Members of each group were selected as spokespeople and held a simulated press conference with questions from the media – played by Sachs and Peck – that they had to field on the fly.

Kacie Escobar taking the role as spokesperson during a simulated crisis

FPRA members learned the importance of developing a coherent plan, since in a crisis, events move fast. And thanks to Sachs Media Group, they now have a greater understanding of crisis communications that they can take back to their workplace.


Quotes Corner

November 6, 2017

Domenica Aycart
Quotes, the PR Club at UCF Webmaster

This semester, I took on the challenge of redesigning the Quotes website. I wanted it to be attention-grabbing and very informative. Since Quotes’ website attracts our student members as well as employers, thanks to our Intern Pursuit section, the website must contain information that is relevant and useful to both.

With this in mind, I changed the layout of the site for a more sophisticated look, added all of the blogs written by our past and former members, created photo albums of our past agency tours and speaker meetings, and placed widgets that promote our different social media pages.

What I learned by working on the website is that you should do extensive research on the platform or platforms that you are using to communicate your message. Without proper research on the platform, you are not taking full advantage of the tools provided, which could really make a difference on how your content is received by your audience. For example, with WordPress, the platform our Quotes website runs on, it is essential to know how to properly use and strategically place the widgets on your page.

Using embedded widgets allows me to promote our social media pages and let members know about any upcoming events without having to send out constant reminders. To communicate effectively using WordPress, you should have a basic understanding of how analytics work; this allows you to keep track of your website’s traffic and top performing posts.

Receiving feedback from our faculty advisor, Lindsay Hudock, and my fellow executive board members has been essential to redesigning the website. They are constantly working with me to brainstorm the type of content our members would like to see on the website and what is the best way to display it. Their different points of view allow me to create content that really engages our members. For example, promoting the blog posts that past and current members have written is beneficial to both employers and students, since they allow employers to read about what we have been working on during the year, and it allows students to learn about the different ways you can better yourself in the public relations field.

Constantly updating our website with new blog posts and pictures from past events is a great way to establish good communication with our members, because keeping our content fresh keeps our members coming back to the website and allows future members to develop an interest in our club. Change is constant, and we need to take into account our audience’s needs. Sometimes events or meetings need to be rescheduled, and in order to keep our members and employers updated, it is of the essence to spread any changes on our website as well as our social media.

Being in charge of our website has been a very rewarding experience. I have learned new strategies on how to properly communicate with different audiences, and have mastered WordPress. I am very thankful to Quotes for giving me the chance to be their webmaster.

Visit the website at quotesucf.com.