President’s Message

September 27, 2019

Megan Paquin, APR, CPRC

This month, we kicked off another banner year for your FPRA – Orlando Area Chapter. The start of our new fiscal year always renews my passion for the profession as we look forward to exciting, new professional development programs, networking events and more.

Statewide, the Florida Public Relations Association will celebrate “transformation” and all the ways our association can transform your career. Many members here in Orlando can attest to the role FPRA has in igniting career growth and leadership development. I look forward to sharing some of those stories throughout the year as we also consider new ways to add value to your membership.

Our Board of Directors, under the leadership of President-Elect Kacie Escobar, APR, has been hard at work to elevate our monthly programs with high-caliber speakers, and a more consistent and convenient meeting venue (with great food and beverage options, of course!). We also want to celebrate your professional success and welcome our members to contribute their own case studies in addition to other programming recommendations. You can share these in our post-event surveys, or by emailing us at

In addition to contributing your ideas, we are seeking members with an interest in leadership development to join committees led by our Board of Directors. Volunteering on the Board can transform your career in a number of ways – from networking with seasoned leaders to learning new skills that can bolster your resume. If you are interested in becoming a committee member, reach out to VP of Membership Whitney Gonzalez at ( or Asst. VP of Membership Ali Beemer (

We also recently started our biannual Accreditation Workshops. Talk about a transforming experience! Earning your Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) or becoming a Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC) is hands-down one of the best investments you can make in your career. I encourage anyone who wants to take their career to the next level to connect with our VP of Accreditation Tommiea Jackson, APR ( to learn more about the credentialing process.

With that, I hope you will kick off the new FPRA year with as much enthusiasm and excitement as I have. It is an honor to serve as your chapter president, and I am thrilled for all we have in store for this year.


Megan Paquin, APR, CPRC
President, FPRA – Orlando Area Chapter

Chapter Rewind: Board Installation Breakfast

September 26, 2019

By Julie Hall, APR

FPRA state president Alyson Lundell, APR, CPRC, spoke on the leadership lessons she’s learned over her career, including in her current position as senior director of Public Relations at Universal Orlando Resort. Some of the tips she shared with attendees at the Orlando Area Chapter’s August board installation breakfast include:

  • Learn every single day, from your team and from other leaders (including the not so great leaders you may have encountered along the way).
  • Leadership affects everyone. You can be a leader regardless of your title or position within your organization.
  • Watch other leaders and understand that others are watching and learning from your leadership style.
  • Humanity is at the core of leadership. Treat someone like they’re your child and act according to how you’d like your children to be treated out in the world.
  • Put your ego aside. Once you’re in a leadership role, it’s not about you. Surround yourself with smarter people who complement your skills and those you lack.
  • When faced with a leadership challenge, be vulnerable, but always offer a solution.

Following Alyson’s valuable insights, she inducted the 2019-2020 Orlando Area Chapter board of directors for the new term. Members are encouraged to reach out to any board member here to learn about committee involvement and other chapter leadership opportunities.

Quotes Corner

September 26, 2019

By Rachel Ilardi

Rachel Ilardi

As my time at UCF is coming to an end, many of the choices I made are coming full circle.

This time two years ago, I was starting my intro classes for public relations and advertising. I was signing up for this club that aligned with my major, but still couldn’t exactly tell you what it meant to practice public relations. I was reading the same textbook I’m currently reading for my Preparing for Public Relations Certification course and had the privilege to be in a class with Lindsay Hudock as my professor. And of course, there was even a hurricane that semester to spice things up.

Yet, with all these parallels, so much has changed. Instead of asking the questions, I’m giving the answers. It’s a new experience when students start asking me “What is Quotes?” or “What’s public relations?” From Image Award submissions to tabling events at UCF, I’ve had to explain Quotes and its mission a lot over the past year. I’m thankful to the previous board for leaving such a clear and concise mission for us to follow: “As a student chapter of FPRA, Quotes’ goal is to connect students to local industry professionals and organizations.”

Our club acts as a connector for students, for a variety of reasons. It 1). helps students realize just how vast the PR industry is, 2). helps them find where they may fit into the industry and 3). helps them build their own connections in this tight-knit community.

On the other hand, Quotes isn’t blind to the benefit these connections bring to professionals already established in their careers. These students are likely future interns, possibly even the next new hire. With this in mind, there’s a lot to look forward to in the coming year.

First, Quotes is offering a few new events this semester to prepare students for the workforce: a professional development workshop to equip students with skills for their next internship and an alumni roundtable to discuss the transition from student to professional.

We’re also looking forward to the new ways we’ll be able to connect students with the professional community. To further this mission, our board is beginning to establish and maintain partnerships with other communication majors vital to the success of the public relations industry.

The Advertising-Public Relations program is already well-known within the FPRA community. I’m proud to be an Ad/PR major. Yet, in recent years, we’ve realized many students pursue a different major in hopes of still finding their place within the PR community. Quotes has been working to include other majors that, while slightly different from Ad/PR, play a big role in the success of our industry, including Human Communications, Radio-Television, Marketing and Graphic Design. Through these partnerships, we’re able to introduce even more talented students to the professionals within FPRA in order to meet the changing demands of our industry.

A recent example of this partnership in action is #ThanksQuotes – a Facebook video campaign we recently submitted at Image Awards. Primarily completed through the work of Randi Rioux, an Advertising-Public Relations major, and Albert Aronov, a Radio-Television major, the submission won a Grand Image Award, Image Award and Judges’ Award at the local level, as well as a Judges’ Award and Award of Distinction at the statewide level during Golden Image Awards.

Needless to say, our industry thrives because of partnership. As the PR profession continues to evolve, Quotes is beginning to foster those relationships now while we’re still students. But we couldn’t do it on our own. We’re eager for new opportunities to partner with FPRA professionals in order to truly learn more about the profession and engage with the professional community.

We’re thankful for the countless FPRA members who partner with our club each semester to help students find their niche in the PR industry. Here’s to another year of new opportunities!

If you’d like to partner with Quotes, please contact Jonathan Gabriel at We’d love to visit your offices, host you as a guest speaker or invite you for an on-campus workshop.