Member PRofile: Lauren George, APR

April 7, 2015

Lauren George













What is your title and company name?
Senior Account Executive
Costa Communications Group

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I’m a bit of a hybrid with a decade of experience in journalism, media relations, community relations, and internal and external communications. As a senior account executive at Costa Communications Group, I provide professional and strategic public relations counsel to a wide variety of clients – ranging from nonprofit and higher education to healthcare and law firms. In addition, I generate impactful media coverage for my clients.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I’ve been an FPRA member for four years. I joined the organization because of the excellent networking opportunities and endless support for professional development, and I’m thankful to be part of such a stellar group of public relations professionals. Since joining, I’ve served on the local board as vice president of professional development and vice president of membership.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
Too many to choose from. I like the diversity – from monthly breakfasts to media roundtables to state conferences. I leave each event with takeaways that can immediately be applied to my job.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I’ve been fortunate to have several exciting achievements throughout my career. I’d have to say the highlight thus far, though, is when I earned my APR in 2012. It required a tremendous amount of hard work and late nights, but it was definitely worth the investment. While becoming accredited was a proud accomplishment, the process itself was truly valuable because it broadened my knowledge base and taught me so many lessons on how to do my job better.

What was your first job?
My first job out of college was at WTSP Channel 10 in Tampa. I was hired as a graphic artist and also wrote stories for the evening news broadcasts.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
I was a competitive gymnast for several years and competed across the country. The sport taught me many life lessons, including dedication, teamwork, setting and reaching goals and, most importantly, always doing your best.

Contact Info:

Member PRofile: Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC

October 9, 2014

By: Judy Froehlich











Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, says that one of the best things to ever happen to him professionally was being told to get involved in FPRA leadership. Forty years ago, Pynn sat in the office of his first boss, the late Don McAllister, APR, explaining how he wasn’t getting much out of his FPRA membership. He had gone to some of the meetings and noticed many of the members were printers, sales people and people that just wanted to talk to the PR practitioners. Pynn remembers his boss looking over his glasses at him and saying, “Pynn, membership in FPRA isn’t an option. You are required to represent this firm (McAllister-Barker Associates) in the organization.  And if you don’t like the way the chapter looks, fix it.”

Forty years later, Roger Pynn is absolutely honored to be the most recent president-elect of the state association. Back then, Pynn joined with several of the friends he’d made in the chapter to take on the challenge of revamping the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter after being motivated by his boss to make a difference. After a few months, he was nominated to be president of the chapter. Joe Curley, APR, CPRC, was elected chapter secretary, promising he’d create a chapter newsletter and agreeing that the next year they would switch roles.

Pynn explained that he and Curley made a great team. They knew how to work well together and get things done. Ten years later, Curley was head of public relations at Martin Marietta, now Lockheed Martin, while Pynn was head of public relations at Westinghouse Power Generation. After five years of working in their positions, they were both faced with the decision of accepting a promotion and moving out of state. Instead of picking up and starting over in a new place, the two started their own company in Orlando.

Curley & Pynn (branded as The Strategic Firm®) is a leading public relations and marketing communications firm that provides public relations counsel and marketing communications management to corporate clients. Pynn says the firm has been a blessing. They have been able to work with companies in many sectors, including economic development, higher education, theme parks and many more amazing clients.  While Curley retired 8 years ago, Pynn says he isn’t going anywhere and is actively working with the firm’s next generation.

After 40 years of service with FPRA and growing his own successful firm, Pynn was approached to take on the role of president-elect of FPRA for next year. At first Pynn laughed, and then realized they were serious. While initially thinking they should go with someone younger, he decided how honored and excited he would be to represent the organization that has provided so much for his career and delivered so many friendships and opportunities.

“This organization provides opportunities for people to grow and mature.  I used to think FPRA was all about networking, and that is one of the great benefits of belonging to FPRA.  I also thought it was all about professional development.  It does give you great programming opportunities, classes and networking. But I am convinced that FPRA is really about leadership.  It gives you an opportunity to learn about becoming a leader.  How to lead people, how to lead projects, etc.  It positions members to be leaders in their community, not just in their profession,” said Pynn.

Asked his vision as president, Pynn explained for now his job is to be a really good first lieutenant for Rachel Smith, APR, CPRC, the existing state president of FPRA.  After that, we’ll have to wait and see.

Chapter Rewind: April in May

June 3, 2014

Jamie Floer

By: Jamie Floer, APR, CPRC

FPRA-Orlando welcomed April Salter, APR, CPRC to our morning breakfast meeting in May. April, president and COO of Salter>Mitchell and a long-time FPRA colleague of mine, traveled from the FPRA Capital Chapter in Tallahassee to share her expertise. A packed house of PR professionals filled the University Club to hear what I will call “April-isms.”

She started by giving a shout-out to some FPRA all-stars, including our own Chris Gent, APR, CPRC, and her extensive network of industry contacts. Then, she proceeded to impart pearls of wisdom based on her experiences as a PR professional. From jovial moments like the discussion of performance issues to somber reflections from the days of crisis communications following the sudden passing of former Gov. Lawton Chiles, April filled the session with plenty of ideas for the young and young at heart. Thank you to April for sharing your time and talents with our members.

Check out a few tweets from the event:

. stresses importance of in . Make sure you know the Code of Ethics:

Don’t work 24/7, but have your clients back and make sure your relationship let’s them know you’ll be there! Agree!

: . and strongly recommend APR when you are ready to go for it in your career, contact us for more!

. “How do you get to the next level? Start with listening and asking questions: analyze the big picture.”

: You must anticipate and move ahead of change. practitioners must embrace and steer their org for change ~

Agree with that PR folks need to be present, be in the mtg, focus, listen, don’t let mind wander

2014 APR Spring Readiness Reviews

April 3, 2014

Good luck to the candidates who participated in the Spring 2014 APR Classes and are now preparing for their readiness reviews to be held on April 11 at the Orange County Administration Building in Downtown Orlando.

We anticipate that this round of reviews will include three outstanding candidates!


Celebrating 50 Years of APR!

For 50 years, the APR has been a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice. Candidates earn accreditation based on broad knowledge, strategic perspective and sound professional judgment.

The Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) serves as the governing body that has administered and managed the Accreditation process since its inception in 1998.

Accredited professionals are committed to lifelong learning, continuing education, giving back to the public relations community and the professional development of other practitioners.


Are you ready for the APR?  Our Fall 2014 Session will be here before you know it!

Visit the official Web site of the Universal Accreditation Board for the Candidate’s Process Chart for the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations and the Application.    


To learn more, contact:

PRSA APR Coach Kathleen Prihoda, APR: 407-828-3814,

FPRA APR Coach Lisa Nason, APR: 407-836-7343,


Make 2014 the Year for your APR Credential!

January 8, 2014

By: Lisa Nason, APR
Orange County Government

Congratulations and kudos to the candidates who participated in the Fall 2013 Readiness Reviews, held on December 3 and 4 at the Orange County Administration Building in downtown Orlando.  This round of Readiness Reviews featured four outstanding candidates, all of whom advanced to the APR testing phase!

In addition to wonderful candidates, we salute the many skilled APRs from PRSA and FPRA who served as panelists, including:

  • Scott McCallum
  • Carolyn Reis
  • Allen Moore
  • Heather Keroes
  • Kena Lewis
  • Mandy Taylor
  • Jennifer Bisbee
  • Mandy Kimmer
  • Geo Morales
  • Jackie Benton
  • Sheridan Becht

APR Information Session on Feb 3, 2014

APR is a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice. Candidates earn accreditation based on broad knowledge, strategic perspective and sound professional judgment. Please join us for a free information session to learn more.

In partnership with PRSA, the Spring APR calendar has been finalized. We will hold our Spring 2014 organizational/informational meeting on Feb. 3.

Monday, Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m.

Orange County Administration Building 201 S. Rosalind Ave Orlando FL 32801 (Map)
*Free parking in the Orange County lot (on the Liberty Ave. side of the building, between Jackson and Church Street)

Are you ready for the APR?

This one-hour orientation is an overview of the APR process and covers these topics:

  • APR Overview
  • Study Guide
  • Knowledge | Skills | Abilities (KSAs)
  • Application Process

About the APR Workshops

APR workshops last an hour and will be held weekly on Monday evenings from Feb 10 through March 24 at the Orange County Government Administration Building. The sessions are led by seasoned APR facilitators who guide discussions on topics that will be covered on the APR computer-based exam. The workshops are not required “classes” but rather a professional development networking group of mentors prepared to help you succeed.

Visit the official website of the Universal Accreditation Board for the candidate’s process chart for the examination for accreditation in public relations and the application.

To learn more, contact:

PRSA APR Coach Kathleen Prihoda, APR: 407-828-3814,
FPRA APR Coach Lisa Nason, APR: 407-836-7343,

Nonprofit PR Pros Learn to Boost Productivity

August 10, 2011

By Cynthia Lambert, APR

No one’s job is getting any easier.  With tightening budgets and staff reductions in recent years, PR pros are expected to do more with less.  But how can we get it all done?  At FPRA’s recent nonprofit roundtable program, attendees learned to boost productivity by better managing their time.

Laureen Martinez, chief public relations officer at the American Red Cross Mid-Florida Region, was the perfect person to share time management tips.  She serves as the main spokesperson for four American Red Cross chapters within Central Florida and covers a territory of 13 counties.  Additionally, she is also responsible for government and community outreach, media relations, website content, crisis management, and social media.

Here are just a few of Laureen’s secrets on how to make the most of your day:

  • Plan and Prioritize. If you don’t plan and prioritize, you’ll find yourself drifting and working in a scattered, disjointed way.  Don’t waste time on what’s not important and stay fully focused in the moment.  Write out your priority list for the next day before you go home.
  • Ban Procrastination.  Putting things off wastes not only your time, but also your energy and thoughts. When you procrastinate, much time is spent thinking and worrying about the things you need to do.  Do the last thing you want to do first.
  • Stop Interruptions.  Interruptions prevent you from being focused and pull you away from important things.  Get to know your phone’s “do not disturb” feature for when you really need to focus.
  • Teamwork.  Learn to delegate.  It’s a waste of time to think you need to do everything because no one ever does it as good as you. You’ll end up doing too much and having insufficient time to focus only on what you’re really good at.  Use your team of volunteers.  You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.
  • Meeting Agendas.  Meetings can be a real waste of time if there isn’t a specific reason, agenda and timeframe for holding them.  Make a concise agenda for every meeting to keep everyone focused on the task at hand.
  • Email, Internet and Phone.  It’s easy to spend quite a bit of time on these items without even realizing it. These are some of PR pros’ biggest time wasters.  Schedule a time to return calls and do research on the internet.  To save time on social media, try developing an editorial calendar so you don’t have to waste time coming up with a topic for your posts or tweets.

Special Thanks to our Sponsor
Special thanks to Enspire Communication, our presenting sponsor for the nonprofit roundtable.  Without your support, it wouldn’t be possible for us to offer this free benefit to our nonprofit members.

Counselors’ Network Winter Symposium January 20-22, 2011

November 9, 2010

The Counselors’ Network Winter Symposium will be held at the Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios from January 20-22, 2011. The hotel reservation deadline is December 30. Reservations can be made by calling 1-866-360-7395.

The two-day conference, known as the “Mid-year Meeting,” features three half-day sessions with presenters who speak about current issues and trends. Attendees enjoy stimulating dialogue in a round-table format. Typically held at a five-star resort property, the intimacy of the locations often contributes as much to the dynamic fellowship and productive idea sharing as the professional sessions during annual conference.

About the Counselors’ Nework
Membership in the Counselors’ Network is open to any Universally Accredited APR member in good standing of the Florida Public Relations Association, who has also earned the FPRA CPRC credential, has 10 years public relations experience and is actively engaged in providing counseling service, either as a full-time principal, officer, partner or employee of a public relations firm, corporation, organization or agency. In addition, an applicant must have been a professional counselor for a period of at least three years. Each member of the Counselors’ Network must re-verify his or her eligibility when renewing annual membership.

CN provides senior level public relations counselors the opportunity for professional enrichment and continuing education through two professional development retreats and direct access to FPRA conference key speakers and other prominent national PR leaders.