Quotes Corner

September 9, 2014

Shaloni Prine







A Reflection of My Experience with Quotes

By: Shaloni Prine
VP of Student Outreach

I know it’s cliché, but time really goes by fast. It seems like yesterday that I was a student studying public relations at the University of Central Florida and was a member of Quotes, the PR Club at UCF.  Looking back on that time, Quotes enhanced my student experience. It offered programming that connected me with some of Central Florida’s most skilled public relations professionals and it allowed me to learn industry best practices. The friendships that I formed and the networking that I did were priceless. Most importantly, coupled with my bachelor’s degree, Quotes provided me with the tools necessary to land a job out of college.

One of my best experiences as a Quotes member was the opportunity to attend FPRA’s State Conference in Sarasota in 2008. My classmates and I were each given a chance to take advantage of incredible professional development, and I am confident that the lessons that we learned prepared us to be successful in our careers. Luckily, I have managed to stay in touch with most of these individuals as our paths cross often in the field. Majority of us all work in the PR industry and we are in mid-level positions across the country. We stay connected and help each other when we can. As a result, I have a strong professional network with people that I can rely on and that motivate me to be my best. For me, this is what Quotes is all about.

As the VP of Student Outreach, it is my hope to continue the tradition of providing exceptional member benefits to students. Over the next year, I look forward to working with my fellow VP of Student Outreach, Lindsay Hudock, and the Quotes leadership to find innovative ways to enhance programming, connect students with seasoned PR professionals, expand their network and prepare them for a career in public relations. The best thing about Quotes is that it is an introductory membership to one of Central Florida’s best professional development organizations, and I am excited about sharing this opportunity with the community’s future PR leaders.

2014 PR Resolutions

January 10, 2014


By: Zenaida Gonzalaez Kotala 
UCF News & Information

January is usually a time for resolutions, a time we all promise ourselves to find ways to improve our personal or professional lives. This year I promised myself to be a little more organized when it comes to paperwork. I’m extremely organized when it comes to campaigns and strategies, but that pesky paperwork tends to get stacked and neglected. It always costs me hours or work hunting down forms and such, which I could avoid if I had taken the time to organize it all in the beginning of the year.

So I set up my files and am ready to roll. The move got me thinking about what veterans in our profession might suggest as potential New Year’s resolutions. So I decided to ask a few friends to give me their suggestions. Then I asked some of my friends who are working journalists to suggest what they’d like to see from us. I also asked a few local reporters who I work with to give me their two cents.

From the public relations side I heard several suggestions from “becoming better jugglers” to “engaging in more social media.” From journalists it was a lot about “less spinning” and “doing research before pitching a story.”

Rather than give you a long narrative, check out selected responses from the two points of view. I think there are probably some lessons here from both sides of the house.

From the PR perspective:

Joe Manio, Canadian public relations firm

“Do more proactive image-building, to be better placed in case of a need for crisis management.”

Jamie Floer, FPRA member

“Stay current on the tools and trends that apply to my industry niche … To provide journalists good, targeted, truthful, easy-to-use information in a timely manner. Their role as the fourth estate has remained a constant is our society – the only difference is that time element, which we all struggle to meet with accuracy and integrity.”

From the journalism perspective:

Susanne Cervanka, Asbury Park Press

“PR people need to resolve to not use automated systems to develop their email lists. All they gain is a first-class ticket to my junk folder since I block everyone who sends emails that start “Dear [name]/scervenka/Cervenka, Susanne. Also, just because it’s in the same state does not mean it’s ‘local news’ to me.”

Pia Christensen, Managing Editor/Online Services at Association of Health Care Journalists

“First, before you pitch me, pay close attention to what I’m interested in. Read our website and follow me on Twitter and you’ll get a good idea. I get dozens of off-topic pitches everyday. Second, if you send out a press release via email, be sure to post that press release online first and include a link in your email. It strongly increases the chances that I might share it.

Lizette Wilson Chapman, Tech and VC reporter for Dow Jones

“No last minute embargo changes. No ‘take back’ quotes from seasoned interviewees and no emails that are more than 4 sentences.”

Frank Oliveri, Defense and Foreign Policy Writer for Congressional Quarterly

“Stop viewing the press as both a threat and a venue all at once. Don’t stonewall us on basic information but then be upset with us when your pitches, blatantly self-serving, fall on deaf ears…”

Kevin Spear, Orlando Sentinel

“Be honest, be real. The world is full of ups and downs and surprises. So when public relations strives to always put a bright spin on matters, my gut nags me that not all is right and good with organization X. I feel compelled to suspect and seek out the guilty and it’s only a matter of time management whether I do investigate organization X and put its story on the front page of my newspaper. This may not be true for all reporters, but I value and respect honesty, frankness, confidence and a willingness for an organization to sometimes proactively say something didn’t go well.”


Renew Your Membership Today!

October 11, 2013

By: Michael Lawrence, APR

By renewing your FPRA membership, you are setting yourself up for another powerful year of networking, professional development and personal growth. FPRA is one of the best investments you can make in your career. Renew today for a more prosperous tomorrow.

Renewing is easy!  Simply follow one of the steps below:

Oops!  Have you misplaced your renewal form or just don’t have it handy?  No worries, click the link below:

Your FPRA membership will expire on October 31, 2013.  Yes, that’s Halloween!  To maintain your active membership status, renewal forms must be received no later than November 1.

But wait … there’s more!

We’re offering TWO membership scholarships for some worthy PR practitioners, simply fill-out the application below and email it in by October 25 for consideration.

Quotes Presents: Intern Pursuit

October 3, 2013

Kaylee Randall

By: Kaylee Randall, Quotes VP of Events

Professors, mentors and the experts students follow on Twitter constantly preach the value of good writing skills, networking and experience in the field. UCF gives us the tools to sharpen our writing, Quotes connects us with a network of peers and professionals and Intern Pursuit sends us on our way to a résumé of experience.

Internships are required for graduation from the Ad/PR major at UCF, and with good reason — the PR field is evolving as we speak. It’s absolutely necessary to be immersed in the profession if students plan on getting a job after graduation. Internships provide that hands-on experience we can’t learn in a classroom. So, how do students get an internship that we know will prepare us for the career we want?

Sure, we can search the web. Every major PR organization has a fantastic online job bank that lists available internships. But most of the local companies offering those internships will have a representative at Intern Pursuit, or at least they should. As an employer, wouldn’t you be more inclined to offer an interview to someone you’ve already met in person versus the faceless résumé in your inbox?

At Intern Pursuit, the brightest and best communication students that UCF has to offer will all be in one place, eager to meet employers. Interns from UCF will add value to your growing company, and learning from you is an important part of our education. Today’s students are the communications experts of the future and giving us an internship lets you help shape that future.

Intern Pursuit will be held Thursday, October 24 in the UCF Student Union (Pegasus Ballroom) from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Will you be there? Register your organization at www.QuotesUCF.com.

Quotes Corner: 2013 Media Roundtable

August 1, 2013

Beyond the Classroom: Media Pitching 101

By: Ivan Hernandez, UCF

A goal of PR is and always has been to work with the media. Unfortunately, I have found that textbooks and even professors seem to promote separation between the two. They perpetuate the idea that talking to journalists is like walking on eggshells; that the wrong comment can lead to disaster. These teachings leave students feeling uneasy and nervous about approaching the media, making their primary goal considerably more difficult to achieve.

We’re also taught that most of this tension stems from bad practices in media pitching. We’re told to not make pitches too long, and to not send multiple emails, but for the most part, it’s a list of don’ts rather than do’s.

In July, FPRA and PRSA hosted the Central Florida Media Roundtable 2013 (CFMR13) at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel. An event that serves as a fundamental learning tool for those in the PR profession, CFMR13 is a safe space for journalists, bloggers and public relations professionals to gather and have the blunt conversation about the practices in media pitching. It not only helps professionals build relationships with the local media, but it also give students, like me, a handful of tips that can help mend the notorious tension between journalists and PR pros. CFRM13 allows students to learn from the people they’re pitching while simultaneously learning alongside the professionals they are hoping to work with one day.

The Media Roundtable:

As students, we don’t have clients. At most, you might get to pitch during an internship, however it doesn’t mean that students have nothing to gain from speaking with journalists. Meeting face-to-face with journalists and bloggers gives students the advantage of learning about pitching right from the people they’d be pitching to in the real world.

After talking to representatives from publications like the Orlando Sentinel and the Orlando Business Journal, I managed to compile a list of helpful tips that students can take with them into their professional careers.

1. Know the audience of the publication. Journalists don’t want to spend their time reading a pitch that doesn’t cater to their readers’ interests. If there’s a story that matters to their audience, tell them what it is. Don’t simply provide a stream of information.

2. Catch the attention, and keep it short. For the most part, when pitching through email, the subject line should read a potential headline for the article. It’ll prompt the journalist to read it. Once they’ve opened it, don’t scare them away with a six-or-more paragraph pitch.

3. Follow up, but don’t harass. If the journalist is interested, he or she will make further contact. It’s okay to follow up with them, but be weary of sending too many emails or making inappropriate phone calls. Be considerate, or you might end up blacklisted.

Social Media Panel:

After the media roundtable sessions, a panel of journalists and PR pros took the stage and shared their experience with building relationships through social media. This combination of traditional and new media techniques is one of the more important aspects of this event. It’s one thing to know about Twitter and hashtags, but it’s another thing to know how to use them to your advantage.

It was such a pleasure to hear what panelists Jennifer Cook, John Cutter, Kim Matlock and Jennifer Wakefield had to say about social media and its role in the industry. I learned that social media should be used more for building a relationship. Research the journalists and get to know their interests. Once you’ve done that, a friendly tweet to them can lead to a solid conversation and then a potential pitch, if appropriate.

The bottom line is that the world is changing and this year’s CFMR13 showcased the new techniques that are being implemented. We students should be integrating these practices into our learning and eventually into our careers. So forget the tension, and embrace the relationship because it may be what gets the journalist to read your pitch.

Member PRofile: Vianka McConville

July 30, 2013


Title & company:
Communications Specialist, Curley & Pynn

Explanation of your job:
While working in an agency, no two days are alike. I get to speak about economic development for the Florida High Tech Corridor Council one hour and pitch Father’s Day activities in Daytona Beach the next. I manage social media, code eNewsletters, draft news releases, conduct research, write editorial-style articles, support grand openings, update websites and more for various clients.

Years in FPRA & why you joined:
I have been with FPRA for two years. I joined to meet people in the industry and learn from many great minds in one place.

Position on the FPRA board:
Vice President of Image Awards

Favorite FPRA event:
I really enjoyed the media round table this year. The journalists provided a lot of information and we certainly didn’t skimp on the food!

Exciting achievement (personal or professional):
I won’t call it luck, but I have had a number of pitches turn into stories recently. I feel that I have graduated from dreading the follow-up call to a reporter and now welcome it. It is always exciting to have a story placed for your client and I’m glad to see my media relations skills strengthen.

Fun fact:
I visited the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal, Guatemala, and climbed one of the tallest Mayan pyramids in the world.

Contact info:
I can be reached at VMcConville@TheStrategicFirm.com or 407-423-8006.

The UCF Advertising/Public Relations department introduces new web-based internship matching program, Intern Connect.

December 15, 2010

The UCF Advertising & Public Relations program requires students in the major to intern as part of their graduation requirement. Students are strongly encouraged to seek multiple internship opportunities. The Orlando market boasts countless opportunities for students to get industry practice and Intern Connect is the best resource to start a search.

What is Intern Connect?

Intern Connect is a web-based internship matching program and was designed to pair students seeking positions in the field with companies that offer students a hands-on real world learning experience. The service is the primary source for organizations to find students eager to learn in the positions offered. The website URL is http://internconnect.cos.ucf.edu.

Who can use Intern Connect?

Access to Intern Connect is exclusive and available to Ad/PR majors, Quotes and/or Ad Club members, and employers who offer internship positions in the industry. Specific disciplines include account services, art direction, community relations, copywriting, editing, event planning, graphic design, marketing, media planning, promotions, public affairs, publicity, social media and more. Employers must create an account and then will be directed to create a profile.

How to sign up for Intern Connect

First log-on to the website at http://internconnect.cos.ucf.edu and click on the employer section. Complete the sign up form and submit it. The Intern Connect admin will review your account and grant you access to the site. It is important that just one profile is created per company, and once the account is approved, multiple internship positions may be posted within that account. Please note: the UCF Ad/PR program reserves the right to limit access to this service.

How to create an employer profile on Intern Connect

Before employers begin to create an account, you must prepare an internship job description(s) that details the experience required and responsibilities for the intern candidate(s). In addition, be sure to prepare an informative overview of your business. Save these documents in simple text as you will eventually copy and paste the information onto the site. Next you will need to locate a .jpg image of your company logo to be uploaded onto the profile page.

When you first log-on to the site, you will be directed to update your profile. Begin by uploading your logo and posting the company overview. Then copy and paste your internship job description(s) into the space provided. Once your profile has been prepared, it’s time to start your search. It is your responsibility to create and maintain a profile.

What if an error occurs or a user cannot access the service?

This version of Intern Connect is in beta, which means technical issues may arise.  The UCF Ad/PR program welcomes your feedback and asks that you direct all comments, questions and concerns to internconnect@mail.ucf.edu.

The UCF Ad/PR program hopes you find it to be a valuable service.