It was nearly nine months ago that Orlando was shaken to its core as the Pulse tragedy took 49 lives forever, and #OrlandoUnited became part of our lexicon.
Our PR community came together last fall for a 100-day commemoration, “Heroes Among Us,” which was held at a nearby business that was impacted by the Pulse tragedy. In total, 33 communicators who served came out to accept our thanks (and a few hugs) for a job well done. We understood that our communicator colleagues — while brave professionals who served gallantly — needed some time to heal along with us.
That helplessness we all felt about this unthinkable tragedy turned into hope and healing. Whether it was miles of lines to donate blood or touching tributes among a sea of people at a vigil or public memorials, incredible light shined through the darkness.
As we partner with FPRA-Orlando and IABC-Central Florida for a half-day program (8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 29 at the Citrus Club), we’ll hear lessons learned during presentations and panel discussion featuring speakers from local government, social service agencies, and private-sector companies on how their stakeholders required unique messages, tools, etc.
If you plan to attend, please don’t delay registering because space is limited. All PRSA-Orlando proceeds from the event will be donated to scholarship funds to help future communicators who may need to serve during another crisis.
We are and remain #OrlandoUnited.
Jamie Floer, APR, CPRC
2017 President, PRSA Orlando Regional Chapter
PRSA Coffee Talk: New and Prospective Members
Have you joined PRSA Orlando within the past year or are you considering joining*? You're invited to learn more about our chapter. Please be our guest for some coffee and conversation at Lineage Coffee on March 15.
Date and Time: March 15, 8 a.m.
Location: Lineage Coffee at East End Market, 3201 Corrine Drive
Orlando, FL 32803
*Spring Break Promotion: Free Chapter (up to $100 value)
New members receive a free 1-yr Orlando Chapter membership when they join PRSA National as a Regular member ($255 annual dues +$65 initiation fee). Use Promo Code: SPRING17.
RESTRICTIONS: n/a for Associate member types ($200 or less annual dues) and current or renewing members.
Refer to http://www.prsa.org/joinus/howtojoin for details.
PR for Pulse: Reflections From Communicators Who Served
Join PRSA Orlando, FPRA Orlando and IABC Central Florida for a half-day crisis communications program dedicated to communications response to the Pulse tragedy. Hear from local government, social service agencies and other private sector company speakers as they share what tools and messages they used before, during and after the tragedy. Following the morning speakers, the event will close with a luncheon featuring more lessons learned about how organizations can better prepare for unexpected events. This half-day program will provide attendees with an in-depth discussion of crisis strategy while serving as an interactive reflection of how our community became #OrlandoUnited.
Heather Fagan (City of Orlando)
Carrie Proudfit (Orange County)
Sara Brady (Pulse)Kena Lewis, APR (Orlando Health)
Erik Sandoval (WKMG-6)
Michael Farmer (Equality Florida)
3/29/17 | The Citrus Club
Registration at 8 .am. - Program at 8:30 a.m.
PRSA Sunshine District Conference: June 23-26
Registration Now Open
North Florida PRSA welcomes you to the Sunshine District Annual Conference 2017 home port! We are so excited to announce we are casting off the lines and shoving off from boring hotel-based conferences! We’ll spend three glorious days at sea mixing our professional development with pleasure boating on Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas. This is quite possibly the very first PR conference held on the high seas anywhere in the world.
We’ll have all the features you’ve come to love about the annual district conference with none of the boring stuff. You can even bring along a spouse, friend or traveling companion to enjoy this beautiful three-day weekend. While we’re at sea, we’ll be learning about the latest trends in our industry, building our skills and gaining experience through the shared stories from our top-notch speaker lineup.
Check out more conference details and registration sign up at https://prvilleshiphappens.com.
February Program Was a Tremendous Success
Author: Jaylen Christie
PRSA Orlando Diversity & Inclusion Chair
Webster’s dictionary defines diversity as the inclusion of different types of people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization. PRSA Orlando is committed to this. To that end, the organization was proud to bring in Rev. Stephen A. Green, National Youth and College Director for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), to speak at its February event. The forum – entitled How Far Have We Come? – dealt with communicating about race and justice in today’s day and age, and was heavily attended.
Last month marked the five-year anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin and since then there has been much that has evolved regarding strategies and tactics in effectively communicating race. As PR professionals, one could argue that it pays to be a step ahead, and staying on top of communication trends is important in being successful. Rev. Green mentioned a variety of methods that both new and experienced PR practitioners can utilize in communicating race and diversity. We’ve compiled the top three:
• Managing Your Brand – As PR practitioners, many of us may be the spokespersons of companies or of our own respective businesses. Sometimes it can be tricky to share your own beliefs while representing your company and/or clients. Rev. Green stated that it’s perfectly fine to have uncomfortable conversations and that communication cannot be neutral when talking to clients.
• Using Imagery Counts – Statistics have shown that images are just as important as text. Photos matter. Using the right images in a story can be important in how individuals view something. For example, Rev. Green stated that the photo that was used in the press to discuss the death of Trayvon Martin played a part in how some people reacted to and viewed the situation. As PR practitioners, we are responsible for using our best judgment to choose content that signifies the truth.
• Utilizing Facts – This goes without saying. In a time where the term “alternative facts” has become popularized, Rev. Green urges PR practitioners to seek the truth. This is especially true in communicating about race. Backing up facts with history is crucial.
Those working in communications have a duty to communicate effectively and accurately. Knowing how to do so is key. For those in the field that are passionate about race relations and are looking to contribute positively, Rev. Green indicated that offering pro-bono services for grass root organizations dealing with the topic could be the way to go. Every little bit helps and having an experienced PR practitioner would certainly be welcomed.
Despite it being 2017, there have been studies indicating that when it comes to PR, there isn’t a lot of young Blacks, Asians and Hispanics in the field. The PRSA’s national Diversity & Inclusion Committee is working towards building consciousness by increasing visibility of diversity and inclusion standards, resources and best practices for racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation and gender differences. While the topic of diversity and race can sometimes be uncomfortable, there does seem to be a solid interest. In a poll, 70% of those that attended How Far Have We Come? said they found the event extremely engaging and when asked what the single most valuable thing was that was learned at the event, individuals agreed that everyone having a role to play in implementing change was crucial.
All in all, the event was undoubtedly a success.
Wendy Gustama and Jaylen Christie
Kudos to Wendy and Jaylen, PRSA Orlando Board members, for participating in a Twitter chat with Valencia students to discuss PR, moderated by PRSA member and Professor, Rebecca Newman.
Dan Ward, APR
Congratulations to former PRSA Orlando president, Dan Ward, APR, who escorted Martha Hitt to the stage as UCF recognized her and UCF President, John Hitt, as honorary UCF Alumni in recognition of 25 years of service. The honor will from now on be known as the John and Martha Hitt Honorary Alumni Award.
Jamie Floer, APR, CPRC
Congratulations to current PRSA Orlando president, Jamie Floer, APR, CPRC who will officially join Orange County Utilities in a public relations role after more than a year of consulting with the team.