Unleash PR Speed at November Program

On November 15, we will welcome Alyson Lundell, APR, CPRC, senior director of corporate communications for Universal Orlando Resort. She will join us to talk about Unleashing PR Speed with The Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon and Fast & Furious – Supercharged.

Take a look behind the red carpet at the ins and outs of opening attractions based on these two powerhouse brands. During this program you’ll learn more about the strategy and tactics used to gain global media coverage and awareness of the next new experiences at Universal Orlando Resort.

Click here to register by 5 p.m. on November 12!

Content Marketing for Public Relations Pros

As PR pros, we understand the importance of well written communications, but with content marketing, great writing takes on an entirely new meaning.

Valerie Riley, APR, Director of Marketing for ITProTV, a company that produces on-demand training and education videos for IT professionals, has built her marketing programs for the company on the back of content marketing. She shared her thoughts about how content marketing became the darling of marketers everywhere and  how to maximize your content marketing efforts to educate, entertain and — ultimately — convert.

Content marketing has been around as long as there have been products to sell. In the early days of this decade, Riley noted some shifts that fueled the content marketing machine: the rise of bloggers — who organically earned the trust of millions of readers — and the launch of Hubspot, which increased marketing automation accessibility for small- to mid-sized companies.

Marketing automation is still so important, in fact, that Valerie said she doesn’t believe one could exist without the other.

“They are like PB & J. They just go together,” she said.

Valerie shared several tips for making the most of content marketing efforts.

  • Find an idea — Write what is most comfortable to you, what your company or organization does best, or what your ideal customers are talking about.
  • To gate or not to gate — Gating content with an email collection form is a great way to growth your list, but it has to be something that has perceived value to your reader.
  • Amplify it — Share your content on social media, via a landing page with paid ads, or through content syndication.

Although content marketing can be easy to get started and can provide a deeper level of engagement with your ideal audience, Valerie cautioned that marketers should remember that it all comes down to the quality of the content.

“It’s all about persuasive writing. We have an obligation as marketers to be responsible with emails. You have to earn your spot in that inbox.”


PR Masters – Join Us at Info Tech!

FPRA Gainesville members with 10+ years of experience are invited to join us on a PR Masters behind-the-scenes tour at Info Tech!

Come tour their new office in Celebration Pointe, and hear first-hand from Assistant Director of Corporate Communications Lacey Jones on how they excel in day-to-day communications efforts.

November 9 from 9 to 11 a.m.

Info Tech, 2970 SW 50th Terrace, Gainesville

REGISTER HERE: https://fpragville.wufoo.com/forms/z1ks9xfm15r8iz7/

Info Tech consists of two core businesses: Info Tech Systems and Info Tech Consulting. Info Tech Systems develops cutting-edge digital solutions to support paperless environments and e-Construction initiatives through automated infrastructure construction management and Internet bidding solutions. Info Tech Consulting provides expert statistical and econometric litigation consulting services and support.

With a diverse workforce and collaborative, relaxed environment, Info Tech is a Gainesville-born pioneer of innovation, committed to its family of employees, customers and community. For more information, visit www.infotechfl.com or www.infotechconsulting.com.

Questions? E-mail Allison Downey, APR, CPRC at allison.downey@exac.com. Register: https://fpragville.wufoo.com/forms/z1ks9xfm15r8iz7/

The FPRA Gainesville PR Masters program provides professional development and networking opportunities to members with 10+ years of experience in the public relations field. Anyone who meets this criteria is welcome to join as a part of their membership with our chapter.

Podcast Secrets from PR Pros

When Chad McLeod, APR, CPRC, and his brother Joe, founders of McLeod Communications, decided to start a podcast, the first challenge they faced was to find a topic.

“What do we talk about?”

“What do we always talk about?”

And the PR & Politics podcast was born.

Chad shared some actionable tips for PR pros considering a podcast of their own, including determining if a podcast can do something your other PR tactics can’t and being consistent with your schedule in order to build momentum.

But the most important thing he learned was to start and improve as you go.

“If you wait for it to be perfect, most likely a year from now, you’ll still be thinking about how to get it off the ground,” he said.

Did you miss this month’s program? Check out this short recap from Chad with additional tips for starting a successful podcast.

Also, listen to Episode 58 of the podcast, recorded the day after Chad visited our chapter, here. Thanks for the shout out at the end!

New Member Spotlight: Katelyn Vogt

Katelyn is the communications specialist for the University of Florida College of Education Department of E-Learning, Technology and Communications Services. She is thrilled to serve the college and communicate the work being done by faculty and staff to transform education. Before working at the college, Katelyn served as the special projects coordinator at PACE Center for Girls, Alachua securing the funding to support the center’s ever-growing vision. Katelyn obtained her bachelor’s degree in public relations with a specialization in nonprofit organizational leadership from UF. She is excited to be a part of FPRA and connect with fellow public relations professionals.

Why did you choose to go into the public relations field?

I learned at any early age the power of words. They can inspire communities, spark change and drive action. The field of public relations offers the opportunity to foster my own creative voice and use it for good. With it, I can highlight organizations and institutions creating real change in the world. What could be better?

Welcome, New Members!

We’d like to give a big FPRA Gainesville welcome to Katelyn Potter and Katelyn Vogt, our two newest chapter members!



Register for our September program – PR on the Pod!

Has your organization considered entering the world of podcasting? You’re in good company. According to Apple, there are more than 525,000 active podcasts on iTunes. While many brands have found podcasts to be an effective PR and marketing tool, getting started is often the hardest part.

Chad McLeod, APR, CPRC, principal of McLeod Communications, a PR and communications strategy consulting firm based in Lakeland, Florida, suggests potential podcasters start with their goal in mind. What do you anticipate receiving as a return on your time investment? Who do you want to reach? Why do you want to reach them?

During the FPRA Gainesville September luncheon, Chad will discuss his experience as a podcaster and share additional tips for organizations considering a podcast. Chad and his brother, Joe, who’s also his business partner, are the co-hosts of PR & Politics, a weekly podcast that reflects their everyday conversations about politics, political communications and PR stories of the week.

Chad spent five years as an aide to U.S. Senator Mel Martinez and is always up for a friendly political discussion. He served as president of FPRA Tampa Bay in 2014-2015 and is a UF grad (PR major, College of Journalism and Communications, Class of 2004).

LeadershipFPRA Pays Off for Past President

Following her completion of the LeadershipFPRA program, Erin Morton, APR, CPRC, found a deeper appreciation for her craft and honed her leadership skills. She shares her LeadershipFPRA journey and what the program taught her about business and herself.

As I neared the conclusion of my year as president of our chapter last year, I began to think about the next step in my professional development journey. I was interested in continuing to develop my leadership skills, and I had heard so many great things about the LeadershipFPRA program from friends and colleagues who participated in the inaugural class. I am so glad that I applied and was granted a space in the second class of the LeadershipFPRA program. And I am incredibly grateful to the Gainesville Chapter for awarding me a partial scholarship, which allowed for my participation.

As the program’s description states, “LeadershipFPRA provides our members with the tools they need to become stronger leaders in the organizations, their communities and FPRA.” I couldn’t agree with this summary more. Beginning with the program’s orientation, I was so impressed with the level of detail put into each and every session. The program’s orientation was followed by five seminar-styled leadership training classes facilitated by leaders in communications and other disciplines throughout the state, and the year culminated with a graduation ceremony and recognition during Annual Conference.

LeadershipFPRA provided such a wonderful opportunity to take time out for myself – to focus on getting to know my leadership style, further develop my leadership skills, and enhance my knowledge in areas of business that are very different from my own. One of the most valuable aspects of the program is the relationships built with communications professionals throughout the state – from different industries, varied levels of experience and unique insights.

The program promised that participants, “…will be better equipped to not only function as PR professionals in their respective workplaces, but also strengthen their rightful seat at the boardroom table and to evolve into further leadership roles in FPRA, their communities and the industry in general.” I could not agree with this statement more, and I’m so glad that I made the investment in my leadership journey through the LeadershipFPRA program.

FPRA 80th Annual Conference Scholarships

The Gainesville Chapter of FPRA is happy to announce that we will be funding three scholarships to FPRA’s 80th Annual Conference Aug. 5-8 at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach. We will be awarding two scholarships for professional members and one scholarship for a student member.

The scholarships cover one full conference registration, including access to general and breakout sessions throughout the three-day conference, food at all conference functions and a ticket to the Golden Image Awards.

Please note travel and lodging expenses are not covered in the scholarships. The recipient of the scholarships should expect to cover these costs on his or her own.

The deadline to apply is Friday, June 15 at 5 p.m.


Questions? Contact President-Elect Lindsey Robertson, APR, at lindsey.t.robertson@gmail.com.

May 2018 Program


Just 15 years ago, John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse was just “making a living” but not living his dream. “Each of us have gifts to share. You’re the only one stopping yourself,” he told FPRA Gainesville Chapter in May. “So much of what we believe determines the life we live.”


Inspired to organize a barbeque fundraiser to help a Texas family, John re-discovered his dream of being a cook and began his challenging but eventually successful journey of creating 4 Rivers Smokehouse. While the business has grown, John stays focused on community involvement and those in need by supporting a multitude of impactful charitable organizations in Florida.


John challenged everyone in the room to close their eyes and imagine what they would do with their talents and gifts if all of the risk was taken out of it. “Do what you do for the right reasons,” he said.