Archive for Kevin Coulson, APR

Congratulations, Jessica Walker, APR, CPRC

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Congratulations to Jessica Walker, APR, CPRC who recently received the designation of Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC). Earning the CPRC designation distinguishes senior members of FPRA who have demonstrated understanding and mastery of core public relations principles and practices and have been certified to act as public relations counselors.

Jessica Walker

Jessica Walker, APR, CPRC
Southwest Florida Chapter

Walker is the marketing and public relations manager for Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company. She has 16 years of public relations experience with various organizations and is an active community volunteer with organizations like FPRA, Women In Business (Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce), Rotary Club of Fort Myers South and the American Cancer Society. In 2013, the state association of FPRA named her President of the Year.

Certification is a unique, second tier credential offered exclusively to FPRA members. Candidates must have previously earned their APR and have ten or more years experience in the field of public relations. Though it is a second tier credential, it is not APR 2.0. This exam is a subjective exam that requires candidates to draw from their experience to solve problems and present solutions. Earning the CPRC credential involves passing a written exam (16 essay questions) and an oral exam (presentation of a public relations program or project). Currently, there are 110 CPRCs in Florida.

Managing Crisis in the Digital Age

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A recap of FPRA’s crisis communications webinar
By Chloe Durham

In our January FPRA webinar, crisis communications expert Melissa Agnes spoke on crisis management in the digital age. She explained that it’s not just social media that often creates trouble for organizations but technology as a whole. People are fascinated by the ability to capture experiences and share them with others while it’s happening.

For example, Melissa shared a story about a deadly train derailment. She described a scene where an uninjured woman’s first reaction was to tweet a picture of the accident, and her second response was to dial 911. This story paints an excellent picture of life in the digital age, where viewers and the media often have information on a crisis before the company has a chance to deal with it themselves.

A crisis management plan is essential to your organization’s ability to respond immediately after a crisis. Melissa’s five steps for a crisis management plan include:

1.  Identify your organization’s high-risk scenarios

Every organization has a handful of specific risks, whether it is product failure, natural disaster, financial risk, or one of the many other potential threats. Knowing what they are will help narrow your strategy for response.

2. Develop your governance model

Your crisis management team should reflect your organization’s day-to-day operation and structure. Within your governance model, identify your key stakeholders and make sure they are included in the first round of communication. This way you can assess the needs of stakeholders and respond accordingly, knowing that your stakeholders understand their roles and responsibilities.

3. Develop scenario-specific playbooks

This playbook should be used within the first 24-48 hours of a crisis and should include scenario-specific action plans with response strategies for every department. The playbook should also contain contact information of those involved, a timeline of events and any related documents.

4. Put your plan and your team to the test

Don’t simply discuss what you would do if a crisis happened, but put your crisis team through a realistic simulation of your high-risk scenarios. This will ensure your plan is practical while preparing your team for crisis.

5. Continuously revise and strengthen

Always be looking out for procedures that need to be added to the plan. As technology changes and progresses, more precautions will need to take place.

After a crisis, organizations are expected to respond faster and louder than ever before. With so much media traffic, you must ensure your response is heard. Melissa reiterated the importance of establishing with the public that your organization is the trusted source of information throughout the entire crisis. If you understand your stakeholders and identify the technology they use, you can successfully and efficiently communicate through crises.

Chloe-DurhamChloe Durham is senior at Southeastern University, majoring in mass communications. She is a student member of FPRA and a PR intern for McLeod Communications

Golden Image Awards Gets An Update for 60th Anniversary

golden-image-awardsThis year marks the 60th anniversary of our Association’s prestigious Golden Image Awards honoring excellence in our profession across the state of Florida. While the goal of honoring the very best examples of innovation, planning and design has remained unchanged for this awards program, the way we as practitioners, do our business has greatly evolved over the past 60 years.

For this reason, this year’s Golden Image committee decided to take a look at the various divisions and categories that make up both the Image Awards and Golden Image competitions to ensure we are covering the appropriate areas of our business. Not surprisingly, a few categories required updating or were missing altogether. So while the majority of the categories have remained intact, we wanted to make you aware of a few changes you’ll see this year.

Division A now includes categories to celebrate the work done in both Integrated Marketing programs and Reputation Management. These are defined as:

Integrated Marketing: any program incorporating public relations strategies and tactics as part of an integrated campaign and demonstrating effective integration with other marketing/communication disciplines.

Reputation Management: any program or strategy developed to enhance or improve the reputation of an organization with its publics, either proactively or in response to an issue or event.

Division C, formerly the Audio/Visual/Online Tools of Public Relations category has been updated to reflect our digital age. We have renamed this the Digital Tools of Public Relations category and simplified a few of the categories within this division – making it a bit more streamlined.

The individual chapters are hard at work launching their Image Awards programs as we speak, so be sure to visit FPRAImage.org for more details on how to enter, deadlines and more.

And start preparing now for this year’s Golden Image Awards competition! Call for entries will open on Friday, April 14 and entries will be due on Friday, May 19.

- Alyson Lundell, APR, CPRC, VP of Golden Image

To Sit for the APR or Not…That is the Question!

FPRA20152I am here to tell you, if you pursue becoming Accredited in Public Relations (APR), you won’t regret it, not one bit! Maybe myFPRA accreditation story will inspire those of you “on the fence” about this important accreditation.

Let me begin by being honest. I am not a fan of school, not a fan of studying, and not a fan of reading text books! When I graduated from Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!) with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications, I thought, “whew, I’m done with school, done with studying, let my life begin!” Oh, how naïve I was back then! :)

When I moved to Florida and started working in the community relations and public relations fields, I realized I had a lot to learn. I started attending Central West Coast FPRA Chapter meetings, professional development sessions and soaking in as many tips as I could to help me become a better practitioner. Then I noticed several of my mentors, whom I greatly admired, had letters behind their name. Three little letters: APR. I wanted to know more!

First, a little about the APR. FPRA is a participating organization of the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB). The UAB is a diverse group of educators, military public affairs personnel and public relations professionals who oversee the Accreditation program. There are nine participating organizations including names I’m sure you’ll recognize: FPRA, PRSA, National Association of Government Communicators and Southern Public Relations Federation. Since the Accreditation program is universal, you can take it with you anywhere, as long as you remain a member of a UAB participating organization. Another great reason to renew your FPRA membership!

As much as I thought I would never want to take another test or read a text book, I was inspired to be like my professional peers and further my career by taking the exam! Preparing for the APR helps you build on areas you may not be as familiar with. For instance, if one of your main responsibilities is media relations, you probably do not know much about investor relations. Studying for the exam helped me gain knowledge about public relations, things I didn’t learn in journalism school. The APR process also keeps you current on today’s best practices and applications in the ever-evolving communications world. Our industry changes and changes quickly. We need to constantly brush up on our skills and keep learning! Thankfully, FPRA provides some great resources to do just that!

ItTakesAPRo_Seal_largeSo, take it from me, if I can learn to study again and find value in a textbook, so can you! The UAB is promoting awareness of the APR process through its ItTakesAPRo campaign. FPRA will be promoting this campaign as well. Our VP of Accreditation and Certification, Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC will be sharing more in the coming months about this campaign. In the meantime, attend an information session about the process or connect with your Chapter’s Accreditation chair to find out more about this process. It’s worth the effort!

-Terri Behling, APR, CPRC

Congratulations, Betsy Clayton, APR, CPRC!

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Congratulations Betsy Clayton, APR, CPRC who recently received the designation of Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC).

Certification is a unique, second tier credential offered exclusively to FPRA members. Candidates must have previously earned their APR and have ten or more years experience in the field of public relations. Though it is a second tier credential, it is not APR 2.0. This exam is a subjective exam that requires candidates to draw from their experience to solve problems and present solutions. Earning the CPRC credential involves passing a written exam (16 essay questions) and an oral exam (presentation of a public relations program or project).

Earning the CPRC designation distinguishes senior members of FPRA who have demonstrated understanding and mastery of core public relations principles and practices and have been certified to act as public relations counselors. Currently, there are 109 CPRCs in Florida.

Betsy Clayton

Betsy Clayton, APR, CPRC
Communications Director
Lee County
Southwest Florida Chapter

In her role as communications director for Lee County, Betsy coordinates internal and external communications and media relations for the organization of 20-plus departments and 2,500 employees. Previously, she served as Lee County Parks & Recreation waterways coordinator, which involved assisting travel writers and environmental journalists who reported on Lee County’s Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail. Clayton also was a newspaper reporter at The News-Press and Florida Weekly in Fort Myers and at newspapers in Oregon, California and Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Journalism.

About CPRC

To earn the CPRC credential, candidates must have 10 years of experience in the field; have earned the first tier of accreditation, the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential; successfully completed a verbal presentation; and passed a five-hour written exam.

For more information on Accreditation and Certification, as well as any available chapter or State Association rebates, please contact your local Accreditation and Certification Chair or Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC, VP Accreditation/Certification at lbyrnes@carersourceclm.com.