PRestige April 2014


Mid-Florida Image Awards - are you ready?

The announcement of our local Image awards is now just days away. If you haven’t secured your tickets for the evening event, do so by the 18th-that’s today! Click through to the full stories below located on

ReciPe for Results: 2014 Mid-Florida Local Image Awards Gala

from Heather Danenhower, APR

Make your reservation by TODAY to attend our ReciPe for Results, 2014 Mid-Florida Local Image Awards Gala on April 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at CTAE.


Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) Celebrates 50th Anniversary Year

by Lisa Varner, APR

2014 marks a landmark year for the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). The credential, the only nationally recognized certification of the public relations profession, celebrates 50 years in 2014. Currently, more than 5,000 professionals from the agency, corporate, association and education fields hold the APR mark. The Ocala Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association boasts 16 accredited members.

Established in 1964, the Accreditation in Public Relations is the profession’s only national postgraduate certification program. It measures public relations practitioner’s fundamental knowledge of communications theory and its application; establishes advanced capabilities in research, strategic planning, implementation and evaluation; and demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct. The skills acquired through the process are applicable to any industry or practice area. Granting of the APR is overseen by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB).

Unlike other professional certifications, such as CPA, Accreditation in Public Relations is a voluntary demonstration of competency; as such, it reflects a strong commitment to the profession. Earning Accreditation also provides a distinction that can set individuals apart and open doors to career advancement and higher compensation. Through their high professional and ethical standards, Accredited professionals contribute to greater understanding of public relations as a vital management function, and undermine those who would refer to our craft as spin, our professionals as flacks, and our currency as misrepresentation and disinformation.

If you’re interested in learning more about APR, contact Lisa E. Varner, APR at

PResident's Perspective: What's Your Excuse

It never ceases to amaze me how creative people can be. I’m not talking about artistic creativity; I’m talking about excuses people come up with.

As PR professionals, we solve problems, not create them. It seems, though, some people possess the exact opposite. They live to create problems to make life even more challenging for us and them!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m up for a good PR challenge: one-on-one with a concerned citizen, upset parent or reporter who doesn’t get my point. I’ll even tackle a group of taxpayers who want to better understand why a higher tax is being considered based on a complex budgeting process. What I don’t understand are the ones I encounter who apparently lack the common sense to look at a situation objectively. (Come one…I can’t be the only one who deals with these people!)

In the PR world, we know you listen, listen, listen…then you speak. How many phone calls have you taken that should have lasted two minutes but carved 30 minutes out of your day? How many times have you explained the same point in different ways yet the listener doesn’t hear you? Or what about the “professional” in your office who knows it all, takes the credit, yet comes to you on every assignment?

The situation matters not. What does matter is how you handle the situation and what you take away from it that makes you a better person and, ultimately, a better PR professional. With this said, what’s your latest challenge?

Until next month, continue to “think FPRA!”

Kevin Christian, APR, Marion County Public Schools


Member Profile: Toni James, APR, CPRC

Where are you from? Sparta, New Jersey

Affiliation with public relations: Joined the newly created Ocala chapter of FPRA in 1981.

Little-known fact: I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bucknell University with a major in English.


What attracted you to FPRA? My job as head of our local United Way was all about public relations. In the beginning the UW staff consisted of me, a secretary, and a bookkeeper. I did all the public relations for the organization. When we grew the first new position we created was Director of Public Relations & Marketing.

Favorite aspect of PR: Building relationships with key constituencies.

Anything else to add? Membership in FPRA has given me professional development in public relations and networking which have helped me be successful in my career at United Way.

Monique R. Yeager,VP Marketing, Tijuana Flats - Guest Speaker

Monique Yeager has over 20 years of marketing and public relations experience. In her role, she is responsible for overseeing Tijuana Flats system wide public relations and marketing efforts including strategic alliances; brand positioning; promotional campaigns; advertising; social media; local store marketing; and external communication strategies.

Ms. Yeager has a strong commitment to the community and serves in several leadership roles including the Boards of Directors of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) and Chair of the FRLA Marketing Council. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Central Florida Boy Scouts of America and is the Past-President of the Board of Directors for MicheLee Puppets and March of Dimes.


In 2010, she received the Board Member of the Year from MicheLee Puppets and in 2007 she received the March of Dimes Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006, Ms. Yeager was selected as the Most Influential Business Woman in the Orlando Business Journal’s40 Under 40 Awards.”


Prior to joining Tijuana Flats, Ms. Yeager was the Director of Marketing for Tony Roma’s, where she was responsible for chain-wide marketing initiatives, both domestically and internationally. Additionally, she was also with Sonny’s Franchise Company and Hooters Restaurants of America. During her tenure at Sonny’s Franchise Company, she developed an award winning cause-related marketing effort, Baby Backs for Babies to benefit the March of Dimes. In 2010, the program was recognized both locally and nationally, receiving the American Marketing Association’s Critics Choice Award and the National Restaurant Association’s Neighborhood Finalist Award.


Ms. Yeager graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, with a Minor in French. To this day she remains a diehard Auburn football fan and attended the National Championship games in 2010 and 2014 – 2010 had the better outcome.

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