FPRA Ocala COMMference set for May 20

Commference

The Ocala Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association’s COMMference Conference for Communicators takes place Friday, May 20 from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn at 120 E. Silver Springs Boulevard in downtown Ocala.

COMMference offers the opportunity to hear from a selection of Florida’s top public relations professionals as they share their experience and strategies in dealing with the world’s leading communications challenges.

The conference is open to the public as well as FPRA members. The cost to attend for nonmembers is $65 for half-day sessions to $105 for the full day. The members’ rate ranges from $50 for a half-day option, either morning or afternoon, to $95 for the full day. A $20 rate is also available for students enrolled in a communications program.

Morning sessions include breakfast, lunch is included with the afternoon sessions, and both meals are included for the full day.

Featured presenters are:

  • Dr. Nathan Crock, director of NewSci Labs, with an examination of the current state of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its impact in public relations;
  • Ashley Jeffery, senior manager of media communication for the West Florida Division of AdventHealth, who will take a deep dive into managing crisis and communications for a large corporation with a small team and best practices for communicating fast-changing information and integrating social media into successful media opportunities;
  • Tina Banner, APR, CPRC, assistant director of social media and digital communities for the University of Florida Office of University Advancement, who will explore best practices for communicating on social media with relevant and engaging content; and
  • Tammy Gantt, associate vice president of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, who will highlight the communicators’ role in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

There will also be a media panel moderated by Kevin Christian, APR, CPRC, public relations director for Marion County Public Schools, as well as networking opportunities.

COMMference is sponsored by the Hilton Garden Inn Ocala Downtown and Duke Energy. To register, or for more information, go to bit.ly/COMMference2022.

FPRA is dedicated to developing public relations practitioners who, through ethical and standardized practices, enhance the public relations profession in Florida. Today there are more than 1,000 professional, at-large and student members throughout the state and country. The FPRA Ocala Chapter was established in 1980. For more information about the chapter, go to www.fpraocala.org.

Area public relations and communications professionals honored

Image Winners

OCALA, Fla. (April 14, 2022) – The Free the Ocklawaha River Coalition, led by its founder and longtime local environmentalist Margaret Spontak, has been named the 2022 Wilton F. Martin Institutional Communicator of the Year for efforts to reconnect the Ocklawaha River to the Silver and St. Johns rivers and Silver Springs.

The three-year-old organization was honored by the Ocala Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association at the annual Mid-Florida Image and Communicator of the Year Awards which took place Wednesday, April 13 at the Marion Theatre. Founded in 1938, FPRA is the oldest professional association of public relations practitioners in the nation.

Recognizing that their work is ongoing until the Ocklawaha is “finally set free,” Spontak and Free the Ocklawaha’s efforts were lauded for “dramatically increasing the public interest, awareness, engagement, and support” needed to reunite the rivers.

The Communicator of the Year award honors institutions and individuals who have demonstrated excellence in strategic communications to improve the quality of life in Marion and Citrus counties. It is named in memory of the late Wilton F. Martin, native Ocalan and the Association’s co-founder.

NPR’s Joe Byrnes, a versatile and veteran reporter and editor for the Star-Banner and Gainesville Sun before joining WMFE in 2020, received the Wilton F. Martin Individual Communicator of the Year for his “unrelenting commitment to quality journalism … reporting, distilling, and communicating the most complex topics with uncommon clarity and color.” 

Image WinnersAdditionally, 14 Image awards were presented to public relations professionals from Marion, Lake, Volusia and Flagler counties. FPRA’s Image Awards and the state Golden Image competition have become the standard of public relations excellence throughout Florida, honoring the very best in public relations innovations, planning and design.

This year’s big winners were Jen Pagh, Scott Schroeder and Matias Raby of Liquid Creative who received the Grand All Image Award in the digital tools of public relations division in the external video category for their Straight Line Construction video, which also earned an Image Award and Judges Award. Also, in the digital tools division website category, the team won an Image Award and Judges Award for rebuilding Straight Line Construction’s website. Lastly, in the public relations programs division  promotional marketing category, they picked up an Award of Distinction for a comprehensive marketing strategy for Straight Line Construction.

Additional winners:

Beverly Brown and Taylor College won a Judges Award in digital tools of public relations division social media category for Taylor College Facebook Engagement Plan.

Rachel Cote and the College of Central Florida won an Award of Distinction and Judges Award in the digital tools of public relations website category for the College of Central Florida website redesign.

Heather Danenhower, APR, CPRC, and Duke Energy won an Image Award in the public relations programs division internal category for Duke Energy’s Power Plant Worker Appreciation Day Campaign.

Mary Dorn, APR, and Cindi Lane, APR, won an Award of Distinction and Judges Award in the public relations programs division special events category for the Volusia/Flagler Chapter of FPRA Media Day at Daytona International Speedway.

Savannah Silliman, Pamela Calero Wardell, and Andy Stracuzzi won an Award of Distinction and Judges Award in the public relations collateral brochure category for the Ocala Symphony’s 46th Season brochure.

FPRA is dedicated to developing public relations practitioners who, through ethical and standardized practices, enhance the public relations profession in Florida. Today there are more than 1,000 professional, at-large and student members throughout the state and country. The FPRA Ocala Chapter was established in 1980. For more information about the chapter, go to www.fpraocala.org.

IN OCALA, A TALE OF TWO CITIES: REBRANDING UF & SHANDS

Melanie_headshotOCALA, FL – Branding is no easy task for any business, big or small. This month, area professionals have an opportunity to learn from an expert’s experiences with a highly-visible rebranding effort: repositioning the University of Florida and Shands. On Nov. 20, Melanie Fridl Ross, MSJ, ELS, Chief Communications Officer with UF Health, will share insight from this process at the Florida Public Relations Association Ocala Chapter’s professional development luncheon. The luncheon is set for noon-1 p.m., (networking begins at 11:30 a.m.) at The College of Central Florida Ewers Century Center, 3003 SW College Road, Ocala.

Ross oversees news and publications, marketing, public relations, strategic communications and public affairs, advancement communications, creative services, and web services for UF Health in Gainesville and Jacksonville. She teaches news reporting as an adjunct faculty at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. Ross also oversees operations for two nationally-aired consumer health radio series.

 

Ross joined UF in 1992 from The Tampa Tribune, where she was a reporter. She holds a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in journalism with a concentration in newspaper administration from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. She is a board-certified editor in the life sciences.

 

The meeting is not limited to members; guests and non-members are welcome to attend with payment and RSVP to [email protected] by Nov. 17, 2015. The registration fee includes lunch; $20 for members and $25 for guests and for members who pay at the door. Visit http://www.fpraocala.org/event-registration/ to register and pay online.

 

The Ocala Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association builds better public relations practitioners and communicators through professional development, networking opportunities and ethical practices. Formed in 1980, the chapter boasts a strong membership representing nearly every industry in the area, including: government, associations, nonprofit, education, healthcare, corporate, retail, agencies and small business. Members are committed not only to the betterment of the profession, but also to the community through a number of community service projects held each year.

 

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Media Contact: Elaine DeIorio McClain, Communications Director

Phone: 352-438-2300  Email: [email protected]