Chris Bradford Awarded LeadershipFPRA


OCALA, Fla. (Dec. 16, 2022) – Ocala’s Christopher Bradford has been selected for LeadershipFPRA, an intensive Florida Public Relations Association leadership program featuring seminar-style training classes from a faculty of some of the most accomplished professionals in the state. The program is designed to further strengthen public relations roles and the communities and industries where public relations practitioners live.

Launched in 2016, the yearlong program includes an orientation session, five seminars and a graduation ceremony. Class VII seminars cover topics including leading and managing; economic development and higher education; cross-functional business strategies; government, law and ethics; and leadership development. Selection to the class is competitive, and only 12 public relations professionals are accepted into each cohort. 

“Leadership is cultivated through relationships that have inspired greatness. In this program, we get a chance to see that effect globally in our community and how we can apply it in our own setting to mold our professional development. It’s truly an honor to be chosen for the class.” he said.

Bradford is no stranger to communications. He’s been in Ocala since 1989, originally from Syracuse, New York. Bradford was the public information officer or commander for the ambulance service at the hospital formerly known as Munroe Regional Medical Center. He was also an integral part of the ambulance service’s transition to a private-public partnership named EMSA and then to Marion County Fire Rescue in 2008. 

Since then, he has worked as a firefighter/paramedic in The Villages for 10 years and started his own business doing quality assurance for 911 agencies across the United States. 

In 2010, Priority Dispatch acquired his business, and the company has kept him busy ever since. He travels internationally to countries such as Brazil, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, and the Caribbean Islands to help public safety agencies (EMS, fire, and police) implement dispatch protocols, advocates community relations programs, and promotes unsung heroes – 911 dispatchers – for the lifesaving measures they do worldwide.

Chris is also a member of the College of Fellows for the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch which oversees the development of the dispatch protocols. 

Lt. Col. John W. Dillin, APR, CPRC, established FPRA in 1938. It is the oldest organization of public relations professionals in the world with more than 1,200 members from 15 professional chapters and 13 student chapters across the state.

FPRA members come from many backgrounds, including private and public corporations, government entities, nonprofit organizations and consulting firms. Members share a common goal of enhancing the public relations profession in Florida through ethical and standardized practices.

The FPRA Ocala Chapter was established in 1980 and provides professional development, networking and professional recognition opportunities for its members.

For more information, visit




Congratulations to Beverly Brown, APR

Please join us in congratulating our newest APR, Beverly Brown, APR! Beverly serves as the Director of Career & Student Services for Taylor College and is a dedicated member currently serving as our Chapter Treasurer. We are incredibly proud to recognize Beverly as she joins a select group of PR practitioners who have earned this credential. Congratulations, Beverly!



Ocala, Lake County & Volusia Chapters Mid-Florida Image Awards

Ocala, Lake County & Volusia Chapters Mid-Florida Image Awards
Save the date: April 19, 2023 at 5:30 p.m.
Entry Deadline: February 27 by 11:59 p.m.
Zoom Workshop Launch: January 27, Noon to 1 p.m. & February 8, Noon to 1 p.m.

The FPRA Mid-Florida Image Awards recognize the best in research, strategy, implementation, and execution in the public relations profession. Image Awards competitions are conducted in the first quarter of the year at the chapter level and recognize the area’s best work in four main divisions:

  • Public Relations Programs
  • Collateral of Public Relations
  • Digital Tools of Public Relations
  • Student Projects in Public Relations

Learn more:


January School Supply Drive

This month give back to our Marion County students by dropping off school supplies at our January Professional Development Meeting.  Donations will be provided to the Marion County Education Foundation. 


ACES (Advanced Career Enhancement)

In 2005, chapter leadership sought a way to further engage seasoned practitioners. The concept of ACES was formed (Advanced Career Enhancement Series)

ACES is designed to bring together the chapter’s most experienced members in a small, casual setting to discuss current public relations topics and issues.  This time for peer-to-peer dialogue usually consists of discussing current event case studies. Members explore pros and cons of how situations are/were handled and offer insight as to what better strategies could have been employed and what difference it could make in the outcome. Ocala Chapter ACES members have also conducted seminars for non-profit groups as part of the chapter’s community service.


Riders Up! Volunteer Opportunities

Are you interested in a volunteer opportunity for our annual chapter conference? Please contact us for further information. 

5 Takeaways: Natalie Asorey

Natalie Asorey

In June, we returned to in-person professional development meetings at the College of Central Florida for the first time in more than a year.

Natalie Asorey, lecturer and associate director at the University of Florida’s The Agency, presented “How to connect with Latinx communities in Florida.”

The 5 takeaways from her presentation include:

  1. Language is important, but translation is not enough. To connect on a deeper level, look beyond translation to see what is universally true.
  2. If you are confused about whether to use the term “Hispanic” or “Latino,” you’re not alone. “Hispanic” describes the language whereas “Latino” describes geographic origin, i.e., Latin America. Neither term describes identity or culture – and it’s best to use more specific descriptions, such as Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban, etc.
  3. Most Latino adults have never heard the term Latinx.
  4. Immerse yourself in different cultures and unlearn assumptions.
  5. Understand how and why Latinos consume media. Latinos spend more than 30 hours a week on smartphones and more than 12 hours a week listening to radio.

5 takeaways: Myiah Hutchens, Ph.D.

At July’s professional development meeting, Myiah Hutchens, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Public Relations at the University of Florida, presented: “How communication functions in democratic processes.”

The 5 takeaways from her presentation include:

  1. Though counterintuitive, research shows Facebook does not appear to be facilitating filter bubbles or making polarization worse. Exposure to incivility does not in and of itself lead to negative outcomes.
  2. Our relationship between two things is never static. Social media amplifies the caricature of opposing views. Using names, identities and avatars of real people reduces this perspective.
  3. Calling out misbehavior, such as name calling, on social media within your own group decreases polarization. Yelling at the other side doesn’t do anything. Instead, ask for the behavior you want and reinforce shared identities, but remember, changing opinions is super rare.
  4. Disagreement can have positive effects. When we access the other side, we are less polarized over time because our views become less extreme. We are more likely to seek out disagreeable views online because it’s safer and (mostly) anonymous.
  5. Face-to-face discussions are still most effective; it’s a lot harder to be a jerk to someone’s face.

5 takeaways: Justin Brennan

Justin Brennan

During April’s presentation, Justin Brennan, former director of impact partnerships at Participant Media and president of Purpose & Vision Consulting, provided insight on how public relations practitioners and marketers can strengthen and redefine partnerships and content strategies to be more inclusive, effective and stabilizing.

Here are 5 takeaways from his presentation “How to market to a multicultural society.”

  1. There’s never going to be one message that works for everyone. We’re supposed to make mistakes, and trial and error is OK.
  2. Switch from marketing “to” to marketing “with” to achieve inclusivity.
  3. Representation matters; make sure your target audience is involved in the creative process.
  4. To effectively address your publics’ concerns, your team should reflect your community.
  5. The new advertising world is not one-size-fits-all. We need separate campaigns and multiple messages to reach diverse audiences.

5 takeaways: Lisa O’Keefe

Lisa Okeefe

Public relations practitioners understand the ways in which we communicate with our audiences have evolved exponentially. Those of us who once relied on traditional vehicles to reach our audiences have had to learn to navigate in the digital marketing sphere over the last decade ­– usually through trial and error. 

Because more children and youth audiences are spending more time online, it’s important to include a digital strategy into a business’s marketing plan. During Lisa O’Keefe’s discussion, she stressed the importance for all marketers to understand how children and youth markets are interacting with the digital platforms from which they are seeking content.

Here are 5 takeaways about digital strategies to implement in marketing from Lisa O’Keefe’s presentation,  “How MTV and Nickelodeon Networks connect brands to millennials, Gen Y and Gen Z.”

  1. Fragmentation:  Children and youth have moved away from linear formats like television and radio, and have migrated to digital platforms such as YouTube. Because this demographic has become so fragmented, it is more challenging for marketers to reach them. 
  2. Programmatic Marketing:  The evolution of programmatic marketing has created new opportunities for marketers. This technology utilizes data sets with supply-side platforms and demand-side platforms. Programmatic advertising offers greater transparency, as compared to traditional advertising. Through programmatic advertising, advertisers can track what sites their advertisements are reaching, the type of customer looking at their ad, and any costs associated with the advertisement. The benefit is that this can be done in real-time and changed to augment the strategy or campaign effectiveness.
  3. Digital Platforms: There are now many new evolving platforms to reach the children and youth market such as podcasts, audio, gaming and social media.
  4. Messaging within Digital Platforms: It’s important for marketers to know the benefits of each digital platform available to the children and youth market and how content is created and consumed by each. Messages and content should be tailored to each platform.
  5. Buying Cycle:  It’s important for all marketers to know where each of their messages is in the buying cycle. For example, when a marketer creates an advertisement for television or radio, it’s in the upper funnel of the buying cycle as brand awareness. Targeted digital ads, such as an email with a coupon would be down the funnel of the buying cycle as consumer activation.