The following agenda will be updated regularly as the conference approaches. Items in bold are open to everyone who purchased a Full Conference Registration. The agenda is subject to change. Register for the conference.

*Additional Fees Apply.

Sunday, August 6

8:30 a.m.

Golf Outing*

2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

The Value of Earning Accreditation with Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC

2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Student Field Trip: Jimmy Fallon Experience at Universal Studios
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2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Value of Earning Credentials with Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC

3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Chapter Leadership Forum

4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Outgoing Executive Committee Meeting

5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Incoming Executive Committee Meeting

6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Board Bus for Universal Studios
Departure at 6:45 p.m.

7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

President’s Welcome Reception
A private reception for FPRA conference goers will be held at Universal Orlando Resort’s Sound Stage 33, followed by a chance to explore Diagon Alley! Sip a frozen Butterbeer, let your wand find you at Ollivander’s or even exchange your money at Gringott’s. Unless you’ve got a time-turner handy, you won’t want to miss this event!

Monday, August 7

7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Registration Desk Open


7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

7:40 a.m. to 8:25 a.m.

Past Presidents’ Council Meeting

8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Welcome & Annual Meeting
APR and CPRC Recognition  will follow the Welcome & Annual Meeting

9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

General Session featuring Ann Rhoades of People Ink: Built on Values

Southwest and JetBlue are two companies that consistently rank at the top of the charts for excellence in customer satisfaction. As the architect of corporate cultures of both organizations, Ann Rhoades has a track record of helping companies stand strong in the winds of economic change because they are built on values. Rhoades will set the tone for maximizing the personal side of business. In this session, she will encourage leaders to throw away the rule book and develop a sustaining company culture that believes in peoples ability to accomplish the extraordinary, thereby giving them the authority to succeed.

10:25 a.m. to 11:25 a.m.

Breakout: The Right Rx for (Healthcare) Communications with Roy Reid, APR, CPRC, and Kristen Knapp, APR, CPRC

In a more consumer-driven marketplace, healthcare communicators must expand their role into all aspects of the healthcare continuum, and extend their competencies to include: greater business acumen, stronger operational alignment, Protected Health Information (PHI) and quality metrics. In this session, you’ll hear success stories, tips, trends, and techniques for using digital, social and traditional strategies to communicate with policymakers, consumers, health care leaders and employees. You will also learn the traits and value proposition for managing a successful career in communications and healthcare.

10:25 a.m. to 11:25 a.m.

Breakout: Speak Their Language – Bridging the Gap Between PR and Finance with Larry Parnell

The budget approval process can be a daunting task for PR and HR pros. Justifying communication program expenses, talent recruitment or compensation is often lost in translation between the people-focused and number-focused languages. Learning strategies to craft request messaging for the finance team is valuable for strengthening the teamwork within your organization.

10:25 a.m. to 11:25 a.m.

Breakout: Selling Your Media Story in 60 Seconds with Michelle Mermelstein, APR

Pitching busy journalists can be challenging and intimidating, especially when you’re working under pressure from bosses and clients. Are you ready to gain greater confidence and pitch the press with ease and effectiveness – even under tight deadlines?  Michelle Leff Mermelstein will share proven techniques for crafting media pitches that will help you build quality relationships and deliver your messages with great clarity. This workshop will offer practical tools you can use right away to be more effective with your media outreach. Topics covered will range from writing subject lines that will get your email read, making your pitch relevant and do’s and don’ts of communicating with reporters through social media.

10:25 a.m. to 11:25 a.m.

Breakout: The Future of SEO with Gabriel Marguglio

This presentation will start with the history of SEO before moving on to SEO in 2017. Attendees will learn the dos and don’ts of contemporary SEO, how SEO relates to video and the importance of SEO in terms of attracting your ideal customer. You will leave this session with actionable items to start improving your SEO today.

10:25 a.m. to 11:25 am

CN Breakout: Discussion with Ann Rhoades

11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Presidents’ Luncheon

1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Breakout: Protecting Data and Discussions in an Electronic Communication World with Erich Kron

Phishing and other social engineering scams continue to proliferate and evolve with new hybrid attacks despite the best efforts of endpoint security and gateway solutions to block them. How do you keep up and what are the most effective methods for securing your organization to combat cyber-crime? Erich Kron, Security Awareness Advocate for KnowBe4, will educate attendees about classic and current social engineering trends. He will also discuss recent attacks and how the organizations could have better protected themselves. The session will examine current phishing trends, vishing and Smishing attacks, CEO Fraud and W2 Scams, effective mitigation strategies and how your end-users can be mobilized as your last line of defense.

1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m

Breakout: Seven Secrets to Become the Leader You Never Thought You Could with Josh Davies

With constant change increasing the pressure placed on all of us, how can you adapt to meet the needs of your team and your customers? How do you deal with the increased pressure to produce ever-improving results?  How do you stop spending your days putting out fires? Simple: stop letting your title or organizational structure keep you from being a leader. In this spirited and interactive session, you will learn seven secrets that great leaders apply to produce results.  Find out how you can apply these same secrets to your job – even if you didn’t think you were a leader. Josh Davies, CEO of The Center for Work Ethic Development, will share strategies, specific tactics, and case studies to help everyone develop the secret behaviors that drive leadership.

1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m

Breakout: Digital Video 101 – Shooting Professional Quality Video with Your Smartphone with Heather Grzelka, APR

Video content is proven to increase website traffic, conversions, sales and donations. In the next year, it is predicted that more than 70 percent of all web content will shift to video. Social media channels like Facebook are prioritizing video over text and photographs, which is just one of the many reasons why PR professionals must not only be great writers but also proficient in video production. Learn how to create professional quality video on a shoestring budget by pairing your smartphone with the right tools and accessories to create compelling and affordable brand video libraries.

1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m

Breakout: Building the Pitch on Research & Technology with Mark Jenkins

A growing number of PR professionals say the news release is dead, but don’t give up on it just yet. AAA still uses traditional news releases and receives tremendous results. Company spokesman, Mark Jenkins, takes you inside today’s newsroom, sharing the expectations of real members of the media, and reveals how AAA uses statistics and technology to increase exposure.

1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m

Breakout: Soloprenuers – Building Your Own Business with Lanette Hart, Jay Morgan-Schleuning and Karen Swim

Being a solo professional is highly rewarding, but consultants at all levels have questions. Join our panel of of veteran, independent PR consultants as they divide and conquer to make sure every attendee’s toughest dilemmas are addressed.

3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Fireside Chat featuring Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Heather Fagan: The Value of Communicators During the Pulse Nightclub Tragedy

Tragedy has a way of shining a spotlight on our best and worst attributes. When horror struck at the Pulse Nightclub, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer turned instantly to his communicator, Deputy Chief of Staff Heather Fagan. They will turn back time to share what made for dynamic collaboration under great stress, the value of advance planning, the importance of candor, the strategies that drew Orlando’s communications professionals together and what had earned Fagan and her team the confidence of top leaders before crisis struck.

4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

State Board Meeting

5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Reception and Networking Event Sponsored by The George Washington University

Tuesday, August 8

7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Registration Desk Open

7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:50 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Dillin Keynote featuring Mary Lunghi of IKEA: Crafting a Personal Connection with Your Customers

IKEA puts the customer first, not just when it comes to customer service, but in every aspect of its business. This practice has contributed to the brand’s international success. Mary Lunghi, IKEA’s U.S. Market Intelligence Director, will discuss the ways that IKEA uses consumer research to uncover what customers (and consumers) really want, and how you can do the same for your company or clients.  Lunghi will explain how getting to know your customer in particular and the consumer in general, can benefit all aspects of your business, from product development to marketing and everything in between.

10:15 a.m. to 11: 15 a.m.

Breakout: Making Your Message Personal with Elizabeth Ninomiya

Staying true to your company’s vision and mission, and understanding your audience is critical to crafting messaging that is authentic and conveys your brand’s culture. We’ll discuss how JetBlue approaches its communications campaigns and how it responds to potential crises in a media landscape that is fast-moving media landscape.

10:15 a.m. to 11: 15 a.m.

Breakout: Partnering with Your Community to Enhance Your Corporate Brand with Chris Gent, APR, CPRC

In today’s business world, it’s essential to create authentic and valuable partnerships. Companies want to align with innovative, mission-driven nonprofits that can help meet their community outreach goals. Simultaneously, mission-driven organizations look to pair with companies that can offer brand visibility and help make investments in their unique causes. Learn helpful tips on how to forge creative partnerships that are mutually beneficial.

10:15 a.m. to 11: 15 a.m.

Breakout: The Heart of Your Mission – Internal Communications with Devon Chestnut, APR, CPRC

An organization’s brand is one of its most valuable assets. Did you know that employees can be your greatest brand ambassadors? Employees are walking billboards, representing your brand with every move. Whether they are functioning inside or outside of the organization, they are a reflection of your brand. Depending on their behaviors or actions, this could prove positive or negative. Educating employees about this critical role within the organization can make all the difference. Through internal communications, organizations can increase brand awareness among employees, helping ensure that an organization’s brand is represented in a positive and productive manner. Learn how you can turn your employees into brand ambassadors and the value it will bring to your organization.

10:15 a.m. to 11: 15 a.m.

Breakout: The Intersection of Branding and Digital Communications with David Capece

Brand communications has been revolutionized by today’s connected consumers in an always on digital world. Is brand strategy dead? No, in fact it remains as important as ever, as strong brands proactively manage the conversation with cohesive and compelling stories. Understanding the psychology of each digital platform enables brands to understand the drivers of consumer decision making, and customize brand and digital communications based on that mindset.

10:15 a.m. to 11: 15 a.m.

CN Breakout: Discussion with Mary Lunghi

11:30 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.

General Session Luncheon featuring Scott Stanzel of Amazon: Customer Obsessions – Building Smiles and Lasting Relationships

When a company has a smile incorporated into its logo, the leaders are serious about customer satisfaction. launched more than 20 years ago with the vision to be “Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they want to buy online.” So how does a company with more than 350,000 employees consistently bring a smile to the faces of its customers? It boils down to relationships, the basis or public relations. Amazon leaders start with the customer and work backwards to earn and keep customer trust.

Scott Stanzel will take conference attendees behind the curtain of one of the country’s most familiar global companies. Through his experience with consumer public relations, internal communications, global operations, and the worldwide Amazon Marketplace of more than two million third-party sellers, he has developed a catalogue of lessons learned in the effective management of relationships. Conference attendees will be inspired by the Prime innovation and precision that delivers products from A to Z around the globe daily.

12:50 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.

Breakout: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution with Adam Sharples Brooks, Ph.D.

As organizations are asked to compete with fewer resources and higher stakes, it is natural that communications professionals encounter sources of conflict and difficult dialogues within their organization. This interactive session asks participants to engage in critical self-assessment and provides information for how PR professionals negotiate tense situations and achieve conflict resolution in their teams and with their stakeholders.

12:50 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.

Breakout: Harmony Through Teamwork – Counteracting the Cacophony of Miscommunication with Jan Horton Spence

In the public relations industry, effective communication and teamwork are critical. Learning ways to set established protocols and clear processes of communication helps everyone serve clients and the overall organization better by creating synergy to accomplish objectives. In this highly interactive, high-energy presentation, Jan Spence will share her extensive knowledge of running a business to help attendees take their teamwork and communication skills to the next level.

12:50 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.

Breakout: When Is Paid Content the Best Route? with Chad Binette and Patrick Burt

We all strive for earned media coverage, but there are times when placed content communicates more effectively. Marketing communications and advertorials have their place in a strong communications plan. Learn the guidelines to use to ensure your strategies are diverse and effective.

12:50 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.

Breakout: More Than Just Words – Creating Digital Content in a Mega Corporation with Kelly Turner

How does content strategy relate to public relations? For starters, both are about effective communication – with customers, clients and in some cased colleagues. Kelly Turner will give a peak behind the curtain of how he helps drive AT&T’s internet content process using old-fashioned journalism techniques, customer-focused testing and a touch of gumshoe acumen.

12:50 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.

CN Breakout: A Discussion with Scott Stanzel

1:55 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.

Chocolate Break

2:10 p.m. to 3:10 p.m.

General Session featuring Susan McManus, Ph.D.: What Your Audiences Want and Expect

The 2016 presidential election demonstrated that opinion polls do not always present an accurate picture of who will vote and how they will vote. Whether you are conducting an employee survey to structure benefits strategically or searching for secondary research on which to base a communication campaign, Dr. Susan MacManus will unpack the process of evaluating the validity of secondary research and discuss how to develop survey questions to elicit accurate information.

3:20 p.m. to 4 p.m.

CN Breakout: A Discussion with Susan McManus, Ph.D.

3:20 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The George Washington University Strategic PR Master’s Program Panel Discussion

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Reception of the Presidents

7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Fire & Ice: The 60th Anniversary of the Golden Image Awards Banquet

Wednesday, August 9

8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Registration Desk Open

8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

CN Business Meeting

9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Breakfast & General Session with Colby Jubenville, Ph.D.: Personal Relations and Personal Branding

In business, it’s not just about relationships, it’s about personal relationships. But, the question remains, how do you build relationships that are, in fact, personal? It starts with being intentional about your approach, understanding key concepts that help build that approach and building a personal brand that others recognize. This session will start with the 10 most important concepts to understand when building personal relationships. Then it’s on to not just branding, but personal branding. If a brand is a promise wrapped in an experience, a personal brand is your promise wrapped in how you develop and deliver your meaning, make up and message.

10:35 a.m.

Closing & Drawing for 2017 Annual Conference Registration


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