Sunday, August 8

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

FPRA 2021 Topgolf Outing

Whether you’re an aspiring golf pro or you’re picking up a club for the first time, Topgolf is everyone’s game. It’s competitive. It’s fun. Join FPRA’s Topgolf event at this year’s 82nd Annual Conference. Families are welcome. This event includes three hours of play and great food.

Cash bar available. Registration for this event is not included in conference registration.

Download Topgolf Flyer

Noon – 3 p.m.

LeadershipFPRA Orientation for Class VI

Participants for LeadershipFPRA Class VI will meet for the first time to learn about the opportunities and takeaways planned in the coming year. The foundation for building camaraderie begins at this interactive and engaging orientation, and class members will walk away enthused about the future sessions, speakers and field trips available through LeadershipFPRA.

FOUNDING SPONSORS: Roger & Shelley Pynn
SPONSOR: Caldwell Trust Company
Partnering Sponsors: The Maue Center & UCF Nicholson School of Communication and Media

Learn More About LeadershipFPRA

2 – 2:45 p.m.

The Value of Earning Accreditation

APR is considered the mark of distinction for those who demonstrate commitment to the profession and its ethical practice. Currently, there are more than 5,000 public relations professionals worldwide who have earned this voluntary credential. Find out how you can join them. Leading this session will be VP of Accreditation and Certification Lisa Murray, APR, CPRC.

2:45 – 3:30 p.m.

The Value of Earning Certification

Have you earned your APR? Take your distinction further by becoming a Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC). Join this informative session to learn how you can prepare for the CPRC exam. To sit for this exam, you must have your APR designation and at least 10 years of public relations experience. Leading this session will be VP of Accreditation and Certification Lisa Murray, APR, CPRC.

6 – 9:30 p.m.

The President’s Welcome Reception

Welcome to Orlando! Join FPRA State President Alyson Gernert, APR, CPRC, as she kicks off the 82nd FPRA Annual Conference. Enjoy an evening of food, drinks and networking.

Monday, August 9

8:30 – 8:45 a.m.

Welcome & Annual Meeting

Join us as our VP of Annual Conference Lindsay Hudock, APR, opens FPRA’s 82nd Annual Conference.
Transforming our brands, our profession and our communities.

Conducting the official business of FPRA will be FPRA State President Alyson Gernert, APR, CPRC. During this year’s annual business meeting, the membership will vote on the presented slate of officers for the 2021-2022 year.

8:45 – 9 a.m.

APR & CPRC Recognitions

The Annual Business Meeting will close with the recognition of the newly Accredited and Certified members led by VP of Accreditation and Certification Lisa Murray, APR, CPRC.

9 – 10 a.m.


How to Leverage Social Media to Go Viral & Gain Publicity!
Presented by Jon Jacques

Imagine if you had the power to get your product, service, or message out to millions of people … at the push of a button?!

During this year’s opening keynote, you’ll learn how to properly leverage social media to unlock this power! Viral expert and influencer, Jon Jacques, will reveal the secrets to gaining millions of organic views, attracting free publicity, and unlocking once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

In a few short years, Jon’s viral strategies have generated over 1 billion views and $150 million in sales for his clients, which include Disney, Honda, Sony, Starwood, AT&T and Anheuser-Busch.


  • The truth about why most of your posts max out at 100 to 200 likes! (HINT: It has very little to do with what you’re posting)
  • The dangerously effective tactic that Jon used to gain 34 million views on a video … without spending $1 on advertising
  • How to effortlessly attract potential press opportunities and brand partnerships via social media

10:25 – 11:25 a.m.


CN Roundtable 1
CN members are invited to attend a members-only roundtable discussion with Ben Deutsch.

Breakout 1A
How to Use Social Media for Effective Always-On Brand Storytelling
Presented by Will Ayers Jr.

Effective brand storytelling is the foundation of a successful public relations campaign and engaging content is the driving force that connects brands with consumers. This presentation will examine how brands are leveraging social media to drive brand affinity, brand loyalty and audience engagement through always-on brand storytelling.

Breakout 1B
Managing Stress as a Communicator in the Wake of COVID-19
Presented by Deborah Beidel, Ph.D., ABPP

Last year, UCF RESTORES® — a leading nonprofit clinical research center and trauma treatment clinic – pivoted to helping individuals cope with the unique stressors presented throughout the height of COVID-19 and prepare to battle mental health challenges in the wake of a global pandemic … and for good reason. Though the pandemic’s peak may now be in the rear-view mirror, it’s no secret that many of us are still navigating its fallout and helping others do the same.

In this session, join UCF RESTORES® Executive Director Deborah Beidel to explore the various mental, emotional and physical impacts of prolonged traumatic events, understand stressors unique to those in marketing and communications, and learn how we can come together to support others in our lives – including friends, family, clients and colleagues.

Breakout 1C
Public Relations and Digital Regulations: How New Laws Are Affecting PR Practice in the 2020s
Presented by Cayce Myers, Ph.D., LL.M., JD, APR

The proliferation of digital regulations has a huge impact on public relations practice in the 2020s. PR practitioners communicating on social media, websites and other digital platforms need to have a working knowledge of the changing digital landscape to effectively communicate with diverse publics. This presentation discusses recent issues in online regulation, focusing on U.S. and international laws that are affecting communication, reputation management and intellectual property. Specific attention is paid on the liability of online platforms, changing privacy laws that affect gathering user content, regulation of big data research, the importation of foreign law to U.S. companies and how fake news and disinformation affects online organizational reputation. Attendees will gain insight on trends in digital regulation, and how PR practitioner’s work will be impacted over the next decade.

Breakout 1D
Business Storytelling the Hollywood Way
Presented by Doug Williams

This session will explore business and organizational storytelling through the prism of movies. From that perspective, it will examine how and why stories work or don’t work; how to structure a narrative that keeps audiences engaged; the imperative of creating conflict; how to develop “characters” in ways that make for a better, more persuasive, more interesting story; and explore research that demonstrates clearly that stories, effectively told, have the power to change minds. The discussion will be largely driven by an analysis of what Hollywood insiders agree, but will not admit, is the Great American film, and then apply those lessons to PR practices.

11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m


Join us for a special luncheon in true FPRA style as we honor outstanding individuals and chapters, award the Dr. Bob Davis, APR, CPRC, Student Scholarship and announce the recipient of the Florida Public Relations Education Foundation’s newest scholarship, the Dr. Jay Rayburn, APR, CPRC, Student Scholarship, endowed by Joe Curley, APR, CPRC. We will also bestow the coveted Chapter President of the Year and Chapter of the Year awards. This luncheon features the traditional presentation of the Dillin Dessert.

At this luncheon, we’ll also present the Joe Curley Rising Leader Award, which is intended to identify and honor up-and-coming individual FPRA members who demonstrate emerging leadership traits along with dedicated active involvement in FPRA chapter activities, programs, functions and events.

DILLIN DESSERT – Generously Sponsored by Publix Super Markets

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.


Breakout 2A
10 Marketing Metrics That Mean Absolutely Nothing (& What to Track Instead)
Presented by Braden Becker

These days, marketing and communications managers are hearing a provocative rhetorical question ripple across the industry: “Do you need analytics for every marketing campaign you run?” This is the wrong question. The one we should be asking is, WHICH analytics do you need for every campaign you run? In this session, you’ll hear marketing blasphemy: There are at least 10 totally worthless, maddeningly overrated metrics you shouldn’t be analyzing (or that you’re probably analyzing wrong). You’ll also learn which metrics to track instead, where you can find them, how to calculate them and some common uses for each one.

Breakout 2B
Is Strategic Planning by the PR Department Strategic or Planned?
Presented by Jay Galbraith

Do we get so wrapped up in our plans that we forget we are part of a bigger enterprise? Do we enjoy the day-to-day aspects of our job so much that we avoid the strategic planning? As noted storyteller Don Davis asks — are you spending more time “tuning” or are you actually “playing”?

This time together will help ensure that our plans are a supportive part of our enterprise.  We will talk about how to ensure that we are “at the table” when strategic decisions are made.  Moreover, we will delve into the elements of a planned “strategic plan” and how to execute it.

Breakout 2C
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion as Corporate Social Responsibility: How PR Can Lead Positive Change
Presented by Nneka Logan, Ph.D.

This presentation will discuss historical and contemporary issues in DEI and then situate DEI as a part of an organization’s CSR. It will also explain why public relations practitioners are well suited to lead these efforts. In addition, attendees will learn why PR that is focused on social good is more important than ever as well as how PR can play a vital role in leading DEI and CSR efforts. Examples of organizations who do this well, along with several best practices will also be shared.

Breakout 2D
The Trust Transformation
Presented by Roy Reid, APR, CPRC

Trust is an essential ingredient in our personal and professional relationships. It’s also the highest aspiration of our work as communicators. In addition, professional communicators should be the voice of advocacy for trust within their organizations. The Trust Transformation is an evidence-based program designed to help you grow the most fulfilling, productive and enriching relationships through a more intentional effort to cultivate trust. By focusing on trust as the foundation of your relationships, beginning with yourself, you will produce important and tangible benefits. This program will equip and train you to cultivate stronger trust in your relationships and become a more trusted voice in your work. In addition, there are tools and actionable ideas within the program that address your health and wellbeing.

Breakout Session 2E
Mindfulness Skills for Public Relations
Presented by Kenneth Morgan-Schleuning

During this session, attendees will learn how to practice and develop mindfulness skills through meditation that can improve productivity, protect against burnout, help manage stress, and nurture resilience. Specifically, Kenneth will teach participants mindfulness techniques that build the skills of clarity, concentration and equanimity in the workplace and in their personal lives.

3 – 4 p.m.


“You Said What to the Reporter?” 25 Years of Learnings Working for an Iconic Global Brand
Presented by Ben Deutsch

As the former vice president of corporate communications for The Coca-Cola Company, Ben Deutsch had a bird’s-eye view of a business that operates in more than 200 countries and a hands-on role managing the issues and challenges that tested the corporate reputation of the global beverage company. Deutsch will share his career journey and personal experiences – the good and not-so-good – that helped shape his approach to communications, leadership, diversity, building relationships and advancing within an organization.

SPONSORED BY: Firehouse Subs and the FPRA Jacksonville Chapter

4:45 – 5:15 p.m.

Zumba Workout

Ready to work up a sweat? Join us for a special 30-minute Zumba class with FPRA member Alayna Curry, APR, a licensed instructor for more than 10 years. If you’ve never tried it before, Zumba is a type of dance fitness that uses music from around the world to get you moving. It’s easy to follow for people of any fitness level, as all the moves can be modified to your comfort. Come dressed in workout clothes and don’t forget your water and a sweat towel!

Tuesday, August 10

8:50 – 10 a.m.


Transformation and Public Relations: A Perpetual State of Change
Presented by Lynn Hanessian

The pandemic can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the advancement and impact of public relations. As we recover from unprecedented disruption and loss, we’ll look forward to how we are able to advance our profession and the practice of our craft — one uniquely able to help our organizations and colleagues thrive. Illustrated by intensive Edelman Trust Barometer research conducted from the beginning of the pandemic, we are able to understand and respond to dramatic shifts in trust and expectations, with clear lessons for all of us.


  • Meeting the expectations of your colleagues, customers and stakeholders is no longer optional. Business performance and success relies on public relations.
  • There is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to communications. Understanding your audiences and stakeholders and embracing analytics at all stages of your work has never been more important as media, content, beliefs and individual experiences become more and more diverse.
  • Continuous learning is the foundation for a successful public relations career—at any stage. Building that into your personal development, job performance and the characteristics of your teams should be reflected in your KPIs.

10:15 – 11:15 a.m.


CN Roundtable 2
CN members are invited to attend a members-only roundtable discussion with Lynn Hanessian.

Breakout 3A
Strategies for COVID-19 Recovery in a Hotbed State
Presented by panel speakers Donna Mirus Bates, Kena Lewis and Dr. Lindsay Neuberger

March marks the one-year anniversary of when COVID-19 began wreaking havoc on the U.S. This panel of highly respected executives and scholars from the Central Florida area will provide a robust retrospective on what happened in the state of Florida and what could have been done differently. Representing key industries of healthcare, education, tourism and entertainment, panelists will share the challenges they faced, the tough decisions they made and the candid conversations they’re having today about how we move forward.

Breakout 3B
Half Hearts and Whole Minds: A New Approach to Internal Communication
Presented by Dan Farkas

In a world of B2B, B2C, social, digital, traditional and evolving media, internal teams have a growing influence on an organization’s mindset and perception. Pandemics, virtual schooling, remote work and general life have made it much harder to effectively communicate with these vital people. The reality is, organizations must rethink ways to engage their teams to reflect the new ways of conducting business.

In this session, a new approach in internal communication. Using evolving trends in online learning, the session will identify new ways to build transparency, comprehension and adoption of key concepts. Attendees will also learn how to better assess progress in a way that aligns with organizational goals and objectives.

Breakout 3C
PR in a Time of Heighted Awareness on Racial Equality
Presented by Wilson Camelo

Brands and companies are more focused than ever on issues of disparities and inequalities. This poses both a challenge and an opportunity for public relations practitioners. To be effective today and into the future, we must go beyond diversity and inclusion efforts, and integrate culturally relevant messaging, relationship building and tangible actions to position our clients and brands favorably in an environment of heightened racial awareness.

In this session, we will discuss the important role public relations must take in helping companies and brands navigate these challenges and grow in the future. Research shows that by the year 2042, ethnic/racial minorities will be the majority in the United States. This means brands must act today but also position themselves for the long term with multicultural markets.

Breakout 3D
Media Training C-Suite Executives
Presented by Joel C. Staley

Joel Staley trains communications professionals on how to train others to be better media spokespersons. In this advanced one-hour course, Joel shares the following skills and knowledge:

  • How to persuade an executive that he or she needs media training
  • Elements that should be included in an effective media training session
  • Tips for excelling in a Zoom/video interviews

11:30 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.


Building an Effective Multigenerational Workforce
Presented by Jeff Butler

Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, Millennials and soon Generation Zers will all work together to accomplish common organizational goals. But with differences in each of their viewpoints, upbringings, culture, ideas, beliefs and experiences, it is likely organizations will see some tiffs or clashes. This makes managing four different generations in the workplace an extremely difficult task to accomplish, though not impossible. With the right guidance, support and advice, the task of managing these four generations under one roof is achievable.

In this program, best-selling author Jeff Butler, backed by a decade of psychological research, shares insights about motivations, differences and communication styles among people of different ages. You will learn how organizations across various industries are thriving with a multigenerational workforce. And how yours can too. Through this program you’ll find specific actionable strategies to manage your cross-generational challenges and turn your multigenerational workforce into a competitive advantage.


  • Discover potential points of generational conflict and tactics to handle them
  • Learn how to strengthen cross-generational communication
  • Obtain specific strategies to leverage multi-generational opportunities

12:45 – 1:15 p.m.


1:30 – 2:30 p.m.


Journalism Trends and Media Pitching
Presented by Lauren B. Worley

Media pitching and public relations have transformed as digital platforms have taken over as our primary source of information. They’ve also changed how reporters do their jobs and how news and media outlets present stories to their subscribers. During this session, we’ll talk about top tips and emerging practices for pitching stories and getting coverage in a challenging and crowded media environment.


  • Understanding how local reporters and media outlets are communicating with their subscribers drives how and when they share their content.
  • Not all stories deserve equal treatment on all platforms so creating a powerful communications plan requires understanding platform audiences.
  • Using stories, real-experiences and consumer-generated content is a powerful way we can improve our communication efforts.

2:45 – 3:35 p.m.


CN Roundtable 3
Stories from the Front: A Conversation
CN members are invited to attend a members-only roundtable discussion with Lauren Worley.

Consumers and citizens are expecting more citizenship leadership from companies. Over the past 18 months, brands and organizations have experienced a revolution in how they communicate with consumers in an authentic, individualized way — meeting where they are and embracing their individualized way — meeting where they are and embracing their individual experiences. During this session, we’ll talk about some of those stories from the frontlines during the pandemic, civil unrest and other significant culture changes and how we as communicators and marketers can use our own experiences and storytelling to better connect with our changing audiences.

6 – 7 p.m.


Join us for the 64th Annual Golden Image Awards. Founded by FPRA, the Golden Image Awards have been a standard of public relations excellence recognizing outstanding public relations programs in Florida. This year’s theme is Goldchella: A Festival of PR Talent

SPONSORED IN PART BY: Premier Sotheby’s

7 – 10 p.m.


Join us for a Festival of PR Talent as we celebrate FPRA’s 64th Golden Image Awards. During this magical evening PR professionals throughout the state will be recognized for their great work and contributions to the Association and the profession.

Wednesday, August 11

9 – 10 a.m.


From PR Pro to CEO: A Conversation with First Watch’s Chris Tomasso
Presented by Chris Tomasso

Join us for a candid conversation with First Watch CEO and President Chris Tomasso. Chris led public relations and marketing efforts for prestigious brands like Hard Rock Café and Cracker Barrel before joining First Watch, the nation’s leading breakfast, brunch and lunch concept. He’ll share stories and learnings from his experience helping to grow First Watch from 50 to 400 restaurants during his 15-year tenure, including an inside look at how a strong communications strategy helped him lead the brand to prosperity during the largest public health crisis in modern history.


  • When it comes to personal and professional growth, seek out mentors and build relationships! Reach out to your boss, your CEO, someone you admire in the industry, and ask them to lunch.
  • Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. It’s OK to take unconventional steps (strategically, of course) to make an impact!
  • During times of both prosperity and crisis, communicating with an organization’s internal audience — its employees — should remain the first and most important priority. Transparency is key, and without it, trust falters and confidence in leadership can plummet.
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