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FPRA JAX announces 2012-2013 Board at Jaguar-themed kickoff luncheon

The Florida Public Relations Association Jacksonville Chapter(FPRA Jax), the local chapter of the nation’s oldest public relations organization, recently hosted its first luncheon under the direction of the 2012-2013 board. The program, “All In: The PR Strategies Behind the Jacksonville Jaguars,” featured special guest speaker Ryan Robinson, director of public relations for the Jaguars. Robinson addressed more than 50 Jacksonville public relations professionals and students at the University Club.

L to R: Cecily Sorenson, Maria Coppola, APR, Gia Ciccone, Julie Watson, Melissa Simpson, Ryan Robinson, Teresa Eichner, Trish Kapustka, APR, CPRC, and Carolyn Adams

“Inviting Ryan to speak to our membership was the perfect way to kick off our new year of professional development programs and networking events,” said Julie Watson, president of the FPRA Jax. “Our members always appreciate learning about the PR strategies and initiatives being implemented locally and the Jaguars are a perfect example of how to engage both local and national media.”

Robinson shared his PR techniques, which involve building personal relationships with each player and providing guidance on interacting with members of the media, who are allowed in the locker room with access to players five days a week. He urges the players to be honest, be themselves and be positive while being interviewed and notes that the media can either enhance or harm an NFL career.

Robinson also discussed the role of social media in professional sports, particularly Twitter, which can turn an off-hand comment into a national media storm. Most Jaguars players have a Twitter account and Robinson encourages them to “Think before you tweet – would your mom want to read that?” He also advises players to disconnect from social media while traveling from a game, particularly after a loss.

“The players are typically on a bus only an hour or so after a game is over,” said Robinson. “That leaves a lot of down time to read what people are saying, which can be very disheartening for a team that just faced a difficult loss. It’s never a good idea to post responses to comments when emotions are heightened.”

Also during the luncheon, newly installed FPRA Jax President Julie Watson announced her fellow board members for the 2012-2013 year. This year’s board members are as follows: Teresa Eichner as president-elect, Maria Coppola, APR as immediate past president, Cecily Sorenson as board advisor, Trish Kapustka, APR, CPRC as Image and accreditation chair, Carolyn Adams as treasurer, Phyllis Bell-Davis, M.Ed. as membership chair, Melissa Simpson as newsletter chair and Gia Ciccone as communications chair.

To learn more about FPRA Jax, its membership benefits and its programs, visit

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