Florida Public Relations Association

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Logo of the Florida Public Relations Association.

Founded in 1938, the Florida Public Relations Association is the oldest public relations association in the United States. The statewide organization is composed of nearly 1,000 public relations professionals dedicated to:

  • Enhancing the professional development of its members,
  • Providing a forum for personal growth through interaction and resource exchange,
  • Serving as the "united voice" of the public relations profession in Florida,
  • Fostering the highest professional standards and ethics of its members, and
  • Gaining understanding and support for the performance of its members and the profession as a whole on behalf of all practitioners within the state of Florida.

Professional Chapters[edit]

Student Chapters[edit]


FPRA was founded in 1938 when Chamber of Commerce executives cut the subject out of their program at a statewide meeting in Jacksonville. John W. Dillin, publicity director of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, had made the trip to Jacksonville especially to participate in the program. On his return to South Florida, he stopped at Silver Springs to talk with Wilton Martin. They discussed forming an organization dealing with publicity and public relations. The owners of the attraction agreed to host those who would be interested. Invitations were extended to six others. Two meetings were held before calling an all-Florida meeting in Tampa where 45 attended. The group voted to form the Florida Association of Publicity Directors and elected Dillin to serve as president.

Executive meetings were held throughout the year and in several locations in the state prior to the first annual meeting in St. Augustine where Dillin had moved to take over a chamber of commerce management. The assembly drew representatives of attractions, chambers of commerce, newspaper and radio stations, advertising and display executives. It also was held simultaneously with the Florida Press Association and the Florida Junior Chamber of Commerce. Although Dillin wanted to develop a clinic for learning to do "publicity and public relations" better, it developed into a Florida promotional program.

In the second year, it was voted to change the name to the Florida Publicity and Public Relations Association, but before the meeting was concluded it was back to FAPD. The organization grew steadily until World War II when many members enlisted and were in service until 1946. Although it took time to refresh its activities, the association began to grow again. Finally, the name "publicity" was eliminated and adopted the "public relations" theme. Clinics were held in "learning to do the job" better, which was the objective in the first place.

University of Florida, University of Miami and Stetson University joined the learning program and written examinations were held at the conclusion of each clinic. After four years, Certificates of Attainment were issued. Chapters were formed throughout the state and the association grew to more than 1,000 members. Some of the universities formed student chapters. Those studying public relations were invited to state conferences and chapter seminars.

Today, there are student chapters at Florida State University, University of Central Florida, Rollins College, Bethune-Cookman College, Stetson University, Florida Southern College, Florida Tech, University of West Florida, as well as a student chapter in Jacksonville. [1]


FPRA participates in Universal Accreditation. Members can demonstrate their professional skills by sitting for the APR Accreditation in Public Relations exam. In addition, FPRA offers an even higher level of professional certification, giving members an opportunity to earn the title of Certified Public Relations Counselor.

2013-2014 Executive Committee[edit]

President – Chris M. Gent, APR, CPRC
President-Elect – Rachel Smith, APR, CPRC
Immediate Past President – Jeff Nall, APR, CPRC
Vice President, Accreditation & Certification – Tina Banner, APR, CPRC
Vice President, Annual Conference – Bryan Beaty
Vice President, Chapter Services – Danny Kushmer
Vice President, Communications & PR – Devon Chestnut, APR
Vice President, Finance – Kathleen Moye, APR
Vice President, Golden Image – Allison Campbell, APR
Vice President, Member Services – Julie Arnold
Vice President, Technology – Amanda Forbes Mestdagh, APR
Vice President, Planning and Research – Amanda Fliger, APR
Student Chapter Services Chair – Tangela Boyd
Counselors' Network Chair – Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC
FPRE Foundation – Ginya Carnahan, APR, CPRC

Executive Directors[edit]

Christopher Carroll, APR, CPRC
Cheray Keyes-Shima, APR, CPRC

Contact FPRA[edit]

40 Sarasota Center Blvd.
Suite 107
Sarasota, FL 34240
941.365.2135 Voice
941.906.1556 Fax
Email: state@fpra.org
Website: http://fpra.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FPRA.State
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fpra
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/fpraconnect
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fpra
Blog: http://fprablog.com

External links[edit]