April 4 Mini-Conference: The Art & Science of Public Relations

The Volusia/Flagler Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association will host “The Art Mini Conference logoand Science of Public Relations,” a mini-conference from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Thursday, April 4, at the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art at the Museum of Arts and Sciences (MOAS), 352 S. Nova Road in Daytona Beach.

This mini-conference is targeted to advertising, communications, marketing and public relations professionals, community relations and public support (development) professionals, area public information officers, and non-profit and business leaders. The Florida Public Relations Association is dedicated to developing public relations practitioners who utilize ethical practices to enhance the public relations profession. Join us for a day of professional development and gain effective insights to enhance your public relations efforts and stay up-to-date on industry trends.

$50 FPRA Members

$60 Non-Members

$25 Students

Price includes full day registration, lunch, and full access to MOAS until 5 p.m. at no additional cost. Register today to reserve your spot!

See the amazing promotional video for this event!

Check-in and networking 8 to 8:30 a.m. 

8:30 to 10 a.m.                       Welcome/Morning Keynote Presentation

“Capturing Sales Skills to Help Your Messaging Succeed”

Presented by Dr. John F. Riggs, Professor of Practice in Marketing and Director of the Centurion Sales Program at Stetson University, DeLand, Florida

John RiggsAre you a public relations practitioner who makes media pitches?  Are you a development professional who creates grant applications?  Are you preparing your client to testify before a legislative body?  Did you know that improving your sales skills could help you achieve greater success with your audiences? Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from internationally-recognized sales expert, Dr. John F. Riggs, who will help us better understand the sales skills we need to develop to accomplish our public relations goals. You will be captivated by his unique, engaging, and highly entertaining presentation and come away with a list of sales skills that can impact your professional practice.

Dr. Riggs is Professor of Practice in Marketing and Director of the Centurion Sales Program at Stetson University.  He earned a B.S. degree in health science from the University of Florida, an M.B.A. degree from Kennesaw State University, and his Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) in marketing from Kennesaw State University.

He has over 20 years of professional experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Over the course of his professional career, Dr. Riggs has held numerous roles. Starting as a sales representative, he soon moved into the role of corporate trainer for medical affairs and executive management. Soon thereafter, he became the director of sales for the U.S. and Puerto Rico divisions of critical care medicine, and eventually held the position of global vice president of contracting and pricing integrity for a biotech firm.

Apart from his responsibilities as a faculty member, Dr. Riggs is a national and international speaker and author on evidence-based business practices in professional selling, sales management and translational research in business.

10 to 10:15 a.m.                     Break

10:15 to 11:30 a.m.                       Morning Sessions

Morning Break-out Choices are:

“The Science Behind User Experience (UX) & Usability”

Presented by Dr. Barbara S. Chaparro, Professor of Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida

Barbara ChaparroUser Experience (UX) has become a buzzword in industry but the concept has been around for a long time. With its roots in Human Factors Psychology, UX professionals focus on human-centered design principles to enhance product usability or ease of use. We all know that usable products result in happy customers. Today, companies are interested in not only product usability but also the overall experience their customers have with their company. This involves communication via the company website, mobile presence, advertising, and even word-of-mouth dialogue. Understanding how to create an optimal user experience is paramount to customer satisfaction. This session will discuss and provide examples of various methods employed to optimize and assess the user experience.

Dr. Chaparro has nearly 30 years of experience in applied Human-Computer Interaction in both industry and academia. Currently she is a Professor in the Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology Department and lead the Research in User eXperience (RUX) Lab at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Research interests include the study of user experience (UX) of a variety of products and systems, usability assessment methods, and mobile computing. She has worked with many Fortune-100 companies to research the user experience and usability of a wide range of technologies, systems and products.

“The PR of Philanthropy”

Presented by Geo A. Ropert, APR, Founder and President of Ropert and Partners, Melbourne, Florida

With more than 85,000 nonprofit organizations and associations in the state of Florida, MC Geo Ropert Headshot1the competition for resources to fulfill each’s mission is won by those who best communicate, connect and build strong relationships with their supporters. Yet, most don’t have a strategic public relations plan nor employ the professionals – or have the tools – to execute it, leaving many to struggle and many more to fail every year. What about yours? Geo Ropert, APR, has worked for and with several nonprofits, from national organizations to state and local associations. In each, Public Relations was, and is, paramount to their success and longevity. Ropert will share why the nonprofit for which you work, or support must “think like a nonprofit, but act like a business.” He’ll show you how you can demonstrate to executives and board members the value of incorporating public relations into the core of their business strategy; yes, “business” strategy!

Ropert is the founder and president of Ropert and Partners Public Relations and Marketing Communications. He is a nationally-accredited, award-winning public relations professional with a diverse background and over 25 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors. Along with clients in the for-profit sector, Ropert works with national, state and local nonprofit associations and charitable organizations, helping them to implement strategies and tactics that build brand awareness and establish and nurture strong stakeholder relationships, leading to sustainable revenue and resources for important initiatives and causes.

He is a longtime member of the Florida Public Relations Association and has served in several leadership roles, including membership on the state board of directors and Space Coast Chapter president. In 2009 he was recognized by the Space Coast Chapter as “Member of the Year” and in 2013 as “Public Relations Professional of the Year.”

Currently, Ropert serves as the chairman of the Government Affairs Committee and a member of the board of directors of the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce. Ropert is also a member of the Community Advisory Board of The Children’s Hunger Project and previously served on the board of Brevard County’s leadership development organization LEAD Brevard. He is past chairman of the Space Coast Growth Management Coalition, as well the Florida Coalition for Children’s statewide Communication Workgroup. A Michigan native, Ropert resides in Viera, Florida.

11:30 to 11: 45 a.m.          Break

11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Lunch/Afternoon Keynote Speaker

“The Art & Science of Building Passion Brands”

Presented by Jeff Rosenblum, Co-Founder of Questus (a digital marketing agency), author (Friction: Passion Brands in the Age of Disruption), and documentary filmmaker, New York City, New York

Jeff Rosenblum

Jeff Rosenblum is widely regarded as one of the leading innovators in the field of digital marketing and has worked on teams that have helped revolutionize multiple industries.

Rosenblum is the author of Friction, a book about building passion brands in the age of disruption. The book leverages experiential story-telling to provide actionable guidance for empowering customers, creating evangelists and dominating the competition.

He is the co-writer and director of a groundbreaking documentary about the future of the advertising industry, The Naked Brand. It reveals the surprising story about corporations’ ability to improve the world, one small step at a time.

Additionally, Rosenblum is the Founding Partner of Questus, a digital marketing agency that has worked with some of the world’s most influential brands including American Express, Apple, Bloomberg, Capital One, Discovery Channel, Disney, Driscoll’s, General Mills, Ford, ESPN, The New York Times, Suzuki Motorcycles, The NFL, The Wall Street Journal, Universal Orlando, Verizon and more.

In his free time, Rosenblum is addicted to learning new skills, including telemark skiing, fly fishing, kite surfing and funk guitar. His guitar instructor summarizes these efforts succinctly, describing his playing as “mediocre, at best.”

He has lectured at some of the world’s top universities and presented at some of the marketing industry’s most influential conferences.

Rosenblum is on an Advisory Board for the Make-A-Wish Foundation as well as Special Spectators. He and his family built a school in a remote village in Nepal while working with the BuildOn organization. He lives in New York City with his wife and two kids.

1 to 1:15 p.m.               Break

1:15 to 2:30 p.m.               Afternoon Sessions

Afternoon Break-Out Choices are:

“The Lost Art of LinkedIn”

Presented by Vickie Pleus, APR, CPRC, from VP Communications, DeLand, Florida

vickiepleus-2_1Learn how to create an effective LinkedIn profile and professional brand in no time at all! The discussion will cover 1) Getting strategic with your online brand; 2) Skills and endorsements 3) Recommendations; 4) Group participation; 5) Company pages; 6) Sharing content 7) Demographics and more!

Pleus is the president of VP Communications, a public-relations consultancy based in DeLand, Florida. VP Communications provides integrated marketing communications, public relations, social media, corporate writing and more to small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Vickie is accredited in public relations (APR) – the only nationally recognized certification of the public relations profession – and is a Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC). She has nearly 20 years of experience in corporate and editorial writing, public relations, and nonprofit fundraising.

Pleus holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in communications from the University of Central Florida. Before starting VP Communications, Vickie worked for some of Volusia County’s largest employers — including Daytona International Speedway, Halifax Health, and Volusia County Government.

“Lights, Camera, App-tion! Creating Engaging Visuals with Your Smartphone”

Presented by Devon Chestnut, APR, CPRC, Manager, Communications at Cox Communications – Southeast Regions, Ocala, Florida

Learn tips and tricks on how to use your smartphone to capture high quality photos and Chestnut_Devonvideos. This presentation provides insight into a library of apps that can be used to create engaging graphics and videos in a matter of minutes. Target Audience: Anyone interested in video and photo smartphone apps that can be used to create compelling videos and how to take the best videos and photos with your smartphone.

Chestnut is the communications manager for Cox Communications, a broadband communications and entertainment company, providing advanced digital video, internet, telephone and home security and automation services. Her role includes managing Cox’s Southeast Region internal communications for an employee base of approximately 1,900, working within the states of Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. She also plays a pivotal role in several national company projects and initiatives. In addition, she supports the region’s community outreach efforts for Cox’s Ocala market.

A member of FPRA Ocala, Chestnut serves as Vice President of Membership for the Florida Public Relations Associations State Executive Board.


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