Event Recap: The Inaugural PR Paid Forward

On Friday, January 6, the Orlando Regional Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Orlando) and the Orlando Area Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA Orlando Area Chapter) hosted the inaugural PR Paid Forward Orlando event to give back to the Orlando community by providing Central Florida nonprofits with pro bono strategic communication counsel.

“The nonprofits in our community need both tangible and intangible resources to achieve their mission. What better way to give back than to share the expertise of local PR professionals who can give these organizations more ways to do so,” said Ali Beemer, APR of the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter. “We hope our counsel on the public relations function will help their yearly planning, spread awareness, and lead to greater impact for them.”

During the event, local public relations professionals were paired with a local nonprofit to tackle communication challenges they had, including content development, social media, media relations, and more.  Nonprofits included The Sharing Center, Redeeming Light Community Services, Recovery Connections, Total Restoration Transformation Center, The Central Florida Chapter of the National Black MBA Association, Inc., ACEs Matter Corp., 8 Cents in a Jar, Inc., The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida, Simply Amazing, and La Conexion Workshops.

“PR Paid Forward literally just changed the life of my nonprofit,” said Lashea Reaves, Executive Director of 8 Cents in a Jar, Inc. “Having one-on-one time with local PR professionals to gain insights was invaluable to our organization. One of the biggest takeaways for me was working with my PR counselors on a checklist of PR, marketing, and communications initiatives we can implement to increase our brand awareness, build relationships with news outlets, and be prepared to tell even more stories in the future.”

PRSA Orlando and FPRA Orlando hope to host this event annually, to support Central Florida nonprofits and the Orlando community at large. 

“It was exciting to see public relations professionals from a variety of industries including healthcare, education, and finance, come together to support Central Florida nonprofits in elevating their message to help even more Orlando residents,” said Wendy J. Roundtree, APR, of the PRSA Orlando Regional Chapter. “Great things happen when we come together to serve our community.”

Thank you to our venue host the Rollins Hamilton Holt School of Professional Advancement and Graduate Studies. The Holt School provides affordable and flexible bachelor’s and master’s programs with the flexibility and support designed to fit working adult learners. More recently, Rollins launched a new graduate degree, the Master of Arts in Strategic Communication focused on combining theory and real-world practice to solve social problems in a multicultural world. If you have specific questions, please contact Doragnes Bradshaw, director of operations.

Plus, thank you to our event sponsors, Edyth Bush Institute (EBI). EBI’s new initiative entitled Empowering Good equips local nonprofits with the tools necessary to succeed in the post-pandemic environment. In partnership with Orange County, this 6-month capacity building program, exclusively for nonprofits, supports long-term sustainability and growth. The program covers How to Measure Your Impact, How to Manage Risk, Telling Your Story, Fundraising and much more. If selected, participants attend free of charge through an Orange County grant. For more information or to apply, click here.

To stay up to date on future announcements from PRSA Orlando, visit prsaorlando.org.