2020 Call for Chapter Award Nominations

PRSA Tampa Bay Chapter – 2020 Call for Chapter Award Nominations

PRSA Tampa Bay is seeking your input on members that have made remarkable achievements in public relations and management practices, advancing the profession, meeting the needs of the community and strengthening our chapter. Please review the details below on each category and provide your comments on the most qualified candidates using the nomination form. Deadline for nominations is Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, at 5 p.m. Self nominations are encouraged. Please direct any questions to [email protected].

Deanne D. Roberts Excellence in Community Relations Award: This category recognizes a chapter member or local agency who has given pro-bono public relations support to one or more community organization throughout his or her professional career.

Excellence in Chapter Service Award: This award is presented to a chapter member who has been with the chapter for more than one year and has made outstanding contributions to chapter management and member programming.

Michael B. Manning Leadership Award: This award is presented to a chapter member who has demonstrated exceptional leadership within the chapter.

Sue Ellen Richardson “Rookie of the Year” Award: This award recognizes a chapter member who has been with the chapter for two years or less and has demonstrated the commitment to be involved and to make a difference in member programming.

Tampa Bay Chapter President’s Award: This award recognizes up to four chapter members who have gone above and beyond for the good of the chapter. Please provide full details of the project that individual completed.

Tampa Bay Chapter Life Achievement Award: This category honors a senior chapter member who has committed his or her professional career to public relations and has achieved numerous accolades in public relations management, community relations and overall PRSA service.

Nominate someone today!

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PRSA Tampa Bay ‘Teams’ Up with USF PRSSA

By Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA/Chair, PRSSA/New Professionals Committee PRSA

Tampa Bay members recently “teamed” up with an eager cadre of USF PRSSA members in our first-ever virtual “Resume Review” event. In years past, we have been able to physically interact with these future PR professionals to review and provide feedback on their resumes that will enable them to be better prepared for internship and job applications.

This year, obviously, presented new challenges. Yours truly is chagrined to report that he had a total and absolute Zoom-based technological meltdown, but USF PRSSA President Alanna Mccary saved the day by immediately transferring all participants to that Chapter’s Microsoft Teams page and the show was on!

The review session ran for 1 ½ hours, with lively and constructive conversations between PR pros and future-pros, and a comforting sense of “the future is bright for our profession” was felt by all of us. Feedback from USF PRSSA members has also been highly appreciative.

A sincere note of thanks to these PRSA Tampa Bay members who generously volunteered their time and expertise for our October 8 virtual event:

  • Jenna Stock, PRSA Tampa Bay Immediate Past President
  • Bart Graham, PRSA Tampa Bay Membership Chair
  • Joseph Priest, APR
  • James Raulerson, Past President, PRSA Tampa Bay
  • Scott Dietz
  • Leah Harms
  • Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, PRSA Tampa Bay Ethics Officer & Chair, PRSSA/New Professionals Committee


Throwback to our 2019 in-person Resume Review workshop with USF PRSSA students!

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Join the 2021 PRSA Tampa Bay Leadership Team!

PRSA Tampa Bay has set the standard for advancing the public relations profession and its professionals for more than 50 years. Making this possible is a legacy of outstanding volunteer leaders like you. And we need your help in 2021!

Your participation as a chapter leader makes a difference to all chapter members, and it helps you to get the most out of your membership experience. Learn new skills; form lasting friendships; and contribute your professional talents to benefit PRSA Tampa Bay and our community.

We are filling positions for elected officers and also accepting nominations for our 2021 committees. Self-nominations are encouraged.

Submit your nomination here

Which elected leadership positions are available for 2021?

Open board positions include the following:

  • President-Elect (1)
  • Secretary (1)
  • Treasurer (1)
  • Assembly Delegate (1)
  • Board Member (3)

When is the deadline?

The nomination form for elected officers must be completed by 5 p.m. on October 23, 2020.

What other volunteer opportunities are available?  

Open committee chair, co-chair or vice chair positions include:

  • Accreditation (must be accredited)
  • Assistant Treasurer
  • Digital Communications
  • Diversity
  • Independent Practitioners
  • Media Roundtable
  • Membership Recruitment
  • Membership Retention
  • Newsletter
  • PRestige Awards
  • Professional Development Day
  • Programs
  • Public Service
  • Scholarships
  • Social Media
  • Sponsorships
  • Students/New Professionals (must be accredited)
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Website/Blog

What happens next?

Elections will be held electronically in November. All members in good standing are eligible to vote. Elected board members and officers will be announced by the end of the year. Board members and committee members should plan to attend the PRSA Tampa Bay Leadership Retreat, date and location TBA.


If you have questions, please email [email protected].

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How to Cultivate Diversity and Inclusion as PR Professionals

By Juliana Marquez

More than 30 PRSA Tampa Bay members recently came together to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) as part of a Courageous Conversations series. The three virtual meetings were the first of many D&I conversations the chapter will have in the weeks and months ahead.

This is a summary of the recent conversations, which allowed people to express diverse perspectives and personal experiences related to the topic: ageism, gender equality, racism and lack of diversity in the workforce.

“The further I’ve advanced in my career, the more I saw the lack of diversity,” one participant shared. Others were hoping to become more educated and bring knowledge back to their companies.

To kick things off, facilitator Elana Powell of the Florida Diversity Council posed the question: “What do diversity and inclusion mean to you?”

A common stance shared by many participants was how they defined diversity as having representation from everyone in your community no matter race, religion, gender. Diversity is layered, it is more than what meets the eye. It is diversity in thought, expression, experiences etc. One participant stated, “My experience as a black person doesn’t speak on every black person, I don’t speak for an entire group of people, I have been the only black person in the room and it’s been stressful.” While describing the relationship between diversity and inclusion, this analogy was used; “Diversity is being invited to the party while inclusion is being asked to dance,” essentially stating that only true form of inclusion is by including everyone at all times.

Why does D&I matter to public relations professionals?

Diversity and inclusion are important to PR professionals because of their direct relationship with audiences. We must communicate a cohesive, authentic and transparent story. Without D&I we would only be telling a part of the story. Participants acknowledged that acquiring diversity in thought will likely point out whether a campaign may be offensive: “different people mean different meanings”. To expand, what is appropriate in one language or culture may be offensive to another. Keeping in mind that “bringing ideas and innovation makes business and emotional sense”, as another attendee stated. One of the participants informed that organizations with better diversity programs are 70 percent more likely to reach a new market. Throughout the three meetings it was expressed that professionals will not hesitate to leave an organization that lacks diversity. For this reason, a diverse and inclusive environment is essential to retain talent. It was also discussed that people prefer a comfortable work environment than obtaining higher salary. Participants also agreed that as PR leaders, they have the responsibility and the opportunity to be both storytellers and change agents for their respective organizations. The result is more vibrant and sustainable organizations.

How do we turn conversation into action?

Establishing trust in the workplace, even though challenging, is a step in the right direction to encourage diversity and inclusion. Participants shared that offering vulnerability and being intentional is an effective way of getting to know a person. This includes asking people about their wellbeing on a regular basis. “One way to build trust is to spend time on their level, be intentional it makes a difference in morale.” A huge part of diversity and inclusion is making sure people can be their authentic self. Campaigns should be a reflection of this environment. During one conversation it was suggested that “Communications professionals should not issue a statement unless they are willing to invest the time and resources to do what they say they are committed to.” Many PR campaigns lead to a loss in business trust because their statements are not followed by actions and the audience recognizes that.

So what should PRSA Tampa Bay do next?

The initial goal was to listen and learn from each other in order to build an even stronger, more diverse and inclusive membership. This was a great start, but the intent is to keep the courageous conversations going. If you’re interested in joining us, consider:

  • Sharing your time and talents as a member of the Diversity & Inclusion committee. Email co-chair Kecia Carroll at [email protected] for more information.
  • Making your voice heard by getting involved in PRSATB leadership and one of many committees
  • Engage with us on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts
  • Sharing your comments below.


Juliana Marquez is a University of Tampa student who attended all three of the sessions described above.

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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in the COVID Era

by Camila Rodriguez, PRSA Tampa Bay member and co-chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM)! HHM is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 every year, so now is the time to consider programming if you haven’t already! HHM is a chance to celebrate the important Latinx women and men who have shaped the community and the world around us, and now during COVID, it’s even easier to come up with virtual programing.

HHM was originally proclaimed in September 1968 during the tenure of President Lyndon B. Johnson, but it started as only one week. Then, 20 years later, the celebration was expanded to an entire month. The dates for the celebration may seem random but on Sept. 15, five Latin countries celebrate their independence: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

All Hispanic countries declare Spanish as main language, but every single country is different in how they express themselves, figuratively and literally. Indigenous areas have their own languages; and rice is not made the same way across Latin America. As such, this month is a great opportunity to learn about the nuances of the cultures, traditions and customs of different nations around the world.

It is important to note that appreciation and appropriation are two very different concepts. Cultural appropriation is the act of borrowing or stealing cultural artifacts or customs from a culture other than your own as a prop or to make a profit, while cultural appreciation is learning and honoring the culture along with its tradition and history with respect. Furthermore, as mentioned in a previous blog post, Looking at Communications through a Diversity Lens, a single Latinx person cannot speak for the entire community. So, when considering what program would work best for your organizations and key stakeholders, make sure to research your approach.

Here are some ideas for public relations professionals who want to help their organizations honor and appreciate HHM:

1. Event Program

1. Hosting a Latinx Zoom Panel that is relevant to the industry and target audience

2. Highlighting a locally owned Latin business by catering for the office and providing space for that business to share their culture (while following CDC guidelines with regards to COVID)

3. Hosting a virtual “How to Make Cafecito” session with a Latinx coffee shop and/or barista, while tying in how every culture drinks their coffee differently

4. Creating a “Virtual Passport” for contestants to complete items from a checklist in order to win a prize, while learning about Latin culture

5. Hosting an outdoor event to showcase local Latinx dance groups and the countries they represent

2. Social Media Campaign

1. Reaching out to the employee base and get testimonials about what Latinidad means to them and share them on the company’s social platforms

2. Publishing facts and historical references to members of the Latinx community who have made an impact in the industry or community

3. Compiling a list of local Latinx businesses close to the office or business and asking for short blurbs from each company to post on social

1. This strategy can also help build more followers for your own account!

4. Fundraising

1. Hosting a (virtual) fundraiser that benefits local scholarships for Latinx students – fundraisers have many forms, just make sure to follow CDC guidelines during implementation

2. Hosting a virtual Silent Auction through a platform or online store and donating the funds to Latinx community members and organizations

5. Public Service

1. Providing pro-bono services to serve majority Latinx communities

1. This idea has to be an endowed effort by the organization to continue to build trust in the community

2. Volunteering time to an organization that serves mostly Latinx community members while following CDC protocols

3. Attending local community events that are hosted by Latin affinity groups in the community


If there is an idea that was not included in this list, feel free to comment below or tweet to @camilarodr12 and @PRSATampaBay.

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Member Spotlight: Angela Walters Eveillard, APR

This Member Spotlight profiles Angela Walters Eveillard, APR, who is director of marketing and strategic communications for Hillsborough Community College. She joined PRSA Tampa Bay in 2003 and has served in numerous PRSA roles on a national, district and chapter level. Nationally, she currently serves as a member of the 2020 PRSA Board of Directors, and she previously served as chair of the 2019 APR Marketing Committee and chair of the 2018 District Council. For the PRSA Sunshine District, representing central Florida, she served as 2016 chair and 2014 secretary of the Executive Board. And for PRSA Tampa Bay, she served as 2012 president, 2009 and 2010 treasurer, and 2008 secretary, among many other roles

  1. First news publication you read in the morning?

Does Facebook count? 😊 My other morning go-to news source is NPR.   

  1. First public relations job?

I started my career at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), where I managed the marketing activities for a grant partnership between the U.S. Department of Education, the University of South Florida and MOSI. It was a fantastic first job, with the museum offering an incredibly dynamic working environment where young professionals could be involved in all facets of operations, and it projected my career on the right path.  

  1. How did you become interested in a term on the PRSA Board of Directors, and what did the selection process entail?

After serving as district council chair, I realized I wanted to continue to serve in a leadership role with PR practitioners across the country to impact our profession, and I also strongly feel that it’s essential for the next generation of leaders to have a diverse set of role models that look like them and reflect the workforce on a national level, because I didn’t necessarily have that growing up. The selection process for the board is stringent and includes an application with recommendation letters, and a panel interview with a nominations committee where you present and field questions, and after which the nominating committee makes its selection, and the annual leadership assembly officially approves it. It’s not for the faint of heart, and I applaud anyone who has put their name forward to the board!

This year’s PRSA national Board of Directors (with me in the middle) at PRSA national headquarters in New York City.

  1. Most rewarding part of serving on the national board so far this year?

The way this board has handled the continuously changing environment to keep PRSA moving forward is something I'm incredibly proud of, especially the way we've rolled up our sleeves and gotten to work all while managing the demands of jobs and home life. We are in a unique position to make decisions and lay the groundwork for change that will positively affect generations of PR practitioners, and working alongside these dedicated and committed professionals to do the work of the society has been the most rewarding aspect of my board experience.=

  1. Biggest challenge of adapting to the COVID-19 lockdown this year?

Mental stamina, because as PR professionals, we’re wired to juggle chaos, and this is a whole other level of chaos. Between the unknown factors of the pandemic, professional demands and personal life responsibilities, you have to take care of your mental health or it’s going to catch up with you.

  1. Advice to new public relations professionals?

Read and network as much as you can, and get involved in PRSA! This association has opened doors for me that would have been closed if it hadn’t been for a member helping me walk through those doors.

  1. Job you would pursue if you weren’t in public relations?

Without a doubt, I’d be a barista. I always joke about opening a coffee and tea bar where the staff is recovering PR practitioners and the hardest question they ever have to ask is, “Do you want cream and sugar with that?” 

  1. Favorite movie?

I’m a sucker for romantic comedies – name one, and I’ve seen it. But my all-time favorite is You’ve Got Mail, a movie I love so much that I’ve even done the You’ve Got Mail walking tour in New York City. #nojudgmentzone

At my wedding, with my husband, Richie, at NOVA 535, a renowned event venue in St. Pete.

  1. Favorite vacation?

Before I tied the knot, in 2018, my then-fiancé and I took a pre-honeymoon trip to Iceland, France and Greece, the last of which was where our friends were getting married, on the island of Santorini. Twelve days of seven flights, too many hotel reservations to count, four bags of luggage, and wedding planning activities from across the pond were a true test of future spousal survival, but on our last night, in Iceland, we saw the northern lights, which was on both of our bucket lists, and it was one of the top moments of my life.

Reaching new heights at the Louvre during my trip to Paris in 2018.

  1. Any three dinner guests?

For me, a great dinner consists of good food, laughs and thought-provoking conversation. I’d chose the late U.S. Representative John Lewis, to hear his stories that changed the world; my late Lola (Filipino for “Grandma”), Gloria, to get more of her delicious cooking and more embarrassing stories about my mom; and, last but not least, my late mother-in-law, Marie, who passed away before we got married, because I want the chance to get to know her better, and she was always the first to hit the dance floor.

Catching the northern lights, also known as an aurora borealis, in Iceland was a bucket-list experience I’ll remember forever. 

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Freelance Business Week Comes to Tampa Bay, September 14-18, 2020

According to a recent report by Freelancers Union, 57 million Americans performed freelance work in 2019, representing 35% of the U.S. workforce. And what this number looks like for 2020 remains to be seen, as many people affected by layoffs due to the pandemic begin to shift their focus as independent consultants and freelancers.

To connect the local freelance community, your fellow PR pros, Kevin Bakewell, APR and Paula MacDonald, APR are bringing Freelance Business Week (FBW) to Tampa Bay, September 14-18, 2020. Offered in a safe virtual environment, FBW is joining forces with other cities (including Austin, Miami and Buffalo) to bring a variety of business topics, networking opportunities and panel discussions to freelancers in all industries nationwide. The conference is free to attend.

In addition to Paula and Kevin serving as co-hosts and moderators, the program agenda includes Tampa Bay Chapter members Danielle Bayard Jackson, APR, Founder of TELL Public Relations and Karen Frashier, APR, Fellow PRSA, CEO of Advocate Marketing PR, as well as frequent national PRSA presenter Kami Watson Huyse, APR, Founder of Zoetica Media.

Conference organizers from the other participating cities will also bring their speakers to the virtual table to ensure a full week of valuable content relevant to independent workers.

Emily Leach, the founder of The Freelance Conference and the FBW concept, is guiding each host city and providing the foundational templates, tools and technology to connect independent business owners. The conference will also include a national panel on diversity and inclusion in the freelance industry.

To register for this free event and check out the current lineup of topics, visit

*Note: This is not a PRSA event.

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Donate to Mask Project Tampa Bay to Help Battle COVID-19

By Olivia Keegan and Joseph Priest

The coronavirus continues to threaten Tampa Bay, and our frontline healthcare workers need our help to stop it. Your donation to PRSA Tampa Bay’s GoFundMe campaign for the Mask Project Tampa Bay can play a part.

The Mask Project Tampa Bay is dedicated to bringing together our community by making masks and distributing these to workers at local hospitals and medical facilities who are sorely in need of additional masks. Since it was created in March as a grassroots volunteer effort, the group has sewn free masks for communities across seven local counties and contributed more than 43,000 masks, scrub caps and ear savers to help Tampa Bay contain COVID-19. However, for the project to continue at this rate and meet the requests of local hospitals, medical facilities and infected people needing assistance, the project is in need of donations so it can purchase more materials.

Please help PRSA Tampa Bay support this worthwhile effort by donating to our GoFundMe campaign at the link below. In addition, if you’re looking for other ways to help contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts or stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 updates in our community, please check out the resources listed further below. 

Click here to donate to the PRSA Tampa Bay Mask Project Tampa Bay campaign

Thank you for considering a donation. Please stay safe as we all help each other during this time of COVID-19.

Local COVID-19 Relief Funds and Opportunities


Local COVID-19 Information Resources


PRSA COVID-19 Resources


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Apply for the 2020 PRSA ICON Scholarship

The 2020 PRSA International Conference is a fully digital networking and educational event for professional communicators across all industries and in all stages of their professional journey.

Get ready for a vibrant online program packed with education, thought leadership, networking, business solutions, exhibits and healthy fun. ICON 2020 is designed for today’s public relations and marketing professionals, educators and students, with a special focus on industries innovating to stay ahead of the curve and ahead of the story.

PRSA Tampa Bay is offering one scholarship for a member to attend the fully digital conference held Oct. 26-29, 2020.  

About the scholarship: The scholarship recipient will be required to perform a volunteer role during the conference. Be sure to indicate in your application which role(s) you are willing to perform, if you are awarded a scholarship. The Tampa Bay Chapter scholarship will cover the full registration package ($795 value) for the conference. 

Deadline to apply: 5 p.m. on August 28.

Judging: A selection committee from another PRSA chapter will review and choose the scholarship recipient based on merit and need.

The winner will be notified by September 18.  Apply Now!

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In PRSA, I Found a Community That Inspires

By: Alexis Novales, Co-Chair of New Professionals Committee

As graduation was quickly approaching, I wanted to prepare myself as much as possible before eagerly jumping into the world of public relations. Informational interviews seemed like the best way to connect with industry leaders - absorbing all of the knowledge and expertise they were willing to share.

A common thread from almost every interview was the benefits of joining the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). While it sounded very convincing, I was still hesitant about officially joining.

It wasn’t until I participated in a PRSA Tampa Bay webinar that I was sold. Seeing the webinar hosted by a vibrant and successful woman of color immediately caught my attention. However, what truly convinced me was witnessing this supportive community of PR professionals be so open to hearing a new perspective and re-learning how they thought about the webinar topic. I left the webinar truly inspired.

After doing more research on PRSA and the Tampa Bay chapter specifically, I was delighted to see the countless insightful programs they offered. It was then that I realized this isn’t just an organization where people occasionally meet up and possibly promote their business. Rather, it is an inclusive group of public relations professionals who strive to inform and educate each other. This type of programming benefits PRSA not only because it helps its current members - but it also brings in a new audience.

In the ever-changing world of public relations, having a curious and open mind is key. Therefore, we must actively find what inspires us and consciously make the effort to learn from one another.

As the new co-chair of the PRSA Tampa Bay “New Professionals” committee, I hope to bring a fresh perspective. My eagerness to learn and build upon my academic foundation will allow me to collaborate with current members on the types of programs new professionals like myself want to see. My goal is to encourage the next generation of PR professionals to realize they have a place in this organization. I’m proud to be joining a field of forward-thinkers and perceptive leaders.

If you'd like to learn more about getting involved in the Tampa Bay Chapter of PRSA, just contact [email protected]. Don't forget to keep checking for information on future events. And go to to learn about the benefits of membership.

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