ABOUT US > HISTORY
FPRA was founded in 1938 by John W. Dillin, publicity director of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce at the time. Dillin and other publicists in the state established the organization as the Florida Association of Publicity Relations Directors with Dillin as the first president. During its second year, the name was changed to the Florida Publicity and Public Relations Association. It became the Florida Public Relations Association in 1951. Today, more than 1,000 FPRA members belonging to 15 chapters across the state unite in the common cause of enhancing and promoting the public relations profession.
What is now known as the Pensacola Chapter was founded in 1957 by Horace W. "Pete" Olcott, Public Relations Director at Gulf Power Company, as the Miracle Strip Chapter. The name of the chapter was changed to give the chapter a more specific identity as other chapters were formed along the Gulf Coast.
The Pensacola Chapter has a membership that reflects the diversity of the profession in the Pensacola area. For-profit corporations, the health care industry, social services and not-for-profit agencies, media outlets, sports teams and associations, public relations and advertising agencies, local government and the military are just some of business sectors represented by chapter members.
The chapter is committed to providing its members with opportunities to connect with other members, the media and the community as well as assisting its members grow as practitioners through local and statewide professional development offerings and accreditation. For more details on membership, visit our Membership page.
The Pensacola Chapter has enjoyed a tradition of success and recognition over the years, both as a chapter and as a result of the contributions of its members. The chapter has won Chapter of the Year honors on multiple occasions, Most Improved Chapter as well as the Chapter Administration, Outreach, Image Awards and Finance Administration Awards. At the 2006 annual conference, the chapter brought home the Best Newsletter Award and the President’s Award for Membership.
Several of the chapter’s past and present members are among the recipients of the Florida Public Relations Associations highest honors. 1996 chapter president Christian Bailey, APR, was the 1997 recipient of the Fleischman Award, named after Doris Fleischman, wife of Edward L. Bernays. The Fleischman Award, which honors the “behind the scenes” involvement and dedication of an FPRA member, was also awarded to 1999 chapter past president Eileen Perrigo, APR in 2006. Two-time chapter president Scott Harrington, APR, CPRC was honored in 1998 with the John Dillin Award, the association’s highest honor and recognition of professional contributions to the Florida Public Relations Association. In 2004, Harrington was honored as Past President of the Year. That same year, Pat Crawford, then out-going chapter president, was honored as Member of the Year. These are just a few examples of the collective and individual successes that have been achieved as a result of member practitioners taking advantage of all FPRA has to offer. Membership in FPRA is a sound professional investment.
Please join us at our next chapter meeting as we challenge ourselves and each other to become better practitioners and take an active role in the exciting future of the public relations profession.