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February Monthly Meeting: Understanding, Building and Maintaining Effective Media Relations (and Yes, it Still Matters)

February 16, 2022 @ 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.


Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC, is director of Communications for CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, one of Florida’s 24 workforce development regions. She has been a member of FPRA since 2000 serving the Ocala Chapter and state executive committee in myriad roles and now represents the Association on the Universal Accreditation Board.


As a PR professional, Laura navigated the sensitive waters for United Way of Marion County in the wake of the 911 Terrorist Attacks; led the Appleton Museum’s international publicity and marketing campaign for the world’s largest exhibit of Princess Diana’s dresses and gowns, handpicked by the princess to be auctioned for charity shortly before her death; served on the Florida Unified Brand Advisory Panel and the Digital Brand Standards Task Force for the CareerSource Florida network; and reprised the CareerSource Florida Communications Consortium, which she chaired for two consecutive terms.


As a journalist, Laura worked as staff writer and editor for the New York Times Regional Company, Suncoast Media, Media General (now Tampa Bay Times) and Landmark newspapers. During that time, she received numerous awards including the New York Times Company’s Chairman’s Award. She also served as state officer of the Florida Press Club and charter officer of the North Florida Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.


A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Laura grew up in Washington state outside Seattle and moved to Florida in 1984 by way of South Dakota, where she attended Black Hills State University. She finished her degree in Political Science at the University of Florida.


Her husband, Joe Byrnes, was a long-time reporter, editor, and digital news editor for the Gainesville Sun and Ocala Star-Banner and now works as reporter/producer for NPR’s flagship station in Orlando, WMFE. The couple has two grown sons, a two-year-old granddaughter, and two rapscallion rescues (Jackson a terrier mix and Bella, a miniature Dachsund).

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Florida Public Relations Association


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