November Program Recap

Unleashing PR Speed with the Race Through New York
Thursday, November 8, 2018 | 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
CoLab at the Pod

Presented in Partnership with Tallahassee’s American Advertising Federation Chapter

Top Takeaways

  • FPRA is looking at an exciting year. There was a 70% membership renewal rate statewide, with 75 new members since September 1. Start planning for the annual conference in Tampa, Florida, in August.
  • RPIE!
  • It’s all about storytelling.
  • Speed bumps will happen – crisis communication is vital in every industry.


On Thursday, November 8, Senior Director of Public Relations for Universal Orlando Resort, Alyson Lundell, APR, CPRC, joined members of the Capital Chapter to share a behind-the-scenes look at the launch of the Race Through New York (starring Jimmy Fallon) and the Fast & Furious attractions:

Research and Planning:

  • Targeted audience based on IP
  • Focused on vacation planning timelines
  • Determined core messages


  • Focused on unique stories. With Race Through New York, Fallon played several characters. By focusing on these different stories, Universal was able to continue to market the attraction without causing fatigue in the target audiences.
  • Blogs were integral in sharing stories and testimonials about the attractions.


  • Initial announcement
  • Deep storytelling including behind the scenes looks
  • Exclusive first looks for appropriate media and influencers
  • Grand opening announcement
  • Media preview
  • Grand opening

Speed Bumps and Hazards, i.e., Crisis Communication!

  • Race Through New York
    • Internal competition: Volcano Bay was slated to open the same year. Questions arose as to how and when they would market each attraction.
    • Forced date for the grand opening due to The Tonight Show taping schedule.
    • Weather!
  • Fast & Furious
    • Continued delays due to mechanical and technological issues.
    • Guest feedback about the appropriate age audience. Universal constructed new messaging regarding the age minimum for the ride.

Crossing the Finish Line

  • Race Through New York
    • 3,200 hits
    • 4.8 billion impressions
  • Fast & Furious
    • 1,250 hits
    • 2.1 billion impressions

As PR pros, we understand the necessity and value of research, planning, implementation, and evaluation, but it’s beneficial to be reminded and to watch RPIE in action. Alyson reinforced the value of a solid campaign, and the importance of being able to troubleshoot throughout the process. Finally, never underestimate the impact of powerful storytelling.

“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.” Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

-Kelly Corder, Director of Communications, Florida Commission on Offender Review