Strategy that Sticks: 40 Years of Essential Partnership

40 Years

Everything has changed over the last 40 years … except the value of strategy. Through public relations advice, counsel and program management, our team helps visionary leaders achieve meaningful outcomes to thrive in a future in which the only constant is change.

Essential Since 1984

A brief timeline of Curley & Pynn’s history of 40 years and the events that have shaped our firm into what it is today.

1984

Following a longstanding friendship formed as colleagues in the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA), Joe Curley APR, CPRC, and Roger Pynn APR, CPRC, left their corporate jobs to start Curley & Pynn Public Relations Management, one of Orlando’s first agencies dedicated to the practice of public relations.

1984 - Joe Curley APR, CPRC, and Roger Pynn APR, CPRC, hang sign for new Curley & Pynn Public Relations Management, Orlando’s first public relations agency.

Curley & Pynn secures its first client, Florida Cypress Gardens, a botanical garden and theme park in Winter Haven, Florida.

Curley & Pynn welcomed its first employee, Joan McCain. A 1982 graduate of the University of Central Florida and a 2007 inductee into the school’s Alumni Hall of Fame, McCain would later return to her Alma Mater to become a leader at the renowned Nicholson School of Communication and Media.

1988

The firm introduced its first “Four Steps to Professional Success,” which have shaped the philosophy and culture that persists today. Later, the fifth step was added to ensure personal accountability and responsibility in everything we do. Read more about our Five Steps.

1988 - The firm introduced its first “Four Steps to Professional Success,” later added by a fifth step.

Curley & Pynn begins its partnership with Universal Studios Florida. Since 1988, the agency has supported grand openings for its three theme parks, hotels and attractions, as well as other activities to position Universal Orlando Resort as a top destination.

1988 - Curley & Pynn begins its partnership with Universal Studios Florida.

1991

Curley & Pynn partnered with Kennedy Space Center to launch the astronauts’ memorial for those who have died in service to the space program. The campaign garnered a Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Silver Anvil Award—the industry’s highest honor—and an FPRA Grand All-Image Award.

1991 - Curley & Pynn wins (PRSA) Silver Anvil Award – the industry’s highest honor.

1993

Curley & Pynn supported Orlando’s bid to become a host city for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, including an idea to transform the top of City Hall into a soccer ball.

1993 - Curley & Pynn supported Orlando’s bid to become a host city for the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

1994

While it’s tough to pinpoint the exact time when the world began to fully adapt to the internet and shift digital, 1994 marked the year of the first online newsroom, beginning the transition from traditional media relations to the digital PR world we live in today.

1995

On March 6, 1995, Curley & Pynn welcomed Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, as communications specialist. He was later promoted to vice president/partner and would eventually become the firm’s sole owner and president in 2018.

1995 - Curley & Pynn welcomed Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, as communications specialist.

1996

With Curley & Pynn’s support, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts launched its innovative “KidSuites” during a press trip with over 50 journalists and their children from around the country. Today, there are more than 1,100 KidSuites in 40 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels worldwide. Hailed as the first major change in standard hotel room design in more than 40 years, KidSuites was named as a “best practice” in the lodging industry by a Cornell University study sponsored by the American Hotel Foundation and American Express.

1998

Curley & Pynn has a history of helping to set Guinness World Records. In 1998, the Seminole Hard Rock Café in Orlando tapped Curley & Pynn to manage a special ceremony for its grand opening, which set the record for the world’s largest guitar jam as verified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Over the years, Curley & Pynn went on to help its clients set several other Guinness World Records, including the world’s largest crayon, largest margarita and largest drumroll, to name a few.

1998 - Curley & Pynn has a history of helping to set Guinness World Records.
1998 - Curley & Pynn has a history of helping to set Guinness World Records.

2003

With the launch of social media platforms like LinkedIn and MySpace, and soon after Facebook and Twitter, the PR landscape would shift forever, changing the way companies communicate with their audiences and creating new opportunities for engagement and relationship-building in an ever-growing digital world.

2004

Joe Curley, APR, CPRC, transitioned into retirement.

2004 - Joe Curley, APR, CPRC, transitioned into retirement.

Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, served as president of the PRSA Orlando Chapter.

With a team of many proud Knights, Curley & Pynn helped University of Central Florida Athletics “Charge On” by distributing more than 100 full-sized cutouts of the new head football coach, George O’Leary, around town to spark excitement ahead of his first season.

2006

Curley & Pynn earned Federal Service Mark Registration as ‘The Strategic Firm®’ (Feb. 27, 2006). Later that year, the company also trademarked registration for the Message Matrix® (May 23, 2006), its proprietary message development and training program.

2009

FPRA – America’s oldest professional communications society – honored Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, with the association’s highest award, the John W. Dillin Professional Award.

2009 - FPRA honored Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, with the association’s highest award.
2009 - FPRA honored Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, with the association’s highest award.

2010

Curley & Pynn aided Visit South Walton’s recovery from the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, helping the destination change perceptions about the cleanliness of its beaches and drive visitation to pre-crisis levels.

2011

Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, was inducted into the UCF Nicholson School of Communication and Media Hall of Fame.

2013

Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, was named 2013 Public Relations Professional of the Year at the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter Image Awards gala. He was selected by previous recipients of the award for his dedication and contribution to the profession and the community. Here, you can see Ward posing with his father as he accepts the award.

2013 - Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, was named 2013 Public Relations Professional of the Year.

2016

Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, served as president of FPRA. During his tenure, Pynn founded the LeadershipFPRA program, a formal leadership development program created to provide participating members with the tools they need to become stronger leaders in their organizations, in their communities and in FPRA. He remains one of the program’s sustaining sponsors.

2018

As a proud UCF alumnus, Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, decided to give back to his alma mater by serving as the chair of the university’s alumni board of directors. The UCF Alumni Board formulates and executes plans, policies and programs to benefit the efforts of UCF Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving, which maintains connections between more than 280,000 alumni, students and friends of UCF.

After 23 years with the company, Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, purchased Curley & Pynn and assumed the role of president.

2018 - Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, purchased Curley & Pynn and assumed the role of president.

2019

Heather Keroes, APR, served as president of the PRSA Orlando Chapter.

Trusted Curley & Pynn advisers Heather Keroes, APR, and Kacie Escobar, MBA, APR, were promoted to become the fifth and sixth vice presidents in Curley & Pynn history.

UCF tapped Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, to deliver a commencement speech to thousands of summer graduates.

2020

Kacie Escobar, MBA, APR, served as FPRA Orlando Area Chapter president from September 2020 to August 2021.

2022

Curley & Pynn received the UCF “Champion’s Award” for its integral role in supporting the University’s growth and transformation as consistent advocates and champions.

After 16 years in Maitland, Florida, Curley & Pynn moved back to downtown Orlando, establishing its new office in the Mills 50 District at 1516 Hillcrest St., Ste. 210, Orlando, FL, 32803.

2022 - Dan Ward hangs Curley & Pynn sign in new Orlando office.

After 38 successful years with the company he helped to start, Curley & Pynn co-founder Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, officially retired.

Not long after announcing his retirement, Curley & Pynn co-founder Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, was honored by PRSA Orlando Chapter with the 2022 Geri Evans, APR, Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedicated service and leadership to advance the public relations profession.

2023

Curley & Pynn co-founders Joe Curley APR, CPRC, and Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, were honored with lifetime memberships in FPRA, the highest, most prestigious honor awarded only six times by the Association, which signified the duo’s impacts on the industry, the Association and the business community in Florida.

2023 - Curley & Pynn co-founders Joe Curley APR, CPRC, and Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, were honored with lifetime memberships in FPRA.

Vice President Kacie Escobar, MBA, APR, was named “Member of the Year,” for her dedicated service to the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter and the Florida Public Relations Education Foundation. Escobar has volunteered in numerous roles on the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter board since 2013 and is a graduate of LeadershipFPRA.

2023 - Vice President Kacie Escobar, MBA, APR, was named “Member of the Year,” by the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter.

2024

Since opening its doors in 1984, Curley & Pynn Public Relations Management – The Strategic Firm® – has been at the forefront of the public relations industry in Florida, building a reputation for its emphasis on bottom-line outcomes, business acumen and a commitment to telling clients what they need to hear. This approach has led to more than 140 award-winning campaigns, immeasurable community impact, an unparalleled culture of professional development and a legacy of building strong brands that drive business growth. The company is excited to celebrate 40 years of service to the Central Florida community and beyond!

Looking ahead with new services

social media audit

Social Media Audit & Workshop

Social media is a powerful business tool, with the ability to shape an online presence that builds brand awareness, strengthens customer loyalty, generates leads and more. Our social media audit measures the success of your content, offers valuable insights into the behaviors and preferences of your customers, develops a persona to lead your messaging, and provides specific recommendations for more effective and engaging content.

Message Development & Media Training

Message Development & Media Training

In today’s 24/7, multimedia world, communicating the right message to the right audience can be increasingly complex. Identifying issues that impact your business and communicating about them consistently is critical to protecting and enhancing your reputation. Based on Curley & Pynn’s Message Matrix® platform, our customized, strategic messaging and interactive training empowers spokespersons with the tools and confidence to communicate their messages effectively for media interviews, community presentations and more

Communications Audits

Communications Audits

Our communications audit will empower you with insights to communicate effectively and authentically, building a strong and enduring brand that reflects your unique strengths and values. We conduct a thorough content review, SWOT analysis and stakeholder interviews, and provide detailed recommendations to help you create a unified and powerful communications program that resonates with your target audience.

Community Outreach Events

Community Outreach Events

Open houses, community workshops and other outreach events can play an important role in your public relations program. From venue logistics to media training to attendee communications, our customized event plans and in-person management build an experience that creates positive perceptions of your brand and engages key stakeholders in two-way conversations about issues with the potential for reputational impacts.

Corporate Social Responsibility Audit

Corporate Social Responsibility Audit

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) isn’t just a moral imperative, but a strategic decision to invest in activities that will meet business objectives and drive long-term value. Through in-depth leadership meetings, research and analysis, we uncover opportunities to optimize your community relationships and align CSR activities with your organizational mission and values. Our recommendations position you for greater impacts and increased returns on your CSR investments.


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40 Years of Strategy