Category Archives: PRSSA

Doing Good Means Good Business

corporate_social_responsibilitySeptember is ethics month for PRSA and fittingly BUPRSSA’s first speaker of the year presented on corporate social responsibility. Last Thursday, September 18, 2014, BUPRSSA welcomed Simon Bowers, senior account supervisor at CONE Communications. Bowers gave an engaging presentation on the history of CSR in America. He explains how CSR has its beginnings in the environmental movement of the 1960s and has evolved into an important part of ethical business practices and a specialized division of the communication industry.

People want to feel good about the companies with which they do business. It’s up to businesses to implement practices that people want to support and often times it is up to communication professionals to convince businesses of the importance of CSR. From a traditional business perspective, corporate social responsibility isn’t just about pleasing customers and helping society. CSR also contributes to a company’s bottom line. Bowers referenced a study that found that people are not only more likely to trust and view positively a company that has good CSR but they are also more likely to buy from a company with good CSR. Ethical business practices not only enhance a company’s reputation but also help attract more customers.

It is up to communication professionals to help companies see the importance of building CSR into the brand and mission of a company from the beginning. It is too late to respond to a crisis after it happens and a company’s image can be tarnished forever by one incident. It will be many years before a consumer can think of BP Oil without thinking of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Images of collapsed factories in Bangladesh and injured employees are seared into consumers’ minds. Companies need to be proactive and implement sustainable, ethical practices on every level of operation to avoid crises and negative attention. Corporate social responsibility is essential to all areas of a business. CSR means transparency from management, fair wages for employees, healthy working conditions for factory workers halfway around the world and ensuring that products are safe not only for consumers but also for the environment.

The importance of CSR in today’s marketplace cannot be overestimated. Today, consumers and society itself hold businesses to a higher standard than ever before. It is time for corporations to embrace this change and take full advantage of the opportunity to do good while doing good business.


Our Chapter’s Newest Digital Platform: Pinterest

Searching for your next social media addiction? Look no further than our Chapter’s new Pinterest account. Our Pinterest boards offer aspiring PR professionals everything from career advice, to professional outfit tips, funny PR memes, inspirational quotes, and links to some of PRSSA’s latest news (and we’ve just gotten started).

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If you often find yourself in front of your closet with nothing to wear to the office, check out our Office Style Board for professional outfit inspirations. Office attire doesn’t have to be boring and stuffy. See our favorite picks on how to add personal style to your work look!

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Follow our Career Advice Board where you can find tips on how to craft a knock out resume, perfect the elevator pitch, and construct flawless interview responses. Our Career Advice Board has everything you need to become a successful PR professional.

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Need a laugh after a stressful day of interning? Check out our PR Prodigy Board to read some funny memes every aspiring PR professional can relate to.

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Ever feel like you’ve “hit the wall” in the middle of the afternoon when your energy and inspiration depletes? Get back on track by checking out our Iconic Board and Words of Wisdom Board to get a dose of motivation from our uplifting quotes or article links about our favorite business professionals.

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Missed one of our Chapter’s events or blog posts? Check out our PR Advanced Board and PRSSA Chapter Board to stay updated on our chapter’s latest activities, meetings, and blog articles.

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Follow, like ,and re-pin us on Pinterest!

Community Service: Our Initiatives

PRSSA provides students with the opportunity to learn, network, and establish member’s portfolios on and offline. This aside, PRSSA aims to develop a special bond between chapter members by supporting a special cause. Taking action is key in relationships, professionalism, and making a difference, which is why Boston University PRSSA’s goal for the 2014 calendar year is to give back to the Greater Boston Area and develop relationships within our own chapter.

By participating in service projects within the Greater Boston Area, Boston University PRSSA hopes to participate in projects that will give back to those in need. By doing so we hope to develop a stronger bond between our chapter members as we give back to the community that has done so much for us.

Our initiatives include both donations and volunteer work. The first donation project is the “Baby Bottle Bank” in association with the Crittenton Women’s Union (CWU) in Brighton. The CWU is an organization that helps low-income women and their families by providing housing and programs offering basic skills training, education, and career guidance. At the weekly meetings, we will have 2 or 3 baby bottles in which members can drop in any loose change or dollars they want to donate. The bottles are a way to give members a fun incentive to donate to mothers and their children. Our goal is to fill these bottles by the end of the semester and give a nice donation to CWU.

The second initiative for the semester is to help a cause that hit so close to home, the Boston Marathon. We will have an art-making event in place of a Thursday meeting, where we will do artwork for an organization called the Boston Arts Marathon: Still Running. This organization, started by a BU student, allows the people of Boston to make art in support of their city that will be displayed in exhibitions and then donated to a local hospital. This is a great way for our chapter to show support to our local community of Boston.  Taking these steps to serve will improve our relationships with one another and the community.


Is All Publicity Good Publicity for the NFL?

nflThe NFL may be one of the largest non-profit organizations, but will it be able to survive the negative press that it receives? With recent understanding of the intensity of concussions that players suffer from, the NFL has received a large amount of backlash for its inability to inform the players and the public. While most viewers are likely to continue watching their favorite teams, people are still taking notice of the NFL’s significant blunders. Let’s take a look at some ways the NFL and other sports organizations can handle negative press:

1.    Accept the blame.

In order for the NFL to appear reliable once more, it is important that the it stop ignoring the elephant in the room and acknowledge the issues that are developing each day. Paying attention to concussions, drug abuse and other legal infractions can help restore faith in viewers.

2.    Be transparent.

Open communication is a key element of any successful organization, but in times of crisis it is essential. Creating a clear and honest statement will help emphasize the fundamentals of the affected entity and hopefully prevent future crises. If employees are trained in crisis communication and issues management, then the attitudes of and statements made by officials will benefit the NFL to a greater degree.

3.    Set an example.

In order to become a thought-leader in the industry, the NFL must implement new regulations to help prevent concussions as well as negative behavior from players. This will show the public that a change is occurring. The organization must go beyond making claims. The NFL must take action.

Until the NFL develops a game plan for handling of its current issues, the league will continue to suffer in terms of its reputation and following. By implementing these and other ideas, the organization is likely to recover and regain the trust of both players and fans.

Boston University PRSSA Hosts Another Successful Regional Conference

On Saturday, February 15th, Boston University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) hosted its eighth annual Regional Conference, PR Advanced: #FuelTheFuture. Below is a letter from our Chapter’s Conference Coordinator, Brynn Murphy.

On behalf of my Committee, I cannot thank everyone enough for coming out, despite the weather, to enjoy the event that we planned for more than six months. I am excited to say that 200 students and professionals from twenty universities and many companies filled Boston University’s Photonics Center to participate in a day filled with breakout sessions, speed networking, a workshop competition and career fair.

Our goal was to inspire students and young professionals to make their mark during this transformational period of change in the industry. The main focus of PR Advanced was to help students understand what skills employers are looking for in this dynamic and digital world. Attendees walked away with that and more.

Keynote speaker C.C. Chapman, Chief Marketing Officer of Your Success Now, got students excited for the day and offered insight on creating your own path to happiness.  The second keynote speaker, John Edelman, Managing Director, Global Engagement and Corporate Responsibility at Edelman, spoke about the Trust Barometer and how to navigate the transmedia landscape. Though the perspectives of both men were very different, their messages got through to students in a unique and powerful way.

Following the keynote presentations, students attended breakout sessions that concentrated on ideas like content creation, crisis management, sports marketing, political communication, non-profit communication, and innovation in technology. These sessions included representatives from GoogleGlass, the American Red Cross, and the Boston Bruins.

In the afternoon, attendees split up and competed in workshops led by CEO and Vice President of Text100, Aedhmar Hynes and Jason Ouellette and Senior Manager for Digital Marketing at Dunkin’ Brands, Kevin Vine. Competition winners received autographed copies of Amazing Things Will Happen by C.C. Chapman. Because this was the first year hosting a competition in this format, it was a bit nerve-wracking. It went well and with suggestions that conference attendees made, we will keep improving in the future.

Participants used a new Android and iOS mobile app that was created for PR Advanced by an on- campus group called Global App Initiative. This new addition promoted the digital focus of the day and assisted attendees in finding speaker information and session locations. The 148 iOS users and 50 Android users who downloaded the app were also able to give great feedback by using the survey that was included in the app.

The day concluded with a career fair that hosted representatives from seventeen companies. Attendees not only learned and connected throughout the day, but also donated generously to the Greater Boston Food Bank as part of the community service initiative. Faculty Adviser Steve Quigley said, “The BUPRSSA team promised to present a blend of inspiration and information and boy did they deliver on that promise.  I learned a ton and couldn’t wait to get out there and put it into practice.”