On Thursday, October 3, 2013, Boston University and the Council of PR Firms hosted a career event entitled “Take Flight With PR.” The event consisted of three keynote speakers and five panelists, all of whom are true thought leaders in the field of public relations. Here is some great advice that they had to share with students:
“This is the best time ever to be in the public relations business,” said Jens Bang, Chairman at Cone Communications. He said that clients are looking for solutions and PR is proving itself to be that solution. Public relations has the power to affect brand identity and build a reputation of authenticity for a company. Bangs’ advice for people whose public relations careers are just beginning is to take responsibility for their professional development. He also urges pre professionals to continue to improve as professionals, even after getting out into the field, by staying current with their sector. He left students with these words of encouragement: “I think it’s your time to shine.”
The second speaker, Gail Moaney, Managing Director and Partner at Finn Partners spoke about the many specialization options in public relations. Professionals can specialize by sector, by discipline or choose not to specialize at all. Moaney’s advice for students who are thinking of specializing is to take their time, explore their options, and specialize in something they love.
The third person to speak was Edward Boches, an Advertising Professor at Boston University’s College of Communication. Boches warned against thinking of the field as advertising versus public relations versus digital media. He said the three can work together and accomplish great things when we let them. According to Professor Boches, the three most important things to bring with you into the field are courage, creativity and collaboration.
Below are some great quotes of advice from the panelists:
- Joe Baerlein, President of Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communication told students, “You’ve got to figure out the first break because nobody is going to figure it out for you.”
- Phil Nardone, CEO and Founder of PAN Communications words of advice were to “Be honest. Be passionate. Be proud.”
- Laura Tomasetti, CEO and Founder of 360 Public Relations, advised students to “be comfortable being different.”
- George Snell, Senior Vice President of Weber Shandwick, encouraged students to “Always be curious. Always ask questions.”
- Ken Peters, Senior Vice President of Text 100, assured students, “There is not a more exciting career to be in.”