Maggie Axford


Welcome back to Voices of PRSSA, this week we feature Maggie Axford from Unleashed PR Media Relations Team.

Unleashed PR is a public relations agency run by the students of Boston University’s PRSSA, providing service for a variety of clients including student groups, businesses, and non-profits. Our goals are to provide clients with quality work at no cost and to offer a space for students to apply their knowledge.

Maggie is a sophomore in the COM majoring in PR with a minor in History. She grew up in Natick, Massachusetts which is a town about 40 minutes west of Boston.

What is your Unleashed PR story?

“I actually originally attended Penn State University for the first semester of my Freshman year, which was a great experience but I knew that I needed a city atmosphere and felt that Boston University would be a better fit for me academically and socially.

When I arrived at BU the spring of Freshman year I was searching for ways to connect with my new school and the very first club that I joined was PRSSA. I feel that this was one of my best decisions I’ve made at BU.

Instantly, I was in a community of student passionate about PR and was attending lectures by some of the best PR professionals in the city. I even volunteered at the PRSSA regional conference last year which was a great experience.

Sophomore year I knew I wanted to get more involved with PRSSA and Unleashed PR piqued my interest, I mean how cool is a student-run agency?”

“I would say my biggest success as Project Manager for Unleashed has been my personal growth as a PR practitioner, leader, and communicator. It has really been a great opportunity and I feel like I lucked out finding Unleashed and PRSSA when coming to BU.”

Maggie is currently working on a project for Kids in Tech, a movement to excite, engage and educate young learners about technology today based out of Lowell, MA. She has also begun working with another client, our very own Professor Blake, to promote her podcast to different media opportunities at BU.

Tell us more!

“I was working with the media relations team to locate media outlets in the Boston and North Shore area last semester to promote Kids in Tech to their readers. We actually still cater to this client on Unleashed PR and I continue to work on their media relations team.”

“I am also currently working on media relations for Professor Joan Blake from the Department of Health Sciences here at BU, she specializes in nutrition. Professor Blake not only speaks on the topic of nutrition, but she also has a podcast name Spot On! which is devoted to college students’ health and wellness.”

So what made you go into PR?

“I honestly sort of fell into the role of a public relations and communications student. It began as me avoiding math classes at all costs when applying to colleges. When looking through the majors of schools I was applying to I kept noticing the majors under the “communications” umbrella such as advertising, public relations, and mass communications.”

That decision turns out to be the best one Maggie has made.

“I love public relations because it is all about who YOU are. You can’t really hide behind a desk in this profession, you need to be able to effectively communicate with others and build strong relationships with organizations or journalists. Being personable, reliable, and trustworthy are (in my opinion) pillars of a great PR professional and those characteristics come from you, you can’t fake those. Also, public relations can really translate into every type of industry, which I enjoy as someone who has many interests and hasn’t narrowed in on one for her career yet.”

What are some tips you’d give students going into Unleashed PR?

“My biggest tip would be to believe in your abilities from day one. On Unleashed there are people who are going to guide you and your work, but it is a very light hand, you will be given responsibilities that you probably have never had before. Reaching out to media contacts or working one on one with a client can be scary at first, but if you believe that you can handle it then you will be able to.”

“I would say the greatest challenge I’ve faced as a project manager has been juggling scheduling and making sure I leave time in my busy day to reach out to media sources and plan PR opportunities for clients. Time management is tough as a college student, but I think I’ll look back on this one day and be happy I put in the work.”

Be proactive, be bold, believe in yourself.

“I am currently a PR intern with Public Relations, a public relations / digital marketing / social media firm located near South Station (Where the photo above was taken) A large part of our firm is influencer marketing, so I have to learn a lot about this niche and growing aspect of PR. It can be really hectic at times balancing an internship with my school work and my extracurricular, but I know the experience I am getting at my internship is going to be worth it when I look for a job post-grad. I definitely recommend everyone intern, intern, intern!

Do you have any COM classes/professor recommendations?

“My favorite COM class that I have taken so far has been Principals and Practices of Public Relations. This class is the quintessential public relations course that covers all different types of PR, tactics of PR writing, and gives you an insight into the life of a PR professional. The teacher was Professor Downes who is an incredible person to know. Not only is he passionate and willing to help any student, but he has a great wealth of knowledge that comes from his professional background, highly recommend his courses!”

Let’s get to know YOU better – outside of PRSSA, what are you passionate about?

“I am involved in Edge Dance Company, which is a student-run jazz and contemporary dance company. We rehearse about four times a week and just had our annual show at the Tsai Performing Arts Center. It’s the best way to keep my lifelong passion of dancing alive during college. Also, I am a member of Kappa Delta Sorority here on campus. Being in Kappa Delta is an amazing way to meet friends and women who are driven about their future careers. I am definitely inspired by my sorority sisters every day!”

Maggie hopes to begin her career in a bustling city (New York, Chicago, or D.C.) and practice effective PR in either an in house or agency environment. Thank you, Maggie, for your past and continuous good work!

by Grace Elizabeth Liu

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