On November 7th, the students of Boston University had the opportunity to interact with two reputable entertainment professionals, Manuel Vera and Danny Rogers, about what it takes to make it into the glamorous industry of entertainment. Over 75 students eagerly listened as Manuel Vera and Danny Rogers shared tips and invaluable pieces of advice on the what to do as communication students hoping to shine in the industry.
The evening began with a talk by Manuel Vera, a brand manager, fashion guru, and publicist. Manuel Vera’s journey began as he dabbled in doing makeup for a few models and stumbled into success. After working with internationally acclaimed artists, such as Christina Aguilera, he knew that the entertainment industry was his calling. Since he loved storytelling and being on stage, he decided to channel this passion into publicity and started telling stories for his clients. Although Manuel Vera found enormous success as a publicist with a client list boasting Arturo Chacon, Sin Bandera, Jose Diaz Balart (MSNBC and Telemundo Anchor), and Jaime Camil from Jane the Virgin, he continues to show humility. He demands that every client is treated with utmost respect, and encourages students to strive for creativity, social skills, and adaptability.
Another star-studded professional of the night was Danny Rogers, the Editor-in-Chief of PRWeek, and a leading media and marketing journalist. Danny Rogers has examined world-famous PR successes, such as David Beckham, Bono, and The Rolling Stones in his book Campaigns that Shook the World: the Evolution of Public Relations. In his opinion, the success of a celebrity stems from his or her creative work coupled with a PR professional that molds their narrative. For instance, Beckham’s success not only came from his athletic ability but also from the strong family values he held which were effectively communicated by his publicist. According to him, the two must-have qualities of a PR pro are: hard work with ambition and strong interpersonal skills.
All in all, Manuel Vera and Danny Rogers inspired budding communications professionals to embrace as much information as they can, build on their people skills, be passionate about their client’s story and stay focused.
By: Parini Shah
PR has always been my calling. It’s writing, interacting, problem solving and several other things I absolutely love doing. As a freshman in College of Communications, I am excited to take classes and join clubs and activities that give me more awareness and experience with this field.
I believe that BUPRSSA was the perfect kickstart to my dream career. It would give me abundant experience and knowledge in this field. Moreover, I would be exposed to several opportunities to network, form connections and pick up handy PR skills.
I’m glad I am immersed in this club right at the start of my college experience so that I can make use of the great resources BUPRSSA has to offer. I am so excited to be involved with brilliant professionals from the field of PR while being a part of something I enjoy
Parini Shah COM ‘20
“Why PRSSA?” is committed to asking current members what brought them to PRSSA… and what makes them stay. Get to know the People of BUPRSSA weekly at: https://buprssa.com/blog/.
- Personality matters.
The field of PR is all about communicating, maintaining favourable relations with the media and public, and managing crises. If you’re well spoken, enthusiastic, and quick on your toes, companies will see that you have the potential to do what it takes in highly stressful situations. Since PR involves a tremendous amount of interpersonal communication, the skill to communicate efficiently, appropriately, and confidently is a key asset that most companies want in their professionals.
2. Build experience.
While everyone knows that internships are one of the most crucial and effective things on a resume, it still can’t be emphasised enough. School is important, but no amount of it can give you the insight that hands on experience will. The world of PR is fast-paced and internships can help you understand the expectations that are required as a PR professional. So get as much experience as you can, it will definitely be worth it!
3. Network all day everyday.
PR is all about building relationships, so it comes as no surprise that making connections is essential. Attend every networking event, put your best foot forward, and engage with as many seasoned professionals as you can. The more companies know you, the better off you are! Dany Vasquez, a successful BU alum working in the field, says, “Work hard, meet people, remember people, and most importantly: make sure they remember you. Invest your energies into connections and networks and it will pay off in the end.”
4. Write, write more, and then some more.
Strong writing skills will take you a long way in the PR industry. Be it an email to a media manager or a public statement on behalf of your firm, your writing will have an impact. PR firms are constantly on the look out for good writers that can tell stories and maintain their clients image at the same time, so make sure you practise your writing skills consistently!
5. Don’t get lazy.
In the fast-paced environment of a PR firm, slacking off is NOT an option. PR professionals are expected to be creative, quick-witted, efficient, and accountable. If you manage to make your clients happy by staying on top of your work, you’re definitely on the way to becoming the PR pro you’ve always wanted to be!
By: Parini Shah
My interest in public relations grew last semester when I took CM301 (Intro to PR) with Amy Shanler (10/10, would recommend). I’ve always been interested in the entertainment, fashion, and art industry, and her class really allowed me to see PR’s roles in those industries. In class, we’d talk about PRSA, and every once in awhile, she’d mention BU’s chapter.
As a junior coming into COM from CGS, I wanted to find a way to become involved in COM and learn more about the PR field. After hearing some things here and there about BU PRSSA around campus, I finally got to visit their booth at Splash and learn a little bit about what it is that BU PRSSA does. Coming into the first meeting, I really didn’t know what to expect, but when I heard about the speakers, networking opportunities, and overall education of the PR field provided through BU PRSSA, I knew I wanted to be a part of the organization.
I figured that now was the time to really get involved on campus, especially in something I’m interested in. I feel like BU PRSSA provides me with great resources for beginning my career in PR. I look forward to hearing speakers from the PR field, connecting with other PR students, and being involved in something I enjoy.
Eidalis Vaquedano, COM ‘18
“Why PRSSA?” is committed to asking current members what brought them to PRSSA… and what makes them stay. Get to know the People of BU PRSSA weekly at: https://buprssa.com/blog/.
Every year, new members join Boston University’s Edward L. Bernays Chapter of PRSSA. What makes them join? It could be PRSSA’s countless opportunities, like learning directly from public relations professionals or making valuable industry connections. Or the appeal of scholarships and internships related to PR. Maybe it’s just the sense of community that its amazing members create. “Why PRSSA?” will be committed to asking current members not only what brought them to PRSSA, but what makes them stay. Get to know the People of BUPRSSA weekly at: https://buprssa.com/blog/.
“What is public relations? I kinda know what it is, but not really? How do I even start?” Those were all my questions last year as a freshman at BU. Before college, PR was something I found on the Forbes best job list. The only person I knew in the field at that time was Kelly Cutrone because she said it in every ‘America’s Next Top Model’ episode. I knew only vaguely of the major but somehow knew I wanted to do it.
However, I realized I needed to learn more about it. Flash forward to Splash, where I saw the BUPRSSA table and signed up immediately. Now I know it’s completely worth it – to be able to hear from successful PR people weekly. You have the opportunity to learn more about the field and network to make the connections before you graduate.
My reasons why you should join BUPRSSA:
1: If you have a vague idea of PR and want to learn all the aspects that goes in it.
2: If you want to know more about the different fields of PR: Non-profit, in-house, Agency, Crisis management, etc
3: Hear from BU Alums and different types of PR employees and employers
4: Attend and/or plan the annual PR conference to network, learn and build your own PR skills
5: Put your skills to the test and join the student-run agency, PRUnleashed.
6: Make friends in your field!
Bejeana Breneville COM’19
Corporate Social Responsibility, commonly known as CSR, is a corporation’s initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company’s effects on environmental and social wellbeing. The best CSR plans are when there is shared value, and when the initiatives match the company’s core competency. Shared value is when the giver (the company) benefits as much as the receiver. The company’s core competencies are the main strengths or strategic advantages of the company.
A car company’s CSR involves the environment, whereas a book company focuses on improving literacy, especially among children. For sports organizations, there is no obvious choice of CSR or core competency, so they have more of an option when it comes to CSR. An option could involve kids participating in sports and exercise to combat childhood obesity. A main core competency of sports teams is to entertain their fans and make them smile. This is the core competency the Chicago Blackhawks, of the National Hockey League, choose to focus on as their CSR.
In 2008, the Blackhawks started the ‘One Goal’ campaign in conjunction with Ogilvy & Mather. The mission of the ‘One Goal’ campaign is to showcase the personality of the players as well as stating the overall goal of the Blackhawks organization. While the campaign started out to showcase the team, it turned into helping their fans achieve their own goals.
The organization started the “What’s Your Goal” campaign where they ask their fans what their goals are. The campaign has gained critical praise from not only the fans, but from the entire sports community. The Blackhawks have started the trend of teams interacting more with their communities.
Two of the best “What’s Your Goal” campaign videos involve Ben and Cammy. Ben was born with a condition which makes it difficult to use his arms and legs. Cammy was born unable to walk or speak. Both Ben’s and Cammy’s goals were to meet their favorite Blackhawks players. In all the “What’s Your Goal” videos the Blackhawks go above and beyond what they are asked (see videos below).
Their CSR campaign will always be a great fall back in case something negative happens in their organization. It’s not only important for companies to have CSR, but to treat it as a brilliant PR tool.