Category Archives: Boston University

Tune In: Conference Recap

On February 20th, 2016, we hosted our annual regional conference, PRAdvanced: Tune In! The main theme of our conference centered around the fundamental communication principal of learning how to “listen first and talk second”. We had the pleasure of interacting and networking with various PR professionals, as well as many other PRSSA chapters.

Conference weekend kicked off with a Welcome Reception on Friday night, where Tune In! attendees mingled with one another over beverages and desserts.

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The conference itself was kicked off the next morning, starting with a complimentary breakfast. Soon thereafter, attendees headed towards the Law Auditorium for a keynote address by our keynote speaker Sarah Unger, who is the Director of Marketing Strategy at Viacom.

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After the keynote address, there were two series of back-to-back Breakout Sessions, where attendees could choose to hear from representatives of different companies such as Ogilvy, C-Space, Meltwater, Brand Content, Weber Shandwick, and Situation Interactive.

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Soon after the Breakout Sessions concluded came lunch time! Everyone enjoyed a delicious meal at the GSU Metcalf Ballroom, which was provided by PRSA Boston.

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When lunch came to an end, everyone gathered in the Law Auditorium to hear from a panel made up of fitness Youtuber Taryn Gilligan, fashion blogger Kristen Uekermann, and the founder of Twitter account @OnlyInBos. Matt Warren, from Panera, helped moderate the panel and the interaction with the audience.

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Next on the program was PRlympics, where attendees were formed into groups and had to find solutions for hypothetical PR situations, such as how to manage a crisis in which a snowstorm forces Broadway to cancel every NYC show that weekend. The team with the best responses and most points were the winners of pink and teal selfie-sticks!

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TuneIn! concluded with a career fair in which attendees got to network with 15 different PR agencies and learn about various job and internship opportunities.

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Overall, BUPRSSA had an amazing time hosting TuneIn! and getting to meet amazing PR practitioners from around the country. This wouldn’t have been possible, however, without our hardworking conference coordinator, Emily Gianvecchio (COM ’18), so cheers to Emily for putting on a fantastic regional conference!

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Photos courtesy of Savanah Macdonald (COM ’19).

 

 

 

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Weekly Meeting Recap: Advice from the CEO of Golin

NEW WITH ROOM CHANGE! PRSSA - Fred Cook Flyer

Last Thursday, BUPRSSA welcomed Fred Cook, CEO of Golin, the award-winning global PR firm, to our weekly meeting. Cook gave an engaging and inspiring talk as he discussed his circuitous route into the public relations industry and shared advice from his book Improvise: Unconventional Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO. In case you missed the meeting, here are a few key points from Cook’s speech.

Being able to improvise is a necessary survival skill in the business world. Things are constantly changing – clients have new demands, campaigns shift focus, and crises hit without warning. Being able to improvise will help you adapt to these changes, tackle challenges, and will prove to be an invaluable skill at every step of your career.

You limit yourself by limiting your experiences. Expose yourself to new ideas every chance you get. The more experiences you have, the more ideas you have and the more prepared you will be to face dynamic challenges. Every other PR student looking for a job has the same degree and has the same words written on their resumes. What sets you apart and what will make you a valuable asset to a company are your unique experiences and the fresh perspectives you can bring to a situation.

Don’t be afraid to run with your ideas and don’t be afraid of to fail. Not every idea you have is going to be a winner but if you never act, you’ll never know which one might become your success story. Did one of your ideas not work out like you thought it would? Don’t be discouraged. Failure is not the end of the world, it’s an opportunity to learn and build courage.

Hungry PR Industry in China

Unlike the United States, Chinese public relations industries are just being to mature. However, the needs and opportunities in China are huge. People are starting to realize the importance of having public relations. Nowadays, most public relations agencies are mainly located in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Among them, Beijing has the largest market share. Some other smaller cities such as Shenzhen, Chengdu and Dalian also have small developing agencies. Top agencies in China include American agencies Ogilvy, Burson-Marsteller and local firms such as BlueFocus.

Besides the rise of public relations agencies, business firms are developing their own in-house agencies. Even though large companies gradually set up their own public relations departments, these departments are more likely Less effective given that often times in-house departments are relatively small.

Currently, China’s public relations industry is facing A wide array of issues:

Lack of experts

The most serious issue is lacking professional public relations practitioners, especially senior managers. This restrains the long-term development of the whole industry. Reasons for it vary from company to company.

First, the industry development history is very short and education system has deficiency in cultivating professionals. Thus, for many public relations practitioners the only way to learn practical skills is to rely on hands on experiences. Also, there is often no authoritative training in the industry as a whole.

Second, according to surveys, the average working time of public relations agencies is over 50 hours per week. This high work intensity makes professionals unable to pay attention to personnel training.

Unstable client and employee growth

Newborn domestic agencies emerges unceasingly, which leads to high personnel flow rate. For agencies, this causes waste of resources. As a result, agencies are unwilling to increase their training investment.

For clients, changing agencies frequently leads to the lack of long-term planning in branding and propaganda. Even worse, the disorganized management can create inconsistent messaging and thereby weakening the the company’s opportunity for success.

As one of the most important emerging markets in the world, the advertising and public relations professions in today’s China are growing rapidly. However, It is still evident that there are many immature elements in the industry and all these elements make this eastern giant hungry for the real public relations professionals and an authoritative framework that matches its culture. China, as a rising market and serves as an important player in the world economic arena, however when it comes to communications there is a lot China can learn from the U.S. practices.

My First Week as an Account Supervisor

public-relations 2This semester I am ecstatic to be an account supervisor for Boston University PRLab, the nation’s oldest student-run public relations agency. I couldn’t be happier to have an amazing client, be part of an awesome e-board, and be working with a great team of account executives. The past few weeks have been both exciting and a little scary. My initial enthusiasm did not make me impervious to self-doubt. Uncertainty began to settle in. What if I mess up? What if the client doesn’t like me? What if my team thinks I’m incompetent? For any other students who are also feeling nervous for an internship or leadership role, I have these few pieces of advice to offer.

Trust your capabilities. They picked you for a reason. 

When I first got the position of account supervisor, my first thought was “Yay!” My second thought was, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” Don’t sell yourself short. If it is the first day at an internship or job, trust that you know what you’re dong (or at least that someone else trusts that you know what you’re doing). Whether you were hired by an agency for an internship or selected by an advisor for your position, someone picked you for the job. They think that you can do it which means you probably can (with a lot of hard work and a little help).

Use your support network and ask questions.

I am extremely lucky to be working with a team of awesome agency leadership, a stellar faculty advisor with years of experience, and friendly and enthusiastic fellow account supervisors. If you have a question or doubt at your internship or job, ask someone. He or she would much prefer to answer a redundant email than have you do something wrong.

Organization is essential.

Create a to-do list that you update frequently and a calendar that you stick to. Seeing tasks written down on paper (or typed into a smartphone app) makes them seem more manageable. A calendar will help you think ahead, which means you won’t be taken by surprise when deadlines approach.

I still feel a little nervous about being an account supervisor, but I’m looking forward to what the semester has in store. Don’t let new challenges intimidate you, if you manage your time and use your resources wisely, you can tackle anything your job or internship throws at you.