Category Archives: College of Communication
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Photos courtesy of Savanah Macdonald (COM ’19).
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.
This 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.
September 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.