Category Archives: Weekly Meeting

Weekly Meeting Recap: Advice from the CEO of Golin


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.


Doing Good Means Good Business

corporate_social_responsibilitySeptember 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.


This Week’s Programming

We are again joining COM’s event this week in lieu of our regular Chapter Meeting. Please james-grunigwelcome Distinguished PR scholar Dr. James E. Grunig this Thursday, April 25 at 4pm on the 9th Floor Colloquium Room in the Photonics Center.

In the minds of most people, public relations has become institutionalized as what Dr. James E. Grunig calls the symbolic interpretive paradigm—the idea that public relations consists of disseminating messages to influence how people interpret the behaviors of organizations. Dr. Grunig has devoted his career to developing an alternative paradigm, which he calls the strategic management paradigm—the idea that public relations is an essential part of management that gives a voice to publics in management decisions and helps shape the behaviors of organizations rather than just the meanings that publics assign to those behaviors.

Last Week’s Meeting

We’re grateful Robert Leaf, former International Chairman of Burson-Marsteller, came toburson-marstellerlogo speak to our meeting last week. His assistant wants to inform our members that signed copies of his book, The Art of Perception, are available for $15. Please email Financial Coordinator Lauren Weil ( if you are interested.

This Week’s Programming

Elections will still be held today at 5pm in CGS 505. All candidate applications have been received and there is at least one person running for every position. We urge all Chapter Members to make a concerted effort to be there and vote.

Due to BU’s schedule, this Thursday is a Monday schedule. Therefore, we are joining with COM’s Doers Makers Innovators Speaker Series this Friday. The event will welcome Scott Monty, global head of social media at Ford Motor Company. Please register on Eventbrite.

Ranked by Forbes as one of the top 10 influencers in social media, he has been called “the best corporate social media lead on the planet.” The Triple Terrier (BA, CAS; MS BUSM; MBA, GSM) will share his learnings and experiences leading the auto giant into the world of real time social interaction. Join Scott on Friday, April 19, 12:00 noon in 209C. P.S., tweet him @ScottMonty before, during and after the event.


Weekly Meeting: Robert Leaf, Former International Chairman of Burson-Marsteller

Join us this week in SMG 222 at 5pm for a Chapter Meeting with PR legend Robert Leaf. Mr. Leaf is one of the world’s leading authorities on burson-marstellerlogointernational public relations. He was employed by Burson-Marsteller for forty years and was International Chairman when the agency was the world’s largest public relations firm.

He continues to serve as an advisor to Burson-Marsteller and also now has his own company, Robert S. Leaf Consultants, that specializes in advising and training top executives. The United Kingdom’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations honored him with the CIPR’s first ever award for outstanding achievements in international public relations. He has lived in New York, Brussels, London and Hong Kong.