Career

  • Students and Professionals Learning from Each Other at the PRSSA Regional Conference

    In Career on

    By Nikki Vergakes, PR Specialist at Trevi Communications

    One of the many benefits of keeping an open and active relationship between PRSSA and PRSA is the exchange of knowledge constantly between the two groups. This experience is heightened on days like the PRSSA regional conference, PR Advanced: It Starts Now.

    I thoroughly enjoyed spending the day interacting with the students and picking their brains about their impressions of the future of the industry, their takeaways from the day and hearing any questions that they had for us. We also had an exciting opportunity to interview the students via video and produced a mini “vlog” for each interview. The key takeaways I found from the students are below.

    What do you see for the future of PR?

    The students had all similar answers for this question. This was unsurprising as the answers were driven –  as many things are – by both the current political and media climate. The students predict more diversity not only in the workplace for PR but also a diversity of the stories to be told. As well they see even more of a switch to digital.

    Then, we asked what else they would want to see from us – PRSA Boston.

    They said that they would like to participate more in our mentorship program to learn more about how we got where we are as professionals. They seemed very interested in learning about our career trajectories.

    Want to see the videos of the interviews, with bonus questions not in this blog post? Click HERE. 

    Bio

    Nikki Vergakes is a PR Specialist at Trevi Communications, working in professional services and clean energy PR. Having just graduated in May, she’s learning so much about what you can do with PR in her role, and is also putting the skills she learned in (and out of) school to the test with some side projects. She just launched a podcast with her friend, writes in the free time, and just joined She Zine as a news & culture contributor in March.

     

  • Back to School: A Wrap-Up of PRSSA Regional Conference 2018

    In Career, Events on

    By Nikki Vergakes, PR Specialist at Trevi Communications

    Every February, Boston University PRSSA hosts all the regional PRSSA chapters at their school for an enriching day of learning and networking. It’s not surprising that only the most engaged students attend this conference, since it’s on a Saturday. This is just one of the many reasons why I attended the conference along with my Co-College Liaison, Ermolande Jean-Simon, seeking out talented seniors and grad students to join our chapter.

    By the end of the day, we gained much more knowledge than just students to keep an eye on. Since we were allowed to hop around the sessions (thanks for the opportunity, BU PRSSA), we picked up almost as much information as the students.

    During my days in PRSSA, my two favorite times of the year were regional and national conference. It was like Christmas came more than once a year! I also just graduated in May, so I can’t say that my mindset is very different from that of the students. Either way, you never stop learning. This conference would’ve been beneficial for professionals and students of any age.

    The first breakout I attended was hosted by Michal Desalvo, VP of Healthcare at OIlgivy. He took us through his seemingly treacherous job search path. I think that everyone could relate to what he went through, however, even if you had a job secured after graduation.  His presentation was supposed to be a super-secret, life-changing tip to land a PR job. Not surprisingly, the secret was that there is none! His advice is the be true to yourself and what you want, work hard and to treat the whole process of networking like making friends. Look at how ridiculous it would be if we treated relationships like we do networking.

    I also really enjoyed the keynote session by DJ Capobianco, Manager of Research at Twitter. I was happy to catch this after networking with students at the career fair. The left and right side of my brain were buzzing after his presentation. I missed the part where he explains what he did, but from what I gathered, brands approach Twitter for market research, and he gathers the research for them. If that doesn’t sound like a cool job, I don’t know what does. My two big takeaways were that there is actual revenue increase due to a pleasant customer service via Twitter (talk about an ROI), and the best quote of the day, “All research is wrong no matter who does it, it just depends how wrong it is.”

    Thanks to BU PRSSA for having us – we already can’t wait for next year!

    Bio

    Nikki Vergakes is a PR Specialist at Trevi Communications, working in professional services and clean energy PR. Having just graduated in May, she’s learning so much about what you can do with PR in her role, and is also putting the skills she learned in (and out of) school to the test with some side projects. She just launched a podcast with her friend, writes in the free time, and just joined She Zine as a news & culture contributor in March.

  • PRSA Boston Fast Five: Networking v Connecting. Which Works Best?

    In Career, Fast Five on

    As a member of Xennial Nation – that nuanced demographic between Gen X and Millennials – Boston-based business ignitor Ryan Paugh resists typecasting, especially where his skill of cultivating social-based communities is concerned. First, he’s a self-described introvert. Yet he’s made a career of guiding individuals and organizations to purposefully pursue relationships of mutual benefit for career and business upside. His secret sauce? Quality and discernment over the less meaningful metric of questionably valid ‘followers.’

     

    Debunking conventional ‘networking,’ a word he thinks should be retired, Ryan has now added the book, ‘Superconnector to his portfolio of influential entrepreneurial tribes. When she saw it on Entrepreneur.com’s top reads for 2018 list, Loring Barnes, APR, PRSA Fellow, sought him out on LinkedIn to ask how all of us can become more successful at creating connections that count.

     

    Q: There are a lot of gurus who write about connecting, and there are influencer-like
    bloggers who actually do it, like Gary Vaynerchuk. As a networking expert, who are the voices you’ve turned to, whose wisdom you respect or find affirming to your own? Do you have some top podcasts that impart wisdom about networking?

    A: Jayson Gaignard is someone who we really look up to. He’s the founder of The Community Made Podcast and has been touted as being two-degrees of separation from everyone you want to meet. He’s a master curator in the entrepreneurial world, but his lessons can help reshape any community into something better than it once was.

     

    Believe it or not, we all know “superconnectors.” My favorites aren’t the ye olde internet celebrities you might expect. In the book, we showcase a wide variety of relationship-building all stars from a CPA in Homestead, Florida to a successful home services contractor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We want people to read this book and think, “I can become a superconnector too.” Anyone who tries can attain this.

     

    Q: LinkedIn is the essence of a networking democracy. Still, too many people don’t use it, or don’t use it to maximum effectiveness. What advice would you give them that is actionable?

    A: Video is the hot new thing on LinkedIn and using it seems to boost higher search algorithmic weights, or more simplistically, raises your visibility. It’s as simple as using your smartphone to post commentary or insightful musings that shares your knowledge and your charisma.

     

    Q: Do networking successes break down along gender lines? If so, how and what advice do you offer in your book, ‘Superconnector’, that makes networking an easier, more familiar memory muscle?

    A: I can only speak to my experiences as a man, but it’s clear that many women don’t feel like they’re playing on a level playing field in business. I’m sure to an extent that imbalance relates to networking success (or failure) as well.

     

    The good news is that superconnectors, our new archetype for relationship-building success, see gender as a non-factor.  They investigate someone’s story below the headline, or in the “gray area.” You have to be the Sherlock Holmes of discourse to really make a powerful impression. So, whether you are reaching out cold to a CEO or entrepreneur (a rising number of which are women!), its likely your demonstration of that under layer of their biographical information that will make your overture more likely to bear fruit.

     

    Q: What is your daily networking routine? What do you read, how many outreaches do you make? How do you measure the return on your time?

    A: Connecting is fun and rewarding, like a puzzle. That’s why I outline a disciplined approach to it so that anyone can reap the benefits without having it overtake your day. I restrict my travel radius for introductory meetings. This allows me to actually give back more of my time to family and community.

     

    I’m also both strategic and immersive in planning how to network at meetings, receptions and conferences. This all starts with self-awareness. I’m actually an introvert, and I know that I won’t thrive as a participant in a crowded networking event without a plan. But at in a smaller group, like a dinner, I can be a terrific guest who emerges with some very viable connections. Knowing yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and where you thrive is so important to making meaningful relationships.

     

    Q: Will networking continue to evolve? If so, how do you see it changing in the future?

    A: Social media has been a blessing and a curse. It’s important to understand the distinction between connected as a profile hyperlink, and evolving a purposeful relationship with someone who you come to know, reciprocally. Data shows that we’re beginning to see a preference shift from open networking to more focused curated environments where with a greater likelihood of meeting great people because thought was put into who’s actually in the room. I expect to see this trend continue in years to come. Knowing how to approach these situations is going to make it far more likely that you’ll advance your pitch, open up a dialog or even open the door for a future job discussion. We spend more time planning vacations than we do planning our networking. But if we reversed that, we’d have more time for enjoying vacations that are made possible by our networking success.

     

    You can read the first chapter of the book HERE!

     

    About Fast 5

    This is a feature of PRSA Boston’s Hot Topics blog page. The expert subject is someone who is clearly in demand, on the go, and nailing them down for a conversation is about as easy as … winning Powerball at $1.5 billion! But we know leaders like to share, so check back for insights, wisdom, author’s books about to hit the stands and other valuable tips. @prsaboston #prsabos

     

    Do YOU have a candidate for a FAST 5 interview? Email: Joshua Milne at josh@joshuamilnepr.com and pitch your subject expert!

     

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    Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author or the individual being interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRSA Boston, PRSA National, staff or  board of directors of either organization. 

     

  • How to Craft an Award-winning Silver Anvil Award Expert Advice from a Judge

    In Career, PRSA Member Feed on

    Media are already clamoring about their top choices and surprise predictions regarding this year’s Oscar nominees. But before the red carpet rolls out on March 8 for this iconic event, PR enthusiasts should be busy nominating themselves for the Oscars of the Communications industry, PRSA’s Silver Anvil Awards. The early entry deadline is Feb. 9. But don’t sweat it – the final late entry deadline is Feb. 23.

    The Silver Anvils honor outstanding PR programs, offering entrants the opportunity to showcase excellence and put their top campaigns in front of influential industry professionals. This year’s program offers several new categories, expanding the opportunities to earn more awards! New Silver Anvil categories include:

    • Outstanding Content Marketing Campaign;
    • Best Use of Influencer Marketing to Expand Awareness;
    • Most Effective Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign;
    • Most Effective Campaign on a Budget ($5,000–$10,000); and,
    • Most Effective Campaign on a Shoestring Budget ($5,000 or less).

    While the 90th Academy Awards ceremony will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, the Silver Anvils award reception will be held at a new location — the Edison Ballroom in the heart of New York City’s theater district.

    Just like the Oscar lives on as a milestone victory long after the spotlight and applause, Silver Anvils have long-lasting value and prestige. Award-wining campaigns have been featured in textbooks, taught in classrooms and posted on prsa.org, inspiring professionals and students to learn from and to develop their own best-in-class programs.

    Are you getting excited? Then read on! PRSA offers six ways to prepare your Silver Anvil nominations: http://anvils.prsa.org/silver-anvil-awards/tips from Pauline Draper-Watts, a long-standing Silver Anvil judge.

    We should all be clamoring this month to be the Oscar darling of PR and submitting our digital entries before Jimmy Kimmel broadcasts live from New York with the golden statues. Who knows? Your campaign could be the next award-winning, red carpet winner.

    Good luck!

  • Fast Five Q&A: Jill Goddard, APR, Director of Public Relations and Social Media at Boston Ballet

    Jill Goddard serves as the Director of Public Relations and Social Media at Boston Ballet. With over ten years of experience in public relations, communications and non-profit development, her work has centered on mission-based organizations primarily in the non-profit sector including Covenant House International, Oxfam America, and the Unitarian Universalist Association. She holds a M.A. in Global Marketing Communications and Advertising from Emerson College and a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

    PRSA Boston recently sat down with Jill to learn more about her career and why she decided to join the Boston Ballet.

    Q: How did you get involved with Boston Ballet?

    A: I have always been a fan and admirer of the talent and artistry of Boston Ballet and an arts enthusiast in general. My former colleague and friend, who serves as the director of individual giving for Boston Ballet, told me about the open position and asked if I was interested in being considered. It was helpful to have someone who I knew and trusted at the organization speak so highly of the vision and people behind Boston Ballet—I couldn’t wait to join the team!

    Q: Do you have a favorite campaign/program you’ve run for Boston Ballet (or a previous company), and what were the results?

    A: I’ve been fortunate to work for organizations close to my heart and campaigns that make a difference in peoples’ lives so it is hard to choose a favorite. Most recently, we finished 44 performances of The Nutcracker, a New England treasure and tradition. We did a lot of advanced press and promotions including having the Nutcracker Bear zipline on the Rose Kennedy Greenway to promote tickets going on sale. The video generated great engagement on our social media channels, was covered by The Boston Globe, Patriot Ledger, NBC Boston, NECN, and Dance Magazine, and helped generate awareness and sales. Later, we did a social media campaign where the mice from The Nutcracker escaped the Boston Opera House and went sightseeing around Boston. It was wonderful to collaborate with other iconic Boston attractions like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Boston Tea Party Ships—and see people’s reactions to these mice walking down the streets of Boston.

    At Boston Ballet, I really enjoy that all of its programs have so many fascinating angles and stories to tell. I love to deep dive into the research, find creative ways to engage with audiences of all ages, and help people enrich their own understanding and experience of ballet, its history, and the people behind it.

    Q: It looks like you have worked with other non-profits and associations, how important is PR to their overall strategies?

    A: Whether a non-profit organization recognizes it or not, public relations is essential to their success. To  inspire generosity, mobilize people and make positive change, you must have public awareness, support and engagement. Fortunately, I think more and more organizations are recognizing this and making the necessary investments in bandwidth and budget to incorporate public relations as an intentional management function which will support strategic goals.

    Q: What advice do you have for others who are interested in a PR career in the arts?

    A: Artist, dancer and choreographer Martha Graham said, “Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.” The same is true for public relation professionals and that is so important to remember if you want a career in the arts. In addition to best practices and the fundamentals of public relations, bring your passion, creativity, and imagination to the work and you will have great success.

    Q: How has being a PRSA member impacted your career?

    A: There are many ways that being a PRSA member has enriched my career. Often times in a non-profit environment, you are part of a small team or might be the only public relations professional in the entire organization. Being a PRSA member expanded my network of brilliant brains to pick when I have a PR-related issue at work. It also helps me keep up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies in public relations and social media through on-demand webinars, in-person workshops, and articles which I am able to immediately apply to my work.

    I recently finished the APR accreditation process which allowed me to take a step back from the day to day of public relations and look at the broader systems, theories, and techniques behind the craft. As a life-long learner, I’m grateful that PRSA offers these unique and invaluable opportunities. I look forward to all that PRSA continues to offer and all I can offer PRSA in return.

    About Fast 5

    This is a feature of PRSA Boston’s Hot Topics blog page. The expert subject is someone who is clearly in demand, on the go, and nailing them down for a conversation is about as easy as … winning Powerball at $1.5 billion! But we know leaders like to share, so check back for insights, wisdom, author’s books about to hit the stands and other valuable tips. @prsaboston #prsabos

    Do YOU have a candidate for a FAST 5 interview? Email: Joshua Milne at josh@joshuamilnepr.com and pitch your subject expert!

    Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author or the individual being interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRSA Boston, PRSA National, staff or  board of directors of either organization. 
  • 2018 Proud Member of PRSA

    In Career, Uncategorized on

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