PR Advanced 2009

March 3, 2009 at 9:35 PM (Happenings, work) (, , , , , , )

I probably should have blogged about Saturday’s outstanding conference earlier, while everything was still crisp in my mind, but by the end of the day, I’m pretty sure that most of my brain had leaked out my left ear.  I was exhausted, and I was only an attendee.  Having organised substantial events in the past, I think I have a pretty good idea of how tuckered out the organisers must have been.

I have no excuse for not writing Sunday.  The most productive thing I did on Sunday was creating a LinkedIn account.  Oh, and I scored my Twitter and Facebook pages.  And I made a nice lunch (complete with cookies for dessert) for myself and the little wanderer.  I may have even finished off the rest of those pesky bottles of Ocean Spray cranberry juice and Smirnoff strawberry vodka (okay, so that wasn’t much of an accomplishment: there was less than an ounce of vodka left).  Most of Monday was spent frozen. But I still acknowledge that I took a mini-vacation, and I’m sorry for holding you all at the edges of your seats for so long.  It was cruel of me.  I’ll never do it again.

Okay, so I’m probably lying.

And now, without further ado, my experience at PR Advanced 2009: Innovation Through Leadership, hosted by Boston University’s Edward L. Bernays chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)!

PRAdvanced 2009 was a single-day PR and marketing conference planned, organised and executed by BU PRSSA, the university’s on-campus public relations club, featuring a networking breakfast, breakout sessions, a keynote address and a career fair.  As soon as I learned of the career fair, I became intensely interested in the conference, but as it turns out, the whole conference turned out to be an enlightening, beneficial and enjoyable adventure.

Saturday morning felt like nothing short of punishment as I rolled out of bed at 9.00 A.M. after the snooze alarm tormented me for the eighth time in two hours.  Groggily, I slumped out of bed and into the shower.  An hour and 20 minutes later, I was looking to the little wander for an affirmation that yes, I looked professional yet stunning.  At 10.21, I was out the door, not too concerned that I had nine minutes to get to registration.

By 10.35, I had arrived at the College of Communication (COM) to find myself at the end of the check-in line. The chapter president greeted me and handed me a folder, containing a selectively highlighted map of BU’s Charles River campus, a “Dressing for Success” handout (I cursed my deep fuchsia blouse upon reading “Colour plays a big part in a professional image. Traditional colours include red, navy, grey and black. Loud colours… may not be acceptable for a conservative office,” and then breathed a sigh of relief as my eyes made their way across “but could be more acceptable in a more trendy or creative environment.”  PR and new media are totally trendy!), a copy of “BRINK: A Social Media Guide from the Edge,” courtesy of PR-Squared authored by Todd Defren of SHIFT Communications, conference speaker biographies, a schedule of events, and a nifty pen from BU’s Development & Alumni Relations Student Alumni Council.  I checked in, signed up for my breakout sessions, and made my way over to the networking breakfast just in time for a bagel and a Dixie cup of Starbucks coffee and to meet up with a friend from my new media class and another friend from my BU Ballroom Club days.  After inhaling my bagel, the three of us found ourselves caught in a stream of aspiring marketing and PR professionals destined for the COM auditorium for opening remarks by BUPRSSA’s Heather Papsun, the event coordinator, and PRSSA’s Ceciliah Hughes, the National Vice President of Internships/ Job Services.  After 99% of the audience raised their hands in response to the question “How many of you use Twitter?” Ceciliah proceeded to inform us that someone had already created a hash tag for the event, #pradvan09, which we were encouraged to use throughout the day so long as we respected the speakers (of course).  And at that, we were off to our first breakout sessions.

My two companions and I were thrilled to discover that we had chosen the same morning breakout session, featuring Mike Volpe, Vice President of Inbound Marketing at HubSpot (and I snicker as I linked to those two sites knowing how little value it adds to either’s credibility: you’ll learn momentarily).  Although, as he pointed out at the start of his presentation, we were already decently versed in the importance of inbound marketing and the use of new media tools relative to his more common audiences consisting of more senior communications professionals, I still think he delivered an incredibly useful, informative presentation.  I won’t try to transcribe all of my notes to this post (since we’re already at over 903 words), but his presentation is available for download here.  I will review a few things that I found particularly noteworthy, though:

Looking for work?  Find what interests you, and write articles (or blog posts) about it.  If that industry is current on new media tools, then someone relevant is going to find what you wrote.  Even if what you’re writing isn’t exactly in line with the company, you’re showing that you’re knowledgeable, observant and interested.  For instance, I will now be keeping a closer eye on PR-Squared, and making a point of commenting on what SHIFT’s up to.

When creating a professional blog, don’t use a free URL from blog hosts such as Blogspot, WordPress and Tumblr.  Upon hearing this, I cursed my decision to print out 30 copies of my résumé showcasing my URL in the header only hours earlier (on the nice paper, too!!).  I later consulted my new media professor about my dilemma, and he put my fears aside: my blog is personal, rather than professional, and including the link still informs potential employers of my experience and comfort level in blogging.  Bless your soul, professor.

I want to share more about Mike’s wonderful lecture and the remainder of PR Advanced 2009, but I have to run to a networking event.  I will finish up tonight!

Today’s Tunes
“All for You (Full Band Version),” Sister Hazel
“Reasons,” Earth, Wind & Fire
“I Can Change,” John Legend
“House of Wolves,” My Chemical Romance
“Sleeping Beauty: Waltz,” CSR Symphony Orchestra & Ondrej Lenard
“Sway,” Lostprophets
“Better Brother,” Madita
“Pictures of You,” The Last Goodnight
“Number One,” John Legend
“Glow,” Nelly Furtado
“Ringa Ringa,” Slumdog Millionaire (Music from the Motion Picture)
“Hand In My Pocket,” Alanis Morissette
“Run,” Snow Patrol
“Slide,” Goo Goo Dolls
“Cocinando la Salsa,” Sonora Carruseles
“Black Hole Sun,” Soundgarden
“Heartbreaker,” Madonna
“Makin’ Whoopee,” Frank Sinatra
“God Only Knows,” The Beach Boys
“Take Me Back to Manhattan,” Anything Goes – 1962 Off-Broadway Cast Recording
“La Vie en Rose,” Alden David
“Flash,” Queen
“Georgia On My Mind,” Ray Charles
“Hey Love,” Stevie Wonder


1 Comment

  1. PR Advanced, 2009, Part 2 « And Here, We Have My Musings said,

    […] to the old post and having to re-publish it (drag, really), I’ll just link to the first post here and continue on my merry […]

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