Final Post of the Year

As the year comes to an end, I wanted to take this time to write about my most memorable moments from the past year (1 per month).

January

In the beginning of the year, I was lucky enough to win the Jersey Shore Public Relations and Advertising Association (JSPRAA) James R. McCormick Scholarship.  I was invited to attend a luncheon and met some incredible public relations and advertising professionals who work in the Jersey Shore area.  I also met some very talented students from the Jersey Shore area who were also awarded the scholarship.  Steven Lubetkin took a picture of us at the luncheon.

February

The PR Advanced: Brand Yourself conference that I helped plan as co-coordinator of Boston University’s Regional Activity was on February 27.  More details about the conference are at the PR Advanced: Brand Yourself post.  The conference was a culmination of my love for the Public Relations Student Society of America, public relations and event planning.  I had an incredible committee who contributed to its success, and it was truly an exceptional day to see everything come together.

March

In this month, my life changed for the better.  I went to PRSSA National Assembly in Austin and was elected to serve as the 2010-2011 National Vice President of Regional Activities.  Not only do I get to assist in the Regional Activities across the country, but I have had the chance to get to know some incredible people on the National Committee and in other Chapters who are truly going to make a huge impact on the industry.

April

After filling out and submitting many applications and cover letters and researching a lot of agencies, I accepted an offer from Burson-Marsteller to intern in their Corporate and Financial Department in New York City.  More details about the internship are in my Lessons From A PR Intern post.  I didn’t know it then, but I would gain a lot of public relations experience, interact with some of the industry’s top PR professionals and work on many interesting clients (often at the same time).

May

I have always befriended people who are older than me so it only made sense that I attend Boston University’s graduation ceremony.  It was a great “last hurrah” to spend with my friends who were graduating, but it also made me think a lot about my future (and the fact that I only had a year left to enjoy college and potentially Boston).  I wrote about my thoughts in my Graduation Reflection post.

June

There will obviously be a common theme about PRSSA in this blog post, but in June I really began to understand the organization inside and out.  Every year the PRSSA National Committee goes to Scottsdale, Arizona for a few days for a retreat to kick off the year.  I was amazed at the talent and leadership in the room as we discussed our platforms for the year and got to know each other.  The four days I spent with these people were truly the best days of my summer.

July

On July 14…I turned 21!  It was a great birthday and definitely exciting to be considered more of an “adult.”  Below is the best birthday card I have ever received!

August

For my grandmother’s 80th birthday, she took my family on a Mediterranean cruise that left from Barcelona.  We traveled to Capri, Rome, Pisa, Cannes, Monaco and Toulon.  It was my first time in Europe and truly an incredible experience.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Capri, Italy

Rome, Italy

Pisa, Italy

Pisa, Italy

Cannes, France

Monaco

Toulon, France

September

In September I started my last year at Boston University and my last year of school forever.  It is crazy to think that after so many years of school and classes, I will not be starting a new year next September!

October

In October I spent 10 days in Washington, D.C. first at the University of Maryland and then at the PRSSA National Conference.  More details about the conference are in my 2010 PRSSA National Conference: Washington, D.C. post.  Long story short, the conference was the greatest week of my life.

November

November was a very busy month.  I felt like I had a different event/commitment every night.  But I did one thing that I have always wanted to do.  I competed with Chris Wilcox in the Mr. and Miss BU pageant as Mr. and Miss COM!  We had a few challenges and prepared a skit and dance to Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.”  We got 2nd place, and it was a lot of fun!

December

I was hoping to talk about my smartphone here but since I still have my Blackberry (see #downwithblackberry), I will discuss 2 tweet-ups I went to that I really enjoyed!  Harrison Kratz asked me to plan Boston’s TweetDrive to gather toys for needy children.  More details about this event are in the Boston TweetDrive post.  Zach Cole asked me to be part of a social media task force at the MegaTweetup 2.  More details about this event are in the MegaTweetup 2 post.

TweetDrive

MegaTweetup 2

Happy New Year to everyone, and I look forward to many more memories in the next year as I have had this past year.

MegaTweetup 2

Last week I attended an incredible event hosted by Joselin Mane at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center called MegaTweetup 2.  Normally the tweet-ups I have gone to have maybe 40-60 people, but this tweet-up had more than 400 people.  We took over 2 floors of the venue, had more than 50 (maybe even closer to 100) sponsors, what seemed like unlimited food and drinks and raffle items galore.

I have to mention the venue and how perfect it was.  We were on the 10th and 11th floors and overlooked the entire city of Boston.  It was also the 500th event the center has hosted, and they gave us 500 cupcakes to celebrate.

I also had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the social media control center led by Zach Cole, a senior at Emerson College.

Along with Mike DeFilippis, Valentina Monte, Mara Martin, Abbey Niezgoda, DJ Switz and Lane Sutton, we were trained by Radian6 before the event to track specific analytics throughout the night.  During the event, we used Radian6, TweetReach, Twitter.com and other tools to track how many people were using the hashtag “#MegaTweetup,” how many people tweeted, how many people checked-in using Foursquare and SCVNGR, how many people posted pictures, popular keywords and RT, etc.  A summary of some of the data can be found on Zach’s blog, our presentation can be found on Lane’s slides, video of the event can be found on Bruce Garber’s UStream and case studies will be coming by early 2011.

Check out some of these blog posts for other recaps of the event!

Zach Cole

Mike DeFilippis

Steve Garfield

Bruce Garber

Ben Spark

Boston TweetDrive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For the past month or so, I have been working with Kratz PR to plan Boston’s TweetDrive.  Harrison Kratz, the President of Kratz PR came up with the idea to have tweet-ups across the country with an entrance fee of a toy instead of money.  At the end of the TweetDrive, toys will be donated to local children’s shelters in each of the cities.  The three weeks of TweetDrives were started last night with Boston and Philadelphia and will continue in 26 other cities including CincinnatiCleveland,ProvidenceDallas-Forth WorthSpokaneColumbusOrange CountyPortsmouthSeattleRockfordOcean SpringsBucks CountySt. LouisLouisvilleChicagoHoustonToledo,CharlotteAtlantaWashington, DCJacksonville and New York City.

We are fortunate to have national support from many sponsors.  PopchipsAuntie Anne’sOptimal Media Group andPitchEngine have all donated their products and services to helping this cause.

Boston’s TweetDrive had sponsors including Panera Bread who provided sandwiches and chips, VitaCoco who provided a variety of drinks and Zipcar who provided transportation to bring the toys to the Home for Little Wanderers in Boston where the toys are being donated.  A HUGE thanks to all of them!

Last but not least, SCVNGR graciously offered to host the event in their office in Cambridge.  If you have not been to their office and have the chance to go, you definitely have to go!  It is probably the coolest facility that I have ever seen.  They have challenges hidden throughout the building, and the architecture is just really cool.  So we were very fortunate that they allowed us to have the event here!  Thanks again guys!

The event went very well!  Everyone brought a variety of toys for the kids from teddy bears to Toy Story items (which ended up being the most popular gifts of the night) to cars and Playdo.  There were many people I did not know who came which was fantastic!  The mission of the event was to gather people together through social media and gather as many toys as possible to donate for the holidays.  Both parts of the mission were definitely achieved, and everyone was able to network, eat and start off the holiday season the right way with TweetDrive!

I’m looking forward to this event being an annual event, and hopefully I will be able to attend some of the other TweetDrives in the other cities this year and next year.  Above this post are pictures from the event.  If you attended this event or any of the other TweetDrives, please comment below and let us know what you thought and what we should do to improve for next year!

The Year As Boston University PRSSA President

Today I submitted the PRSSA Teahan Chapter awards, marking the end of my term as Boston University’s PRSSA President.  It was a bittersweet moment, as I loved leading such an incredible group of individuals, but I look forward to the upcoming year on the National Committee.

Looking back at this past year, I am so proud of what the executive board and PRSSA members accomplished.  We have a greater presence on campus and more members than ever before.  We usually have a problem retaining active members until the end of the year, but there were a lot of enthusiastic and dedicated new members who joined second semester and will make great contributions next year.  We are also attending all of the national events, National ConferenceNational Assembly, and Leadership Rally.  I am excited to see how many of our members will be at the 2010 National Conference in Washington, D.C.

Our Regional Activity, PR Advanced: Brand Yourself, was also an incredible experience both for myself and our committee members.  We had more members on the committee than ever before and more attendees.  More people on campus knew about the conference and attended, which attracted the attention of our Dean of Students.  Our addition of social media into the conference gained the attention of professionals around the world (the United States AND Bangkok).  It was a great success.

Our Vice President, Eric Leist, created our first annual Social Media Competition and Tweet-up.  Both were heavily attended by students and professionals around Boston.  The Social Media Competition invited students to create a campaign forPavement, a new coffee shop, and had six social media judges to decide which team of students had the most creative idea.  The Tweet-up took place at Jillian’s for a night of socializing and networking.

PRSSAgency, our student-run firm, which will be called Unleashed PR next year, had a year of development that will hopefully lead to national affiliation next year.  Emilie O’Toole, who led the agency, worked constantly to create more structured rules for future success.

We also created great relationships with local professional organizations thanks to the hard work of Becky Steinberg.  She built relationships with PRSA and the Publicity Club of New England that led to many opportunities for our members and many fantastic speakers.  We have never had such a variety of speakers before, and it made for more interesting and engaging meetings.

To finish off, our social media presence helped us attract many professionals and members.  The Regional Activity was a trending topic on Twitter (#pradvanced and @pradvanced), the presence of the Tweet-up (#BostonCOM) and Social Media Competition (#BUSMC) on Twitter attracted more people than expected, and our chapter meetings were advertised on Twitter (#BUPRSSA and @BUPRSSA) and Facebook.  We also posted videos on YouTube to inform our members about meetings, events, and even conferences.  If they missed something, they could check the YouTube channel to constantly learn from the executive board.

And I cannot forget the hard work of our Faculty Adviser,Professor Steve Quigley.  Without him, none of this would have been possible.  He always puts his students first and drops everything to give advice and help out where he can.  We are truly lucky to have someone as dedicated as him.

Our new Professional Adviser, Meghan Gross, has also helped us this year.  As President of PRSA Boston, she worked to connect our organizations.  And she helped us secure some speakers for our Regional Activity.

Finally, Dean Fiedler, the Dean of COM, has been so supportive of PRSSA.  Between helping us with funding and giving us suggestions for some of our events, he has truly helped us develop our organization.

PRSSA has brought me incredible memories throughout the years.  I spoke a bit about them on my guest blog post.  But being President has been one of the greatest experiences I could have asked for.  I truly encourage everyone to get involved in their local chapters and aspire to hold this position.  It is truly worth the hard work throughout the year to see so many new faces, meet so many inspiring people, and make a difference.