By Adam Hallenbeck– Sports Editor
On Nov. 12, the Public Relations Alliance (PRA) hosted the second annual professional panel on the first floor of the Arnow Campus Center, creating a networking and learning opportunity with communication professionals from various industries for students at Lasell.
“We really tried to diversify the panel, in terms of how not everyone at Lasell [does] PR, even though everyone should know a little bit about PR, advertising and marketing… some people work in health care, some people work in house, some in fashion, so it is really about offering different perspectives,” said Junior Lily Rivera, President of PRA.
Among the panel was Principal Adam Ritchie, Simmons University Professor Kristina Markos, John Guilfoil Account Coordinator Leah Comins, Ogilvy Assistant Account Executive Emily Papp, Aria Marketing Account Executive Kelsey Pearse, and Talbot’s Marketing Coordinator Mary Fran Hansen.
Among the panel were some familiar faces to campus. Pearse (‘16) and Hansen (‘19) both graduated from the university while Markos, the panel’s moderator, served as an adjunct professor for two years, also serving as the co-advisor for the PRA club.
Some topics the panel touched upon were the difficulty of transitioning from college to the real world, how their public relations fields helped them achieve their personal and career goals and how students can help themselves stand out to an employer after graduation.
“As much of a great education Lasell gave us, there was only so much you can absorb in a classroom. Being in the midst of your work, understanding corporate life… I’m still adjusting to that and understanding how things work as an adult,” said Hansen.
Ritchie, founder and principal of the Adam Ritchie Brand Direction, took a different approach to his practice than his other competitors in the industry. “We started coming up with the ideas for the products and services for the client, and we would tell the client, ‘if you were to make this, it would be on-brand, there would be a demand for it, and it would be newsworthy just for existing,’” said Ritchie.
He specializes in inventive and transformative qualities of PR, releasing the world’s first album on a beer can, a team of pregnant comic book superheroes and influencer-inspired product lines, according to the PR Professionals panel pamphlet distributed at the event.
“What we do is a little bit different and it is an approach to PR that we created that I haven’t seen anywhere else because it is invention driven…we started coming up with the ideas for the products and services for the client, and we would tell the client, ‘if you were to make this, it would be on-brand, there would be a demand for it, and it would be newsworthy just for existing,’” said Ritchie.
The club provided free Chipotle as an incentive to attend as it gave an opportunity to students passing by to enter the space of the event. You can find a full video of the event on Lasell Community Television’s YouTube page.