30 Jun LaunchSquad’s Class of 2014 Turns 1: A Look Back
As June 2015 comes to a close, it’s that time of year when the class of 2014 college graduates hit their 1 year anniversary at LaunchSquad! After hanging up our grad caps and replacing them with our (many) PR hats, the class of 2014 has had an amazing and formative 12 months in “the real world.”
Here are some highlights from our first year:
Christine Freschi, Graduate of Boston College
From early on at LaunchSquad, recent grads are trusted to manage their own projects, from strategizing the opportunity to running point with the client to coordinating logistics to reporting on the results. One of my favorite projects has been coordinating a panel for SXSW. I worked with the SXSW coordinator and four industry experts to brainstorm talking points and panel format. It was pretty awesome to be able to contribute my ideas and lead the conversation with four top journalists and CEOs. And on a day-to-day basis, my favorite project is definitely pitching media. There’s nothing better than hearing about a new reporter in your beat and strategizing the best way to reach her. I love drafting a (hopefully) compelling and creative pitch that captures what’s so cool about the client, then whittling it down and refining so that every word adds up to a clear and concise pitch. I love the adrenaline that comes with seeing a response from the reporter in my inbox!
John Harrington, Graduate of NYU School of Engineering
From designing a custom bottle opener and hiring a “street team”, to learning the intricacies of international press releases, to helping facilitate a client’s feature on the cover of Businessweek 7 months before they launched, my first year at LaunchSquad has been jam packed with a variety of exciting projects and challenges. My favorite by far, however, has been working on a custom-built Content Analytics dashboard to use for internal and client reporting. This dashboard aims to help quantify and demonstrate which types of content have been most successful in terms of views and sharing. This project enabled me to use some of my programming skills I learned in school, while also giving me a better understanding of both content and targeted analytics in a public relations program.
Steve Hirsch, Graduate of Washington University Saint Louis
My favorite project that I’ve worked on in my first year at LS was helping manage a client’s first media tour in March. Being able to work with the client firsthand, walk through media training and help conduct briefings was really rewarding, particularly given the coverage we saw from it.
Whitney Jencks, Graduate of Georgetown University
Earlier this year, I traveled solo to Los Angeles to support a client at a media opportunity on a daytime talk show. Although this was a quick trip (we were only in Los Angeles for about 6 hours) it was a great learning experience and I was able to take on several new responsibilities: organizing travel plans, making sure the products were set up and camera-ready, prepping my client about the key points we needed to hit while on air. I also learned a ton about my client’s background and design philosophies which have ultimately helped us work together on bylines and speaking submissions.
Cat Ku, Graduate of Princeton University
My favorite parts of what we do at LS are messaging and content. I’ve loved working with clients on announcing major milestones (launches, funding, etc.) because it gives us a chance to either reposition or reaffirm what they’re about in the media. For example, we recently announced one client’s huge funding round. With the help of this round, they’re evolving beyond their original mission. The LS team got to help craft that message. I’ve also loved content—bylines, blog posts, social media. My favorite content project has been one client’s campaign called “A Teacher Like You.” I only recently joined the team, but have admired this project from afar since it launched. The team produced a mini documentary that premiered at SXSWedu. Since then, we’ve been interviewing teachers across the country and sharing their stories on Instagram and our blog. I love hearing all these amazing anecdotes in interviews and figuring out how to best structure them into a larger compelling story.
Maria Pianelli, Graduate of SUNY New Paltz
I like to think of being an account associate as ‘the formative years.’ You learn the ins and outs of the industry, yes, but you also come to discover your own unique talents and interests. For me, that has been content. While I do like bonding with journalists and sharing client news, the most exciting moments for me have been in content development—conceptualizing an original byline, pitching to the client and then watching it blossom. There’s nothing cooler than hearing a top trade wants to publish something you’ve worked so closely on for the client. I’ve also had the opportunity to run Twitter programs and explore social media best practices. You learn how to write in a brand’s voice and identify relevant content worth sharing. But perhaps the most rewarding project for me has been relaunching LaunchSquad’s Tumblr. I co-manage the account, compose original content and create an editorial calendar of ideas each month. I love the strategy that goes into internal marketing and it’s helped me realize where my passions lie.
image c/o balloonsdelivered.com