By Amy Ouellette
On Monday, June 4, I was lucky to attend the Bell Ringer awards, which are sponsored by the Publicity Club of New England. The Bell Ringers recognize and honor excellence and achievement in communications and public relations. I attended with Roberta Lantigua, Ellory Jacobs, and Lauren Charbonneau, as well as our faculty advisor, Dr. Robert Brown, and our professional advisor, Susan Schumacher. After many months of working on our campaign “Turn It Off! Turn It On!” for PRSSA National’s Bateman Case Study Campaign competition, it was exciting to attend this event and be recognized among professional s in the public relations industry in New England.
The event was hosted by David Wade, morning news anchor for WBZ-TV in Boston. He was funny and kept the evening moving along. Pub Club also used social media to engage those in attendance, using Twitter as a forum for raffles throughout the night. The hashtag #bellringer was actively used and it was a great way to interact with other PR professionals.
Part of the excitement in attending this ceremony was knowing that we’d applied for a Bell Ringer based on a campaign that took many hours to research, plan and implement. Hundreds of emails were exchanged over the few months we had to work on this campaign, many hours of sleep and studying were lost, and there were many late nights spent in a cafeteria on campus working on this. Knowing that we would be recognized was exciting. What we didn’t know was that we were placed in a professional category. We were awarded a Bronze Bell in the Public Affairs campaign category.
It was interesting to see many professionals and agencies from the New England area. Many of us were familiar with professionals in attendance for a variety of reasons. It was great to see people there whom I know from Twitter or from PR articles I’ve read. The energy in the room was electric and made us all excited to be a part of such a great industry.
If you ever have the chance to attend an awards ceremony such as the Bell Ringer ceremony, GO! This event was a great opportunity for all of us. We had a wonderful time and Salem State University was recognized for the wonderful communications/public relations program that it has.