Tonight’s Boston PRoud Event will bring hundreds of PR professionals together, including PAN Communications and 40 co-sponsoring agencies, to raise money for The One Fund Boston. Taken place at three different locations in the Back Bay, the event has attracted sponsors such as PRNewswire, Cision, Dow Jones, Propel Marketing and Sam Whitmore’s Media Survey and donations for raffle items. This will be a great time to reconnect with former colleagues, catch up on the industry trends and most importantly—do it all for a good cause.
I sat down with PAN’s own vice president Jason Ouellette who started this idea with a few former PAN collegues to discuss tonight’s event and what it means for Boston and its PR industry:
This is such a great cause and everyone in the Boston PR industry is excited for tonight’s event. What started this event and how did it evolve to over 850 tickets being sold? Did you have any initial goals?
It has really taken off. I don’t think we had any initial goals, well one was bantered around when we were bouncing this idea off of one another and that was to raise $20,000 for the One Fund. Without a final tally I can honestly say we’ll exceed that initial goal – a couple times over… But how this came together? One late Tuesday night four weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a former colleague at PAN Communications, Ken Peters (who is now at Text100) and he had two other former colleagues on the note- Keri Bertolino from fama and Joel Richman from SHIFT. He gauged our interest in joining in and seeing what the local PR community could do to raise as much money as possible to support the victims and local businesses that were impacted from the Boston Marathon bombings.
What are you most looking forward to?
Raising as much money as possible! We have a good idea of our ticket sales and the very generous donations from each co-sponsoring agency but what we don’t know until late tomorrow night will be how much the raffle is going to raise. We have some great gifts like Red Sox tickets, a Tiffany necklace, tablets from Lenovo, signed memorabilia from the Celtics and Red Sox, gym memberships and plenty others. If you can’t make it I am sure there will be updates on Twitter @Boston_PRoud throughout the night across the three venues on Boylston St.
As of now, who is part of this event?
Pick a PR agency in the metro Boston area and I am sure they’re involved! The main drivers throughout have been Text100, fama, SHIFT, March Communications and PAN Communications. We have over 40 agencies registered as co-sponsors for the event and have been lucky enough to have the likes of PRNewswire, Cision, Dow Jones, Propel Marketing and Sam Whitmore’s Media Survey sponsoring the food across the three venues. This allows 100 percent of the proceeds raised to go directly to the One Fund.
What has gone into the planning of the event? How has it been working with some of your competitors in organizing this event?
Being in the PR and marketing business I think each of us has a knack for event planning so that has helped – but not sure we want to do this full-time! In all seriousness, it’s been a lot of work but 100 percent worth it. To be able to work with some old friends (and new ones) has been great. Reading 100’s of emails and hopping on calls made me think back to when we all worked together and if we can be this successful on this project, what if we still worked together? I think we really played to each other’s strengths during this entire process – everything from organization, to big ideas, to tactical items to event management. It’s been great working with some talented and passionate people.
What do you think this event says about Boston and the PR industry here?
In a nutshell, that we’re all in this together. No matter what happens in our professional lives or during the daily grind, at the end of the day, we’re all a part of this great City. When someone falls down or needs a hand there are plenty of generous, compassionate people here offering assistance. I think it is a testament to the City of Boston and how tight knit the community is (let alone the PR community). This City is known for its hardworking, community focused and passionate people. I think our industry copied that over this past month and we’re looking forward to having a great time on Boylston St. tonight!