• Temple PRSSA

This week's Member Monday is Brianna McDevitt! Here is our Q&A with her.

Where are you from?

Brianna McDevitt: I am from right outside of Philly--Pottstown, PA.

What year are you?

BM: I am a second-semester sophomore, and I am about to be a junior in the spring.

What is your major and minor if you have one?

BM: I'm a public relations major with a certificate in Event Leadership.

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

BM: I've been a member for year and a few months, since the beginning of my freshman year.

What do you love about PRSSA?

BM: I've really enjoyed being in the Community Service Committee this year. Being able to integrate PR skills while helping the community around us is something I would like to continue doing throughout my career.

What are some of your interests/hobbies?

BM: I'm a student athlete on the Temple Cheerleading team and I am on the social media team where I curate and manage content for our account, @templecheer. I also write rap music and secretly have a SoundCloud account.

What PRSSA activities or events have you been involved with/attended?

BM: The Community Service Committee recently organized a can drive and fundraiser in donation to Philabundance, which I helped with. It was great to be able to do something impactful, even though we are limited because of the pandemic.

What is your dream job?

BM: My dream job is to work for a major corporation in some capacity whether it be PR, marketing, or communications.

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  • Temple PRSSA

On Tuesday, November 17th, Marisa Lalli, senior vice president and general manager at WE Communications, spoke to the Temple PRSSA chapter. WE is a public relations and integrated marketing communications firm with locations in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Austin, Boston, and New York.

Lalli started off by sharing WE’s reputation and accolades. The firm is one of the largest independent communications and marketing agencies in the world: it has over 1,000 staff members and hundreds of international markets. WE was founded in 1984 by Melissa Wagener Zorkin and Pam Edstrom. WE is most known for their work with Microsoft but had numerous other notable clients as well, such as Honeywell, Morgan Stanley, Volvo, and McDonalds.

Lalli’s activity “Planning 101: Strategies and Tactics” explained the differences between business goals, communication goals, strategies, and tactics when creating a PR plan. Business goals are goals the business wants to achieve through the plan, while communication goals are ones specific to methods of communication. An example of a communication goal is increasing social media engagement by 20%. She then clarified the difference between strategies and tactics. Strategies are the “how you’ll do it,”(reach your goal) while tactics are the “what you’ll do” to achieve the goals. She gave an example that was a bit comical:

Goal: Get my boyfriend to break up with me.

Strategy: Make him think I’m cheating on him.

Tactics: Dab on other men’s cologne before dates, consistently be 10 minutes late.

Several PRSSA members shared their own examples of goals, strategies, and tactics, and Lalli walked them through which ones worked and which ones needed a little help.

After the activity, Lalli touched on the WE Internship program and its remote opportunities. She also talked about how WE has been working though COVID-19 and how important it is for communicators to meet consumers and clients where they are emotionally and mentally, especially during this pandemic.

Lalli ended the session by sharing the most memorable campaigns and accounts she has worked on at WE Communications. These memories included attending an event planning bootcamp for the Grammy Awards and meeting Oprah for the first time while working on a Microsoft Surface campaign.

It was a pleasure being able to learn so much from Marisa Lalli and her experiences in the industry. The session was a great refresher on the key points of creating a PR plan. It was also encouraging to hear about how exciting and rewarding a PR career can be.

This blog post was written by Irene Bak, Digital Committee Member.

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  • Temple PRSSA

Since its release this past March, the outstanding success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons has not gone unnoticed by other industries. From Cracker Barrel to Ally Bank, various organizations are using New Horizons to reach younger audiences.

If you've never heard of it, Animal Crossing is a video game series that began when its self-titled debut was released for the Nintendo Gamecube in 2001. In every mainline entry, players control a human "villager" that befriends cute anthropomorphic townspeople. In addition to customizing and upgrading their in-game home, players partake in a variety of activities such as fishing, catching bugs, and buying new outfits for their villager - a formula that has largely gone unchanged throughout the years.

A villager's kitchen and living room in the game.

As one of the only kids in my childhood friend group who owned this never-before-seen life simulator when it was first released, I’ve come to know its trademark quirkiness well. To this day, some of my male friends ask what the point of the game is. Where is the blood and gore? How do you beat it?

Though the game can't be beaten per se, success is measured by the friendships you form with your co-habitants, paying off your home’s mortgage, and receiving rewards from the “Happy Home Academy.” Refreshingly simple gameplay has helped millions of players cope with COVID-related anxieties these past few months.

But how does the fifth sequel of this weird, formerly obscure interior design game from my childhood tie into public relations?

For starters, the latest entry is the most popular yet. With 26 million copies sold, New Horizons is one of this year’s bestselling games.

Customization is deeper than ever before. Players can customize anything from the color of the lamp shade in the corner of their virtual bedroom to the type of fencing they want surrounding their neighbors’ houses. Hundreds of new items and decorative themes allow for a greater range of self-expression which is exactly what organizations need to communicate their message effectively.

Thirdly, New Horizons’ Wi-Fi compatibility lets players visit and explore each other’s villages online with the “Dream Code” feature. Uploading a village and sharing the 16-digit code allows members of Nintendo's paid online subscription to visit your village. Thankfully, using a Dream Code prevents visitors from pocketing items that aren’t theirs or messing with the owner’s hard work.

Nintendo has released no shortage of Fall content for northern hemisphere players. This month, mushrooms and mushroom-related DIY recipes were added. In October, players dressed up their villagers and decorated for Halloween. With four months to go before its one-year anniversary, New Horizons still has room for more seasonal content to be added. Organizations, take notice.

This blog post was written by Matthew Robinson, Digital Committee Member.

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