Business Wire’s 50th Anniversary celebration this year features the BW Gives Back volunteer program, which affords employees the opportunity to “go to work” in their communities for the educational or charitable organizations that mean the most to them.
Executive Vice President Laura Sturaitis spent last Thursday sharing her time and expertise with job seekers among the students, alumnae and members of the general public at her alma mater St. Thomas University in Miami, FL. Sturaitis served as a panelist at St. Thomas’s Job Search Boot Camp. Her presentation, “Developing and Managing Your Professional Online Brand,” sparked a lively discussion.
Many Business Wire staff, including Laura, regularly speak to college PR and Communications students as guest lecturers on a variety of industry topics from Writing for the Web to What is the Wire? These talks help students prepare for and excel in our quickly changing industry.
“I try to impart the fact that it’s necessary to apply their wizardry using new technologies and social media to the old-school communication skills they are learning in class – good writing and grammar, identifying and building audiences through meaningful professional relationships and networking, determining the right channels for their well-crafted message and the ability to evaluate the results of their efforts in order to make adjustments,” says Sturaitis. “We always have a lot to talk about and share in class.”
Raschanda Hall, Business Wire’s Chicago-based Global Media Relations Manager, is another staff member who regularly takes her experience and skills back to school. She recently spent the afternoon with a class of Chicago State students.
“I love the opportunity to talk to college students studying my craft, ” says Hall. “Getting just a glimpse of what life is like in the working world of public relations is something these kids can’t get from books….When I’m asked to talk to a local college class about PR, I jump at the chance. I end up getting as much out of it as the students because I’m inspired by the next generation.”
With a company wide goal of 5,000 hours of community service in honor of its 50th Anniversary, Business Wire supports employees’ efforts to volunteer by providing up to 10 hours of paid time off in 2011.