Lending Their Voices, Honing Their Skills

Ilana Berzon, Elaine McMillion, Rheanna Bellomo

Heather West MFA '13
September 29, 2010

In a new program established by the Office of Communications and Marketing, Emerson students are writing press releases, covering news stories, producing videos, designing publications, and creating social media campaigns on behalf of the College. There are 14 students in paid positions. They range from freshmen to graduate students, and hail from the departments of Journalism; Marketing Communication; Visual and Media Arts; and Writing, Literature and Publishing.

“The concept is to provide an opportunity right here on campus for students to hone their professional skills in public relations and marketing, while also giving the Emerson College website an authentic student voice,” said Andy Tiedemann, Vice President for Communications and Marketing. “I also hope that the participants in the program will form a bond and an alumni network that will aid them in their careers long after graduation. They are so talented, and we are delighted to have them working with us,” he said.

“The concept is to provide an opportunity right here on campus for students to hone their professional skills in public relations and marketing, while also giving the Emerson College website an authentic student voice. I hope that the participants in the program will form a bond and an alumni network that will aid them in their careers long after graduation. They are so talented, and we are delighted to have them working with us.”

The Office of Communications and Marketing is responsible for Emerson’s media relations, social media, website content and design, government and community relations, and publications design. “Our audiences are local and national.” Tiedemann said. “People who visit our website or read our news stories range from alumni and prospective students to current students, parents, faculty, and staff.”

“I am working on various social media efforts,” said Ilana Berzon ’11, a Marketing major and president of the student-run marketing firm EmComm. She recently conducted an audit for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders that included recommendations for use of Facebook. Her counterpart, Valerie Molina ’11, also a Marketing major, recently helped spread the word about ArtsEmerson via Twitter and is designing a social media campaign for ProArts Connect (a resource for the ProArts Consortium schools: Berklee College of Music, Boston Architectural College, The Boston Conservatory, Emerson College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston).

Other students in the program are:

  • Rheanna Bellomo ’11
  • Jessica Corwin ’13
  • Matt Figler ’11
  • Meena Ganesan ’11
  • Matt Hashiguchi, MFA, ’11
  • Marissa Kelley ’12
  • Elaine McMillion, MFA ’13
  • Dillon Poole ’13
  • Tim Pratt ’11
  • Micah Schweitzer ’14
  • Heather West, MFA ’13
  • Shana Wickett ’11

This semester’s students include three media relations assistants, two social media assistants, three web content assistants, two graphic design assistants, three videographers, and two video editors. Many of the videos seen on Emerson’s website are now student produced. The media relations interns write articles for Emerson Today and send news of student and faculty accomplishments to community newspapers.

Assistant Director of Media Relations Carrie Fuller wants students to have an above-average job experience. “We hope that the students in this program will work on marketing campaigns that include Twitter, Facebook, videos, slideshows, and text. They will be covering events, writing faculty profiles, and making individual department videos, as well as possibly collaborating on an Emerson College marketing videos. We hope that the experience is enriching, informative, educational, interesting, and fun,” she said.

Future plans for the program include occasionally inviting guest speakers to address the students in the program. “Vice Chair of the Emerson College Board of Trustees Larry Rasky has agreed to be our first visitor,” Tiedemann said.

Pictures above from left to right: Ilana Berzon '11, Elaine McMillion MFA '13, Rheanna Bellomo '11