January 23, 2023 greenk
Lauren Bentivegna

One Step Closer to Confidence

By Lauren Bentivegna

Throughout my experience with Hawk Communications, I learned a wide variety of skills that I am excited to apply in my post-graduation endeavors. I specifically worked for Chris Poland and his record label, Eclipse Records. I worked alongside another classmate Ethan on a campaign to spread awareness about the label’s 25th year anniversary. 

Meeting with Chris on a weekly basis through Zoom to discuss the process of the campaign allowed me to work on my time management skills, professionalism and communication skills between myself and the client. I learned to be assertive and confident in my suggestions and to not be afraid to dislike a client’s idea. I also gained organizational skills as I kept track of our meetings through note-taking and creating meeting agendas. Accountability was a large part of the process as well and reminded me that in the real world, there can’t be any “slackers” in the “group project.” Having Ethan as a teammate taught me how to collaborate with another person on a campaign through good communication, organization, and of course, teamwork. We both listened to each other’s ideas and did our best to put our ideas together to make even better ones. 

It took some creativity and outside-of-the-box thinking to spread awareness about the anniversary beyond using social media or live events. When we eventually decided how we would promote Eclipse’s 25 years, we knew we had to create a story out of this news to pitch to a ton of different online publication editors. I also suggested to Chris that their social media accounts can post an animated video regarding some of the statistics about the label over the years as a way to reflect on all of their accomplishments and show pride for their hard work. For publications to see potential in our story, we created four different interesting angles from it depending on the general topic of the publication: business, technology, local New Jersey, and music. I have gained so much experience especially in media relations and email pitch writing as that was the majority of what our campaign required. Through all of the pitching that we did, I was surprised to see how social media can become a tool based on the editors’ preferences. Some prefer to be reached out via direct messages on Twitter.

I was responsible for certain parts of this campaignl. I took notes every Zoom meeting and created a to-do list for Ethan and I to get through before our next meeting, e-mail pitched to half of the editors on Chris’ media list, emailed multiple bands under Eclipse Records to inquire about their experiences to possibly include as a quote within our story, and created my own media list through MuckRack to suggest different editors and publications to pitch to. Beyond these tasks, I am most proud of myself for getting a successful response back from an editor of Wayne Magazine that was eager to take on our story. It was amazing to get the opportunity to speak with an editor and organize a plan on how to go about speaking with Chris and publishing our idea. I am working on the video idea for the Eclipse Records’ Instagram to post. Chris didn’t guarantee that my video would be posted, but I hope that what I put together will impress him and convince him to post it. 

I realized I can improve my listening skills since I tend to speak often and get distracted  by my thoughts and ideas without leaving room for others to contribute. I want to start listening to my teammates more and speaking less often to give others the opportunity to share more of their own ideas. 

In all, this class has challenged me to use my creative abilities to generate a strategic and professional campaign. I’m excited to take on more campaigns as I realized being an account coordinator for a public relations or marketing firm is something that I’m interested in pursuing.