PR Advanced

Powered by Purpose

February 20th, 2021

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PR Advanced: Pilot Your Future     
Karen Raskopf, Dunkin Brands      

About the Conference

PR Advanced is an annual student-run District Conference hosted by Boston University Public Relations Student Society of America. The conference aims to enrich students of all majors in their career endeavors and provide them with an unparalleled opportunity to network. 

This year, the theme, Powered by Purpose, will inspire young professionals to see the positive impact communications can have on the world and help them discover their individual spark that will carry out throughout their careers. With the help of professionals from various backgrounds, this conference will provide attendees with advice on promoting values in the communications industry and work, as well as within themselves. Each attendee will leave with transferable skills and the confidence to purposefully enter their career and make a difference. 


Corley Kenna

Sr. Director of Global Comms at Patagonia

Bridget Bartol

VP at SKDK Crisis Communications  in DC

Fiona Gildea

Purpose + Strategy professional at Milk & Honey PR in London

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Laura Tomasetti

CEO of 360PR

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Taylor Kielpinski-Rogers


Director of Communications at the NFL

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Darlene Doyle


Executive Vice President, Client Relations at PAN Communications

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Nick Neville


Media Coordinator at CNN

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Monique Kelley Gigliotti

Neuroscience Communications Lead at Takeda


Jayda Leder-Luis


Vice President at Denterlein

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Maya Malekian


Executive Director, Founder at empath worldwide

Geneve Lau


Executive Director at empath worldwide


Anna Stock-Matthews


Head of Communications at

charity: water

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Natalie Santa Maria, APR


Owner and CEO, Sunnyside Communications



9:00 - 10:00 EST 

Morning Welcome and Networking

Take this time to start your conference experience like a typical morning at an in-person event. Grab some coffee, plan your day, and start connecting with people!


10:15 - 11:15 EST

Breakout Sessions

  • Communicating with Care: healthcare PR during COVID - Monique Kelley, Takeda

  • Agency Life: A case study in purpose - Darlene Doyle and VPs. PAN Communications

  • How to Get Creative in a Crisis - Bridget Bartol, SKDK


11:30 - 12:30 EST

Keynote Session

  • InsPiRing Change in Corporate Communications

    • Corley Kenna, Patagonia


12:30 - 1:15 EST


Take this time to network with sponsors and attendees, make lunch, and take a stretch break. Don’t forget to tag us in your conference posts @pradvanced to be entered in the giveaway!

1:15 - 2:15 EST

Breakout Sessions

  • Breaking Barriers: building relationships between PR and Journalism - Nick Neville, CNN

  • Purpose: it’s more than a word, it’s a lifestyle - Fiona Gildea, Milk & Honey PR

  • The many ways to share your mission: reaching the right audiences through PESO - Jayda Leder-Luis, Denterlein

  • Leadership Summit - Rachel Meltzer, Kathryn Belanger, PRSSA National


2:30 - 3:30 EST 

Keynote Panel

  • Putting PR into Practice as a Student: the story of empath worldwide and mission-driven work:

    • Geneve Lau & Maya Malekian, empath worldwide


3:30 - 4:30 EST

Keynote Panel

  • Finding your Purpose Post-Grad

    • Laura Tomasetti, 360 PR

    • Nathalie Santa Maria, APR Sunnyside Communications

    • Anna Stock-Matthews, charity: water


4:45 - 5:30 EST

Keynote Session

  • Getting Your Career to the Endzone

    • Taylor Kielpinski-Rogers, NFL


Virtual Conference

Who will I meet at the conference?

Over the years we have had professionals from all over the industry come to speak and share their business experiences with attendees. We will be updating our Speakers Tab for a list of professionals who will be at the event. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to meet peers from all over the nation through the conference platform.

Will the conference be virtual this year?

Yes! The PR Advanced 2021 District Conference: Powered by Purpose will be all virtual.

Which online platform will the conference be held on?

The conference will take place on both Airmeet and Zoom platforms. On Airmeet, you will have the opportunity to connect with other attendees and the sponsors of our event at virtual tables. All speaker sessions will be held on Zoom in a classroom-style environment, so you can engage with the speaker and ask more questions. A digital workbook with the schedule and proper links will be sent to each participant.

Will there be networking opportunities at this virtual conference?

Yes! We know online conferences can be a lot, but with our Airmeet capabilities, you’ll be able to video call or chat with other attendees and speakers. You can also utilize the Slack channels we will have set up (links will be available in the workbook). This is a great way to form connections, share LinkedIn info, and stay in touch even after the conference. How can I get involved on the day of the conference? Be sure to follow PR Advanced on our social media platforms. We’ll be sharing updates throughout the day and encouraging you to share your conference experience with us. Your Instagram story might even get you entered into one of our giveaways!

What do I wear to a virtual conference?

Let’s be real, we’ve all worn our comfiest sweatpants with a blazer for a meeting at some point this year. We encourage you to dress comfortably for the conference while wearing a business casual or semi-formal shirt.

What should I bring to a virtual conference?

Be sure to have a fully charged laptop and functioning WiFi, our digital workbook either online or printed. A coffee and some snacks are a great addition to your desk space too. We can’t wait to see you there, and if you have any questions before the conference, please reach out on our social media or email our Conference Coordinator Jali at



Our Sponsors


The Boston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America


Boston University COM Grad Council