Surreal Impact

PRSA Hoosier Chapter Director of Professional Development and Account Manager at Borshoff Brittany Melvin recently wrote the following post for The PR Council ( and is reprinted with her permission:

Brittany-Melvin-300x300I like to believe my interest in public relations (PR) started at a young age, but I may just be attempting to justify my third grade collection of promotional items—pens, stickers, erasers, brochures, you name it, I had it—endorsing anything from fire safety to the opening of a local bank. For fun, I’d occasionally take all the items and organize them by color or purpose (yes, I was the kid who also organized her Halloween candy before she ate any of it) and it’s safe to say those organizational and awareness skills are still with me today and constantly helping me navigate the ever-changing PR industry.

My innate curiosity and desire for a challenge brought me to Indianapolis, where I knew no one, after graduating with distinction from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a specialization in PR and a minor in creative writing. I solidified my love for PR in college during an introduction to advertising class. We spent one session on PR and I realized that’s where I wanted to be. My classes coupled with a variety of exciting PR, marketing and newswriting internships led me to agency life, when I happily landed at Borshoff, an advertising and public relations agency.

It’s such an honor to be part of an agency that fosters creativity, promotes collaboration and produces high-quality work for clients that span the globe. For the last three and a half years, Borshoff has provided me with the skills and knowledge to work on fast-paced and diverse projects for a variety of clients. From higher education to a major pharmaceutical company’s anti-counterfeiting efforts, and so many in between, the intersection of PR and service continues to motivate and inspire me.

Most recently, I had the opportunity to plan and execute a variety of communication strategies for a Global Day of Service (GDOS) campaign for a major client. GDOS takes place each October when approximately 24,000 of my client’s employees spend a day out of the office, helping friends and neighbors in communities around the world. Since the program launched in 2008, the employees have given nearly three quarters of a million hours through GDOS initiatives, making it one of the largest single-day volunteer programs in the world.

I was able to have a hand in everything from employee communications and media relations to social media strategies and managing community relations. The event was a huge success, garnering more than 21 million media impressions, 34 broadcast stories and five local original print stories, including front page coverage in the client’s headquarters city daily. But the real measure of success was being able to see the community improvements around the world: Food drives throughout India, invasive plant removal along waterways in Indianapolis, a camp for children with Autism in Taiwan, day-long science programs for children in Mexico, and much more.

As the photos poured in on social media throughout the 24-hour campaign, it was surreal to scroll through and see the results of our extensive planning efforts take shape worldwide. It may have been a different collection of promotional items this time around, but the fulfillment and enjoyment was just the same. Except this time, it was more than just colors and shapes—it was about changing lives for people around the world.