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Mamma Michelle’s Tips for Networking and Communication

By: Elizabeth Ritter

This summer I interned at Portland Radio Group in Maine. One of my first shifts was working a two-hour cruise with live music. I brought my mom, Michelle, as my plus one. She had a guest badge to board the boat, making people approach her thinking she worked at the station. I figured she would enjoy the live music and ocean, but she ended up nearly running the event and changing my work habits moving forward. I called my mom to recall that night, and I wanted to share the valuable lessons I learned. These are skills I use daily while working in PR.

1: Go Outside Your Comfort Zone

Performing on this ship was country artist Josiah Siska. My job was to promote the radio station by handing out merchandise and filming content of the artist for the station’s Instagram. While handing out merchandise to passengers, my mom came over saying she wanted to introduce me to her new friend. She then proceeded to introduce me to Josiah’s manager, Bailey White.

“I didn't even know [Bailey] was his manager, but she was standing next to him and it’s important that when you’re with people, you recognize their entourage, who are just as important as the talent,” Michelle said.

After my mom introduced me, Bailey and I connected. I got useful information about internships and advice for my future career. One day I hope to move to Nashville, Tennessee, where Bailey and Josiah currently reside. Speaking with them was life-changing and I would not have done so without going outside of my comfort zone.

2: Pay Attention to Detail and Spread Kindness

While walking around, Michelle noticed one fan covered in Josiah’s merch. This woman was so ecstatic to be there. Michelle asked where she got the merch and the woman said she was Josiah’s number one fan.

Michelle then took it upon herself to make this woman’s night. She asked Bailey if Josiah was willing to get a picture with his “number one fan.” Josiah was grateful to meet such a dedicated fan, and this woman was thrilled to meet her idol.

3: Think Outside the Box

At the end of the night, we started packing our supplies. We had a table, a prize wheel, banners, and sound equipment to carry off the boat, to the company truck. As we were packing up, Michelle saw the boat crew using giant carts to take their supplies off the boat and asked to use a cart when they were done. Instead, they took her to a room with 30 carts in it and told her to use as many as she needed.

Michelle then brought over the cart and my managers were pleasantly surprised that we could make one trip instead of five. The station does many cruises, and management was appreciative to know these carts were now available to them for future use.

The most admirable thing about these situations is that my mom was not looking to make connections. She’s not involved in communications. She was simply putting herself out there and wanted to spread joy and kindness from one person to another. I went into this night thinking it would be a normal shift, but instead, I learned so many valuable lessons from my mom who wasn’t even an employee. She was just being herself.


About the Author:

Elizabeth Ritter (COM ’24) is a Public Relations major. Currently, she is involved with BU On Broadway, BU Libraries, Her Campus and Transition to BU. She is looking forward to the upcoming semester!

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