PRSSA at the 2011 Music Saved Me Event
Students at both Husson University and the
New England School of Communications (NESCom) have the chance to participate in the only student public relations chapter in the state of Maine. The Public Relations Student Society of America, PRSSA, is known for planning charity events. Last year they started a program called Music Saved Me, which they plan to continue this semester.
“This is an event that students have done and I'm so proud of them,” says Nancy Roberts, NESCom Marketing Director and the group’s advisor. “This is a group that could use their own funds but instead they want to support local charities.”
The fundraiser involves a performance of local bands, including The Transducers, One Shot Nothing, Mines of Paris, and When Particles Collide. These local bands have agreed to play for free. The funds will directly benefit Eastern Maine Healthcare’s Pediatric Oncology program, the same charity they chose last year. This particular charity event holds special meaning to PRSSA’s public relations director Erin Falwell.
“I personally chose it because I am a cancer survivor,” she explains. “Our money does not go to cancer research, but goes to purchasing music, books, video games, and playful artwork for the [children’s hospital] rooms. This is very important for the emotional stability of the young patients. It provides a much needed emotional distraction.”
The group is planning to hold their next Music Saved Me event at the Curva Ultra Lounge in Orono on April 6, 2012. The door charge is $10, or two tickets for $15, but they will be preselling tickets for $7.
After some debate in one of their meetings, PRSSA also decided to book Paranoid Social Club, a rock indie band who hails from Portland. The group consists of 10 members in all, so there was some disagreement as to who the main act should be. Some members of the group would have preferred to book a band from Rhode Island called The Rice Cakes, who were only going to charge expense fees of $100 to play. Paranoid Social Club is asking for $750, which would cost the entire grant PRSSA had been given by Husson Student Government. Budget matters and band popularity ended up being the ultimate deciding factors. One group member, Leah Gove, expressed her concerns about the cost of booking a well-known band.
“I like the idea of Paranoid Social Club because they’re really popular around here,” she says. “But I agree that $750 is a lot of money for one hour. I don’t know if the local bands around here are going to bring in people.”
Conor Sweeney, president of PRSSA, focused on the promoting aspects of the event.
“I think we’re going to have a much easier time marketing, locally, a band that’s from Maine versus getting a band from Rhode Island,” he says.
Sweeney argued that money wasn’t going to be an issue. He’s also a member of Husson Student Government, so he could request more financial assistance from them.
“I know we’re worried about money, but there’s always budge room. There’s always applying for another grant next semester. It’s going be tight but taking a risk isn’t such a bad thing. It could work out in our favor,” he says.
Ultimately, the group voted to book the Maine band, which didn’t sit well with Falwell after the meeting.
“Things didn’t go my way but I think we were productive and it was open for communication and debate with all the ideas around here and we usually joke through things and have a pretty great time in the meetings,” she says.
To find out more about this group, please visit prssa.org