BOCA Communications is a public relations agency working off of one key belief: You can’t have a right brain without the left. For those of you frantically Googling what that might mean, we’ll break it down like so:
Creativity is a powerful asset in public relations. It’s the force behind the pieces of stunning content or copy that define a brand, persona, or influencer as more than just an image on a screen. That being said, creativity is best used intentionally with a purpose and goal in mind. So that’s where the right brain, our center for creativity, meets a more analytical and numbers-focused left brain. And that’s what BOCA intends to create through their work: Focused creativity that not only empowers a brand, but draws others toward it.
It’s this philosophy that attracted alumna Gabriella Iarrobino ’13 to BOCA, where is currently a Senior Digital Strategist.
Can you tell us a bit more about your role at BOCA?
Gabriella: “I’m a Senior Digital Strategist so I oversee the social programs of all of our clients. I’m constantly monitoring social feeds and conversations, creating content, finding and interacting with influencers, helping inform social PR.”
From graduation to now, how did you wind up with BOCA?
“For my graduation year, it was a tough time for the economy where there weren’t that many entry-level jobs available. It probably took me about 6 months to find a job and I eventually landed at a small marketing agency based out of Rhode Island, which I actually got connected to because of an Emerson professor.
After I left the ad agency, I freelanced for a while and then I worked for a small boutique hotel in Boston. And then one of my friends from high school, who worked at BOCA, approached me because they were looking for social and digital people.”
Did you feel prepared for your first entry-level job?
“I definitely felt prepared but I had an Emerson professor who told me to treat my first job like Grad School. So it was like, I was learning and working at the same time — which made that comment definitely ring true.
Emerson prepared me creatively and critically to work within a team setting. A lot of the coursework I remember doing was group-focused so I came in with a lot of experience balancing personalities and group strengths.”
What is the culture at BOCA like?
“BOCA has a lot of great core values like be authentic, be creative, be passionate and also be a family. So I’ve met a lot of my close friends here and there’s really a family-type feel to the whole office. Our main office is based in San Francisco but there are a lot of us who are remote.
I think through technology like Zoom and Slack, it does a good job of creating a culture like we’re in the office. BOCA is also super flexible and creative so it’s just a good place to be.”
What sets BOCA apart from other agencies?
“Probably the flat organization structure. We’re also really big on mixing people in thought processes that are left and right-brained. Creativity is definitely important — which I learned at Emerson — but you have to be analytical and research-based to back up that creativity. So I really appreciate the idea of thinking about this work from a mix from the left and the right brain.”
Do you have any advice for students interested in getting involved with BOCA?
“Be prepared to work hard but you’ll also have a lot of fun. The things you learned at Emerson will definitely prepare you to work for BOCA and at the end of the day you’ll have fun doing it.”