PRLab’s 9th Annual PRoBono: Highlights and Recap!

By Erica Wu


“Time flies when you’re having fun!”

This quote couldn’t be more spot-on to describe this year’s PRLab PRoBono, an overnight hackathon-styled event. In the blink of an eye, the 16-hour event has come and gone. With over 130 student volunteers, five clients, amazing food, fun, and games– here are some event highlights! 

The night commenced with pizza… the best way to begin any event. Students mingled and bonded over shared classes and the anticipation of what the night could hold. At 6:45 pm the fun-filled PR event began with an address from BU professor, Dr. Edward Downes. He gave an inspiring speech and highlighted 12 separate quotes that were read by students. The overarching message Professor Downes was trying to emphasize was the value that comes when working with nonprofit organizations. The opening presentation concluded with an introduction of this year’s clients: Bunker Labs, Silver Lining Mentoring, Little Brothers- Friends of the Elderly, The Humane Society for Greater Nashua, and Women’s Lunch Place– and from there, students broke out into rooms to meet with their assigned client. 

Students took advantage of the time to meet with their clients and ask any questions and familiarize themselves with the client’s mission and their Scope of Work. Once the clients left, the work began. After a series of ice breakers amongst each client group, teams were eager to begin working and quickly found the best way to optimize and divide the workload. An hour into conducting client work, students were treated to two big cooler bags filled with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. This was the first of the sweets that filled the evening. Throughout the night, students could help themselves to a snack room filled with anything from coffee to candy to pizza. That was a notable highlight! 

A few hours into client work, the five teams gathered for a quick break to play a relay race. Each client team had three representatives actively playing, with the remaining team members cheering on the sidelines. It was a fairly unconventional game of relay race. Students had to finish three tasks: toilet paper wrapping, moving an oreo from their forehead into their mouth, performing a TikTok dance, and finally crafting a newspaper hat. The Silver Lining Mentoring team took home the gold. The amount of cheering, energy, and laughter, made it hard to believe it was 11:00 pm. Other games played throughout the night included, trivia, and 2 am Mario Kart. 

As teams continued working through the night, music filled the hallways, and students filtered in and out of the nap room to re-energize. Students visited neighboring rooms to peek into the other client teams and assist with brainstorming. Although there were five separate teams, there was a great sense of community spread across the five rooms. At midnight, students were treated to Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, and later an assortment of different Insomnia Cookies. 

With all the food, excitement, and PR work…it was suddenly 6:30 am, and quickly the sun began to rise. Students began to finalize their deliverables and craft and refine their final presentations. Leading up to the final hours of PRoBono, PRLab had invited professional PR coaches to come and assist teams in their presentation delivery and to provide valuable feedback on their work. 

Finally, at 9 am, clients returned after a night and were presented amazing PR plans and ideas to better their organizations. Clients were overwhelmed with joy and awe by how much the students had accomplished in such a short amount of time. Across five teams and 130 students, 150 deliverables were produced, and over $135,000 worth of work was accomplished in just 16 hours. 

Truly a night of growing together– see you next Fall, PRoBono! 

This event could not have been possible without PRLab’s executive board, Professor Shanler, Professor Joseph, and PRLab’s Director of Events, Julia Monz. Additionally, thank you to PRoBono’s sponsors, Ben and Jerry’s, Insomnia Cookies, T. Anthony’s, Tasty Burger, and BU Barnes & Noble.