Truth: I Wasn’t Expecting This.

by Mayra Vasquez Chavez, PR Executive at 10 to 1 PR

Let’s play a quick game of two truths and a lie:

  • I was the first person in my family to go to college
  • I have been in the same room as First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden
  • I helped secure over 50 local broadcast and print features for one announcement in under 48 hours

Could you guess the lie? I’m sure you’ll get it by the end of your reading.

Since joining 10 to 1 PR just over one year ago, I’ve gotten to support or lead campaigns that make a positive impact on our clients across the country. Seeing the results has always been my favorite part of the job. I knew it was going to be no different when Intel and Maricopa County Community Colleges District partnered together to build a skilled, diverse workforce through their new semiconductor manufacturing Quick Start program at Mesa Community College. Through the accelerated program, students are prepared with important career-ready skills in two weeks.

I felt especially connected to this project because I’ve experienced the benefits of community college firsthand. When I was in first grade, I got to see my older sister walk across the stage and get her diploma. She was the first person in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree because community college made it possible for her to get there. I even sacrificed my summers during high school to take classes at Chandler Gilbert Community College and earn credit through a scholarship program so it would also be possible for me to earn my bachelor’s degree. Community colleges deserve more credit (no pun intended) for their affordability and accessibility.

During our previous meetings it was decided that the press release announcing the program would be ready for distribution in late March. But suddenly late Friday afternoon, we learned the process had to be rushed through because an extremely special guest came into the mix. Here’s a hint: She’s the most famous community college professor and married to the President of the United States of America.

Although I always feel confident in my talent and writing skills, I would be lying if I said I was not absolutely terrified of sharing my draft with Intel and MCCCD which would also be reviewed by the press team at the White House. 

Before the White House sent their formal invitation to media later in the night, I was tasked with calling every station in Arizona and highly recommending that they should set aside a crew for Monday afternoon for an event they would not want to miss… without revealing exactly what or who that was. Saturday was filled with editing the release and getting closer to a final version to be distributed on Monday after the event. I also got to attend a meeting working through the logistics on Sunday. Because of the late weekend notice, I called stations again Sunday morning to ensure they did not miss this incredible opportunity. I also worked closely with other PR teams to assist with media who wanted to RSVP after the deadline or did not receive the information they need to get to attend. 

When the day of the event finally arrived, I was tasked with helping check in media and continue editing the draft. Finally, after numerous versions we had our finished product hours before the distribution was set to happen. Lastly, I got to witness Jill Biden’s empowering speech and hear Intel’s Quick Start program be announced to the world live before finally distributing the release and images moments after.

If you told me a year ago that I would write a press release for one of the biggest companies in the world, I would not believe you. If you told me a year ago that I would be in the same room as the First Lady of the United States promoting her involvement at a media event I helped coordinate, I would also not believe you. But after March 7th, I can now say that both statements are indeed true and the experience was incredible.

And now I have a fun ice breaker at parties!

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