Passion is a boundless enthusiasm; it is what drives us to do our best. This leads us to beg the question: if you are not passionate, just how successful will you be? Hard work takes you far—all of those late night study sessions and early mornings will bare gifts, gifts that will come to you in the future. It just so happens that past uOttawa student Darcy Boucher’s gift came to her wrapped with a pretty little bow.
I had the great opportunity to speak with Darcy Boucher, founder of Bowda PR, Communications and Consulting, via Facebook. Throughout this interview, I found out quite a bit about this talented and successful young woman. Darcy studied Public Relations for two years at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, and finished up her degree at the University of Ottawa in Communications. Throughout that time, she gained experience through various positions. She was a PR intern for Ottawa Fashion Week, in addition to doing PR for various startups.
When asked about her favorite classes, she mentioned the Entrepreneurial Mind course (ADM 3313) with Professor Stephen Daze that helped a lot with the logistics of starting your own business. On the topic of professors at uOttawa, she said Professor Gordon Lucke (CMN 4128, CMN 3155, CMN 1111) and Pierre Belanger (CMN 3165, CMN 1160, CMN 3504) were amongst her favorites as they gave her real world situations and experience that is actually pertinent to students. With all of this said, it is important to know that in order to be successful, you’re going to have to work hard; whether that be going to university and/or college, interning for various companies, volunteering for events, and even enduring three hour lectures with some notable and maybe even boring professors. You never know, maybe one day you’ll want to start your own business!
So then, what makes one want to start a business? What inspired Darcy to start her own PR boutique? Her answer was selfless, “Honestly what inspired me most are the clients. I want to work with clients that I can really get behind and love what they do. I love working with entrepreneurs and startups because they are truly passionate and motivated about what they do. So honestly, it’s all about the clients”.
Once again, passion is a boundless enthusiasm, but in a profession where we’re all constantly trying to be the best or first at something, our passion becomes very competitive. What I wanted to know was if Darcy had found any support in her competitors or contacts. I asked, “To survive day to day issues did you ever enlist in the help of a mentor for problems you can’t solve on your own”? She responded with, “I definitely seek out the advice of my mentors. I have multiple mentors that are skilled in various industries and I think finding mentors that you really connect with and can learn from is essential to the success of a new business, or any business for that matter”. A business takes hard work, but luckily Darcy was not on her own – with the help of her mentors she found ways to solve problems to better her business.
Bowda PR offers a laundry list of services such as strategic public relations in media and press kits, media relations, social media management, and social media strategy. She also offers creative communications in communications planning, content creation, internal and organizational communication and crisis communication. Finally, she offers consulting in event planning, marketing, branding, promoting, and website creation. When asked about some of the challenges she had to overcome in starting Bowda PR and what her proudest achievement was with her company she answered with, “My proudest achievement is without a doubt the unbelievable support I have received. It’s heartwarming to know that my network believes not only in me, but also in what I’m doing. Also, I have had multiple people send me their resumes and inquire about working for Bowda so it’s amazing to hear that people actually get the vision and idea behind it all and want to join the team”.
Bowda is growing and becoming increasingly known. When asked about future aspirations in Bowda PR, Boucher responded with a five-year goal. She hopes that in five years, Bowda is a thriving, international business with a client roster that is not only lengthy, but each and every one of those projects is near and dear to the management team. She later added that she sees Bowda having long-term relationships with their clients and working with some exciting entrepreneurs.
Before ending my interview with Darcy Boucher, I asked her what kind of advice she could give to fellow PR students. Her response should resonate,
“My advice is to learn by doing. Only so much of PR can be taught by theory and the book. Get out there and gain some real world experience and find out what it actually is all about. Also, stay true to who you are and follow your heart and dreams. Don’t get into PR because you envision a glamorous, event attending lifestyle. Get into PR because you actually want to help people with their business and believe in their vision 100%. You want to be their biggest cheerleader and advocate and are honored to have a hand in what they are creating. Be genuine. In an industry that’s all about image and reputation being yourself can really go a long way”.
If you want more information on Bowda PR, Communications and Consulting, visit their website at http://www.bowdapr.com and follow them on Twitter @bowdapr.
Looking to volunteer or intern? http://www.ottawafashionweek.ca