their knowledge and advice on a wide array of topics, ranging from the development a brand's identity and promotional campaigns to the field of search engine optimization and improving the efficacy of social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
One suggestion shared with us was to seek out organizations whose work and/or audiences compliment those of our ventures and to begin developing cross-promotional campaigns with them. This can bebest understood through the example of the (RED) campaign, which partnered with some of today's biggest brands to advance their fight against AIDS.
In regards to Facebook and Twitter, the panel was unanimous in that having a ton of followers doesn't mean everything these days. Rather, they suggested we should focus on finding avid fans who will retweet and share our posts, thereby expanding our reach exponentially and strengthening our ventures' images by acting as our ambassadors.
Interestingly enough, the panel did not think the we should take it upon ourselves to become master social marketers. Instead, the fellows were advised to become more familiar with all things social media, and to know when it is necessary to turn to professional help - which can be acquired for surprisingly little cost these days.
I would be remiss not to mention that the evening started with a delicious catered meal and a beautiful Sheva Berakhot (a festive grace-after-the-meal) in honor of my wedding the Sunday prior. My wife, Rose, and I were so thrilled to share the joy of our nuptials with the entire PTLA community - fellows, mentors, coaches, and staff.
With such excitement and so much wisdom imparted onto us, the evening was truly invaluable and unforgettable.
Gabriel Botnick is a fourth year student at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University and is working on Tekumah, an a program teaching traditional holy trades (kosher slaughter, scribal arts, making ritual objects) that is open to anyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation or Jewish affiliation.