Barcelona Conference 2010

Annie, Shruthi and I are the only ones left in Barcelona.  Tonight we decided we had to see the light and music show at Montjuic.  It was the absolute best way to end this amazing trip.  It seemed far too short! I would like to thank Enric and Professor Payne for making this whole experience happen, and of course to Ada and Tolo for making everything work out so smoothly.  This was an incredibly unique trip in that we were not simply tourists, but were given the opportunity to to experience students´perspectives of the city. This exchange was not only educational and political, but the culture we experienced made it the most valuable time in my college career thus far. 
Thanks again to all that made it such a lovely time!
Today we meet with the president of Unio Joves with the Blanquerna students. After giving us a brief overview of the history of the European Union and Spanish/Catalan politics, we engaged in a dialogue about the similarities and differences of Catalan and American voters.  While they had a larger voter turnout than we did, many of the students agreed that the general feeling of politics is relatively apathetic.
On a lighter note, today was also Enric´s birthday! The Blanquerna students brought Cava to the meeting to celebrate properly.
Dan and I took advantage of a day off to take the bus tour of Barcelona.  Our first stop was Sagrada Familia, the temple designed by Antoni Gaudí.  It is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. Absolutely breathtaking.
The next stop was Park Güell.  It is as unique a park as you can imagine Gaudí designing.  We spent pretty much the whole day exploring the park and hope to go back if we get a chance before we leave!




Visiting the city of Vic was well worth our time. We met a city representative that will soon take office. He informed us of the immigration issues that Vic currently faces and explained that it has been difficult to handle. Many people from Morocco have immigrated to this small quant town and about 20% of the natives strongly oppose it and are even racist. The city council invites immigration and realizes that change can be a positive thing. The council offers free Cataluñ language classes to encourage clear communication between the locals and immigrants...this way the immigrants can embrace the culture and better communicate in a collaborative way. The city of Vic has strong roots in the Catalun culture and the people are very proud of it (I don't know of any other group that is so proud of its culture). If you ever travel to Barcelona I recommend making the 1 hour drive to won't regret it! The town center, historic buildings, market place, and food are all fantastic.
Sruthi and I arrived in Prague last night. We explored the city today and both are convinced that we must bring family back to experience what we have. I don't think my words would be adequate enough to describe how beautiful and breathtaking this place is. It is so untouched...with cobble stone streets, beautiful castles, bridges, and churches. I also attended a Catholic service today and was almost brought to tears by the talent of the choir.
-Annie Huff
Emersonians had the most wonderful trip to Vic yesterday. We got the opportunity to interact Catalun dignitaries and learn about the political scenarios that exist in the area of Vic. Vic is a little town that is about an hour away from Barcelona. It has great political significance for Catalunya. Vic is also home for Enric Ordeix, who is one of the coordinators for the Emerson-Blanquerna program. This wonderful and insightful human being teaches at the Blanquerna School in Barcelona. 

Annie and I could not stay through the complete trip as we had to catch a flight to Prague that night. We were driven to the Barcelona airport by two charming young ladies, Mar and Marta, who are also the ambassadors for Blanquerna. We made it to the airport just in time. The whole experience was so insightful and enriching, that I think I may just want to do an internship in Barcelona to learn more about their culture and understand the dynamics of communication that prevail in the organizations of Barcelona.

Emerson Team. 
Presenting at the conference yesterday was a great experience. That evening we had a nice dinner with others that attended the conference. Going out to eat is not anything like it is in the States. It is a cultural experience in itself to have dinner with the Catalun people. You are not in and out of the restaurant, but spend a good four to five hours talking, laughing, and a bit of eating.
After we left the restaurant we happened to fall upon some traditional tuna singers performing in a bar! How lucky! Tuna singers roam the city singing different songs that are specific to this tradition, while handing roses out to women.   Annie Huff 
Joe Black at Edelman spoke of the importance of creating employee ambassadors.
The return on investment is high when employees are happy in their workplace. A satisfied employee will relate positive messages to family and friends, boosting the corporate image.

-Annie Huff
Ignasi Venrell believes that social media strategy should consume 70% of a PR manager´s  focus.  People from the ages of 12-35 are no longer reached through the traditional media outlets. Ingasi also firmly stated that organizations should not market themeselves through the various social media platforms, but should solely market their products and services.

-Annie Huff

Throughout the various lectures I have learned that public relations differs between Spain and the United States. The focus in Spain revolves around creating social engagement at the grass roots level, and proffesionals in the field are just now starting to fully take advantage of the various social media platforms. Public relations experts in the United States have fully tapped into the benefits of social media and are more mature in this area. Europeans also tend to focus largely on corporate social responsibility to enhance their social presence and values are an integral part of a company´s ¨soul.¨

-Annie Huff


I arrived in Barcelona but my luggage decided it wanted to take a detour to France first. After four days of borrowing toothepaste, clothes, and underwear (just kidding on that last one), my suitcase finally arrived! It was one of the happiest moments of my life! Although I missed my luggage dearly, the new clothing (compliments of Delta) was a bonus.

-Annie Huff