News

November 21, 2009

Press Releases, Pitches, and Planning Trade Shows

Danielle DeVita ’04 is senior account manager at New York PR firm — by Jess Wason ’11

Danielle DeVita ’04 was well over the age of 21 when she took her corporate clients out to lunch, but, as she says, “I have the face of a 12-year-old.”

“I had been working at Novita for just over a year, and we were trying really hard to sign this client,” recalls Danielle, now a senior account manager at the boutique PR firm in New York City. “I was trying to be as professional as possible so I took two of their representatives out to lunch and ordered a bottle of wine. The waitress looked at me for about two minutes before she asked for my ID. I was mortified! My face turned bright red and the two men were laughing hysterically. Lucky for me, we got the client.”

Serving the architectural and interior design fields, Novita is owned by Christine Abbate ’85. “My main project is Ceramic Tiles of Italy,” says Danielle. “It is a private client that also works with the trade commission. I do everything from press releases, to pitches to lifestyle magazines, to planning trade shows.

“We have a trade show coming up in New York for Ceramic Tiles of Italy. I basically become the project manager and create a catalog, set up the venue, and work with the architects and press. My experience abroad gave me a cultural background that has helped me in the professional world with international clients.”

As a Division I field hockey player at Lafayette, Danielle was unable to study abroad during the school year because of the demands of her sport, so she decided to go during the summer because she was so passionate about being immersed in a Spanish culture.

“My time in Madrid was very valuable,” she says. “I work with clients throughout Europe, and I am able to better relate to them because of my abroad experience.”

The trip complemented studies in Spanish at Lafayette for Danielle, who also majored in economics and business.

“My Spanish courses were amazing,” she says. “Professor (Michelle) Geoffrion-Vinci was so passionate about teaching, and I wanted to be a part of that. I had taken Spanish since sixth grade and it seemed like such a waste to give up, but it ended up being one of the things I was most passionate about throughout my time at Lafayette.”

Having served several externships and internships at Novita before accepting a full-time position, Danielle pays those forward.

“We are always trying to host internships and externships because we know how important this experience is for the students,” she says. “We had one intern, Hawley Tremblay ’09, who got a marketing job in Boston for a social media company, 451. This past summer we hosted intern Nina Lorentzen ’11, and we look forward to hosting many more.”

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