Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to all the readers!!

Make sure to "trick or treat" safely this weekend and represent yourself well!

-The PRowl Public Relations' Staff

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Congratulations Philadelphia!

The Phillies are World Series Champs!

*An interesting tid bit: Today The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News printed an additional 350,000 copies in addition to the 350,000 copies printed last night!

Enjoy the celebrations, be safe and have fun at the parade tomorrow!

This Sunday, Carnival Cruise Lines is attempting to break the world’s largest piñata record, with 8,000 pounds of candy. From 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the corner of Broad Street and Washington Ave (I assume where the dirt lot is, where the Cirque de Soleil tents were set up this summer) is where the festivities will take place. The six-story piñata will be destroyed with a wrecking ball at about 1:30 p.m. and Philadelphians will be able to enjoy all the candy!

What a weekend in Philly! Can’t wait!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Damage Control

After reading Melissa's post from yesterday, I immediately thought of Monday's World Series game. The Phillies/Rays game was suspended half-way through the sixth inning on Monday due to a torrential downpour in Philadelphia. Many questions were raised after the game was called:

"Why did they wait until half-way through the sixth inning?"
"The game should have been called earlier, why did they do this to the Phillies?"
"The team was playing in puddles, why didn't they call the game when the knew the weather wasn't going to clear up?"

There were many baseball fans up in arms about this situation on Monday night. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the umpires from the game held a press conference after the suspension was called. Selig got many criticisms after the game was called on countless blogs, websites and news sites.

This all leads into damage control. Some of the things Selig said made it seem as if he was trying to steal the game from the Phillies. How will this be fixed? In the world of PR, you would need to tell your client to come out and re-explain what they had said earlier. This way, it doesn't seem like they're saying something other than what they had really said.

Read all about it on! Let's finish this game tonight, Phils!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sarah Palin Speaks Her Mind

Everyone has been hearing that the McCain campaign is keeping Sarah Palin on a short leash. Apparently, they don't want her saying too much to certain people. So when she made comments about her wardrobe in a rally on Sunday, the McCain aides were not happy.

"Those clothes, they are not my property. Just like the lighting and the staging and everything else that the RNC purchased, I'm not taking them with me."

Even though the McCain aides were upset she went off the script that they had prepared for her, Palin associates said she wanted to say something to defend herself. She wants to be able to speak out about what she wants. Whether or not she should have compared her clothing to lighting and staging is another argument.

As PR professionals, we can prep our clients the best we can. Ultimately, we have no control over what they say when it's crunch time. What can we do when things get out of our hands? Damage control?

*Quote courtesy of Bulldog Reporter's Daily Dog

Monday, October 27, 2008

Know Your Audience Part 2

After reading Laura's post about knowing your audience, I realized that this weekend I had a personal experience that emphasized to me even more, the importance of knowing your audience.

I went to Long Island, NY to visit a friend, and we went shopping at the Roosevelt Field Mall, which is one of the biggest malls in America.

It's a great mall, especially for those who love shopping....upscale shopping, at that.

I realized the differences between the Roosevelt Field Mall, which is located in a suburb in Long Island, and my local mall, the Willow Grove Mall which is also located in a suburb.

Many people who live in Long Island are well-off. The stores in the mall there rival NYC's shopping. The mall has stores like Betsey Johnson, Michael Kors, Armani Exchange, and Brooks Brothers. The most upscale stores in my local mall include Coach and Bloomingdales.

Just as it's important to understand a target audience while planning for a campaign, it's clear why it was important in deciding what stores to put in these two different malls.

A Michael Kors store in my local mall would just be out of place. It probably would not gain much revenue. However, many people seemed to be shopping at Michael Kors while I was at Roosevelt Fields.

Perhaps Roosevelt Fields has many upscale stores (it also has normal stores) because it is a very large mall and they simply have the space to place those stores. Pehaps it has to do with the statstics regarding income in the area.

I am not trying to make any broad generalizations, but I think this example paints a vivid picture of understanding the importance of knowing your audience.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Rule of Thumb: Know Your Audience

I have learned a lot so far about public relations in school, and I’m sure there is even more to come. Of all of those lessons, I feel that the most important one involved a basic concept. Know your audience. If you want to get anywhere in PR, you need to know your audience. Although this seems like a straightforward notion, people often underestimate its importance and are unsuccessful. By having an understanding of your audience, you are able to tailor your message and methods of communication. This will make all the difference for your campaign.

You will need to know all demographic information about your target audience; these facts are the basics of their lives. This includes age, race, gender, income, and religion, among other things. Using the demographic information you find, you can use secondary research to find generalizations about these groups. If you were working on a campaign that targets Generation Y, anyone born from 1980-now, you would probably be using many new technologies such as Twitter or Facebook. Social media is a key source of information for this generation.

One thing to remember in today’s world is that your audience is changing and becoming more diverse. Research the majority, but also the ethnic minorities. Hispanics and African Americans are the minorities with the most rapid growth in the United States. Both groups have strong family ties, value friendships, and great appreciation for the cultures they belong to. If you are working on a multicultural campaign, one idea may be to have a spokesperson with the same cultural background as your target audience. They will appreciate this and be able to identify with someone of the same culture.

No matter who your audience is, you need to understand them. It will only benefit you to do your research and plan accordingly.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Laura Macenka.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Juicy Campus= Perez Hilton on a Smaller Scale

Who says you have to live in a small town to know just about everything about someone’s personal life? In today’s fast-paced, growing world of media outlets and the increasing amount of online sites that aid to the attacking of other people, it’s simple to put your opinion out there. Two of the most popular sites for opinions (and not always in a good way) are Juicy Campus and Myspace.

Why have young adults stooped as low as writing degrading posts on public web domains just to attack one single person or an entire organization? Thanks to Juicy Campus, Greek organizations, sports teams, and famous singled out individuals can all become topics of conversation by being posted items on the site. Not only can someone become a posted topic of interest, but all people are allowed to give their opinion. The remarks are rude, degrading, and anonymous.

Anonymous posts? Yes, it is true, secret individuals that will never be known by their victim, and nothing can ever be done to stop the site. Juicy Campus was created by a Duke University Alumni that wanted to promote, "the simple mission of enabling online anonymous free speech on college campuses." There are over 60 campuses that are enabled to act on this “anonymous free speech”, but the personal attacks being posted, I hope, were not what the creator had in mind as “free speech”.

In the month of September our campus was filled with worry about who would be the next person to be posted on this site.. Though this seems to be the latest fad in online gossip, I only hope that something may be done for stricter guidelines on the Juicy Campus or that groups can ban together to not even use the site at all.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Jade Barnes.

Friday, October 24, 2008


The members of PRowl Public Relations are proud to announce that we have launched our website!

Thanks to Keith Flanagan, our graphic designer, and Kim Sherman, our web designer.

Check it out here!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Personal Branding

David G. Heiser, a PR intern and senior at the College of Charleston offers PR students some great advice on personal branding and how it can help you get a job after college.

Click here to check out his 7 branding tips!

As PR students, we need to remember that it's important to be following the work of our peers, and this includes reading blogs, and sharing tips with others!

Joe Sixpack shops at Neiman Marcus!

The New York Times isn’t the only one talking about Sarah Palin’s posh digs. It seems the newest and most up roaring topic this week is the $150,000.00 (yes, thousands) spent on Palin’s wardrobe alone. It was confirmed on Wednesday by the Republican National Committee, who were the ones who picked up the tabs from both luxury stores Neiman Marcus and Sax Fifth Avenue. They classified the lofty expensive bill as “campaign accessories” and later released a statement saying, all of Palin’s “accessories” would be donated to charity at the conclusion of the campaign. What an effective public relations strategy to use, in an effort to spin the story more positively, don’t you think?

Well, after discussing this topic with my public relations professor, Ashlee Goodman, we agreed Palin should have considered an alternate route for her campaign wardrobe. For a woman who has pushed the “hockey mom” image throughout her campaign, Mrs. Palin could have easily shopped at Macy’s, JC Penney or even pulled together a worthy outfit from Target. Of course, as a vice presidential candidate, we understand she needs to maintain a certain image and look respectful with her choice wardrobe. However, she could just have easily impacted her impression to Americans through alternate, not so pricey means.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Guest Speaker - Getting yourself out there!

At yesterday's PRSSA meeting, Marlene Brito of The Kimmel Center came to speak to us. She is the Kimmel Center's Community Outreach Manager and had a lot of valuable information to talk about. Being from New York City and attending NYU, Marlene had a lot of great opportunities growing up. She worked / interned with financial firms, Donna Karan, NASA, Puma and many other places!

While giving her insights on jobs and internships, Marlene talked about the issue of paid versus unpaid internships. She said that we should look for the paid internship, especially during the semester. If there is a great internship out there, but unpaid, take it during the summer. That way you can intern during the day and have a part-time job at night. This way you can have the time to have two jobs instead of trying to juggle classes on top of everything else.

At your internship, take on big projects. Interning in the fashion industry (Donna Karan) was unpaid for Marlene, but she knew she had to bite the bullet and work hard. She was given the opportunity to work on a big project over the summer. She excelled and showed her boss that she could do great work. At the end of the summer, she was offered a job because of how well she did on that project.

The main way to find an internship? Be proactive. Marlene called up Donna Karan and said that she was interested in the fashion industry and asked if there were any internship opportunities. There weren't at that moment, but a few months later she got a call about an opening, because she put herself out there. Send in your resumes right away. Many times companies don't like having to go out and find interns, so they will go back to their resume file and find an intern from there. Send your resume in early. There isn't any harm in that.

Good luck on finding that dream internship, and be proactive!!!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How To: Write a Press Release!

A big part of public relations is media relations, which includes writing and distributing various documents like press releases (sometimes referred to as news releases) and media alerts. Since the press release can determine if your client gets placement in the media, it's crucial to be able to write a great one! Last year, when I needed to write a release for the Rebecca Davis Dance Company and hadn't learned how to write one in class yet, I went to Gregg Feistman for some tips. He gave me a helpful sheet with some good information, and these are some of the tips that I think are most important. First, what is a press release?

"A press release is a concise news vehicle that is most commonly provided to the media in order to generate public awareness and interest about a story or piece of news."

Before you start writing the release, make sure what you're writing about is newsworthy. If you conclude that it's not, don't waste your time writing it. If it is, go for it!

After you get started, don't forget these important things:

  • The who, what, where, when and why should all be included.
  • Contact information: Who should the reporter call if they have questions or if they want more information?
  • A creative headline. Also, you can add a sub-headline if it will add value to the release.
  • A quote or two.
  • An angle for the story. How are you going to present the information you have in a way that will get people excited/interested in what you're writing about?
  • Avoid jargon and excessive adjectives
  • Make sure to check your facts. You don't want to be giving out the wrong information!
  • Indicate the end of the release with three number signs (###)

As usual, I have a question for our readers. How do you jazz up your press releases, while remaining professional?

*Information taken from "Public Relations Tips and Tactics: Crafting an Effective Press Release"

Monday, October 20, 2008

Are you Connected?

LinkedIn is another fabulous social networking site that can help you connect with other professionals, people you went to school with or were members of an organization with, and other people that you might know.

I've found that this site is great for connecting with other PR professionals. The site allows you to basically re-create your resume on your profile page. On my personal page I have profiled the different internships and opportunities that I have taken advantage of. I also have a link to this blog.

You can join a network, much like Facebook. I am in the LevLane Advertising network for my internship, as well as the Temple University network for my schooling.

A great thing about this site, which I haven't taken advantage of yet is the "Recommend this person" feature. You can write recommendations of people you have worked with, or who have worked under you, and it will be featured prominently on their page, so that potential employers will see their glowing reviews. Besides recommending others, you can request a recommendation from a past or present employer. This is an easy reference for potential employers.

Something that I have been noticing lately is that many students are not on LinkedIn. It is beneficial for people of all ages and professions. It's never too early to get your name out there!

For those of you already on LinkedIn, Connect with me! I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Now, some questions for YOU to answer:

1. Why do you used LinkedIn?

2. Why should students use LinkedIn?

As always, please leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

iPhone Hater? Hate no more, the G1 is here!

Until now, the iPhone has dominated the cell phone industry since its original release. But on October 22, this will all change. Google, who’s partnering with carrier T-mobile, has created a true competitor for Apple, the G1. In order for the G1 to be successful, they must distinguish themselves with features that the iPhone doesn’t have. And Google’s marketing and PR team have done just that.

Maybe it’s just me but I think the G1 is going to destroy the iPhone, just like the Phillies destroyed the Dodgers (go Phillies!) The following is why the G1 will take over iPhone:

T-Mobile carrier – For all of you who out there who dislike AT&T who carries the iPhone, you should think about getting the G1. T-mobile is a less expensive carrier option that makes the phone available for a bit cheaper than the iPhone, for $179 compared to its rival the iPhone at $199. The data plan is also considerably cheaper than the iPhone.

Keyboard option- For all you techies out there that just can’t stand typing on a touch screen, the G1 has a keyboard, just flip up the touch screen and ta-da!

Flexibility of Desktop Organization – For all you organizational freaks out there, now you can organize your desktop on your G1 just as you would do on a computer. You can create folders, files, music play lists, place icons on your desktop, and save web pages. So, all you obsessive compulsive people out there can be at ease.

Google Maps – My favorite feature is the G1 google map. With the google map feature, you can track where you are in real time. You can start the application and figure out which street is on the west side of the building that you’re sitting in. With the G1 you will never get lost again!

If these cool options haven’t swayed you iPhone users to switch to the G1, than hopefully Google PR can persuade you in the media. They have already managed to get an article in the Wall Street Journal with a pretty good review.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Olivia Ragni.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Word of Mouse

As public relation students we learn how to pitch stories, write news releases and write media alerts, all of which are aimed toward print publications. Lately the word ‘dying’ has been used as an adjective to describe this 300-year old American tradition. The amount of money that advertisers and customers have been putting towards newspapers has dropped dramatically. This has caused newspaper stocks to go down and for many of them to ultimately die.

But, are newspapers really dying or are they just evolving? The internet has now become the big medium. Advertisers go where the people go and the people have moved onto the internet, but so have newspapers, TV stations and the radio. What does this mean for the public relations field? It means that we too are going to have to evolve. We are now going to have to learn how to incorporate internet promotion and marketing into an overall promotional campaign. We are going to have to not only know the magazines, newspapers, TV stations and radio channels that will hit our target audience, but also know what blogs and entertainment websites they visit.

Information is readily available to all of us by a click of a mouse. We need to make sure we get our information at the end of every click. So start blogging and venture onto websites that you might not usually go to. Today it’s all about the word of mouse!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Josephine Fox.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Battle of the Soups

A comparative ad war has begun! What’s this? An advertisement in which there is specific mention or presentation of competing brand(s) and a comparison is made or implied.

No, I’m not talking about all of the mud being slung in the race for the White House. It’s a battle of the soups. Campbell Soup Co. and its top competitor, General Mills Inc. have been having an MSG-based-battle through the media.

The first to attack was Campbell Soup with an ad that stated “Bring your Dictionary” over a can of Progresso soup, highlighting the ingredient list full of words such as sodium stearoyl lactylate and hydrolyzed corn protein. Over the Campbell’s can, “Bring your appetite.” Also flung at Progresso was "No artificial flavors. No MSG. Real ingredients. Real taste."

General Mills, Inc. wasn’t about to take that though. Last week they ran ads stating "Campbell's has 95 soups made with MSG. Progresso has 26 delicious soups with no MSG. (And more to come.)"

Studies have shown that MSG rarely has any effect on its consumers. So why are these companies going to such lengths to brawl over the ingredient?

Campbell Soup says they are just giving the people what they want, a recognizable ingredient list. General Mill’s take: “We have been focused on taste and weight management and [on] bringing innovation to the market,” said spokesperson Tom Forsythe. "More than three million households have moved to Progresso soup in the last two years alone. So we do think we have Campbell's attention."

In the beginning of October both companies were at 52-week highs on the stocks, and 17 days into the month, both companies have taken a hit on the DOW. Could we be sick of negative advertising, or has the economy begun to take its toll on soup? What do you think about the effects of comparative advertising? Have you had enough of the name-calling or are you in a corner rooting for your favorite warm bowl of soup?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another Spiffy Site!

In this article in the New York Times, the creators of SpinSpotter may have found a way to measure the bias of an article or story by just downloading a free application to your internet browser.

SpinSpotter wants people to be aware of the “spin” in articles.

According to their site, the company does this through three key parts:

1. An advisory board of prominent journalists from across the political spectrum who set objective rules for what constitutes "spin"

2. A uniquely guided form of crowd-sourcing that operates strictly within the rules set by SpinSpotter's Journalism Advisory Board

3. A computer algorithm that constantly learns from users' input and leverages that knowledge across all news sites

This new program has only been launched just about a month and there is still a great deal of room for the company to grow. Check it out!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Purpose of Research in PR

When a lot of students think about the word "research," they probably think of writing a 15-page paper for a class that they don't even like. But the truth is, research is very important in the world of PR. I personally am doing a lot of research at my internship, and am taking a class this semester that is dedicated to research in PR. We are always doing research with PRowl Public Relations too!

Research needs to be done for so many different things in PR, for example: finding who a target audience should be, the amount of hits a website is getting within a certain amount of time, who has heard of a certain product and why people don't like a certain product. I could go on and on about things that can be researched for PR. Here are a few ways that you can conduct research:
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • The Internet
  • Google Analytics
  • Blogs!
Does anybody else have any pointers about research in PR? We'd love to hear different ideas!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blogs on the Mind

Everywhere I turn this week someone is talking about blogs. Since I started writing on the blog for PRowl, I've learned more about the world of blogs (with a lot of help from Jess) and how important and sophisticated they are becoming.

Also, this week at my internship my boss talked a lot about how we as a PR department need to be more involved with blogs so that we can offer our clients the best services we can. I researched blog directories, as well as sites like BuzzLogic, Technoroti and Spiral 16. I couldn't believe the number of blogs that are out there, and the number of new blogs popping up every hour!

Before learning about blogs through PRowl and researching blogs at my internship, I thought many blogs were like online journals (some are and some aren't.) I now know how important blogs are in PR, marketing and advertising departments. Blogs aren't just online journals, they are places that many people go to for information and places that many people trust.

I have a couple questions that I'm hoping our readers will be able to answer:
  • Do you have your own blog, or contribute on another blog of some kind?
  • Do you use blogs in the workplace, and if not, are you considering it?
  • What do you think about the future of blogs as a tool PR practitioners utilize?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Announcing our Fall 2008 Clients...

The members of Prowl Public Relations have been very busy this past month preparing PR plans, presenting our plans, and getting our contracts signed.

We are proud to announce our three clients for the fall 2008 semester:

Dutch Umbrella: Dutch UmbrellaTM is an umbrella sharing system that started in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia. A local bartender often saw his patrons get stranded or wet because they'd forgotten their umbrellas. He recognized the need for a convenient pick-up and drop-off system. "You mean like the bicycles in Amsterdam?" one customer asked. Yes, like the bicycle sharing system in Holland. Hence the name, Dutch UmbrellaTM. For all the times you've been caught in the rain, imagine being able to grab an umbrella conveniently stationed at your favorite restaurants, shops and venues. Now you can just grab one and go. But don't forget to return it to a RainDropTM near you. The Dutch UmbrellaTM concept works because people care enough to share the umbrellas. It kept you dry so please... pass it on!

We will be doing some exciting gorilla marketing work for them, as well as pitching various stories to blogs and Philadelphia media. We will also be helping them to reinvent their media kit!

The Rebecca Davis Dance Company: RDDC is a dance company in the city of Philadelphia. Last year we helped them to promote their show "Darfur" when it premiered in Philadelphia. This semester we will be helping them with the same show, but in Fairlawn, NJ.

Uhma: Uhma is an exciting new fashion line. We are helping them to create a media kit, and to generate a buzz before the big launch of their new website in January 2009!

Check back for updates about our clients, and if you know someone who would like to use our services please contact us at

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Non-profits and Networking

Have you ever wondered where non-profit organizations get their donations from, or who are the kind-hearted people that contribute to these worthwhile causes?

After attending and participating in countless non-profit organizations’ events and fundraisers, I quickly learned that some of the biggest contributors are business owners, large and small. You may not know it, but these are the people you should definitely make an effort to interact with at these events.

This past Sunday, the Alzheimer’s Association held their annual Memory Walk in Atlantic City, NJ where an astonishing amount of people got together to donate their time, money, and walking skills, to benefit this organization. While there were snacks and beverages set up for the walkers, there were also tables set up for business owners that contributed to this year’s event.

After speaking briefly with my professor, Gary Frisch, who is the President of Swordfish Communications, I realized that connecting with people at these events is extremely beneficial for networking. By just introducing yourself and getting general information about a company, you may be making a connection that will help you now, or later in your career.

I bet lots of people are looking for interns, employees, or even friendly connections, and would appreciate your interest in their company.

So, next time you are at an event, don’t hesitate to go up to the tables that are set up, and introduce yourself. It may lead to connections that you will be grateful for!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Ashley Kraynak.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

One Night in Perez...

Need Hollywood gossip? Spend a minute on Perez Hilton’s widely known gossip blog, and there you have it. Perez Hilton has become the tinseltown queen of celebrity gossip, and is unstoppable. On his vibrantly pink website, Perez informs us with the juiciest celebrity gossip, and adds his own flavor.

Who is Lindsay Lohan dating now? What did Zac Efron wear at the London premiere of High School Musical 3? What did Elisabeth Hasselbeck say this time? All these questions can be answered on Now if you’re not interested in all of these celebrities, you can easily just use the star seeker and jump to your favorite celebrity. Any gossip Perez has found on your favorite celebrity will be there, from past to present.

Not only does Perez provide the gossip, he likes to be creative with his blog. Adding his own touch of sassiness, Perez likes to draw on the celebrity photos emphasizing their character, and flat out humiliating them. Although, it’s just a blog of human opinion, has become a phenomenon, and celebrities cannot help but be affected by his tirade.

Perez has become so popular, that MTV granted him his own broadcasted award show. Perez was actually able to meet and give awards to the celebrities he thrives on gossiping about. His popularity has also granted him many other television appearances, high fashion advertisements on his site, and his own clothing line, “Perezcious Collection”.

Who knew that a gossip blog, could be all the rage? Perez Hilton takes celebrity gossip to another level, and I don’t think anyone would mind spending a night our on the town with him!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Samantha Sultzer.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Restoring Confidence

The headlines of all our local and national publications are plagued with “rescues,” “bailouts,” “the DOW falls” and “stocks plunge.”

The entire world is watching as the global economy slips into a financial crisis. As I stay glued to the news I hear the words “investor confidence” over and over again. One of the major causes of the stocks plummeting is that the holders are making emotional decisions based on the fear of their financial future. Instead of making rational decisions on whether to hold or sell their stocks, the majority of investors are dumping them (and dumping them quickly), causing the market to crash. What do the experts say they need? Confidence.

One definition of public relations from PR News is: “The management function which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and plans and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and patience.”

I can’t help but relate the recent measures taken to this definition: The government is seeing the growing anxiety in their citizens and knows something must be done. They then begin to formulate ways to calm the growing desperation (or at least try to). Next, they execute their plans for renewing our confidence.

Billion dollar bailouts are not the way to ease all of our audiences’ minds though. The United States is made up of a great variety of people, many not understanding the financial lingo put out by the government.

In order to create this patience within our country, we need to talk in terms of hope that is stripped of all jargon. And that is exactly what President Bush is trying to do. President Bush has made multiple public appearances in the recent times of turmoil in attempt to restore the confidence of our country and assure us that things will get better.

Today, President Bush discussed the economic credit crisis from the White House Rose Garden. He spoke directly to those who are struggling: “If YOU’RE struggling with your mortgage there are things that you can do.” He spelled out, in detail, the steps the government has taken and will take, and described exactly what the $700 billion bailout plan will be used for. “(The plan) is aggressive…it will take time to have its impact… it is a flexible, comprehensive plan, and it will work.”

Especially strategic were his words of confidence: “We’re in this together and we’ll come through this together." “Our economy is innovative, industrial and resilient.”

Although he is sure to be attacked in the media as always, the government is laying out their plan of action, and a necessity in that plan is to use the leader of our nation to attempt to repair our nation’s confidence.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Check this site out!

This site is a must add to your frequent sites toolbar and bookmarks! The Daily Beast is a one-stop shop for not just headlines and top stories, but gossip, tips and more… with hardly any hassle just instant convenience!

With the tag line, “read this skip that,” The Daily Beast offers just what you need, both with national and international headlines. From where J.Lo’s gets her glow, to the economic bailout, and the presidential candidates, this site links visitors to the latest headlines on the web. Oh, and lets not forget the plethora of Beast Blogs to choose from!

The site was launched earlier this week and the woman behind it all is Tina Brown, noted journalist and former editor of Vanity Fair (feel free to read more about her on the site).

Happy Exploring!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tina Fey for VP?

As most of us are aware, Sarah Palin and Tina Fey look freakishly similar. Although Fey's three SNL skits are hilarious, have they been confusing the public as to who the real Palin is?

It is less than a month until the November Presidential Election and the media are playing a huge roll in the mind-set of American voters. This Presidential Election is going to make the history books, and there are still a lot of undecided voters out there. If the media keep playing these games, could people start to get confused and base their decisions off of SNL and other satirical media outlets?

So while you're deciding on who to vote for, make sure you know who the real candidates are, instead of their celebrity impersonators. Look at their campaign websites, watch clips of the debates and make sure you're not being negatively influenced by the media!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pitching to the Media and Doing Follow Up Calls

There are many exciting parts of public relations. One of my favorites is creating a pitch letter or press release and then pitching it to the media. I'm lucky enough to have had some experience with this thanks to PRowl, and here are the tips I can offer.

For pitching to the media:
  1. Once you have written your fabulous release or pitch letter and made sure it's perfect in every way, it's time to send it out! First, decide if you're going to personalize the emails or not. If you do personalize them, start with a professional greeting.
  2. After that, copy and paste the text into the body of the email. Make sure it looks the way it should (spacing especially.) No one wants to read sloppy text.
  3. After that, you can attach the document at the end of the email. Some people like to open them and read them in Word. Others are suspicious of attachments, because many times they carry viruses.
  4. After the email is finished, send it to yourself to make sure it comes out the way you want it to. If it does, go ahead and send the email to your media list!

*You can also fax releases, alerts and letters to your media list. In this case, make sure to use a cover letter.

For follow up calls:

  1. Before doing follow up calls, I like to make sure I have any information I might need in front of me. This way, I can answer questions without having to search for the answers.
  2. After the person answers your call, make sure to introduce yourself. Tell them your name, where you're from and what you sent them. It's also helpful to say what form you sent the information in, like an email or a fax.
  3. Make sure they have received the information, and ask them if they have questions about it. This is when you can offer them additional information, like pictures.
  4. If they have what they need, then thank them for their time and ask them to contact you with any further questions.
  5. All the while, be sure to speak clearly and slowly. Also, always be polite and professional. You never know when you'll be calling them again!

As always, feel free to send us your comments and advice!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Resume Tips

Yesterday we posted some examples of some extra creative and awesome resumes.

However, some of us are not that creative (though we should all strive to be!) so I would like to give a few tips on the classic one-page resume.

Remember that when applying for a job, your resume needs to set you apart. There needs to be something special about you that makes the potential employer put your resume in the yes pile.

-Grammar and spelling! If there is one thing I have learned, especially in PR is that one spelling mistake can cost you a job or internship. Check, double-check, and then check again, to make sure that there are no errors.

-Internships count as work experience! Just because you didn't get paid, doesn't mean it wasn't work. I used to think that extracurricular activites (like PRowl Public Relations) would just count as an activity on my resume, but was told by a PR professional that the experience I am getting there is valuable and needs to be addressed as a work-experience. I then moved it to work experiences and wrote up details about what I do, and every interview I have had since, I have been asked about it.

-One-page! Keep it to one page. Only the important things need to be on the resume. It's really cool that you were the editor of your high school newspaper, but that might not be the most important thing for your resume at this point in time. Try to keep it current, and to the things that will most impress a potential employer.

-Quantify- You did 42 press releases at your last internship? WOW. Instead of just writing, "Drafted press releases," include the number! This lets the potential employer know that you were trusted enough by the company to do actual work, and numbers are impressive.

I know I am missing a lot of tips here, but I specifically left this open because I would like to start a discussion in the comments section.

Students and PR professionals alike, please let us know your best resume tips!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Creative Resumes

Everyone needs a resume, right? Well, why not make yours creative?

Click here to check out Francesco Mugnai's blog entry compiling 20 creative resumes.

Also, Click here to watch Holly Grande's sing-a-long resume..How much more creative can you get than that?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Michael Nutter: Philadelphia PR’s Worst Nightmare?

No, not necessarily, but I would be surprised if communications directors weren’t shaking their heads and the tourism industries weren’t crying. I was shocked to be skimming through Section A in the Wall Street Journal yesterday to find Mayor Nutter’s face plastered in the center of the article, “Crime Hasn’t Dropped as Much As Our Interest in Talking About It.” In summary, the article was about the lack of media attention that local crime has been getting recently.

Yes, I am aware, as all Philadelphia residents are, that crime has skyrocketed in Philadelphia recently. Four police officers have been killed since the beginning of the year. It is public knowledge that Philadelphia is not the safest place in the country right now, and the WSJ has every right to write about it. But, on that note, does our mayor, someone who cares about bringing people and their money into Philadelphia, have to comment on the crime by making a joke about how “al Qaeda wouldn’t last a day in parts of Philadelphia.” He goes on to say, “I’ve got gangsters with .45s that would run them outta town.”

Yes, we have “gangsters with .45s” here, as do many other cities, but that doesn’t mean that we want our mayor making a joke about it in a publication who has a print circulation of 1,717,363 in the United States. If you were deciding where to take a vacation and read about the “gangsters” in Philadelphia that are bad enough to run al Qaeda out of town, would you want to spend your week off hoping to come home alive? I doubt it.

As a public relations professional, it is important to make sure the public knows that the crime problem exists, but it is also important to stress the great things that Philadelphia has to offer. Looking from a PR perspective, I believe Mayor Nutter and Philadelphia would have benefited more by commenting on the crime problems that the city faces and how a greater national spotlight on local crime could be beneficial in the fight against it.

But hey, maybe that’s just me. Thoughts?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tips for Finding an Internship!

There are plenty of things you can do to get an internship while you’re still in school. The best advice focuses on the connections you make and networking in general.

Guest speakers: The guest speakers your teachers and professors invite to class are more than likely professionals in the industry. Make a positive impression when asking questions and chatting with them afterwards. Ask about internship opportunities, get their business cards and send a thank you e-mail within a couple of days. The thank you e-mail should briefly sum up your interest after hearing from them in class. Remember to re-introduce yourself and if you want to, you could even attach your resume.

Listservs: Make sure you are getting those listserv e-mails for your major or specific school within the university. For public relations majors at Temple University, there is a listserv you can join, which offers updates, but more importantly internship opportunities in the area. Temple’s PRSSA chapter also has a listserv, which sends out internship opportunity notifications as well.

Word of mouth: Keep your eyes and ears alert! Ask around, if you are looking for an internship make it known. Talk to your professors or ask other students how they got their internships. Companies who have internship positions are regularly trying to fill those positions. Though it may usually be at the beginning of fall, spring and summer semesters, getting the inside scoop from the current interns at a company is always useful.

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

There's Nothing Like October Baseball

Happy October everyone! It's that time of year again for postseason baseball!

As everyone is getting prepared to watch their favorite teams throughout the day, TBS is hard at work too. Not only are they prepping their TV announcers, but they're also making some last-minute changes to their website with

My favorite team, the Philadelphia Phillies, play at 3:00 this afternoon - right in the middle of my day, and taking off of work for baseball isn't a very good excuse. I'm sure that there are plenty of other people in the same situation - this is where TBS and come to the rescue!

This article explains the unique features TBS and have in store for October. Not only are they offering multiple live videos of the games, they are also using social media! You can interact with other fans around the country in live chat rooms and vote in different polls throughout the month! Today's advancing technology is amazing; allowing people all over the country to interact with each other from the comfort of their own homes...or offices.

Go Phillies, and play ball!