Friday, January 30, 2009

Freelance Opportunity!

Looking for an opportunity to build your skills and earn some cash? Well....

Breslow Partners is hiring freelance PR people
Want to build your resume and earn a little cash? Contact Tina Breslow at Breslow Partners. We’re looking for people who are PR passionate (tech, web, food, whatever) with a thirst for truth, an affinity for ambition and a love of life. We’re a small, dynamic public relations firm that specializes in lifestyle and hospitality. We’re looking for a few self-starters who can roll up their sleeves, dig in, and help promote our clients in national magazines, on line and through social networking. If you’ve got what we need, drop me a line at tina@breslowpartners.com

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Apple!

I myself am a fan of the Apple technologies… I have a MacBook and I’ve had my fair share of iPods as well (which I couldn’t live without). It seems this week most major news websites have put together articles and slideshows about the history of Apple. This Saturday (1/31/08) marks the 25th anniversary of Macintosh. Check out the “Top 10 Apple Moments,” TIME has put together. (Though I think the recent “PC guy and MAC guy (Justin Long)” deserve a spot on the list.)

However, through the years the company has continuously grown, positioning itself with the hottest and trendiest technologies, always outshining their previous products. It would be interesting to see how the company’s public relations staff operates. After quickly researching about Apple’s PR, there weren’t many positive comments, but it was interesting that each Apple product has an individual PR team. So there is the iPod PR team, the MacBook PR team, the iPhone PR team, and well you get the point. The corporate giant of Apple is a force to be reckoned with, I think I’ll wonder some more about what working for them would be like.

All in all, it really is amazing how technology has advanced tremendously over the years, especially the progress of Apple.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Murphy's Law

At my internship today, I was given the opportunity to attend the Philadelphia Public Relations Association's (PPRA) luncheon. After checking in and eating lunch, we listened to a panel to speak about "Murphy's Law: Memorable Moments and Lessons Learned from Special-Event Superstars." The panel included:

Jim Cohn (Moderator) - Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine
Keeya Branson-Davis - Penns Landing Corporation
Lisette Bralow - Philadelphia Folksong Society
Danielle Cohn - Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau
Scott Mirkin - ESM Productions, Inc.
Susan Norcross - Cashman & Associates


They shared their stories from a torrential downpour and flooded pier for an outdoor orchestra, a hurricane happening during an outdoor folk festival, and a zoo having to evacuate everyone, while animals were screaming in the background. Balloons and confetti were dropped from the ceiling, before the dinner was finished, resulting in confetti in all of the drinks and a complete mess all over the dining room. Looking back on those experiences, everyone laughed. But when it was happening, they weren't thrilled at all.


Here are a few tips they gave while having an event:

  • There is a very fine line between Murphy's Law and negligence. Safety always comes first. The only time Murphy's Law should happen is days prior to the event, when all of the preliminary checks are being done.
  • Always stay professional, no matter what the situation is.
  • Always keep your service consistent. Your client is your top priority. You must go out of your way to make everything run smoothly.
  • When handing out a media kit or any kind of readings, keep it simple. Only give the top points because that's all people want to know about. They should only need the "who, what, where and when." They should already know "why."
  • Read every single contract that is involved in your event.
  • Everyone involved needs to be on the same page. Make sure everyone is informed so information is consistent.
  • Always have back up. The amazing Phillies World Series parade? Even though it was planned in less than 48 hours, there were back-up tractor trailers on the streets surrounding the parade route, just in case something happened.
  • Trust who you're working with.
  • Consider rain insurance...seriously. Have reservations for a tent, just in case.

There's a lot of behind the scenes work that happens during an event, and you always have to be prepared!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wikipedia Has a Competitor!

Professors always tell students NOT to use Wikipedia as a source. Even though I doubt no one does, it doesn't mean that people aren't getting any information off of it anyway. It just so happens that one of my professors today read us a definition straight from Wikipedia. Part of the reason Wikipedia is not a credible source is because people can go into the articles and edit them on their own. So what would happen if a research name we trusted created a website like Wikipedia?

Encyclopedia Britannica is doing just that. Later this week, users will be able to edit and enhance content on Encyclopedia Britannica's website. Some of the approved content that users post will even be published in the print copy of the encyclopedias!

"What we are trying to do is shifting ... to a much more proactive role for the user and reader where the reader is not only going to learn from reading the article but by modifying the article and — importantly — by maybe creating his own content or her own content." - Jorge Cauz, Britannica's president.

There are so many PR related issues in this article. First I immediately thought of brands. The goal of many campaigns is to make people trust in a certain brand, so they will be loyal consumers of that brand for a length of time. Wikipedia is not a name that people trust, but Britannica definitely is. Also, it's mentioned that Britannica is 241 years old, and they obviously want to spice up their traditional approach to research. How many of us still go to the library and search through encyclopedias when doing a research paper? Just like many companies out there, Britannica wants and NEEDS to keep up with the times!

So how about it? Do you think Britannica can take on Wikipedia? Who will come out on top?

Find the whole article here!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Setting Yourself Apart and Learning More About PR

We will be taking a short hiatus from the PR Freelance series, but no fear! It will be back soon!

PR students everywhere are doing things to set themselves apart. I blogged about this a few weeks ago on Career Girls.

Rachel Esterline, a PR student at Central Michigan University is definitely on the path to success with her online ventures. She writes a popular blog called A Step Ahead and recently has launched a PR book club called Learn It, Live It, Love It.

The idea behind the book group is that PR students and professionals will read a chosen book about PR or professional development each month and discuss it on the blog.

To join, e-mail PRBookGroup@gmail.com to become an official member of Learn It, Live it, Love it.

Send the following information:
  • Name
  • E-mail address
  • Blog name and link (if applicable)
  • Twitter (if applicable)
  • Book suggestions
  • Note if you are a student or a professional
  • Optional: A short (six sentence maximum) bio about yourself
I already signed up, and I hope that you will too! Any tiny aspect that makes you different from another candidate counts. Being able to discuss the PR industry and topics surrounding it are key when interviewing for a job or internship.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Subject, Please!

I don't know about you, but I'm starting to get super bored with all the political/election coverage! Although we here at PRowl Public Relations realize the importance of discussing what's in the news (and looking at the last few weeks of posts, I'd say we covered it well), I think it's also time for a mindless post having nothing to do with current politics.

Today marks the end of Temple University students' first week of classes, and I hope all of your semesters have gotten off to a great start!

Are any readers enrolled in classes they may need some advice in? Leave a comment and we'll see if we, or another reader, may know something about it! Or, are you enrolled in a great class you want to shout to the world? Tell us about that too!

I personally think I'm going to love my Risk Management & Insurance class this semester (although it's not a communications class...) and I'm a little nervous about a course I'm taking that focuses on the analysis of social movements. Wish me luck!

We look forward to hearing from you and hope that your semester is a great one!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama will keep his Blackberry!

President Obama won’t have to feel disconnected from co-workers, friends and family outside of Washington. After all the talk about having to give up his Blackberry once entering the White House due to security reasons, the President will get to keep his Blackberry but not before he’s assigned a new address and a spy-proof encryption package is applied. He will be the first President communicating, texting and e-mailing from a personal handheld device!

So what will this mean for Blackberry? Think of all the positive press J Crew has been getting from Michelle Obama’s wardrobe choices. Both Sasha and Malia’s outfits from the inauguration on Tuesday were also J Crew, which received great press, as well. It seems anything associated with the Obama’s lends itself to positive press.

I’m curious to see if Blackberry will touch on the fact that arguably the most important person in the country and one of the most famous people in the world, the President, is a loyal fan of their product. But I bet they’re happy he hasn’t switched to the iPhone!


*Picture from www.guardian.co.uk

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Crisis at the Capitol

So many people are talking about President Barack Obama's inauguration that happened yesterday. However, probably just as many people are also talking about Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy's seizure. While inside the closed doors of a post-inaugural luncheon, Sen. Kennedy collapsed and had a seizure. He was rushed to the hospital and was kept overnight. Thankfully, he is doing well and is resting.

As I was informed by one of my professors yesterday, there weren't any reporters inside the luncheon. However, they knew that something was happening. When the doors were finally unlocked and people were coming out of the room, they were bombarded by reporters, wanting to know what happened. Although they were looking for the answers, those who were present for the luncheon hesitated to give any information. They knew that something happened and the reporters wanted to know all of the details, but they also knew that it wasn't their place to give that information. Kudos to everyone who cooperated and let a spokesperson for Sen. Kennedy do their job.

Still interested? Check out CNN.com for the full story!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day 2009!

Today was the Inauguration of our 44Th president, Barack Obama. The 2009 Inauguration was filled with excitement, new experiences and the exchange of power between George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama. It's a day that will not be soon forgotten, and a day that I was so grateful to be able to witness!

As I sat and watched President Obama give his Inaugural Address after being sworn in, I was captivated by him like I have been many times before. After I had listened to Obama's speech and read it over later in the day, I feel as though he did a great job.

At first, he talked about all of the challenges the country is facing. He didn't beat around the bush at all. After talking about the challenges, he reassured America once again that those challenges would be met. He talked about the importance of unity, and of coming together with the rest of the world to fight challenges we could not face alone.

Here is just one of my favorite quotes from his speech:

"To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

Find Obama's Inaugural Address here, in full text!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Freelance PR Part 6

In my never-ending quest to find out what I really want to do with my life, I came across a new avenue of public relations-- Freelancing.

After interning at an agency this past semester, I realized that perhaps agency work isn't quite the route I want to take upon graduating from college next year. I realized that I love to write, and often prefer working solo. I reached out through our Twitter to find other PR practitioners out there who have done some freelance work. Luckily, many people responded!

This is the sixth post in what is a series of posts featuring different PR freelancers
.

This week, I interviewed Danielle Armstrong, senior publicist and owner of Organic Public Relations LLC.

Ms. Armstrong would describe Freelance PR as
, "a publicist who operates as a independent contractor for various companies, organizations, individuals small businesses and non-profit organizations." She mentions that Freelance PR activities can range from event planning to press release writing. She also mentions that its beneficial for a company to use a freelancer because its less expensive than hiring a firm because you only utilize a freelancer when you have a need for publicity.

With a degree in PR, Ms. Armstrong began her career interning for a firm and later working for a firm in Virginia Beach. After her time there, she decided to venture out on her own. She has worked with such clients as Tyler Perry, music producers, and authors.

To charge for freelancing services, Ms. Armstrong suggests finding out what others in the business are charging for their services. She then suggests deciding what you would like to make annually and dividing that by the 40 hour work week. After that, you have your hourly rate. She advises that when speaking with a potential client to never tell them your hourly rate and to explain that each project is different.

Ms. Armstrong says that she always knew she wanted to go into business for herself. She obtained her first client through someone she knew who needed PR services immediately. From there, her services were spread through word of mouth.

"I am a walking billboard," Ms. Armstrong jokes. To obtain clients, Ms. Armstrong always attends events, helps out with events, is involved in online communities, and passes out business cards everywhere she goes.

Her favorite aspect of freelancing is the freedom, flexibility and control of working for herself. Her least favorite aspect of freelancing is the lack of a regular paycheck, and not having benefits. She mentions, "It's not something that everyone can tolerate, but it can be very rewarding if done right."

Ms. Armstrong is extremely organized when it comes to time management. Since freelancers do not have set hours, she creates to-do lists, has a white board with task that must be completed, is constantly speaking with clients, and also keeps up with what is happening in the community. She mentions that she is always busy, but makes sure to set a day aside a week to not work. She also schedules personal time into her schedule to ensure that she does not burn out.

She will be speaking on a panel and moderating a panel at the National Black Public Relations Society's conference. Ms. Armstrong is a key player in planning events for their conference in Atlanta in April 2009.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Obama Fever


Companies continue to jump on the Obama wagon (and we continue to talk about it..). Next in line: Swedish home products retailer, Ikea.

For the inauguration this coming Tuesday, Ikea has assembled an Oval Office replica inside Union Station in Washington, D.C. The detailed Ikea-furnished replica is not the only part of the “Embrace Change ‘09” campaign, though.

According to Brandweek.com, “The integrated campaign includes out-of-home billboards featuring the "Embrace Change ‘09" slogan on local buses and trains. Ikea is also holding a "mock motorcade," touring the D.C. area Jan. 15-16. Ikea will strap "furniture fit for a president" on top of vehicles to symbolize the incoming president and his family moving into their new home. Other components include a site, http://www.embracechange09.com/, where Ikea fans can design their own Oval Office using a drop-and-drag click tool, and a $1,500 gift card giveaway to visitors who log onto the site.”
The campaign not only shows Ikea’s support for president-elect, Barack Obama, it also is intended to display its furniture, driving foot traffic to two nearby stores.

According to Ikea’s public relations manager, "[Obama's] notion of change and his commitment to fiscal responsibility match the Ikea philosophy of practical and affordable home furnishings for all,” creating a great branding opportunity.
What do you think? Will these political branding campaigns pay off (in terms of profit and positioning) for companies such as Ikea?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Different Presidential Relationship...

“Obama poised to be first ‘wired’ president,” is an article I found on CNN.com this morning. It highlights the use of social medias and Internet sites our president-elect utilized throughout his campaign. With accounts on sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, can we expect communication from the White House, like we’ve never seen before?

I’m actually very excited about this because not only does it mean social media is a force to reckon with, but it attempts to break down the rigid barrier between President and citizens. This is a chance for us to establish a different sort of relationship with our President. Instead of checking WhiteHouse.gov, Americans as well as the world can log on to sites we visit everyday and get updates from the Oval Office conveniently perhaps on our (Facebook) mini feed.

Obama’s use of social and online medias has been praised for its effectiveness. He has effectively altered the traditional media model. So what do you think about Obama’s use of social media?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Social Media for 2009?

In Monday's PR Tactics and The Strategist Online, there was an article discussing the future of social media in 2009. With the economy worsening, author Jim Nail outlines two very different futures for social media: becoming an indispensable tool for building relationships with our publics, and turning into a rush by companies which turns into a backlash bigger than pop-up ads from recent years.

How will consumers react? Basically, they will either revolt and start protesting on sites like Facebook and Twitter. They will find all of the clutter as an unwelcome intrusion. Or, consumers will welcome companies' presence, but only if it is done in a mutually beneficial way for both parties.

Read the complete article here, and tell us what you think!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Any Last Words?

President Bush held a news conference on Monday, and called it "the ultimate exit interview". During the conference, he addressed various parts of his presidency and his plans for the future. He also took questions from reporters, but would not answer any questions on what pardons he would issue before the end of his term. He also took the time to thank reporters who have covered him in the past 8 years, and to warm Barack Obama about the dangers of terrorist activity that still exist today.

Bush said that he had made mistakes during his presidency, but has also learned to block out some negative flack that he has received in the past. If he had listened to everything everyone had ever said about him, it would have been hard for him to continue on as President.

President Bush also said that he planned to stay out of the spotlight once he left the White House, and who could blame him. He vowed to keep busy though, and has some projects that he will attend to in the future.

“I just can’t envision myself, you know, with a big straw hat and Hawaiian shirt, sitting on some beach,” the president said, adding, “particularly since I quit drinking.”

You can read the article here, and get more details about his news conference. From a PR standpoint, do you think he did a good job at the conference, or should he had done things differently?

*All information taken from the article, "Mistakes, I’ve Made a Few, Bush Tells Reporters"

Setting Yourself Apart

Today, I guest blogged over at Nicole Crimaldi's blog, Career Girls: Smart, Sexy, Savvy about how to set yourself apart as a college student.

Check it out!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Freelance PR Part 5

In my never-ending quest to find out what I really want to do with my life, I came across a new avenue of public relations-- Freelancing.

After interning at an agency this past semester, I realized that perhaps agency work isn't quite the route I want to take upon graduating from college next year. I realized that I love to write, and often prefer working solo. I reached out through our Twitter to find other PR practitioners out there who have done some freelance work. Luckily, many people responded!

This is the fifth post in what is a series of posts featuring different PR freelancers
.

This week, I interviewed Ken Jacobs, a PR consultant of his own firm, Jacobs Communications Consulting. Instead of actually doing PR writing and attempting to get media placements for clients, Mr. Jacobs helps corporate communications departments and PR firms enhance staff performance, motivation, retention through coaching.


A graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Relations of Syracuse University, Mr. Jacobs has 25 years of experience in consumer PR. He decided to make the switch from working at different agencies to consulting because he wanted to focus on what he did well and loved doing. He also mentioned that it became tiresome to commute from New Jersey to New York City each day to work for someone else. "
It's much more pleasurable to go to NYC or Philly on a semi-regular basis, at a better hour, and for myself!" he said.

In order to obtain clients, Mr. Jacobs relies on referrals from previous clients, email outreach, writing articles for various PR journals and attending and speaking at agency conferences. Like many others in the business who realize the importance of social networking, Mr. Jacobs' goal for this year is to more effectively use social media, particularly Twitter to build his business.

His favorite part of freelancing is, "being his own brand, being responsible for his own success, and putting money into his own pocket, rather than someone else's."

His least favorite part of freelancing is having to market himself each and every day. He doesn't enjoy not having paid sick days, vacation days, and holidays.


To stay active in the business, Mr. Jacobs relies on social networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. "I don't feel unconnected at all," he said, "But I do need to remind myself to get out there and "press the flesh" more frequently.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What Will 2009 Bring?

Many PR people may be asking themselves this very question. What will happen to PR in 2009? It's already a rapidly changing field, so much can happen in a year.

I've compiled a list of some great blogs that have come up with their own '09 predictions. See a short excerpt from each post, and click to check out the full post!

Pierce Mattie Public Relations blog
: "Clients will need to be educated on digital media. I use digital media to be the umbrella for everything online from digital magazines, to websites, to podcasts, to blogs, to life streaming to social media. Traditional brands do not want to let go of print. While print still plays an important role in the relationship with the public, digital is now surpassing it. Social media is not the future, it is NOW. Clients want hard statistics and measurable ROI and hesistate because digital is hard to quantify. However--if they are not being educated and becoming actively involved in this platform I can guarantee their competitors are.

Common Sense PR blog: "That also means it’s back to basics when working with the media. No longer can PR firms hide behind bulk email blasts and hope that something - anything- sticks. Those that got this lazy will have to play catch up to those publicists who worked on building relationships, not spamming."

Communication Overtones blog: "Measurement will be key: Clients and bosses will want to know, 'Where's the beef?'"

Nick Lucido's blog: "Ethics for you and me: I think 2008 was a year of dishonesty and unethical behavior. Whether it’s the Madoff scandal or the Blagojevich drama or the Wall Street CEOs and their ridiculous bonuses; it hasn’t been a pretty year. I’m hopeful that corporations have learned to be honest, ethical and transparent - 2009 will be the year to show it. Now more then ever, public relations professionals are relied upon to build that trust. Mike Cherenson from PRSA talks about how important this will be for the professional in a PR Tactics article."

The Buzz Bin blog:"Social Marketing Trend, Hot: Community collaboration, Not: Personal branding."

The Flack blog: "The line separating bloggers from mainstream journalists will continue to blur, leading to one amorphous media ecosystem. The most authoritative bloggers will be compelled to adopt accepted journalistic standards and practices, i.e., checking sources, while the vast majority will not."

What are YOUR PR predictions for 2009?

Friday, January 9, 2009

The True Test of Love...

Do you have way too many Facebook friends? You check your requests and you have two from old high school friends, and always a few from those random people that are only “friending” you because they think you’re attractive or they know a friend who knows your cousin’s sister.

Well, the full-service advertising agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, has come up with a creative way to de-clutter your account. For Burger King, they have come up with the “Whopper Sacrifice” application that allows users to swap 10 Facebook friends for a free Whopper.

All who have a Facebook account can understand the drama of “de-friending” a person. Even worse, when you “sacrifice” a friend to get to your free Whopper, the person is notified that you love Whoppers more than them (in more poetic language, of course).

Although some may be offended as their number of friends decrease, and more messages are sent telling you the Whopper is more popular than you, it gets people talking. And even more importantly, for those who decide to cut off a few friends, the application gets traffic into the BK locations, an important step in the product adoption process.

So what do you think? Will the application work? Have YOU added it yet? Let us know your thoughts!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fashion and Politics?

Practically every Thursday, I read the NY Times’ Style section… it’s one of my favorite things to do on the web. But sometimes I’m lucky enough to find an article I can also blog about and today was that sort of day!

The first article on the page reads, “U.S. Fashion’s One-Woman Bailout?” with three pictures of our nation’s soon to be first lady Michelle Obama. (I blogged about Sarah Palin and her wardrobe choices during the presidential campaign, so it is only natural I come full circle and discuss Mrs. Obama’s wardrobe now.)

The article highlights Mrs. Obama’s choices of wardrobe and style since entering the campaign trail with her husband and the influences her fashion choices has had and may continue to have on the American fashion industry. It also briefly points out the “tweaking” efforts of Cindy McCain’s wardrobe choices during the campaign, as well. Yet with all the controversy some candidates and their partners may have encountered these past few months about flashy and expensive fashion choices, Mrs. Obama has always seemed to be dressed appropriately, never over the top and still surprisingly fashionable. In fact, Mrs. Obama has had quite the effect not only in the political arena but arguably in fashion altogether.

With influences from former first ladies, like Jacqueline Kennedy, who have held the role of muse to many fashion houses and trends, Mrs. Obama surely will be bringing a unique fashion flare to the White House. Though it is important to point out the practicality Mrs. Obama understands, she has great taste and does not distinguish this through high price tags or designer labels. She has and will continue to be an American fashion icon we can all relate to. After all, she does shop at J.Crew and Target just like the rest of us.

So what does a soon to be first lady who appreciates the affordable fashions in life have to do with PR?

Michelle Obama’s fashion choices express a mood and extend a message to the public. It’s not necessarily the details of her ensemble, but like the article states, “the first lady, who throughout the campaign demonstrated not just that she understood the power of clothes to transmit a message, but a readiness to adjust that message as the need arose.”

So do you really think fashion and clothes make all the difference?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Piggybacking


Piggybacking is probably more known as a transportation technique for little kids from their parents, versus a PR term. But today, it's a PR tool that Ben & Jerry's is using to their advantage. Ben & Jerry's created a new ice cream flavor, named "Yes Pecan," in honor of Barack Obama's upcoming inauguration. It's a play on words of Obama's "Yes we can" slogan. It's a great idea on Ben & Jerry's part, and it was even part of another PR tool: a contest! Read the rest of the article here, on Common Sense PR.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Who Doesn't Love a List?

Everyone knows how much we love lists at PRowl Public Relations. Maybe it comes from being Strategic and Organizational Communication majors, or maybe we're all just really organized. No matter what the reason may be, we use lists for everything from writing tips to "How To..." blog posts.

Personally, I use lists for everything. I use them to organize my schoolwork, organize what I need to get done for PRowl, and what I need to get done in life outside school! One of my favorite lists to write is one I do before a new semester starts. I write down all of my goals for the next 3-4 months (usually about 10 goals). This helps me to stay focused in school, and it also helps me to remember to do things I love! Being in college is such a wonderful and exciting experience, and there is so much to do outside of the academic world (even though academics are very important)! I never share all of my goals with anyone, but I will tell you the one that I always put last on my list - be happy.

The reason I'm writing about this topic today is because our former firm director, Natalie Herr, has started a new and exciting project called 101 in 1001, and it has inspired me to start on my new list. Basically, she had to come up with 101 things that she has to accomplish in the next 1001 days. Check out her new 101 Journey blog, to get a better understanding of the project and to see what she's been up to!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Freelance PR Part 4

In my never-ending quest to find out what I really want to do with my life, I came across a new avenue of public relations-- Freelancing.

After interning at an agency this past semester, I realized that perhaps agency work isn't quite the route I want to take upon graduating from college next year. I realized that I love to write, and often prefer working solo. I reached out through our Twitter to find other PR practitioners out there who have done some freelance work. Luckily, many people responded!

This is the fourth post in what is a series of posts featuring different PR freelancers
.

This week, I interviewed Ed Donovan, a PR freelancer beginning his 5th year of self-employment.

Mr. Donovan would describe Freelance PR as, "providing communication services on a contracted basis for multiple clients or projects on a short-term or as needed basis."


A graduate of La Salle University, Mr. Donovan studied English and Communications. He began his career working in the non-profit sector for the Police Athletic League (PAL) of Philadelphia handling PR, special events, and fundraising. After working for PAL, he moved on to work for Comcast in corporate public affairs.


Mr. Donovan mentions that he always desired to work on his own, and after meeting a few people who needed his PR services, he realized that he could truly make a living doing freelance work.

When asked how Donovan obtains clients, he exclaims, "100% networking! I think it's important to build a strong network before going out on your own." He notes that every person you meet could be a future client down the line.

Mr. Donovan's favorite aspect of freelancing is getting to work on a variety of different projects and being the person who gets to choose which projects to undertake.

"Right now I do a lot of work in endurance sports and also work with Dunkin' Donuts...How is that for diversity?" he asks.


His least favorite aspect is anything that has to do with accounting and billing. He also says that he misses having others around to collaborate and brainstorm with.

Mr. Donovan views his freelance business as operating a one person firm.

He says, "I just have to handle every aspect of the firm: business development, account management, writing, pitching, measurement, etc..."

To stay active in the business, Mr. Donovan relies on social networking sites like Twitter and industry groups and organizations.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

What Do YOU Want To See From Us?

Since it is a new year, and a new beginning, we at PRowl Public Relations are wondering: What would you like to see from this blog? Is there anything that we are missing that you would like to learn more about?

We are always looking for ways to become more interactive and more engaging, so please: comment away and leave your advice for us! Let us know what we can do to make this blog more beneficial to YOU!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Sometimes, “Sorry” is Your Best Bet

As often discussed in crisis communications, organizations’ first words after a crisis are carefully analyzed by the public and the media, and can often shape the future of the situation. While some apologies may admit guilt, it is important for an organization to express their concern over the situation, and soothe people’s anger.

At about 1 p.m. yesterday, January 1, a Muslim family was taken off an AirTran flight to Orlando, Florida. Other passengers had overheard “suspicious” comments made by members of the family and reported it to their flight attendant. These comments were later said to be involving concerns about the safest place to sit on an airplane, and had no common trigger words, such as “terror,” “bomb,” “explosion,” etc. After the FBI cleared the family and deemed them safe to board the flight, AirTran declined to allow them back on.

AirTran’s first comments about the situation released in a press release contained harsh words about the family, saying they“"became irate and made inappropriate comments." This statement can be seen as an excuse for the airline’s behavior, instead of an informative release that allowed the public to rest assured that AirTran was doing what they could to resolve the situation in a positive manner.

The FBI worked with the innocent Muslim family in booking a flight with USAirways to be transported to their destination. It was not until a day later that AirTran decided to apologize to the wrongly-accused family. In a public statement, the company said: "We regret that the issue escalated to the heightened security level it did, but we trust everyone understands that the security and the safety of our passengers is paramount." They also apologized to the family members affected, as well as the other 95 passengers aboard the plane.

Both major and small news channels covered the story, reaching a vast amount of people throughout the nation, and most likely other countries as well. Do you think AirTran’s reputation has been damaged by this incident? Or, were the comments released today enough to soothe public opinion?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Reflections and Looking Forward

2008 was a great year for PRowl Public Relations. We really got our feet off the ground when the spring semester began in January of 2008, and we have been going strong ever since.

We would like to take this time to reflect on our accomplishments in 2008 and to set some goals for 2009.

Accomplishments:
-Officially opened for business in January 2008
-Started this very blog on January 27, 2008
-Obtained two clients for the spring 2008 semester and executed successful campaigns for both
-Hired new members for the first time
-Successfully transitioned a new Board of Directors at the end of the spring 2008 semester
-Got placements in 4 publications and over 10 blogs throughout the year
-Connected with other PR professionals, professors and students through Twitter

Goals:
-Continue providing excellent PR services to our current and future clients
-Successfully interview and hire new members for the coming year
-Continue blogging daily and connecting with PR professionals
-Perfect and officially launch our website

What are some of your accomplishments and goals for 2009?