Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dropbox – The Best Collaborative Work Tool You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

We’ve all been there – the dreaded group project that required sending documents and many files back and forth over email. This is not only time consuming but can really put a damper on how the group communicates and if the group work is running efficiently. From my own experiences in group projects that required a lot of file sharing, documents and emails can be lost in the sea of hundreds of emails college students receive daily. Attachments are often troublesome to open depending on certain formats and operating systems used by the sender/receiver. With all the various platforms and formats catered to each computer it can often be stressful to waste time on converting and figuring out formatting. After all we’re college students not IT technicians.

Luckily there is an extremely useful tool available for those who are not tech savvy and it’s called Dropbox. Dropbox is a free file hosting service that lets users share photos, documents and videos anywhere and with anyone who uses it. As a Dropbox user myself, I have used it to share hundreds of edited photos and proposals without having to email them to myself for back-up and keep track of changes through them. Dropbox will also always save versions of your files so that in case a file does get deleted you can restore it through the website.

Perhaps the best thing about Dropbox is that it’s a relatively simple tool to use and can be a “killer collaborative work tool” according to because of its ability to sync files from the Dropbox website instead of going to a local hard drive to access files. says “The problem with making everyone provide access to their machine for everyone else is that it’s hard to maintain and doesn’t work well when sharing a particular file with multiple people. Like the previous method, it requires some effort.”

Recently I put Dropbox to the test by using it to save a presentation for my capstone class. I found it very time saving because I did not have to go back and forth with email attachments to see changes on the presentation. Also, accommodating different group members’ schedules was difficult but using Dropbox allowed anyone of us to edit and make changes and share them easily with everyone. This saved my group so much valuable time and effort, not to mention my email being free of 20-page long threads.

So when it comes to deciding whether to sift through endless emails to access a file or to simply go to a website or application on your computer to see a file, the answer for which will save you an unnecessary technological headache is clear. Dropbox will simplify your life and work.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jessica Lopez.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Next Generation of PRowl Leaders

Although it is not quite time to say goodbye (the current PRowl Public Relations board will continue blogging until Friday, May 13), I would like to welcome and introduce the new executive board of PRowl, as well as the account executives who will be leading our teams to achieve successful campaigns for our clients in the year ahead.

Yesterday, at our last staff meeting of the semester, incoming Firm Director Niki Ianni announced the firm's leadership for the fall 2011-spring 2012 academic year.

Executive Board
Firm Director: Niki Ianni
Assistant Firm Directors: Emily Ascani, Samantha Wanner
Director of Public Relations: Marianna Morris
Director of Finance: Doug Bennett

Other Leadership
Secretary/Fundraising Liaison: Kaitlin Tully
Account Executives: Meagan Prescott, Doug Bennett, Evan Galusha, Alex Crispino

Congratulations to PRowl's next generation of leaders!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

PR Campaigns That Changed the World

As PR professionals, we all have our favorite social media channel, our favorite buzz words and of course, our favorite PR campaigns. Personal favorites of mine include (as an avid Philly-lover) GPTMC's With Love, Philadelphia XOXO campaign, giving tourists and locals reasons to love the boisterous city of brotherly love and of course, all of Coca Cola's campaigns that give me warm fuzzy feelings.

However, I found an article written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases, who blogged about the 5 PR Campaigns that changed the world:

1. Keep America Beautiful

Started in 1953, everyone has seen countless parodies and homages paid to the campaign. Who knows where our "green" movement would be today without it!

2. Smokey The Bear

Created during WWII, this campaign urged nature lovers to be safe with their campfires and matches in order to preserve our forests. According to the Ad Council, Smokey the Bear is recognized by 95% of adults and 77% of children in the U.S.!

3. Ivy Lee

When a train crashed into the waters of Atlantic City, killing 53 people in 1906, Ivy Lee put out what is considered to be the world’s first press release. He persuaded the operating company of the train, the Pennsylvania Railroad, to disclose the facts of the case before anyone else did. This is now standard operating procedure for practically every company in the world.

4. Bacon and Eggs

Did you know that bacon and eggs weren’t always the quintessential breakfast foods? It wasn’t until the 1920s and Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, was tasked with selling the foods to the public. He put together a survey of doctors where they detailed the benefits of bacon and eggs for breakfast. This survey was used to convince…more doctors! They in turn recommended it to their patients. If you’ve ever seen a commercial that claimed “6 out of 7 doctors approve,” you have Bernays to thank.

5. I <3 NY

Hey, we all love New York City, right? But we didn’t all love it until the 1970s when Milton Glaser designed the famous logo that’s all over t-shirts everywhere. The Big Apple was actually on a downslide into poverty before the campaign was designed, and the simple little logo is credited with keeping the city from totally going under. In fact, it’s often cited as being one of the most efficient repositioning campaigns of all time!

Do you agree with the PR campaigns listed here? Do you think there are other campaigns that should have been included instead? Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

T-Mobile's Royal Wedding Entrance

T-Mobile found a creative way to get their name into the buzz about the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The cell phone company created a viral video mimicking the JK Wedding Entrance Dance video which collected 65 million views since July 2009. T-Mobile's video shows actors playing the royal family dancing down the aisle and ends with the message "One's Life is for Sharing." In the past 10 days, the video has gained over 11 million views.

An important part of PR is keeping up with the news and making your products or services relevant to current events. This is exactly what T-Mobile has done by creating a viral video and relating it to the upcoming royal wedding. If you haven't done so already, check out the video below.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Be Professional!

"I don't want to delete your press release, but sometimes I feel like you're forcing me to," said Chloe Thompson, an assistant editor at TMG.

How can you make sure yours isn't one of the releases that's getting deleted? In an article for Ragan's PR Daily, Thompson advises against five bad habits. In her article, Thompson reminds PR practitioners to avoid the use of pet names, slang and Internet lingo like "LOL." She also reminds PR practitioners to provide all of the necessary details in their releases, to be focused and to be concise.

Thompson's tips were all beneficial, but I found that most of them boiled down to two main points: be professional and do your job right. It is hard to believe that some PR practitioners need to be reminded to not address a journalist as "babe" or to remember to include an important detail like the date of an event in a press release!

As Thompson points out, simply taking the time to make sure your material is polite and well-written are the first--and critical--steps toward ensuring your press release gets read. "Just do your part, and I promise I'll do mine," Thompson said.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

How I Took Advantage of Networking

Coming into this semester, I knew I needed to find an internship for the summer. Having never had an internship, or anything resembling a “white collar” job, I found myself very apprehensive and was unsure of how to separate myself from other applicants. How could I, an inexperienced student with limited exposure to the profession of public relations, distinguish myself as a viable candidate who possessed the characteristics and personality that potential employers were seeking? After sending my resume to nearly half a dozen employers and not hearing back from one, I decided simply sending a list of what I had done did not accurately reflect the potential which existed within me. I needed to not just put my name out there, I needed to put a face to my name and make an impression based on an actual meeting.

One afternoon a friend of mine sent me an email containing the details of an upcoming PPRA networking event and suggested I attend. This is exactly what I was looking for: a chance to sit down and meet public relations professionals in the Philadelphia area. So I paid the small registration fee and when the date arrived I put on a suit for the first time in my life. At the event, I learned how to properly position myself to obtain an internship or a job, and how to make myself stand out among the masses. Upon the conclusion of the event, using the advice I had just learned, I approached several employers who had expressed a need for an intern at their place of work. Again, using the advice I had learned from the PPRA event, I followed up with those who I had met and established a relationship by beginning an email correspondence. The next thing I knew, I had an interview scheduled. I prepared myself adequately for the interview by using the suggestions of the professionals I had spoken with at the networking event and was able to provide my interviewer with practical suggestions that fit the organization’s message. Two days later, I was informed that I had received the position.

Thanks to networking, and my friend’s suggestion to attend this particular event, I now have a summer internship. Had I not gone, anxiety would have probably continued to grow as my chances to find a summer internship diminished. The lessons from the professionals at the PPRA event, along with the chance to meet prospective employers face-to-face, allowed me to display my personality beyond a simple resume and cover letter and led to my eventual hire.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Evan Galusha.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

From The White House to…Facebook?

Facebook has been in dire need of a good communications team for quite a while. Who might they turn to? Most people wouldn't think a former White House press secretary would be a good fit for the job, but that just may be the case. President Obama's former press secretary Robert Gibbs may be in consideration for the job.

Facebook is on the verge of becoming a publically traded company in 2012, which will make it crucial for Facebook to clean up their act when it comes to communication. Facebook has been criticized in the past for its lack communication with users regarding changes and updates to the site. CEO Mark Zuckerberg tends to come under fire in regards to his less-than-professional business skills and techniques.

Gibbs would be responsible for communicating Facebook's message to users, investors, and the media. Skills used during his time working in the White House such as crisis communication and working with the media will most likely be used again if he were to take the position at Facebook.

A lot of things will soon be changing for Facebook. Possibly becoming a publicly-traded company in 2012 and adding more specialized features for users are sure to bring the company lots of press and attention- and they will need someone like Gibbs to get the job done correctly.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Mackenzie Krott.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Final Reminder - PRowl Interviews!

Final reminder - PRowl Public Relations will start interviewing students this Monday, April 25 for the fall 2011 semester! Email Niki Ianni at today to schedule your interview.

If you are studying public relations (or a related field) at Temple University and are looking for the opportunity to experience the full-scope of the PR planning, implementation and evaluation process with clients from a variety of industries, I encourage you to meet with us to discuss your experiences and interests. We are looking for candidates of all age groups and experiences. The only requirement - the drive to learn.

See announcement below.
Are you a public relations student interested in gaining hands-on experience in the industry? PRowl Public Relations is Temple University’s first and only student-run PR firm, and we’re hiring!

At PRowl Public Relations, students are given opportunities to develop their strategic thinking and gain tactical practice. Members create and execute public relations campaigns, form valuable relationships with professionals in the Philadelphia area, apply their classroom knowledge to a real-world setting, become part of an interactive communications process and prepare for life beyond graduation.

Interested? Contact Niki Ianni at to set up an interview. Interviews will be scheduled starting Monday, April 25 – Wednesday, May 11.

Learn more about PRowl Public Relations:
Check out our blog, updated daily:
Follow us on Twitter: @PRowlPR
Find us on Facebook: PRowl Public Relations

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Becoming Culturally Aware: The New Resume Booster

The more we learn about the people in the world, the more global we become. Public Relations has progressed to the point where being comfortable in only one culture is not enough. Many large companies are beginning to train their Public Relations employees to become more culturally aware. Many innovative training techniques, such as online simulations, have become an important and even necessary method used by companies who have employees on a global scale. Some of these cultural training techniques are mandatory for Public Relation employees who must travel to other countries.

Much of this training brings employees out of their “comfort zone” and allows the process of enculturation to be a smooth transition for employees going overseas. Since global communication is so important for many industries, it is important for these companies to “bridge-the-gap” and communicate across differences. Without these innovative techniques, employees going overseas can undergo psychological distress, which can then lead to a negative experience or even worse, a negative image for the entire company.

One way to gain awareness of a foreign culture before entering the Public Relations industry is to study abroad as a student. The Public Relations field continues to become prominent on a global scale as industries continue to bridge-the-gap between cultural barriers. Studying abroad at a university level gives students everything expensive cultural training techniques would, plus more. The student who studies abroad will add to their cultural intelligence and identity. This ensures a larger comfort zone in the modern day workplace and a more well-rounded approach for working with Public Relations on a global scale in the future. Plus, it looks good on a resume!

This guest blog was written by PRSSA External Communications Committee member Kyle Nolan.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

STRC Trivial Pursuit at Spring Fling Today!

Are you the champion of Quizzo and Trivial Pursuit? If you enjoy a fun challenge, then be sure to stop by the Department of Strategic Communication's table at Temple's Annual Spring Fling today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.!

Students will be able to answer trivia questions about Stratcomm in the hopes of winning a coveted Starbucks gift card courtesy of the department. In addition to winning prizes, students are also able to purchase StratComm T-shirts for only $5 at the table and receive STRC pens for free!

So while you are out enjoying the close of the spring semester, make sure you spare a few minutes to stop by the STRC table to learn more about one of Temple University's great departments and the chance to win free Starbucks, something every college student is going to need with finals lurking in the near future!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Power of a Heartfelt Facebook Page

Recently, I have seen friends on Facebook and Twitter promoting a Facebook page called "Mumford & Sons to Philly for Mark's Birthday." Some "liked" it and others posted a link or tweet encouraging people to join the cause. Curious, I checked out the page.

Mark Keeley was a 19-year-old Philadelphia Gas Works worker who died in an explosion in Northeast Philadelphia on January 18, 2011. Keeley's friends and family knew he was planning a trip to see his favorite band, Mumford & Sons, this year. In his honor, they sent a letter to the band and started a Facebook page to try to convince the band to play a concert in Philadelphia for Keeley's birthday on July 27. Currently, the page has over 12,000 "likes" and the story has been covered on Mumford & Sons have released their June tour schedule, but no word yet on a July tour.

Once again, we are seeing the influence of social media and its ability to spread word-of-mouth messages to thousands. Have you seen any other Facebook pages promoting similar causes? If this Facebook page is successful in persuading the band, do you think we will see more pages like this?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Networking: the basics

Whether you are graduating and searching for a job or just starting college, it is important to build your professional network. Oftentimes, though, the idea of talking to complete strangers can be uncomfortable.

"Networking can be intimidating, especially if you've never done it before," says's Jessica Levco. If you have apprehension about networking, Levco offers five tips for millennials:
  • "Don't mingle with other millennials," Levco says, "branch out of your generational comfort zone and talk to people who've been in the biz longer than you have."
  • Have a drink, but stay in control. Levco reminds millennials that, while it is okay to introduce yourself with a drink in hand, save yourself some embarrassment by postponing heavier drinking for later.
  • Rather than introducing yourself by name and company title, "allow the conversation to develop naturally," Levco says. She recommends starting off by asking a question like "'how did you hear about tonight's event?'"
  • Be prepared to describe what you do for work. Levco recommends sticking to the highlights.
  • After the event, follow up with your new contacts. "Everybody likes to be remembered," Levco explains.
I found all of Levco's tips to be valuable, but I think her first tip is the best--and the easiest rule to break. At networking events, it is easy to try to stick with people your age because you feel more comfortable. The thing is, though, you're more likely to learn from the professionals at the event. These people are also the ones that can be harder to meet outside of the event. To get the most out of the event, make sure to focus on starting conversations with the more experienced participants. Be sure to solidify these relationships by also following tip five and following up with the contacts you make.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Is Social Media the Final Frontier?

Is social media the final frontier? From what many in the public relations and marketing industry have stated, it seems so. PR Newswire, in following what can be called a social media trend, launched social media tools to help organizations enhance their Facebook presence, connect with their current consumer base and gain new consumers.

How do these new social media tools work? Organizations can design custom tabs to highlight campaigns and products and share this information strictly with their fans. They will also be able to conduct promotions and interactive polling in what PR Newswire calls a “convenient dashboard.” Other features include Twitter feeds and tools to provide fans with up-to-date information without any effort, which allow organizations to easily observe and measure discussion as well as feedback on their Facebook page. Why is this launch important for the public relations and marketing industry? The new tools are easy to use but very effective in terms of how companies can position themselves on social media sites.

PR Newswire’s social media tools do not to simply monitor how many people visit their Facebook pages or how many people retweet them on Twitter. Instead of simply making a Facebook fan page with hopes of gaining a presence, organizations now have a means to target specific groups of people with specific messages that will meet their needs accordingly.

Visit PR Newswire for more information about the social media tools and for an interactive introduction to the tools.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kurie Fitzgerald.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Corporate Twitter Meltdowns

With the ever-growing use of social media, it seems that companies big and small are falling victim to Twitter meltdowns. The most recent of these events occurred at the fashion house of Marc Jacobs. At around midnight on a Friday, the lone intern who was asked to man the Twitter account made a decision to tweet his frustrations with this assignment and attacked his employer through the corporate account on his last day of work.

Some of the tweets included the following:

“I was asked to do this until we found a replacement… I hate this job. Hope they find someone soon. Robert is so picky! We have presented him with 50 people. He’s not happy.”

“You guys and gals have no idea how difficult Robert is. I am only an intern. My last day is tomorrow. I wouldn't be tweeting this if not!”

“I can call him out! I'm out! Won't work in this town again! I know that! Learned a lot. But, I don't have the energy for what is expected!”

While eruptions of this nature are bound to occur, there are steps that can prevent this type of outburst. At PRowl Public Relations, whenever we implement social media in conjunction with our overall strategy, each tweet and message is carefully reviewed by an account executive to make sure it aligns with the goals of the campaign. While this eliminates errors from planned communications, I would recommend that some companies take this concept a step further by only giving trained employees or executives the ability to post. Doing so would help eliminate general access to an integral communication tool and would ultimately result in the protection of the brand.

For more information about the Twitter meltdown at Marc Jacobs, click here to read the article from Ragan’s PR Daily.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jacob DeChant.

Friday, April 15, 2011

"So, what is PR anyways?"

Many people outside the industry seemingly have no clue about what it is that PR people do exactly. Just yesterday I was telling a peer in my economics class that I am a public relations major. His initial response? "Oh, so you like send press releases and stuff?" Yes, we sometimes write and distribute press releases, but there is much, much more to the public relations profession.

I enjoyed Jackson Wightman's humorous articles on "21 things PR is not" and "21 things PR is" on the Proper Propaganda blog. Below are just a few items pulled from his posts.

To check out the full lists, click on the following links: 21 things PR is not and 21 things PR is.

What PR is not:

  • The department whose sole purpose is to write, edit and hawk press releases.

  • A business function that deals with the media and/or bloggers and nothing else.

  • Capable of whitewashing all sins.

  • Necessarily or invariably the adversary of media.

  • A synonym for spin.

  • What PR is:

    • A craft that requires fundamental understanding of human needs/wants.

    • A profession that has been seriously changed by the Internet.

    • A profession that is...about relations with various publics and not just the media.

    • Regularly misperceived - especially by journalists.

    • Capable of significantly helping reduce organizational costs if applied correctly.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Fundraising for a Cause

    One of the main reasons a business exists is to make money. Charitable non-profit organizations often face the challenge of making enough money to provide their services, but the basic goal of non-profit organizations is still to make money. My entrepreneurial marketing class this semester challenged students to raise money on behalf of a cause for social good.

    This semester I began working with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), a personal cause for me since I lost a close friend last summer. I have spent the semester raising money, which will be donated to the Philadelphia chapter of the AFSP in May. My hope is to raise awareness of the resources available by the local chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention by providing the organization with the monetary funds to increase its awareness efforts.

    One of the the things I have noticed through my work for the AFSP this semester is people do not like to be reminded of difficult times or "depressing" circumstances. It is important to remind your audience of the positive aspects of your cause. My fellow group members and I often reminded people of the difference they could make in one life by simply donating a few dollars to our cause.

    There are so many causes out there, that you have to make your cause stand out. Using a personal story often improves the success of your cause. Each of our group members had been personally affected by suicide, so relaying our own personal stories allowed people to identify with our cause.

    Have you ever raised money for a charitable cause? What are some difficulties you encountered? Are there any tips you can share for our readers to increase the success of their fundraising efforts?

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    On Becoming A Leader

    Monday marked my first official day as the new firm director of PRowl Public Relations. While I am anxious about following in the footsteps of our graduating director who has strengthened and grown our student-run firm into a sought after agency within the last three years, I am also incredibly excited to have the opportunity to help lead my staff in learning and growing within the industry. As a leader, you are expected to guide, inspire, encourage and motivate your staff into becoming better professionals. Needless to say, it is no easy task. Therefore, I thought I would share some insight on what it takes to be a good leader.

    Create your vision.
    All leaders have a compelling vision that must inspire others to take action. Whether you are leading a firm or simply leading a group project, have a firm and clear understanding of the direction you want to move in and the overall goal you want to accomplish. When you have a clear understanding of your vision, it is easier to communicate that vision to others in order to inspire them to help you in achieving it.

    Work towards excellence.
    Never accept anything less than excellent. When you have high standards, others will as well. Always have a pride in your work by continually developing and strengthening your knowledge in skills. Excellence indicates a passion and a love for your work, and when that passion is obvious, it is contagious to everyone around you.

    Be an excellent communicator.
    When you are a leader, it is imperative that you know how to effectively communicate your expectations. You need to be approachable and compassionate, yet firm in order to gain their respect. When mistakes are made or expectations are not met, it is important to understand how to appropriately handle the situation while not losing motivation. State explicitly what you expect of your members and show them respect, and in turn they will listen and perform accordingly.

    I am beyond excited to help grow PRowl Public Relations to the next level next year. I would love to hear what other tips you have to offer for myself or other up-and-coming leaders. Let us know!

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    You as a Brand: How Will You Position Yourself?

    In my marketing class, we've been talking about branding: identifying a need and positioning your product as the one to satisfy that need by delivering unique benefits. We recently completed an assignment to remind us that this concept not only applies to products, but also to job candidates. When interviewing for a job, think of the employer as the customer and yourself as the product. The employer is looking to satisfy a need in their company and it is your responsibility to position yourself as the one to satisfy that need by delivering unique benefits.

    When developing your personal brand, you should first think about the qualities you possess. Think about how you would describe yourself and then ask your friends, family, and colleagues how they would describe you. Compare your description against theirs: is the way they see you the way you want to be seen?

    Once you have an idea of the characteristics you possess and could bring to a job, research the job of interest. What are the culture, values, and vision of the company? What are the skills needed for the job? How does the company position itself: what makes it unique?

    Then, evaluate your fit for the role. How do your skills line up with the company's needs? What is the unique benefit you could bring to the company? With these answers in mind, develop a positioning statement for yourself. A simple template for a personal positioning statement is: For (company), (your name) is the (job of interest) that delivers (need of the company) because only (your name) has (the unique skills and benefits you could bring to the job).

    Thinking about your personal brand and developing your own personal positioning statement before an interview will help you "sell" yourself by emphasizing the benefits you can bring to the employer.

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    It's all about accomplishments

    As I prepare for graduation in May, I have been working on updating my resume.

    I have always been told the importance of quantifying things in my resume where ever possible. However, I'm not always sure of exactly how to incorporate numbers and I have had many conversations with friends and peers struggling with the same task.

    I recently turned to my friend (and PRowl alumna) Jessica Lawlor for advice, and she offered an explanation that I found very helpful. "This is great experience," she commented on one section of my resume, "but I think you’re doing a lot of describing responsibilities, not outlining accomplishments."

    Jess's words sparked an epiphany for me, and I think she hit the nail on the head. I was preoccupied with describing what I did as opposed to focusing on the tangible outcomes of what I did. While to some this advice may seem simple and straightforward, it made a world of difference for me. This new way of thinking has already helped me understand how to better incorporate numbers into my resume.

    What is some of the best resume advice you've received? What are your favorite resume tips to give?

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Manners 101 for PR People

    Public relations professionals are often mistrusted by the public and stereotyped as spin doctors. As aspiring public relations professionals, we must not only know how to write press releases, develop PR campaigns and pitch to the media, but there are certain character traits we must possess in order to do our jobs effectively and avoid these stereotypes. In the recent article “8 lessons from annoying PR pros,” Mickie Kennedy points out some stereotypically annoying and ineffective PR people.

    Here are some character traits of these types of PR people, which aspiring PR professionals should avoid:

    1. Disrespectful: Kennedy says PR people should remember to always respect journalists, remembering that journalists are always on deadline and cannot chat with you on the phone for hours or read a bunch of press releases without any news value. Furthermore, PR people should make themselves available to journalists, since nothing is more annoying to a journalist than not being able to reach a PR person for a story.

    2. Controlling: Although PR people must ensure that their client is presented in the best light possible, we should not be that “pain-in-the-ass, overly controlling PR guy” who tries to control everything said about the client, Kennedy says. Journalists will avoid dealing with you in the future if you are overly controlling.

    3. Impersonal: Kennedy says PR people should always personalize pitches to the media. Referring to the journalist’s previous work is a great way to personalize your pitch. Personalizing pitches gives the PR person a better chance of getting their story covered by the media.

    What are some other traits and behaviors you think PR people should avoid?

    This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Shari DaCosta.

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    Social Media Education

    Most people utilize various social media sites several times a day. Some use Facebook to interact with their family and friends while others check Twitter for current news stories. However, there is an educational component to most social media sites that many people may not realize.

    Last week, Skype released a program called Skype in the Classroom, which permits teachers from around the world to connect with each other. They will be able to exchange information and to search for resources based on the age groups and subjects they teach. This program will allow teachers to introduce a global perspective to students at a younger age.

    Businesses should also have their hand on the pulse of social media. To fulfill this initiative, some companies like Sprint Nextel Corp. and Mattel Inc. have created college classes and graduate-level research projects to develop social media campaigns. Sprint partnered with Emerson College in Boston to offer students an online marketing class in which they received smart phones with unlimited wireless access. Students were then required to tweet, post on Facebook, blog, and create Youtube videos to promote the launch of Sprint’s 4G network in Boston. Most professors feel it is a win-win situation for students who are learning and businesses who are becoming more active in the social media word.

    Social media has been tied to only certain majors, like Public Relations, but it is quickly becoming important for any young professional to understand. Business models and communications plans are evolving to include a social media component that will be measured in a final evaluation. It is a positive development that websites like Skype and Twitter are beginning to be taught in the younger years of school. Similarly, colleges should be offering classes in social media that are open to all students. Our culture is changing, so we must adapt to this new world that relies heavily on technology and social media.

    Do you think social media should be taught in elementary and secondary schools? Have you taken a social media course at your school or university? What was your opinion of it?

    This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Alex Crispino.

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    PRowl Public Relations Announcement

    We're hiring!

    Before all PR students at Temple are notified early next week, we want to give our readers the chance to schedule interview slots before they are taken. If you are studying public relations (or a related field) at Temple University and are looking for the opportunity to experience the full-scope of the PR planning, implementation and evaluation process with clients from a variety of industries, I encourage you to schedule an interview today. We are looking for candidates of all age groups and experiences. The only requirement - the drive to learn.

    See announcement below.

    Are you a public relations student interested in gaining hands-on experience in the industry? PRowl Public Relations is Temple University’s first and only student-run PR firm, and we’re hiring!

    At PRowl Public Relations, students are given opportunities to develop their strategic thinking and gain tactical practice. Members create and execute public relations campaigns, form valuable relationships with professionals in the Philadelphia area, apply their classroom knowledge to a real-world setting, become part of an interactive communications process and prepare for life beyond graduation.

    Interested? Contact Niki Ianni at to set up an interview. Interviews will be scheduled starting Monday, April 25 – Wednesday, May 11.

    Learn more about PRowl Public Relations:
    Check out our blog, updated daily:
    Follow us on Twitter: @PRowlPR
    Find us on Facebook: PRowl Public Relations

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Moving Forward: Spring Fling

    On Tuesday, April 12, Temple University will host Spring Fling, one of its students’ favorite annual events. This year, Temple’s Public Relations Student Society of America and PRowl Public Relations will have their own stand. Members of PRSSA’s fundraising committee and executive board will be at the stand all day and will offer a variety of treats to spring flingers.

    What not to miss at the PRSSA and PRowl Spring Fling stand:

    · Fresh fruit smoothies will made and sold

    · PRSSA cups will be sold with smoothies and separately

    · Bake sale table will feature a variety of home-baked goods

    “There are going to be over 200 booths with student organizations playing great activities, vendors selling products, and campus departments distributing information about their programs and services,” said Associate Director of Student Activities Chris Carey.

    Spring Fling will be located between Liacouras Walk and 13 Street and between Montgomery and Norris Streets. Festivities will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4p.m. The rain date for Spring Fling is Wednesday, April 13th.

    This guest blog was written by PRSSA External Communications Committe member Hannah DiSanto

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    StratComm Coffee & Chat THIS Afternoon!

    Calling all Temple StratComm students! Today, from noon to 1 p.m., Temple University's Department of Strategic Communication will be hosting a networking event for students and staff within the department in Weiss Hall, room 235 (the second floor conference room).

    The hour-long event will provide students with the opportunity to build their professional network while sharing knowledge, ideas and experiences with professors while enjoying FREE food! It is a great opportunity for students to become better connected to the StratComm community while establishing relationships with faculty and students within the department.

    Feel free to stop by at any time today from noon to 1 p.m. and take advantage of this great professional opportunity!

    We hope to see you there!

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    PR Careers 101 Recap

    Last night I attended my first PR Careers 101 event, which was hosted by the Philadelphia PRSA chapter and Philadelphia Public Relations Association (PPRA). The event included a panel discussion with four PR professionals, round table discussions with young PR professionals, and the opportunity to have your resume critiqued by a PR professional. The four panelists were Erin Allsman – Public Relations Director at Brownstein Group, Meredith Avakian – Public Affairs Specialist at DuPont, Marlo DelSordo – Director of Communications and Marketing at Philabundance and Ike Richman – Vice President of Public Relations at Comcast-Spectacor. The panelists and young professionals offered differing perspectives on many topics relevant to new and future PR professionals. Here were some of the points that resonated with me:

    1. On how to set yourself apart as a job candidate: Show what you have done, not what you have studied. Move your experience above your education on your resume and show that you are active beyond school.

    2. On how the economy has affected hiring decisions: Companies are working leaner and hiring decisions are not taken lightly. Now more than ever it is important to make yourself stand out. The more skills you have, the better: companies are looking for people who can take on more responsibilities.

    3. On networking: Spend as much time you can networking and try to find a mentor. Do informational interviews, they can lead to opportunities down the road. Professors are a great resource because many belong to professional organizations and have careers outside of the classroom.

    4. On social media: Social media allows messages to be sent out faster than ever. Ike Richman's early morning tweet about the Wachovia Center's name change resulted in a top story on before the press release was even sent.
    Marlo DelSordo added that social media has become an important vehicle for non-profit organizations and almost every campaign now has a social media aspect.

    5. On obtaining advanced degrees: The panelists had different opinions on this topic. Richman advised getting out and starting your career as soon as possible. Erin Allsman shared her experience of going back to school to take courses which were more relevant to her field. Moderator Gregg Feistman suggested looking into employers that will pay for employees to obtain graduate degrees.

    6. On print portfolios vs. digital portfolios: The panelists seemed to agree that either form would be acceptable, but said they would still prefer something printed. Richman said he looks at the computer screen all day and would rather look at something tangible, which he could potentially take home and spend more time with.

    7. On immediate turn-offs in an interview: Not knowing about the organization, not seeming fully engaged or interested and not following up with a thank you note are definite don'ts. Candidates should also have answers and opinions about current issues in PR, such as recent social media successes.

    8. On how to overcome not yet having media contacts: Richman suggested reading newspapers, listening to radio shows and watching news programs to get a sense of who to go to with different types of stories.

    What do you think about the panelists' insights on these topics? Are their views in line with what you have heard and experienced, or did some of the answers surprise you?

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    National Public Radio’s Image Tarnished by “Citizen Journalist”

    National Public Radio’s reputation has recently been damaged due to insensitive remarks made by a top official. James O’Keefe, a self-proclaimed citizen journalist, hired two actors pretending to be from a Muslim organization to have a fake lunch meeting with NPR’s head of fundraising, Ron Schiller. O’Keefe videotaped Schiller in the meeting stating that the tea-party is racist, Islamophobic, and has hijacked the GOP.

    Since NPR receives federal funding and claims to respect a variety of viewpoints, these comments were extremely damaging to its reputation. Ron Schiller was dismissed and the chief executive, Vivian Schiller, resigned from the network. NPR made various comments to the press stressing that it does not agree with the statements made by Ron Schiller and condemns O’Keefe’s methods of journalism.

    Other than ousting the employee responsible and issuing a few statements to the press about the matter, NPR has done little else about its PR crisis. With the network’s future federal funding up in the air, the network should be more concerned about the public’s perception of the organization. While NPR needs to repair the organization’s management, it also needs to repair its image. NPR will benefit in the long-run by maintaining transparency into the inner-workings of the network and effectively communicating the organization’s values and ideals with more than just a few comments to the press.

    This guest blog was written by PRSSA External PR Committee member Kyra Mazurek.

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    Many Facebook Fan Pages Fall Short, How Does Temple University PRSSA’s Page Stack Up?

    It seems like every organization imaginable has a Facebook fan page these days, but how many of these pages are effectively utilized? According to’s Paul Sutton many of these pages fall flat. Here are five common reasons why:

    1. The fan page hides fan posts
    The point of an organization’s social media account is to facilitate engagement with publics. A Facebook fan page that only allows its own posts to be displayed on its page is not using Facebook effectively. Organizations should promote comments, feedback and discussion on fan page walls.

    2. Lack of customization
    Facebook allows organizations to customize fan pages in a variety of ways. Organizations that take advantage of apps to import Twitter feeds, videos, and ask questions are making the most of their pages.

    3. Unused tabs
    Facebook fan pages generally display default tabs such as Info, Discussions, Event, and Photos along the side of the page. Sutton recommends that organizations remove unused or underutilized tabs to clean up the look of the page.

    4. Content is not social
    Many organizations use fan pages solely to “push” information at fans while ignoring opportunities to engage in two way social interaction. Posts and polls that are aimed at opening up a dialogue with fans will make the largest impression and boost page activity.

    5. Poor post timing
    Some fan pages are sparse on content while others post way too much. Sutton recommends at least one or two updates per day at varied times.

    As Director of Social Media for Temple University’s Public Relations Student Society of America, I am in charge of maintaining the Temple University PRSSA fan page. So how does our fan page stack up against Sutton’s criteria and what are some improvements that can be made?

    1. Temple’s PRSSA fan page does allow fans to post on the wall, maximizing engagement opportunities in this category.

    2. The PRSSA fan page suffers from a lack of customization. It does not import posts from Twitter and I have yet to use the poll feature. Creating a poll would be a great way to have fans vote on future guest speakers and help decide on upcoming events. One poll I intend to create will ask fans to vote on their favorite guest speaker from the semester.

    3. PRSSA makes use of the Info, Events and Photos tabs. Hiding the unused discussion tab would help to clean the page up.

    4. The content I post on the PRSSA fan page could definitely be more social. Many times posts inform fans of meeting times or upcoming events. Specific posts soliciting member interaction would increase traffic and benefit the page immensely.

    5. Temple PRSSA posted 11 times in March. While this is more than once a week, increased posting would attract more fans and might help to better engage existing fans.

    In summary, the Temple University PRSSA Facebook fan page does a lot of things right but also has room for improvement. What do you think about the suggestions for increase fan page traction? Do you have any ideas to improve Temple University PRSSA’s fan page?

    This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Doug Bennett.

    Saturday, April 2, 2011

    Movin’ On Up with Public Relations

    With the recent state of the economy, public relations or marketing departments are often the first ones to suffer cutbacks. However, many of the events that have impacted our country in the last decade such as environmental disasters, new lifestyles and fashion have pushed public relations up in importance over advertising and marketing strategies. Strategic communication has never been more important to a company and the knowledge of social media within the up and coming generation of college students is becoming a vital part of communicating messages to the public.

    Because of consumers being more concerned with the truth behind the brands they are buying, public relations takes center stage as being able to effectively communicate those messages and continue to educate buyers about the quality of the brand. Consumers are more interested in hearing stories about these brands and delving deeper into the people behind the product than just a sales pitch.

    The rise of social media and the Internet have played a huge role in this shift to favor public relations. Since the web is so easily accessible, it is even easier to spread a message or share testimonials straight from the consumer to a large audience in seconds. While marketing and advertising can send a message to consumers, the key is their communication approach and how they craft their message. If there aren’t public relations professionals within an organization, the message will be communicated, but there’s always the chance it will be done the wrong way, thus losing credibility and belief that your brand is valuable to the consumer.

    Marketplaces and consumer trends are always changing, but the time is now for companies to take advantage of public relations and the relationships practitioners are able to make with effective communication tactics.

    This guest blog was written by Prowl Public Relations staff member Emily Ascani.

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Tips in Natural Disaster Crisis Management

    When Hurricane Katrina occurred, the United States was dumbstruck. We were not prepared for such a large crisis and as a result, hundreds of thousands of people were left without homes for long periods of time. People panicked: crime spiked, stores were burglarized, people were stranded, and illness broke out. The biggest issue was where to put all of the people. Some residents had to be relocated to FEMA trailers, and even those were hard to come by immediately following the hurricane. Most had to leave their homes of many years and move to other states, or move in with friends and family. As a country, we swore to never be so unprepared again.

    Now, Japan has suffered an unfortunate natural disaster as well as a nuclear tragedy. From our prior experiences with natural disaster crisis management, we are able to use the current situation in Japan as an educational tool. PR specialist Tripp Frohlichstein has spent the past 10 years consulting employees from Ameren Nuclear Plant in appropriate disaster etiquette. The Ameren employees were doubtful these tactics would ever need to be used, as we all hope, but the issues with the nuclear plant in Japan make us alert.

    1. Be honest: “Honesty is the best policy.” When there are conflicting reports between different media sources, the public goes into panic mode. Yes, ideally you want to avoid distressing the public, however the most important goal is the safety of the people. Withheld information, if it leaks, will damage credibility.
    2. Be proactive: Get information out as quickly and as often as possible. Use social media to guarantee fast communication.
    3. Have an effective internal flow of information: Consistency is key. Appoint a single spokesperson to speak to the public and employees to make sure that there are no discrepancies in information.
    4. Use plain talk: Using unnecessarily complex words should be avoided. Make sure to speak in a clear, concise way so that the entire public will be able to understand, not just nuclear scientists.
    5. Practice: Without it, we will be left unprepared if a crisis does occur. This aided Ameren in developing better communication skills, broadcasting the most vital information, and remaining on good terms with the public.

    As you keep these tips in mind, do you think Japan is adequately communicating with the public?

    This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member and PRSSA External Communications Committee member Marianna Morris.