Thursday, September 29, 2011

Today: Bake Sale to Benefit Philabundance!

Are you on or around Temple University Main Campus today? If so, stop by the Student Center to grab some delicious baked goods while supporting a great cause!

Temple’s Public Relations Student Society of America and PRowl Public Relations are hosting a bake sale from 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in Temple’s Student Center. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Philabundance, a non-profit organization dedicated to driving hunger from the greater Philadelphia area. The bake sale will feature an assortment of delicious cupcakes, cookies and other baked goods; all for $1 or less!

Temple University’s Student Center is located at 1755 N. 13th Street (on the corner of 13th and Montgomery) in Philadelphia. For more information on how to get involved with Philabundance, click here.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Financial Advisors Practicing PR?

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, “The More Friends the Better,” Daisy Maxey reports on a financial advisor, Jude Boudreaux, who is using social media to expand and maintain client relationships. Now you might be thinking as I did, this sounds a lot like PR, building and maintaining relationship with publics. But, Boudreaux is doing something wrong.

Boudreaux uses popular sites such Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare to connect with his clients. Boudreaux explains, "I've met people through Twitter I wouldn't have met otherwise.”
Although Boudreaux might be using social media similarly to PR practitioners, his underlying mission in using social media is to be recognized as a reliable resource, “Ultimately I'll get into people's consciousness, and when they're looking for a planner, I'll be the one they think of."
Do public relations practitioners do the same thing with social media as Boudreaux? Do they enable publics to be aware of client resources?

I would say that we do much more than remind we become an integral part of their lives. Boudreaux’s ability to build a client base is much different than a PR’s practitioner’s ability to maintain the relationship. Although, yes, we do want to be that go-to brand/organization, how we develop that relationship is much more tactful and meaningful.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm Sorry...I Think?

One of the most important things executives think about during a time of crisis is how they (and their organization) are going to make it right. While there have been many successful apologies that have rectified the situation and earned the company a credible name, there are those select few that stick out as major mess-ups. Let's take a look at some different types of bad apologies.

"...If I offended anyone" This faux-apology gives the impression that if you were an offended party that you could be too sensitive, or that the person at fault doesn't understand why they made a mistake.

"If you can tell I don't care" An example is BP's CEO Tony Hayward when he made the mistake of saying, "I just want my life back." Clearly he didn't think at the time about those whose lives were lost during this disaster and successfully came off selfish and irresponsible.

"...If I waited too long" Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings didn't address the Netflix price hike until about two months after. Now not only are customers angry with him, they will be disappointed with the lack of response and the impression that the apology was not a priority.

"...Somebody else wrote my apology" Everyone knows about Tiger Woods' public apology in February 2010, or should I say his publicist's apology. Woods couldn't take his eyes off the sheets of paper he had in front of him the whole time and the reporters in attendance weren't even allowed to ask questions, reassuring us that he would not have known what to say.

To avoid these embarrassing apologies, it is extremely important for all executives and organizations to remember to be genuine and address the situation as soon as possible so that it can a) be resolved and b) avoided in the future.

Do you know any examples of good or bad apologies?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Taking the Leadership Challenge

Temple University's Office of Leadership Development hosts a leadership seminar in the beginning of each semester. Last Fall, when I was a Freshman, I attended one as part of an extra credit assignment for a PR class. When some of my PRowl coworkers told me that they had just came back from the same seminar, I was excited. It's always exciting when young people step up and take a challenge, like going to a leadership workshop with a bunch of strangers on a Saturday morning.

Public relations professionals definitely wear a lot of hats, but I personally believe that leader is the main hat. In "5 Tips For Becoming A Better Leader" Karen-Michelle Mirko highlights how to improve your skills as a leader:
  1. Lead by example-Sometimes the best way to learn is to do it yourself. Bossing people around and telling them what to do instead of how to doesn't help them, and it certainly doesn't help you in the long run. Make sure you keep the lines of communication open and free of any judgment. Also, keep in mind that those that are newer to the field will be looking to you as a model of what they should be like.

  2. Communicate your vision-It can be hard for others to understand where you are coming from. Try to keep them in the loop, like allowing interns to shadow you and brainstorm ideas. This is a great way for young people to get their feet wet by seeing the level of quality you expect and how you expect it.

  3. Hire people to complement, not duplicate you-It's easy to hire people who remind me of you when you were starting out, you feel that nostalgia of how you felt at that age. However, you shouldn't always strive for your clone, but someone who complements your skills. If you're a strong speaker but weaker in writing, someone who is stronger in writing will be able to help you write a conference-worthy speech. Breaking the cycle will also introduce new talent into your office and promote a more diverse and creative atmosphere.

  4. Address conflict-Ignoring a problem never makes it better. Confronting issues at hand face-to-face will ensure a better outcome than straight out avoidance. Also, take notice of the effect of your decisions on co-workers and try to have an outcome that suits the overall health of the entire organization.

  5. Encourage leadership in others-Give others the chance to step up, as my PRowl co-workers did this past weekend. By doing so, they will feel more adequately prepared when the situation arises for them to take on more responsibility as your organization expands. They are the future and will prove to be your biggest asset.
Do you consider yourself a leader? If so, do you have anything to add to these tips? Let us know!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

15 Minute Writing Makeover

Between classes and extracurricular activities our to-do list as PR students may seem never ending, so finding time to work on our writing skills each day can be challenging.

However, Samantha Hosenkamp of says you can improve your writing by taking 15 minutes each day to do this challenge:

1. Take a minute to brainstorm three talking points on a topic. As you do this exercise more frequently choose topics that you are unfamiliar with. This will force you to learn how to write engaging content on even the most unappealing topic.

2. When your minute is up, use the next 10 minutes to flesh out your ideas in a concise and creatively written essay. Challenging yourself to write on a crunch will help you when you have to quickly turn out a media advisory, press release or any other PR document.

3. Then take your final four minutes to edit your work. Learning to critically review your work for both grammar and content can be the difference between an OK press release, or an 'A' release that gets picked up by various outlets.

4. Use the remaining minute to read a blog post or short article. Reading examples of good writing will help you unconsciously pick up some of the key skills used to produce these works.

Try this trick and let us know how it improves your writing skills!

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

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Why Facebook Won’t Land You a Job

I have bad news for every marketing and public relations student: having social media skills will not guarantee you a job, and unfortunately, it doesn’t make you special. I hope this isn’t news to you, but if it is, listen up.

According to Brain Walton, the editor-in-chief of GeekChicDaily, “Social media is shifting from a tool in an arsenal for your brand, to what has to be a primary component.” While this sounds good for would-be PR pros, the job as we know it is shifting from an understanding of social media tools into, as Walton describes it, “community management.”

The difference between the two is an understanding of the intricacies of the business you are representing. It’s impossible to be effective while tweeting in a vacuum. So solve the problem through research. How? Broaden the scope of your job well beyond simply tweeting or posting from an account. Turn it into something strategic that involves both on and offline content.

Speaking of strategic content, social media (and all of public relations in my opinion) works better when combined with an integrated marketing plan that expresses a unified message. Or at least that’s what B.J. Cook, the CEO and co-founder of Digital Operative, thinks. He says that, “Folks who want to specialize in social media need to get real and think about additional areas of marketing as well.” He emphasizes that professionals should, “Understand how social media integrates and plays with everything else.”

So what’s the solution for students? Become well rounded. Take classes outside your intended major. If you’re in PR, take advertising and marketing classes. Learn how to design websites and use creative tools like Adobe. If you are on the creative end, learn how to communicate better by supplementing your education with some strategic communications classes. Regardless of your major, cover your bases, and learn how everything connects. Doing so will help to make you more marketable come graduation.

All quotes and the theory behind this post come from an article written for To view the original article click here.

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

Friday, September 23, 2011

How To: Write a Professional Email Part II

When PRowl launched its blog over three years ago, a staff member blogged about tips for writing a professional email. Nobody would have guessed that three years later it would remain our top blog post with over 180 views a day and over 10,000 views in total. It has been an ongoing joke with staff members over the years how one blog post could be so popular and that our top search words to date still remain to be "How to write a professional email." In my advanced PR class we spent the week going over the rules for emails, proposals and memorandums and I thought it would only be appropriate to write a sequel to our most popular blog post to-date. I present to you, How to: Write a Professional Email Part II.

With the need to disseminate information quickly, email still remains a popular form of professional communication. According to research by the Radicati Group, by 2012 people are expected to receive approximately 228 emails a day in their inbox. With information overload growing into an increasingly larger problem, it is important to ensure that your email has a clear purpose, has tailored content and fits the appropriate format. The following tips are from Dennis L. Wilcox's Public Relations Writing and Media Relations Techniques, 6th edition.

Content Tips:
Use language that falls halfway between formal writing and spontaneous conversation.
- Send messages without attachments whenever possible. An attachment drastically decreases the odds that your message will be read.
- Blunt words and statements assume more importance in electronic form than in a telephone conversation. Temper your language.
- When sending e-mail messages to the media, use blind copy distribution so that the recipients don't know it is a mass mailing.
- Always reread an email message message before sending it. Will the tone or choice of words offend the receiver? Are you coming across as friendly and courteous, or blunt and pompous?

Format Tips:
- Subject lines: Think of the subject line as a form of headline. You have up to 42 characters to grab the attention of your receiver. If you are requesting information or need a decision/response, then provide the necessary context so that recipient knows what is being discussed or requested.

- Salutation: An e-mail is a more informal means of communication and therefore you can skip the "Dear, XXX" unless you deem it to be appropriate. If the email is business oriented for example, it might be best to use a more formal designation such as "Hello, Ms. Smith." However, if there is already a level of familiarity, feel free to begin with the person's first name. If the email is being sent to a group, use an opener such as "Team" or "Colleagues."

- First sentence/paragraph: Get to the "bottom line" right away so the recipient knows what the key message is and what you want him or her to do with it.

- Body of message: Regardless if you have a lot to say, emails should be kept fairly brief and short so find a way to condense. A good rule of thumb is the one screen rule or approximately 2o - 25 lines, single-spaced.

- Closing: Sign off with a word such as "Regards," "Best," or even "Cheers." You can also use the standard closing "Sincerely," if you feel it is appropriate for the situation. Make sure you include your name, title, organization, email, phone and fax numbers in a standard signature. This makes it easy for the recipient to contact you directly if he or she wants additional information.

Lastly, Mind your Email Manners:

- Avoid the "Reply to All" button. People hate having their inbox clogged unnecessarily.
- Skip the CAPITAL letters. People don't like being yelled at.
- Save the fancy stationary. Nobody cares for emoticons or purple pastel backgrounds.
- Keep forwards to a minimum. Everyone hates chain mail.
- Count to 10 before hitting send. Email travels fast and you never know who your message might be forwarded on to.

I hope you find these new tips as useful and helpful as the old ones! Please feel free to share some of your own as well!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

NATO Launches Tweet-Seeking Missile at Taliban

NATO, the most advanced military alliance in the world, just unveiled a new weapon in the fight against terrorism: the tweet-seeking missile.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), NATO’s security and development arm in Afghanistan, unleashed a slew of these tweet-seeking missiles against a Taliban-run Twitter account last week after Taliban gunman opened fire on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. The Taliban account was quick to retaliate, spurring a digital firefight between NATO and Taliban social media soldiers.

@ISAFmedia was quick to condemn the Kabul attack, saying: “Re: Taliban spox on #Kabul attack: the outcome is inevitable. Question is how much longer will terrorist put innocent Afghans in harm’s way?” The ISAF then tweeted the number of civilians that insurgents had killed that day.

Taliban-affiliated @ABalkhi quickly returned fire, saying: “@ISAFmedia I dnt knw.u hve bn pttng thm n 'harm's way' fr da pst 10 yrs.Razd whole vllgs n mrkts.n stil hv da nrve to tlk bout 'harm's way'.”

The ISAF, faced with a direct attack did not retreat (or retweet for that matter). The account shot back: “Really,@ABalkhi? UNAMA reported 80% of civilians causalities are caused by insurgent (your) activities” The ISAF attack was a success and the Taliban account was forced to retreat, firing only a weak response which was ignored by ISAF social media soldiers.

This short firefight could be the first battle in a long social media war, so how did the ISAF fare? Victory on all fronts. The direct response was a bold tactic but it worked well when paired with credible evidence. Then the ISAF social media soldiers secured victory by not responding to the Taliban’s petty final attack.

Twitter warfare may become a new frontier in the war on terror as NATO continues to battle for the hearts and minds of the Afghani and Iraqi peoples. NATO has won the battle and if they continue to engage the enemy, they will win the war.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Social Good Day

Happy Social Good Day everyone!

Today marks the second annual Social Good Summit hosted by Mashable,92Y, and the UN Foundation. As public relations practitioners, we can use this opportunity to give back to the community. By utilizing our experience with social media, we can relay our message to various outlets. Today, some of the top non-profit foundations, including UNICEF and PBS, will come together to brainstorm on how to better the world through the use of social media and technology. There will also be an impressive speaker line-up including Jose Andres, Chief/Owner of ThinkFoodGroups, and Lance Armstrong, seven -time Tour de France winner and founder of LIVESTRONG. Some of the summit's goals include:

• Bringing together a new dynamic community of leaders (and followers) — technologists, innovators, social entrepreneurs, bloggers, and more.
• Raising awareness for the global challenges to be addressed by the General Assembly during UN Week.
• Discovering, encouraging and showcasing new and innovative solutions to those global challenges.
• Igniting a conversation between a live audience and a world-wide audience via Livestream
• Connecting leaders already working in the social good space with technologists and other leaders who can collaborate and share best practices.
• Creating a sustainable thought-leadership forum that sparks important discussion and inspires new solutions.

So what social good can you do today? Can you find a way to feed a nation through Tweets? Or perhaps, better your non-profit organization. Listen here and be inspired to do something good through social media today!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Students and Social Media--Uncensored!

With the enormous growth of social media use, teens are taking advantage of their First Amendment rights with constant status updates and blog posts. While they are enjoying their free speech, their teachers may not feel the same way. A new Knight Foundation study concluded that teens' uncensored use of Facebook and Tumblr is not a right their teachers think they should have.

The study was conducted through interviews with 12,000 students and 900 high school teachers in the United States during spring of 2011. A small percentage of students believed that they should be able to express their opinions about their school's faculty online without punishment. Also, only a small percentage of teachers though that students should be able to report controversial issues in their school newspaper without authority approval. Even more surprising, they found that 26% of high school teachers in the United States believed that government approval should be needed to publish freely on these websites.

Dr. Kenneth Dautrich, the author of the study, found a correlation between teenagers that advocate free speech and use social media websites. 91% of the American teenagers that use social media on a daily basis believe that people have the right to express unpopular opinions.

The study also found that the vast majority of high school students use the Internet as a resource for school assignments and not surprisingly more American teenagers use text messaging on their mobile phones as opposed to making calls.

Do you think students should be required to have their online posts monitored?

Read more details on the study here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Make Work Come to You

Recently, the need to meet face-to-face with clients has been diminishing. With businesses outsourcing left and right, it's hard to keep up with everyone, which is what brought on the need for web conferencing. No more having to fly cross country, no more lengthy business trips away from your family, and no more spending money on overpriced airport food. The majority of the time, all you need is a computer, web cam, and yourself. In a recent article on American Express OPEN Forum titled, "Meet Online to Help Save Time and Money", it is apparent that businesses are taking advantage of the Digital Age. Below are some ways to utilize web conferencing:

  • Skype- This video conferencing software has come a long way since the days of just chatting with your friends. Now, it is being used for business meetings, long distance interaction, and even interviews. Personally, I have seen some of my friends interview via Skype, wearing a blazer on top and their pajama pants. Gone are the days of trekking to a corporate building wearing a stuffy suit. The workdays are getting shorter as work increases, and there isn't time to waste traveling, when all you need to do is log on.

  • Share files- Web conferencing gives members of the meeting the ability to share files or materials, just as if they were handing out sheets during an in-office meeting. Also, the ability to instantly revise comes into play, and minimizes the need to keep old versions of papers.

  • Improve Participation- Because of the way that online conferences are set up, interruptions are greatly reduced, which in turn improves active participation. Attendees are given the tools on whichever software they use that: allows them to signal when they would like to contribute, send private messages, and even invite people on the spot to join in on the conversation. Can't make it for some reason? No problem, holding meetings online means that you will be able to record the session for later review, making there be no excuse for not being up-to-date.
Will you be utilizing Web Conferencing in your workplace? Have you ever met with clients via video conferencing? Which was more effective? Let us know!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Google Announces Purchase of Zagat

Last week, in a surprising move by Google, Zagat was bought out by the multi-billion dollar corporation. For those who are unfamiliar with Zagat, it is one of the world's leading providers of consumer survey-based information on places to dine, drink, travel and more. It started as a hobby 32 years ago, and has been expanding steadily ever since. Today, there are reviews that cover over than 100 countries worldwide. Google executive, Marissa Mayer, was the one who announced the deal on the official Google blog, and even went as far as to tweet a haiku about it:

Delightful deal done; Zagat and Google now one; foodies have more fun! #gogooglelocal

Her excitement is palpable and it is obvious that Google has big plans for Zagat, a company that has found success by housing ratings and reviews based on the opinions of over 350,000 surveyors from around the globe.

For the founders of the company, Nina and Tim Zagat, Google’s offer most likely came as a pleasant surprise. It is known that the Zagats made an attempt to sell the site in 2008, but were met with little success. It is estimated that Google purchased the company for $125 million—a price the Zagats were obviously pleased with. They issued a statement about the company’s new fate on their site to let their users know about the recent sale:

“After spending time with Google senior management discussing our mutual goals, we know they share our belief in user-generated content and our commitment to accuracy and fairness in providing users with the information needed to make smart decisions about where to eat, shop and travel. We believe this union is the right next step for our employees, our users and for our business, all of which will benefit from the additional resources and reach that Google provides. Going forward, we will remain active in the business as co-Chairs, helping to ensure that the combination of Zagat’s and Google’s assets and capabilities will maximize our product quality and growth.”

Google already has listings and maps for restaurants and other small businesses, so to collaborate with Zagat can only bring more success to the corporation.

Have you used Zagat? Are you excited for the merging of Google and Zagat? Let us know!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Katie Tully.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Who Runs the World? GIRLS!

As a young woman and aspiring public relations professional, one thought about the future always crosses my mind: can I have it all? Any other female professional knows exactly what I’m talking about. Is it possible to have a successful career and the family or personal life that you desire? Beyonce’s empowering anthem gives us hope, but here is what the professionals say.

Each year, Fortune creates a “Most Powerful Women” list that is comprised of various different professional women who manage their professional and personal lives with ease. Editor at Large, Patricia Sellers formed a “top 10” list of tips from these women. My personal favorites are highlighted below:

1. Don’t plan your career. The most successful women have remained flexible throughout their careers while also having an open mindset about the path they are on.

2. Forget the ladder, climb the jungle gym. Women should not focus so much on climbing the hierarchy in their respective business. Instead, think of your career as a jungle gym with opportunities all around.

3. Follow your compass, not your clock. Do not allow your personal time line to get in the way of your goals or ambitions.

4. Don’t balance, juggle. Anne Sweeney, who oversees Disney Media Networks, believes that all you can do is give each day your best shot and try again tomorrow. Balance does not exist because at any given time, something will need more of your attention than another task.

5. Own your power. The word “power” needs to stop having a negative connotation. Most women interviewed by Fortune think that power is the ability to create change and impact others.

In the last twenty years, there have been many advances in technology that now allow mothers to work from home and still accomplish just as much work if they were working in an office. With patience and compromise, it is possible to have it all, as long as women never limit themselves.

Have you seen a woman in your life who has struggled with this challenge? What strategies do you think are important when managing a career and personal life? Please share them with us!

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

Friday, September 16, 2011

Volunteering: A Resume Booster

I have found myself abnormally busy this semester with many of my new job titles, leadership positions, classes and a pending job search. I decided to finally admit I'm human for a change and realized that I had way too many responsibilities to fully dedicate myself to an internship. To fill up what little free time I do have, I decided to begin volunteering my time with organizations that are both important to me personally and professionally. Many people volunteer their time and fail to recognize the importance of the work they are doing and how it could potentially benefit them in their career search. An blog post I found on Brazen Careerist provided great ways how volunteering may help your career more than you think:

Don’t use the title “volunteer.”

The adjective alone doesn’t convey the work you accomplished. Instead, use a title that better represents the specific duties your volunteer work entailed.

For example, if you donated your time helping at-risk students with their homework, use the title “tutor” and outline the skills you used — and gained — such as problem solving or counseling. The fact that the work you did was unpaid should appear in the job description, but first grab the potential employer’s attention with an accurate job title.

Describe your charity work in terms of achievements.

This is especially important when tailoring your resume to submit for a particular position. Frame your volunteer experience to highlight the skills most important and applicable to the job you’re applying to.

For example, did you supervise a staff or committee of volunteers? That requires a variety of skills, from time management to motivation. Did your volunteer work require you to speak publicly or write press releases and promotional materials? These skills apply to almost any position and impress employers, so make sure to draw attention to them.

Volunteer work should supplement, not distract.

Many young professionals have had numerous internships and volunteer posts or held positions in countless clubs and student groups. So it’s easy for volunteer work to overwhelm professional accomplishments on a resume. While it’s important for employers to get a full picture of your skills and attributes, be picky about the charity work you include on your resume. “A resume is meant to show a potential employer what you’ve proven you can do,” Ellis says. “It is not meant to be a recitation of every job you’ve ever held.

How do you think volunteering has helped you in your career or job search? Let us know!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

More Bad PR for News Corp. Shows Lingering Effects of Unethical Behavior

Murdoch-owned News Corp. is making headlines again this week, further demonstrating that unethical behavior does not pay.

The mother of a terrorism victim filed a lawsuit yesterday accusing the News of the World of hacking her son’s phone after his death. The lawsuit is the first legal action filed by a relative or victim of the 7/7 London train bombings, according to the Huffington post, but it probably won’t be the last.

The lawsuit is the latest in a long series of very public attacks against News Corp. after British investigations uncovered a slew of phone hacking, bribery and ethical violations by News of the World journalists. Charges have been levied against the media conglomerate by shareholders, victims, police, parliament and (especially) other media outlets.

This is just another lesson about the lingering effects of unethical behavior. News of the World had a daily circulation of 2.7 million before closing its doors this past August. To put that in perspective, one in every 23 people in the UK read the News of the World each day. The most-read U.S. Newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, has a daily circulation of 2.1 million. This scandal has already cost the News Corp. millions of dollars.

James Murdoch, the executive of News Corp and son of Rupert Murdoch, will head back to British parliament to testify for a second time in the upcoming days as the future of the media conglomerate remains in jeopardy. News Corp.’s mistakes should be a clear lesson to both journalists and public relations professionals: there is no room for unethical behavior in our professions.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stay Safe Philly

On my way to work this weekend I noticed a particular public health ad traveling the Broad Street line. The ad was bright with the Philadelphia skyline gracing its background and spat FREECONDOM. Although the message of safe sex is not unique to the city of Philadelphia, the delivery and presentation is unlike any other public health ad.

One of the most interesting aspects of this ad is the cartoon spokesperson, Zelda. Zelda is portrayed as the young “cool mom”, she looks welcoming and understanding of sexual health needs.

But let’s be honest, who wants to go to their parents to talk about sex? This is exactly want the ad is trying to convince the audience, a mutual understanding between a child and a parent to talk about sex and the risks involved.

When I visited the site, the campaign was very consistent with the displayed ads. The color scheme was similar as well as the text and the message and there is even a link to “meet” Zelda. has recently been scrutinized for their services. The website offers a map where you can find free condoms as well as direct mailing for ages thirteen to nineteen.

Although the ad and its message are controversial, TakeControlPhilly does a great job in delivery.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Improving your Facebook Event Planning

Nearly all Facebook users can sympathize with the fact that we all get numerous event invites over the course of the day. Do you reply that you're attending these events? Maybe. Do you actually attend them? Most likely not, unless it is held by one of your friends or sponsored by an organization you are a member of.

A recent Mashable article outlines some ways that you can make your Facebook event postings more effective. Below I have outlined some of the helpful tips they suggested.
  • Stay connected. If you are planning the event, consider making a closed group for a committee you are working with to keep them updated on every step of the planning, as well as making it easier and more interactive than emailing back and forth constantly.
  • Research vendors. Photographers, entertainment and caterers will most likely have fan pages on Facebook that you can look at for reviews, descriptions of their services and contact info. This will help you to determine ahead of time if you actually want to work with them.
  • Recognize sponsors. If your event is large enough to have sponsors, consider tagging them in statuses leading up to the event as well as creating an album with pictures of their logos to further show your appreciation.
  • Share real-time updates. Frequently post updates, photos and reminders on your event page to keep members engaged and interested in your event.
  • Follow-up. After the event, post thanks to sponsors and users that attended. You could also include any post-event information and photos that could be useful in the future.
To read all of the tips, click here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Prioritizing Perfection

Being in the Public Relations field, its hard to swallow that sometimes perfect isn't always the best. Whether we're writing a press release, a blog post, or an e-mail blast, we want every word to come across precisely the way we want it to, without any disconnect. But is it worth it to spend all that time deciding whether to use this or that word, when you could be making better use of your creativity and time? Below are some pointers on prioritizing your professional life:
  • Quantify the improvement likely to come from your efforts-Think about it like a ratio, say 5:1. If you put five hours into a project to get one product, then you're wasting a lot of time for a minimal result. That time could be put in another place where you would get more of a result, which is where prioritizing comes in.

  • Get fresh eyes on the situation-You may think that you will do the best job on your project, and that may be true, but it never hurts to get a second opinion. Something you have missed may have so minute that you couldn't possibly have noticed it, but if another person came around and took a glance, they would be able to pinpoint it in seconds. They will provide you with a different outlook on your project that will undoubtedly be in your favor.

  • Start in the middle-I connect this to writing blogs. Sometimes the hardest part of writing is starting. Instead of wasting time pondering over the title, I'll push it aside and just delve into the topic. That way you get the bulk of the work over with and have a better idea of how to introduce it.

  • Set small goals-Its easy to get overwhelmed by all of the work you have to do. Set small goals throughout the day, like spending 2 hours on your paper without any distractions, and in no time, you'll be finished!
Do you have a hard time delegating? How do you get through 'Prioritizing Perfection'? Let us know!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We're Hiring!

Attention Temple PRSSA members!

As a Temple PRSSA member, one of your membership benefits includes the opportunity to join PRowl Public Relations. PRowl Public Relations is Temple University’s first and only student-run PR firm providing students with hands-on experience in the industry, 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 in a professional setting, become part of an interactive communications process and prepare for life beyond graduation.

Interested? Contact Niki Ianni at to set up an interview. At this time we are currently only interviewing freshmen, sophomore and transfer students.

Learn more about PRowl Public Relations:
Follow us on Twitter: @PRowlPR
Find us on Facebook: PRowl Public Relations

Saturday, September 10, 2011

SMARTphone Marketing

At the end of the summer I received a text message from Temple University notifying me that there was no damage to the school's facilities after the hurricane occurred in August. Seeing that I was in Boston at the time, I checked CNN for weather updates and then forgot about the text message shortly thereafter. On my first day back in Philadelphia, I received a text blast about a battle of the bands at a nearby venue in the city, but again I shoved my phone back in my pocket and moved on with my day. However, while catching up on the Cherry and White page before the Temple vs. Villanova game, I discovered on the school's website an option to have sports scores and updates texted to my phone as a live feed. It slowly hit me that I was getting news, promotions, sports and retail marketing to my phone without realizing it. It was then that I began to think about the importance of mobile message marketing in a more serious way.

In a recent article by the Miami Herald, Mobile Devices Can Help Attract and Keep Customers I read about some tips and trends of mobile marketing I thought I would share with my fellow PR lovers. According to a survey by Borrell and Associates, a Virginia-based media research firm, “small businesses in the United States are on track to spend almost $800 million in 2011 on mobile ads.” With the new found trend of mobile payments or m-payments becoming a phenomenon, providing information to one’s cell phone or smart phone is an effective way to allow a consumer to make a quick transaction. Promoting an event? Here’s a link to the online tickets! NEWS ALERT! Click here to access my blog!

In keeping up with the times as all PR professionals must do, here are some of the Miami Herald’s tips on mobile marketing and messaging:

1. Create a mobile campaign towards the gift giver

Make sure to emphasize occasions, holidays and reasons to reward yourself for the generous consumers who read your marketing materials.

2. Be helpful

Provide the reader with information on your client’s company or product and emphasize where they can read up on more! This gains coverage and provides a support system for the consumer.

3. Market your mobile program

Promote word-of-mouth marketing from your loyal customers in hopes of expanding your contact list.

4. Reward your best customers

Sending exclusive specials, coupons or promotional materials allows customers to feel like your relationship is mutually beneficial and encourages them to shop or support your client more.

5. Keep your customers close

Reward check-ins or give promotions to your customers who are close to the store as added incentive for coming in.

Whether you are a consumer benefiting from great sales or a marketer trying to sell a product or promote a client, be aware of the benefits of mobile outreach. Be smart when using your phone marketing and it will pay off!

What mobile marketing campaigns have you experienced? Were they successful? Let us know!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Meagan Prescott.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cat Got Your Tongue?

According to several studies, public speaking is the number one fear among adults, topping the fears of flying, heights, sickness, and even death. What is it exactly that has so many people nervous about speaking in public? Is it the fear of being judged? Or is it the fear of being unprepared?

Whatever the reason may be, public speaking is something that everyone must do at some point in their career - no matter what their vocation may be. Whether you are an engineer, an accountant, or a public relations director, knowing how to confidently present to your colleagues and clients is an incredibly important skill to possess.

To conquer the number one fear of adults, I’ve created a guideline that I’ve titled “The 3 P’s of Public Speaking.” These are little tricks and strategies that I have learned through various public speaking classes along with my personal experiences of presenting.

  1. Prepare. Many people lack confidence when addressing audiences because they do not feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the information they are presenting. This can easily be conquered by conducting as much research as you can gather. The more educated you are about your topic, the more confident you will be when presenting it. Also, draft several outlines of your speech, making sure that your points are easy to follow and your transitions are clear and concise. Audiences naturally drift in and out of presentations and you want to make sure they can jump right in to where they left off. This can be done by using recognizable (yet smooth) transitions and key words that are repeated frequently throughout your speech. The more prepared you are for a speech the less anxious you’ll feel.
  2. Practice. Practice as many times as you possibly can. Many people make the mistake of thinking they can just “wing” their speech, but often times those mistakes lead to discombobulating, confusing, and unorganized speeches. It is important to practice because the old saying is true; practice does make perfect (or at least brings you a lot closer to it). The more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel with the material. The majority of presentations have a time limit and even in the professional world presentations are expected to meet allotted time slots. With practice you can establish your rate and delivery techniques so that your speech is both time efficient and effective. Stand up and deliver your speech out loud several times, finding out what you need to improve on, whether its your tone, pitch, rate, or volume. The more you practice the more it will show when presenting.
  3. Present. Take advantage of every public speaking opportunity you come across. The more you present, naturally the more comfortable and confident you will become. You can gain more experience by joining organizations or clubs that provide opportunities for you to present or by seeking out opportunities within your job or internship. It is also important that after every presentation you gather feedback from your audience because critiques only help to strengthen your skills for the next presentation.

Even if I didn’t cure your fear of public speaking I hope that I offered some valuable and helpful advice for future presentations. If worse comes to worse, you can always rely on the age-old trick of imagining your audience in their underwear (although I don’t always recommend it!).