Friday, November 30, 2012

The Holidays Aren’t Here Yet, Stay Focused!

When winter break is right around the corner, it is often hard to stay focused at school. As the holidays approach it seems that stress levels increase dramatically. It is really difficult to adjust from spending time at home and trying to get back into the groove of things at school. You may be feeling like you want to skip finals altogether and pack up to go right back home (or at least I do!).

Fear not! Here are some useful tips on how to maintain your focus and preparing yourself for the last few weeks of the semester:

-          Prioritize: make a “to-do” list of work and tasks that need to be completed before the big break.

-          Plan: figure out what topics you need to focus on for each study day, or “free” day, your college gives you.

-          Stock Up: make sure to buy note cards and highlighters for those long days and nights in the library. Don’t forget to also purchase some study snacks that are high in protein and fiber. 

-          Study Buddies: ask classmates or friends if they would want to be a part of a study group and create a study guide together.

-          Decorate: help realize some finals week stress by decorating your dorm, apartment or house for the holidays.  It can’t hurt!

-          Write It Down: Write reminders for yourself in your planner or on post-its, otherwise they may get lost in the shuffle.

How do you stay focused with the holidays right around the corner?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gaming for Good

Do you challenge your friends' vocabulary mastery in Words With Friends,  or showcase your artistic finesse in Draw Something? If so, you can use your skills to game for good. Recently, reported on Zynga's first holiday philanthropy campaign. Zynga is a Web 2.0-based social network game developper . The newly launched campaign allows users to turn virtual goods into real-world gifts. Gifts can be purchased for as little as $1 and will benefit Toys for Tots. The social-gaming company has already gained $13 million to date and will continue their campaign through the end of the year.

Zynga's campaign is the perfect example of how to successful utilize social channels for social good. The question remains, have you gamed for good yet? If not, you have until December 31st. Will you take up the challenge? Tell us all about it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Do you think you got what it takes?

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 to a real-world setting, become part of an interactive communications process and prepare for life beyond graduation.

PRowl’s previous professional clients include:
  • Jean Madeline Aveda Institute Salon and Spa
  • TUTV (Temple University Television)
  • American Cancer Society
  • The Office of University Communications
To be a member of PRowl Public Relations, you must meet the following criteria:
  • At least a 3.0 GPA
  • Be a dues paying member of PRSSA or have the intention of becoming a dues-paying member
  • Have availability for weekly staff meetings every Thursday from 3:30-4:15 p.m.
PRowl Public Relations is a great experience and is a large time commitment. PRowl PR operates as a functioning PR firm and is similar to a working, professional-level agency, not an extracurricular organization. Therefore, applicants should only apply if they are able to dedicate the necessary amount of time and work. Staff members will have the opportunity to work on social media campaigns, event planning and media relations to name a few.

Interested?  Please set up a time with Firm Director Samantha Wanner via email at
Interviews will be conducted on Thursday, December 6, Friday, December 7 and Monday, December 10. in the PRSSA office room number 357 located on the third floor of the Howard Gittis Student Center.  All applicants will be required to submit a resume and two short writing samples during their scheduled interview.

Learn more about PRowl Public Relations:

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


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Grinch Who Stole Social Media

'Twas the night before Grinchmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, especially not the social media manager! Yes, for someone who manages multiple social media accounts, the holidays can often become more hectic than festive. If you're wondering why the social media manager in your life, whether that be a co-worker or spouse, would rather talk Twitter followers than deck the halls, check out the top 4 reasons social media managers go Grinch during the holidays:

1. Remaining all inclusive - Keeping up with a bunch of social media accounts during the holidays means trying to acknowledge everyone without offending anyone. This can be a tough balance to find with so many consumers celebrating and practicing so many different things. As a social media manager, it's your job to stick to the task at hand, send the necessary messages, and remain as respectful as you would apart from the holiday season.

2. Too much cheer - Being the savvy social media manager that you are, you're probably always watching your use, or overuse, of exclamation points. Not to mention, being extremely wary of when to implement online emoticons. The holidays make this extremely difficult. With a timeline full of holiday wishes of good cheer, no one wants to be the Scrooge that posts an dull message.

3. When to post - Social media managers struggle enough with picking the perfect time to send a Tweet, upload a photo, or update a Facebook status. When everyone's newsfeed and timeline is full of Peanuts cartoons and Santa memes, finding that perfect posting window becomes even harder.

4. When social media sites "get into the spirit" - This Thanksgiving Facebook decided to knock their classic "what's on your mind," and changed the message inside the status update box to "what are you thankful for?" Millions of Facebook users took this change to post all of the many things they were thankful for. Social media managers have to find creative ways through these situations to still get their messages across while playing into the themes of the season.

To all of the social media managers out there, please, be of good cheer. Soon Spring will come, and there will be a whole new social media strategy to conquer!

How do you handle social media during the holidays? Let us know!

Monday, November 26, 2012

First Annual Temple PRSSA/TAC Mixer!

Looking for a networking opportunity within the Temple University School of Communications? Connect with Temple Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and Temple Advertising Club (TAC) at their first annual mixer event on November 28. With an exciting schedule planned, hear from several different speakers about their various organizations in the PR industry. Later on, network with the organizations’ tables, as well as participate in a half-hour open networking session.

Take the time from 7-9 pm that evening at the Hillel Jewish Life Center to share ideas or expand your public relations, advertising, and business knowledge from professionals. It’s also a great opportunity to create relationships that will carry on past your college years! Find out what it’s really like to experience PR with a degree and who you will be working with in the future. Considering only a 120 comfortable capacity, arrive at Hillel and take advantage of hearing every speaker.

Join Temple PRSSA and TAC on November 28 for the experience, free food, and good people. Find out even more about the event on any of Temple PRSSA’s social media, such as @TemplePRSSA on Twitter, our Facebook page, or the PRowl blog. Always remember to brand yourself. See you there!

This guest post was written by Alyssa Guckin and Matt Ciarrocchi of Temple University PRSSA

Trends affecting the PR Field

In recent years, PR departments have had to make a concerted effort to remain relevant within an organizations. Many times, the PR department is the first to go during cutbacks. Especially now, with the influx of bloggers and social media, it is harder than ever to show senior level execs why you are still an important asset to the company. Below are a few reasons why PR departments may be facing cutbacks:

  • The Internet is killing the "expert": In the past, citing experts in press releases and other materials has gained leverage on the side of the PR department. However, now that Facebook and Twitter are often the main sources of information for people, "experts" can be found everywhere. The term "expert" is meaning less every year. Who is to say that one person is or is not an expert? Information and knowledge evolves, and some experts even feel uncomfortable with their title for the same reason.
  • Consumers are growing skeptical of statistics: Undoubtedly you have seen infographics created by brands, illustrating statistics in their favor. These statistics are created to start buzz and position brands as leaders in the field. The problem with this is that consumers are experiencing information overload. As a result, people often brush of these statistics that originally brought more attention.
  • Content curation puts the success of a brand into the hands of the consumer: When you are talking to a client or your execs about a PR campaign, many times they won't understand how much really goes into a campaign. One of the most important goals in such a campaign are to get consumers to share your brand and its message. In this sense, success is really in the hands of the consumer and their own opinions, which is out of the hands of the PR team.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Share Everywhere

This Thanksgiving holiday, Facebook posted a blog that confirmed that they will now how a “share button” on their mobile site, Android, and iOS apps.

“The company said there was no technical hurdle that made a share button difficult to implement on mobile,’” Facebook said. “Facebook simply never made it a priority.”

The share button will show up on newsfeed posts alongside the “like” and “comment” buttons.  While sharing was available before, this is the first time that users will be able to do so via a mobile device.

So, how will this help us PR folks? 

Sharing news articles and pictures will be a helpful aspect of the share button.  Facebook users will be able to easily share any news article that they few on their phone or any picture they see anywhere they are.  Posts will also be able to be shared, even sponsored posts!

Bottom line, the share button will widen the reach of people who might not normally see a news article, picture or post, creating more views on them!  This will broaden the network of people that you can reach through your social media. This will be very helpful to any PR professional because more networks that you could never reach before will be able to get received.  Hopefully in return, users will be able to gain more followers also.  

A mobile share button will help everyone with broadening their networks and gaining more followers and that is something that all PR professionals can be thankful for!  Do you think sharing via mobile will be useful to you?

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jackie Grillo

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Personal Branding with QR Codes

QR codes are one of the newest technological trends in brand marketing. We see them everywhere: on subway advertisements, our morning cups of coffee, candy wrappers and zoo exhibits. They’ve even been stamped on rooftops to be accessed by Google Maps. One usage that has yet to become mainstream is personal branding purposes.

Most people don't think of using QR codes for personal use, but they are definitely an inexpensive, modern way to stand out from the crowd. Think about all the business cards an executive receives at a networking event; the bland, white ones most likely fall to the bottom of the pile, while the jazzy, unique ones catch their attention. QR codes give you that edge that helps you to not be forgotten. They flaunt your tech-savvy side, and show that you are keeping up with ever-changing public relations trends. Using a QR code on your resume or email signature is a great way to make you more memorable to potential employers, as well. Use it as a link to your personal blog, e-portfolio or LinkedIn account.

The best part about QR codes is that you can create one for free! offers a basic plan that includes a mobile business card and a SearchMe link so you are found efficiently on search engines. If you want to really get fancy with it, you can subscribe to one of the Vizibility paid plans so you can monitor your personal search results and track the scans of your code… just in case someone decides to pass around your oh so impressive QR code.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Ciara Montero

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pining Perfection for your Organization

Pinterest is the largest growing social media platform reaching over 20 million unique users growing from 700,000 just over the past year. For an organization, Pinterest is great way gauge awareness through repining to users boards. When users repin your content it takes organizations content and turns them into user’s interests using their personal boards. For example I have boards such as “healthy me” for my intentions of living a healthy lifestyle which is a collection of hair and beauty and health and fitness and my “someday” board is where I repin wedding dreams and DIY projects.

To effectively use Pinterest, organizations should begin by following people and analyze what users are pinning. The captions and explanations of the pictures strengthen the SEO of Pinterest boards. Organizations can also benefit from repining users content to their boards to creating an investment in user’s interests.  So start pinning friends and get to know your audience!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Prepping For Press: Media Training Checklist

You've done it - you've sent numerous pitches and releases and finally landed your client the perfect interview. It may seem that your work is done, but really it has just started. Nothing could be worse for a client than having them make a fool of themselves and the brand you have worked so hard to promote. Media training simply suggests that you tell the client what to do and say when they are in front of the media in any setting. There are rules and regulations to everything - and when dealing with the press, it's best to be prepared.

Here are some things to tell your client before sending them to the press:

Know the objectives: What are they going to the media to talk about? Make sure they know exactly what has to be said, and that they know how to bring up the message as the focal point of their media interaction.

Logistics: If you aren't accompanying the client to the media engagement, be sure that the date, time, and location of the interaction have all been double checked and confirmed. If the client shows up late or on the wrong date, it reflects negatively on you as well.

Viewership: Know the audience of the media outlet your client will be featured on. If they target a younger, hip audience, be sure the client has been trained and prepped on how to frame the message to engage that specific argument.

Mock Q&A: Question and answer segments can often leave people stumped, and can defer them from expressing their true objective for being there. Go through a possible list of questions that could be asked, and provide a series of answers that would be appropriate. Remember, always answer the question, just answer it to the client's advantage.

Follow up: After your client has done an interview or made an appearance, be sure to follow up with the media contact. This insures you keep a positive relationship with that contact and lets you know how the interview or appearance went before it hits the airwaves or print. It damage control needs to be done, it's best you know ahead of time.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I am often guilty of speeding through a news release, without paying attention to the nitty gritty details. Bad. Yesterday, however, I came across a great checklist to use post-release writing. Check it out:

  1. Is my headline specific? Be sure that your headline matches your content. While this may seem obvious, your release will bode better if you pull specific words and terms from your release to use in your headline. Not only will this give you a more specific headline, but it will also be more  effective, thanks to search engine optimization (SEO). 
  2. Did I use active voice? I am especially guilty of this. Tone down the extra words and phrases in favor of more direct statements. Instead of "Jane Doe has been awarded Grammy Award for excellence in songwriting," try "Grammy Awards select Jane Doe for Best Songwriter." This serves as a more impactful statement.
  3. Can I chop three words from my headline? Remember: short, sweet, and to the point. Eliminate useless fillers that garble up your headline, instead chop off 3 words from your first headline. Of course, be mindful that your headline is still coherent. The point is to be brief yet effective.
  4. Does my release answer the five Ws? I always advise other students to answer the 5 Ws in the lead paragraph of a release. Who? What? Where? When? Why? The rest of the release should focus on details, relevant quotes and resources.
  5. Did I do a five-step proofread? 
    1. Read out loud: I swear by this. Just reading things in your head will not help you very much. Reading out loud will give you a sense of how you actually sound, and help you with grammar, tone and syntax. 
    2. Get a second pair of eyes: No matter what you are writing, this is strongly recommended. A second opinion never hurts, and a fresh set of eyes will do wonders for your release because your release may make sense to you, since it is your expertise, but it may not be in layman's terms.
    3. Read your story backward: If you want to be extra vigilant, try reading your release backwards. Because you are not accustomed to reading this way, it will be that much more obvious for you to catch a mistake.
    4. Focus on the numbers: Triple-check your dates, times, data, etc. It is a HASSLE and honestly a crack in your credibility if you are publishing incorrect information.
    5. Print it out: We receive so much information via the computer screen that we are used to just scanning a page. Try the old fashioned way and just print your piece out and take a red pen to it. Guaranteed you will find something that your eyes glazed by.
Do you use any of these methods when proofreading your release? Have any additional suggestions? Let us know!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Avoid Being A PR Grinch This Holiday Season.

‘Tis the season for holiday gift guides! Every year, media outlets across the board generate gift guides – a medley featuring their recommendations of products for their target audiences to purchase as holiday gifts. Impressing the media and securing coverage for your client during this time of year is competitive and crucial to raise awareness. For this reason, crafting the perfect pitch is instrumental. The following are tips and tricks to make your pitch stand out:

  1. Start Early: Blogs, magazines and other online media outlets have different deadlines. It is essential to identify your product ahead of time and start early, as many print publications have 90 day lead times. However, outlets like blogs do not even begin to consider gift guides until December. Do your research, and start by targeting the media with the longest lead times.
  2. Tend to the Details: Be sure your product is applicable to the outlet you are pitching. If you know the reporter you are sending is vegan, pass on sending them a pitch about your client’s fab leather jacket. Many reporters are searching for certain themes such as eco-friendly, style, electronics and more. It can be helpful to create categories to make it easier for editors to find where your product may fit in their gift guide.
  3. Non-tangible Gifts: Not all gifts need to be tangible items. Consider pitching gift guides for your non-profit or philanthropic clients by turning their service into a giftable item. For example, Plant One Million – a fundraising campaign to raise money for tree planting and more – offers an opportunity to make a donation in someone else’s honor. In return, the recipient is sent a certificate of the gifted tree. Cue the warm and fuzzies!
  4. Impress the Reporter: Our friends at Philadelphia’s leading lifestyle communications firm, Matthew Vlahos Public Relations, say, “Gifting is never a bad idea.” Prove your client’s product is worthy by sending or hand delivering the product you are pitching. Who doesn’t love free stuff?
Follow these tips, and your clients will adore you. Are you gearing up to pitch holiday gift guides for your client? Share how you make the best of your pitch!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Samantha Miller

Saturday, November 17, 2012

AP Stylebook: Rules For The Holiday Season

As we enter the holiday season, I thought it would be a great time to brush up on holiday style – AP style, that is. Below are terms that stood out to me as ones I would be likely to slip up on when writing. For instance, it’s general knowledge that seasons are not capitalized, but “winter” does not officially begin until Dec. 21 and therefore should not be used to describe dates before this.  It’s also a common AP style rule to only spell out numbers 1-10, but when writing about the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” the numeral should always be spelled out.
  • Kriss Kringle: Not Kris. Derived from the German word, Christkindl, or baby Jesus.
  • yule: Old English name for Christmas season; yuletide is also lowercase.
  • Christmastime - One word.
  • Xmas - Don’t use this abbreviation for Christmas.
  • “The Twelve Days of Christmas” - Spell the numeral in the Christmas carol.
  • Black Friday - Capitalize both words and don't use quotes.
  • Cyber Monday - Same as above. And just in case there's any confusion about this day, it's the Monday after Thanksgiving.
  • gift card - Two words, not one.
  • autumn, fall, winter, etc. - Seasons are not capitalized. And winter does not officially begin until Dec. 21.
  • Pilgrims – Capitalized. 
  • turkey day - Not capitalized.
  • Don't capitalize happy in "happy Thanksgiving" or "happy holidays."
Are there any other AP style rules for the holidays that you’d like to share? Let us know!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kyra Mazurek. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Social Media High School Yearbook

For most college students, high school seems like it was just yesterday. We all remember the cliques that made up the student body like the nerds, the athletes and the band geeks. Each group had their own interests and similar personalities that set them apart from the rest.

In the dawn of the social media age, I guess you could say that social media sites are the high school of the Internet.

Wix, a popular web desgin company, took a look at social networks and found out which site fit each cliche high school stereotype. Based on what we all are sharing, Wix developed this inforgraphic comparing each social network to a high school stereotype.

For example, YouTube is the drama enthusiast. Twitter is the Chatty Cathy. Instagram, naturally, is the flirt of the bunch.

Check out the rest of the social media yearbook to see where you fit in:

Can you think of any other social media stereotypes? Let us know!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fakery on Facebook

Recently, the New York Times released an article about a hospital in North Carolina that became a victim of a pseudo Facebook Page. In October, a ‘fake’ page popped up and discussed the negative effects of “Obamacare”. The page quickly gained hundreds of followers, and the anti-Obama campaign picked up immeasurable number ‘likes’. Officials at the hospital attempted to take control of the situation, but as quickly as the page appeared, it disappeared. The article goes on to discuss fakery all over the internet, including Facebook.

Gaston Memorial’s experience is a lesson in the problem of fakery on Facebook. As the world’s largest social network, it is an acute problem, because it calls into question the very basis of the site. Facebook has sought to be viewed as the community where people use their real identities. The appearance of fraudulent accounts makes Facebook’s mission impossible and could cause users to question Facebook’s reliability.

Facebook says they are taking the problem very seriously and have recently stepped up their efforts to terminate ‘fake’ and fraudulent accounts. However, the problem has become almost impossible to manage. Hundreds of these fraudulent sites can pop up simultaneously and some even contain malware and other viruses. Additionally, ‘fake’ coupons form meals and other items are appearing on Facebook news feeds, aimed at tricking individuals into revealing their personal information.

Facebook says they first noticed an increase in the creation of fraudulent sites when pages were beginning to decrease in the monthly amount of likes. Additionally, the election season seems to have increased with this reported activity.

One public relations implication of the rise of fraudulent Facebook accounts is the declining opinion of the public. Fraudulent ‘likes’ damage the trust of advertisers, who want clicks from real people they can sell to and whom Facebook now relies on to make money. 'Fakery' also lowers the credibility of Facebook itself.  If users no longer feel secure or believe Facebook is reliable, the site may see a decrease in users and a lowering of stock prices.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Respect My Authority

The introduction and integration of bloggers have transformed the Public Relations industry, including new trends that are just now proving unique challenges for PR professionals in corporations.

As more sources of information begin to saturate news consumption, transparency and authority are becoming the forefronts of corporation’s information.
At the source-   The term “expert” is now being looked at more closely as consumers are becoming more skeptical of authors education and knowledge on a particular topic. More corporations are now providing biographies to prove authors authenticity.
Saturation of news- Now with so many avenues of interests, companies are now looking to be a source with a concentrated interest for consumers, such as the National Constitution Center, not just another opinion.
Consumers with control- As social media has become more prominent and now a part of our everyday lives, consumers hold the power to influence a brand. Social media strategists for companies are learning the importance of listening to consumer’s suggestions and implementing new ideas of engagement such as Lays potato chip new campaign, “Do us a flavor”.  
What do you think corporations are doing to show transparency?




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Becoming A Successful Vlogger WITHOUT Learning The Hard Way

We have all seen those terrible, fly by night, want-to-be vloggers who log onto the internet armed with nothing but a camera phone and low quality bathroom lighting. Vlogging, or video blogging, is a great way to connect with an audience beyond the standard text-only blog post. Audiences love being able to put a face to a name or brand, and videos allow that and much more. Vlog posts give you an opportunity to let you true personality shine through to your audience. If you think vlogging is something you should try but you don't want to end up with videos like this one, keep reading for tips on becoming a successful vlogger.

Know your audience and talk to them: Be sure to speak and act in a way that will make whatever audience you are addressing feel comfortable. If you are aiming to target younger people, it may be better to take on a more relaxed tone. If you are targeting your superiors or other professionals, it may be better to speak in your "resume voice."

Quality over quantity: Viewers would rather see one video a week that is filmed on a decent camera and that has been edited correctly than a hundred low quality videos. Take the time to find the proper equipment to film your videos, or find someone to film them for you who knows what they're doing.

Keep it short: Don't bore your viewers with long, drawn out videos. Present the information to them in a fun, interactive, and interesting way. Try to keep your videos under 10 minutes to keep the audience engaged.

Look the part: Treat the days that you vlog like going to a film set! Make sure to put some work into your appearance and dress the part! It's your video, you should look like the star!

Have you ever vlogged before? What tips do you have for becoming a successful vlogger?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Reasons to NOT use Social Media for your Client

Social media is around every corner. Clients often use social media to raise awareness about their brand and to increase revenue or even attendance in certain cases. But social media isn't a good choice for everyone. Below are a few instances where social media probably isn't the route to follow:

Brand loyalists don't equal brand evangelists: Just because someone "likes" your brand on Facebook, it doesn't mean that they will be going around advocating for you. It's easy to assume that anyone who supports your  brand on social media sites is going to continuously support it. While this is sometimes true, it is not foolproof, and can be deceiving when evaluating success.
Facebook is great for reaching broad audiences, but not niche markets: This goes for all social media sites. Frankly, not everyone uses social media. And, depending on what kind of organization you are, social media just does not hit your target audience. Sure, some might catch on, but your goal is to use a tactic that will reach the majority of your audience.
An untended blog is a negative advertisement: Appearance is everything. If your company hasn't posted on its blog in months, then that reflects badly. The whole point of a blog is to engage your audience. If you are creating content that is mainly sales-focused, or none at all, then what is the point of a blog? In that case, then a blog is probably best at a later time, if at all.
Public feedback cuts both ways: While it is normal to receive some negative feedback, if it becomes an issue in the sense that it is overwhelming the positive, then it may not be worth having a social media presence if there is a low ROI.

How do you feel about social media and brands? What are some companies you think could do without social media? Let us know!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Be Your Own Biggest Fan

Here’s to those with their own blogs, websites, business plans, self-made clothing/jewelry, produced music, etc.; congrats on being talented, but…NO ONE KNOWS YOU! Well, that is if you are not self-promoting of course. I cannot begin to express how crucial it is to be your own biggest fan in order to get your name, and what you can do, out there. 

Speaking from personal experience, I found truth in this the hard way. I write weekly fashion articles for and I received next to zero reads in the beginning of my internship. This was because I did nothing to help myself, and instead I relied heavily on my editors to do whatever they wished with my published works. Not a smart strategy. Once I started posting my articles and pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram; my reads skyrocketed. I then created business cards with CollegeFashionista, I spoke highly of my articles and the website at networking events, and I made sure to be known by everyone as a style guru for Temple University - up again went my number of reads. Fact of the matter is; no one knows your work as well as you do. Therefore, no one can promote you as well as you can. Here are a few tips for promoting yourself:
  1. Social Media- It’s been said before, but it bears repeating; social media is necessary these days in order to promote yourself. Don’t be shy, or lazy, and at least join the big three: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Joining social media sites with help you connect with other up- and- comers and potential employers
  2. Be Unique- Although drawing inspiration from others is helpful, don’t do what’s been done. Here’s a relatable example: when shopping I try to find something I know no one else would be wearing because who’s going to recognize me if I look like everyone else? Well, same thing goes for your produced works. Hello people, it’s called originality, ring any bells?
  3. Be Mindful of your Reputation- Like they always say, “guilty by association.” Like it or not, who you associate with and what you promote reflect you – choose wisely! If you do not agree with a company’s core values or you wouldn’t show your grandmother what you wrote, steer clear!
If you don’t get anything else out of this blog, get this: confidence in what you can do is completely mandatory. Be authentically you, be proud, yet humble, and give them something to remember you by at the end of the day. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Nicole Leo.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Social Media Frenzy: Should Companies Keep Quiet in the Wake of Crises?

Crisis communication has always been a tricky thing to tackle in the PR world. When a tragedy strikes, companies must be careful about what they post on social media. If they don’t acknowledge the crisis, many people will perceive them as being insensitive. However, if they do post about the crisis it could be misconstrued as if they are jockeying for engagement during the crisis. 

Then there are some companies who go too far and turn crisis situations into marketing opportunities. For example, in the middle of Hurricane Sandy, American Apparel sent an email to customers that offered “20 percent off everything for the next 36 hours.” They also added to this email, “in case you’re bored during the storm.” They titled this sale the "Hurricane Sandy Sale" and have gotten a lot of heat on social media sites. 

Obviously, companies are in a tricky situation. They must find the correct balance of social media interaction. There is a fine line between being acknowledging a crisis and exploitation. In this type of situation, companies must be aware of their social media presence and the affect that it has on their customers. Everyone is a consumer, not just of products, but of information as well. In a society where social media seems to be taking over, companies must try to be a bit more sensitive with what they are posting. Eventually, the crisis will be averted and life will go on, but until then, we must all exercise sensitivity during crisis situations and remember the effect it has on everyone.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Virginia Laskowski

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Have You Unknowingly Committed a Crime on Twitter?

Recently, The Wall Street Journal investigated whether or not prosecutors 
could legally charge people who send “bogus” tweets during events like natural 
disasters such as Sandy that cause public alarm and unrest.While the law has not quite 
caught up to technology, there are current and relevant laws that make falsifying posts on 
sites such as Twitter illegal. 

In the state of New York and in many other states, it is illegal to file false 
incident reports. New York law says, “A person is guilty of falsely reporting an 
incident in the third degree when, knowing the information reported, conveyed or 
circulated to be false or baseless” so for Twitter users, this encompasses tweets. The 
questions remains what falsehoods are clearly punishable, such as perjury, lies to the government about official matters or pretending to speak on behalf of the 
government and what ‘white’ lies are not punishable.

A Duke University professor, Stuart Benjamin, found that sending an 
alarming tweet had almost the same effect as sending a false report or warning to 
the government. 

In this situation, the public relations professional becomes responsible for maintaining the citizens sense of security and the image and reputation of the government. Tweets can reach millions of users instantaneously and can be re-tweeted and shared within moments. Falsified tweets could have citizens questioning not only their safety, but 
also the government’s ability to take control of events such as natural disasters.  It becomes the responsibility of the public relations professional to carefully monitor feeds, 
respond quickly, and to help those in charge make official statements to counteract 
falsified tweets.

Have you ever tweeted falsified information or have you seen a tweet containing falsified information? Do you think the government has the right to prosecute individuals based upon tweets?

For more information visit,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Results Are In!

Did you ever think your Twitter stream could help you decide the next president? SwiftKey, the famous makers of the Andriod keyboard app that predicts your typing, utilized its software to analyze 150,000 words from Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to determine how your language from your Twitter handle compares to the candidates.

As a newly registered and undecided voter, I wanted to see how my Twitter handle swayed. My instantaneous results revealed that my Twitter handle language was 81 percent (out of 100) more like President Obama.
SwiftKey also analyzed the Tweets of famous personalities such as Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) and Glenn Beck (@glennbeck), the results were surprising.
  • Donald Trump scored 61 for Romney (to be expected)
  • Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) tweets more like Obama 51 to 49 Romney
  • And the kicker, notorious conservative Glenn Beck scored 81 for Obama
  • Lindsay Lohan (@lindsaylohan), a reported Mitt Romney supporter, uses language more like Obama by 82

How did you Twitter handle compare to the results?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Put Your Game Face On: Monitoring Online Competition

A well known saying goes that the best offense is a strong defense. It's one thing to serve up a good game, but it's another thing to be able to stay on top of what the competition is serving up. Thankfully, it's easier to know what your opponents game plan is just by watching their online activity. As a public relations practitioner, you should know your client like the back of your own hand, if not better. You should be able to recite the strengths and news worthy takeaways faster than you can sing your ABCs. Knowing this information will help you launch your brand and represent it well. However, knowing just as much information about competing brands will help insure that your client remains number one on the market.

If hiring a private detective seems too dramatic for your investigative needs, try these simple tips for monitoring online competitors:

Become a consumer - Try out the products of your competitors and see how they compare to your clients brand. What does their product offer that your client's doesn't? Take notes, and bring this up to the client when discussing results. Make sure your client's product has everything that the competitor offers and more.

Know the opposing team - Oftentimes, it is not the product itself that consumers cannot get enough of, it's the way it's being sold to them. If you notice a competitor has a larger following on social media, find out who runs the social media for that company. Read the way that person sends updates and how they interact with their online followers. If you think their approach yields better results than your own, consider modifying your style a bit.

Follow their news - Be sure to read the press releases and blog posts of all of your competitors. See what newsworthy events they are doing and come up with strategic plans for creating something better. If you know what the other team is working on, you can construct a higher game plan.

Analyze - Not everything you find online is going to be of use to you. Synthesize the important details from the unnecessary fluff and go from there. Always present the information you find to the client, and be able to clearly explain to them what your research can do for their product.

How do you keep an eye on what the competition is doing? Let us know!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Out With the New, In With the Old

Okay, so traditionally the saying goes, "Out with the old, in with the new." But for all intensive purposes, old content can sometimes outweigh the new. Think about how excited you get when a 90s song comes onto your Pandora, or when your favorite movie comes on tv and you have to watch it, even if you own it on DVD. We love to think back to our past and reminisce, and the same thing goes with content. Below are a few ways to pull from old content:

You don't always have to create something new: If you're in charge of creating content for a company that specializes in snow boots, then your peak season will probably be in the winter. There are only so many times you can create content around snow. Still talk about snow, but find new ways to approach it. Instead of talking about only snow, mention how the boots are also perfect for rain, thanks to their waterproof exterior.

Share archived content: With most companies taking to Facebook and Twitter to post content, stuff is getting pushed back through feeds at breakneck speeds. It's okay to use content from the past, in fact, using old content will show the reader that even though a certain statistic or fact is from 5 years ago, it's still relevant and useful.

Play on nostalgia: Think about the cell phone. Less than 20 years ago it was bigger than the average person's head. Now, cell phones can fit in the palm of your hand and will even talk to you. Seeing such a significant difference within such a small space in time consistently amazes people. The same strategy can be used with content. If you have coverage from a product that previously failed, bring it back! It's fun to show your audience where you once were, and where you stand now.

Have you ever brought life back to old content? How did it work for you? Let us know!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fashion PR No-No’s for the Rookie

We think it’s all glamour, lights, free goodies and celebrity events, but in reality, the fashion industry is much more. There are young ladies, and gents, across the nation looking to get their big break into the industry. While it is a very demanding and competitive field, Fashion PR can be very fun and exciting. 
However, there are many things you should not do when entering the field. While it is best to make an impression quickly in the industry, here are some tips on how to avoid common mistakes. 
  • Make It Personal: Media want to feel exclusive. The worst mistake is to mass e-mail all media contacts with the same message. Take the time to address each outlet personally. They will be more likely to show interest in your alert. 
  • Avoid Lagging:  Most media are on very strict deadlines. Taking a long time to reply is never a smart idea. Both industries are fast pace and require quick action. The sooner you get back to questions and concerns, the happier your clients will be. 
  • Don’t Be Dull: Fashion is such a creative and fun industry. Use your creativity and stellar writing skills to draw in your audience. Avoid cliché terms and phrases and take the time to think of different ideas that will benefit the brand. 
  • Be Relevant: Avoid sending pitches to outlets that have no interest or relation to the product. There is nothing worse than getting a pitch about women’s hosiery when you work at for a men’s shoe company. Keep it relevant and of interest to the reader. 
  • Don’t Be A Grump: No one likes a negative publicist. It is your job to keep the energy and enthusiasm at all times. After all, you reflect your client and you want to be very personable and approachable. 
This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Andrea Jordan.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Life of a PR & Theatre Student - Take one!

What do public relations and theatre have in common?

Why did you decide to minor in theatre?

The aforementioned questions are ones I encounter each day. Yes, I am completing a major in public relations and minor in theatre and guess what? I love it. Although this combination isn’t the norm, the differences between the two are amazing mainly because they create a balance in my life.
Public speaking plays a major role in PR and unfortunately public speaking isn’t one of my strong points. However, acting and playing the role of a character are strong points of mine.  Here are some things theatre has taught me, and how they help me develop as a PR professional:

Enunciate Your Words - Its important that your audience understands you clearly and theatre teaches you how not to gabble your words

Make eye contact with the audience- This factor is essential to a great speech and it keeps your audience engaged.  Theatre improves your ability to connect with an audience. 

Stand firm and grounded in your beliefs- This factor definitely adds to your deliverance. It’s important to believe in what you are saying as it permits your audience to be convinced and also gives them reason to believe you.  In theatre, the main objective is to convince your viewers and make them believe your character. 

Use different voice levels- This factor eliminates any form of monotony and it captures your audience attention. 

Breath control- This is important seeing that your speech should flow nicely. Theatre teaches you beats which is the pause or break you take while speaking. 

All in all theatre has allowed me to have confidence when I’m speaking in public. To all my communications and public relations majors, try taking an acting course as an elective and experience the beauty of the arts and witness yourself evolve into a stronger public speaker. I am certain that theatre can add to your development as communication/PR students. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kadesha Holder.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Knot’s Smart Use of Sandy

Hurricane Sandy wrecked havoc and put life on hold for millions of residents on the East Coast this past week, destroying homes, flooding cities and causing millions to lose power. As I was sitting at work discussing the disaster and its repercussions with a fellow co-worker she mentioned something that really struck a chord; Sandy had completely destroyed her friend’s wedding venue. That made me think – there must have been thousands and thousands of fall weddings cancelled, venues ruined and churches flooded all due to Sandy’s destruction.
As I was on Twitter, I came across an article discussing how the most-trafficked wedding website called The Knot helped to salvage over 2,000 weddings disrupted by Sandy. The online company estimates nearly 2,300 brides-to-be had to put a halt to their wedding plans this week due to the inclement weather. 

The Knot created a Facebook page as an online forum to connect brides with venues and vendors to reschedule this week’s weddings and to keep the more than 4,000 November ceremonies intact.

Helping Brides in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy” is the name of the Facebook page where East Coast couples can share tips, find available venues and talk to local experts. Helping couples “tie the knot” as scheduled is the main goal for The Knot.

From Nov. 1 to Nov. 25, vendors are asked to list their businesses, addresses, availability and contact information. Many venues in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut lost power and sustained damage from flood waters, forcing brides to make major adjustments.
This is a great example of taking a current event and using it to your company’s advantage. The Knot saw its opportunity and clearly took it. I believe this is a great lesson in marketing as well as public relations.

Can you think of other companies like The Knot that could benefit from a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy? Let us know!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New Ways to Network

Networking is nothing new. As an aspiring professional, you attend conferences, workshops and lectures. At these events, you shake hands, pass out your business cards and 'link' in with your new found networks. The problem is your network can remain small if you attend the same events, meetings, and workshops again and again. Below, I discuss three ways to help you improve your networking skills and ultimately your network.

1. Meet others by doing good

I personally enjoy volunteering and giving back to my community. Fortunately for you and myself, so do successful professionals. Volunteer opportunities generally draw a diverse set of individuals from varying backgrounds. You never known whom you will meet or have the opportunity to network with. For example, you may volunteer at a local YMCA. The network you build with the organization may help you in the future if you need to contact them and ask to use their space for an event or to connect you with one of their contacts or vendors.  Help others and help yourself at the same time - it's possible!

2. Join an organization unrelated to your major

We're all guilty of it. Public relations' departments are traditionally small. The students in those departments generally all take class together, participate in the same organizations and then hangout together too. How will we expand our network if we maintain the status quo? I recently joined the Association for Information System, a technology based organization, here at my university. As a result, I'm not only learning a lot about a new industry but I'm also networking with a lot new individuals and expanding my network. Potential employers love candidates that differentiate themselves from the rest of the candidates - start now!

3. Fun Follow-up

Traditionally, follow-up is boring, but it doesn't have to be. We all write the standard, "Dear Sir, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today", but why? At a conference I recently attended a woman spoke about how a candidate she interviewed sent her a thank you not on a box of Mac N' Cheese because she had mentioned how she lived off of it during her undergraduate years. How awesome is that? The move was memorable and probably made the recruiters day - something that is always a bonus. Find common ground when interviewing or networking and try following-up in a new and creative way.

While networking will essentially remain the same, there are always ways to improve and spice up your current networking skills. How do you network? Have you ever tried to changing the way you go about networking, if so what did you do and was it successful?