Tuesday, January 31, 2012

But Mom, I Don't Want to Give you my Password!

Recently I was getting ready for class one morning and I overhead a newscaster giving their opinion concerning parental supervision of their child's social media use. He explained that if a teenager's parent does not have all the passwords to their social media accounts, that they weren't doing their job right.

This struck me as a bold statement, considering back in the day before Facebook and Twitter, my 14-year-old self would be mortified if my parents were able to access my AOL Instant Messenger account. With the popularity of social networking skyrocketing, especially with younger audiences, should it be encouraged that parents monitor their child's social media use?

In November, the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project with the Family Online Safety Institute did a study with findings indicating that 95 percent of all teens age 12 to 17 are online, with 80 percent of them on social media sites.

While many of us have been using social networks for years, it could be beneficial to go back to the basics when learning about online etiquette, especially to educate a younger audience.
  • Safety. Even if you're not creeping around in online chat rooms, it is still important to go through your site's privacy settings and to monitor anything said in your emails that could be suspicious.
  • Boundaries. Thinking about all the cyber bullying that occurs in younger age groups online, remember treat others as you would like to be treated. Considering that virtually everything posted online is floating around cyberspace, don't post things that are harmful to others or yourself. For older audiences, try to keep opinions out of posts that could come back to bite you in the future.
  • Be a good role model. If a younger audience could be viewing your profile, set an example! If individuals learn how to have a positive presence online and create useful interactions, it will help them to act responsibly in the future.
  • Think first! If you wouldn't want a picture or status of yours on the front page of the newspaper, reconsider your post.

Whether it is a teenager on Facebook, a parent looking at their child's MySpace or a professional reading their Twitter feed, it doesn't matter when it comes to learning how to surf the web in a responsible, safe manner. Do you think there should be supervision and/or education for younger users on social media sites?

To read more about parental supervision on social media sites, click here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Will Brands Follow the Timeline Switch?

Last Tuesday, Facebook announced that all individual users will soon be automatically switched over to the Timeline layout, if they haven't already made the change. Facebook first introduced the layout as a way for users to visually tell the story of their lives. But while individual pages are switching, brand pages are not safe for long.

On one hand, brands will soon be able to project their name across screens, thanks to the new layout, making it easily recognizable. On the other hand, push-driven posts will no longer be effective. Part of the whole purpose of Timeline is to make pages more visual, communicating through photos rather than words. This won't be a problem for companies with physical products, but for those that are selling virtual products, advertising through images will prove to be challenging.

However, with this innovative concept of communicating through images, eligible brands will enjoy the perks of being able to create a direct call to action. Instead of strictly push-driven posts, companies will now be able to reach larger audiences by coupling relevant photos with status updates.

Do you see Facebook switching brands to Timeline? Will it be effective? Let us know!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nonprofit PR 101

There are many different career sectors in the world of public relations. As college PR students, it is important to understand which career path would be most suitable for us individually. Arguably the most rewarding path, and perhaps the easiest to break into, is nonprofit PR work. If you are interested in dedicating your skills and energy to social change, then working with a nonprofit organization may be the right line of work for you.

According to Liz Cies, a public relations coordinator at Association Headquarters, Inc., public relations professionals in the nonprofit field aim to fulfill the communication needs of their clients. These needs include promotion, media relations, crisis communications, social media management and membership communications.

Temple University Junior, Samantha Srolis, is currently employed by a nonprofit organization in the community relations department at The Rock School for Dance Education. During an interview, I asked Srolis to describe her typical duties. She agreed with Cies on many of the tasks and added, “It’s a day-to-day thing. Besides those things, I really don’t think there’s anything set in stone.” Srolis emphasized the need to be creative in this area of the industry because funding, among other resources, is limited. However, thinking creatively has allowed her to become an overall better PR person. “The things I’ve learned working for a nonprofit, like how to be resourceful and economical, will make me more successful in a corporate setting.”

Working in nonprofit public relations gives professionals a chance to further their experience in the field and let their skills flourish in a philanthropic environment. One of the most important skills in the nonprofit sector is the ability to cultivate long-term relationships. Nonprofit public relations rely heavily on the ability to build and mend relationships in order to raise awareness, obtain feedback, recognize support and more. According to PR pro Tiffany Gallicano, relationships are built with media professionals, clients, potential business sponsors, volunteers and donors, with special emphasis on the last two. I asked Srolis whom her most important relationships are with. Her most valuable relationship is with the director of the community relations department because, “aside from her years of experience, she also has a million contacts. If I need something or need to get in touch with someone, she knows who to go to and how to get it.” Working for a nonprofit organization in an entry-level position allows you to network with professionals who know all about the industry.

Aside from increasing your business card collection, when working with a nonprofit organization you also are presented with the opportunity to work with passionate volunteers aiming to make a beneficial impact on society. Srolis admits, “It’s really rewarding. Being a part of the Philadelphia community, forming relationships and knowing that you’re making a difference, even if it’s in the smallest way, is really rewarding when you’re working with a nonprofit.”

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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Landing on Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” List

Last week Fortune announced its annual “Best Companies to Work For” list. The morning the rankings were announced, it is safe to say that the PR staff for those who made the cut were buzzing with joy and excitement.

Being on the “Best Companies to Work For” list is a huge deal for a company’s reputation. A simple ranking can help generate positive attention towards an organization, which in turn will attract the best and brightest to want to work there. A company known for treating employees well is often a company well-liked by the public.

However, attaining recognition on this list cannot be something a company’s PR staff simply sets out to achieve. The top ten workplaces all are known for having great communication and trust among employees. These two characteristics cannot be obtained rapidly by doing a quick PR fix.

For Zappos, the online retailer, company-wide initiatives such as the Zfrog program were essential to landing on the list. This program gives all employees the opportunity to pitch new business ideas. 14 other companies stood out for paying 100% of their employees’ health care premiums.

Google topped the list for 2012 with its innovative and diverse company culture definitely playing a role in the ranking.

Here are the top ten workplaces of 2012:
1. Google
2. Boston Consulting Group
3. SAS
4. Wegmans Food Markets
5. Edward Jones
6. NetApp
7. Camden Property Trust
8. Recreational Equipment (REI)
9. CHG Healthcare Services
10. Quicken Loans

Do you work for any of these companies? Does it help for you to feel supported in your work environment? Let us know!

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

Friday, January 27, 2012

PRowl Public Relations is Nationally Affiliated!

After opening its doors for business four years ago in January 2008, PRowl Public Relations, Temple University’s first and only student-run PR firm, recently became nationally affiliated by the Public Relations Student Society of America! This level of distinction is only made to student-run PR firms that exhibit professionalism at a high standard, as well as meet the standards of connection, professionalism, and ethics, upheld by PRSSA.

PRowl Public Relations began the application process to become nationally affiliated in late November of this year. Cohesively, members of the firm and the executive board compiled case studies, letters, and background information on the firm and clients to be submitted to PRSSA headquarters for approval. In the four years PRowl Public Relations has been active, the firm has made great strides in such a short period of time. The firm was recently recognized as one of the “50 Best Blogs for the Public Relations Major” by Bachelors Degree Online and becoming nationally affiliated by the Public Relations Student Society of America is an honor the firm has been working towards for years.

All of these amazing accomplishments wouldn't be possible without our amazing staff members, our encouraging alumni and those who have always supported the firm and our efforts.

Check out the National PRSSA website to see us listed among the most prestigious student-run firms in the country!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Virtual Protest, Real Results

Millions of people from across the internet came together in the last month to virtually protest the Protect I.P. and Stop Online Piracy Acts, two pieces of anti-piracy legislation under consideration by the United States Congress. Congressional leaders tabled the bills indefinitely last Friday, marking a huge PR victory for a number of websites and organizations.

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Wordpress, and Reddit have all spoken out against the legislation. These websites, among many others, have joined with millions of internet users to stage online protests across the web, primary on social media websites. Anonymous, a large online hacktivist group, has also joined the fray. The group has publicly condemned the bills and have hacked a number of websites and social media accounts in response to their consideration.

The legislation was largely a bi-partisan effort to crack down on websites that help facilitate the illegal peer-to-peer file sharing. Proponents of the bill include the Recording Industry Association of American and the Motion Picture Association of America, which claim that these websites violate copyright and intellectual property laws. Many of the bills’ original backers switched their stances on the two pieces of legislation after public opinion turned against them.

Congress’s quick response to public pressure may temporarily paint representatives in a more positive light. However, representatives who switched their positions on the bills may appear to be weak in their convictions and might be easily labeled as “flip-floppers.”

The tabling of the two pieces of legislation is a PR win for many websites and the groups across the internet. This temporary victory has boosted traffic to many websites that have participated and shows that grassroots organizations can truly influence the government without tons of money. The move is a loss for the RIAA and MPAA, two groups already have low favorability ratings with many Americans. Such a public ordeal might make them appear weak and could be devastating to their future government relations efforts.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Free Ways to Monitor Your Twitter

It almost goes without saying that the Twitter world is rapidly expanding. The controversial media site has everything from celebrities to prestigious news outlets. As many of you follow trends on Twitter and participate in chats, have you ever wondered how you are viewed in the Twitter world?  Are people searching for you? How do you monitor your personal brand or even a client’s brand, on Twitter?  Ragan.com provides 5 FREE, that’s right free, sites to help you monitor your brand on Twitter.

Twilert- Similar to Google Alert, Twilert will notify you via email if you are searched. I scheduled to receive an email every day at 2 p.m.  So, if I am searched, mentioned, or my name is used I will be notified.
Kurrently- This is a really great site if you are monitoring a trend in real time. You simply put in the search bar what you would like to monitor and you can see what people are saying about a trend or even a client. I typed in the search box, “PRowlPR” and results dating back to this past week appeared, along with a conversation users were having about Prowl in real time.
Monitter- Similar to Kurrently, Monitter allows you to see multiple searches simultaneously. For example, I searched Prowl’s clients, @JeanMadeline and @JeanMadelineIns. I was able to see their twitters side by side and could see if the different audiences were discussing the same thing.

Twitter Search- An oldie but goodie, your Twitter search box can be more useful than you think.
Twendz- This very cool site, Twendez, monitors your Twitter and provides a monthly analytic report complete with volume, frequency, velocity, emotions, and conversation. Twendz provides you with a Word Cloud with the most frequented words used for that month.  You can find a monthly sample here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Costa Concordia Runs Aground with a PR Blunder

Costa Cruise Lines, the owners of the Costa Concordia that crashed along the shoreline of Italy last week, is offering an unusual discount. The survivors of the crash will be able to receive a 30 percent discount on their next cruise, hoping to keep them as loyal customers.

Of course it would have to be the percentage of survivors that aren't filing a class action suit against the company, as well as the families of the 13 victims that died as a result of the crash, which still has yet to find 20 missing victims.

As if that isn't comforting enough, Carnival, the cruise line's parent company, has tried to soften the blow by calling survivors to see if they are suffering from nightmares or sleeplessness and would want counseling. Not making a statement or apology would be the ship's captain, concerning his carelessness and supposed abandonment of the ship at the time of the crash. He is now on house arrest for suspected manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship.

While the CEO of Carnival made an apology statement, along with some others, this tragedy will not only affect this cruise company, but the industry as a whole. Companies need to have their crisis PR plans available at a moment's notice, especially in the world we live in where the news is controlled by tweets and multimedia sharing, sometimes before the media gets to it.

What could Costa Cruise have done to better serve the survivors?

Monday, January 23, 2012

What Does SOPA Mean for PR Pros?

On Wednesday January 18th, many websites like Google, Wikipedia, and Flickr protested against SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act), acts that would allow the U.S. government to effectively censor websites suspected of violating copyright laws or participating in money transactions. Many big internet corporations are against these acts as they could very possibly be censored due to a link to a site engaged in piracy or even for displaying a comment from a user, linking to a piracy cite. Both situations that are highly possible and almost impossible to prevent. Only 2 days after the protest, however, Congress decided to indefinitely shelve the bills.

But this doesn't mean that the Internet is safe, Congress could decide anytime to reinstate the legislation, so what would this mean for PR pros who rely on these websites every day?
  • Sharing and social sites: Many big corporations use social media websites to promote and advertise their brand, using videos on YouTube, Facebook to hold contests and link to their website, and etc. Say you are holding a video contest for your client and a participant merely uploads of video of themselves singing a Katy Perry song and you don't recognize copyright infringement. Not only will the link be blocked, but so will your client's website. Not exactly good PR, right?
  • Payments: Not accepting payments over the web is one of the main changes that SOPA and PIPA will bring. Websites such as Amazon and Paypal will be censored, leaving your client unable to generate income through e-commerce.
  • Finding Talent: PR pros look to voice casting sites for voice over talent in videos, podcasts, and commercials. Often, these individuals unknowingly read copyrighted material. SOPA will prevent such talent from rural areas getting work and "drive work back to cities and put thousands out of work", according to Voice123.

While SOPA and PIPA are momentarily at bay, PR pros have a cause to worry about in a world that is so driven by social media and the web. Are you for or against SOPA and PIPA? Why or why not? Let us know!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Don’t just be another interviewee: the importance of a post-interview follow-up

Sending a thank you email after an interview is an important part of the job search process. Whether you are interviewing for a permanent position, a paid internship, or an unpaid internship, do not consider the interview to be over until you have sent the thank you note.

Within 24 hours of your interview, send an email to each person you met. (Remember to ask for their business card so you have their contact information and correct spelling of their name). Thank them for their time, how nice it was to meet them, reiterate your interest in the position and highlight your top qualifications, and that you are looking forward to hearing from them.

Short, simple, QUICK, but key to landing that job.

When a follow-up is handled correctly, you will differentiate yourself from the other candidates and help sway the decision in your favor. By following up, you show many qualities that employers are looking for, such as dedication, ability to properly communicate, and a true interest in the position.

As always, make sure you have double and triple checked your spelling and grammar, especially their name and company name. The little details make a big difference!

Have you ever followed-up and received positive feedback? Have any special tips to share, let us know!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Brianna Rooney.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

An Unusual Way to Improve Your Grammar

Texting and social media usage surely impacts our grammar, but how? Will the iPhone’s autocorrect feature excuse us for writing poorly? Or perhaps the 140-character restriction for tweeting will actually help by forcing us to write strategically.

Mignon Fogarty, widely known as Grammar Girl, defends texting and social media in a video on Ragan.com, and explains how both often enhance writing ability.

In the video, Grammar Girl points out that social media provides people with more opportunities to write. This opportunity, however, highlights the good writers as well as the bad. Although social media does not change the way people write, it allows for more visibility.

Parents often worry about the abbreviations their children are using on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Typing “l8” to abbreviate “late” and “u” to mean “you” may be fairly new, but the concept of abbreviating a message dates back quite awhile. IOU’s have been around much longer than any computer, social network or iOS device. The abbreviation, much like those of the digital age, uses the letter “u” in place of the word “you.”

Grammar Girl also mentions the ways in which we begin to use our brains differently to post on social media or to text a friend. Concision is key. No matter the industry, writers often include too many words in their messages. Our phones and the social web begin to train us to consider the most direct way to get the point across.

Public relations relies heavily upon clear, concise messaging. However, writers in all fields can benefit from strategic writing skills. Grammar Girl may have just given bosses everywhere a reason to let their employees text on the job!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Frank Kunkle.

Friday, January 20, 2012

From ABCs to Can I Get A Job Please?

With the start of 2012 comes the start of my official job search and anyone else who is graduating this May. Its hard to believe how quickly time can fly. Sometimes it feels as if it was just yesterday when I was enjoying cookies and nap time in Ms. Wright's kindergarten class. When looking for articles for job search lessons, I absolutely loved the post 5 Job Search Lessons you Learned in Kindergarten by Heather Huhman (probably because it included something about a nap...) It's funny how we can often learn the most important lessons before we even know how to tie our shoes.

1. Say "please" and "thank you" - Manners are very important during the job search process. Make sure you are being courteous to everyone you meet (even the receptionist) and always remember to follow up an interview with a thank you card.

2. Don't give up - At the age of five, learning to read may have seemed like an impossible task. But with words of encouragement from your teacher, you calmed down, picked up the book and tried again. Use your professional and personal network as a support system during your job search because they have already gone through it and can offer great advice.

3. Be respectful - Playing nice with others and listening to your teacher were important in Kindergarten. The same rules apply in the work force. Arrive on time to your interview, come prepared with thoughtful questions, be attentive, dress professionally, etc....the list goes on and on. First impressions are often the most important so get started on the right foot by being professional and respectful.

4. Take a nap (or break) - Nap time was always my personal favorite time in Kindergarten. Who doesn't love curling up on the floor after a warm plate of cookies and an hour-long recess? It's important to take breaks during the job search as well otherwise you'll get completely overwhelmed and frustrated. Brief breaks will allow you to re-energize and refocus so you can return to the search feeling refreshed.

5. Balance your day - In Kindergarten, days were filled with a myriad of activities from finger painting to block building to snack time to reading. The same rule should apply to your job search. Make sure you don't spend all day applying for jobs. Balance your days with other activities such as networking, participating in Twitter chats, tailoring your job documents and more.

While these are just a few valuable lessons we learned at the age of five, there are certainly many more. What lessons did you learn in Kindergarten that can apply to the job search? Let us know!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Social Approach to Education

Higher education is no stranger to new ideas, and social media is quickly becoming a primary way for students to keep up with the realm of academia. Most universities now have at least one Twitter account to help engage and communicate with their publics.

Temple University is at the forefront of this social media movement and even has an entire class dedicated to social media. This semester, however, I have encountered something even more exciting: one of my classes has a Twitter account.

Yes, my Special Topics in Urban Politics has a Twitter account to keep students abreast of local political news. This is a great way to engage students outside of the classroom, keeping students informed of relevant events and continuing the in-class conversation on social media.

This social approach to education should be more widely adapted. I urge my classmates and professors to embrace the idea that classroom learning can and should spill over onto social media.

Do any of your classes have social media accounts? Do you think they should?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Getting Through the Beginning of a New Semester

As another semester is upon us, we brace ourselves for  all-nighters, stress out on weekends, and drink endless cups of caffeine to get by.  This spring semester be on top of your game. Do your work as its assigned, read your text books and go to class (and not sleep). As I m looking forward to an advanced PR classes two business courses and an internship for credit, I am already feeling stressed and over whelmed with the my schedule.

I know we all laugh at syllabus week, but this is the time to start planning out your schedule and scope out new ways to get involved for the rest of the semester. Either utilize a written calendar or an on-line calendar, such as Google calendar, to start working out your weeks. By using a calendar, you are able to see how your days and weeks are going to pan out, that way when surprises come, a forgotten quiz or an emergency group meeting, you already know when you can make room in your schedule.

Start to make note of upcoming due dates. There is nothing worse than bracing a storm of work at the same time in ALL of your classes. Make notes of when the most recent things are due and do them early so when the rest of your classes assign work, you won’t be as over whelmed.  

How do you deal with the beginning of a semester?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy First Day of Classes!

PRowl Public Relations would like to wish everyone a great first day of classes!

We have a lot of exciting things planned for the semester and we are looking forward to starting the new semester off right. Below are some tips I have outlined to make your first day a little easier.
  • Use a planner! Even if it is in your phone, having a weekly organizer will help you manage your time.
  • Utilize your time wisely. Don't wait until the last second to wake up before class or to get that reading done. Rushing first thing in the morning can leave you feeling disorganized the rest of the day and can lead to you forgetting things.
  • Treat your body right. While it seems impossible, getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night can make a huge difference. Also, if you're grabbing a quick snack, make an effort to make it something healthy instead of junk food that will make you crash hard in the middle of your day.
  • Make time for you. As someone who always neglects time for myself, I try to make an hour or so a day to relax and not think about school.

What were your favorite classes on your first day? Any internships?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pin it to Win It

The new Pinterest has been circulating around the social media block. I'm personally a fan, all you have to do is "pin" things that you like; food, fashion, decor, people, and even art. The things you pin will then go on their designated board, showcasing your personal boards to the public. But bored college students and stay-at-home moms aren't the only people benefiting from Pinterest. Below are "3 ways to use Pinterest for business right now":
  • Hold a contest- What many companies have been doing is holding contests for customers to pin products on their website and publish it on their boards in exchange for a small prize. One of the best things about Pinterest is that it allows you the option to incorporate both your Facebook and Twitter. Whenever you pin something, you can choose to publish it on your Facebook and Twitter as well, making the ability to share on multiple social media accounts simple and effective.
  • Add the "Pin It" widget to your sites- Pinterest allows you to add their widget easily onto your website. Connecting your website to Pinterest will allow users to simply click on the widget whenever they would like to pin something on your website.
  • Create a company board- Some company's have already jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon and have created boards. While you're not allowed to obviously advertise your brand, you can categorize your boards strategically, much like Nordstrom did, and pin products that are available through your company.
Not on Pinterest yet? The site is still invite only so feel free to let me know if you'd like an invite!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How Youtube Can Help Launch Your Career

We all know the Youtube world is growing rapidly. It has become the go-to site for visual how-to’s and entertainment. There have been many youtubers whose careers have launched because of their channels, and it can help public relations professionals as well. Below are ways that Youtube can help launch your PR career.

1. Promote Yourself: Youtube is not only for aspiring singers and songwriters. Let your audience know your career goals and show that in all of the videos. Be sure to remind the viewers that you are a young PR professional throughout your Youtube career. Many professional companies watch Youtube and contact gurus to represent their companies.

2. Tailor Yourself: Tailor all of your videos to fit one type of genre. As a hopeful PR professional, look into angles that you can take that will help you in your future. For example, if you’re interested in beauty-related PR, make videos of beauty product and company reviews.

3. Build Up Your Audience: When Youtube gurus have a significant amount of subscribers, it shows their knowledge of the genre they are covering. Telling a prospective employer that your Youtube presence was successful with thousands of followers will be sure to impress.

4. Expand Your Network: Once your presence on Youtube grows, begin to build relationships with companies that contact you. Once they know your name, make sure they don’t forget it. It will open many doors of opportunity for your future.

Inspired yet? To get started, brainstorm an idea, open a Youtube account and start filming!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Andrea Jordan.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


The first step is always the scariest no matter what you are trying to accomplish. Whether you are just starting to drive, take on a new job, or are entering college for the first time, the heart flutters in anticipation on multiple counts. This first step of terror also goes for acquiring your very first internship. There is the initial dance of joy after attaining the position, internal panic when you realize you might be a little unsure of what you are getting into, and lastly, a moment of realization that you can, in fact, do this internship right. Or at least, that is what I have been telling myself as I prepare for my own fashion marketing internship.

Mentally go over what you already know will be your main tasks as an intern. These tasks were reviewed over during your interview, and while some tasks may be mundane, everything is there to help you be that much better in your line of work. Bottom line: pay your dues.

Always dress appropriately. Initial judgment is based off of how you present yourself. Break a heel on the sidewalk? Pack a pair of flats. Stain your shirt during a coffee run? Pack an extra. Bottom line: you are not only representing yourself but others as well, so dress to impress.

Don’t fret if you make a mistake. Remember that being an intern is a learning experience, and you won’t be perfect on your first day, especially if this is your first internship. The whole point is that when you make mistakes, fix them and become better prepared during the next go around. Bottom line: practice makes perfect.

Make the most out of your internship by asking questions, observing, and overall paying attention to your daily encounters at the office. Your mind is a valuable tool, so truly learn from your experiences, make connections, and contribute as much as you can. Bottom line: this company hired you for a reason, so make it worth your while, and theirs!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Celina Levin.

Friday, January 13, 2012

PRowl Public Relations is HIRING!

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

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

To be a member of PRowl Public Relations, one 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 in the spring

· Have availability for weekly staff meetings every Thursday from 3:30-4:15 PM

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. We encourage students of all levels of experience to apply, from freshmen to seniors!

Our clients for spring range from tourism & hospitality to the beauty industry. Staff members will have the opportunity to work on social media campaigns, event planning and media relations to name a few.

Interested? Contact Niki Ianni, at nicole.ianni@temple.edu to set up an interview. Interviews will be scheduled starting January 17 – 23. 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

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Philly.com: To Allow Comment or Not to Allow Comments

A news website is generally no stranger to controversy. However for Philly.com, much of the controversy takes place in its infamous comment sections. Philly.com’s comments are getting out of hand, and soon the website must decide once and for all if it will continue to allow them.

Philly.com’s comment sections have long plagued an otherwise quality news website. Commenters often overwhelm stories with nonsensically vicious, racist, sexist and downright nasty comments. The most recent example of this is the website’s story on Fox 29 firing its weatherman John Bolaris. Even seemingly tame stories get special treatment from the Philly.com comments, including Stu Byko’s recap of the New Year’s Day Mummers Parade.

Philly.com has become wary of its anonymous commenters. The news website now disables comments on its more controversial stories. On other stories, Philly.com forces users to log into their Facebook accounts to comment. This attaches a profile picture and name to all comments, theoretically deterring hateful speech.

Unfortunately for Philly.com, the Facebook log in system hasn’t quite worked to its advantage. The comments continue to be just as brutal as ever, forcing the news website to disable comments within hours of posting many new stories.

Comment sections can be a great way to increase user engagement, but what do you do when users get out of hand? Philly.com needs to decide if this added engagement is worth the humiliating content.

If the website decides to allow comments, I would suggest it creates a set of guidelines setting acceptable comment content dimensions, much like NewsWorks’ Community Discussion Guidelines.