Monday, April 30, 2012

You're Hired!

No successful company has reached the top without the support of a great team. But hiring a quality team to help you reach your goals isn't as simple as putting out an ad in the Classifieds. Below are a few tips to guide your employee search via "5 Hiring Tips From the NFL Draft":


Are you filling a hole or drafting the best player available? The saying that power comes in numbers is sometimes true; but be careful that you aren't settling just to make a hiring quota. Remember: quality, not quantity. It's more important to hire one fantastic, driven employee than to settle for two that aren't in for the long run.


Make sure they are coachable. It's one thing to hire someone who is inexperienced, but eager and open to learning new things. A rookie with the drive to take things into his/her own hands or to be the best they can be is more valuable than a seasoned employee who is unwilling to adopt new ideas. Part of hiring an employee is getting a sense of not only who they are, but who they can be.


Find someone that loves your game. Passion is often underrated. Passion excites and encourages people to be creative. Creative team members will take your company far and create an atmosphere of success. 


Don't be afraid to trust your gut. Part of the reason for holding an interview is to get a sense of what a person is like and they will fit into your organization. If your gut is telling you that this person belongs, the great. If you're getting an off feeling, then maybe you should think twice about hiring them. But be weary about trusting your gut, because an interview is only a sneak peak and you may have caught them on an off day.


Look for players who can play multiple positions. A renaissance man is someone who is strong in multiple realms. This is someone you want to hire. A potential employee who can speak French, has knowledge of Photoshop and is qualified for the job will be the person who can jump in at any given time and lend a helping hand. 


What do you look for in a potential employee? Do you value one quality over another? Let us know!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Getting Along with Journalists

As a public relations professional, you will often find yourself clamoring for media coverage to please your clients. Journalists want and depend on good stories. The combination of the two professions should make for perfect harmony, however quite often a distrust can place a void on this potential friendship. So why can’t we all just get along…? Because lets face it, we need one another.

The media absolutely has a dependence on those in the public relations field. More time is spent on processing information rather than heading out into the city to investigate and cultivate a spectacular story. Strict deadlines no longer permit the luxury of time and many newspapers have cut down considerably on manpower. A journalist’s workload is heavier than ever therefore it is about time we start working together. Etiquette and professionalism are equally as important as honesty and accuracy. That being said, these four factors will foster your happy marriage to journalists.

When pitching a story, ALWAYS ask the reporter “did I catch you on deadline” or “do you have a minute to chat?” If they say yes, do yourself a favor and get off the phone immediately. Ask when is a better time for you to call back and then hang up. Chances are you will get an answer similar to, “yes I am on deadline, but what have you got.” Therefore, do not get caught pitching a novel length story. Keep it quick and concise on the phone because your next step is a follow-up email with additional information.

Professionalism should be a no brainer. If you plan on fibbing you and your client’s way into the public eye, find a new profession this instant. If you lie to a journalist, they will make sure you never have another story published again. Not only will you and your client never receive coverage but you will never regain your credibility.

A journalist may not agree but there is such a thing as an honest public relations professional. Their information is always solid and their intentions are clear. So be up front because your accurate and truthful pitch may be the perfect fit for a journalist in need of one more story without the time to gather and investigate the facts.

As a public relations professional, you have information that needs coverage. As a journalist you want stories that correlate with your readerships interests. So lets stop acting like water and oil, because if we both stay professional, respectful and honest then friendship, whether strictly professional or even personal, is inevitable. 

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Emily Storz.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

#HowToHashtag

Having recently interviewed for a summer internship, I tried my best to prepare. I had a list of questions I thought I may be asked, especially ones related to the work I do at PRowl Public Relations. Naturally, I was asked an abundance of basic questions about the firm and I went on to happily answer all them with ease. When discussing social media tactics I have used for my account in this past semester, however, there was one question I could not seem to conjure up an answer for. The question was more or less asking how my PRowl Public Relations account decided upon certain hashtag campaigns for the various events we had hosted throughout the year.

This question got me thinking. How exactly does a PR professional, account team, or business leader, for that matter, come up with an effective Twitter hashtag campaign? Is there a science behind it?

Twitter hashtags are a little gesture that can go a long way. Most of the time they produce positive results, but there are instances in which hashtags can go very wrong (think McDonald’s #McDStories, more like #McFail, campaign last January). By including a relevant hashtag in your tweet, it becomes visible to people searching for that specific topic, adding your voice to the general discussion. The probability of your tweets being retweeted is also higher when you use the right hashtag to share your comments or insights about a subject or in PRowl’s case, in marketing an event.

 So I went to my trusty search-engine, Google, seeking the answer. What I found were many articles that all had similar tips for creating a simple yet powerful hashtag campaign on Twitter. Here is a list of pointers to keep in mind when creating your campaign:

 1. Determine the kind of value you aim to derive for yourself and your followers from using the hashtag. Do you intend to crowd source information, create buzz or provoke conversation? Make sure your intention and purpose for employing the hashtag is clear and focused. Formulate a hashtag that is relevant to your purpose and the subject you intend to tweet about.

 2. Check to see if the hashtag you have in mind already exists and is in use. It is also very important to check if your desired hashtag has not taken on some other meaning. Twitter Search, Hashtags.org and Tagalus are some tools you can use to do a quick hashtag check.

 3. Start tweeting your hashtag. It helps to set the context of your hashtag by briefly explaining what it means.

 4. Tweet with moderation. The last thing you want is to be seen as a spammer. For PRowl, we introduced the hashtag once daily up until the actual day of the event.

 5. Set up an automatic alert tool that sends you an email alert when someone tweets your hashtag. Twilert is one such tool.

Do you think Twitter hashtags help to raise visibility for businesses? Let us know your favorite!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kaitlyn Sutton.

Friday, April 27, 2012

GPTMC Dishes It Up on Foodspotting

As a self-proclaimed "foodie-in-training," it's no surprise an app like Foodspotting would capture my interest and appetite. Started in 2009 and launched in January 2010, the guide was created to help users not only decide where to eat, but what to eat through its rating system and photo-sharing capabilities. Since its launch in 2010, more than 1.5 million foods have been spotted around the world.

One organization taking the food-sharing phenomenon to the next level is the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation (GPTMC - www.foodspotting.com/visitphilly). Recently, GPTMC (@VisitPhilly), in partnership with Foodspotting Philly (@Foodspotting Philly), hosted an "Eat Up" of 25 hungry people. Traveling throughout the city on a bus, attendees were able to visit various restaurants with featured dishes from GPTMC's recently created "Taskykake-inspired Dishes" guide. Foodspotters and bloggers were able to visit Stephen Starr's SquareBurger for delicious Butterscotch Krimpets shakes and then follow it up with Peanut Butter KandyKakes ice cream at 10 Arts by Eric Ripert. The night ended at Square Peg with Tastykake Apple Pie Milkshakes.

TastyKake Apple Pie Milkshake @ Square Peg
With tourists (and locals) always looking for a great bite to eat, GPTMC is incredibly savvy for becoming a leader in the "culinary tourism" trend. It was one of the first destinations to launch a major program on Foodspotting and has gained more than 1,500 followers - more than any other destination. Philadelphia has become a city of fantastic cuisine, from five-star dining to authentic Italian eateries. Guides are added to the Visit Philly Foodspotting guide regularly including Down-Home Eats: Philly BBQ, Finger-Lickin' Fried Chicken and Wings, Gayborhood Grub, and Old-School Red Gravy Italian Restaurants in South Philadelphia.

What do you think of tourism marketing groups' uses of Foodspotting? Let us know!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Making Issue Advocacy Work

Issue advocacy combines my two passions: politics and public relations. If I've learned anything throughout my college career its that the former passion cannot exist without the later.

Issue advocacy is simple to explain but hard to do well. At its crux is the promotion of a viewpoint, political issue, or idea to a public. The intent is to raise awareness and, at times, change opinions on an issue.

Public advocates need to be trained in PR, since PR is basically the building block of all good issue advocacy campaigns. My suggestion to aspiring public advocates: take a class in PR to build a solid future, for you and the world.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What the 100 Most Influential People Means to PR

"They are the people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world," stated Time magazine in their most recent special issue, "The 100 Most Influential People in the World"
World leaders such as Barack Obama are no surprise to appear on Time magazines prestigious list along with well-known U.S. celebrities such as Chelsea Handler and Adele. The select few that are featured on this list are opinion leaders. Opinion Leaders are those who the public looks to for direction and guidance for little things such as, “What brand of shoe should I wear?” to big things such as, “Who should I vote for in the upcoming election.” Opinion leaders help individuals identify with their personal beliefs by being in the public spotlight and making decisions.

As PR professionals we should look to this list of individuals to help identify with our publics. As opinion leaders set the status quo, PR professionals should be at the pulse of their most recent endeavors and expand upon their efforts.  

Quote influential people and comment on their efforts in a blog, tweet, or post. Not only are you gauging what others think about your opinion leader but you are also engaging with your publics about a mutually accepted topic.

View the whole 100 Most Influential People list here

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Extra! Extra! Tweet all about it!

With the enormous growth of smart phones, nearly half of Americans are receiving their local news via mobile devices. We've seen the changing industry of print journalism, making transitions to subscription-based online accounts and many news outlets creating a presence for themselves on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter (at least if they know what's good for them).

The art of journalism isn't going away, it's just changing. With the growth of "citizen journalism" by users posting their own news, quality reporting is still in high demand. The way we look for and process information today is changing as technology evolves.

While social media is seen as the shiny new toy for a source of news and communication, especially for Gen Y, there can be positives and negatives to these sites as sources for news dissemination:

Pros:
  • Immediacy: Breaking news is only considered breaking for that second it takes for someone to tweet or post news on Facebook. Depending on how large the network, this piece of news can reach a larger audience than a newspaper would ever be able to reach.
  • Accessibility: Mobile phones can go anywhere to capture the scoop via posting photos and videos, especially where TV cameras can't.
  • Everyone can do it: Any user can post something instantaneously as they are seeing something they consider newsworthy, depending on the audience.
Cons:
  • Length of story: Especially on Twitter, stories have to be reduced to 140 characters in order to post. Usually links are provided to the entire article, although many users may not click on them if they get the instant summary they need from the post.
  • Inaccuracy: Since everyone is trying to be the first to break the story, the time to fact-check may be overlooked. More research into the story needs to be done to provide a comprehensive news story that readers can trust.
  • Compromised integrity: Journalist's roles are altered now that everyone can be their own journalist. They have to change their style and way of writing to adapt to the quick transmission of information and the way that users want to get this information.
How has your news consumption changed? What are some other pros and cons you have encountered?

To see the Infographic for social media and traditional journalism, click here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Surveying the Masses: How to Create an Effective Survey

Surveys can prove to be a very useful tool in measuring the success of your client or serving as a learning tool for future improvements. But how do you build a survey that will not only yield maximum results, but can also clarify what audience your client should be reaching out to. Below are some tips on creating an effective survey:

Define your objective: What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to increase traffic or improving customer satisfaction? Make this clear, and keep this goal in mind when making the survey questions. Make sure the person filling out your survey is aware of what you are trying to achieve by both stating your objective and keeping this objective constant throughout the survey, taking care to avoid jumping to different topics.

Write the questions carefully: Write for the average person, avoid using complicated wording and jargon. You want to avoid confusing anyone and yielding inaccurate results. Holding a focus group may help in the preliminary stages to test-drive your survey and get a clear idea of who to write for.

Consider using an incentive: To show appreciation to the people who took the time to take your survey, offer a small prize or an invitation to enter a raffle for a grand prize. Though this will be harder for you, it will almost guarantee a higher response rate, your ultimate goal.

Manage the project closely: Enlist a detail-oriented staff member to oversee the survey. This individual will make sure that each survey is conducted exactly the same way to ensure a level playing field and minimize errors.

Analyze the results: When presenting the results of the survey to your client, consider your method. Rather than writing a laundry list of numbers, sometimes pictures speak louder than words. Utilize tools like maps and graphs to visually showcase results. Also, take notices on areas of improvement or trends. Why is one group responding more than the other? The answer may point you in the right direction towards a more specific audience.

How do you conduct surveys? What methods to you use for a higher turnout? Feel free to let us know!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Nice Blog You’ve Got There! Now What?

Whether for personal interest or because of the many posts urging PR pros to create a company blog, you finally made one and it looks great! Brace yourself if you thought finding motivation to create the blog was difficult because the worst has yet to come: generating content. Yikes! The actual blogging part, believe it or not, requires hard work and a little compassion. To grab readers, your content must be consistent, creative and compelling.

You’ve found the motivation, so here are some tips to help find some inspiration:


Use your network: Imagine those outrageous questions from family members about your job. What is SEO? PR pros use spin and practice propaganda, right? Be patient for a moment and realize these are legitimate questions. People outside the communications field have similar questions and you have a golden opportunity to answer them on your blog.


Comments: Check if anyone has commented on your blog entries. If a reader took the time to give feedback, he or she probably enjoyed the entry. Check for patterns. Are readers commenting on blog entries pertaining to certain themes or subjects? If so, consider it relevant! Perhaps others have an interest in similar posts.

Consider your own queries: Perhaps you have a theory or a hunch and you’d like some evidence to make a case. Engage with your publics on social media by presenting a few questions. Later, you can blog about the results.


Google & Google Analytics: It seems a little basic, but you’d be surprised. Search some themes you’d like to cover or even try typing, “What should I blog about?” You can’t expect your blog topic to be staring you in the face, either. Read between the lines, thinking critically, and let the creative juices flow. Use Google Analytics to see which search questions direct people to your blog. If a blog entry previously demonstrated success, see how you might make a follow-up entry or a type of sequel.

Lastly, PRowl Public Relations staff members work collectively to produce daily blog entries and if you see a chance for collaboration, we say go with it! Think about who might be available for an interview or to feature as a guest blogger. Use the suggestions above for inspiration and sprinkle in some entries from your colleagues and watch those blog hits sky rocket!

 Do you have any other recommendations for generating compelling blog content? Let us know!

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

Saturday, April 21, 2012

How I was Able to Take on My Own Client as an Intern

This semester I am interning at Diccicco Battista Communications. This having been my first internship ever, I wasn’t expecting to be able to get heavily involved from the get-go. I was very wrong. It seemed as though this internship was unlike the usual file papers, coffee runner types you hear of. About two weeks into my time at DBC, we lost an account manager. Everyone was forced to pick up the extra client responsibilities, as they were divvying them up, an opportunity came up for me to take on a client. Never had I thought I would be able to have my own client as an intern.


So this brings me to my point, if you put yourself out there, you may be surprised at how far you can go. 


Do everything you can. Companies hire you for help. They also cycle through interns on a regular basis so they have gotten underachievers, overachievers, and everything in-between. Toget the full experience of an internship you not only have to overachieve on the assignments they give you, but also surprise them with things they never thought you would, or could, do. This includes little things such as finding a better way to organize all the media clips or creating media lists that can be universal to many clients.

Not only know everybody, but know what everybody is working on. If you know what someone is working on even before they ask, you might know something to point them in the right direction. Volunteer yourself as a resource, if you have an area of expertise that can benefit one of your coworkers, lend a hand. This helps everyone see you are welcome to help everyone, even outside your immediate department. When news of the Facebook timeline came out, I made sure I emailed the head of the media department to forward him an article I found. Although he already knew, it showed that I didn’t just care about my work, or even my department, but the company as a whole.

Take every opportunity you can. My agency does a lot of events, and although I was never required to attend, I went to every one. Seeing my face there showed that I didn’t treat this as an internship, it was a job. When you do things you don’t necessarily have to do, you show even more initiative to gain responsibility. I also attended all the events that the agency had for “bonding” to show I wanted to be a part of the organization.

I have now begun to execute a full media plan for the Art Director’s Club of Philadelphia with my name on it. For once, I can walk out of an internship truly showing that I created something, that I wasn’t just a shadow behind another account manager. That has got to be one of the best feelings I have ever had, and now know how to really flourish in this industry. Your internship does not expect you to be perfect, but when you do everything in your power to be, plus some, you never know what the reward could be. The purpose of your internship is to help you, but you never know how much you can help them, even beyond normal intern work.


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

Friday, April 20, 2012

Don't Worry - Be Happy!


Happy National Stress Awareness Month! If you're anything like me... you're probably living off of coffee, four hours of sleep, and the last remnants of sanity. Don't worry though - the end is in sight! For many of us, classes are coming to an end, graduation is near, and it looks like there might actually be some light at the end of the tunnel.

In order to celebrate this special month-long "holiday," here are some of my personal favorite tips for de-stressing. Feel free to comment with your own!

1. Laugh often. Your mom was right - it is life's best medicine.

2. Take a walk. It's important to get up, get moving, and soak up some sun!

3. Read a book. One that ISN'T on a syllabus. Get away from theories & read something you enjoy.

4. Write. Whether it's a blog or a personal journal - get out your thoughts & frustrations.

5. Organize yourself. Make lists, take notes, set reminders to keep yourself on track.

6. Make a playlist. Jam out to your favorite songs. Sing loud & dance hard.

7. Tell yourself you can do anything. Give yourself daily affirmations. Like this girl.

8. Celebrate the little things. Got a good grade? Give yourself a high five.

9. Spend time with loved ones. They are your biggest support system.

10. Always remember, "this too shall pass." Don't sweat the small stuff - life always has a funny way of working itself out!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Senate Vote Spurs Communications Storm

Last Monday, April 16, Republicans in the United States Senate blocked a Democratic effort to open the floor for debate on President Obama’s Buffet Rule causing both parties to ramp up strategic communications efforts.

The measure to block the Republican cloture failed 51-to-45, with the Democrats needing at least 60 votes to introduce open debate on the measure. One Republican and one Democrat crossed party lines and four Senators did not vote.

The bill would have opened the debate, and likely passage, of the so-called Buffet Rule, which raises the tax rate on the superrich to at least 30 percent. The bill, made famous by billionaire investor Warren Buffet, was proposed by President Obama last September.

President Obama and the Democrats are trying to use this bill, along with others, to control the message of the economic debate, usually a Republican stronghold. With effective media relations and constituent relations, Democratic politicians can use the Buffet Rule to gain the support of the lower and middle classes of America. Democratic organizations have already began attacking vulnerable Senate Republicans and Mitt Romney over the tax rate.

Republicans are also attempting to control the message by pushing their platform that raising tax rates on the superrich would cut jobs in a volatile economic environment. However, more targeted messaging needs to be used in Massachusetts and Nevada, where Republican Senators are most in danger. Mitt Romney, the foregone Republican presidential nominee, also needs to communicate reasons why he is against Buffet Rule in order to win votes in November.

Finally, the public relations implications for the voters may be the most important. They will either positively or negatively associate the Buffet Rule with Democrats since it is the voters’ friends and family who will be affected by the tax.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Your PR Pick-Me-Up

The end of the semester is quickly approaching and with that your flame for learning starts to dim. Fear not! Ragan.com’s PR Daily just debuted 20 PR quotes to re-kindle your burning passion for the industry.   
Henry Kssinger

Media interview quotes
1. “Does anyone have any questions for my answers?” —Henry Kissinger

2. “It is always a risk to speak to the press: They are likely to report what you say.” —Hubert H. Humphrey

3. “The most guileful amongst the reporters are those who appear friendly and smile and seem to be supportive. They are the ones who will seek to gut you on every occasion.” —Ed Koch, former mayor of New York

4. “The questions don’t do the damage. Only the answers do.” —Sam Donaldson

5. “No word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause. —Mark Twain

6. “An orator or author is never successful till he has learned to make his words smaller than his ideas.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

7. “This business of saying the same thing over and over and over again—which to a lot of Washington insiders and pundits is boring—works.” —Michael Deaver, deputy chief of staff to President Reagan

Message development quotes
8. “I am sorry for such a long letter. I didn’t have time to write a short one.” —Mark Twain (also attributed to others)

9. “Short words are the best, and old words, when short, are the best of all.” —Winston Churchill

Crisis communications quotes
10. “By the time you hear the thunder, it’s too late to build the ark.” —Unknown

11. “It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only a few seconds to destroy one.” —Unknown

12. “If it’s going to come out eventually, better have it come out immediately.” —Henry Kissinger

13. “Always acknowledge a fault frankly. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you opportunity to commit more.” —Mark Twain

14. “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” —Theodore Roosevelt

Public speaking
15. “A mediocre speech supported by all the power of delivery will be more impressive than the best speech unaccompanied by such power.” —Quintilian, Roman rhetorician

16. “Three things matter in a speech: who says it, how he says it, and what he says —and of the three, the last matters least.” —John Morley, British politician

17. “It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” —Mark Twain

18. “According to most studies, people’s No. 1 fear is public speaking. No. 2 is death. Death is No.2! Now, this means to the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” —Jerry Seinfeld

Body language and delivery

19. “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

 20. “It is better to speak from a full heart and an empty head than from a full head and an empty heart.” —Dublin Opinion magazine (h/t Dianna Daniels Booher)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tips to Tackle your Job Hunt

From experience, I know that looking for a job after graduation can seem like a full-time job in itself. Balancing classes, work, interning and everything else the tips I have outlined below really come in handy:
  • Be realistic. You know yourself and your skill set, keep them in mind when applying for jobs so that you can identify something you can actually offer the company.
  • Know what you want. While it isn't uncommon that your first job will be one that you don't want, narrow down your choices by looking for companies you like with positions you are actually qualified for, and apply.
  • Find a mentor. Especially if you are a recent graduate, a professor, advisor or someone close to you that can help you look over your writing samples, resume, cover letter, etc. can give you piece of mind and motivation to keep moving forward.
  • Approach companies. While most people choose not to do this, looking on a company's website or making a few phone calls to a company you REALLY want to work for, could help set you a apart enough to get an informational interview and remembered if a spot opens up.



What tips have helped you in the job search? To read more tips click here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On

Many clients have or are jumping onto the social media bandwagon. Social media's great, it allows you to reach large quantities of people with minimal effort, can be used to measure the success of your message and the best part about is it's free! Well, almost. There are always going to be people who disagree with your message, whether it be a simple sentence advertising a new vacuum, or an opinion on who should win the next presidential election. Regardless, how will you respond to negative comments on your client's social media accounts?

  • Create a response plan: Be prepared going into launching a social media campaign that you will have a situation that requires a response plan. Put together a document with several situations that you might find your client in, and create appropriate response measures. This way, everyone will know how to respond to negative comments in a way that is conducive to your client. 
  • Engage with the source: If someone is unhappy with a service or product that your client produces, then be sure to address the issue. On behalf of your client, offer an apology and, if appropriate, a consolation prize. Delta Airlines specifically has a Twitter account (@DeltaAssist) to deal with any unhappy customers. 
  • Don't stick your head in the sand: Never ignore anyone; take into account what the customer is saying and commit to investigating the problem.
  • Be timely: Social media is a rapid-fire world, news travels fast. Do not wait until the next day to think up an appropriate response. People will read into your silence and figure that you're trying to find a way to spin the situation your way (Netflix!). If an immediate answer is not possible, ensure your audience that you are looking into the situation and will update them with any further developments.
Have you ever been in the line of fire of a social media attack? How did you respond?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

How I Found My PR Way: Tree House Books


When I registered for my US Society Gen-Ed class, Education in the Global City, my last expectation of the class was to find the field of PR that I wanted to work in. As a requirement of our class, we needed 1 hour per week of fieldwork in an urban education setting and I decided to start tutoring at Tree House Books.

A non-profit, fully functional bookstore and tutoring center just a block off of Temple’s campus, Tree House Books opened my eyes to what I could be doing with my current studies and I quickly began thinking about everything in a public relations perspective! I was on a mission for Tree House to get the attention that it deserved and the money it needed.

As the secretary of Young Friends of Tree House Books, a student organization dedicated to keeping Tree House open, I quickly outlined the important PR tips that we needed, to make the correct contacts and get necessary donations.

Personalization- A donation request letter is not a cut and dry template used universally, rather, it is a personal letter to an organization so you can show why you truly need this donation and set yourself apart from others that may also need a donation. Address your letter “Dear friends at…” and make sure to include how their company’s donation will help not only you, but also how it will benefit the company. By working with local company’s and organizations, we are not only promoting Tree House but we are also promoting the company that made a donation, it is a mutually beneficial relationship that cannot start with a “to whom it may concern”.

Follow up, do not lose that relationship! People are busy, we all know this, so do not fret when a company does not get back to you, but follow up to make sure they have not forgotten. Be persistent, not annoying and make sure to re-iterate the importance of the donation as well as how the company will benefit, not just your non-profit. Also, if you do receive a donation, keep the company posted on how you are using it, whether it is money, gift cards, etc., by sending a hand written thank you card and if possible, include a photo that can show their donation in use. In the case of Tree House Books, many local companies made donations for a raffle basket, so in our thank you cards, we will include a photo of the basket as well as posting it via social media and linking it to the company’s sites. An extension of this is each year, we send out our annual report to all of our donors, to show them our year summed up in order to keep our relationship and our donors informed.

Social Media- Social media in non-profit public relations is pivotal, because not only is it a way to get information out to many publics, it is simple and FREE! Keeping up with social media sites are a great way to reach out to potential donors as well as keeping them updated and interested in everything going on. Reaching out is different then harassing companies on social media, so make sure you are including them in a conversational way and not just pushing your posts and events! Remember, they are helping you!

Have you ever worked with a non-profit? Any other tips that have worked? Let us know!

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

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Philadelphia Flyers Offer A Golden Opportunity

It is no surprise that many college students, and even experienced professionals, are eager to break into sports PR. It is an honor to be involved with something that is cherished in the Philadelphia community. Interning with the Philadelphia Flyers this semester has given me a unique experience and many opportunities, and has also made me realize no team is safe against the relentless offensive and defensive lines of the Flyers.

The Philadelphia Flyers are one of six teams added to the National Hockey League during the season of 1976. The two-time Stanley Cup winners are considered the Broad Street Bullies to Philadelphia sports fanatics.

Although the Flyers are brutal and merciless on the ice, they show their sweet side by giving back to the Philadelphia community. The professional sports franchise gives back annually at their Flyers Wives Carnival. The carnival raises more than $23 million for charities in the Philadelphia area and considered one of the most successful by a professional sports team. Interning at this event was a rewarding experience. I learned a lot, had a good time and was a part of giving back to the Philadelphia community all at once.

The Wells Fargo Center is the place where it all goes down. The history of the arena dates back to 1967 when it was called the Spectrum. Since then, the arena has hosted thousands of events from Elvis’ last live performance, NHL and NBA championships, to the World Cup of Hockey and more. It is an amazing opportunity to work in a huge venue with such an incredible history of sportsmanship, teamwork and live performances. There are also other perks that come with working for the Flyers.

Interns are required to attend all home games, ensuring a high energy level workday. Another benefit is having the opportunity to network with other professionals in the industry, members of the media, as well as the players. My supervisor and I work closely with the players by conducting, monitoring and transcribing post-game interviews.

However, being a public relations professional for the Flyers is not an easy feat. Since they work so closely with the team, traveling is a must. It is a job that requires an enormous amount of devoted time and energy.

PR professionals in the world of sports monitor and facilitate the flow of information from the teams to the press. As a result, interning with the Flyers has provided me with an invaluable skill, media relations. Since the growth of modern public relations is a result of the development of mass media, it is important to keep your media relation skills in great shape.

Sports PR involves working closely with journalists, providing them with timely stat reports and accurate transcription of post-game interviews. As public relations professional, creating and maintaining these relationships is key. If working in sports PR is something you are passionate about, send your resume and cover letter now! Visit www.teamworkonline.com for new sport and live event internship and job opportunities.

Do you have what it takes to be successful in the energetic and laborious world of sports PR? Share your tips and advice with us!

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

Friday, April 13, 2012

Coca Cola Shares Happiness Through Hugs

Coca Cola has always been known for its innovative marketing strategies, so its no surprise when buzz started generating about the new vending machine stunt in Singapore. Located on the campus of National University of Singapore, the machine reads "Hug Me" and spews out free cans of Coke for anyone willing to give it a squeeze. The stunt is a part of the "One Happiness" campaign in addition to Coca Cola's recent strategy to personalize cans and bottles with the first names of potential customers.

"The Coca Cola Hug Machine is a simple idea to spread some happiness. Our strategy is to deliver doses of happiness in an unexpected, innovative way to engage not only the people present, but the audience at large," said a representative from the company’s "Open Happiness" campaign, Leonardo O’Grady.

I believe Coca Cola's new strategy is a winner. It's unique, it's consistent with the branding of the company and most of all - it's fun. It was also incredibly smart to place the machine on a university campus. Students are constantly making social gestures through their social networks such as Facebook and Twitter via status updates and uploaded pictures. This campaign is simply an extension of those social gestures that are increasingly important to younger generations. Coca Cola has been a company that strives to evoke warm, nostalgic feelings from its products and campaigns, whether its the adorable polar bears or the old-fashioned Christmas commercials. What better way to get that warm fuzzy feeling than from a hug?

Watch the video here:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

PRowl's HIRING!

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.

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 using the Google doc link below:
MUST BE SIGNED IN UNDER A GMAIL ACCOUNT TO EDIT

Comments, questions or concerns, please email Samantha Wanner at Samantha.Wanner@temple.edu

Interviews will be scheduled starting Monday, April 30 and be conducted through Friday, May 4. 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, April 10, 2012

Facebook's Pocket Change


Just yesterday, Facebook announced that they purchased the young start-up, Instagram for the price of $1 billion in cash and shares.

With the growth of mobile use for social media sites like Facebook, it is not surprising that they are taking advantage of their wealth to enhance their photo-uploading features with a program like Instagram. Based in San Francisco, Instagram has been growing rapidly as a photo-sharing application for iPhones, with over 30 million users. Now that they have adapted to Google's Android just last week, they got more than a million users in just over 12 hours of it being available.

Apparently the purchase does not mean that Instagram is going away, they are simply going to be incorporating it into Facebook's huge following of users to expand their network, according to CEO Kevin Systrom.

Facebook CEO and Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, said in a press release for the announcement, "For years, we've focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we'll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests."

Hm. Based on our interests? This seems like another way for Facebook to directly advertise to user accounts by recording what photos they upload.

What do you think about Facebook's new purchase? Do you use Instagram?

Read the full press release here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Temple PRSSA's Multi-School Mixer is a Hit!

After a night filled with new friends and good conversation at Field House, Temple University PRSSA members can agree that the Multi School Mixer was a hit. With PRSSA attendees from Rutgers, Rowan, and Drexel to name a few, members were able to network amongst each other in hopes of gaining tips, ideas, internship leads, or new contacts. The contemporary and peaceful atmosphere allowed for a fun night filled with games, finger foods, and drinks.

An exciting game of PR Quizzo made it more enjoyable to network with one another, easing the stress of meeting new people. "We were all extremely competitive, and everyone got into it," said Temple University PRSSA member Darwin Paz. "And I loved the hummus dip!" he added enthusiastically.

While PRSSA members are beginning to develop themselves professionally, networking is imperative. Although many did not realize networking with fellow students is also important, Temple University's PRSSA Multi-School Mixer proved valuable. "I gained multiple contacts that I may need in the future! I look forward to getting to know them and regularly touching base or meeting together at other social events," Darwin said. Members exchanged valuable information regarding past internships, or possible future ones. The night provided experience that you cannot gain in a classroom. "I would attend another Multi-School Mixer in a heartbeat," Darwin said. "It was super fun, and a great experience," he added. Hopefully, Temple University's PRSSA members will make the Multi-School Mixer an annual event, but until then keep networking!

This guest blog was written by PRSSA PR committee member Alyssa Fate.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

I love a good headline. Whenever I sit down on Sunday nights to write my weekly blog posts, the first thing I do is try to think about a witty or catchy headline. However, in my News Writing & Media Relations class, I'm starting to find myself struggling over what kind of title to go with. Unfortunately, press releases aren't the same as blogs. You have to be strategic with what kind of tone or purpose to have in mind when writing a headline. Below are a few different types of headlines to consider when writing:
  • Direct: These are the headlines you'll usually see on the Classifieds page, like "Car for Sale". This may seem kind of abrupt, but some people do like things short, sweet, and to the point.
  • News: This type of headline is most commonly used with media writing. "President Obama to unveil new healthcare reform" is a good example, it tells you what happened, no questions asked, while conveying an air of authority to tell the reader "read me, I know what's going on."
  • How-to: You probably find yourself beginning most of your Google searches with "how to..." Creating a post beginning with how to will undoubtedly garner more views, and let people know that you're here to help.
  • Question: People are inherently curious...and anxious. Having a headline posing a question like "Are you feeding your kids the right foods?" will stir the curiosity in people, and encourage them to read more to make sure they're doing the right things.
  • Testimonial: "Why I Chose to Go Vegetarian" people will more likely look for a second opinion when making a decision. If you establish yourself as a reliable resource for a topic, people will come to you in packs because they'll know you're the expert.
  • Teaser: Titling a piece with something like "The Biggest Event of the Year" could encourage readers to find out more. But take care, if you hype it up too much, people won't appreciate being let down.
Do you find yourself creating these headlines? Have they made a difference in your views? Let us know!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Betting On PR

I recently came across an article on Inc.com titled “Why I’m Betting on PR” The article was written by Caroline Limpert, who recently started her own company. What caught my eye is that her start-up does not have a massive marketing budget like most start-ups tend to; instead, she is placing the entire budget into PR.

The reasons she is “betting on PR” are very powerful. As PR students and young professionals, we know that PR is sometimes misunderstood. Below are a few key ideas that we can take away from her list to help us justify what we are doing in our organizations and give ourselves some leverage over marketing and advertising professionals.

Editorial Coverage Builds Brand - In an age of advertising clutter, consumers look toward media coverage to form opinions of what’s in. Although Limpert’s start-up may not have the budget to place ads in TechCrunch, Vogue, and Details, she does have editorial coverage in those publications- which is more valuable in today’s age.

PR Creates Awareness - Most companies ideally would want to have their publics learn about their brand through positive word-of-mouth marketing. PR creates brand awareness in a credible way similar to how word-of-mouth marketing builds awareness. However, PR can build that awareness much faster.

PR Isn’t Just Press - PR does not just include press relations anymore. The new opportunities available to us, such as social media, are very low-cost to implement in comparison to marketing and advertising opportunities.

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

Saturday, April 7, 2012

New Standards to Revitalize the Future of Internships

With the recent scandal of an intern suing their employer for working the hours of a full-time employee without any pay, many internship companies are developing better internship programs to ensure that all students receive the most out of their learning experience. Here are some changes you should expect to develop in many internship programs over the next year.

Time to Get Paid: Because interns are now responsible for more work than years past, many companies are offering small stipends for interns to supplement their hard work and dedication. While not all companies will offer hourly wages, some will include daily stipends or monthly stipends to their interns.

Mentor Me: Internship mentors are essential to getting the most out of the internship. Companies want to make sure you are able to grow during your internship period and some are offering mentorship programs where students have the chance to interact with professionals on different levels within the business. This is a great way for interns to network and ask any questions they have about the industry.

No More Resume: Some companies in the market for such creative interns that they are requiring video submissions instead of resumes for the application process. Not only does this application process take time and creativity, it gives students a chance to show their personality and assets they would bring to the business.

Work from Home: More and more internships are becoming virtual. This type of internship can seem tricky, but is a great way to add onto a resume while balancing a busy schedule. Virtual internships are challenging because your only interaction with the management is via e-mail or telephone, but it is a great way to get experience while monitoring yourself instead of the employer.

Some of these changes may seem scary, but many businesses internship programs are developing because of them. Remember, as an intern it is important to be open minded and ready for any sudden change. In the end, these internship programs will benefit students and prepare them for the work industry.

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

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Holidays from PRowl Public Relations!

From all of us at PRowl Public Relations, have a Happy Easter & Passover Weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How Does Your Writing Stack Up?

As an account executive of PRowl Public Relations, Temple University’s only student-run public relations firm, the most common question I get is, “how do I improve my writing?” Now, I don’t claim to be an expert writer, but I have been writing in a journalistic and public relations styles for over five years so I’ve encountered a lot of good and bad writing. Here are a few of the best tips I can offer to beginners looking to improve their writing:
  • Think about your audience. This is arguable the most important piece of advice I can give you. Who are you writing to? What are their attitudes, values, beliefs, lifestyles and cultural backgrounds? Your audience will affect the tone of voice and the words you use in your copy.
  • Aim for the goal. Just like in soccer. Are you a journalist telling a story or are you a public relations professional communicating a message? Are you relating your writing back to the business goals of your company? Your goal is crucial to the finished product, don’t neglect it!
  • Follow the inverted pyramid. Remember what the inverted pyramid is? Think back to your first PR or journalism class. Inverted pyramid style is putting the most important, newsworthy information first to draw your reader into your writing.
  • Learn AP Style. This is essential for both public relations and journalistic writing. You need to know the proper way to write. If you don’t, your editors and audience won’t take you seriously.
  • Good writing is re-writing. Your first draft should never be your last. Always review and rewrite your copy several times. Your finished product should be perfect in your eyes before you let it leave your hands.

Do you have any other essential tips for budding writers? Let us know in thecomment section.

Temple University’s PRSSA Hosts Multi-School Mixer: Student Networking, Student Success!

Student networking is your future’s key to success! In this day and age, it is to your greatest advantage to network with people in the same field of interest, and where better to find them then at tonight’s PRSSA’s Multi-School Mixer? Located at The Field House from 7-9 p.m., come prepared to network with PRSSA members from Drexel, Monmouth, Rutgers, and Rowan chapters! Below are some pointers to keep in mind when you are networking tonight:

Be an open book. You will be bouncing ideas and information back and forth with the person you are networking with. Take advantage of this, use the other person as a test, is your idea or goal feasible? How can you achieve it? You never know, maybe that person will be able to connect you to someone who can make something happen!

Everyone’s in the same boat. Keep in mind that we’re all going to be students at this mixer. In most cases, everyone attending tonight will be there for the same reasons as you are! Remember: these are your peers! They’re all young, current, and up-to-date with the latest developments in the field of PR.

-Gain referrals for possible job opportunities. Getting to know people in your field gives you even more ways of finding work and internship opportunities! Keeping a list of potential contacts may come in handy when you need a referral or connection to a certain aspect of PR. For instance, say you meet someone at this mixer who is holding an internship or job position that you want in your future. You may find that these people hold opportunities for you to get that position, which no social network or college class could ever find for you!

When initiating conversation in networking, it is important to begin on a human level of communication! Speak naturally and invitingly, and remember that meeting people now will allow open doors for you later in whichever realm of PR you dive into. We hope to see you tonight!

This guest blog was written by Temple University PRSSA member Chelsea Amirante.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Barbie Goes Bald

Mattel Company is producing a bald Barbie as a result from a Facebook page that launched in December of last year by Rebecca Sypin and Jane Bingham, two friends affected by cancer.

Mattel company spokesman Alan Hilowitz told HealthPop that the company will produce a friend of Barbie that will have wigs, hats, scarves, and other accessories to give children "a traditional fashion play experience." The Barbie will have the option to remove the wigs and head coverings.



The company stated that they will not be selling the dolls at stores, but instead will donate them to children's hospitals, as well as the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.

Supporters of the Facebook page are pushing to get the doll sold in stores.
The manufacturing of this product means Mattel listens to their public. As a result of Sypin and Bingham’s efforts of promotion, receiving more than 156 thousands likes on Facebook, the women were in the intimate process of developing the Barbie which included what she was to like look and what accessories were going to be available to the doll.
In Public Relations, it’s important for your consumers, contributors, or supporters to know that their opinion can directly impact the organization. Mattel not only fulfilled the wishes of a popular group by manufacturing the Barbie, but also is donating the funds to worthy organizations. It will be interesting to see if in the upcoming months if consumers will see the bald Barbie in stores.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Are Social Media Sites too Feminine?

With the growth of social media use and social networking over the past decade, it is easy to examine today which sites, if any, are geared towards a specific sex. A recent article from ABC News questioned social media sites and if they are too feminine for male users.

Surprisingly enough, while Facebook has an overwhelming following of 850 million men, they are more likely to "like" something and add friends, but not comment and interact with their "friends." Women make up 58% of Facebook's users and are doing most of the updating and commenting on their pages.

After I did my blog post about Pinterest and their lack of appeal for men, it was interesting to see the site Gentlemint, that is very much set up like Pinterest, but carries the tagline, "a mint of manly things." The site logo features a man with a mustache, on top of the page where men can like or comment on items from food, sports, technology and alcohol.

Another male-friendly site that is generating a hefty income for the founder and his wife is The Art of Manliness blog. The tabs on the site are a Man's Life, Dress & Grooming, Health & Sports, Manly Skills, Money & Career and Relationships & Family. They must be doing something right, with 8 million page views per month.



What do you think about the future of social media and gender-specific sites?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Temple PRSSA To Host Multi-School Mixer!


Eager to meet peers who share similar interests to you? Ready to branch out and network with other college students in the PR field? Join Temple PRSSA in hosting its first Multi-School Mixer event! From 7-9 p.m. on April 5 at The Field House, PRSSA chapters from Rowan, Drexel, Rutgers, and Monmouth will be joining Temple for a fun and interactive networking event!

The mixer will sure to be a great opportunity for students to interact with colleagues and bridge connections that may prove to continue past college years! Feel free to bounce experiences off of each other and share ideas for entering the PR industry post-college. The best thing about the mixer is that those in attendance will be in the same boat and may be able to advise you on balancing school and work, classes to take, or companies to intern at.

Be sure to join us on April 5 where Temple PRSSA will be providing free food, a complimentary drink ticket, and an entertaining game of PR Quizzo! We hope to see you there!

This guest blog was written by PRSSA PR committee member Colleen Riker.

Pink Slime Makes People See Red


A couple weeks ago, a viral social media campaign was launched featuring an ammonia-treated meat additive in the form of pink slime. Used
as a filler for meats used in fast-food restaurants, grocery stores, and even school lunches, the use of pink slime allows meat to be produced cheaper than those without the additive. However, many customers are upset that the FDA would allow this to go on for so long, without making it known to people.

Soon after news of the slime broke, a Change.org petition was created and has garnered over 250,000 signatures to stop its use in public schools. Many large grocery stores such as Wal-Mart and Kroger have since stopped selling meat products without the additive. Kroger even released a statement, saying:

“We have listened to your concerns that the use of lean finely textured beef—while fully approved by the USDA for safety and quality—is something you do not want in ground beef. You are our top priority and for that reason we have decided to stop purchasing ground beef that contains lean finely textured beef.”


Since the social media rampage, the Beef Products, Inc., makers of 'pink slime' have since fired back. They created beefisbeef.com, in which they fire back at naysayers of pink slime. Beef Products post various news articles debunking the myth that pink slime is not healthy. They also created a graphic, shown below, that weighs the nutritional value of pink slime. “We produce 100 percent quality lean beef. That’s it. That whole thing is a farce. There’s no substance to it,” said Beef Products’ Craig Letch to the Chicago Tribune.

As opposed to other companies shying away from confronting critics, Beef Products has done no such thing. Although the Beef Products brand will be significantly tarnished, they did the right thing by pulling out stats, representatives, and credible resources to back their side of their story.

How do you think Beef Products handled its critics? Would you still buy meat products with the ammonia-treated filler in it? Let us know!