Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Summer Class Conundrum!

For many undergraduate students the question of whether or not to take summer classes arises every May. Taking summer classes allows you to graduate early, get back on track if you transferred or switched your major, double major, get a hard class out of the way and it even enables you to take less credits during the academic year so you can hold internships and jobs during the regular school year.  On the other hand, summer classes can be a little pricier per credit. In the long run though, the cost outweighs having to stay an extra semester or year.
 Some universities and colleges offer summer classes that are as short as six or even two weeks which allow you to still enjoy your summer but accomplish your academic goals. There are opportunities to take daytime, evening, and even online classes so that you can still work and intern. I am currently taking four summer classes. I am a double major and it is helping me stay on track to graduate on time. In order to be able to work and intern, I opted for a short two week intensive course, an online course and two night courses.
 Having taking summer classes before, I also feel as though I am conditioning myself to stay in an academic mindset. When regular classes resume in the fall I no longer have to prepare myself for the “traditional” classroom structure. Finally, the class size is optimal to learning. Traditionally, summer classes are small in professor to student ratio. From my experience, all of my classes have been no larger than 15 students. Summer classes are also great in the regard that you can have more personalized attention if you are a struggling in a particular subject.
In all, I believe the pros of taking summer classes far outweigh the cons. Consider the financial responsibility in the long run and visit your financial aid office early to become knowledgeable of your options such as scholarships, grants, and loans. Finally, evaluate how taking summer courses can improve your GPA, help you reach your academic goals, and success in the long run.
Have you ever taken or are considering taking a summer course? If so, how have or how will they affect you academically?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Are You A Good Listener?

A great PR professional is also a good listener.  PR professionals need to listen to their clients, bosses and co-workers to achieve total success.
Active listening is a lost art form, taking notes and repeating what is being told to you has always been the forerunner of great communication.
As 21st century listeners, our attention span and ability for retention has drastically lessened with Twitter and other sources that exemplify brevity.
Take this new self-diagnostic 10 question quiz from to see if you’re a good listener.

1. Do you typically talk more than others during a meeting? Thinking back, can you quantify your typical share of a dialogue? Is it 15 percent? 30 percent? 50 percent?

2. When you prepare for a networking event, do you focus by researching your target’s goals? Or on developing your own messages?

3. Think about the last external meeting you led. Did you “drown out” the junior people you are supposed to be positioning for success? Or did you “spend” your words to help them become more successful in front of others?

4. When presenting a speech, do you obsess over every word? Or do you try to develop a flexible, “back and forth” format for audience participation?

5. Have you ever been invited to act as a facilitator to help opposing internal or external parties? Or does that opportunity naturally default to others in your company?

6. Consider your last big meeting. Can you quickly recall the biggest unsaid concerns in the room? Were you able to read between the lines to identify what mattered to the group?

7. When giving feedback to a colleague, do you lead with your thoughts or routinely allow your colleague to share their concerns first?

8. Have you ever been complimented for your ability to capture and illustrate another person’s point of view in “real time?”

9. When you have an important business objective, do you always share that at the beginning of the meeting? Have you ever tried leading up to the objective with a series of shrewd questions instead? Trust your audience to guide the discussion.

10. Have you ever forced yourself to stay silent, recognizing that it might actually be your best weapon? 
If you’re working on being a better listener take these rules into consideration at your next meeting. Remember PR is all about building and maintaining relationships so start with your bosses, coworkers and clients by listening.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What Volunteer Journalism Means For PR Pros

The relationship between the PR professional and the professional journalist has always been one with a give-and-take balance. Public relations professionals pitch stories to journalist who turn those pitches into successful news articles. One professional could not turn a profit without help from the other. But today, when many journalist work for free on blogs or websites such as The Huffington Post, the game has changed a little. Journalist and bloggers have a lot less to lose when they work for free, so the PR pro should consider this when pitching to them, and adjust the pitch accordingly. Here are some tips for pitching to volunteer journalist:

Is the blogger/journalist worth pitching? - Not all bloggers or volunteer journalist are the kinds of writers you want to trust with a story for your client. Does their blog get a considerable amount of views? Is the website they contribute to one you would want your client to appear on? If not, you may want to consider bypassing pitching to that particular writer.

Contact Method - Because you aren't pitching to a traditional blogger, the way you send your pitch may change. It isn't uncommon for a lot of bloggers and volunteer journalist to be reachable through contact forms on their websites or through social media networking sites. Be prepared to travel through unfamiliar contact channels to get your story out there.

Know what they are in it for - Reality TV, Hollywood glamour, and seeking a claim to fame is often the motivation behind many bloggers. For this reason, some of them don't want to put out your newsworthy story. They would much rather blog to promote themselves and boost their own self made celebrity spotlight. Make sure you separate these bloggers from more authentic ones.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Downsizing Your Boilerplate

Let's cut to the chase, PR pros love to ham it up in the boilerplate area. It's the place where we can push in all of the not-so-newsworthy info about our client. But by doing so, are we doing more harm than good? Below are 3 reasons your boilerplate should be shorter.

  1. It costs less: I didn't actually think about this, but some press release distribution websites like Business Wire charge an additional fee for releases over 400 words. If you're in a crunch to get under the word limit, nix the fluff and just make sure you have all the facts and specifics in the release to give you the best chance of gaining coverage for your client. 
  2. It's what journalists want: Remember that it's one of our goals to give journalists no reason to have to go back and change anything in our story. Journalists see numerous press releases every day, so it's understandable that they won't want to read long releases. Cutting down on your boilerplate will do the trick, without having to downsize on the rest of the body of your release.
  3. It looks too corporate: It's a finicky world out there, if your press release looks unprofessional and messy, then no one will pick up your story. But if your release is too straight-laced and corporate-looking, then people won't believe that your story isn't just a needle in a haystack. Cut to the chase with the basics of your client to ensure the overall meaning of your press release. 
Do you know of any other benefits to shortening your boilerplate? Let us know!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Section That Can Make Your Resume Thrive

Internships are becoming a standard requirement for undergraduate students trying to beef up their resumes. As someone who is currently in her second internship, I know that internships provide you with precious experiences. The knowledge gained in an internship is far greater than what you will ever learn in a classroom. I am lucky to say that my current internship at The Sak Brand in New York City started this past Monday, and I already have learned more about fashion public relations than any classroom can teach me. Since getting an internship is the norm for resumes, how is a student to be set apart from the crowd? One section of a resume that is becoming essentially important is “skills”. So how can someone work on such a pesky section?

Decide which skills to master
Researching which skills are important in your industry can give you a leg up. By researching, you can hone in on an exact skill. Do this by visiting job websites such as and see what sort of skills employers are looking for. If you are working with a professional this summer, ask which skills are helpful for a person in his or her field. As always, ask professors and fellow students their opinion on what skills are essential. 

Become bilingual 
As public relations professionals, you are bound to run into every type of race or nationality. Not everyone speaks English and there is a constant need for a bilingual person. Spanish is a good place to begin; many Americans are becoming fluent in the language because of the diversity in our country. Not only does speaking another language make you an invaluable employee, it also makes you look good to prospective clients. Spend the money on Rosetta Stone, study online, or download free podcasts from the iTunes store to listen to in your down time. 

This summer is the perfect time to join a grassroots campaign to show your activism as an American citizen. The November election is coming up, and there is a constant need for volunteers with both Democrat and Republicans. Some ideas of where to volunteer are hospitals, animal shelters, libraries, nursing homes, or summer schools. Keep in mind that volunteering not only helps you learn new skills, it also encourages you to network.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Katherine Carpenter 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

We Have All Become #1 Fans of Social Media

Social media has become more than just our constant connection to the outside world. Lately, there has been a massive trend among sports fans to use these outlets as a way to show support for their beloved team. Years ago, people would wear jerseys, hang flags, or attend games to show their passion for a specific team. But now, it has become so much more.

Facebook and Twitter are just two of the outlets people utilize to interact with those who share a common interest. Social Media sites allow fans to keep up with a game without TV or radio. In a recent poll, 83% of sports fans check social media sites while watching the game on TV. The websites provide instant access to the statistics of not only the game but all the players as well. 63% of fans will browse sports social media sites while they are attending an actual game. The “die hard” sports fans are the ones who need the instant updates social media provides. Fans no longer need to wait for years highlights books to come out, because every ounce of information they could possible need is right at their finger tips. 

Sports fans aren’t the only ones jumping on the bandwagon. Now college students have sparked an interest in merging sports with social media. Hash tagging is used to create a trend and hopefully gain more followers. NFL player Tim Tebow was at the center of a hash tagging frenzy. People all over twitter would show their support for Tebow by either hash tagging his name or his most famous act “tebowing”. Colleges also jumped ship and began hash tagging their mascots, players and even their drum line. 

This social media frenzy has connected everyone from all over. People who may have never met are developing a bond through shared interests. Sports continue to be one of the top interests people discuss on Twitter and Facebook. Social media has done a great deal than provide us with the latest and greatest news.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Alison Curran

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dunkin' Runs On #Twitter?

For the first time, Dunkin’ Donuts is using Twitter as the initial vehicle for a product launch.

Earlier this week, Dunkin’ ran a“Mocha MaDDness Twitter Sweepstakes” to pre-promote its new Mocha K-Cup packs, which will be available for purchase for a limited time starting in June, at Dunkin’ restaurant locations.

The sweeps is Dunkin’s way of rewarding loyal fans by alerting them to the new product in advance of its availability in Dunkin’ locations, as well as giving them a chance to win free samples. As of early May 25, Dunkin’ had about 145,936 Twitter followers.

The power of Twitter is not new to the national donut shop. Popular campaigns likes the Iced Tea TuesDDays Sweepstakes as well as the #DDSMARTY Contest have been very successful.

After a national product launch like this one, do you think Twitter will become the new vehicle for all types of launches? Let us know!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Public Relations, an Adventure Abroad.

Wagwan, fellow aspiring public relations professionals! Last week at this time I was teaching children at White Horses Primary School, an Elementary School in St. Thomas, Jamaica, about sustainability. Every year, my universtiy sponsors service immersion trips to locations which include Jamaica. So last week, I found myself in Jamacia with 12 other students completing service projects and fending off wild life. I couldn't use my phone and I had no access to the internet. As both a public relations student and college student, I found it hard at first to detach from my work and my online social world. However, by the end of the trip, I learned invaluable lessons about public relations which I couldn't have learned in the classroom or even in my student and professional organizations.

As aspiring public relations professionals it's our job to be informed. Traveling to Jamaica opened my eyes to different cultures and issues that impact those around the world. This is important because the context which we live impacts the way we communicate. I have also learned how culturally, social media is used differently. For example, unlike in the United Staes, social media sites aren't visited every hour on the hour. So, culturally a strategic public realtions plan involving social media for a company or organization in Jamaica would not be successful.

In all, I highly encourage every student, especially public realtions students, to study and to volunteer abroad. The more we understand about the world and how those around us communicate, the better and more strategic communicators we become.

Have you ever studied or volunteered abroad? If so, how has it impacted you professionally?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Top Ten Tips for Success and Happiness" by Dr. Oz

Confession time,  I love Dr. Oz. Best friend and catalyst to Dr. Mehmet Oz’s booming two-time Emmy television career Oprah, Dr. Oz got his start on her show as the in-house physician answering audiences health questions and concerns.

In 1986, Dr. Oz obtained a joint MD and MBA degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and The Warton School.  Dr. Oz recently came back to his old stomping ground to deliver the MBA class of 2012 commencement speech in which he exclaimed, “Graduation is a time to reflect on the meaning of success and what will make you happy.” He then offered his “Top Ten Tips for Success and Happiness.” They are as follows:
10. Every day feel productive and challenged in a way tailor made for your unique desires and strengths
9. Generate an expertise in an area other than the profession in which you earn your living
8. Develop a system for a living your life, meeting challenges and evaluating opportunities.
7. Find a mentor, evaluation their strengths and weaknesses, and cop[y their positive attributes.
6. Whatever you choose, do it fully with passion and child-like enthusiasm
5. No one is a jerk on purpose. Let people surprise you.
4. Recognize relationships need to keep growing and partners should positively influence each other.
3. Never forget that the body is the temple of the soul.
2. Live in the present. Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.
1. Make the driving force in your life love, even more than wisdom. Humans die, not of darkness but of cold.
Whether you are a recent graduate and about to get your first big job or a new freshman embarking on a journey, follow your heart and success will find you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Can Your Brand Benefit From Instagram?

Instagram, the popular photo editing app for iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Android devices is certainly taking the web-world by storm! With a few taps of your finger, you can take pictures from ordinary to extraordinary adding edgy effects to any bland photo. But how can this seemingly simple photo editing app help promote your brand? The possibilties are endless:

  • Hashtag Monitoring: Instagram, like Twitter, gives users the chance to utilize hashtags (or terms that are made searchable online by using the #pound symbol.) Once your brand is on Instagram, you can follow these hashtags and see what consumers think about your brand.
  •  Sharability: Not only would having an account on Instagram offer you another chance to connect with your audience, it would also allow them to share your brand with their friends and followers. Users can repost photos, which spreads them from timeline to timeline increasing your brands viewership. Instagram also offers integration with other social media sites, meaning that users can share images with their Twitter follwers, Facebook friends, and Flickr feeds instantly.
  • Personalized Customer Service: There is nothing a consumer likes more than feeling like his or her voice matters. Instagram offers them a chance to not only express themselves verbally, but visually as well. Communicating with your audience in a more personal, intimate setting can go a long way; and take things far beyond an email or Facebook message. Knowing that a brand has taken the time to repost or "like" a users post makes them feel much more connected to the brand,  thus inticing them to spread the word!
Is your brand utilizing Instagram? Let us know!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Give & Take: Pitching to Bloggers

Pitching to bloggers can sometimes be unknown territory. With so many different categories and niches of bloggers, how can you pitch effectively and gain the support of the blogging community? Below are 6 things bloggers want from PR pros:

The specifics up front: Bloggers read a large volume of content daily, keep your pitch simple. Give the who, what, where, when, how up front and make it easier on them. Also, be clear with your deadline so that he/she can feasibly tell you if its possible to cover your story.

Compensation: These are hard times, and while it would be nice to offer monetary compensation to bloggers for coverage, 9 times out of 10 its not possible. A popular trend among bloggers are giveaways. Offer them a gift basket of your products to give away to their readers. Remind them why they should be promoting your product for free.

Information, not prewritten language: Give plenty of data and stats on your product. What are some FAQs? Pictures? Social media accounts? Do you have any other endorsers or sponsors? Give all of this information so that a blogger can easily, and quickly, cover your product, giving you more of a chance of having your product backed.

Promotion: It's a give and take world. While you want bloggers to promote your product, they also expect you to promote their blog via your social media channels. Tweet a link, share their blog on Facebook, anything that will both promote your product and establish a relationship with said blogger.

Patience with data: It's quality not quantity, try not to get bogged down by numbers. What's more important is the amount and scope of people you reached.

To keep in touch: Try to keep in touch with these bloggers, by establishing a good relationship, you will increase your chances of having your other products promoted by them.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What I've Gained as a Member of PRowl PR

As the semester has just come to a close, and everyone is starting their summer breaks, I have had some time to think about my past semester as a member of the PRowl staff. Being a member of PRowl has been a truly positive experience for me as a freshman in college and has provided me with many beneficial skills and opportunities that I would not have received otherwise.
  • A Leg Up in Classes: Being a freshman public relations major, I had absolutely no experience with any type of public relations writing. As a member of PRowl, I was taught how to write PR documents such as press releases, media advisories, blog posts, and instruction sheets. Having the opportunity to learn how to write these documents outside of the classroom made the transition to academic writing much easier.
  • A Networking Opportunity: As any public relations professional would tell you, one of the more important aspects of public relations is networking. As a staff member of PRowl, I was exposed to a whole networking community. Being a staff member allowed me to connect with other PR majors in my school. It also allowed me to form relationships with older PR majors that were in turn able to aid me in my work as a staff member as well as my other schoolwork.  
  • Real World Experience: Perhaps the most beneficial opportunity that I gained from my work on the PRowl staff was the opportunity to gain real world Public Relations experience.  The real world experience that I gained from being on staff will aid me when I apply for internships and jobs in the future. It will be something I can add to my resume, a conversational topic during interviews, and will put me ahead of other peers applying for the same position. 
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Lexi Drexler

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dear 18 Year-Old Me

As I begin to write my final PRowl blog post as a now Temple alum, I can’t help but reflect on my last four years. I had an amazing college experience thanks to my family, friends, professors and student organizations I was a part of.  I wish someone would have given me some advice when I started that I have now learned along the way. Here are the top five tips I have for students just beginning:
  1. Love thy self: I know this is a cliché but self-confidence does go a long way. As someone who is usually her own worst enemy, I’ve found that the power of confidence and positive energy can change everything. Be your biggest cheerleader and do whatever it takes to make yourself better. If daily affirmations or a 12 mile run work for you, then routinely do it. No one is in your way but you. 
  2. Love thy enemy: You will come across certain people who may be just as talented as you. You will probably want to hate them because they are your competition. However, I can tell you from experience, two is better than one and three is better than two. Find the genuinely gifted, motivated people and unite forces. You will become unstoppable and they will be your greatest support system. 
  3. One step at a time: Taking giant leaps usually leads to falling flat on your face. Everything is a matter of baby steps. Do things on your own time, not anyone else’s. Be spontaneous but make decisions that will make YOU happy and impact your life positively. It is a marathon, not a sprint. 
  4. Pay it forward: I have had some amazing role models, starting with my parents to cousins, older students and professors. Take the time out to mentor others and guide them to their own path. Take every opportunity you’ve been given and make one for someone else.  It is one of the most rewarding feelings and makes all of your obstacles worth it.
  5. When all else fails, find Dr. Suess: My favorite book is Dr. Suess’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.” I suggest taking your next pay check and buying a copy. It is a simple story that reminds us to fight fiercely for our dreams and always puts life in perspective for me. When you are at your lowest, go back to being a kid.  Find a swing, fly a kite or watch a Disney classic. Do whatever your favorite childhood activity was. It helps to relax and remind you that it’s just life; no one gets out alive anyways. 
My college years hold the most precious memories that cannot be replaced. Remember that the moments are more important than the A+ or three executive board positions. Thank you my PRowl Public Relations family for an incredible start to my career and best of luck in the future! 

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

Friday, May 18, 2012

It’s Official – Everyone Loves An iPhone!

For any aspiring Public Relations professional, owning a smart phone is a necessity. Public Relations work never ceases to end so being able to be available 24/7 is a must. As a previous dedicated BlackBerry user turned iPhone lover, I was thrilled to find out that the world really does love Apple. RIM? Not so much. 

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released its latest report on Tuesday, revealing customer satisfaction ratings for cellphone manufacturers and wireless carriers. The survey says cellphone users are most satisfied with Apple’s line of iPhones, and least satisfied with Research in Motion’s (RIM) Blackberry smartphones. ACSI’s May 2012 report includes its yearly data on customer satisfaction with cellphone manufacturers. This is the first year ACSI has included Apple, RIM, HTC and LG in this particular survey. Apple topped the heap of cellphone manufacturers with 83 points, out of 100 total. 

Still, in the cellphone space, Apple ranks 9 points higher than the industry average of 74, and 8 points more than runner-ups HTC, LG and Nokia. And if Apple’s eight-year run as ACSI’s top-rated PC manufacturer is any indication, you can expect the iPhone maker to maintain its top spot in cellphone customer satisfaction too. 

RIM’s downfall, however, is definitely a developing story. With a 70 percent drop in share price over the last year, RIM made its ACSI debut at the bottom of the list. The company scored only 69 points, 14 points behind Apple and five points below the industry average. 

In other words, people are loving their iPhones, hating their Blackberries, and having a generally mediocre relationship with their wireless carriers. These aren’t the most surprising report results, but at least we now have some official data points. 

Are you iPhone obsessed? Let us know!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Twitter is All About Timing

When you post to your Twitter feed how many people are you reaching? Currently there are no sound reach demographics for Twitter but, there are optimal times to post. An optimal time means when the most people are on Twitter, including when users are posting and when they are checking-in. As a company or a growing brand you want to post at the most optimal times to get the most reach, number of potential viewers, out of your post.

According to KISSMetrics, compiled by Zarrella, you should always be thinking East Coast time. Data shows that 48 percent of tweets are from the East Coast, 33 percent of tweets are from the Central time zone and only 14 percent of tweets are from the West Coast. Additionally, Marketing Firm reports that the most traffic on Twitter occurs from 9 to 11 a.m. ET and 1 to 3 p.m. ET.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Money Management and the PR Intern

While internships offer a great chance to gain experience in the field, working for no pay can really cause your bank account to take a hit. While it is more than possible to work a job while you intern, that can often prove to be difficult and many interns end up using their savings to fund their internship season. Whether you are holding down another job or not, these money management tips will help you and your bank account stay out of the red.
  • Create a budget: Figure out how much money you are bringing in, and what money needs to be spent where. Some areas of your budget may include: transportation, bills, food/groceries, and rent.
  • Prioritize your spending: Decide what you need to spend money on and what can wait to be bought later. Remember, bills and debts should always be paid first. Hold off on luxury expenses like clothing and electronics if you can.
  • Save: The fastest way to run out of money is by spending it all. Make sure you include savings in your budget, so that you never end up completely broke. Remember that a little can go a long way, and that saving something is always better than saving nothing.
  • Collaborate with other interns: Most of the interns you work with are probably as strapped for cash as you are. Talk to them, and see if you can all work together and help each other out. Maybe you can all carpool to the office to save money on transportation. Also, older interns may know of resources than can be beneficial to you, such as transportation stipends. 
I hope these tips help you thrive in your internships and finances.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pessimistically Positive: Setting Reachable Goals and Objectives

In most walks of life, we are encouraged to be positive, to look at the glass as half full instead of half empty. But sometimes a little pessimism is healthy in the PR field. Below are three ways you can use pessimism to your advantage while working in PR:

  • Pragmatism: It's our job to spin things in a positive light, to put our clients in the best position possible. While it's great to think about things positively, sometimes a client won't see all of the angles of a situation. Don't forget to ask questions like: How? Why? Where? What if? When? By doing so you will be able to bring your client back to Earth a little bit and set realistic goals.
  • Defense: It can never be said enough: expect the unexpected. Be prepared for if/when a crisis strikes that you will prepared to do major damage control. Plan your defensive strategy ahead of time and be both pessimistic and optimistic about possible situations.
  • Balance: It's great to be excited and pumped for a new opportunity, but it's the balance of pessimism and optimism that will put you in a good place. Balance will allow you to keep a level head and reach the goals you set for yourself and your client.
How do you balance between being pessimistic and optimistic? Let us know!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Obama’s New ‘Gen44’ Campaign

Knowing he must once again capture the under-30 vote this election season, President Obama has launched a fund raising campaign called ‘Gen44′. Short for Generation Forty Four, this mission intends to gather young voters to mobilize and support Obama’s reelection campaign.

Take a look at the video message from President Obama that appears on the site’s homepage: 

“Because the best advocate for this campaign isn’t me, it’s you.” – perhaps the most important line in that video. Obama is calling on the young voters who got him elected in ’08 to do the same thing again. And this time he wants them to bring their friends. He knows that voter turnout will not be as strong this time around (for both parties), and knows that he must fight hard to win that demographic again.

While the message of this campaign is great, there are a few things that a lot of people may overlook. First, what exactly does Gen44 stand for? It could represent the fact Obama is our forty-fourth president, or could reference to the target audience of this campaign, which are voters under the age of 40. Regardless, it may cause some confusion among young voters. Another thing people may overlook is the fact that this campaign is a fundraising tactic. While it does give young voters the amazing opportunity to volunteer with the campaign, the first option to click on the website is to donate money. It is also framed by Obama as a fundraising initiative. While fundraising is obviously essential to any election, young voters may be slightly unaware of the real mission of this program.

What are your thoughts on this new campaign? Let us know!

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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Does the Media Give in to Our Desires?

The mass media continues to be our main source for information on a regular basis. Our information can come from a variety of sources, if not Facebook and Twitter, than any local news station has the ability to feed us the information we need. But have you ever wondered how every news story somehow appeals to your interests? Well by looking and analyzing the following theories, it is clear that the media has its own set agenda. We are just the mannequins by which media outlets dress their stories around.

Agenda Setting
Mass media always has an agenda. This agenda determines which stories are told, how they are told and even the length of the story. All of these ideas are connected to how a news story is reported and how the audience interprets the story. This influences not only what the audiences focuses on but also what they do not focus on. Sometimes, this agenda is used for the audience to only focus on what the media wants them to focus on.

Cultivation Theory
We learn how to adapt to our environment through many different sources and one of those sources is the media. Television programs provide us with the proper ideas of what is and is not acceptable. Through the media, we learn to act, live and behave. Gender roles continue to be socialized through the media; men are painted as masculine sportsmen, while women’s interests revolve around fashion and gossip. Because of this fascination for information, stories are reported that interest the audience. Audiences know what they want to see when they turn on their TV or log on to the Internet and it is the networks jobs to give the audience what they desire. This is why more and more news stories revolve around pop culture. By giving us what we want, audience’s give networks what they want- profit.

News Manipulation
News affiliates understand their audiences and try to adhere to their wants and needs. This is why when it comes to reporting the news; they do their best to manipulate stories in favor of the audience. There are news stations for liberal democrats and there are news stations for conservative republicans. These news stations not only know who their audience is, but also how to tailor each story to the interests of their audience.

These ideas might be hard to pinpoint at first, but after a while the motivations of each news outlet will become clear. We are given what we want and this is to ensure a consistent and dependable audience.

Saying the media has an affect over our lives would not be far from the truth, but how we interpret the information is our own decision.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Allison Curran.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Congratulations To Our 2012 PRowl Graduates!

Thousands of families converged yesterday to celebrate graduation day at Temple University. Broad Street was jam packed with graduates, family and friends. 
The class of 2012 filed into the Liacouras Center for the 125th commencement. It's the largest graduating class in the school's history with more than 8,600 bachelor, graduate, and first professional degrees.

Attending the ceremony for the School of Communication and Theater was bittersweet. Among those 8,600 were seven of some of our finest Prowlers! Although I am especially saddened to see these great members leave us, I know that each and every one of them have a very bright future ahead of them.

Emily Ascani, former Assistant Firm Director
Doug Bennett, former Director of Finance and Account Executive
Alex Crispino, former Account Executive
Kurie Fitzgerald, former Staff Member
Niki Ianni, former Firm Director
Steve Jacobs, former Staff Member
Frank Kunkle, former Staff Member

From all of us at PRowl Public Relations, we wish all of you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors!

This post was made by PRowl Public Relations E-Board member Kaitlyn Sutton.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How are you making 'cents' of money?

Hello, fellow aspiring public relations professionals! This is my first post on the PRowl blog as the Director of Finances. When I initially applied for the position, I hadn’t really thought about how becoming director of finances would diversify my experience and skill set as a public relations major. Although I didn’t realize it then, it already has.

As the Director of Finances for PRowl Public Relations I am responsible for sending clients invoices, depositing and withdrawing funds, maintaining our financial account, developing donation letters, and finding new and resourceful ways to finance our firm. Learning how to handle money early on is an invaluable skill in the business world. Future employers will appreciate your ability as a young public relations professional to be able to not only communicate well but to also understand money. As a future account executive or staff member, you may be responsible for handling a certain amount of money. Your future employers will want to know that you will understand how to manage their money appropriately.

Aside from being a public relations major, I am also a business major. In the business school, we are required to take lower level courses which include a finance course as well as two accounting courses. These courses have taught me how to balance finances, and how to invest finances in order to receive a respectable return. I highly encourage every public relations student to take as many business courses as possible. I especially encourage taking courses concerning finances because in the end, it will make you more marketable as an aspiring public relations professional.

It is said that ‘money makes the world go around’. If this is true, how are you making ‘cents’ of money?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Optimize Your Blog Post

Whew, the hard part is over, you wrote the most exciting and informative blog post, now what? Even if your blog has a reputation and a prestigious following, your post may not be getting enough promoted attention.  Branding oneself through blogs is highly important for an aspiring PR professional. Future job and internship opportunities are amongst only some of the perks of writing for a blog.  Divvy HQ recently posted “Your Blog Post Promotion Checklist” helping bloggers to optimize their coverage. Preview our top 5:
  1. Add keywords
  2. Take advantage of your RSS feed
  3. Shorten you post’s URL
  4. Tailor your status updates
  5. Post teasers on other sites

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

#WhatShouldWeCallMe? My Last Blog Post!

As this is my last post for the PRowl blog, I find myself looking back on the semester and the hard work myself and the rest of the PRowl team has done to provide readers with useful, informative posts. Aside from professionalism, blogs can be entertaining as well (Gasp!). My final post will focus on one of my favorite blogs and the laughs it has given me (most of the time in public) during study and homework breaks, or after a long day at the internship.

The Tumblr blog, #WhatShouldWeCallMe has taken Twitter and Facebook shares by storm, providing .gifs (moving bitmap images) that take popular culture images and poke fun at common life moments that we can all relate to. After viewing a few of these Tumblr posts (or 50), I questioned who actually made these and how they acquired such an impressive follow base. A Forbes article answered at least one of my questions about the #WhatShouldWeCallMe founders and why they created the site.

Two 24-year-old Law students that spent four years of their college lives together as roommates and were unsure how they would keep their inside jokes alive when they moved 3,000 miles away from each other. Instead of explaining how they felt through email chats, they would send these little .gifs to entertain each other. In the interview, they explained that the images are usually funny by themselves, but with an unrelated caption, it is even funnier. Both women operate differently when deciding how to caption and find these .gifs, and even though ads have started to surface on the site, they still want it to be solely a place for others to enjoy their inside jokes.

Clearly the site has gained Internet fame without even really trying. Just a month after the blog was created, it gained more than 50,000 followers, getting in between one and two million pages views per day. Read the full interview here as I leave you with my current favorite, just in time for the end of final season.  

"After my Last Final"

What is your favorite .gif? Have you seen this blog before?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Director of PR: One Year Later

It's been almost one year to the day since I became PRowl's Director of PR. As the Director of PR I was responsible for monitoring and managing PRowl's Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and, most importantly, this very blog.

When I first became the Director of PR, I was afraid. I was just finishing my freshman year here at Temple and felt like a little fish in a big sea of senior PRowl staff members. I worried that I wouldn't be able to do a good job managing the blog and that it would end up going downhill. Fortunately, that didn't happen. In fact, this year we were named #17 of the top 50 blogs for PR students

I didn't expect that in just one year of being Director of PR that I would learn so much. Part of my responsibilities included revising and scheduling two guest blog posts from staff members every weekend. The challenge was making sure that the blog posts stayed true to PRowl's mission statement and goals, while reflecting the voice and testament of the staff. This, in combination with blogging on a weekly basis, has made me into a better writer and editor, something that has only helped me in the PR world. 

It's been a long year of learning with PRowl PR, and I wouldn't have traded it for anything. It's because of being Director of PR that I can honestly say that I feel prepared to move on not only as an Assistant Firm Director, but also as a PR student. 

So thanks everyone for a great year as PRowl's Director of Public Relations, and good luck to the new Director of PR, Amber Burns! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Think Outside of the Box

If you were to ask anyone in the PR field, "what do I need to do to get my foot into the industry?" the most popular response you will hear is "internships, internships, and more internships." Internships, whether paid or unpaid, are the most desirable way to get experience in an adequate amount of time. But when looking for internships, it's important to consider options outside of the box.

When I was first looking for an internship, I thought it was important to be very specific in what internship I would want to put my time into. One day, I was offered a chance to shadow one of my professors and this soon led to my very first internship. My professor was not just any old professor, he also owned a well-known wealth management firm by the name of the Cordasco Financial Network. I knew that by taking this internship, there was a high chance that I would not be dealing with anything PR- related. The internship that I was offered focused on stocks, bonds and mutual funds, hardly the traditional PR internship, especially when I want to be in fashion PR, however I still took the chance because I knew that it would be a great learning experience.

Through working at Cordasco Financial Network, I have been given the chance to produce radio work for the Big Money Show, a radio show that discusses everything and anything dealing with money, I have been asked to travel to New York City to sit in on a few radio shows and meet up with Charles Payne, a widely recognized journalist and the co-host of Varney & Co. I have even been able to work with the company’s PR group and shadow for a day. Even though I was not expecting to gain any type of PR experience through my internship, I ended up obtaining some great experiences.

It’s very important to try any and every type of internship because you never know what opportunities may await you. Don’t be closed off to different types of internships, especially the ones outside of your major. If you see opportunities that you think you can benefit from, don’t be afraid to ask if you can partake in them. Part of being successful in the PR industry is knowing when to put yourself out there and by taking risks.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jummy Temidayo.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Freshman PR Student Survival Guide

When I first stepped on my college campus, I had a long list of goals and no idea how I was going to achieve them all in just two semesters. PR seemed like a huge ocean, and I was a small fish with no idea how to swim. I was hit with terms like press release, media alert, and internship. It was definitely a lot to take in. As overwhelming as your first year as a PR student may seem, I’m here to let you know that you will survive! Here are some tips and tools to make your freshman year as a PR student manageable and successful:

Get Involved- It is much easier to adapt to college life when you have friends in the same situation. See if your campus has a PRSSA chapter that you can be involved in and join! Reach out to organizations on their social media accounts so they know to look out for you. Talk to older students and ask them questions about classes, internships, or getting involved more. Help out with community service projects, which look great on an often empty freshman resume.

Network, Network, Network!- Take advantage of any networking opportunities you can get your hands on. You want to meet as many professionals as you can. Even if you aren’t sure where you want to be in the industry, you never know who knows who. Always leave a good impression, take business cards, and send follow-up emails! Make sure you keep in touch with everyone you meet.

Stay Organized- Buy a day planner and make that planner your BFF. Write down assignments, meeting times, and make sure you are using your time wisely. If you work better electronically, use the calendar in your phone or on your computer to keep your dates straight.

Set Yourself Apart- Public relations is a very competitive field, especially in this day and age. Everyone will have a college degree and internships to boast about. Do things that make you different whether it be starting a blog or volunteering off campus. Make yourself stand out from other PR students.

Breathe- No one expects you to get everything right all of the time. Every successful PR professional was in your position at some point. Accept your mistakes, grow from them, and move on. It’s only PR, we are not curing cancer!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Amber Burns.

Friday, May 4, 2012

PRoud & Thankful

Three years ago, if you had told me I'd be writing my final blog post as PRowl Public Relation's firm director, I would have never believed you. When I came to Temple University as a public relations major, I had no clue what I was doing or where I was going. I was lucky enough to meet a group of people who took a chance on me and welcomed me into the firm - and since then, it has turned out to be the greatest, most rewarding, and proudest accomplishment of my life.

Each and every year I have watched this firm reach new heights. Whether it's hiring larger-scale clientele, recruiting more talented staff then ever, or finally achieving goals that once seemed impossible as we became nationally affiliated. All of these accomplishments are a direct result of my incredible executive board, account leaders, staff members, faculty adviser and general supporters. 

I want to take the opportunity to thank the staff for their hard work and dedication. Without you, there is no firm and there is no success. I have no doubt each of you will go on to achieve great things.

I want to thank my amazing account leaders: Alex Crispino, Mackenzie Krott, Samantha Miller and Doug Bennett for being the glue that holds this firm together. The growth I have seen in each of you is incredible and your leadership and guidance is the sole reason we ended the year with successful accounts, happy clients and talented staff members. 

I especially want to thank my executive board: Samantha Wanner, Emily Ascani, Doug Bennett and Marianna Morris for being my support system and helping guide the firm when the direction wasn't always clear. Know that I couldn't have made it through the year without you standing beside me.

And lastly, I want to wish next year's firm director, Samantha Wanner and her executive board, Marianna Morris, Amber Burns, Cori Shearer and Kaitlyn Sutton the best of luck, although I know you won't need it. I can't wait to hear about all of the amazing things you and the firm go on to achieve.

Best of luck and well wishes to everyone.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

On The PRowl For Important Leadership Lessons

Graduation is one week away, marking the end of my college and PRowl Public Relations career. The past four years have taught me a lot, but no single experience has affected my college career as much as being a staff member, account executive and director of finance of PRowl. During my time in the organization, and specifically during my time in leadership positions, I have learned three incredibly important lessons that are important for all budding leaders:

·         Accountability is Crucial: Personal and interpersonal accountability is very important for leaders and organizations. It is imperative to hold members of your organization or company responsible for their work and their actions. However, good leaders must always lead by example and hold themselves accountable. During my time as a leader in PRowl, I’ve been had to hold myself accountable to my fellow staff members, account members and superiors.

·         Build Relationships: Teams function best when they are bonded together by more than just work. A focus on interpersonal relationships produces a better social climate and increases motivation, which positively effects group output. Rewarding organization members with a treat and occasional opportunities for social interaction builds relationships between members and ultimately produces a more involved, happier team.

·         Servant Leadership: The purpose of leadership in a student organization is to serve members. This includes teaching important skills and lessons in practical and helpful way. Deadlines should be strict, but a leader should be understanding and flexible. I made it a point to never yell at my account members and to help them succeed both personally and professionally.

With that said, I want to take the opportunity to thank all the wonderful members of PRowl Public Relations and Temple PRSSA that helped teach me these important lessons. Thank you all for helping me grow both personally and professionally during these last few years and best of luck in all your future endeavors!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

PRowl's Seniors

PRowl is so PRoud of our seniors!

Doug Bennett (Account Executive &
Director of Finance)

Doug is currently interviewing for corporate communications positions and is now an intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. During the summer, Doug will begin studying for the LSATs and then apply to law schools.

Emily Ascani (Assistant Firm Director)

Emily will be continuing to intern full time this summer as a Public & Media Relations intern at Morgan Lewis, a law firm in Center City. She is looking for an entry-level public relations position in the Philadelphia area, concentrating in hospitality, tourism & corporate or agency public relations. She is interested in utilizing her skills in social media, editing, writing and blogging.

Steve Jacobs (Staff Member)

Steven Jacobs will graduate this May with a bachelor of the arts degree in strategic communication, public relations concentration. He is currently in the interviewing stages of his job search, while finishing up his internship at Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. He hopes to stay in Philadelphia and land a job doing public relations for the City.
Kurie Fitzgerald (Staff Member)

After graduation Kurie will have a paid internship/PR coordinator training position with Van Eperen & Company in Rockville, Md. VE&Co's mainly focus is strategic communications consulting. Kurie plans on visiting Chicago the week after graduation and Canada during the summer. 

Frank Kunkle (Staff Member)
Frank will be continuing his internship at University of the Sciences while looking for a career in higher education. Whether corporate or nonprofit, Frank envisions working in a PR/marketing role. He would like to stay in Philadelphia for at least a few more years before thinking about moving to another city. 

Alex Crispino (Account Executive)
Alex Crispino will be graduating Magna Cum Laude and staying in the Philadelphia area. She is hoping to start her career at a Philadelphia agency and plans to eventually return to graduate school. Feel free to reach Alex on Twitter: @alexcharli.

Niki Ianni (Firm Director)

Niki Ianni is proud to be a May 2012 Temple Graduate with a degree in Strategic Communication and a concentration in Public Relations. With her sights set on nonprofit public relations, she is packing up her bags and moving to Washington, D.C., to pursue exciting career opportunities. With a passion for animal welfare and advocacy and a love for her two cats, Niki hopes to work in an organization that makes large strides and impacts in the animal world. She is incredibly excited about the adventures to come living in the nation's capitol.

We wish you all the best!