Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Corporate Social Media Surge.

It is absolutely true that social media has become a crucial tool in customer-company relations. However, if done wrong in the corporate world, a social media melt down will occur. So when your boss tells you it is time to jump on the social media bandwagon, there are a few things you as the PR professional should consider before opening up a social channel between your corporation and its audience. 

Jessica Sharp of Maven Communications, LLC. lists 3 crucial mistakes to avoid as your company becomes active in social media, inspired by journalist Shara Tibken.

No. 1: Failing to have a plan before rolling out the campaign- Too many companies jump on the social media bandwagon without first having a clear plan of action or strategy. Doing it because everyone else is doing it is not a good enough reason. A social media strategy should be just as well thought out as a marketing strategy - and in fact, they should tie into one another. Clearly defined objectives, tactics for achieving them and measurement methods should all be determined before creating a social media presence.

No. 2: Not understanding what social media is - and is not - good for- Social media is a great way to connect and engage with target audiences. But it’s not a total replacement for tried and true relationship building methods. Social Media is a wonderful new way to show another side of a company’s personality, but it cannot successfully be the only way that a company communicates with target audiences.

No. 3: Thinking social media is cheap or (free)- Social media is not free, or even cheap, it’s just a different kind of expensive. Just like most things in life, you get out of it what you put in. So to really make a social media campaign work, it takes time, a lot of it. And as we all know - time is money. 

Simply put, when your company plans to “get with it” in terms of social media think of these three objectives. Is social media relevant to your corporation? Do you understand the positives and negatives that can arise from your use of social media channels? Do you have the ability to successfully maintain social media? If you plan your approach to social media, your company can benefit greatly from the interaction and feedback from your target audience and/or customers. 

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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Shifting Your Social Media Strategy When No One Seems to be Noticing You

Social media strategy should not be something new to savvy PR professionals. But what do you do when you have been tweeting, posting and pinning and there seems to be no result?  
Here are a few steps to shift your strategy to make sure you are getting the most out of the enormous world of social media.
  1. Make sure your information is correctly targeted: Many may think posting event, information or links is enough to get yourself noticed, but you have to make sure that you still know who your audience is.  There is a lot of content out there, and it is easy to get lost in the sea of information. Know who you were originally looking to engage with and make sure your language and approach is properly aimed towards those groups. 
  2. Learn to continue the conversation: Not only does your information need to stay targeted, but also you need to follow-up and continue to engage and communicate just like you would in more traditional media types.  Don’t expect consumers or journalist to automatically come to you for more information. Stay on top of details and send out updates when needed to make sure you gain as much exposure as possible. 
  3. Don’t ignore negativity: There will always be people opposed to whatever you are posting. Learn how to react to these situations without diverging from the problem. Ignoring negative feedback will never help, and deleting the conversation makes it seem like their arguments may hold some form of weight against your client or brand. 
  4. Take baby steps: You cannot wake up one day and decide “I want to switch how I engage in social media!” You need to start with your basics and figure out what works for you and your client. Social media is not a math equation where if you do x and y, you will always produce z. First learn to crawl, then walk, then run. It is the only way to guarantee your improvements and shifts will be noticed. 
Have you ever had to shift your social media strategy? How did it work for you? Let us know.

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

Friday, September 28, 2012

How To Host A Contest On Instagram

I have a confession to make; I am completely addicted to Instagram. Over the past 6 months, the free photo-sharing social network app has become bigger and better than ever. After being acquired by Facebook in early September, Instagram now has over 80 million registered users. Free photo-sharing social networks apps are growing in popularity and powerful corporations are looking to get involved with them. Instagram’s rival, Snapseed, was just bought by Google last week.

Instagram allows anyone with a smart phone to create content and engage with followers and fans through their mobile device. It is the ultimate haven for brands to connect with customers. Since the app is fairly new, brands are still trying to figure out the best way to integrate Instagram into their marketing efforts. However, I have seen quite a few unique ways in which brands are trying to get involved.

In my opinion, hosting an Instagram contest is the most efficient way to reach an audience. It is a quick and easy way to generate visual content with existing followers as well as attract new ones.  Here are four tips on how to host a successful Instagram contest adapted from Bill Miltenberg’s PR News article:

1.       Offer a Prize: Everyone likes an incentive. Many brands host special giveaways that are exclusive to their Instagram followers, which in turn acquires new followers in the process. Get creative!

2.       Use a Specific Hashtag: To make sure you can measure the success of the contest, make a special hashtag that contest participants have to use in order to win. Temple University has recently launched the Temple Made campaign in which one aspect prompts students and alumni to tag their Instagram photos with the hashtag #TempleMade for the chance to be featured at a university event.

3.       Utilize Other Social Media Sites: To help extend your contest’s reach why not feature the Instagram content on your brand’s Pinterest board. Or better yet link the photos to you brand’s Facebook account, make a YouTube slideshow or even tweet the best ones!

4.       Make It Easy: Eliminate entry barriers. Not every campaign needs to be focused on the specific product the brand is trying to sell. Red Bull held successful weekly contest this past summer. Each Monday Red Bull came up with a chose a new theme for participants to use as a hashtag in their photos. The accounts with the most submitted photos had a better chance at winning each week. The company required users to photograph its products, but rather asked for the photos to be tagged with that week’s theme and @Redbull.

What brand do you follow that hosted a successful contest? How did they do it? Let us know! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Surgery and Social Media

The Swedish Medical Center has begun a new campaign to raise awareness around treatment options for those with hearing loss. The campaign consists of a video series developed by Dr. Douglas Backous, medical director of the Center for Hearing and Skull Base Surgery at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle, Washington and the use of Twitter and Instagram.

The series began in September and will end October with a live chat. Each week, a short video was released discussing topics such as what a cochlear implant is, how to prepare for the surgery and answers to frequently asked questions. What differentiates the series is the culimination of the campaign, set to take place on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 7:40 am, which will include live-tweets and Instagram photos taken during a surgery. The use of social media during surgery is the first of its kind  and may set a new standard in the medical industry.

The live-tweeted and Instagrammed surgery will comprise of a live feed of still images during the surgery taken from inside the operating room. In order to view the stream, viewers simply need to follow @swedish and #swedishhear. To date, the hospital has already acquired almost 10,000 followers.

As an advocator of the deaf community I will definitely be tuning in, will you?

For more information about the series and to tune in visit and follow them on twitter @swedish and #swedishhear.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Looking to Start Your Own Business? Just Ask Google

Google is giving you the power of knowledge to start your own business with their new program, “Google for Entrepreneurs.” Celebrating their 14th year anniversary, Google is motivating entrepreneurs by providing several dozen programs including the, “Annual Journey of Entrepreneurship”, and partnerships with international accelerator and incubator programs such as Le Camping in France and iHub out if Kenya. Google’s focus is threefold:
  1. Partnerships with strong organizations that serve entrepreneurs in local communities
  2. Google-led programs to bring our teams and our tools directly to entrepreneurs
  3. Placing relevant Google tools in the hands of startups as they are getting off the ground and ready to scale

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Clinton Spokesperson Vs. BuzzFeed Journalist

Emotions tend to run high when hard hitting events happen that are of public interest. It is important that PR reps and spokespeople maintain positive relationships with members of the media. After the unfortunate shooting of Ambassador Christopher Stevens’ in Benghazi, Libya, the public wanted answers and the media wanted to give them to them.

Shortly after the fatal attacks, CNN found the Ambassador's journal. After returning the journal to the family, CNN displayed excerpts on its network which indicated that there may have been a security risks detected, contrary to reports by the State Department that claimed they had no prior knowledge of a security risk. BuzzFeed reporter Michael Hastings fully supported the showing of these excerpts, but Clinton spokesman, Philippe Reines, did not.

Hastings and Reines exchanged a thread of heated emails, which ended in Reines telling hastings to "[Censored] off" and Hastings making claims about Reines' relationships with women. The two men have since settled into their corners, keeping any other remarks out of the public's ear. Read more excerpts from the email exchange here.

This serves as the perfect example of how to mismanage media relations. Both sides clearly felt passionately about his position on the topic, but forgot these simple media relation tips when it came down to expressing sentiments:

  • Don't burn bridges: Not only has Michael Hastings lost a credible source for future stories, Philippe Reines has lost a media outlet. This will not help either side in future endeavors.
  • Remain polite: The use of profanities by both men is unacceptable. They may have thought their words would remain trapped inside the safe boundaries of an email chain, but that is no excuse for fowl language. They should have remembered that ANYTHING can go public.
  • Keep your emotions in check: Both Hastings and Reines were looking out for the best interests of their industries. It is easy to be pulled out of your element when dealing with topics you're passionate about, but you should never let your emotions get the best of you.
How do you think the men should handle themselves moving forward?

Monday, September 24, 2012

College Football and the PR Pro

On Saturday, Temple lost to one of it's biggest rivals in football, Penn State. While this was definitely a blow for us, there are a couple lessons we can take from the college football game, thanks to "What college football teaches us about PR":
  • The coach/CEO sets the tone: think of all of your favorite teams, and then think of their coaches. You can probably name all of them. The coach is the heart of the team in a lot of ways, he motivates and disciplines and can often serve as a father figure to some of the players. The dynamic of the team depends on first the coach, which also effects performance. The same goes for companies. The CEO is the figurehead of the company and communicates the company's purpose and goals to the rest of the public. The rest of the employees depend on him or her to represent the company well and to their best advantage.
  • Preparation is key: teams are always watching footage of past games. This is to strategize what they did wrong, or right, and devise a plan for next time, to do better. PR teams must do this as well, to prepare adequately for any kind of crisis. The more you prepare in advance, the less amount of running around you will have to do. Granted, things will always go wrong, but you can never be too prepared.
  • Never underestimate an opponent (or reporter): The biggest mistake teams make is to be overconfident. Overconfidence clouds the mind and prevents players from really committing to the game and executing. PR pros must also be vigilant in trusting a reporter. Regardless of the situation, always be prepared for a reporter to ask your client tough, involved questions. Letting your guard down will leave an open window of opportunity for a reporter to get to your client.
  • It's all about the team: no football team would be successful without the entire team. Every player is given a role in the team and without that one person, productivity would suffer. In the workplace, whether you are an intern or an executive, you are needed. Just giving someone a pat on the back or a "good job" may do wonders and will ultimately promote a team atmosphere.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Managing Multiple Clients…Successfully

As aspiring PR professionals, we are constantly juggling multiple clients at any given time and this can bring upon confusion and potential mistakes. The following 4 steps to manage multiple clients will eliminate any potential for confusion or mistakes!

  1. Work on each client a little each day- It is very easy to get caught up in one client and one project per day, but it is necessary to pay attention to each client a little each day. This reassures that all information is fresh in your head as well as being current on any news or happenings from your client. Ideally, you are checking each website at least once daily and setting Google alerts so you are up to date on everything.
  2. Create a “cheat sheet”- A cheat sheet for each client is made up of any and all important information that would need to be accessed at any given moment. Important information could be the board of directors, mission statement, voice of social media, and background of the company as well as simple reminders of current projects. This is important because it is easy to forget small details but since they are important details, checking back quickly and easily is key.
  3. Do not switch gears blindly- Moving from one project to another happens often but needs to be done with caution. Always check back to your cheat sheet for information when switching client projects and always triple check your emails and social media blasts; you do not want to be tweeting about animal rights from your alternative energy client. Each client has his or her own voice, so keeping track of this is important, one may be more conversation while another is strictly business. Make sure you have a document with where all of your client information is: file names, what colored flash drive or what Google Doc, it is important to know where this can be found at any time.
  4. Social Media Planner- Along with your cheat sheet, you should also have a social media planner. Here you will lay out each tweet, Facebook update, and other posts for each client and have they scheduled. This planner will be your life and is of the upmost importance because a social media “voice” is the voice of your client. This information should also be in your cheat sheet, the voice and goal of your social media: funny, conversational, and factual. Regardless of the voice you chose, it must stay consistent. Having a social media planner will also ensure that you dedicate equal time to each of your client’s online profiles.

What tips do you have for managing multiple clients successfully? Let us know!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

PR Pros & Journalists: A Love/Hate Relationship

When will the perpetual battle between public relations professionals and journalists finally be settled? It seems as though these two professions are immersed in a constant war zone, but the truth of the matter is… we need each other. I came across the following YouTube video produced for the Public Relations Society of America’s 2007 Annual Thoth Awards Gala. This Mac/PC spoof does a great job at humorously personifying the conflict between PR and Journalism.

As public relations professionals, it is essential to foster positive relationships with journalists to successfully execute your media relations. It is important to establish yourself as a helpful media source, and not someone who just sends pitches. PR Daily encourages PR pros to become a valuable source to journalists by using “strategic small talk.” The following are four things outlined by PR Daily to talk to reporters about in order to position yourself as a strong media contact: Trends, tips, travel and Twitter rants. 

Along with strategic small talk, avoiding known pet peeves of journalists can significantly increase your chance of having a positive reputation among the journalism community. Recently, The Muck Rack Blog encouraged journalists to candidly tweet some of their PR pitching gripes. The following are a few of my favorite tweets with firsthand tips to enhance the relationships you are cultivating, or will cultivate, with journalists:

Catherine Rampbell of the New York Times 

Ashley Mayo of Golf Digest Magazine

Jen Wieczner of Smart Money and Wall Street Journal

By using these tips effectively, you will be known by reporters as an industry peer, which will benefit your clients and allow you to be a well-rounded and valuable public relations professional.

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

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Revamp Your Resume In Three Easy Steps

Resumes are at the forefront of any job search, especially now with on-line uploading. With so many people applying for the same job, standard resumes are getting lost in a big pile of applicants. If you haven’t had much success in the job market or are in need of a resume makeover, here are three easy steps to make your resume stand out.

1. Target audience
A resume should be tailored to your industry. The experience section of your resume should highlight complimentary jobs to the one you are applying for. If your experience is limited, listing relevant coursework is a great alternative. Relevant coursework should be listed as its own section including what you have accomplished for each class. For example:

Entrepreneurial Marketing
  • Raised over $4,000 for CHOP Hospital through the implementation of a social media.
  • Managed a group of four and served as the point of client for the client
2. Quantify your job description
Providing a description of what you accomplished during the course of your job or internship supply’s the reader with the necessary back ground to determine if you are compatible for the position. The descriptions for each job should include one quantifiable result.  For example:

TARGET CORPORATION                                                           June 2012 ---- August 2012
Executive Intern
·         Managed over 100 Team Members, improved stores overall operational score by .01percent.  

·         Improved RED card focus by 1.03; executed on-the- spot coaching.  

3. Spacing
An appeasing resume can be as stand out as the content it contains. Spacing and lines are a great way to break up a page; it can also make the difference between a resume that will get you an interview and one that will remain on a desk. Look below for an example of good resume spacing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Know Your Digital Identity

It's very comforting to hide behind clever Twitter handles and privacy settings, but how comfortable can you be online? Potential employers want to know more about you than a few well written paragraphs in a cover letter and a distinguished resume. They want to know more about the recreational you. While it can be argued that some employers take the practice of digging into our online profiles too far, one has to consider the fact that with every new hire, a company risks its image and reputation. So before you send off your resume in hopes of landing the perfect job, be sure to know these facts about your digital identity:

1. If they want it, they can get it: Companies budget to have third parties gain access to your online profiles. While you may think you have the Fort Knox of Facebook privacy settings, there will always be someone who can hack their way through. Do not fall victim to the false security of social media privacy settings.

2. Once you post it, they own it: When we all signed up for the many social media sites we network on, I'm sure we all ignored (but agreed) to the terms of service. One thing we neglected to mull over in those terms was that once we post something to a social networking site, like Facebook, we agree to give them control over that content. That means that even after you delete those embarrassing frat party pictures from freshman year, it is still sitting on a Facebook server somewhere. You can write to Facebook (and other networking sites) and ask that content be permanently removed, but that is a process and does not guarantee positive results. Remember this the next time you update your online profile.

3. Think before you post: Anything a potential employer finds online can be used against you. It's perfectly find to take photos that capture memories, but be careful about which memories you decide to make public. Create online profiles that you would be comfortable viewing if you were looking to employ someone, place yourself in their shoes before you post.

It is never too late to alter your digital identity. Take the time to go through your profiles and updates, remove things that you think were posted out of haste and bad judgement. After you clean up your act, be sure to push positive content - because at the end of the day, it is better to have good out weighing bad than just a profile full of bad decisions.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My First Event

This semester I am interning at the National Constitution Center, America's first and only nonpartisan, nonprofit institution devoted to the Constitution. This Fall the big event was the Liberty Medal ceremony, honoring boxer and philanthropist Muhammad Ali. Seeing as this was my first internship, being able to participate in such a large scale event was an incredible experience. 
Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

When you watch an event on TV, you rarely think about what went into producing the event itself. I came into the NCC only a few weeks prior to the Liberty Medal, but in that short time I feel as though I've learned a semester's worth. So much went into Liberty Medal, between logistics, tickets, media, speakers, etc. it was truly amazing to see all that the NCC pulled together and accomplished.

On the day of the Liberty Medal ceremony, my job was to escort press and basically make sure they were content. Going from knowing absolutely nothing about local press to meeting a lot of them, it was cool to be able to put a face to the voice of some of the people I hear on the radio, read in the paper or see on TV during the news. 

During the day, going into the night, no one was ever doing nothing. Every one had their own job and assignments, which really made the entire program run as seamlessly as possible. It was amazing to watch my supervisors manage all of the craziness that typically goes on before, during and after an event. I never saw them even break a sweat, something that's unimaginable for me as an intern. Looking back on it, I think it's important to remember that everything works out in the end and that it just slows you down to dwell on the small things, something that the PR team at the NCC has mastered. 

The best part of the night was getting to actually watch the ceremony and really appreciate all of the work my colleagues went through to pull off such a great event. If you haven't yet seen photos from the Liberty Medal ceremony, you can check them out here

What was your first event like? What knowledge did you walk away with?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Perfecting the PR Assistant Role

As the graduating class of 2013 anxiously thinks about where they will be a year from now, it is important to be knowledgeable of the entry-level positions most college graduate will begin next summer. While we would all love to be account executives or coordinators, the majority of us will most likely fall into the PR assistant role. Even if this isn’t the ideal position for you, remember to be the best PR assistant you can be. No role should be taken lightly. Today’s assistants are tomorrows account directors. Here are a few things to remember when trying to be the best assistant you can be:

  • Be Proud—Assistants often get the grunt work or the work that the higher ups would rather not do, and that’s okay. It is important to take any and all assignments as if the company depends on it. When higher level employees see you take the tedious assignments seriously, they will be more open to giving you bigger projects.
  • Be Indispensable—As an assistant you will work under the whole firm. There will be many people expecting things from you and it is important to act as if you can manage tasks from everyone. When someone asks you for a task, never say no. Make sure the entire staff knows who you are and understands that you are open and willing to help. 
  • Be Knowledgeable—Since most assistants are young and fresh out of college, you’ll have knowledge of the industry from a different perspective. When you’re invited to important meetings or see that your boss needs help, think creatively about how you can add insight to the project. Use your skills and knowledge to present fresh ideas to the older executives. In the long run, they will notice that you have been very insightful and will be more likely to promote you when the time comes. 
  • Be Energetic—It is easy to get flustered and overwhelmed as an assistant. Remember to smile and be happy. Positive energy will draw people to you and will lighten up the mood on a hectic day in the office. 
This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Andrea Jordan.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Samsung’s PR Woes Continue

Just this summer, Samsung was in court defending itself against Apple and it now finds itself in the court of public opinion against tech bloggers.  In the actual court case, Apple claimed that Samsung had copied the iPhone.  Samsung lost in court and now owes Apple 1 billion dollars.

As this story began to fade from the tech spotlight, another story unraveled.  This time two bloggers claimed that Samsung had threatened to strand them at a tech conference in Berlin if they did not write stories depicting Samsung in a positive light.  Samsung had paid for these bloggers to attend the conference.

Samsung later released this statement: “Samsung Mob!lers is a voluntary community of active Samsung mobile device users, who are offered the opportunity to participate in our marketing events across the world.  At these events, all activities they undertake are on a voluntary basis.  No activities are forced upon them.
We regret [that] there was a misunderstanding between the Samsung Mob!lers coordinators and the relevant blogger, as we understand he was not sufficiently briefed on the nature of Samsung Mob!lers’ activities at IFA 2012.  We have been attempting to get in touch with him.
We respect the independence of bloggers to publish their own stories.”

The statement that Samsung released seems to tiptoe around the issue and not admit what the real problem was between the bloggers and Samsung.  It may have come off as more genuine if the company directly addressed the severity of the issue.  At a time when Samsung is under such intense competition with other tech companies, it is also necessary that they take steps to make sure they stay out of the spotlight for negative reasons this fall. 

Do you think Samsung’s statement was a sufficient response to the incident? Let us know!

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

Friday, September 14, 2012

How To Improve Your Writing

It is hard to believe the fall semester is already underway. Assignments, essays and other homework is starting to pile up. For many PR students, these assignments will consist of writing, writing and more writing! Personally, I always seem to, in the three short months of summer, completely forget how to write.

Writing is hard work. It takes a good understanding of English, plenty of practice as well as a lot of rewriting and editing to produce interesting material. The following are some good tips found in an article by Katie Badeusz on

1. Be Clear: The best advice I ever recieved from a professor was to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Avoid using techinal terms or convouluted sentences. It may sound great to you, but if people cannot understand what you are trying to say then it won't matter anyways.
2. Apply Active Voice: Avoid writing in the passive voice! Sentences in the active voice are more concise and direct. Noun-verb construction is best. Say "She made a pizaa," not "A pizza was made."
3. Include Quotes: But avoid using too many or long-winded ones. Instead, incorporate quotes that sound authentic and reflect what a person might say in a normal conversation.
4. Write With Your Ear: The best way to edit your writing is to read it out loud. This way, you can hear what actually works in terms of sentence structure and pacing.
5. Allow Yourself To Write Crap: Don't focus on perfecting your sentences. Let your thoughts go and then fix them. Good writing involves rewriting!
6. Take Chances: Writing is all about creatvity. Don't forget to have fun and think outside the box.

Do you have any other writing tips you use? Let us know!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We Are the Twenty Percent!

  1. Altruists account for the largest percentage of social consumers. They re-tweet, post and share because of a desire to help others. Altruists are especially important to focus on for non-profits and fundraising endeavors. The most effective way to engage altruists is through Facebook and email.
  2.  Selectives make up the second highest percentage of social consumers. They strategically share information and content with specific users. These consumers use email most frequently to share content.
  3. Passionates share content and information because of a common passion they share with their followers and friends. They can be frequently found on Facebook and on customer review sites.
  4. Connectors share information in order to create opportunities. They generally will link multiple account to optimize their social experience. They are most commonly found and can be reached on Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and Facebook.
  5. Trendspotters want to be in and let others know they are in the know. They attempt to increase their credibility via multiple social channels and can be found on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, foursquare, Flickr, Facebook and Delicious. 
  6. Provocateurs are always looking to get a reaction. Bloggers are generally included in the this category and can be reached on YouTube, Wordpress/Blogger, Twitter, LinkedIn, foursqare, Flickr and Delicious. 
  7. Careerists general use social sites for business and networking purposes. In general, Careerists utilize YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and Facebook.
The number of followers and analytics of your company's page are no longer an appropriate measure of a campaign's success. Targeting high share consumers to generate recommondations and inspire creation of content is the appropriate means to increase engagement, brand loyalty, and ROI.

This post is based on the Huffington post article written by Jennifer Nagy, 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Marketing Degree ROI

With college now costing public university students an average of $37,343, and private schools costing quadruple that, at an average of $121, 930, picking a degree and major is more crucial than ever.  A Marketing degree was named number two on’ s, “Eight College Degrees that will Earn Your Money Back”.  Three top jobs with the most significant ROI are as follows:

Marketing Manager
Median Salary: $86,591
30-Year Earnings: $5,107,134
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 136%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 41%

Product/Brand Manager
Median Salary: $92,216
30-Year Earnings: $5,438,896
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 145%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 44%

Public Relations Manager
Median Salary: $86,127
30-Year Earnings: $5,079,767
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Public College: 135%
ROI of Degree Earner Attending Private College: 41%
All statistics are based on’s article, “EightCollege Degrees that will Earn Your Money Back.”


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

PR Runs On...

Study after study shows that PR professionals consume the most coffee among other professions. One study done in early 2011 ranked PR/Marketing pros in the top 10 of coffee drinkers. Since then, we've upped the ante now ranking a solid number two on the coffee consuming scale.

It's no secret that the field of public relations calls for a lot of productivity and can be very fast paced. So before you turn to that second, third, or fourth cup of coffee, try adopting these tips for productivity:

1. Plan your week and day out ahead of time: A huge part of staying productive is knowing what needs to be done when and how much time you can commit to it. Keep your weekly planner up to date and try to be as organized as possible. Implementing a color coding system will save you the task of later having to organize your planner!

2. Be realistic: In a perfect world, you would be able to send out every pitch, press release, and return every email all in the span of one work day. In practice, when your to-do list is taller than you are, some things will have to take a backseat. Focus on the things that you can, and ask for help when needed. Teamwork makes the dream work, so don't feel the need to get everything done solo.

3. Sleep: Coffee is not the cure for sleep depravation. At some point, you need to sit the work (and coffee) aside to allow your body time to rejunvinate. A rested mind is a productive mind.

4. Take time off: One way to guarantee a lack of producitivty in your life is to obsess about being productive. Focus on other interests and hobbies outside of work and give your mind a chance to unwind!

Do you fit the PR coffee statistic? Or have you found other ways to stay productive? Let us know!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bacon + Content Marketing = Success!

For my Fundamentals of PR Writing class, my assignment was to look up 3 PR blogs and write about them. Through that assignment I found Spin Sucks, a great blog with tons of relevant posts about marketing, PR, social media and the like. As I scrolled through, the post "Five Things Bacon Can Teach Us About Content Marketing" caught my eye. In it, Jason Miller details how bacon can teach us the ways of content marketing:
  • Bacon is nostalgic: Think back to when you were a kid and your mom would make you pancakes and bacon; good memories, right? A good content marketer will want to use the same strategy to hook you. Connect what you're writing about to something that evokes nostalgia, and you will be more likely to gain your audience's attention. People always respond to emotion versus straight facts.
  • Bacon makes everything better: Bacon serves as an accessory to a lot of average foods. Bacon-wrapped hot dogs, bacon cheeseburgers, etc. Putting a different spin or adding on something that is often blase will be easier for you, and more enjoyable for your audience.
  • Bacon doesn't take itself too seriously: There are a bunch of bacon-related products out there: bacon band-aids, bacon books, bacon stuffed animals, all in the interest of a good laugh.While it's important to be serious when the situation calls for it, it's also equally important to have a good sense of humor and roll with the punches.
  • Bacon is surprisingly diverse: According to Miller, bacon has 18 different ingredients that give the meat its delicious taste. Push the limits with your content, do the unexpected while still keeping your core message and in tact. No doubt your audience will love you for it.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Voting With Your Apps

The Republican National Convention generated over 4,000,000 tweets throughout its duration.  That high number of tweets may have had something to do with the new apps that iPhone and iPad users can download that allow them to stay up-to-date with the campaign.  These apps also allow them to also sync their Twitter and Facebook accounts.  Here are some of the more popular presidential campaign apps:

Obama for America: This app helps a person learn more about and help campaign for Obama.  It allows users to take action by finding campaign events near their location that they can attend to help support and rally for Obama.  It also gives suggestions on how users can campaign on their own time, such as door-to-door and supplying photos of flyers that can downloaded and printed out.  The app can be synced Twitter and Facebook handles so they can share their actions and breaking news stories about Obama and his campaign.

Romney-Ryan: This app works very similarly to the Obama for America app.  Users can view the personal bios of both candidates and breaking news stories about their campaign.  Supporters can also find events near them to show their support for Romney and Ryan.  This app can also be synced to app users Twitter and Facebook accounts.

CNN/TIME Convention Floor Pass:  CNN & Time magazine have teamed up with the best political experts to bring the political conventions to supporter’s iPhones.  This app allows a person to feel like they are on the convention floor with breaking news stories and opinions from political experts.  Keeping up with the trend, this app can also be synced to the user’s social media accounts. 

Both the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention also have apps that can be downloaded that are similar to the CNN/TIME app, but are dedicated strictly to either party.

During the last presidential election in 2008, Apple announced that 11.6 million iPhones were sold.  During 2012 so far, 98.1 million iPhones have been sold, showing the increase in the amount of iPhone users and how these apps reach a much more extensive audience.  These apps have a featured page on iTunes under the category Election 2012 and can all be downloaded for free.  

What apps do you use to stay up to date with the 2012 election?  Let us know!

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

Friday, September 7, 2012

Welcome to PRowl!

The semester has officially commenced! PRowl held it's first weekly meeting yesterday afternoon with many returning faces along with a few new ones. Everyone seems extremely excited to begin work with our new as well as returning clients. After such a successful meeting, I am really looking forward to a fun-filled semester.

I would like to give a shout out to our newest staff members here at PRowl Public Relations. You will be seeing their first few blog posts in these upcoming weeks so make sure to familiarize yourself with their names:

Madeline Barry
Tessa Cohn
Cara Graeff
Kadesha Holder 
Virginia Laskowski
Nicole Leo
Ciara Montero 
Antinnea Skipwith 

Welcome to PRowl ladies, here's to a wonderful new experience!

Interested in joining PRowl? Stay up to date with this blog for future opportunities and openings within the firm!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why You Should Add a Minor!

The question of the hour, should you or should you not add a minor to your current course load? Adding a minor can be both beneficial to your major and increase your chances of job placement. A minor broadens your understanding of the world and strengthens your overall portfolio. It also distinguishes your from other equally qualified candidates for a job and even graduate school. Finally, adding the right minor, be strategic, can expand the types of jobs you may be qualified and your pay grade. For example, if you are a public relations major, a advertising or graphic design minor gives you the ability to not only create content but also graphics for your potential employer, they will love this.

 Think about it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How to Get a Letter of Recommendation

Obtaining a letter of recommendation for an internship, scholarship, or study abroad program can be difficult when you are in a lecture of 200 or even in a small classroom. Although most academic involved programs require a letter of recommendation from a professor, a mentor may be another viable option. The following tips are to help you approach a professor or a mentor to obtain a letter of recommendation.  
If you have no professor or mentor in particular, start in a small classroom setting. It is easier to get to know a professor when you are not competing with 199 other students. It is also important to ask a professor for a letter of recommendation once you have submitted an assignment; this is so your recommendation will honestly attest to your work and give your professor or mentor something to discuss in your letter.
If you have made a relationship with a professor,   ask appropriately. Give your mentor or professor plenty of time to write your letter. Supply them with your resume and background of the award, internship, or study abroad program to assist them in content.
If your professor or mentor agrees to write you a letter make sure you write them a thank you note. It is also very important to follow up with them to notify if you got the award/internship or have been accepted to a study abroad program.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

3 Tips To Avoid Pitiful Pitches

As a public relations professional, many long office days (and some long nights as well) will be spent researching for and crafting the perfect pitch. Every client wants to be featured somewhere, but it is your job as the professional to find the perfect fit for them. While your client may have ambitions of being featured on the glossy pages of infamous magazines, it is also your job to introduce them to a world of publications they may never have considered before. Before drafting your next pitch, consider these tips to avoid sending a pitiful pitch:

1. Know your client's niche: Do you know what sets your client apart from other brands or companies in the same market? If you don't know what makes your client original, no one else will either. Create a brand identify for your client that sets them apart from others, even if there are similar brands on the market. Remember - it is not your clients ability to BE different, but rather your ability to represent and brand them differently.

2. Take the time to research: Don't waste your tip pitching your client to someone who has no interest in what they do. Keep a log about which journalist, bloggers, writers, and editors are covering which stories. Keep a running list and update it often, including links to stories you can reference while pitching. Nothing makes a writer more eager to cover your story than to know that you have been following them.

3. Excite and engage: If you aren't excited about what you're pitching, you will likely be shot down for a story. Your pitch should show that you are passionate about what you're saying. Do not approach the pitch like a professional trying to cross an item off a 'to-do' list. Instead, sit in the seat of a consumer sharing exciting news about a product or idea to another consumer. Getting your reader excited will always yield better results than boring them with stats and factoids.

Every pitch you write should be different, unique, and tell a different story depending on who you are pitching. Which elements do you find create the most effective pitches? Let us know!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Preparing #NOLA for Tropical Storm Isaac

Seven years later, Hurricane Katrina is still fresh in the minds of many residents of New Orleans, not to mention the rest of the world. This time around for tropical storm Isaac, the city of New Orleans will make no mistake in being as prepared as humanely possible for the storm expected this Tuesday. By creating a website for residents to consult for emergency protocol and up-to-date information regarding the storm, as well as a Twitter account for instant updates, New Orleans is gearing up for Isaac. 

Positives: In the days leading up to when Isaac is scheduled to touch down, the NOLA Twitter page has been churning out update upon update, keeping residents in the loop, something that the city failed to do during Hurricane Katrina. Tweets from the account have included links to websites designed to educate the people of New Orleans, as well as respond to those worried about evacuating their homes. 

Negatives: While the tweets and messages have been very informative, the priority at hand is to save lives. It's important to make clear that everything the government is doing is for the people so that residents can instill trust in their city's leaders. The city should also keep in mind who their audience is. Many residents do not rely on the internet for breaking news, but rather the radio. The government should spread their message in such a way that the most people will receive news in the largest magnitude. 

What other improvements do you think New Orleans should make in preparation for Isaac? Let us know!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Starting Off The Semester On The Right Track

Starting off a new semester as a seasoned sophomore, I have learned a thing or two about how things operate in a university setting. There are a couple things that I wish I would have known last year when I started the semester, so I put together a list of tips to help make the new semester run flawlessly.

Don’t procrastinate on your reading: My biggest mistake last year was not staying on top of my reading assignments. If you push off one night of reading it may seem like no big deal, until you have 100 pages due the next class. To avoid this mistake, simply complete your reading assignments as they are given. Although it may seem like a daunting task at the time, you will be thankful later that you just did the assignment when it was assigned.

Get a planner: One thing I wish I had used last semester was a planner to keep track of my assignments.  Balancing 5 classes may seem easy, but in reality it is a lot of work. Having a planner to keep track of assignments will help you to stay on top of your work. 

Visit your advisor: Talking to your advisor at the beginning of a semester is a great way to stay on track. Your advisor can help you with any of your academic needs, and make sure that you are following along well with your major requirements and are also on track to graduate. 

Go to class: Early in the semester, it might seem like an easy choice to just roll over and go back to bed instead of going to your 8am, but DONT cave in.  Skipping class early in the semester is never a good idea. Most classes only have an allocated allowance for absences, and there is most likely going to be a time later in the semester that you will need the day off for. Do yourself a favor and don’t lower your grade by skipping because you are too tired. 

What tips do you have for starting the semester off strong? Let us know!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Lexi Drexler 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What PR is and what it is NOT

“Oh you’re majoring in PR, that’s so exciting…but what is that exactly?” This is a pretty common question for me when I tell people my major. PR Daily recently posted two articles about what public relations is and what it is not that I think really clear up this question.  Public relations is not “a business function that deals with the media and/or bloggers and NOTHING else” and it is not “the only place to house social media.”  We are definitely in a world ruled partially by social media and yes, it does play a key role in the PR world but it is not the only tool that public relations professionals rely on.  PR is about using different outlets for different clients based on what’s best for them and what is best for getting their message out to the public.  Public relations doesn’t just deal with the media, it deals with many different audiences from many different areas. 

Journalists hate PR and PR professionals hate journalists.  That seems to be the common understanding of the relationship between PR and journalism.  PR Daily addresses the relationship by stating that PR is not “journalism’s peon [or] always best carried out by former journalists [or] a vocation that idiots who could not make it as journalists go into.”  Those are indeed some of the stereotypes that go alongside PR and its relationship with journalism, and the PR world is working hard to get people to see past them.  This relationship exists because, as the article posted by PR Daily states, PR is “misunderstood—especially by journalists.”

PR is not synonymous for “spin,” and that’s what many people seem to believe and this is a big part of the aforementioned misunderstanding.  When it comes down to it, PR is “an industry with enormous growth potential” and “a craft that requires fundamental understanding of human needs and wants.”  Public relations lives and breathes and it is a business revolving around people.  PR professionals, hopefully, are emotionally intelligent people with their client’s best needs at heart. According to PR Daily it’s “something oodles of people are passionate about” and that is wonderful to hear.  It’s a great industry that is only going to continue to grow and the sooner people learn what PR is and what PR is not, the better.  

To read more about what PR is check out this article on PR Daily and to find out more about what PR is not refer to this article from PR Daily.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relation's staff member London Faust.