Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Problem with Pop-Ups

As public relations professionals, we often become so passionate about our clients and work that we can’t wait to find some way to share it with the masses. From television to the blogosphere, we are always looking for a new medium to share information. Unfortunately, our goal to gain readership and increase awareness can often cause us to place our content in the wrong areas. The case in point: pop-ups.

We are all familiar with websites that, upon visiting their homepage, load a pop-up asking us to join an email subscription list or like an external Facebook page. We are even more familiar with, after scoffing and feeling annoyed, clicking ‘no thank-you’ or leaving the site all together. While the point of having the content appear in this fashion is to drive consumers to content, it often goes too far, making the consumer less inclined to interact. Here are a few issues I have with pop-up content:
  • Pop-ups force the user to commit, via an email subscription or Facebook like, before they are even able to engage in the content. Let the user see what you have to offer before shoving a commitment at them.
  • When users are greeted with a pop-up, it makes them more likely to leave the site before reading anything. While your goal was to commit them to receiving more content, you push them away from your brand completely.
  • Pop-ups are normally associated with things like spam and computer viruses. You never want your brand to be associated with things that can bring harm to consumers – even their computers!
In a social media savvy world, of course we want users to sign up for email subscriptions and follow our social media accounts, but there are other ways to achieve this goal:
  • Include links to social media profiles in a sidebar or after a post. Including clickable images after content allows the user to make an informed decision instead of being coerced.
  • If you posts contain a lot of images, consider adding a ‘Pin It” button feature so that users can easily share your content to Pinterest. If you have one, be sure to add a link to your Pinterest account as well!
How do you feel about pop-up content on websites? Share your thoughts!

Monday, April 29, 2013

What Does Non-Profit Healthcare PR Mean?

As PR student and a member of two of Temple's largest PR organizations, I've heard of many of the different areas of PR one can get into: sports, lifestyle, fashion, non-profit, corporate, etc. One that I haven't heard very often is non-profit health care.

For the past three years I have played with the idea of going to medical school. I love medicine, learning about it, hearing about people's stories, and everything in between. But I'm not the brightest bulb in the box when it comes to math and science, and so I've put medical school on the back burner for the moment. Instead, I looked into different hospitals and health organizations. All of them have PR teams. On Friday, I had lunch from the PR manager at Shriners Hospital for Children to learn more about what exactly non-profit healthcare PR is. And I fell in love.

Part of what the PR department at a hospital does is learn about patients. Through telling the story of a patient, the PR rep can then tie-in a mention of the hospital, e.g. a new machine that allows for John Doe to walk for the first time in 20 years, etc. Just like any other industries, you will pitch reporters, create internal newsletters, and the like. But you get to talk to people every day who you are directly helping. By spreading the word about your hospital, more people will be interested and inclined to seek help at your hospital or donate.

For someone who has been struggling about their career for forever now, it feels so relieving to finally find my place in the world, a place that I'm passionate about. I would encourage anyone out there struggling to find their path to just dabble in everything, it may take awhile but you'll find your place too :)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

So, you’ve mastered networking. Now what?

We all know that Public Relations is all about networking.  But once you’ve connected with a PR professional, it’s sometimes difficult to maintain a relationship with them.  Thankfully, there’s an easy solution: informational interviews.  

What are informational interviews?
Informational interviews are short meetings in which students ask industry experts for career and professional advice.  The best way to request a meeting with a contact is to merely ask.  Send them a short email explaining your interest in the field and inquire if they would be willing to meet with you to discuss their experiences within the industry.

Most professionals will be flattered that you considered them a mentor of sorts.  At the same time it’s important to be mindful that, by agreeing to the informational interview, they are doing you a favor.  Though it can be as simple as a 30 minute meeting over coffee, you are not exempt from traditional interview etiquette.

How to prepare:
Like any other interview, it’s important to do your homework.  Come with well-prepared questions that identify the information you are most interested in seeking.  Ask what you genuinely want to know about the industry or their specific position; chances are if you’re just repeating memorized questions, they will be able to tell.  Remember, this is not a chance for you to ask for job opportunities but to gain insight into the industry from a PR professional.

Be sure to ask open-ended questions like “What are the most challenging/rewarding aspects of your career?”, “What has been your career path from college to the present?”, and “Where do you see the future of the industry going?” Make a note to ask if you have missed any important points that they would care to mention.

Despite a casual setting, you will still be expected to conduct yourself as a professional.  This includes dressing like one. 

The Follow-up
Finally, who doesn’t love a thank you note?  Hand-writing a personalized thank you note within 24 hours of your meeting will not only let the professional know how much you valued the interview, but also leave a positive and memorable mark. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jaime Martorana.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Networking: PRowl & PRSA Philadelphia

Networking is essential in the public relations industry. Effective networking goes well beyond introducing yourself and shaking hands. The ability to make valuable connections with industry professionals well before your job search begins is crucial in today's world. 

Get to know local organizations within the field that plan events in which networking can take place. Subscribe to their free emails newsletters so you can be notified about upcoming networking opportunities. Create business cards so you are always ready to give a new connection your contact information. 

PRSA Philadelphia put on their annual Spring Sunset Happy Hour this past week and members from PRowl PR and Temple University's PRSSA chapter were lucky enough to attend. This event allowed us students to meet public relations professionals who work right here in Philadelphia! Held at the Waterworks Restaurant and Lounge, we were able to enjoy food and drinks while taking in the gorgeous views of the establishment, the Delaware River as well as Boathouse Row. 

PRowl PR members from left to right: Samantha Wanner, Emily Storz, London Faust, Amanda White, Jessica Mancuso, Kaitlyn Sutton & Gregg Fesitman, Faculty Advisor

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rebrand, Rebuild, Regroup

When people develop companies, their dream is to make to the list of top recognized and respected brands but every once in awhile brands take a hard hit. And these hits can have a lasting impression. It took most of these companies’ years to build up their brand name, but only a short time to put a permanent mark on their record.

1. Martha Stewart: Currently in a legal battle between Macy’s Inc. and J.C. Penny Co. Inc., on which retailer has the rights to sell her brand items.

2. Apple: Sales for apple products are down because of the creation of Galaxy SIII and the Galaxy S4, which many are reporting are better than the iPhones.

3. Hyundai: Fabricated information lead to the recalling of many cars. This car company falsely reported the miles per gallon (MPG) on some of their cars, which resulted in dissatisfied customers.

4. Boeing: The delay of the reveal of this airplane has many concerned for the safety of this spacecraft. This spacecraft has not been given permission to take flight, which puts major concern in the eyes of the passengers.

5. J.C. Penney: With the end of major discounts, constant sales and low advertising, this company’s revenue has dropped substantially. Customers are not purchasing items at full price and the lack of discounts deters people from making purchases.

6. Best Buy: This company is having trouble competing with Amazon. Sales have decreased within the year and due to circumstances that were revealed about the CEO, the reputation of this company is faltering as well.

7. Groupon: Facing difficulty keeping up with the competition. Current revenue is at a low 0% to 9%.

8. BlackBerry: Because of the creation of smart phones, this company has not been able to fight off competitors. Their customers continue to leave because of the high interest in the other phones, which causes sales to decrease drastically.

9. J.P. Morgan: After a trade lost this bank millions of dollars, many began to question the integrity of the company. There was concern over how well the situation was handled and began to be investigated by the federal government.  

So, what exactly went wrong? Customers began to loose trust within these businesses. Consumers do not want to see the products they buy plastered on front-page news with headlines revealing unknown information about such products. With the economy still trying to rebuild itself, corporations are still looking to make money. The best way to make money and keep customers coming back is to be honest. Unfortunately, for these brands, rebuilding their image will be an uphill battle. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Exposing Myths About Virtual Internships

Last Summer, after securing one internship at a local public relations agency, I was offered another position as a virtual intern. The internship required me to log a certain amount of hours working from home, completing various projects, and being available for conference calls with supervisors and clients. Having one in-office internship and a work from home internship was a great way to gain two very different types of experiences. Many of my friends assumed that my virtual internship was less work, and didn't require much time or dedication, but this was absolutely not the case! That is only one of the myths about virtual internships or working from home.

Here 4 disproved myths from Ragan's list of work from home myths.

Myth: Working from home means you can relax more and not take work seriously.
FALSE! While telecommuting does mean you can often be more flexible about your hours, you still have to dedicate a set amount of time to getting work done.

Myth: If you aren't surrounded by other employees, you will not be as motivated to get work and assignments done.
FALSE! During my virtual internship, I had to communicate with other interns via email, Skype, and phone calls to discuss or progress with certain projects. Knowing that I would have to bring something to the table always motivated me to get my work done!

Myth: It is harder to find time to communicate with the client when you work from home.
FALSE! When I first accepted my position as a virtual intern, I also had to submit my availability  and commit to remaining available at those times. Knowing that I had to be around to be reached at certain times meant that my virtual internship always knew when they could get in contact with me.

Myth: Virtual interns aren't involved with brainstorming and planning.
FALSE! Many of the phone and Skype meetings that we would have were strictly about brainstorming new ideas and planning new projects. One of the major benefits of have virtual interns is that you can find people from many different walks of life to provide fresh ideas!

Have you ever heard of or had a virtual internship? Share your experiences with us!

Monday, April 22, 2013

An Afternoon With NBC-10

As I previously mentioned, I attended PPRA's Careers 101 event a few weeks back. During a raffle, my name was called for a "Networking Session with Adam Dvorin." I expected to grab a cup of coffee and have a chat with Adam, but instead he set up a tour with Denise Nakano of NBC-10 for today and KYW next month!

I have never been in a TV studio, much less met an anchor/reporter. Denise was gracious enough to take us through every aspect of a news production, from the news room to the actual studio (see photo below). Along with Denise's co-anchor Chris Cato, I learned a few tips about broadcast news and pitching reporters.

  • When you're working with a reporter or cameraman, don't order them around and tell them what to do. No one likes to be told what to do, but especially reporters. 
  • When pitching a story, find some kind of local tie or tie-in with a current event.
  • It is invaluable to have connections to reporters, because they will be more inclined to cover your stories in the future, and put a face to the name.
  • However, if a reporter covers your story once, don't expect them to cover your client every single time. There is always breaking news or other stories to cover, choose which stories to pitch to your personal contacts wisely.
A special thanks to Denise Nakano and Chris Cato for inviting me to come tour NBC-10!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Eat. Pray. Love: A Healthy Balance for PR Pro’s

Many of us are familiar with the 2010 hit movie Eat, Pray, Love starring the beautiful Julia Roberts on a journey to balance the crossroads in her life. Successful careers often require a “give-all” attitude at any hour of the day. In the round-the-clock field of public relations, maintaining the drive to balance both professional and personal life can be challenging. Fortunately enough, there are ways to master an  award-winning performance of one of life’s greatest challenges: the balancing act. 

EAT For the on-the-go professional, smart snacking between meals is important. Snacking on healthy foods stabilizes blood sugars, fuels energy and evokes “positive” thoughts. From personal experience, if you’re in a hurry, Fiber 1 Bars do the trick because they provide 30% of your daily fiber. Grab that box of almonds, bag of dried cranberries,bananas or any dried fruit, and a tablespoon or two of chocolate chips to create your own personal brand of trail-mix. Your creation will be irresistible to colleagues and clients. 

PRAY Take a moment at the end of the day, week or month to reflect on your hard work. Writing it down, privately or publicly, is a great habitat to fall into. Reflection forces you to utilize your down time to recognize mistakes, set future goals and build on the millions of ideas you have running through your mind. Once you free your mind and recognize everything that you have accomplished, be proud of your time and effort. Rightfully earned success is something to celebrate. 

LOVE We never work a day in our lives if we do what we love. This outlook requires us to love what we do both in and out of the office. Quality time with family and friends is important and adds relaxation and excitement to our schedules. Love is a key element to strengthening relationships with those people who are dear to us. Sunday night rolls around, and you think about the week in front of you. Just remember to eat, pray and love and know that happiness and success will come your way! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Caitlin Kummeth.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Getting the Most Out of Networking

Springtime for many college students means searching for or finalizing that coveted summer internship. Once you’ve, hopefully, been successful in this search, the journey is far from over! Networking constantly, and networking well, is an absolute must for those looking to establish themselves as a prominent figure in their field. 

Here are some easy ways to make the most out of networking:

1. Keep Your Head Up: Just because someone is not interested in connecting or does not make time for you should never be taken personally. Many professionals are simply just caught at a bad time or are extremely busy and this is no slight to you. 

2. More Is Better: When it comes to networking, there is never such a thing as too much. Set goals for yourself and get in the habit of making frequent connections. If you take it upon yourself to reach out and connect with one person every day of the week, you can easily see your connections soar into the hundreds by the years’ end!

3. Two-Way Street: Remember, you want to make your connection valuable for the other party as well. You want something from them (that’s why you are making the connection, after all) but remember to show what you have to offer them as well! Let the other person speak instead of you running the conversation and see what they are working on. Offering advice or assistance in their projects can be extremely beneficial to both parties!

4.Always Be Prepared: Some of the best networking opportunities could come when you least expect it. Try to always keep a business card handy when you are out!        

5. Diversify: Go beyond your industry; you do not need to network exclusively in your field. Down the road, you might need the assistance of someone in a different field!

6. Follow Up: Maintain your relationships! Following up and keeping in touch with the connections you make is important. If you connect with 100 people and never keep in touch or follow up, all of your hard work could have been for naught!

Remember, it isn’t enough to just make the attempt to network with other professionals, but rather to know how to network well to maximize your opportunities and connections.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Chris Krochak

Friday, April 19, 2013

Social Media Scolding over Boston Marathon

It seems that false reporting over social media sites is becoming a reoccurring trend. Like my professors continually preach, "Always check your facts." It seems that the media need to be refreshed on this simple rule.

According to Mashable, the Federal Bureau of Investigation scolded several media outlets in a statement Wednesday afternoon in response to the false reports being circulated that an arrest had been made in the investigation of Monday's Boston Marathon bombings. 

"Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate," reads the FBI's unusual report. "Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting."

The race to be first is hurting news organizations' accuracy and trust levels. A crisis can come at any moment. As an aspiring PR professional, I know that I need to be ready for the worst at any given time. However hectic the crisis may become, it is never okay to post public information without checking your facts. Credibility is essential in the media and communication industry. 

Ben Dimiero @bendimiero
The last hour of CNN: Suspect ID'd. Arrest imminent. Arrest made. Confirmed arrest made. Wait, maybe no arrest. Confirmed arrest not made.

What news organizations do you still hold credible? Let us know! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Social Media’s Growing Role in Crises

Monday’s terrible and startling Boston Marathon bombings undoubtedly put the nation in a state of shock. Among the fear and utter devastation in the wake of the event, social media has allowed for stories of inspiration and true compassion to emerge.

During the height Monday’s events, certain groups and individuals used social media to their fullest advantage with one shared goal: helping those in need.

The Boston Police Department did an excellent job keeping the public and the media up to speed on what was happening. Among the many rumors and false tweets that circulated, they constantly set the record straight.  

Just hours after the bombing, The American Red Cross tweeted the following, showing how quickly people had responded to help:
Another inspirational moment came when a Google Doc began circulating via Twitter. The document was created by Boston residents who had space to offer up in their homes for those affected by the bombings. Soon after, the document grew to include thousands of listings. Take a look at the document here

Finally, one of the most moving tweets of the day came from the NBC Sports Network. If you need a small reminder that there is still good in the world, read this tweet and remember it:

Did you see any other inspirational posts on social media? Be sure to share them with us. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Finding a Place for Fitness

When you're working long hours and trying to clear as many items off of your to-do list as possible, working out can often be put on the back burner. Public relations has been named, numerous times, as one of the most stressful professions. Having a regular workout routine can help to alleviate some of that stress, and get endorphines running through your body. If you're having trouble fitting a workout around your busy work schedule, try following this cubicle workout from Fitness Blender:

  • Run/jog in place, or walk a few laps around your workplace for 2-3 minutes as a warm-up
  • 15 Glute Squeezes – Sitting straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor, contract your glutes and hold for 2-3 seconds so that you raise up a bit in your chair before relaxing muscles.
  • 15 Arm Circles in each direction – Extend arms and make small clockwise circles with your fingertips. Switch directions to repeat circles counterclockwise.
  • 15 Abdominal Contractions – Sit in your chair with a straight back and pull your belly button in towards your spine. Hold for 5 seconds for each repetition. 
  • 15 Seated Tricep Dips – Scoot to the edge of your chair and support your bodyweight with your fingers hanging over the edge of the seat. Lower your body weight, keeping elbows tucked into sides. Make sure to choose a chair without wheels for this office exercise!
  • 15 Squats – This is an easy way to bump up your calorie burn and tone glutes and thighs in an office workout when you are limited on space.
  • 15 Wall Push Ups – To tone your chest with an office exercise routine, do push ups against the wall (you can do regular push ups if you’re not in a dress and/or have enough space).
  • 15 Toe Raises – A great move for cubicle routines, these allow you to tone the calves without breaking a sweat and with minimal room.
  • 15 Dumbbell or Resistance Band Curls – Keep dumbbells or exercise bands handy at your desk and you will open up a wealth of different office exercises and toning moves that require very little space. See Fitness Blender’s exercise library for more upper body toning ideas.
Doing this cubicle workout a few days a week, along with avoiding take-out lunches, could yield serious results before you know it! If this workout isn't quite your style, see if this 32 minute chair workout works best for you.

Have you found a way to get your workout in while you're at work? If so, please share!

Monday, April 15, 2013

On Managing Expectations

Two weeks ago I attended PPRA’s Careers 101 event. One of the topics the panel discussed was managing expectations. In other words, when you are working with a client, it is important to make your (and your client’s) expectations clear. I thought that was a great tip, because I see it happen every day, even when working with clients myself, how important it is to take the time to discuss expectations
Every time you pull off an event or even a campaign, you have specific expectations in your mind. You may expect for it to go off swimmingly (a rare instance!) or for the event to fall a little flat. It’s safe to say that nothing will ever exactly meet your expectations as things change on a moment’s notice. However, by setting goals and managing your own expectations, you will save yourself a lot of grief and gain efficiency.

Managing expectations has become vital when working with a new client. Sometimes you may have a generation gap or a gap of experience, and your client may expect something totally different or way more than you can deliver. It’s your job to address the client directly and negotiate what can and cannot feasibly be done. Of course, you want to do your best to help your client, but you will only be hurting yourself and your client if you promise something you cannot deliver. Instead, set goals and reaches, and keep consistent contact with your client about wins and losses. Honesty is the best policy.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Industry Introduction

One of the perks of working in PR is having so many different industries to work in. While every industry uses media relations, special events, public speaking, community relations and the works, individual industries specialize in whatever your interests are! Let’s take a look at three general subcategories of PR:

Entertainment PR: Entertainment PR can be classified as a music PR firm, film PR firm, or communications department within a company. Names like VH1, NBC, and MTV have a Communications Directors or Director of PR to work in house. These are also considered entertainment PR positions. Working in entertainment PR requires a large time commitment. It’s one thing to be passionate about PR, but entertainment PR professionals must also be passionate and knowledgeable about the entertainment world. You need to know the latest trends in order to know how to market your own company and clients accordingly.

Fashion PR: Fashion PR can easily be misconstrued for the luxurious lifestyles of fashion PR professionals portrayed on TV, but that is not the reality. Fashion PR executes all of the general PR strategies within a designer name. Just like entertainment PR, it’s very important to be passionate about the brand you are working for. With passion, a fashion PR professional adjusts all projects to the themes of the designer. For example, Burberry uses its plaid print almost as a logo. Like any aspect of the fashion industry, you have to be thick-skinned. Be prepared to hear criticism, constructive or not, on projects you may have thought were the next best thing.

Lifestyle PR: Lifestyle PR is all about promoting living well. Lifestyle PR professionals work hard to convince their audience that their client has something to offer that will enable them to live better. One struggle within lifestyle PR is that what one consumer considers right, another consumer could consider wrong. Like any other PR professional, lifestyle PR experts know that it’s all about how the product or service appears to the consumer.

These are only three subcategories within the PR world. Many others exist, including non-profit, tourism, and political/government. The world is always changing, so who knows what industry you’ll land your feet in.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Alyssa Guckin.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Coaches Gone Wild

The video of former Rutgers men basketball coach, Mike Rice, physically abusing and berating the players in a torrent of obscenities and homophobic slurs, has left us horrified and Rutgers in the midst of a huge media firestorm.  After the hidden footage was aired on ESPN it didn’t take long for it to go viral.  Soon enough, it had flooded the waves of social media and with that alone, Rutgers had already found itself neck-deep in a PR crisis. 

The video, showing footage from 2012, had been brought to the attention of Rutgers Athletic Director, Tim Pernetti, last November. Rice’s punishment was anything but harsh: a three-game suspension and a stint in anger management classes.  Within the past few months, Rutgers made the huge mistake by biding their time and praying this would all blow-over.  

Flash forward to April where Rutgers promptly fired Rice as the scandal rippled through the campus and beyond.  A suitable course of action, but one that critics are calling a “Public Relations Band-Aid:” a temporary solution after the damage has been done.  

So what could have Rutgers done differently?  Some PR pros are commending Rutgers for being so prompt to fire Rice after coverage of the incident exploded.  However, most agree that it’s a case of too little, too late.  There is an ethical standard of giving the worthy punishment when it punishment is due that Rutgers failed to reach.  Had they taken the appropriate course of action and fired Rice when the footage was first brought to the Rutgers Athletic Director’s attention, they might be one head coach poorer but they could have avoided the even greater negative impact on its reputation. 

What’s your opinion on the Rutgers Basketball scandal? Let us know!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Cara Graeff.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Resume Words to Avoid

It's the most wonderful time of the year - time to update your resume that is! Most of us are in the middle of our summer job search and what better way to prepare yourself than by editing your resume before you send it off to an employer. 

The best way to land the summer job of your dreams is to stand out! While you're updating and editing, make sure to avoid these overused words:

1. People Person - Do you honestly even know what this means? Employers want to see that you can successfully communicate your ideas but "people person" does not really relay that. Use "effective communicator" instead and nix the "people person" nonsense. 

2. Hard Worker - Everyone claims to be a "hard worker" believe it or not! To impress your employer, explain how you have gone the extra mile by citing examples.

3. Dynamic - Unless you have figured out how to cure a disease or are a superhero, ditch the word dynamic.

4. Familiar With... - This is geared towards editing your skill set and qualification section. To describe your knowledge of computer programs like Microsoft Excel or Photoshop, use descriptive language such as: beginner, intermediate, proficient or advanced to really speak to your level of knowledge. 

5. Reliable - You wouldn't be applying for a job if you weren't reliable so it is okay to leave this word out. Employers expect you to be dependable and to arrive at work on time, no need to brag about it. 

The main point here is that you want to be able to show employers why you are the right person for the job. Words are a powerful thing and using descriptive words will help you stand out above the rest!

Check out more words to avoid here!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

4 Tips for Publicizing Your Personal Brand

As a young professional, one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself is create and cultivate your personal brand. It is important to know who you are as a professional, and to be able to express that to others. You always want to be sure to emphasize your best qualities and display your strengths. After you create and develop yourself as a brand, it is just as important to share your brand with other professionals. It's great to have a solid profile, but if you aren't connecting with anyone then your profiles aren't doing their job. The easiest way to do this is by using online tools. Here are 4 tips for making your personal brand more publicized:

1. Blog: The easiest way to control how others view you is to give them the image you want them to see. Blogging allows you to show your personal and professional interests and helps you become more comfortable with online blogging platforms. You can also use your blog to promote other social media sites that you're on. Be sure to make it interactive and include photos and videos with your posts.

2. Business Cards: Every young professional should create a business card that tells who they are, what they do, and makes them stand out. Try incorporating color into your business card, avoid just a standard black and white print. Make sure your name stands out, and include other places to reach you such as Twitter, Facebook, your blog, and LinkedIn profile. Driving people to your social sites encourages them to learn more about you.

3. Be Social: Join different social media sites and make sure they are each complete and professionally done. Have the same bio on each site so that people aren't confused when they visit you on different platforms. Always have links to your other profiles on each site also, because people are more likely to visit your other profiles when they don't have to search for it. Also, presenting a link to your other profile shows that you don't have anything to hide.

4. Join Communities: There are plenty of forums and groups dedicated to young professionals and seasoned pros in the industry. Look for groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and join them to network online and drive more people to your online sites. Expanding your network is a great way to help people become familiarized with your professional brand.

How do you publicize your personal brand? Let us know!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Cat Got Your Tongue?

Have you ever had a speaking engagement that you practiced for, day after day, until you had it memorized verbatim? Ever find yourself stumbling over those same words once you were in front of an audience? Guilty. Here at Temple, StratComm majors are required to take a public speaking course. But one course won't eliminate the occasional slip-up. So what do you do when you're at a loss for words? Below are a few tips on regrouping yourself during a speech:

1.     Incorporate your own experience to answer the question while buying time: It's perfectly okay to say, "I've never been asked that before," or "Let me think back to when I first experienced that." It will buy you time to remember what it was that you wanted to say. If it doesn't then just move along to your next point, don't sweat the small stuff.
2.     Don't um and ah: These two words are tell-tale signs to the audience that you are lost. Use longer phrases to mix it up and buy you more time than two letters will. 
3.     If appropriate to the question, use the time-buying phrase to redirect the answer to a point you want to make: If someone asks you a question that you don't have an answer to, or that a simple no would suffice, use a time-buying phrase to transition into your next statement, or redirect.
4.     Don’t say anything: At least for a couple seconds! It’s okay to just take a couple seconds to recollect yourself, it’s better than stuttering through or peppering your speech with ums and ahs.

What are your best strategies for regrouping during a speech? Let us know!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Resume: Traditional or Creative?

First impressions are very important when it comes to interviews. When hunting for a job, that first impression is your resume. The resume is a quick summary of yourself that determines whether or not you will secure an interview.

In the “old days” (that were not too long ago) people would apply for jobs using a traditional resume that listed their experiences. In today’s competitive job market, people are reconstructing their resumes to more creative formats in order to make it stand out. For instance, adding your LinkedIn URL to the header is very common. Also, people are testing out different layouts and adding graphics to spice it up.

The biggest question with this new trend is, do employers like it? The answer is, as with most things in the professional world, it depends. Where you are applying and what the job entails will be deciding factors in how you format your resume. For example, a traditional corporate Public Relations firm may simply want to see what education and experience you have and could care less about the creativity aspect. However, a new hip boutique would probably love the creativity! 

Doing some research on the job you are applying for is a must! Research what kind of company it is and tailor your resume accordingly. Also, have a second pair of eyes look over your resume to make sure it is flawless. It really comes down to what YOU feel is right. You are the only one who can make yourself stand out. So, do whatever it takes!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kelly Dougherty 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Research: A PR Pro’s Best Friend

Writing; media relations; reputation management; and crisis communications. These are some things that come to mind for most people when they think about what they’ll be doing throughout their career in PR.  They’re forgetting something very important, dare I say, something that is the very backbone of public relations: RESEARCH!  

I’ve been doing a lot of research for clients lately, from competitive analyses to improvement surveys and focus groups, and I know that the information I come back with is crucial.  Research opens new doors and reveals short comings along with solutions to problems that might not have been obvious before.

Research can help to:
  • Gain feedback
  • Provide background information
  • Identify audiences 
  • Assess strengths and weaknesses
Research also looks great in your job portfolio.  It shows that you can think analytically and that you’re willing to do time consuming and detail-oriented work.  Don’t be intimidated by the thought of research.  Tools like Survey Monkey and Microsoft Excel are here to help and should be utilized to the fullest.  Looking for something different to do at your internship? Propose a research project, design a survey, and impress your boss by discovering something that can improve the company. 

Without research, public relations professionals would be aimlessly pitching stories, communicating with the wrong audiences, and handling situations incorrectly.  It’s the base of the PR pyramid, but it’s something that is often overlooked.  Learn to love it because the truth is, if you’re not doing your research, you’re jeopardizing your success. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member London Faust.

Friday, April 5, 2013

PRowl Public Relations Executive Board 2013-2014

After reviewing applications and partaking in an intense interview process, the executive board for 2013-2014 has finally been selected! These new executive board members showed incredible dedication to the firm and will begin their positions in the Fall of 2013. All new executive board members are exemplary leaders and will have no trouble transitioning into their new positions.

Congratulations to all of our new additions!

Amber Burns, Assitant Firm Director

London Faust, Assistant Firm Director

Jordan Washington, Director of Public Relations

Kadesha Holder, Director of Finance

Kelly Dougherty, Secretary

We would also like to extend our best wishes for our newest editions to the Account Executive team!

Alison Curran, Account Executive

Alyssa Guckin, Account Exectuive

Amanda White, Account Executive

We look forward to another exciting year at PRowl Public Relations!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Not So Smooth Sailing

Carnival Cruse Line has sure had more lows than highs in these past couple of months. In just the past two months, Carnival has experienced three crisis. To say their PR department has been busy would be an understatement.  But the upside is that their PR department has been able to handle theses crises quickly and efficiently.

On Wednesday, The Triumph, which was the ship that had to be pulled to shore just a few months ago, was not securely stationed and due to strong winds was pushed over knocking two pedestrians into the water; because of the collision the ship also suffered some damage.

After this event, the Public Relations took to twitter. Taking to Twitter right away was one of the best things Carnival could have done. It shows they were not trying to hid anything and they wanted to eliminate the possibility of speculation and rumors.

Due to the crisis that occurred a few short months ago, Carnival needs to prevent factors that could lead to a tarnished reputation. This is one of the top cruise lines families’ travel on. If dangerous situations continue to occur, people will not longer feel comfortable using this company to travel.

What do you think about all the crises the Carnival Cruise Line has experienced? Would you still use this cruise line for travel? 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Night of Networking with PPRA

Last night, Temple PRSSA and PRowl members enjoyed an evening of networking at The Philadelphia Public Relations Association’s annual event, Careers 101. The event, which was targeted toward students and young professionals, turned out a great crowd at Drexel University. 

Approximately 20 Temple PR students were in attendance. They networked with professionals from a variety of fields in PR, listened to a panel of experienced speakers, won great raffle prizes and received critiques on their resumes and cover letters. 

The event was great, especially for younger members. Sophomore PRSSA member Tyler Cameron reflects on the event by saying:
 “The panelists gave us real life examples of what kind of person is successful in the current PR world. Listening to the PR professionals instruct us on interviews, work ethic, resume building  and general facts on how to make it in the public relations world really inspired me to do my best to be as successful as each of them. The interactive networking session really excited me about my future in the public relations industry, and confirmed I’m in the right major.”

You can check out tweets from last night’s event by searching the hashtag, #PPRACareers101 on Twitter. Also, be sure to follow @PPRA for updates on their future events! 

This post was written by Temple PRSSA President Mackenzie Krott.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Twitter Chats for PR Pros

In public relations, it is essential that you have a like-minded friend and colleague who truly understands what a PR person does. To many people, the obsessive email checking, our crazy attention to detail, and dedication to a profession that many people overlook is baffling. It’s great to have a group of supportive professionals who can have an appreciation and understanding for what you do. Other professionals also tend to be some of our greatest untapped resources.

One place I have been able to connect with other dedicated professionals has been on social media, more specifically Twitter Chats! Twitter Chats are a great time to make connections while gaining information about a specific topic of interest. Because Twitter Chats are virtual, you have access to professionals you may never have met otherwise. 

Here are some great Twitter Chats you should mark your calendars for:

#InternPro: an open discussion moderated by @YouTern, enables young professionals to successfully enter the workforce; topics typically include internships, job interview skills, networking, personal branding and entry-level career development. When: Mondays, 9pm to 10pm ET.

#JournChat: “Conversation between journalists, bloggers and public relations folks. Moderated by @PRsarahevans.” When: 7:00pm to 10pm CST.

#MeasurePr: Dedicated to discussing all things related to public relations measurement, including social media. Often features expert guests. Founded and curated by @shonali. See the WTHashtag page for more details; bi-weekly on Tuesdays, 12-1 pm ET.

#PinChat: Pinterest Chat. Weekly Twitter chat Wed 9PM ET, founded by Kelly Lieberman@tribe2point0 to discuss best practices, new uses, highlight brand usage, personal/professional use and tools for Pinterest. Details athttp://kellylieberman.wordpress.com/what-is-pinchat/

#PrwebChat: Chat with influencers and learn about their PR techniques, online marketing strategies, social media strategies and similar topics. Topics include PR, SEO, social media and the like for individuals, agencies and small businesses. Moderated by @prweb#prweb When: Every other Thursday, 1:00pm to 1:30pm CST.

#AgencyChat: Chat for those working or interested in ad agencies. Moderated by@craigritchie. Facebook page. When: Fridays, 1:00pm to 2:00pm CST.

For a full list of other great Twitter Chats, check out this post by San Francisco PR Girl.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Brands for Equality

No doubt most of you have seen the avatar changes on your Facebook and Twitter to the universal sign for equality. Of course, brands took notice too.

The viral spread of the equality sign came during the Supreme Court's review of California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, an important step for gay marriage. Soon brands began adopting the equality sign and merging it with their logo, a smart move because if we look back to what happened when Chick-Fil-A expressed their position towards gay marriage, people are not inclined to buy from brands against equality.

The danger with brands becoming more politically and socially conscious is that someday there may be a separation; one half of the population will use the brands that aligns their beliefs one way and the other half will go the other way. In fact, that has already started to happen, some people choose to only purchase from free trade organizations because of their personal social/political preferences.

What do you think? Are brands really in favor of gay marriage? Or are they simply going where the money is? Let us know!