Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mapping Your Next Steps

As summer comes to an end, many of us are thinking about what the next step in our professional lives should be. Some may be preparing for another semester at school, others may be preparing to graduate and enter the real world or are looking to take on a different job than the one they have now. Each of these phases can be scary, but are much easier to process and manage with a little planning ahead. Whether you are looking for your next internship, first job or are looking to switch jobs, here are some tips to get you started:

Remember your goals: Your long and short term goals should always be guiding factors when making new decisions. Make a list of short and long term professional goals that you would like to accomplish in the following weeks, months, and years. Nothing is too big or too small. A short term goal could be as simple as starting a blog or updating your portfolio, and a long term goal could be to get published or go to work for a large firm. 

Plan to take risks: Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zones when planning for your future. This may mean planning to take an internship in a different city that you're unfamiliar with, or relocating for a new job. You never know where opportunity can take you.

Get inspired: Sometimes it can be hard for us to think outside of the box. Sit and talk with friends and other professionals to see what some of their future plans and goals are. You never know when someone else's vision will inspire your own.

Don't get stuck: Life may cause us to take detours and veer off of our mapped out plan, and that's ok. All that matters is that we do not allow ourselves to get "stuck" in any place. If you aren't settled doing what you love, you should be planning a way to get there! You should be just as passionate about your professional life as you are your personal life.

Have you set future professional goals? Share them with us!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


We've all been followed by Twitter accounts that are clearly just following massive amounts of people in order to get followed in return.  That is definitely not the way to build a quality Twitter audience, which is important to have in a field like public relations.  These articles from Social Media Examiner and Media Bistro seem to agree on some tips to help gain followers and build your Twitter presence.

1. Pay attention to your profile.
Using relevant information in your Twitter bio along with a quality headshot picture is a great start towards attracting new followers.

2. Engage--but not with strangers.
Sometimes people seem to think reaching out to strangers on Twitter will help them gain a follower or two, and in some cases that may be true, but the best people to engage with are the ones that are already in your network.  If you do this, it will show others that you are active and they will want to follow and engage with you too.

3. Use Twitter directories.
Who knew there was such a thing? Sites like help segment prominent Twitter users into categories. So if you're looking for influential people to follow, check it out.

4. Share your Twitter on other networks.
I personally dislike when people have every social network linked so I see something they post four times on four different sites.  However, linking your Twitter to other networks can definitely be beneficial.  If someone who doesn't follow you (yet) sees something you tweet because it's linked to your Facebook, they might be inclined to check you out.

Do you have any tips or tricks for building an effective Twitter following? Let us know!

Monday, July 29, 2013

5 Tips For Closing A Summer Internship

You’ve landed the internship and gained experience, so now what? As the last day of our internships appears in our planners, it is important to take the necessary steps to exit professionally. Remember interns come and go; it is time to get strategic about leaving a lasting impression. Below are five tips on how to end an internship in a professional, yet memorable manner:  
  • Send a thank you note. Mail a handwritten card thanking your supervisor for the opportunity. Make the note unique by mentioning a favorite experience or skill you learned. Avoid sounding like a robot or an emotional Hallmark card.
  • Link in with employees. Connect with employees and fellow interns that you have met on LinkedIn. Sending a personal message rather than the standard invite will make you stick out. If you have other appropriate social media platforms, connect!
  • Exchange emails. This may sound like a given, but collecting a supervisor’s personal email is crucial for staying in touch. What if they move to another company and lose their company email? 
  • Take care of unfinished business. Plan to complete all tasks and projects you have been working on before you leave. This may mean putting extra hours in or extending your last day. Your dedication and hard work will shine through and leave an excellent impression.
  • Sit down with your supervisor. Set up a time to chat with your supervisor. The talk does not have to be formal. If you are not sure what to say consider asking questions about the company, school, future opportunities, the industry, advice and your performance. The door is wide open! Your supervisor has deadlines and their time is precious so don’t forget to be appreciative and sincerely thank them for their time!
Do you have an internship or two under your belt? Please share your expertise on closing an internship!

This guest blog post was written by PRSSA member Amber Foster.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

SMAD Ring A Bell? Let's Hope Not!

In an article from PR News, social media was the overwhelming answer to the informal poll question “What keeps PR pros up at night?” Like others, I too, would have had the same response. This got me thinking. Yes, social media is fun and essential in our line of PR work, but does it carry any negative effects? The answer is yes: Social Media Anxiety Disorder. 

According to The Huffington Post, Social Media Anxiety Disorder, also known as SMAD, is one serious problem and medical disorder. 
  • The University of Chicago has found that social media can be more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol.
  • Social media addiction relates to cigarette smoking due to the similar sensation of needing to have something, or needing to have to go and do something.
  • A doctor in London explains that he treats over 100 social media addicts ranging from ages 10-35. He explains he treats people that: 
    • Miss or avoid doing necessary things in life
      • Such as sleeping, eating, drinking, schoolwork, and work.  
  • How much is too much? Psychiatrists explain that it is a problem if a person looks at Facebook or Twitter more than 10 times a day, amounting to 5 hours a day.

So the question is, how can us young PR professionals prevent social media from affecting our beauty sleep and health? 

The answer, simply, is put your phone down! Let’s face it, the tweets, messages, requests, etc. will still be there when you wake up. If they aren’t, they must not have been that important anyway, right? So relax, put it down, and get some much-needed shut eye!

For more information about the article check out the video at the bottom of the page-

How do you feel about social media? Do you feel you may be suffering from SMAD?  We’d love to hear some feedback on this topic! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Amanda White.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ever Thought About Becoming A Celebrity Publicist?

Imagine a world where your clients are Kim Kardashian, Brad Pitt, or Chase Utley. The idea of becoming a celebrity publicist is off the beaten path of what we are used to as public relations students. Combining the aspects of advertising, marketing, and event planning, a celebrity publicist serves as a middleman between the client and the media by:

1. Working on image
Ideally, a publicist does everything in his or her power to ensure that the celebrity’s image is immaculate. But if you read or have seen any tabloids, you can probably guess that it all depends on the client. It’s a lot more work for a publicist with clients who are notorious for getting into trouble – whether it is with drugs, relationships, language, or generally inappropriate behavior.

2. Giving them a personal life

Celebrities are often desperate for a private life separate from magazines like U.S. Weekly. With paparazzi and journalists infesting their favorite cafes, it’s hard for any given celebrity to walk outside unnoticed. Publicists must strategize and implement solutions to keep the cameras far away when the client wants alone time.

3. Adjusting to the task
A celebrity’s schedule changes every single day; sometimes it changes in the middle of the day. A publicist must be able to adjust to the constant whirlwind of plans on the client’s itinerary. “I should probably run for Mayor, not that I'd ever be able to, but there is so much diplomacy involved in what you do as a publicist,” commented Liza Anderson, publicist of Eva Longoria. By successfully using public relations skills to handle whatever task is thrown a publicist’s way, he or she only becomes more experienced at their job!

Don’t forget that there doesn’t need to be a high-strung celebrity involved to be a publicist. Publicists have clients who are not on the red carpet, and still get to accomplish the same goals. Unfortunately, celebrity publicists are often targeted as jokes, but we understand that they stress for the sake of PR! Take the time to learn more about the potential careers you can pursue as a public relations student. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Alyssa Guckin.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fake It Till You Make It #ChipotleTweets

Most of the tweets posted Sunday were intended to tie into their 20-day long treasure hunt called "Adventurito," which features 20 days of puzzles. Sunday's fragmented tweets were clues of the ingredients they use to make their mouth-watering guacamole. Most of the clues from "Adventurito" have been popping up all over the place and this was the first time they tied them into their social media presence, which surely confused a lot of people.

This past Sunday, American food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill did something out of the ordinary in the social media world; they faked their own Twitter hack.

Chipotle took the expression "fake it till you make it" to a whole new level. According to Mashable its main account, @ChipotleTweets, posted a series of confusing and seemingly random tweets over the course of an hour. Now, the company has come forward and admitted that it faked having its account hacked as part of a publicity stunt tied to its 20th anniversary promotional campaign.

In the end, however, it worked out in Chipotle's favor. A representative from the company, Chris Arnold, reported to Mashable that their Twitter account added more than 4,000 followers the day of the "hack," compared to its normal rate of adding about 250 followers a day. The supposedly hacked tweets, which have not been deleted, were retweeted about 12,000 times. By comparison, Chipotle's Twitter account usually sees about 75 retweets per day.

What do you think about this social media saga? Would you advise your brand to stage a Twitter hack? We want to know!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Five Reasons Why Your Press Release Was Rejected.

In the PR world, writing a perfect press release and getting your story covered is an achievement every PR professional works towards. Writing a well worded press release definitely has a major role to play in getting your story covered but there are other elements that add to the perfection of a press release.

Everyday a great number of releases are rejected by reporters due to various reasons. Wondering why your press release was rejected? Below are five reasons why:

1. It's too long- Concise, Brief and Succinct; the aforementioned words should be your best friends. In this fast paced world, reporters don't have time to read through a long press release. Keep it short and to the point.

2. It's not newsworthy- Always remember reporters want to cover something that's newsworthy, they are not interested in a sales pitch.

3. No use of AP style-  In most cases when a reporter or journalist receives a press release, they use exactly what is given to them.  Not having your press release written in AP style gives reporters extra work.

4. No contact info- Why submit something so informative and not leave your contact info? Including your contact info is key to a press release; don't make the mistake and forget this essential element.

5. Bad writing and bad grammar- Reporters hate bad writing and bad grammar. Therefore, take your time and re-read your release and get a second eye to point out any grammar mistakes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Do You Disclose?

When it comes to making a purchase, consumers will almost always attempt to get an honest review from someone they trust. Word of mouth carries more weight than any infomercial or glossy magazine advertisement. Consumers already feel that brands are often more concerned with their bottom line than the actual consumer experience, so they hope that an unbiased third party will stand on their side. YouTube vloggers and blogs of all sizes have found ways to capitalize on this need. Conversely, brands have found ways to capitalize on these bloggers and vloggers.

A blogger may agree to post a product review or host a giveaway on behalf of a brand in exchange for free product or financial compensation. The blogger gets to entertain his or her readers and make some side cash, and the brand gets cheaper publicity delivered straight to their target audience. Consumers are much more likely to trust a blogger's honest review, because they feel that it is someone they can connect with. However, when there is money involved, the honesty and integrity of many bloggers may be questioned. This is why it is important to draft a disclosure policy.

What is a disclosure policy? A disclosure policy basically serves as the "fine print." It lets your readers, followers, or viewers know that some content you put out may be sponsored, or that you somehow receive compensation from it. Disclosing does not indicate that everything you post is sponsored content, but it allows the reader to be aware of what goes on behind the scenes.

Why should you disclose? Well first and foremost, because the FTC says you have to. In order to insure the protection of the consumer, the FTC requires bloggers to clearly and conspicuously disclose when they've received products (solicited or unsolicited) to review on their blogs. Despite that, you should want to come off as honest and sincere to your readers and followers.

What should be included in your disclosure policy? Websites like will help you draft a disclosure policy based on the content you put out. The policy should always mention who writes and contributes content and the forms of advertising accepted (or not accepted).

Where should you disclose? A full, clear and concise policy should be available in full on your blog or website. Consumers shouldn't have to dig for this, it should always be visible and available. In addition to this, adding a small disclosure line at the bottom of a post is also helpful. 
Example : This post was sponsored by Brand X for review. These are my honest views on Brand X.
On social media, using hashtags like #ad or #spon (short for sponsored) is also an easy way to disclose.

Are you disclosing? Do you think it's necessary to disclose on social media? Let us know!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Think Outside the Box: Internships

It's about the time that college students are applying for fall internships, if they haven't already.  I've been looking around at internships suggested by classmates, emailed to me by my advisor, and posted online--the usual places.  Then a coworker at my current internship asked me if I had ever worked at a TV station.  She encouraged me to apply for internships at local television stations because of the experience it would bring me. 

Interning somewhere like a television station is beneficial to aspiring PR pros for a lot of reasons.  You'll learn the ins and outs of broadcasting.  Knowing the jargon and being able to find your way around a station will definitely come in handy. It will also show that you aren't afraid to explore your options.

Some other great places for PR students to intern while they have the chance would be newspapers, marketing firms, and advertising agencies.

By working at a newspaper you're going to gain a lot of great contacts, as well as learn how a newsroom works so that you can more effectively communicate with reporters later on in your PR career.  Working at a marketing firm can provide you with a different way of looking a PR issues since, let's face it, marketing and PR are frequently lumped together.  Finally, working at an ad agency is a great way to dip into the creative side of things.

You'll come out of any of these types of internships with broadened horizons and a little something extra on your resume that other people might not have.  It's important to realize what area of PR you want to focus on and get an internship in that, but it's also important that you think outside the box sometimes.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lazy Hazy Summer PR

It’s no secret. Work during the summer can sometimes be a drag. However, public relations is a profession that never sleeps. If you experience a hot summer day where you just want to stay inside in your pajamas with a glass of lemonade, that’s understandable. There are still a few simple things you can do to stay productive and not make it feel like a chore. 

Read a few blogs. Keep yourself up to date by reading PR Daily or just a couple of your favorite blogs. No matter what, it is always best to pay attention to current events. Just because you have decided to take a day off doesn’t mean that the world has.

Sharpen your writing skills. This tip may seem a bit scary but it definitely doesn’t have to be. If you have a personal blog, use your day off to write a new post. If not, you don’t have to write an essay to sharpen your skills. Write a recap of a fun event you attended or compose a few professional tweets. 

Follow new Twitter pages. Speaking of professional tweets, look up new companies and Twitter pages to follow that are in the PR area that you are interested in. Whether it be fashion, non-profit, or entertainment, following their Twitter pages can give you a peek into how these organizations operate and if you’re interested in the same things. 

See? Little things can go a long way on a lazy day. It may be too hot to go outside and pound the pavement, but that doesn’t mean you have to put a hold on all things PR. 

How do you stay productive during slow summer days? Let us know!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Keeping Fundraising Fresh

Having trouble getting employees to participate in your fundraising events? While bake sales in the lunch room and casual Fridays are classic fundraising events that work on a smaller, more personal level, replacing traditional fund raising methods with fun events attracts many more participants to your cause. Keeping ideas fresh and up to date with some of the most popular trends will spark the interest of employees and your community! Here are a few fundraising events your PR department might like to try: 

ZumbaThons: Zumba, a dance fitness program that incorporates many different types of music and dance styles into the workout, has become immensely popular in the United States. Zumbathons are a fun, high energy fundraiser that gets everyone up and dancing for a few hours, and with the increase in health awareness over the years, this is sure to spark the interest of coworkers. Adding a raffle and some donated goodie bags makes an event like this a winner - for your company and employees!

5k Run/Walk: Organizing runs not only get your employees involved, but also the surrounding community. They also attract all ages to participate. Many times, local businesses will donate food and water to give to runners as they cross the finish line. Handing out free T-shirts to runners and walkers are great gifts, and remind them to participate in the event every year. 

Concerts: Local bands and artists are great to hit up for a fundraising event. Not only do they get their name and talent out there, but it is also gets employees to socialize with one another and relax. Starting the evening off with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres is a great way to make an entire night out of it!

By incorporating some new ideas into your fundraising, more people will be attracted to participate and will, in turn, raise more money for whatever the cause may be.  

What are some of your favorite fundraising ideas? Leave us a comment and let us know!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Tessa Cohn.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Powers of Twitter

Flights get delayed all the time. There really is not a problem with missing your flight, but when airlines are not accommodating and disrespectful to travelers, a major issue can become known.

On a recent trip home, I missed my connecting flight.  Stranded at the airport with no means of communication to contact those in the states, I did what anyone with access to the internet would, used the powers of Twitter. Distraught over the lack of respect and helpfulness of those presiding over the customer service desk in the airport, I decided to tweet directly to the airline at the appalling behavior of their employees. I was not expecting much but after hitting that infamous “tweet” button, I got an instant reply from the airline. Their response contained an apology and instructions to fill them in on the perimeters of the situation. 

The powers of Twitter are bigger than people realize. A simple message that was used merely to vent frustration, turned into a conversation with the airline about their service. Once a tweet is posted, it is tough to take it back without someone seeing it first. This tweet sent a powerful message to those on Twitter about the service of the airline, which in turn, could affect their business. Reputations are held to the fullest measure for companies, and when people utilize social media tools to possibly damage reputations, organizations are quick to react and rectify the situation. 

We live in a technology age where the Internet can be our most powerful tool. I am just one of the many examples of how a simple tweet can have a monumental impact. Tweets can be compared to secrets, once the tweet is out there; it is nearly impossible to get it back. Use your powers wisely! 

If you have had a similar situation with Twitter let us know, we would love to hear about it. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Alie Curran. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Revamp Your Facebook Posts

Many aspiring PR pros begin their careers with college internships. More recently, there have become an abundance of social media internships available across the nation. If you are a social media intern you are most likely in charge of the company’s Facebook page and, in recent years, getting people to engage with a brand through Facebook has been quite difficult.

Has the fan activity on your company’s Facebook page stalled? Is your “People talking about this” number shrinking instead of growing?

The solution could be as simple as posting better status updates. Here are a few examples from a Ragan article written by Kristin Piombino:

1.       Endorse something – when you share someone else’s content, offer your opinion. Perhaps adding “great tips” or “helpful piece” will change how people react to the post.

2.       Inspire action – if you post a cool picture, ask fans to pin it on Pinterest or share it on Instagram.

3.       Use images with text – Overlay text on an image to make it stand out on a newsfeed.

4.       Add a P.S. – it will grab the fans’ attention.

5.       Tell people what to expect – if you are linking to a video or article, tell fans how long it is. They’ll appreciate it. 

How do you engage your Facebook fans? We want to know!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Knowing Your Limits...

Yes, we all want to accomplish things in life, grow, develop and make a difference but it's very important to know your limits and take things one step at a time. Is that conflicting to what you have been taught or have known? Well for me it is, I always want to do, do and do but its true humans do have limits and its impossible for someone to engage in numerous activities, give their 100% and not feel fatigued or overwhelmed.

This summer I must say I have been over ambitious and definitely tapped into my over achieving personality. I took up two internships, summer classes, a volunteering opportunity and a job. Woo! Yes its as exhausting as it sounds! In my little mind, I saw this as keeping myself occupied and busy to prevent me from feeling homesick and well its the summer, perfect time to gain experience right? Well, i learnt taking up more than you can handle only causes you to feel overwhelmed and overworked! Some people view being overwhelmed as a sign of weakness but its not. Its your body telling you its time to slow it down and take it easy.

So, instead of taking up everything that comes your way:

  •  Sit down and take time to figure out what are your priorities.
  •  Set out weekly or monthly goals that you can follow. 
As you continue on your journey on becoming the best you or the best at your profession, don't forget to take it easy and be good to yourself. You will accomplish the goals, you will get the experience you are looking for, just dont overwhelm yourself. As Clint Eastwood said " A man must know his limitations." Know yours!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

No One Likes a Know-It-All

"I know everything, I rarely ask questions (because I have all of the answers), and I never have to take notes," said no successful PR professional ever. Professionals in every field always want to come off knowledgable, even when they aren't completely sure of what they're talking about. Seeming as though you're out of the loop in front of bosses or clients isn't ideal, but sometime's it is inevitable. During these moments, it is important that you admit to having an answer instead of making something up and risking your reputation.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to admit "I don't know everything," put some of these tips into practice:

  • Be honest - It is okay if you don't have an answer to your boss or client's question, but it is never okay to lie to them. Do not make up an answer or lie under pressure. This will absolutely come back to haunt you.
  • Be professional - Oftentimes when we are placed in situations that don't make us look good, we get defensive. It is essential that you keep your cool, and don't come off as attacking the person asking you a question. 
  • Seek out an answer - While not knowing something is perfectly fine, it is essential that you work to find out the information being requested. If a client has a question, do some research and provide them with the best answer possible. It is never okay to leave someone hanging.
  • Call in reinforcements - If you are really struggling to find something out, maybe the answer lies beyond your own resources. Ask a fellow team member if they know where you can find what you're looking for. If needed, go to someone higher than you who has likely dealt with this type of situation before. Two heads are often better than one. 
  • Take notes for next time - More than likely, someone will request information like this from you again. Remember who you went to to find out the answers, so that next time will be less of a hassle.
Do not feel embarrassed when you have to tell someone "I don't know." It shouldn't be expected that you know everything about everything. As long as you follow a proper procedure and handle the situation professionally, it will all work out in the end. 

For more on admitting that you don't have all of the answers, check out PR Daily's article on how to say "I Don't Know."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hidden Gems of Google

What do you do when you don't know a word? Google it.  Need more information? Google it.  Googling always seems to be the go-to.  PR Daily published an article that revealed 6 'hidden' tools that Google offers and after reading them I will never Google anything the same way again.

Google Verbatim
As efficient as Google is, sometimes it doesn't really understand what we are asking.  Often times it will take our search query and try to change the spelling or offer other solutions.  Google Verbatim resolves this issue by forcing our words to be taken at face value.  You can access this tool after you've hit "search" and it will be under "search tools" and "all results".

Google Reading Level
This one is pretty self-explanatory.  It allows you to filter your results based on your preferred reading level or, in the case of a PR professional, the audience's reading level.  You can choose from beginner, intermediate, and expert.  This tool is found under "search tools" and "all results".

Google Discussions
Sometimes you're looking for what other people have to say about a question.  Google discussions allows you to filter your search results so that it only shows forums, chats, and Q&As.  This is perfect for when you're searching for other people's opinions.   The tool is found under the "more" tab.

Google Patents
Patents are handy when you're looking for in-depth research about something.  This tool will provide you with details about a product or idea and it can also help unveil legal issues.  Google Patents is found under the "search tools" tab.

Google Images
This isn't talking about when you type in the word puppy and thousands of adorable pictures come up (though that is great).  Google allows users to scan images and use the URL of the scanned image to search.  This helps people find out where and when this image has been used, where it's from, etc.

Google Blogs
Similar to Discussions, Google Blogs allows you to filter your search results so that only blog results show up.  This is useful when searching for other people's opinions and also for making contacts. The tool can be found under the "more" tab.

Did you know about these Google tools? What do you think of them?

Monday, July 15, 2013


It seems that nothing is a more effective marketing tool than guerrilla social networking. A perfect example would be the explosion of the #TU101 hashtag on Twitter last Sunday, July 7th. The hashtag was started by a rising senior who thought it would be a great idea to start a conversation on things to know upon coming to Temple University. It didn't take long for the trend to catch on and students began to share their own advice, experience, and quirks that come along with being a Temple Owl. Within the hour, the trending topic jumped to the number one most tweeted topic in the Philadelphia area. As more students discovered the trending topic, more students tuned in and contributed to the conversation. Eventually, it wasn’t just current students joining the conversation. Incoming freshman began asking questions and receiving tips that I’m sure every freshman wish they had before college. In just a few short hours #TU101 went from the top hashtag in the Philadelphia region to the third most discussed hashtag nationwide!

While people expressed a few grievances about the school, the overall tone of the conversation expressed adoration for Temple. Without a marketing team, this hashtag not only boosted the morale of the students and generated pride for Temple University, but also raised awareness to incoming students of the great opportunities that the school has to offer.

So how was this spontaneous campaign so effective? It is a relatable topic. Temple University has over 35,000 students and each one of them has a story to share or, in this case, a tweet to send. If you have a topic that you want to share you don’t necessarily need a social media team behind you. All you need is a simple, relatable topic that can generate a conversation.

Have you started a trending topic? How effective was it? We would love to know!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

PR In Any Setting

As a high school student, I was under the impression that to have a career in public relations I had to be located in the city to be successful. Upon coming to school in the city I have learned that while being in a city is certainly a beneficial choice, public relations can be practiced almost anywhere. Since many of my classmates are out of the city for the summer, I have compiled a list of ways to practice your public relations skills in any type of living environment:

The city: We’ll start with the easiest and most straightforward. Finding ways to practice PR in the city is pretty easy if you know where to look! There are internships and volunteer opportunities coming out on a regular basis. A lot of big companies have headquarters in cities so you can get experience working in corporate PR or get internships with both small and large companies. There is also great opportunity for you to work on street teams and do promotion for your favorite artists or companies. Check out the websites of your favorite bands, venues, or companies to see if you can get involved with their promotion teams.

The suburbs: The suburbs are somewhat of a best of both worlds situation. You can find a lot of opportunity to get involved with projects that are centered around the city but not directly in it. For example, many radio stations are located in the suburbs of major cities. Try contacting your favorite local station to see if you can help with any of their local promotional events or pass out flyers for them. Who knows, you might be able to score free tickets to a show for your efforts!

The country: If you are from an area where there is not much around, there are still ways that you can practice your PR skills at home! Contact your local high school or middle school and see if you can work with their public relations director on campaigns for the school. Also, local business can always use promotional help so contact owners of local shops to see if they can use your expertise!

Opportunities can be found anywhere, you just have to know where to look. Have you gotten PR experience outside of the city? We would love to hear about your experience!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Lexi Drexler. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summer Internship Fashion

So, we have posted a blog directing our readers in the most fashionable way when it comes to dressing to impress for your summer internship interview. Although the first impression is most dreaded, some may wonder how to upkeep their professional and cool look all summer long. Philadelphia is no stranger to summer heat waves, and walking our bustling blocks in the less than breezy weather has given even the most prepared interns fashionable despair.

Typically, dress code during the warm summer months is slightly more casual, but as an intern there is a fine line between warm weather comfort and work appropriate. Here are a few general rules to consider when dressing office-friendly this summer while trying to not melt right into your swivel chair:

1.      The most important rule must be the ever popular, “If you are unsure of what you’re wearing is appropriate, DO NOT WEAR IT!” If you even have to ask, doesn’t that already give you an answer? Think about it…

2.      Shorts are not necessarily an automatic no-no. Take Anne Taylor Loft’s shorts designed perfectly for a professional work environment. The length is appropriate and the fit does not draw the wrong attention. Summer skirts follow the same rule, but I must suggest ModCloth’s pleated collection. Their length is office ideal, yet they are light-weight for summertime - let’s not be skinterns!

3.      To show the toes, or not, that is the question. Flip flops/sandals are always questionable dependent upon where one is interning. Feel out the rest of your colleagues before bearing the bare feet. In the meantime, you can pair some of these vibrant Aldo flats with your length-appropriate shorts/skirt for a happy medium.

4.      Mix and matching colors and prints makes a few articles of clothing go a long way. Take these looks for example in Redbook Magazine of how to make over 50 outfits from 21 pieces of clothing/ accessories.

5.      When in doubt, simply ask. Your direct boss or HR would be happy to give you a few guidelines to follow, and I guarantee asking gains respect too!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Nicole Leo.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Social Media Sweep: Clean Up Your Profile

Generation Y is all about online sharing, but when it comes to getting hired, how much sharing is too much? 

A recent study by Harris Interactive and CareerBuilder found that 43 percent of hiring managers who research candidates via social media say they've found information that caused them not to hire someone. This number is up 9 percentage points from last year.

Pictures from your wild spring break. Delete. Drunken tweet made at the bar. Delete. Post complaining about your new boss on your friend's wall. Delete. Suggestive Instagram selfie. Delete. Basically, if you have to think about - delete it. 

The amount of employers who research candidates via social media is also up this year. Thirty-nine percent of hiring managers say they use social media to vet applicants, compared with 37 percent last year.

There has never been a better indication that now is the time to clean up your social media profiles. 

Employers who took the candidate out of the running for a job after looking at his social media profiles did so for the following reasons:

  • Candidate posted provocative/inappropriate photos (50%)
  • Candidate shared information about drinking or using drugs (48%)
  • Candidate bad mouthed a previous employer (33%)
  • Candidate had poor communication skills (30%)
Do you think twice before you post? We want to know!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Suggested symbol for "THE"

Paul Mathis, an Australian entrepreneur, has invented a new symbol to replace the word "the." He believes the word "the" needs to be shortened because of its frequent usage in English. Mathis also created an app for users to download a completely new keyboard that includes the above symbol.

With the growth of social media and the short handwriting that accompanies it, do you think its necessary to shorten the word "the"? Share your thoughts with us!

If you're looking for more information, click here to check out the video on the introduction of the new symbol!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Signs Of A Successful Internship Supervisor

There are dozens of blog posts and articles on do's and don'ts for interns, but very few about the people they report to. An internship supervisor or coordinator has a lot to manage. Not only are they in charge of delegating assignments and keeping interns on track, they also have to fulfill their regular duties as an employee. It is most definitely a balancing act. Even the most diligent and responsible intern can have an awful internship experience if his or her supervisor isn't up to par. 

So before you blame it all on the intern, consider these things about his or her supervisors:

Do they give assignments aimlessly? The purpose of an internship is to learn; becoming more confident in your strengths and overcoming weaknesses. A good internship supervisor will know what his or her intern is good at and what could use improvement. Guidance should always be given when needed to help the intern reach that next level in their skill set. If your supervisor simply shouts an assignment sans explanation or assistance, it may be time to address the issue.

Do they know the intern's goals? When I started my current internship, my direct supervisor asked me what I wanted to accomplish during my time as an intern. This is essential in insuring that an intern gets the best possible experience. The intern's goals should be expressed at the start of the internship, and the supervisor should help the intern achieve them!

Do they give feedback? If you leave an internship with a hundred terrible writing samples, then was it even worth your time? No. It's great when interns get to tackle new assignments and do hands-on work, but without feedback it is all pointless. A supervisor should go over assignments with interns, tell them what's strong and what could use improvement. This is how growth happens, feedback is essential!

Do interns feel comfortable approaching them? Many times, an internship is a college student's first peek into the professional world. An intern may assume that certain things are protocol and be hesitant to speak up or ask questions. It is crucial that supervisors create an environment where interns feel that it is safe for them to ask questions, learn from mistakes, and seek out opportunities. Everyone works better in a peaceful work environment. 

So, does your internship supervisor seem to measure up? If you are a supervisor, do you think you embody these qualities? Share your thoughts!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Media Relations Myths

After reading this article on PR Daily, I will never look at media relations the same way.  The author points out three major misconceptions that people have about pitching to the media:

1. It's all about who you know.
I've always been told that connections will make or break your career, especially in public relations.  The author of this article combats this theory by saying it is not, in fact, about who you know; it's about having a good story.  Maintaining a relationship with a reporter is always a good idea, but if your story isn't up to par, no relationship is going to help you.

2. Every pitch has to be perfect.
It has been drilled into our brains that we need to double and triple check our emails.  We are told that if there is one typo our credibility goes out the window and our pitches are disregarded.  This article disagrees, and I see the authors point.  Having internships in the professional world has shown me that there really are times where people forego grammar laws and just shoot out an email that gets their point across.  While it's always good to maintain a professional writing style, sometimes a spelling error really isn't going to ruin your pitch.

3. Print is king.
The article points out that clients generally like to see their names in hold-able, foldable print.  This is probably true because for some reason a tactile version of a story can seem more glorified than something you read off a computer screen.  This attitude is definitely changing, however, especially with the evolution of online media and the ability to have an online subscription to many newspapers.  I wouldn't say that press in a print newspaper is any more or less exciting than it is online.

Pitching has always been something that made me nervous, and I'm sure many of my peers will agree.  It's important to take seriously and be professional, but these myths are important to crack.  While I don't know if I will ever be able to send a pitch without triple-checking my grammar and spelling, it's nice to know that pitching isn't as pressure-packed as people make it out to be.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Blogger's Block?

I know it may seem a bit silly to classify “blogger’s block” as a completely different category from writer’s block, but it can definitely feel that way at times. Blogging implies that there will be an audience behind what you are writing, which can add a bit of pressure. If you’re ever struggling to come up with a fresh, creative topic feel free to follow these simple tips.

  • Check the archives. Whether it’s your own personal blog or one you contribute to, looking at past topics can help inspire a new idea and ensure that you don’t cover the same thing twice.
  • Browse other blogs. Still not inspired after reading your blog? Try listening to a new voice. A different perspective from your own can often spark an entirely new line of thinking.
  • Take a break. If staring at your computer screen for hours still isn’t getting you very far, it may be time to take a short break. You’re getting permission! Coming back to your work after about 30 minutes will allow you to be more refreshed and, hopefully, inspired to keep going.
  • Write about writer’s block. Still stuck in a rut? Write about that experience and how you got through it. It worked for me!

Do you have any special tactics to combat “blogger’s block?” We would love to know! 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Almost Fall?!

Summer internships are in full throttle, but what happens when the summer ends? FALL INTERNSHIPS. It is already July, so start looking! Here are a few steps to help speed up the process.
  1. Search for internship- So, where do you look for these internship opportunities? The best answer to this question is, of course, through networking. Networking is the best way to learn about internships. However searching the web and talking to an advisor are also good ways to find opportunities.
  2. Master the resume- Your resume is your first impression. So, make sure it is flawless. If you have a summer internship, make sure to add it.  Also, have a few different pairs of eyes look over your resume before sending it out.
  3. Start applying- As we all know, internship supervisors look to fill their programs as early as possible, so getting your application out early is a key factor in the application process. It gives you an advantage over the other candidates.

Internships are key in the world of public relations, so the more you have, the better! Good luck with the process!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Kelly Dougherty.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Getting Real With PR

Remember sitting in your 9th grade geometry class listening to your teacher ramble on about the Pythagorean Theorem as you sat wondering "When am I ever going to use this in real life?” Often times, it can be difficult to learn something if you do not understand its real world application. It is one of the reasons why future PR professionals should get a dose of real world experience. Here are three tips to get you started. 

1. Volunteer
Of course an internship would be the biggest gateway into the professional PR world, but maybe you are not ready to take on that responsibility on top of a full course load. Volunteering is a great alternative. Many PR companies look for volunteers to help assist at events. Whether that means helping to manage the press, direct attendees, or be an extra set of hands, there are many volunteer opportunities out there. Pay attention to what’s going on in your town. Suppose you heard the city’s children’s hospital is having a fundraising event, contact the hospital’s PR team and ask if you can volunteer.

2. Start a Blog
You know what they say, practice makes perfect! In the PR world, the more you write, the better you become. Blogging is a growing trend that many companies have adopted. Starting your own blog will give you practical writing experience that will strengthen your PR skills for a future internship or career. Blog about local events happening in your town or about a story you saw on the news.

3. Subscribe to Daily Reads
Even though this is not a hands on experience, reading the news forces you to lift your head out of text books and look beyond your campus bubble into the real world. Whether that means pulling up on your smart phone or picking up a good old-fashioned paper, it is crucial to read the news on a daily basis. Follow PR Daily on Twitter or subscribe to their publication to get the scoop on the latest happenings in the industry. You will quickly learn that the PR practitioners and the media are constantly adapting to different trends. You will also be able to better recognize reliable media outlets.

Do you have any tips to put your classroom knowledge to practical use? Let us know! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Lauren Bentley.

Friday, July 5, 2013

How To Deal With Rejection

Learning how to take rejection well is a skill every aspiring public relations professional needs to know. Having "thick skin" is a much sough after trait in this industry. Not being offered a job, being continuously shot down by the media and being critiqued by colleagues and clients can be really tough to handle. In the end however, it is just part of the job. It often makes it difficult to stay positive when there is an abundance of negativity floating around.

Here are some tips to handle criticism and deal with rejection:
  • Roll with the punches. It’s important to keep going. Negative things happen. It’s normal. Don’t get discouraged.
  • Listen to constructive criticism. Take the feedback seriously even if it is not what you want to hear. You may miss out on an opportunity to better yourself.
  • Remember it’s business, not personal. Never take anything personally, at the end of the day you and your colleagues are trying to do what is best for the client. 
  • Learn from your mistakes. Grow from your experiences and become a better PR professional because of it.
  • Use it to fuel you. Fix your mistakes, take better action and prove your abilities. Push yourself!
How else do you stay motivated? We want to know!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July

The members of PRowl Public Relations will like to wish everyone a happy 4th of July.

If you are in the Philadelphia area and unsure on how to celebrate your 4th of July, check out Wawa Welcome America week schedule. There are a lot of activities for everyone to enjoy.

Keep safe and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Advice For The End Of The Rope

As PR professionals, we are known for wanting to get things done right, in a timely manner, the first time around. What this usually boils down to is us exclaiming "I can just do it better myself." Before we know it, we are sitting under a pile of stress, operating like a robot, getting through the day on too many cups of coffee with our loved ones questioning our sanity. While the events leading up to us reaching the end of our ropes are often out of our control, there are ways to get things done without, for lack of a better word, dying.

If you find yourself on the edge, please don't jump! Instead, utilize some of these tips to help get you through:

  • Speak up: PR professionals like to look as though we have everything under total control, even when we're sweating bullets and crying between press conferences. If you know you are starting to get overwhelmed, talk to your team, your friends, anyone! Going through it alone won't make anything better.
  • Ask for help: Accept the fact that two heads are better than one, and you can't do this alone. Call in reinforcements, delegate responsibilities, and trust in the abilities of others. Contrary to popular belief, you aren't the only one who can get things done. There is likely a young intern around who is more than willing to help out!
  • "No" isn't a bad word: You are only one person, and while multitasking is sometimes necessary it doesn't enable you to be everything to everyone. If someone asks you to do something that you cannot manage, say no. If it really needs to be done, someone will do it. 
  • Put yourself first: It's one thing when work is stressful, but when you bring that stress home, it makes for a very tough situation. When you stop working for the day, do something that allow you to rejuvenate and prepare for the next steps. Eating well and getting sleep should be at the top of your list of priorities. 
While taking your job seriously is important, it isn't everything. The same way the world keeps spinning while you're asleep, it will also keep spinning if you say no or take a day off. At the end of the day, it's just PR.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Generation Y's Biggest Fear

There are a lot of differences between the generations when it comes to communication, lifestyle choices, and especially the workplace.  As a member of Generation Y, I can say with complete certainty that one of the biggest pitfalls of my generation is the fact that a large number of us are uncomfortable making a phone call.

Of course I'm not talking about a phone call to your friends or family, that's easy enough. I'm talking about the gnawing feeling we get in our guts when the boss comes in and says we need to make a phone call to an important person to get important information.

I'm just as guilty as anyone else.  I have always been uncomfortable making phone calls.  Being raised on technology like AOL Instant Messenger, texting and email has created a barrier for us that is sometimes pretty hard to get past.  I wouldn't say that I'm completely comfortable making phone calls now, but I am definitely not as afraid to pick up the phone as I once was.  Here are some suggestions I have if you are hesitant about making phone calls, professional or not:

  • Write down what you're going to say. This will help you from adding "um" and "like" and you will sound more professional.  It will also make the conversation go faster since you already know what you intend to tell them.
  • Remember, they don't know you. Chances are, you're never going to see the person you're calling.  They don't know who you are so even if you mess up or say the wrong thing, it's going to be okay.
  • Get the facts first. Make sure you're prepared for any questions they might ask you before you pick up the phone.  Have your callback information and your boss's on-hand in case you have to leave a voicemail.

Being comfortable making phone calls is something nearly every interviewer looks for in a job applicant.  An ability to do this will put you ahead of your other Gen Y competition that are still clinging to texting and emailing.

Do you have any tips for mastering the art of a phone call? Let us know!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The One Tip PR People Never Seem To Take

My only tip for this summer, in the midst of internships, volunteer opportunities, and shifts at your retail position, is to relax. It's a word that is often spoken in passing amongst PR professionals and students, but rarely does it get much further than that. Summer break is supposed to be just that, a break. However, it seems that myself and other PRowl staff members have been busier than ever since the semester ended. While internships and other opportunities that help us gain experience and build networks in our field are extremely beneficial, they will do us absolutely no good if we are stretched to the point where no one is getting our very best work.

Taking a scheduled moment to step away from our many responsibilities is good for your health, in fact. Studies have shown that overworking can be linked to elevated blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. Do any of these sound familiar? If so, stop moving! Pick a block of time in your schedule that isn't filled with a prior commitment, give your supervisor notice in advance, and stop moving. Take that time to travel (even if it's just to an unfamiliar neighborhood where you live), go to a museum, catch a movie, or simply take a nap. You'll find yourself rejuvenated and full of fresh, new ideas that you can bring back to work.

I understand that it can be difficult for people in PR to "turn off." However, taking time to relax is the key to improving the quality of your work and the quality of your life.

What are some of your favorite ways to take a break from our 24/7 profession? We would love to know!