Sunday, March 31, 2013

What’s in a Name? Effects of the Big East Name Change


This year’s March Madness marks the last year that many of the traditional Big East schools will represent their conference in the tournament. Next year, the Big East will be completely made-over, reflecting little of its Eastern history and rivalries. 

The official split of the conference is effective July 1. Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse are headed to the ACC and Rutgers is headed to the Big Ten. 

Seven of the league’s Catholic schools are also leaving to form their own basketball-focused league. These seven Catholic schools will take with them the Big East name and the Madison Square Garden location for their post-season tournament. 

Even with all of this movement, there are leftover schools in the Big East for the upcoming year. The schools are: Temple, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, South Florida and Southern Methodist. “America 12” is one of the names being considered for this conference. 

Looking at the Big East’s long history and tradition, being a college basketball fan and being a student at Temple. I couldn’t help but think about the PR implications of this split for the new America 12, the Catholic 7 and Temple (my university). 
  • America 12: With many of the Big East powerhouses exiting the league, I’m not sure if the America 12 will be able to uphold the reputation that comes with the Big East name. I believe it will take a while for fans of these schools to get used to the new name and what it means. 
  • Catholic 7 (Will take Big East name): Will this league be thought of as a phony Big East? Although the league simply bought the Big East name, the schools involved are all schools in the east with long-standing basketball dominance and tradition. I think the name will still resonate with fans. In respect to name recognition and branding, the Catholic 7 may be the group getting the most out of this deal. 
  • Temple: In spring 2012, there was lots of hype around Temple’s move back to the Big East. It seems though, as soon as we sat down at the Big East table, all the major players got up. As a soon-to-be graduate of the university I am sad to say that this may be a setback of the reputation of our athletics but I hope the America 12 name will become as respected as the Big East name. 
Do you have other thoughts regarding the split? Let us know. Enjoy the rest of March Madness! 

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

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Importance of the Profile Picture


When presenting yourself on social media, the first thing that any one person is attracted to when looking at your profile is your profile picture. Your profile picture, also known as an avatar, is the main attraction of your page; it sets the tone and allows your audience to get a feel for whom you are. Your avatar helps to aid you in developing either your personal or public brand. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a profile picture for your personal page or your professional/company page:


Personal Avatar:
Choose something that shows off your personality. A personal profile picture should show your character and display your own personal brand. You can incorporate your hobbies and experiences in to your picture.  Your avatar can be fun and creative or it can be serious as long as it communicates the image that you want to present. Always remember, that even personal networks and avatars can be viewed by professionals, so always keep your photos appropriate.


Professional Avatar:
The picture on your professional or company page should be a clear and organized. A professional headshot is acceptable as well as photos taken by a company. If it is a personal professional page, you should be the only one in the picture. Be sure that your actual profile page is consistent with the photo as well. If you are looking into working in childcare, a picture of you bullying a younger sibling just won't cut it.


Always make it a point to avoid pictures that could be deemed inappropriate. It is always important to consider the online reputation you are building for yourself. Having inappropriate behavior in your profile picture is never a good thing. Even if you are not looking for employment, any negative image that you present of yourself on the internet can always resurface at a later time and come back to haunt you. Do yourself a favor and just avoid negative images all together.



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


Friday, March 29, 2013

Smartphone Dependency Syndrome: It's Real

Have you ever told yourself that you need to put your iPhone away? 

You tell yourself you'll put it down for the next thirty minutes   You feel like you are being super productive and it starts to feel as if it has been hours since you last checked it. You think about all the texts, tweets and Instagrams you've missed. You pick up your phone and look at the time. Only three minutes have passed.

Face it, you're addicted; but you're not alone.

According to the new Research report by IDC, smartphone dependency is real for Android and iPhone users, ages 18 to 44. 

The report is based off of an online survey, sponsored by Facebook, of 7,444 smartphone users 18 to 44 years old during a week of March. 

Here are some of the eye-opening numbers from the report:

49% of the entire U.S. population uses a smartphone, according to previous research from IDC. By 2017, the percent of smartphone users is expected to reach 68%.

132 minutes is average amount of time each day that smartphone users spend communicating and using social media on their phones. Over the weekend that number increases to 163 minutes.

70% of smartphone users check Facebook on their phones; 61% check it every day, oftentimes more than one time a day.

Four out of five smartphone users check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up. Among them, 80% say it’s the first thing they do in the morning.

79% of smartphone users have their phone on or near them for all but two hours of their waking day. 63% keep it with them for all but one hour. One-fourth couldn’t recall a time of the day when their phone wasn’t in the same room as them. 

Are you addicted to your iPhone? Tell us about it. 



Thursday, March 28, 2013

From Drab to Fab


We are all guilty of relying of powerpoint to get a through a presentation. It is seen as a comfort; somewhere we can turn to when we are getting lost on a presentation. But sometimes we get too comfortable and start reading right from the slides rather than interacting with our audience. But have you ever looked into other ways of presenting your information? The following sites are not only more creative but will give your presentation that extra flare it needs.

1. PreZentit: Using this site creates a presentation online that you can then convert to a regular powerpoint format. This takes all the tools from online databases that can then be used without an internet connection.

2. Prezi: This website allows users to turn your boring powerpoint slides into a 3D experience.

3. Brainshark: With this site all you need to do is upload your original powerpoint and it will convert your slides into a online video.

4. Vuvox: This site allows people to blend pictures, audio and videos to create a personalized story.

5. Flair: It may not be free but it is worth the payment. The features help create flashy presentations with the combination of audio, videos and fancy text.


Presentation tools are supposed to help tell the story, and you want to tell a story people will be interested in hearing about. These tools will help transform your presentation abilities. No longer will you rely on a standard powerpoint presentation for class to get you through the assignment. Using these interactive sites will help bring your presentation to life and let you tell the story rather than reading from the board.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

So Hard to Say Goodbye


Since its inception in 2008, PRowl Public Relations has been comprised of intrinsically-driven students who have a passion for learning and practicing public relations. The growing firm has worked with five professional clients this year including returning clients the Department of Strategic Communication, TUTV (Temple University Television), University Communication and new clients Pennsylvania Innocence Project and the Department of Journalism. 

Over the past year I have learned more about leadership, development and strategic communication than I ever thought through leading PRowl Public Relations as Firm Director. To work with a group of individuals who WANT to be working on their professional development has truly been an honor and a privilege.

As my last week as Firm Director I would like to say thank you to a number of great members of PRowl. PRowl’s faculty advisor, Gregg Feistman has been the glue and nails since founder and first Firm Director, Natalie Prazenicka, brought the idea to him as an independent study. Thank you Gregg for everything you have helped me through, your professionalism and experience have been so insightful.

To the Executive Board including Kaitlyn Sutton (PRowl’s next firm director), Marianna Morris, Amber Burns, Cori Shearer and Alison Curran thank you for being an exceptional support taking leads on firm projects and being active leaders in your accounts.

Finally, to the staff of PRowl Public Relations thank you for your dedication and hard work to the firm. You are the lungs of PRowl, without you we couldn't breathe and grow.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Guide to the Perfect Guest Blog

Guest blogging is a great way to gain writing experience, and help to get your name out there; especially as young PR students. As PRowl's Director of Public Relations, one of my main responsibilities is to manage the guest blog posts which are posted each weekend. Before I was a guest blogger, I often struggled coming up with strong topics for my own guest blogs. Now, sitting on the editor's side, I have seen some major guest blogging successes, as well as some flops. Here are 5 ways to insure your next guest blog is a sensation:

1. Be familiar with the blog - A blogger can always tell when someone has actually bothered to read the things they post. Do not pitch a guest blog about fashion or lifestyle to a blogger who strictly blogs about politics. When you pitch your idea, be sure to have examples of how your post would fit well into the flow of the blog. This will also help you establish a relationship with that blogger, which means you will be more likely to guest blog for him or her again!

2. Know your audience - Even if you manage your own successful blog, it is important to remember that, as a guest blogger, you have a difference audience than your own readership to manage. Spend time reading through posts and comments on the blog you plan to guest blog for. When you write your blog post, remember that you have to cater to the host's audience, and not your own.

3. Ask for guidelines - Most blogs require that guest bloggers follow a specific set of rules or guidelines when writing a post. If no one presents these guidelines to you, as sure to ask essentials questions like a suggested word count, or how the post should be formatted. It is better to write the post correctly the first time than to miss having your post uploaded because of silly mistakes.

4. Don't over promote - The point of a guest blog is to teach readers something they wouldn't have normally learned from the blog. It isn't a time to promote your personal networks. If the host blogger okays it, including links to your own blog or social media is acceptable, but the main focus should be on the content of the post. No one wants to visit their favorite blog only to read a shameless plug.

5. Stay organized - While going on a short rant on your own blog, a guest blog may require more structure and organization. Have your thoughts mapped out, and stick to the topic at hand.

Have you ever guest blogged before? Tell us what your experience was like!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Editorial Calendar Basics


Editorial calendars are a GREAT resource for PR pros. An editorial calendar is a calendar that magazines, some newspapers and publications use to schedule what topics they will be covering during what day, week, or month. For example, if you are the PR coordinator for an organic beauty company, you can use Cosmopolitan Magazine's editorial calendar to see when they will be covering organic beauty products. It gives you the opportunity to carefully craft your pitch and perhaps even meet with the beauty editor, knowing in advance that your product would fit their beat. Much easier than sending out mass releases, right?

Now, some blogs are using editorial calendars as well. Blogs are everywhere, and are often considered a media outlet as well. Does your client have a blog in need of a editorial calendar? Below are some questions PR Daily contributor Carrie Morgan suggests when drafting an editorial calendar:


1. Who is my audience?
2. What interests them?
3. What are other blogs in the same category or with the same target audience writing about?
4. What are the trade publications writing about, and what’s on their editorial calendar?
5. What industry news/posts are shared and retweeted the most?
6. What are my client’s competitors writing about?
7. What topics are tradeshows covering in their workshops and round tables?
8. What trends are your client’s seeing?
9. What types of articles interest your clients?
10. What pubs do your client’s read, and what are they writing about?

Unlike a magazine, you have the opportunity to freely move things around, especially when a hot topic arises in your area of interest. Editorial calendars are great because they prevent the dreaded writer's block while still staying relevant and interesting.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Manning PR


Everyday I hear more and more about how PR has become an industry dominated by women.  In fact, according to recent membership figures released by the Institute of Public Relations, women now outnumber men 60:40 in the public relations field.  This ratio is particularly relevant to me, as I represent one of only two men in a PRowl, and work for a group of three incredibly successful women in the Real Estate industry.  This got me thinking about how a man can succeed in an industry dominated by women.  So, to help aspiring male PR professionals, I’ve compiled my top three tips, from my experience thus far, to successfully working as a man in an industry dominated by women. 
  1. Learn the Language - Learning the language of any industry is key to success. Any PR professional would agree there is a clear language and method of communicating associated with PR. So, keeping in mind that women dominate this industry, one could argue that women have written this language associated with PR. It is up to us men to become fluent in it. So men, pick up your Rosetta Stone, and start studying, because this is the first step to earning the same success as women in PR.
  2. Dress to Impress - Dressing properly is such a beneficial but understated tool for men in PR.  More importantly, this is something that women in PR have been doing right for years.  Women in PR know how to professionally brand themselves with their clothes.  They know how to make a statement, and how to properly represent themselves.  But men can do it too! When choosing the perfect “dress to impress” outfit, remember to keep in mind your surroundings.  There is a time and place for everyone’s personal style.  It is up to you to know what to wear and when to wear it to make the right impression. Be sure to showcase your personality, and make a statement about yourself. 
  3. Play to Your Strengths - Women have incredible strengths in this industry, but it is not these strengths alone that have made women into some of the gatekeepers of PR. It is how they’ve learned to use them for success.  For a man to find success in PR, you have to find your own strengths.  Brainstorm, boys!  What is it that makes you stand out?  What creative ideas do you have?  Figure it out, and leverage it to make you the person whose name everybody knows. 

Having had the opportunity to work with so many talented and intelligent women in both my job and in PRowl, I have seen first-hand why women have earned so much success in this industry.  But men can do it too!  With a little language study, a bold wardrobe, and a strengths-based strategy, you will have the foundation for success in PR. 

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

Saturday, March 23, 2013

South African PR Firm Cuts Ties with Oscar Pistorius


This past summer, a great deal of the buzz coming from the 2012 London Olympics centered on South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius. Stepping onto the track with two prosthetic legs, Pistorius captivated audiences with his incredible determination to compete and left the world in awe of his effortless dashes around the track. However, on February 14, 2013, people all over the world were shocked to hear that Pistorius was charged with the murder of his girlfriend. 

A little over a week ago, South African public relations firm, Vuma Reputation Management, announced that it would no longer represent Oscar Pistorius. Janine Hills, head of Vuma Reputation Management, felt that the Pistorius family was in a “stronger position” to handle media issues, although Vuma will continue to provide guidance. 

One question comes to mind when faced with an issue like this: Is there a time when it is appropriate to cut ties with a client? Simply put, yes. In the case of Oscar Pistorius, Vuma Reputation Management felt that they had done everything they could to help Pistorius and his family, and had prepped them to handle the media themselves. Due to the murder accusations against Pistorius, there is only so much a firm can do to help the image of their client because of the severity of the crime.

Additionally, it is important for a firm to consider whether or not the client has breached their ethical or moral code of conduct. If Oscar Pistorius is found guilty, he will have committed an illegal act. A public relations firm does not want to damage their own reputation to support a criminal and has to decide if it’s worth risking the company name.  

Cutting ties with a client does not always have to be a nasty experience. Overall, it’s about being honest with them. If you feel that you can do nothing more to help a client, it’s best to suggest that he or she is served by someone else, and help them in trying to find a new firm. In the case of Oscar Pistorius, a “handover process” has been underway since the first week in March.

Do you think Vuma Reputation Management did the right thing by severing their client relationship with Oscar Pistorius? Comment and let us know what you think!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Tessa Cohn.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Do's and Don'ts of Being An Intern


     Whether it is your first or third time as an intern, you will come to realize no internship is ever exactly the same. Although your duties as an intern may vary, your behavior should always remain the same; be diligent, willing and professional.  
     The internship process can get tricky sometimes, especially if it is your first time. Here are some great "Do's and Don'ts" to remember when interning, provided by PR specialist Lorra Brown:

Don’t ever enter a meeting, even an informal drop by from your manager, without a notebook and pen.
Don’t be afraid to tell your manager you’d like to be busy—ask for more work.
Don’t be a social media or text addict; checking your status and phone can wait.
Don’t leave for lunch or at the end of the day without checking with your boss or peers to see if they need help with anything before you go.
Don’t decorate your cube with college party pictures; you are a working adult now.
Don’t party. You may be at a fun work function or event, but you are working (regardless of how much fun your bosses may seem to be having).

Do proofread everything. No matter how mundane the task or email may seem, attention to detail and pride of ownership will pay off.
Do take initiative and come up with ideas for projects, pitches, organization, etc. Show your value. Great ideas can come from anywhere, including the intern. 

Do ask questions and ask for clarification if you are unsure of an assignment. Asking your manager to help you prioritize is wise, too.
Do provide short check-in emails or updates to your manager regarding the status of projects.
Do solicit feedback and ask for areas in which you need to improve.
Do treat this as a job audition. Most companies are looking at you as a possible future colleague.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Perfect Portfolio


Your resume and cover secured you an interview, but now what? Employers always ask for people to bring writing samples to the interview. But how do you know if your portfolio is up to par? These simple tips will help you create the perfect portfolio that will be sure to impress the company.

1. Keep it organized: Put your documents in a professional binder. This will not only help keep your papers looking clean but organized as well.

2. Include class projects: If this is your first job right out of school chances are you have not had a lot of “real world work” experience. So the best way to showcase your strengths is through projects you have completed in class.

3.Tailor the writing samples: When going for an interview include writing samples that are relevant to the job. This shows the company you are familiar with the work and can complete documents when asked.

4. Present reference letters: These documents will help highlight you as a person. The people who write these letters know you best and will communicate your strengths and accomplishments of previous positions.

5. Clean it up: Make sure all papers and documents are neatly organized and put together. Don’t have the papers falling out of portfolio; print new and clean copies of the writing samples. Also include loose documents for the employer to read.

Professionals appreciate when portfolios are neatly organized and easy to read. When putting your portfolio together think of where you are interviewing and tailor each document to favor the position. Also, remember to select documents that will showcase you in the best light and will make you stand out from all the other candidates. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Traveling with Social Media


Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Lake Havasu, Arizona, the second largest spot for spring breakers. Along my travels I noticed more and more QR codes and commands from social media, like us on this or follow us on that. Does it help the travelers experience if they abide by social media decrees? In my experience, yes!

First stop on the trip we made a pit stop in Las Vegas, Nevada (home of gambling and sin) at the local casino, “Like Casino Nugget on Facebook and receive a credit for $5!” Yes, I would call this the first win for social media on the trip.  Further into the journey to get free SWAG from the London Bridge Resort sponsors such as Vitamin Water, Malibu Rum and Bud Light we had to do the aforementioned. For the record following social media=free stuff, I’ll do that any day of the week. So what do organizations get from giving you free stuff if you like them on Facebook or Instagram and follow them on Twitter? Short answer: Visibility of their content on your personal social media, that’s the tradeoff.

Additionally, social media was used to make our stay at London Bridge Resort more convenient. For example the TV in our suite provided an app we could use to change the channel, order movies and even room service!

As you travel the country or the world, look into your resources taking the time to download an app or follow someone on social media can make your stay/travels much easier and you can always uninstall or un-follow. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Picture Perfect: Editing Photos For Social Media

Updating social media with fresh content can be a difficult task. Followers and friends get easily bored with the same old social media post in their timelines and newsfeeds. Adding photos to your social media posts are a great way to add an extra boost to your content. It helps to draw users in, and then keep their interest longer. If you decided to add images to your content, you need to be sure that they are high quality and pleasing to the eye. Oftentimes, that means utilizing image editing software. 

Photo editing is often something left to graphic designers, but there isn't always a professional image editor near by. It's essential as PR professionals that we be able to do a little bit of everything. While you may not have the time to teach yourself all of the essentials of Photoshop, there are still image editing programs you can easily use to make your pictures pop. Here are a few free online image editors every PR pro and social media fanatic should be familiar with:

1. Pic Resize: Nothing is worse than trying to post an image to Facebook or Twitter only to be told it's too large to upload. Pic Resize is a cloud program, so it can be used on either Mac or Windows systems. It's free of charge, and fairly easy to master.

2. Pixlr: This image editing software is available for Android, iOS, and the web. It allows you to add filters to images to give them an easy boost, or play around with other settings for more advanced editing.

3. Sumopaint: This easy to use image editor also gives the option to start with a blank canvas and create your own social media ready graphics. It's available mobile for iOS and on the web, and has an interface similar to photoshop. 

4. Quick Picture Tools: This desktop editing suite combines 12 online imaging programs. It's very easy to use, and is best for quick projects rather than extensive projects. It's a great way to add or enhance any image without a ton of photography knowledge. 

Have you ever used an image-editing program, or found yourself in a situation where you wish you had one? Be sure to give these a try and let us know how they worked!

Monday, March 18, 2013

"Habemus Papam"

Less than a month ago, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he was resigning his papacy. He is the first pope to do so in over 600 years. On Wednesday, Cardinal Bergoglio was selected to become Pope Francis, the first Latin American pope in history. Pope Francis' selection is exciting on a variety of levels. On a fundamental level, he is the first pope to come from the Jesuit order. Pope Francis is coming into papacy in a very sensitive time; he is responsible for transitioning the church into modern times, where technology rules.

Pope Francis must also juggle a variety of modern issues plaguing the Roman Catholic Church. There have been divisions over women's role in the church, the church's role in politics and the still fresh child sexual abuse scandals.

So far, it seems that Pope Francis will be a revolutionary figure in the church, already calling for change and positioning himself in positive media spotlight.

What do you think about Pope Francis' new challenges? Let us know!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Seniors, are you thinking about your job search?


Graduation is two months away for seniors at Temple University. The pressure is on for securing a job and entering the real world. Some students may have been searching for job opportunities since junior year, while some will begin searching the day before they walk. There are a number of articles online offering tips for the grads-to-be, but I have found that the best advice is from those who have recently been in the position. Hercampus.com recently posted an informative article on job advice from recent graduates. The article offers pointers specifically on what the recent grads wish they did before they left school.

Network
As PR students we all know the importance of networking. You can never have too many contacts in this field, especially when searching for an "in" at a company. Most jobs aren't posted online but are passed around through word of mouth. If you make it a point to get the word out that you are searching for work hopefully your contacts can help out. This is an easy way to get your foot in the door. Create a LinkedIn account, go to your Career Center’s events and make a list of contacts in an excel sheet.

Start Early
We want to enjoy the last semesters at school, but neglecting the future becomes detrimental. For those entering their senior year in the fall, take note of this advice; have fun senior year but keep your job hunt in mind. Forbes magazine suggests beginning your search early junior year. However I've found that in PR, most companies want you to start working immediately. Make note of where you want to apply as soon as you can, and focus your efforts on those places. Also, take advantage of your school breaks and summer time to sharpen up your résumé and take advantage of LinkedIn.


Stay Organized
Use excel sheets and word documents to make notes. Myplan.com is a good source for job descriptions, salaries, and qualifications. Before you graduate, make it a point to Visit your school Career Center for counseling, resume and cover letter review, and interview practice, and tips on what to expect post-grad.

Good luck to all the grads-to-be and get ready to take on the real world!

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

Saturday, March 16, 2013

You Survived the Internship….Now What?


So you landed an awesome internship, worked hard to make a good impression, stressed over writing a good press release, and now it’s coming to an end. What are you suppose to do? Wave goodbye and walk out the door? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Here are four tips to end your internship as strong as you started it: 

Tip 1- First and Foremost…. Remember your manners!
It is extremely important to thank the people who gave you this amazing learning opportunity. An email can be sent to everyone at a small agency or just the PR department at a large company. If someone acted as a mentor to you, a hand written note is a thoughtful way to acknowledge their guidance and support.

Tip 2- Don’t Forget your writing samples!
A well written press release is a great addition to any portfolio. Ask if it is okay to use the company printer to print your writing samples on company letterhead. Doing this helps build a portfolio that has variety and looks professional!

Tip 3- Take all the advice you can get…. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
An internship is not simply a resume builder, but also a valuable learning experience. Seek out positive and negative feedback and improve upon it. You may have a fun writing style, but your grammar may need some TLC. Let your superiors be honest with you. It is better to learn from your mistakes now than later.

Tip 4- Establish connections… networking is crucial in PR!
Ask your supervisors for permission to use their name as future references. Landing an internship can sometimes be a game of “who knows who.” Interested in healthcare PR? Maybe somebody at your current internship has a contact at a hospital that you may be able to use. 

As your internship comes to close, it is important to finish as strong as you started. People will remember an intern who was both professional and polite and prepared for their next step. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Lauren Bentley.

Friday, March 15, 2013

How To Find An Internship


Finding internships to apply to can get a bit overwhelming, especially in the public relations field. The problem with our field is PR jobs aren't usually posted. With so many internship websites out there vying for your attention, it’s difficult to tell which ones will be worth looking at for PR internships. The process of trying to find the right internship for you can be a difficult one. This is why I've come up with a list of the best ways to find yourself a PR internship to help make the process a little smoother. 
1. Ask your peers: As is key to PR, networking means everything. Make sure to reach out to your personal networks to see if they know of any openings. If you have a classmate that has a really cool internship you'd be interested in working at, ask away! It never hurts to ask. 
2. Ask your professors: Most likely your PR professors have friends outside of the academia world who need interns! Email your professor and ask if they have time to discuss internship opportunities with them one day after class. You never know what connections they have to the world of PR. 
3. Social Media: Is there a particular company that'd you'd love to work for? Connect with them through their social media platforms. You never know when they will post about an internship opportunity. Or, if you don't have time to lose, comment/message/or tweet at them and ask! Showing initiative is never a bad thing. 
4. Internship Websites: Some of my favorites for PR/Marketing Internships are: www.Internships.com (you can search by major), www.Idealist.org (great for non-profit internships) and www.MediaBistro.com (more for social media internships).
How did you find your internship? We want to know!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Public Speaking Isn't All That Bad


Public speaking is an art. And this art can take many years to master. For some, public speaking comes naturally, but not so much for others. Most people have a fear of public speaking and this can severely affect their speech. But fear no more because these following tips will help you become a highly effective public speaker. 

1. Have a clear goal for your presentation: What do you want the audience to take away from your speech? Make sure the speech reflects the message you want your audience to walk away with. 

2. Prepare early and often. Don’t wait until the last minute to write your speech. Develop the message over a period of days. The more time you give yourself to prepare the better your speech will turn out in the end.

3. Find stories. Adding stories to the speech gives a personal touch. Everybody has stories to share and making them personal is all the better. An audience appreciates stories because it can add excitement to a speech that is mostly filled with data.

4. Involve your audience. Rather than sitting there talking at the audience talk with the audience. Get them involved; get them interested. Audience members want to be apart of the presentation, so ask them questions and be sure to ask them questions about themselves too.

5. Always respect the time limit. If you are given a half-hour for the speech then stick to that time limit. Do not go over the time limit. There is always a question and answer portion after the speech so prepare the speech with the intent to end early rather than later.

6. Show up early. Showing up early allows for time to get settled into the space and test out the technology. If something doesn’t seem to be working you now have time to fix it or plan for something different. Also, this gives you time to meet the audience and see what they are like.

7. Practice practice practice. Practice makes perfect. Practice wherever you are; practice in your car, to your friends or just to yourself. This gives you time to know and get familiar with your speech. Give speeches as much as you can because the more speeches you give the more comfortable you will become.

Have you ever been in awe of a public speaker and wished you could convey a message like they could? By following these tips you too can be that speaker people are in awe of. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Now that's Pinteresting!


In 2012 Pinterest exploded by the millions after two underground years and has since been added to big social media names Facebook and Twitter. Tuesday, Pinterest released their in-house analytics to help brands better know their audience on the site. In November of last year, Pinterest formally introduced business pages however many brands had already been using the site as a virtual pinboard.  

Pinterest describes its new feature in their blog:

“If you have a verified website, you’ll get information about how many people have pinned from your site, how many people have seen these pins, and how many people visited your site from Pinterest. We’ll also show you a selection of your most repinned, most clicked, and most recent pins so you have a better idea of what’s popular. For example, if you have a travel blog, you’ll be able to see whether people are pinning your ski vacation posts or beach vacation posts more.” 

To learn more click here, happy pinning!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Be More Than a GPA

Upon entering college, students are told from day one not to get distracted from the original goal: go get good grades and land a great job. It is usually assumed that the highest GPA will land the highest paying and most satisfying job. While grades will play a huge role in your academic and post graduate life, GPA is not the end all be all.

PR Daily mentions in their article that grades are a huge factor in school performance but not so much professionally.

Taking your academics seriously is an extremely important aspect of college life, but it is important to find the balance of other things that will help you professionally and socially. Here are some other things to keep in mind during college besides your GPA:

1. Know how to learn- You will find during internships and jobs that employers don't always need the expert, just someone who has a strong willingness to learn! The ability to learn beyond the classroom is essential to your life post-grad. You may be the young social media savvy student teaching older professionals at you internship the essentials of Twitter, but you must also be able to learn from them.

2. Time management- Being in the right place at the right time is key to professional development. Knowing how to complete tasks in a timely fashion is usually a non-negotiable skill in the job and internship markets.

3. Giving and receiving feedback- This means more than commenting that you 'like' something. Give constructive feedback that indicates why you like or dislike something. What makes it effective, or how could is be made better?

4. Build your network- Spending all your time in the library is not an effective tool for networking. Networking not only allows you to make connections and build contacts, it also forces you to get used to face to face interactions. This is essential for interviews and professional settings.

While your GPA may look nice on paper, not having the proper skills to back it up will never get you past that. It is most important that you have the skill sets to back up your GPA, and prove that you are more than a number!

Monday, March 11, 2013

For First Time Since 9/11, TSA Allows Knives

When 9/11 happened, the Transportation Security Administration cracked down on airline security. Liquids were regulated, and even small pocket knives were confiscated. Recently, the TSA has started to loosen it's grip a bit. For the first time in over 11 years, the TSA is allowing knives on flights. According to the TSA, "knives permitted under the policy must be able to fold up and have blades that are 2.36 inches or less in length and are less than 1/2-inch wide."

So far there have been mixed feelings about the new policy. The TSA has made these changes to conform U.S. security standards to international standards, and to allow the TSA to concentrate on more serious safety threats. But those who are against the policy, including Delta Airlines, pilots and flight attendants, feel that it is unwise to peel back any layer of security, no matter how small-scale.

Some feel that the TSA is only concerned with preventing planes from being turned into missiles, not with individual passengers. What do you think about the TSA changes? Let us know!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The PR Niche in Celiac Disease


Over the past few years the gluten free diet has trended more and more. Additionally, the awareness and diagnosis of Celiac Disease has skyrocketed to 1 in every 133 people. With this drastic change in Americans’ eating habits, food manufacturers and restaurants are offering more gluten-free alternatives.

As a Celiac Disease patient myself, I know that people are willing to spend the extra money for gluten-free products to fulfill their taste desires. These products are in such high demand because the media is encouraging the gluten free movement more and more. Since the movement has become so popular, public relations specialists who work with these food manufacturers have strategized and taken advantage of every opportunity to push and sell these products. PR specialists push them not only for Celiac patients, but also for persuading people that weight-loss and overall improved health are benefits from a gluten free diet.  Now, grocery stores have an entire aisle designated to gluten-free products as well as “gf” labels on other gluten free products throughout the store. Name brand manufacturers such as Betty Crocker and General Mills are offering gluten free products. Restaurants have gluten free menus and bakeries have opened solely for gluten free baked goods. Because of all the PR efforts to promote gluten-free diets, people who don’t even have Celiac Disease are choosing to follow a gluten-free diet because of the talking trends in the media. PR specialists have succeeded in spreading the awareness and pushing the benefits of a gluten-free lifestyle because enough people support the concept and are willing to invest in it.

The rise in demand for these products is putting PR specialists at a great advantage to promote new gluten free products. However, the gluten free market is becoming very competitive since there are now multiple gluten-free manufacturers pushing similar products. Yes, people will discover which products they prefer after testing a few themselves, but the key to grabbing their attention in the first place is gaining their trust. Thanks to PR specialists, the credibility and publicity of certain gluten-free manufacturers such as Glutino and Amy’s Kitchen have progressed as profitable companies with satisfied, loyal customers. The increase in popularity for gluten-free products is just one example of how PR specialists find a niche in a certain product or client, and use that niche to make the company’s goals a reality. Have you seen more gluten free alternatives and advertisements over the past few months? Let us know who you think is promoting those gluten free campaigns! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Madeline Barry.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

B.I.G. Dreams Fulfilled: Temple Freshman Becomes Hooter the Owl!


Temple University Television made one student’s dreams of becoming Hooter the Owl for a basketball game come true. In their new pilot “B.I.G (Before I Graduate)” TUTV features a student making their dreams a reality. “Before I Graduate…” provides a unique forum for the diverse body of Temple University to state their goals, and make their ambitions a reality. This new series is aimed at all Temple University students trying to experience or achieve as much as possible while studying in Philadelphia. 

TUTV’s first B.I.G. student was Elijah Goodwin, a freshman Theatre major, who wanted to be Hooter the Owl at a home basketball game. Elijah’s desire to become Hooter aligned perfectly with his desire to entertain and put on performances for an audience. The transformation into Hooter required a few dance lessons from the original Hooter himself to prepare for the opening of the basketball game. The transformation was a success, Elijah’s role as Hooter was believable to both him and the audience. Elijah stayed out performing longer than expected because he was enjoying it so much. 

This turned out to be a great experience for Elijah; his dream of becoming a real owl is realized. Keep up with TUTV by visiting their website at http://www.templetv.net/ and be on the lookout for more B.I.G. segments in the future! 

Interview Question Don'ts


March means the start of interviewing for those much-wanted summer internships, and for some of us, the start of a real career search. By now, you’ve been informed of some of the types of questions you should ask after an interview, but what about the ones you need to  stay away from? PRDaily writer Denise Zimmerman breaks these questions into three main categories:

The Obvious – These questions are the ones that you could have easily researched and found on your own, but you didn’t take the time to.  You never want to ask questions such as “who are your clients?” or “when were you founded?” when that information is readily available on the company website. These types of questions show the interviewer that you did not take the time to look into his or her company, and therefore, aren’t serious about the position. 

The all-about-me – Things such as summer vacations, salary, hours etc. are all types of questions that fall into this category.  When interviewing, you need to remember that this is a mutually beneficial deal. Great interview questions are focused more on what the job role entails or what is expected of someone in that role instead of individualized needs and wants. Employers want people who are interested in the success of the company, not someone who is just focused on his or herself.

No questions at all – Although this is not quite a question, recruiters and Human Resources managers agree that this may be even worse than asking some of the questions listed above. Asking well-thought out questions reinforces the interest and commitment into the position and the importance of it being a right fit for you. Yes, you may be there looking for an opportunity of any kind, but you want to make sure that you are aware of what to expect from the role you will play in the organization. 

By being well informed of the types of questions you shouldn’t ask, you can better prepare yourself with the ones you should to land that dream internship or job you are looking for. Great questions help show the interviewer you want to make sure to make the best decision for you and the employer. Interviews are much more successful when there is two-way communication, not just a standard one-sided question and answer format.  So go out there and show those employers how prepared you are and land that dream internship you have been waiting for!

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

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Will You “Like” the New Facebook Ideas?


Rebranding is part of every marketing plan. A product hits a point when a new development plan needs to occur. Facebook has been around for many years, and over those years they have implements many new features to this system. And now they have decided to add three new aspects to this already popular social media site.  

 1. Development of multiple new feeds. Currently, all the information on Facebook comes up in one main news feed. But now, the stories that show up in the main news feed section can be divided into multiple feeds. The three main feeds they are thinking of creating is one for friends’ activity, another for information regarding the pages people have “liked” and the final page just for news stories.

2. Facebook images will also be larger in size when they appear in the news feed. Facebook believes that if the images are larger they will be more eye appealing a thus generate more “likes”.  
3. Users upload videos all the time, but the quality of these videos can be less than stellar. When videos are now uploaded to Facebook, they will go through a more extensive editing process. This process will ensure a better quality video for all your Facebook friends to watch.

These new ideas coming to Facebook will be sure to make Facebook users more excited about using Facebook. This website is constantly adding new aspects to the web page. At first, many seem hesitant on whether they are fans of the new features, but after awhile they get used to it. But with all these new ideas coming, there is just one question left unanswered, when will Facebook finally give us a “dislike” button? 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Feed me Flyers!

Sunday I worked my second Flyers Wives For Lives Carnival and this year I had a new perspective as a volunteer selling out 4,000 Mystery Bags.  Flyers Charities did a great job organizing and informing hundreds of much needed volunteers showing how a small organization can run a successful event raising over one million dollars in one day.

Day of, volunteer coordinators, and Dunkin’ Donuts (thank God!), were anxiously awaiting our arrival. As we were named our assignments we continued to our individual destinations awaiting the doors to open. The Carnival was chaotic with Flyers fans loving every opportunity to meet and great favorite players and alumni. Volunteers came around every hour with snacks and sandwiches for other volunteers working various booths and games to keep the momentum of the day.
 
“The Flyers Wives Carnival is a long-standing Philadelphia tradition.  I remember attending as a teenager and meeting players like Eric Lindros.  Now that I am on this side of the event, I get to see first-hand everything that goes into making the Carnival happen,” said Theresa Russell Development Manager for Comcast-Spectacor Charities. “We are so grateful to the many people that help us behind the scenes to get the building ready and, of course, the huge team of volunteers who offer their time at the various booths throughout the day.  The Flyers Wives Carnival wouldn't be the event it is without them”.

The organization did a fantastic job with their hundreds of volunteers from the initial information to execution on the busy day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Introducing, Google Glass

Google seems to have struck gold again gold again with it's newest project: Google Glass. Glass is definitely Google to the next level. It offers it's users a virtual experience unlike any other by having a voice controlled computer resting on their faces as eye glasses. Yes, Google has taken the futuristic virtual experience often depicted in movies and brought it to public.

Here's a demo of how Glass works:


While this may just seem like another tech advantage that has nothing to do with PR, PR Daily pointed out that this advancement can impact out industry. PR and media professionals are notorious for being on the go. The wearability and functionality of Google Glass may change the way PR people and media outlets communicate with one another. Email piches could quickly become video pitches while waiting in line at Starbucks or on the set of a morning show. There could also be a boost in Google+, Google's social networking site, which would present new challenges for social media managers.

In the coming months, it will be exciting to see how or if Glass takes off. Reports say that Google hopes to sell the product for under $1,500 or around the cost of a smartphone. Price point will definitely play a huge role in the popularity of Glass.

Have you heard of Google Glass? Would you purchase it when it does hit markets? Let us know!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fired Groupon CEO Tells It Like It is

From my extremely limited knowledge of fired CEOs, it seems that many companies fire them in a very hush-hush manner. Rumors circulate around the office, people speculate about why he or she was fired, the whole nine yards. Most CEOs quietly hang their heads on their way out of their cushy position.

This was not the case for recently fired Groupon Founder and CEO Andrew Mason. After the company suffered a whopping 25 percent stock drop in it's first quarter report, Mason was quickly and seamlessly fired. While Mason was not exactly silent in response to his firing, he wasn't very upset about it either.

In a letter to his employees, Mason joked on choosing to leave the company to spend more time with his family (a long overused cover for being fired) and admitted that he was fired for making poor financial decisions. In the memo, he applauded his employees for their hard work and dedication and assured them that he was proud of Groupon as a whole.

Mason closed the letter with a piece of advice: "have the courage to start with the customer," and signed it with "I will miss you terribly."

What do you think of Mason's unconventional departing memo? Let us know!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Out With the old, in With the New: Overused PR Words


The perfect press release is like a work of art. If done correctly, it can be an exceptionally beneficial tool for your client. However, if done incorrectly you risk damaging your reputation with journalists and bloggers – essential relationships to have and maintain as a public relations professional.

Our industry involves choosing your written and oral words carefully, and press releases are no exceptions. Although you may believe you are thinking on a different wavelength than your PR competitors when writing your releases, we are all guilty of overusing words that make our clients seem better, smarter or more alluring than the rest. These predictable words tend to lose their luster, and ultimately their meaning and value.

At the end of 2012, SHIFT Communications collaborated with Marketwire to sample 5,000 press releases from the course of the year. As a result, the 50 most overused words in press releases were revealed. The goal was for PR pros to use these words with discretion or find applicable substitutes in 2013.

The following are the top 10 most Overused PR Words of 2012. See the infographic for the top 50! Be sure to keep these words in mind as you’re writing press releases this year.

1. Global
2. Forward
3. Leading / Solutions
4. International
5. Growth
6. Well-positioned
7. Announced
8. Best
9. Performance
10. Experience

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

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Safeguarding your Social Media

Everyone has experienced seeing a stream of strange posts on a friend’s social media site with a tweet or status update later on saying “sorry my account was hacked!” But what if this friend was a social media manager for an organization, or what if this was a brand’s account you follow? 

It’s stressful to have an account hacked as an individual but when managing social media for an organization there are much higher stakes. A hacked Twitter or Facebook can do great damage to a company’s reputation. 

Burger King and Jeep are two examples of huge brands that have had their accounts hacked since the start of 2013. For Burger King, having their Twitter account hacked meant having a verified stamp next to the brand’s description which read, “Just got sold to McDonalds because the Whopper flopped.” 

There are simple tips we can remember when managing social media for a company to help us safeguard our brand’s reputation. 
  • Use a unique password for each site: It seems like an obvious answer but we all have the tendency to use the same password over and over for ease of use.  If a hacker obtains one password, at least you are able to deal with an isolated issue. 
  • Centralize a social media administrator: In a previous blog post, “Who Owns Social Media?” I discussed the trend toward collaborating between departments for social media. While you will want to do this for content, sharing the password between a large group is not secure. A solution could be for the administrator to use auto fill on other employees’ work computers to give access while on the job without sharing the password for use outside of work.
  • Randomly generated passwords: It’s a pain, but randomly generating passwords makes them nearly impossible to guess. Try Random.org's password generator and then backup your data with a cloud service that will store it in an encrypted form online. Some popular services include Lastpass, 1password and mSecure.
  • Make your mobile device secure: For most, a four digit password on the screen of an iPhone is fine. However, if you manage social media for a business and have passwords saved on your phone it’s a good idea to go into settings and turn the “simple passcode” feature off. This will unlock the option for you to use the full keyboard to make your password harder to crack.
This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kyra Mazurek.