Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happiest Cities for Public Relations Professionals

As aspiring public relations professionals with goals of someday landing a job we love, it is helpful to know where we will be able to find that dream job. I was always told growing up that if I am doing something I enjoy I won’t work a day in my life, and that will be my goal as I enter into the workforce. 

With that said, there is more opportunity for jobs in the public relations profession near a city than in a small town. The United States is full of cities with endless opportunity and various career paths in the public relations field. Each city has something unique to offer a recent college grad looking to embark on a journey.  

So, what are the happiest cities for public relations and marketing professionals? According to an article published on PR Daily earlier this year, the top 10 cities in the United States with the most satisfied workers in the industry were named based on a study performed by the American Marketing Association along with staffing agency Aquent: 

1. Phoenix
2. Indianapolis
3. Houston
4. St. Louis
5. Detroit
6. Charlotte
7. Boston
8. San Jose
9. Chicago
10. Austin

I hope to one day find a job in public relations near a city with opportunity to grow in my career. Perhaps I will end up in one of these cities and will be able to say that I, too, am happy with my job. Where will you go to pursue your dream job? Share with us!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Kaitlyn Mashack. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

How To: Make The Most of Your Summer Internship

Whether it is your first, second, or third internship, it’s important to know how to make the most out of a summer job. I have had many internships and jobs in the past where some were quite busy while others...not so much. Here are some helpful tips to cater to both busy and slow internships. 

If your internship is slow, always remember that you have the power to control the pace. Sure, maybe there is no work provided by your boss, but that does not mean that you stop trying to find tasks. 
  • Ask other departments for work: Currently, I work in the media planning industry for advertising. I know that if my team has no work for me to do, I can shoot out a quick email to different teams such as the creative or marketing teams. This can apply to any internship. 
If working in a fast pace environment, plan ahead and focus on one thing at a time. Let your team members know in advance the amount of work you are already carrying in order to prevent overload. The team would rather have quality work then a ton of projects completed in a haphazard manner. 
  • Ask questions: Although it is scary to ask when in doubt, asking questions is the best way for you to learn and your team to take back quality work. If you don’t know how to do something and you don’t ask a question, you are hurting the team as a whole! Don’t be afraid; it shows you are trying your best!
  • Make friends with coworkers/other interns: This part is often overlooked and is not taken seriously by interns. When working in an industry like communications, communication is key. The other interns are in the same boat as you and sometimes helping each other out makes the experience easier. Making friends with coworkers also is a good networking tool. You never know, a past co-worker, may already work for a job you apply for in the future! 

Do you find yourself struggling in any of these areas? Utilize these tips in order to make the most out of your summer interning experience. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Jessica Mancuso. 

PPRA Annual Meeting Recap

Wednesday evening at the PPRA Annual Meeting, the Philadelphia Public Relations Association honored past Temple University PRSSA President, Mackenzie Krott, with the PPRA Dr. Jean Brodey Award. This award honors a student for outstanding interest and professional promise in the field of public relations, academic excellence and community contribution. With a warm welcoming of applause from PPRA members, Mackenzie thanked everyone for their continued support to PRSSA as well as to us eager PR students, whether it be as a mentor, an informational interview or sending us internship openings, they continue to motivate and help us in any way. 

I was lucky enough to join Mackenzie at the event and was reassured once again of the importance and necessity of joining PPRA and their role in PR in the area. We were able to network with familiar faces, esteemed alumni, as well as new faces that we cannot wait to make further connections with. 

The evening started with Tom McGrath, editor of Philadelphia Magazine, as the keynote speaker, followed by the induction of the incoming president and Board of Directors. Tom McGrath spoke about the future of Philadelphia Magazine in print as well as the ever-expanding need for online content. He also mentioned the controversial topics that the magazine covers and how they deal with reactions and potential backlash. We were all excited to hear his positive attitude and confidence about the future of publishing and the magazine, and pleasantly shocked that the number of subscriptions has not changed, even with the presence of multiple online ways of receiving news. Seeing the new Board of Directors inducted was exciting, with multiple Temple and PRSSA alumni serving on the board, it furthered our determination to work hard so that these positions could be in our future. 

A professional association event that took time to award and focus on Mackenzie was incredible to see. All of her hard work has paid off and the award summarizes her qualities. No one was more deserving! 

This guest blog post was written by PRSSA President Brianna Rooney. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Supreme Court & Social Media

From the president to hundreds of municipal officials, many government-affiliated people and businesses have given in to social media. However, there is one federal agency that lacks social media use and does not seem to be giving in anytime soon; the U.S. Supreme Court.

After waiting all day to find out Wednesday's two major decisions on very controversial issues, the social media world was buzzing with excitement. Hashtags like #DOMA #Prop8 and #Scotus were popping up all over the Twittersphere. Yet, the news of the decisions did not break digitally; they came out on paper.

Decisions by the high court are handed down pretty much as they've always been: written rulings posted without notice nor prior missives indicating timing or outcome. Once the rulings are issued they are then distributed in paper form simultaneously to interested parties. This old school process is deliberative and leak-free makes sense and seems to work well.

But, is there a chance the Supreme Court will delve into the ever-popular realm of social media? Experts think not however with a digital age upon us you never really know.

What do you think? Will the high court start tweeting in the future? We want to know your opinion!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Escape the Echo Chamber

Our tendencies as humans are to seek information that we will agree with or is well known and not pay any attention to opposing views. Partaking in the echo chamber and aspiring to be a PR professional is not a good match. In this world filled with news, information and different media, it's not wise to solely depend on only one source of media. I know everyone has their specific likes and favorites but it's advisable to get familiar with the different outlets.

If you are victim of partaking in the echo chamber I challenge you to escape it and open your mind and seek out other sources that will offer new perspectives and challenge your own postulations, instead of reinforcing  your existing opinions. It's understood you mightn't agree with some media but its always refreshing to hear or read someone else's views.

I am from the Republic twin island of Trinidad and Tobago and coming to America to pursue my degree was my first step of escaping the echo chamber. I made the decision that i didn't want to learn in a setting I'm accustomed to or learn a culture I already knew. My escape has definitely broaden my beliefs and changed my perspectives on a few things, even PR.

The following are other ways to escape this effect:
1. Read from media outlets you never experienced.

2.Learn from people who have a totally different culture from you. Observe their writing and views on certain topics.

3. Pay attention to people who have contrary views to one of your favorite outlet's positions.

What other ways you can escape the echo chamber? Let us know!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Six Tips For Speaking Up

Many times, interns or those of us just starting out in real world jobs have a hard time vocalizing our opinions. Since I first began taking on PR internships, I've heard plenty of interns complain or express themselves behind the scenes, but rarely do they speak up when it really counts. While confronting your superiors can be a very intimidating experience, it is sometimes necessary and when done properly, wont be so bad! Here are my 6 tips for speaking up:

  1. Timing is everything - When confronting someone in the workplace, it is crucial to pick the appropriate time and place. Do not make a scene or drag others into the situation. Wait until you can be one on one with that person.
  2. Watch your tone - Remember that confrontation and attacking someone are two different things entirely. Speak in a calm, relaxed tone and express your thoughts clearly. Speak using "I" statements (i.e "I feel that...") to avoid sounding like you're placing too much blame on the other person.
  3. Have a game plan - Don't approach the person super charged on emotions! Before you go in, write down a few notes so that you know everything you want to get out. This will allow you to speak clearly and directly without getting lost in your thoughts.
  4. Remember that your opinions are valued - No one hires an intern or employee because they don't want them to add to the team. If you think an idea of yours could strengthen a project, it is likely that you're right. After all, it is your original ideas that set you apart from everyone else.
  5. Tell them why, not what - Don't just shoot down the ideas or opinions of others without offering an alternative. Simply saying that something won't work is not enough. Instead, give an example of how you've seen something done better, and what the results were.
  6. Be able to receive constructive criticism - Just because you have finally figured out how to speak out doesn't mean everything you say will be well received. Prepare yourself to have someone disagree with or challenge you, and accept it gracefully. Use the criticism to help better your strategic thinking, so you will have even better ideas next time!
Have you ever struggled to speak out in the workplace? How did you overcome? Let us know!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

No LinkedIn? No Job.

LinkedIn has become a staple in job and internship searches.  It gives employers a way to check out your experience and internet presence before you even step foot into an interview.  This can be a great opportunity for you to make a statement about your professional self.  It can also be a way for you to lose points with an interviewer.

I was recently told by a family member that they knew of a company that wouldn't hire someone if they didn't have a LinkedIn profile.  My family member was shocked.  They don't have a Facebook or a Twitter or a LinkedIn simply because they don't feel the need to share so much information with the public.

I explained that there are many benefits of LinkedIn, but only if it is used properly.  I've had a lot of classes that require you to make a LinkedIn and all too often after the class is over students neglect their profile.  That sends a negative message to potential employers.  I think LinkedIn is a great way to connect with the professional community, but if you're going to have a profile it's important to keep a few things in mind:

Use it. Don't just let your profile sit with a blank picture and out of date information.  Even if you don't check it every day, make sure you're updating your content and interacting with people once and a while.

Join groups.  There are tons of groups on LinkedIn that talk about job postings or just advice for young professionals.  They are a great resource.

Connect the right way.  It's important that you're personalizing your messages when asking to connect with someone, especially if it's someone you're interested in getting a job with.  That little message is your first chance to show someone who you are.

So whether you have an up to date and well used LinkedIn or you're just considering getting a profile, keep these tips in mind! 

Do you think it is wrong for companies to disregard interviewees because they don't have a LinkedIn? Share your thoughts!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Rebirth of Social Networks

By now I’m sure we are all too familiar with the life cycle of most social networks. Typically, it is short and sweet. While social networks fade into the background everyday, there aren’t as many stories of them making a comeback. Over the past week, however, two social media platforms have announced some big changes that may just create a new narrative when discussing the life span of social networks: the rebirth.
  • Instagram - While Instagram has never waned in popularity, the addition of a video sharing feature may prove deadly for another growing platform: Vine. Last Thursday, Instagram launched a new video sharing feature that not only allows users to capture 15 seconds of video (9 seconds more than Vine), but also add on Instagram’s infamous filters. While some have pegged this as the death of Vine early on, others predict an opposite fate. Some believe that this will be Instagram’s downfall. Because users are accustomed to their niche apps (Instagram for photos and Vine for video), they may not be too thrilled with the inclusion of both on one feed. Others appreciate the simplicity that this change will bring to their home screens. This is still a new development. Only time will tell which app will survive in the end, or if there is room for both in our lives.
  • Myspace - Myspace was probably the social network that took the hardest hit when Facebook began rising in popularity. It went down as the site that tried to do everything. As stated before, people have said that they prefer their niche platforms: networks that do only a few things, but very well. Ironically, Facebook’s popularity is beginning to decline for that very reason, trying to do it all. Myspace, however, seems to have learned from its mistakes. Earlier this month, Myspace aired its new commercial that features popular music artists such as Pharrell, Sky Ferreia, and Mac Miller. The purpose is to completely rebrand Myspace by going back to what originally made them successful: a place to discover and share new music. With a beautiful and simplistic new design and celebrity endorsements, I think it’s safe to say that Myspace may be experiencing that rebirth phase. 

What do these changes mean for us? It means we need to be even more diligent to keep up not only with the birth of new networks, but the rebirth of old ones as well. Don’t be so quick to delete those apps off your phone. Give it a month and a great rebranding team and you may find yourself signing back in. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Benefits of an Internship Abroad

Internships are a major part of not only the college experience but of preparing yourself for what lies ahead after graduation. Many might even say that obtaining an internship is one of the most important aspects of college, but what about applying for internships that aren’t in your college state, or even the country? Is it beneficial to get an internship abroad? The simple answer is yes, and here’s why: 
  1. You’re getting out of your comfort zone: Being away from the support of your friends and family can be quite daunting, but it also gives you the opportunity to work in an uncomfortable environment and rise to the challenge. 
  2. You experience culture shock: Whatever country you may choose to get an internship in will most likely be completely different from anything you might have been used to in the United States, and that’s exciting. Not only will you see first hand how business is conducted in a different part of the world, but you’re experiencing an entirely new professional culture that you otherwise would have no idea of. 
  3. You strengthen your resume: A strong and diverse resume is proving to be more and more important to young professionals today. Having an international internship is just the icing on the cake to increasing your marketability to prospective employers, and further separating yourself from the crowd. 
What do you think the benefits of interning abroad may be? If they match any of what I’ve listed above, then an international internship might just be for you!

This post was written by PRowl Staff Member Jenna Stern.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Networking: It Doesn't End in May

Think summer is the perfect opportunity to lounge by the pool while catching up on the latest Kardashian gossip?  Well, guess again.  The final exams and term papers may be over (for now) but there are some responsibilities that don’t end with the spring semester. Summer break is ideal for maintaining and building relationships through networking.

It’s important to keep in touch with the contacts you’ve made throughout the school year.  At the end of the day, it’s much easier to maintain relationships with PR professionals than continually create new ones.  Sending an email or a tweet to continue your communication with a contact is simple and meaningful.

Use the free time to your advantage.  Instead of watching three seasons of How I Met Your Mother in one sitting, spend your time doing something that will be beneficial to you in the long run.  The summer is full of outdoor events and festivals; get your name and face out in the industry by working as a volunteer. The Electric Run and Wawa Welcome America! are two great Philadelphia events that are always looking for PR volunteers.

If you’re spending your break at a summer internship, get the most out of the experience by requesting a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor or employer.  If you’re interested in continuing your professional career with the organization, they will be the best resource you have for advice so an informational interview is ideal.  This not only builds your relationship but it shows you are serious and committed to the organization.

Finally, if you have a PR professional in mind that you’d like to contact in the future, summer is a great time to prepare.  Do some research on their current position and the agency or organization they work for so you are ready to connect with them when you step back on campus in the fall.

Most people use the summer as a break from their academic and professional responsibilities, which makes it the perfect time to create new contacts and stand out from the crowd.  So put down the tabloids, pick up your business cards and get to summer networking!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Jaime Martorana.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Productivity? There's an App for That!

This generation has been fortunate to experience all the existing technology and its perks. Many people now own smartphones, tablets and laptops and the apps created for these devices provide various resources to compliment this diverse society. 

Productivity is wanted by majority of persons in this fast paced world. A common goal in society is to be effective and efficient, but quickly. So, the days of writing on paper and having face to face conversations are slowly dissolving and society is adapting to technology offerings. 

Technology definitely paved a path for people who are always on the go. Some devices have apps to assist such people. 

Wondering how to use your device for productivity? Below are three apps used for productivity:

Evernote: This free service is among the most popular apps and it allows you to document everything.This app collects and organizes notes, photos and web pages. It allows you to record voice notes and organize your notes color coded. Who doesn't love color coded notes?

GoToMeeting: This app allows you to host webinars, online training and digital meetings all on your smartphone or device. GoToMeeting can hold up to 25 attendees and if you have a webcam or camera you can even facetime.

LogMeIn: This app is a software that provides remote access to your main computer. You can control your computer from a smartphone or tablet. With this app, you can forever be productive even when you are on the go. 

What other apps do you use for productivity? We will love to know!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

PR Tips For Online Shop Owners

Small scale crafters and DIY-ers now have more resources at their disposal than ever before. Handmade goods are a hot commodity, everyone loves items that have a unique touch. There is no limit what a small scale artisan can accomplish with a little creativity, talent, and lots of hard work.

Sites like Etsy and Big Cartel have given these small shops their very own place on the web to sell to the masses. With so many shops, (Etsy has over 900,000 registered merchants,) it can be hard to draw in an audience. It's important to brand and promote your shop in the most efficient and cost effective way possible. Here are some tips to help promote your small shop, without breaking the bank:

  • Be social media friendly: While some online marketplaces have features which allow you to message shop owners, most don't let you connect with consumers on a more personal level. Social media is a great way to gauge and connect with your audiences! Use Instagram to post pictures of new items before they are added to the shop to make followers feel special, like they get to see behind the scenes. Facebook pages are also a great way to make announcements and let users contact you easily.
  • Look into blog sponsorships and partnerships: Having your shop featured on a blog these days could really help a small shop thrive. Blog sponsorships are usually very affordable, around $5-$20 a month depending on what the sponsorship offers. Many bloggers also participate in giveaways, which help to build awareness and increase traffic to your online shop and social media profiles. Major magazines and publications often check blogs for the next best thing, so a 30 day ad running on a blog could easily turn into a feature in a magazine!
  • Create a brand identity: As a shop owner, no one knows the ends and outs of your brand better than you do. Create a description that includes the history of your shop, and tells what makes it stand out from all the others. This will be important when your looking into expansion opportunities.
  • Don't be afraid to cross promote: Small shops are always competing with other shops in their category, and understandably so. But it competition doesn't mean you can't help each other out! Reaching out to other small shops could be a great opportunity for giveaways, online contests, and features!
  • Stay consistent and professional: Every element of your shop should have a consistent and professional look and feel to it. Have a logo created, and be sure that have that logo on any photos you post to social media, and on your shop. Make sure your profile images are the same on every site so that consumers can familiarize yourself with your brand.
Do you shop handmade items? What tips do you have for better promotion? Let us know!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

PR in Your Pajamas

With virtual internships becoming more popular and many up-and-coming PR professionals offering their consulting services, there is an increasing amount of PR work that can be done from the comfort of your own home.

I am currently interning for a woman who is a PR powerhouse: juggling multiple clients, three children, and running a household.  She works out of her house and three days a week I join her at her kitchen table with my laptop and a notebook and we get a lot of work accomplished.  Now as beneficial as it is to be located so close to a coffee maker and unlimited snacks, working from home is actually a lot harder than I thought.  There are constant disruptions and you have to balance your work life and your home life every second.  When you're in a cubicle or an office it's a little easier to let your grocery list and social life slip from your mind.

It took a little adjusting, but I finally feel like I've gotten into a good mode when I work from home.  Here are a few pieces of advice I can offer to those of you who have or are thinking about applying for a virtual internship or a position that involves working from your couch:

1. Don't actually work from your couch.  You need a desk, a chair, and a quiet space to get the most work done.
2. Remove distractions.  Let your roommates know when you're working so they don't come barging into your room to tell you about their day.
3. Take breaks.  If you get up and move around, have a snack, or just look away from your computer for a few minutes, you're more likely to stay on task the rest of the time.

I think we've all harbored fantasies of working from home because it seems like a glamorous and effortless life.  Truthfully, it's probably harder than working in an office.  Though it is pretty fun to write a press release in your pj's!

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Death of the Unpaid Intern

Last week, The Atlantic Wire posted an article that questioned if the days of unpaid internships are numbered. Two interns who worked on the movie Black Swan sued 20th Century Fox for not paying them a proper salary...and won. You can read more about the details of the lawsuit here.

While that’s an amazing outcome for the Black Swan interns, what does that mean for the rest of us? The new precedent that developed from this case states that employees should be covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) unless the internship meets six criteria that says it is okay to use young workers without pay. After reading over the FLSA’s “Test for Unpaid Interns,” it is quite clear that most unpaid “internships” do not meet this criteria. Most of these interns are performing the same jobs as employees, and should be compensated as such. 

So with this new precedent brought to light, why are there no summer intern riots in the streets? For one, this story just broke less than a week ago. After a quick Google search I found that this story has ran on The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Huffington Post. However, the ruling on unpaid internships has yet to make it to major news networks such as CNN, CBS, or FOX. Only two networks have reported anything on the lawsuit: NBC and ABC. 

Fortunately, the story has begun to gain some traction over the weekend. In true grassroots fashion, blogs have been covering this new development in full force. Could that be because the unpaid interns are at the helm of these blogs? Regardless of who’s responsible for getting the information out, the important thing is that it starts a conversation. 

Another reason why people may not be so quick to protest is simply because they like their internship the way it is. Sometimes just the rush of doing work in your desired profession is enough. For some, the promise of gained experience and knowledge is fulfilling on its own. However, for those who aren’t as easily fulfilled, take the time to look at the FLSA as written by the U.S. Department of Labor. You may be surprised to discover that your summer internship may just be your summer job. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

PRoblems: Our Top Five PR Don'ts

PRowl’s executive board came together and thought of a few things to steer clear of if you want to maintain a professional public relations appearance. Here are the top five problems that you want to avoid: 

Overly complicated language. You would think that as a PR student you would want to show off your vocabulary whenever possible, but the opposite is true. When creating content be sure to stay away from technical terms or PR jargon. Always keep your writing clear and concise.

Lack of attention to detail. As a PR professional, it is essential to pay attention to the "little things." Whether that be posting the right content to social media, drafting the perfect lead in your press release, or selecting the perfect font for an event invitation, those little details add up, quickly!

Missing deadlines. People joke about how similar PR and journalism are, but in this case it could not be more true. Deadlines are so crucial in PR. Missing them not only affects you, but it also affects your publications, clients, or even fellow staff members.

Offending a client. Never bad mouth a client, it’s that simple. Even if you are not in the room with them, you are constantly representing them. Always make sure that what you are saying about your client is what you would want the public to say.

Being a know-it-all. This is something to avoid in every profession, but it definitely holds true for PR. PR is still a growing industry and new social networks are developed everyday. In such a rapidly changing field it’s impossible to know everything that is going on, and that’s okay. Part of the beauty of PR is the networks that we make and being able to reach out to them when needed. 

These five issues may seem like obvious potholes to avoid, but everyone makes mistakes. If you stay mindful of these “PRoblems,” you can cultivate and maintain your credibility and professionalism in the PR world.

This collaboration post was written by PRowl's Executive Board.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Internet Never Forgets

While social media can be an extremely beneficial tool for networking and reconnecting with others, I can’t help but think of the possible negative implications of making ourselves so visible online through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to name a few. One of the wisest (and perhaps most cynical) expressions I’ve heard is, “The Internet never forgets.”  I hear all the time that it is safe to assume that once something is posted online, it will be seen by somebody, and perhaps more alarmingly, could be seen by anybody.

Therefore, it is essential to use some helpful practices with our social media accounts such as using restraint and thinking things through before posting. In March of 2009, Dan Leone, a stadium operations employee for the Philadelphia Eagles was fired for voicing his opinions on Facebook regarding a trade the Eagles had made. This violates the rule of thinking about it before posting. If you work for the Eagles, perhaps posting a negative opinion about a decision the Eagles made is not the wisest of ideas. Using some restraint and a little bit of thought could have gone a long way for Dan Leone.

In the professional world today, social media has become almost expected in certain professions. Many professionals in the arts, entertainment, sports, and business industries use their Twitter account as a means for others to follow them and to connect. It may not be a poor choice to have separate Twitter or Facebook accounts for professional and personal purposes. The drawback for this strategy is that it can become tiresome to filter their thoughts through two accounts. If you find it too overwhelming to have separate accounts, simply remember the adage that the internet never forgets and be mindful and careful of what you post! Somebody, anybody can – and most likely will – see it.

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

Friday, June 14, 2013

Email Inbox Etiquette

An email inbox can be overwhelming. Especially in the generation of text messages and tweets, answering emails can seem very time consuming. As an aspiring PR professional, realize you will be relying on email a lot. 

Although email is a great tool, it can also be a downfall when it is disorganized. During past internships, the number of emails I received in just one hour was intimidating. Here are a few times to keep your inbox organized and to keep yourself sane:

Keep it as unread – If you don't want to read the whole email now, save it for later. Most of the time I am in such a hurry to clean up my inbox I click through emails without reading the whole thing. Instead of skimming through emails, keep it flagged for a little later when you have the time and patience. 
Check your junk mail folder – You never know what is in there until you check it! Try to check it once every day to make sure aren't missing an important message. 
Organize by subject – Creating folders for my inbox was such a lifesaver. If you have a lot of unread notes, organize by subject or sender to get through the important stuff first.
How do you organize your inbox? Let us know!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Good,The Bad and The Ugly- PRying into Travel and Tourism Industry!

PR plays a significant role in the Travel and Tourism Industry. Beyond enticing travelers to a destination, PR professionals sometimes have the arduous task of creating and maintaining a safe, comfortable and enjoyable image of the destination. In this blog post I will discuss the three main elements in Travel and Tourism PR; The Good- Stimulating travelers interest in visiting a destination, The Bad-  Managing crises and The Ugly- changing the perception; accepting flaws of the destination yet highlighting it.

Below, are the aforesaid elements more detailed!

The Good-  Many countries  depend heavily on the Travel and Tourism Industry to maintain their economy. Its sometimes their main source of foreign exchange and its very competitive in the international market.With this, PR firms are contracted across their target markets to ensure their destination is among the preferred choices for travelers. What's better than creating avenues for press to experience the destination first hand? For destinations that promote niches such as events/cultural tourism or destination weddings. Press are invited to cover festivals/shows or sporting events. E.g Jazz festivals and Mardi Grass in New Orleans, Carnival in Brazil and the Caribbean.
The Bad- What does Natalee Holloway's disappearance in Aruba and the Costa Concordia debacle have in common? Bad Press!! In this field, crises occur constantly, whether it is in the corporate environment, in the government or with a destination. This is a segment in PR that is often neglected and costs destinations millions in a matter of minutes. In this age of social media, PR professionals have to be verse in dealing with such sensitive crises and be able to act swiftly.

The Ugly- India, Mexico and South Africa are often portrayed as corrupt and crime-ridden countries in the media. They often show the bad in these countries which usually causes the public to have fear in visiting them. However, theres an "app" for that!! Not an Apple app but a PR app, which concentrates on changing the perceptions by accepting the faults and transforming the flaws into hidden treasures. For instance, Columbia launched a big PR campaign, Columbia, The only risk is wanting to stay, which created awareness on the beauty of this country. Communication professionals worked towards eliminating the distorted images people had of Columbia by putting together the aforementioned campaign, which gave information on the countries natural resources and positive elements.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Press Kits For Bloggers

Blogging has transformed over the years from a fun pastime to a lucrative industry full of creatives. As a blogger, making yourself and your content accessible to the press and to PR reps can only work in your best interest. One simple way to do this is by creating a press kit. A press kit is a package of material that is made available as a brief on a company or brand. The kit should tell a reader what your blog is about, some statistics on your blog, and a bit about you of course! As a blogger, you can get a little more crafty and creative with the presentation of your press kit than a corporation or magazine. Here are a few tips and tricks for creating a successful press kit:

  • Use elements of your blog - Include images that are on your blog to help solidify your brand and help viewers familiarize themselves with you. Take the header image that you use on your blog and make it the top of your press kit. If you use an image of yourself in the sidebar, include that image next to a short bio in your press kit.
  • Less is more - While it is great to have a fun and creative press kit, you don't want to distract the viewer form getting essential info. Try using only one or two simple fonts, and implement white space. Too much color can be very overwhelming.
  • Include your demographic - If someone is viewing your press kit, it is likely because they want to work with you! Let them know the audience that you target so that they can decide if your blog is the right blog to partner with. This will save the hassle of going through pitches that don't necessarily fit your blog.
  • Know your blog stats - How many people stop by your blog daily? Weekly? Monthly? These numbers are important to have in your press kit, so be sure to include them.
  • Social media is a must - Include all of your social media statistics in your press kit: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all others that apply! Your social media numbers indicate your online reach, and can work in your favor when looking for sponsorships!
  • Make it available - Be sure to create a space on your blog for your press kit. I recommend saving it as either a JPEG, PDF, or both for easy access.
 Have you created a press kit for your blog? PR professionals, what do you like to see in a bloggers press kit? Let us know!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Skills Outside of PR

I recently came across a PR Daily article that listed 9 non-PR skills that every PR professional should have.

1. Management and teamwork experience
2. Financial skills
3. Multitasking abilities
4. Extraneous knowledge
5. Math competency
6. Tenacity
7. Discretion and good judgment
8. Common sense, perception, and intuition
9. Creativity

I am lucky enough to attend a university that allowed me to take a variety of classes outside my major so it was easy for me to gain many of these skills throughout my education.  Numbers 1-5 on this list are easy enough to obtain.  You can pick up a minor in business or just use some elective credits to take an accounting or finance class.  As painful as it might be to learn for aspiring PR pros who are much more interested in writing than math, general financial knowledge will definitely come in handy down the road.

Numbers 6-9 are a little trickier.  Some might even say that you have to be born with traits like common sense and creativity.  I disagree.  Take a painting class or a creative writing class.  Even if you aren't the best artist or you have trouble coming up with story lines, classes like these will force you to get outside of your comfort zone and help you develop some valuable skills.  As far as tenacity, discretion, and good judgment go, those are things you're going to pick up once you enter the industry.  This is yet another reason why internships are so important.  You get to be around tenacious PR pros and learn from them.  Lastly, and probably most difficult to develop, is common sense and intuition.  I say as long as you realize that you need them, you'll develop them along the way.

Is this list missing any vital skills PR pros need to have?  Tell us your thought!

Monday, June 10, 2013

PRISM and Social Media Security

As the internet and social media have evolved, so has the etiquette that we should follow when using them. We have been taught not to post or send anything that we would not want to get out, for the sake of being professional online. However, we were not told to be careful of what we share in the event that the government would see it. 

Over the weekend, news broke that the National Security Agency and the FBI have been accessing information from the servers of nine top U.S. internet companies through a program code-named PRISM. The purpose of this program is to track foreign targets. So far information has been gathered from Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple; basically, every website that is used by millions of people on a daily basis. It has been reported that the NSA and FBI can request email, chat (both voice and video), video, photos, file transfers, and more. 

The most interesting thing about this revelation is that it is completely legal thanks to two pieces of legislation passed during the Bush Administration. The first, The Protect America Act of 2007 which allowed suspects to be monitored online without a warrant if they are “reasonably believed” to be foreign. The second, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 which grants immunity to the internet companies that provide the information. Because of this, most, if not all, government statements thus far have been unapologetic and in support of continuing this program to ensure the safety of this country. 

Just yesterday, the PRISM whistleblower, Edward Snowden, decided to come forward. Why? He explains that when going up against such powerful agencies, you go in knowing that, “If they want you, they will get you in due time.” Snowden says that trying to keep your identity a secret does not prolong any consequences. He chose to blow the whistle on this project because he simply does not “want to live in a society that does these sort of things.”

This has sparked a huge debate among American citizens. Is PRISM an intrusion on our Constitutional rights or is it simply a new measure that our government has to take to keep our nation safe in this internet age?

Which side of the debate do you fall on? We want to know!

For more information on PRISM and the whistleblower, read these articles.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Freelance Philly

Being involved in the public relations industry, people often ask what kind of PR you are interested in working in.   There are always some stock answers.  People often respond by saying they want to work in entertainment PR, fashion PR, non-profit PR, political PR, and so on.  However, I recently came across some young PR professionals who were exploring, in my opinion, a more nontraditional PR sector: freelance PR.  

Now, I think the idea of freelance PR gets pushed under the rug far too often. So many people dream of working for huge, widely successful PR firms, and who can blame them? But, these reputable firms didn’t just happen overnight; they had to start somewhere. Perhaps with a freelance vision?

With that thought in place, I started digging.  I wanted to learn as much as I could about this freelance PR scene, and I was surprised to find that entrepreneurial PR is actually booming in Philadelphia.  Below are two that really stood out to me, and are definitely something to think about for your next internship!

1.  The first that I came across is called Philly PR Girl.  As you will find in the website, the Philly PR Girl is actually an entrepreneur-minded young woman named Kate Marlys. Marlys launched her company in 2010 after 6 years of working in non-profit management.  Her vision includes building awareness for small business, and creating networking events in the city of Philadelphia. She offers a wide range of PR services, from social media to event planning to marketing collateral design.  Check her out @Philly_PR_Girl!

2.  The next is called Piqued PR. After landing on the beautifully designed website, you would never guess that Piqued PR was actually founded this year by former Immaculata University fashion merchandising student, Patricia Maristch. Aside from her fashion background, this young PR pro has had years of retail experience, and her services include everything from blogging to styling to brand development. Check her out @PiquedPR!

All this talk of freelance PR has me wondering, “What’s your PR vision?”  Share it with us! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Chris Covone.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Make the Most of Your Internship-less Summer

Summer used to be synonymous with lazy days by the pool, barbecues and copious amounts of Philadelphia water ice. But for college students, summer takes on a whole new meaning: internship season.   However, not everyone can land their dream internship this summer.  The sting of what feels like a missed opportunity can be discouraging.  But with the right amount of resourcefulness, this summer can be a jumping off point to fill your weeks with relevant, resume-building and gratifying experiences.  

Network, network, network:  Networking is invaluable and can be your key to ensuring internship positions down the road.  Social media, particularly sites like LinkedIn, allow you to network with professionals from your hometown this summer.  Reach out and connect with professionals on all social media platforms while pushing out content that showcases your involvement in the online PR community.

Blog: An internship-less summer means free time to expand your writing portfolio.  In this digital age, one of the best ways to do that is to begin a blog.  Blogging is a great way to showcase your creativity, fine-tune your writing skills and connect with other bloggers with similar interests.  Unsure of where to start when creating your blog? Check out this recent PRowl post: “Blog Branding

Volunteer: Summer is a busy time for most companies and organizations.  With an event-laden schedule, this is a great opportunity to make yourself available as a resource.  Volunteer with a local organizations to assist with social media, marketing, special events, creating promotional materials or whatever piques your interest.  

Enjoy the break: While it’s important to stay goal-oriented throughout the year, summer break is meant to be exactly what it sounds like: a break! After your hard work in the classroom or in your internships throughout the year, take advantage of this refreshing free time.   By taking it easy this summer, you’ll come back to school recharged and ready to perform at your very best throughout the following year.  

So when faced with the prospect of an internship-less summer, get creative with ideas that will make you just as marketable in the future.  Let us know how you plan to spend the dog days of summer!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Cara Graeff.

Friday, June 7, 2013

PRSSA National Leadership Rally Recap

This past weekend I had the pleasure to travel to Scottsdale, Arizona to represent Temple’s chapter of PRSSA at PRSSA National Leadership Rally! The weekend was filled with incredible speakers, breakout sessions that left you feeling more motivated than ever, and almost 100 eager PRSSA Presidents, ready to take their chapter to the next level!

I learned about myself as a leader, how to handle an executive board and so much more!

"Enhance your education. Extend your network. Prepare for success."

Key Points:
1. I cannot do it all. It is important for people in leadership positions to realize you cannot do it all. I only have one year as president and I need to learn to be able to delegate. Our keynote speaker,      Gary McCormick, a PR professional for HGTV told us, “You need to be decisive. If you can’t delegate, you can’t be decisive” 
2. Leading is an art, not a science. I learned the importance of respect towards your executive board as well as your members. An important point that was reiterated multiple times was that followers select their leaders; leaders do not select their followers. I cannot force myself onto members, some people may not want to participate, instead, I need to learn to wait for people to come to me and then build a relationship from that.

The equation for a leader
Self Sacrifice + Self Examination + Self Control = Personal success in leadership

3. There are continued benefits of PRSSA. We tend to get busy with schoolwork and internships. Our lives take over and forget the long term benefits of PRSSA and why we joined in the first place. The weekend brought me back to myself as an eager freshman, ready to start my PR career. PRSSA offers you the opportunity to enhance your education, extend your network and prepare for success, the building blocks of your victorious future.

I left PRSSA Leadership Rally motivated and ready to make strides as the President of Temple’s chapter. I learned how to lead as well as how to know when it is time to step back. I realize I cannot do it all but I can trust my chapter to help me whenever I need it and I know that I have over 100 members that will help me make this year a success!

What benefits have you received from PRSSA? Do you consider yourself a leader?

This event recap was written by Temple PRSSA President Brianna Rooney.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What Exactly Are Memes?

In our social media era, memes have taken over the internet. I am faced with at least three new memes a day whenever I visit my social media accounts. People are captivated by these comedic icons and its going viral.

A meme is a component of a culture or behavior that's transmitted throughout society. Richard Dawkins firstly introduced it in 1976 and this trend has officially been around since 2001 and its growing with the internet.

Some examples of famous memes are the Lolcats, Success Kid, Numa Numa Dance (the chubby lip singer) and Drake (Rap Artiste) memes. Some internet memes are usually based off of public drama or current events.

PR daily, a popular PR blog, created an infographic showcasing the history of the memes, its ingredients and the top six types of memes. Click here to check it out.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Benefits of an In-House Internship

Interning for a museum this summer has been great, and has offered a lot of different experiences than when I interned at an agency. Interning with an agency is great, especially if the agency works with a wide range of clients. When I interned at an agency, it definitely helped me figure out what kinds of clients I'd like to work with later on in my career. Now that I'm in-house at a museum, I've noticed a few perks that are harder to find on the agency side of things:

  • Smaller teams: The PR or communications department tend to be on the smaller side of things. This is great, because it allows you to meet and make connections with more people during your internship! Seeing the same three or four faces every time you come into the office makes the name and title game a lot less stressful.
  • Inter-department support: In smaller in house settings, like at a museum, the PR department isn't just working to support and promote itself, it also has to consider the efforts of other departments. For a PR intern, this is your chance to see how other departments, like development for example, work and thrive. Knowing those extra facts are sure to be a great talking point in your next relationship.
  • Access to the top: When you intern at a large agency, you may only interact and spend time with your internship coordinator or direct supervisor. As an intern, you should try and get a glimpse of what everyone does, especially supervisors and directors! Now that I'm in-house, the office of the head of my department is right across from my cubicle, and I'm always free to stop in!
  • Work to go around: Smaller teams usually have a million things to do in a short amount of time, so having interns around helps get the work done faster. On a smaller in-house team, employees are usually more than willing to share some of their daily responsibilities, which is the best way to learn - by jumping in and doing it!
Have you ever had an in-house internship or job? What did you like most about it?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Compiling a Media List

The other day I was asked to compile a media list.  I figured it wouldn't be a problem and I would just be able to find all the contacts online, put the list together, and impress my boss with my abilities.

(I was wrong).

I spent several hours searching around various media outlet websites for names and emails of someone, ANYONE that I could pitch a story to.  In case you hadn't guessed, media outlets aren't always so eager to just put that type of contact information out there.  So after I gathered together a few emails that I thought would be helpful I sent them over to my boss.

They weren't helpful at all.

So, I learned a new lesson I figured I would share with my fellow aspiring PR professionals:

Don't ever assume something is going to be easy. Assume that your skills are going to be challenged with every assignment you get.  Sometimes it might not be the case, but at least you'll be prepared!

After this experience, I have some tips for compiling a media list:

1. Call the newsroom.  A lot of people have hesitancies towards making phone calls.  The beauty of calling a newsroom is that they are usually on some kind of deadline and only have a moment, if any, to talk in the first place.  Your phone call isn't going to last more than two minutes.

2. You're looking for producers, editors, and the news desk. Go directly to the people who are going to be making the decision about your story.

3. Ask for help! If you're uncomfortable or unsure, just ask someone to help you.  My boss assured me that when she was an intern she felt the exact same way.  Now she's a pitching pro and isn't that we are all striving for?

Do you have any tips for media lists and pitching?  Share them with us!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Social Media Overload?

I recently stumbled upon a fascinating article on PR Daily. It is called, “A tweet of a Vine of an Instagram of a Tumblr post of a Facebook post of a tweet.” Confused? So was I for about a minute. You can take a look at the article yourself here.

While I found this post interesting, it also made me think. All of these new and innovative social media platforms have definitely improved the quality of life, and business. However, a new social network is introduced nearly everyday. Is there such a thing as social media overload? 

Less than 10 years ago, platforms like Facebook and Twitter were unheard of. Today, they are almost a necessity for businesses of all professions. While they have become genuine assets, much like Instagram, Tumblr, and Vine, where do we draw the line? We cannot stop the rapid development of new social media platforms, but we can be diligent in which ones we choose to utilize. Now that we have so many options available to us, your job is to learn how to filter which platforms will best serve the needs of your company, or even your personal branding. Here are a few simple tips on how to narrow down your social media search.
  • Who uses each platform: This is probably this most basic question to address first. Once you pinpoint the audience of each social network, you can figure out which network will cater to your audience.
  • Who is your audience: Do you want to cater to teenagers, homemakers, or photographers? You have to determine your audience in order to determine which platform will cater to them best. 
  • What is your goal: Does your business need to attract a new audience? Do you want to showcase your product or services using video instead of just photography? This also tailors which platforms will be necessary in order to achieve those goals. 
It’s easy to get lost in a sea of social networks. Not all platforms are equal and not all platforms are necessary for every business. Do not get overwhelmed. Take your time to develop how you want your social media to work for you. 

Which social networks do you utilize already? We want to know!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Why You Should Be Evaluating the Interviewer Too

The night-before jitters strike. Picking the perfect outfit and making sure you are well prepared for your interview are common behaviors. The moment you have been waiting for arrives and you’re ready to go. But what happens when your interviewer appears to fall short? Unfortunately, there are many components of a faulty interview. A meaningful understanding of the interview provides a foundation to determine your future working environment. Take into consideration the following telltale signs after your interview. 
  1. “Tell me a little about yourself, I haven’t had a chance to look at your resume” - If that is the case, run. This is a negligent approach to an interview. It shows little thought and lack of interest of a prospective employee. After all, you’ve done your research on the company, so it is only fair that they reciprocate.
  2. Easily Distracted - The interview has been scheduled for a specific time. Lunch and snacks should have been taken care of, and the utmost attention should be present by both the interviewer and interviewee. If the interviewer continues to look around, answer emails, or complete other tasks, then it is clear that they are inattentive.
  3. “I’m not sure.”- The interview is reaching the end, and it is your turn to ask a few questions. The last response you want to hear is “I don’t know.”  If an interviewer or outside resource cannot give adequate answers to your questions, then it shows that there is a lack of familiarity and knowledge within the company.
Reflect and evaluate your first encounter with your potential employer as soon as you leave an interview. If you do not feel comfortable or satisfied, write a pro and con list to assist you before reaching a decision. The internal communication and culture of an organization or company is ultimately the most influential component in cultivating your future productivity, teamwork, and overall happiness. 

Share your favorite interview story with us!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Caitlin Kummeth.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

How To: Become A Leader - Step Up Today!

According to, a leader is “a person or thing that leads.” To me, a leader is so much more than that. A leader is someone who goes above and beyond, who truly WANTS to make a difference. To lead is to inspire. Throughout my life I have taken every leadership opportunity that has come my way. Although it was difficult and I wanted to rip my hair out at times, I learned a great deal about myself and grew as a person because of it. 

Not quite sure how to step up and stand out amongst your peers? Here are some tips that may help you overcome what is holding you back! 

  1. Get involved: There is no such thing as getting involved in a club or organization too soon. The earlier the better! Getting involved will help you gain the experience and skills needed to prepare you for that leadership position that you’ve been wanting since you joined.                                                    
  2. Surround yourself with mentors: Keep in mind that your mentors are there to help and guide you. Observe the habits of those who have yielded the success that you aim to achieve, and you will be one step closer to following in their footsteps. 
  3. Don’t hesitate to offer help: Your peers will take notice when you make the effort to go the extra mile and offer them your help. The saying, “A little bit goes a long way” truly does apply in the real world. Offering assistance, even the littlest bit, will help you stand out! 
  4. Always ask questions: The worst thing you can do is not ask a question and then make a mistake because you were “pretty sure” you knew the answer. Never be afraid to ask a question, no matter how small or silly you think it is. 

Yes, stepping up in any given situation can be challenging and quite intimating, especially when you are the youngest! But believe me, these challenging roles do pay off! Have you ever been afraid to take on a leadership role? Let us know what helped you overcome your fear! 

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