Saturday, May 31, 2014

Be Firm.

 The other day I was at a networking event meeting professionals in my industry. As I was shaking hands with women and men throughout the night, I noticed there was a major difference in both handshakes.

For instance, when meeting a professional woman, we had a mutual firm handshake. On the other hand, when shaking hands with a professional man, the handshake was extremely gentle and almost to the point of a “limp handshake.” These different handshakes had me perplexed.

The question is… should there be a “handshake” difference depending on your sex? Do women feel as though they need to more firm when shaking hands with other women because they see them as competitors?  So men feel they need to take it easy when it comes to shaking hands with women because they feel women are the weaker sex?

My answer is no. A good handshake is a good handshake. No man should feel he should “go easy” with his handshake just because he is shaking hands with a woman.

According to a PR Daily article, “Women: 5 ways to present yourself professionally,” the #3 tip is No Limp Handshakes. The article states, “A firm and confident handshake conveys confidence and authority. Grasp firmly, shake once, make eye contact and let go.”

If women want to be treated the same as men today, specifically in their industry, then the handshake between a man and a woman should be the same as well. Be firm and stand your ground ladies!

What do you think? Should men be gentler with their handshake when first meeting a woman just because she is a woman, or should it be equal? 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Amanda White.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Slacktivism: Friend or Foe?

I first heard the term slacktivism a few months ago during my public advocacy class. Put simply, slacktivism can be best described as passive activism. Liking a Facebook post, signing an online petition, or retweeting someone else's opinions are all forms of slacktivism. However, is simply sharing these campaigns virtually such a bad thing?

The most recent form of slacktivism to hit social media is the #YesAllWomen campaign. The hashtag was made in response to the recent killing spree at the University of California, Santa Barbera at the hands of 22 year old student, Elliot Rodger. Both in his manifesto and in several YouTube videos, Rodger openly shared how lonely he felt and how people, specifically women, would need to pay for not giving him the love and affection he felt he deserved.

In response, #YesAllWomen was created as a platform for women, not to bash men, but to share their own stories of discrimination or violence that they've felt personally at the hands of a man. Soon, the hashtag was trending and women everywhere were relating to and supporting one another. However, one huge flaw in online activism is the ease and ability for others to add a new message to the conversation.

In the last few days, tags like #YesAllMen and #NotAllMen have been trending, most of the tweets accusing those participating in the #YesAllWomen tag to be extremely feminist and close-minded. Unfortunately, most of the tweets also just happen to reaffirm many of the arguments made about the validity of discrimination and violence against women discussed in the original hashtag.

While some may argue that slacktivism is, well, slack, I find that advocating via social media is a great way to reach a huge audience at once. The problem arises when that's where the activism ends. After an issue has gained public attention, it's important to take it one step further than an Instagram post and make strides towards changing the issue.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Branding in a Snap

There are certain platforms that come to mind when you think of media used for branding- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and...Snapchat? This photo messaging app is the newest way the younger generation is communicating with each other and how brands are beginning to communicate with their consumers. A few big name companies like Taco Bell, GrubHub, and even NFL teams, like the New Orleans Saints, are jumping on the Snapchat bandwagon. Despite showing an image for a maximum of 10 seconds, using the app has benefits that could make Snapchat the next big branding tool.

It allows for two-way communication with consumers. By holding contests and inviting users to participate, business are interacting with users, which helps to build brand loyalty and create a strong consumer base.

It positions brands as friends instead of companies. Just like friends, they are letting users in on their own secrets, such as sneak peeks at new products and behind-the-scenes footage.

There is little to no cost to interact with consumers. In the same way as social media, Snapchat can be used to market your brand cheaply and easily without paying for advertising space.

Simply put, it’s fun! Who doesn’t want to get a snap of a Beefy Crunchy Burrito directly from Taco Bell or one from GrubHub with exclusive deals and coupons?

There are, however, a few challenges facing brands when marking via snaps. The app almost completely relies on visuals with little room for text or messages, somewhat limiting brands’ messages. It also lacks the ability to track metrics. This makes it difficult to gather data and evaluate the success of a Snapchat ad campaign. Lastly, there is no “people you may know” feature, causing consumers to have to actively seek out a brand in order to add them.

No matter what the limitations of Snapchat may be, there is no arguing that the popularity of the app. According to Social Media Today, an estimated 26 million Americans are active Snapchat users and are mainly between the ages of 13 and 25. For marketers, those are prime brand loyalty building years, making Snapchat an invaluable tool.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Please, Don't Mute Me

About two weeks ago, Twitter announced that it would be introducing a new mute feature, to further enhance the user experience. The mute feature does exactly as the name suggests, allows users to remove certain content from their immediate timeline. The new mute feature is available on both the iPhone and Android applications, as well as on

Many Twitter applications have allowed a similar feature for mobile, but now that Twitter has made the feature available on the web and across it’s official application, the power to mute now lies at everyone’s fingertips.

There are a few things that PR professionals, especially those of us who focus on social media and community management, should be concerned about regarding this new feature. For starters, once someone decides to mute a user from their timeline, there is a high chance that users will forget that they’ve muted you, giving the feature the same potency as an unfollow. Twitter has not mentioned any notification or list that indicates to users who they’ve muted. Once you’ve been silenced, it is highly likely you will be forgotten.

Secondly, as far as Twitter’s official announcements have indicated, you have no way of knowing how many of your followers have muted your posts. You may think you’re pushing out high quality content, when in fact you may be speaking to an empty room.

To avoid being muted on Twitter, try implementing these three simple tips:

1. Be engaging. Even if a user has muted you, they will still receive mentions, favorites and retweets from you. Instead of waiting for your followers to engage with your content, reach out to them and remind them of your presence.

2. Be relevant. Keep up with the times! Don’t make the story all about you, acknowledge things that are going on in the world that your target audience si likely talking about. Interject yourself into the conversation so that you are not kicked out of it.

3. Be visual. Sharing 140 characters of text is swell, but adding an image ups your post’s impact tremendously. Keep things visually appealing to give your followers even more of a reason to keep you around (and vocal).

Social media is driven by user needs, and the implementation of Twitter’s mute button only proves this to be true. As PR professionals, it is our job to be sure that our content meets the user’s needs as well.

What concerns do you have about Twitter’s new feature? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

4 Films for the PR Pro

The summer is a great time to catch up on your long list of movies, TV shows, and books you've been dying to check out. Aside from blockbusters like Godzilla and the latest X-Men movie, make sure you add in these flicks for the PR pro!
  • All The President's Men (1976): Imagine young Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as the two journalists you're reaching out to for a story. All The President's Men follows these two as they investigate a few suspicions about the Watergate scandal. Completely from the prospective of the media, you can see just how involved a journalist can get to make a difference. Not to mention, the reality of crisis management.
  • Jerry Maguire (1996):  Though there are many things you can take from this sports/Rom-Com/ drama-type film, who knew PR tips were just another addition! Jerry Maguire is faced with the conflict of his morality and the work his agency requests of him. After speaking up and being fired, Jerry must prove himself to all this previous clients and ultimately wants to start his own agency.
  • Thank You For Smoking (2005): PR work is a bit different when your client/product is, well, deadly. Nick Naylor is a tobacco lobbyist, trying to get anybody and everybody to buy cigarettes.Through lots of campaigning, television ads, and teamwork with other lobbyists (for firearms and alcohol), Thank You For Smoking depicts an extreme use of argumentation.
  • This Is Spinal Tap (1984): Though the entire film is not much to a PR pro, there is one character we can all take a look at: Bobbi Flekman. As the artist relations pro and promoter in the film, Flekman handles the publicity for all of the bands at the label. The publicist is seen as a liar and cheater, but it's a great example of how the public relations team really does know how to gauge what the public wants better than, say, a rockstar.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Building Your Professional Presence: Creating a Website

As another school year passes and the summer begins, students and young public relations professionals may find themselves with extra time on their hands.
In between barbeques, spending time with family members, and summer jobs and internships, there could be extra hours left in your personal planner that need scheduling. What better way to spend your free time than by creating a website?
A website can be a great addition to a young public relations professional’s online presence. By having a place where your resume, clips, and portfolio pieces are all together and interwoven with your personal brand, it will be even easier to showcase your skills and experience to a potential employer.
Of course, the thought of creating a personal website can be overwhelming when first examined. Immediately, the thought of having to design, populate, and promote a page can have your head spinning a million miles a minute.
However, there are many different sites that will help you create your own website with easy navigational tools and technical support (for those of us who are not as computer savvy as we would like to be).
One such website is This free option allows you to create your own page through choosing a pre-designed template.
 Once a general theme is selected, the user may add their resume, clips, and portfolio pieces through URL links or PDF documents. The user also has the option to upload photos for each section as well as to add their social media handles.
Once the user is satisfied with his or her website, they can customize their website title and URL, and it will become a published page. Of course, if changes need to be made later, the user can add or edit their website at any time.
There are many websites like that will help you customize your own page, and by doing research, you will be able to find a website that will suit your needs.
Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to expand your professional outreach!

Written by Executive Board member Maggie Wurst. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Beating The First Day Jitters

When I was little, my mom always made my lunch, organized my backpack and picked out my outfit for school the night before. As I grew older, this nightly ritual became my responsibility. I always assumed these were just “mom” things to do. Little did I know my mother was teaching me the importance of prior planning. Whether it is the first day of elementary school or the first day of an internship, planning ahead helps to avoid dilemmas that create unnecessary stress. Here a few tips to alleviate any unnecessary first day nerves:

1.     Plan your outfit: On your first day of an internship, it is important to feel confident in what you are wearing. To ensure you are looking and feeling your best, try your outfit on a few days in advance. That way if there is stain on your blazer, you have time to wash it. If your skirt turns out to be too short, you have time to buy a new one. Laying your outfit and accessories out the night before also eliminates the crisis of ripping apart your closet the next morning because you have absolutely nothing to wear!

2.     Do a test drive: Whether you are commuting by car, train or subway, it is crucial to know how long your morning commute will be. Do your research. Will there be a lot of rush hour traffic or school bus stops? Do you have to allow extra time to buy subway tokens? If you are driving, consider doing a test drive to see exactly how much time it will take to drive and find parking. There is nothing more stressful than sitting in traffic watching the minutes tick away.

3.     Pack a lunch and snacks: Chances are on your first day of interning, you are not going to have time to run out and grab lunch. You may not know how long your lunch break is either. Pack a lunch and goody bag of snacks the night before. It’s one less thing to worry about the next day.

I now understand why my mom bugged me every night to get ready for school the next day. When the usual teenage emergencies occurred, like having a bad hair day occurred, I at least had a few less things to worry about. The key to avoiding a stressful first day is to do what you can ahead of time to ensure your morning will run smoothly.  

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

Saturday, May 24, 2014


 As public relations students and practitioners, we all love a good hashtag or social media campaign. Often, hashtags and campaigns can enhance your voice on twitter, broaden your outreach and begin a discourse with your followers. All of which is great, but when you are a big corporation or a largely followed twitter account, you have to remember that your followers have as big of a voice as you do. Forget this component, and you’ve got a social media campaign gone wrong on your hands.

Here are a few examples:


#MyNYPD was a twitter campaign run by the New York Police Department that asked Twitter users to post a photo of themselves with police officers using the hashtag #MyNYPD. Expecting positive responses, this campaign went horribly wrong when people began using this hashtag to send in pictures of police brutality and other negative responses.


When JP Morgan asked twitter users to participate in a question-and-answer session with one of its executives using the hashtag #AskJPM, it seems as though they forgot to think about the level of distrust and anger people have over the role of big banks in the financial crisis. 7 hours later, JP Morgan canceled the campaign after questions like, “Did you have a specific number of people’s lives you needed to ruin before you considered your business model a success?”


Back in 2012, a McDonald’s campaign backfired when the company used the hashtag #McDStories to geet their followers to draw attention to the brand’s use of fresh produce. Extremely vague, the hashtag brought back results of McDonald’s horror stories. McDonald’s quickly pulled the hashtag after being active for less than 2 hours.

The lesson to be learned from these social media campaigns gone wrong is to realize that social media makes it impossible to control where a conversation or a campaign will go. Before initiating a campaign, it is vital to go into pre-Crisis Communications mode and create a contingency plan just in case your campaign goes wrong; realize that some negative comments will arise and consider sticking to traditional uses of social media if your company or organization does not fit the potential for a positive campaign.

Source: #MyNYPD: Why It's Impossible to Control Online Conversation

This guest blog was written by PRowl staff member Rute Barkai.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

That's Logistics

“You have to think about the event logistically. Where will the press stand and how will we separate them from the attendees? And we need to remember to tape down that microphone wire. These are things they don’t teach you in class!” A PR veteran at my former internship was always trying to pass on whatever advice and knowledge he could to the next generation of professionals. “It’s all in the logistics,” he would say.

I would typically nod my head in compliant agreement without giving it much of a thought. But when I actually stopped recently to consider it, I realized universities don’t tend to instruct their students to think of public relations practices in terms of logistics. We’re not taught to consider the practical scenarios that the speaker could trip over a mic wire or that the photographers need to stand on a platform to get the best view. And in a small office, it would be up to us as PR practitioners to take care of those small details that can make all the difference.

But of course, schools cover all the vital information needed in this industry- the traditional skills like public speaking, press release writing, media relations, even persuasion. All are necessary for succeeding (or simply getting hired at all) in public relations. But there are some skills, such as thinking critically while executing a press conference, that can make or break that success.

Maybe skills needed in on-site media management, for instance, cannot be taught in the classroom. Perhaps the only way to gain this knowledge is from a direct, and sometimes hectic, experience working an event. Most elements of PR, and life in general for that matter, are best learned and perfected through practice.

I bring up this topic not to speak critically of degree programs but to spark a discussion among public relations students and industry professionals. Is it a university’s responsibility to teach us to think logistically in order to create effective PR practitioners? Or is it up to us to get the hands-on experience in order to set ourselves above the competition?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What Implied Links Mean For PR

In March of this year, Google announced that it received a patent for a new algorithm called Panda. This new step for Google also brought with it major news for the PR industry. 

The Panda algorithm introduced a new piece to the SEO puzzle called Implied Links. Simply put, an implied link is any relevant mention of a brand or product that does not include a physical hyperlink to a form of that brand or product's web presence. Put even more simply, Google is validating that earned mentions PR works to get carry weight, and that they are valuable in boosting that brands search engine rank.

Implied links will be able to take form in many realms --mentions in discussion boards, media pick ups, or blog posts just to name a few. Google of course has many hard line standards that explain what makes an implied link legitimate and relevant.

Now that Google is validating earned media as carry legitimate weight in how SEO ranks are calculated, PR professionals are at a huge advantage in terms of measurement. Adding numbers to PR work can be difficult at times, especially when placing a dollar value on certain PR tactics. Now, implied links will allow a new medium which can be measured and show the true value of PR campaigns.

Using Google Analytic is a great way to track and measure what implied links are doing for your brand. Track how much traffic your client is receiving from organic Google searches. Record if spikes in those numbers correlate with an increase of earned media mentions. We have always known that PR has true monetary value, and now we have even greater numbers to back it up.

To read more on the Panda Algorithm and Implied Links, check out this article by PR Daily and this one by Shift Communications.

(Image source: via)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Make it a PRoductive Summer

Happy summer! It’s incredible to see the dramatic difference in our availability as students when you eliminate a full class schedule. Perhaps you’ve made plans to intern, travel, or work this summer, or perhaps you’ve made plans to simply relax! Either way, it’s easy to incorporate PR building into your summer season. Here’s a few different ways:
  • Volunteer – Research local non-profit organizations and companies you are interested in working with! Most organizations are looking for volunteers for upcoming events, some even known nationwide. Opportunities like these seem more like fun and less like work, especially to us addicted-to-PR folks, all while giving back. Volunteer work allows you to see a preview of the operations at companies/industries you are interested in, as well as a great contribution to your community! 
  • Begin personal projects – Even with the littlest bit of extra time on your hands, dedicate it to personal projects! In terms of career building, think about what additional skills you would be proud to say you have. For PR, learning Photoshop and InDesign, starting a book or blog, and even another language are beneficial. Otherwise, take on any projects you want to do for yourself. Update your playlists, finish a certain number of books, or even learn to sew!
  •  Informational interviews – If you’re not (or even if you are) interning, consider scheduling a few informational interviews. This is a great way to learn more about the various industries and departments you may end up working in. Not to mention, there’s no pressure. The professionals leading the informational interview are most likely taking the time to show you around the office and answer your questions because they genuinely want to help you with PR! Ultimately, you’ll end up being the interviewer! 
  • Start a blog – Starting a blog is a project itself, but definitely one I would suggest for every Communication student out there. The internet is a helpful tool in developing our skills and furthering our future success. Blogging is a great opportunity to practice your writing skills, as well as organization with the layout, style, brand, and content of your site. Make it fun, and blog about something you truly love! Fashion, makeup, entertainment, sports, and environmentalism – you can blog about anything your heart desires.
No matter how you choose to practice this summer, enjoy yourself! We worry enough all semester long, use the summer to have fun!

Monday, May 19, 2014

What's an Informational Interview?

Before I became a college student, I’d never heard of an informational interview. A normal job interview, of course, but never with the word ‘informational’ ahead of it. In fact, it wasn’t until the beginning of my sophomore year that I heard about informational interviews, and immediately I thought about how helpful they can be to an aspiring public relations student. However, it seems that many people don’t realize just what a few good informational interviews can do for them.

First off, the best thing about an informational interview is that you can go on as many as you can get, and you can go on them even if you’re already working an internship. Informational interviews are an easy way to learn about different industries within PR from an insider, who’s willing to help you as much as possible. I’ve been on 4 informational interviews in the last few months, all with people in different PR industries, and they’ve helped me decide just what I want to do with PR. Beyond that, I’ve made lifelong connections with people I know I can always go to for help.

Informational interviews aren’t just good for students, those people who do the interviews have an ulterior, albeit benevolent, motive. Going on informational interviews with students allows PR professionals to meet and get to know the people that in a few months or so, they may be considering for an internship or job. Informational interviews are like a more intense version of networking, and if you can make a good impression, you may be surprised what comes your way down the road. The key is to make a good impression, ask lots of questions and take notes, and then follow up and keep in touch every month or so.

                So, anytime you get the chance, reach out and get an informational interview. And if you have any tips on informational interviews, we’d love to hear from you!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Apple Vice President of Worldwide Corporate Communications Retires After 20 Years

On Wednesday, Katie Cotton announced that she would be stepping down from her position at Apple to spend more time with her children. During her nearly two decades at Apple, Cotton served as gatekeeper to company co-founder Steve Jobs and current CEO Tim Cook.  She also guided the media narrative around almost everything from the iMac to the iPad.

Cotton made PRWeek's Power List in 2010 alongside the late Steve Jobs.  She was recognized for leading the incredibly successful and mysterious communications culture behind the company.

Her entry in the 2010 Power List stated, "It is certainly tough to assess the communications strategy of a company whose official policy resembles the ancient Sicilian Code of Omerta. Despite its reticence to act ‘normally’ – or perhaps due to it – Apple's products attract credibility, mystique, and reputation beyond any PR strategy."  The profile added, "the strategy annoys competitors and industry observers alike – but it works."

Apple is known for doing business differently from other tech giants, this also goes for their communications strategy. "Apple stubbornly refuses to conform to traditional communications norms, making a feature of its lack of openness that historically contributed to the mystique and air of exclusivity around the brand, as well as some frustration."

Cotton’s career is that of the dreams of every PR pro. She handled communications for one of the most recognizable brands in the world under the direction of Jobs. Cotton helped craft the story of mystery and intrigue for Apple.  She had to handle what most public relations professionals will have to do- deal with the kind of boss like Jobs. No matter if you’re going into the entertainment industry or a PR firm, you will have to handle difficult clients. This is the nature of the business, but to please and report to one of the most notorious people in the high tech industry…I’d rather manage a rock band.

Cotton accomplished her goals by creating an in house PR firm within Apple. Normally companies as big as Apple would hire a firm, not Apple, the leadership was completely created under Cotton’s watch. Cotton was never pictured on Apple’s executive leadership page, but my impression has long been that she was one of the most influential executives at the company. It is difficult to find a photograph of Jobs or Cook at a press event in which she is not at their side. 

This guest blog was written by PRowl staff member Nathan Wilson

Saturday, May 17, 2014

What a Break-Up Can Teach You About PR

We will all go through a break-up at some point in our lives. It’s the time when chocolate and sappy movies can be the proper bandage for a hurting heart. However, for PR professionals, there are plenty of lessons to be learned from this trying life event.

If looked at from a professional standpoint, a break-up can be used as a way to develop yourself professionally:

1.     Strengthen your personal brand: After a break-up, it’s important to figure out who you are as an individual without the influence of another person. This is a great time to determine your strengths and reflect upon your successes. After making a mental list of your great qualities and abilities, put them to use by including them in your personal brand!
2.     Develop your understanding of social media: Sometimes, less is more regarding social media, especially after a break-up. Steer clear of answering the status prompt “what’s on your mind?” and refrain from sharing personal anger and emotions over Twitter.   Not only will this make for a better emotional recovery, but it will also teach you to be hesitant towards what you post on social media in general. After a break-up, you will know how to take a step back and determine whether or not you should post that link or video on your company’s social media accounts.
3.     Learn how to better manage stress: PR professionals know the importance of developing ways to cope with stressful situations. When a break-up occurs, a tremendous amount of pressure and stress can follow. Between learning how to control your emotions and answering painful questions from relatives, it can be a lot to handle with a straight face. However, learning how to push through a trying time will prepare you for other stressors, including those at work.

Although a break-up can be traumatic, it can positively affect your professional life. Remember to stay strong, and take advantage of the professional development tools at your disposal!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Maggie Wurst. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Time to Fly

To the PRowl seniors, thank you for a setting a good example
For making the impossible seem possible
For teaching us more about ourselves 
then we ever knew possible.

To our mentors, thank you for leading us
For becoming our role models
For setting the bar high and
then telling us how to reach it.

To our friends, thank you for being there
For holding our hands
For coaching us through and 
then celebrating when we succeeded.

Congratulations to all our PRowl seniors. It's your time to fly.

Ben Coleman | Tessa Cohn
Ransford Whaumbush | Jenna Stern
Allison Curran | London Faust
Former Firm Director, Kaitlyn Sutton

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How To Wow Them With Your Resume

The job market never manages to lose its edge for competition. As many prepare for college graduations and searching for full time positions, that competition becomes even more evident. When everyone else seems just as prepared, qualified and equipped as you are, making yourself stand out can be a challenge. Especially when all you have to prove yourself are a well crafted resume and cover letter duo.

Building a strong resume that shows your credibility is important, but now, it may be time to up the ante on how you deliver that resume. When Leah Bowman decided that she wanted to dive headfirst into the competition, she definitely brought her A-game. Not only did she produce a professional and persuasive resume, she made herself stand out from all of her competitors. The aspiring intern combined her love for Legos and her amazing design skills to create the ultimate resume presentation. The packet she sent came fully loaded with a Lego version of herself, packaged and ready to go.

In creating this out-of-the-box resume, Lead did two things: 

1. She showed that she is willing to go the extra mile for things that she's passionate about. Not only did she take the time to produce a Lego version of herself to send along, she designed the entire campaign herself.

2. She didn't just talk about her skills, she showed them! There is no doubt that Leah can do the work that the job requires --she just sent them a sample without even being asked to.

Not to mention, this project shows that Leah can be a self starter, and manage her time wisely. There can easily be another candidate who is just as qualified, intelligent or prepared as you, but one thing they won't have is your personality and creative edge. Try adding more of your personality into your job search. Don't just tell your story, show your story!

To view more photos of Leah's creative resume package, check out this Mashabe article.

Have you ever tried a creative take on your resume? Would you be willing to go as bold as Leah did?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What I Learned From PRowl Public Relations

I'm allowed to get a little sappy for my last blog post, right?

Interviewing for PRowl was the best decision I made in my four years as a Temple Owl. I have met the most amazing people, learned more than I ever imagined possible and had the greatest experience I could have hoped for. PRowl helped me grow and be confident and try new things. Being a part of Temple's first and only student run firm not only solidified my knowledge that I chose the right career path, but it also taught me a lot and I've listed some of the most important things below:

1. We're all just trying to find our way
From freshman year through until graduation, we're all just trying to be the best we can be.

2. Your "competition" are also your biggest supporters
Yes, you'll be competing with your peers for jobs; but they're also going to be the ones you call when you get your dream job. Don't burn bridges.

3. You can learn as much from your peers as you can from your professors
Everyone has a unique perspective and their own expertise. Learn from those around you.

4. No challenge is too big or too small
You can handle anything with the support of the right team. Remember, you're not above anything.

5. People are inherently good
Your peers, your professors, the community and everyone in between wants you to succeed and are more than willing to help you get their if you're willing to make the effort.

Thank you to each and every member of PRowl, past and present for making my college experience amazing. I can't wait to see the firm grow and succeed even more.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Girl Unrelated to #BringBackOurGirls Made the Face of the Campaign

Recently, a social media campaign called "Bring Our Girls Back" has erupted in response to the kidnapping of 276 Nigerian girls by terrorist group Boko Haram. Several photos of citizens and celebrities alike have surfaced with them holding up a sign with the slogan in an effort to raise awareness and gain the support of government. In the past few weeks, the campaign has been very successful, reaching the ranks of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Unfortunately an issue has recently surfaced related to the most circulated photo of the campaign which features a girl that is neither kidnapped nor Nigerian. The photo is actually of Jenabu Balde, a girl from Guinea-Bissau on Africa’s western coast. It was found on the Alexia Foundation website, a photojournalism organization. 

The photographer, Ami Vitale, has since issued a statement saying, “I support the campaign completely, and I would do anything to bring attention to the situation. It’s a beautiful campaign that shows the power of social media. This is a separate issue....This is about misrepresentation.” Emmanuel Hephzibah, the Nigerian man responsible for photoshopping the photograph and adding the hashtag, says he meant no harm claiming, “I was crying out so that our voice could be heard in Nigeria, because it seems our government was not ready to take any action. I credited the source of the image as” 

Though Hephzibah has been asked to take down the photo, the image has already gone viral in association with this campaign and is impossible to remove completely. Unfortunately for Balde, she will also be associated with this campaign for a long time as the face of a terrible, ongoing crisis. 

Source: PR Daily

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Three Tips for a Smooth Interview

We are all eventually going to be graduating and will have to face the nerve-wracking process of going on interviews. I figured, why not conquer the art of interviewing so this process will be a little less strenuousOh yeah, landing your dream job wouldn’t hurt either. During this blog, I will be discussing threetips that will make the interviewing process that much easier:dressing professionally, being confident, and do not eliminate yourself.

Dressing professionally seems like common sense, but it’s not. When going on an interview dress appropriately. A suit is preferable for any gender. It is always better to be overdressed then to be underdressed. Your clothing is a reflection of your character. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. So make it count!

Being confident is also key to the interviewing process. Even if you are not, appear to be confidentMake sure that your body language reflects your confident attitude. Shake hands firmly, make eye contact with the employer, and keep your posture upright. Be cautious of not coming off too confident.There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance.

A lot of interviewees eliminate themselves by saying foolish things. Look at the interviewer as a media reporter. Anticipate what they will ask you the week before the interview and plan your answers in advance. This way your answers will be correct and make sense.

If you follow these three tips, your interview will run smoothly. Interviews are not meant to stress you out.  “Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”– Napoleon Bonaparte

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Ransford Whaumbush. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

How to Succeed as a PRowl Account Executive

This year I took on the leadership role of account executive, leading a group of five PRowl account members. Before taking on this role, I had no idea what to expect, other than it would be a lot of work.

Now, with new leaders on the rise, I’m writing to share my insights on how to be a successful account executive and enjoy every minute of it.

1. Set Goals: Brainstorming your goals for you and your team are key in your account’s success. It’s important to know what each of your account members’ goals are so you can help them achieve them throughout the year.

2. Have a Plan: Being prepared goes a long way, especially when leading a team. Have an agenda and game plan in mind so your team takes you and your plan seriously.

3. Be Personable: Your account members should feel comfortable coming to you with any problems, concerns, or advice in general. Be open with your team, and they will likewise be open with you. 

4. Be Honest: As they say, honesty is the best policy! If you want your team to trust your judgment and overall decisions, you need to be honest with one another from the start.

5. Work with your AFD: Always keep in mind your Assistant Firm Director is there for you. My AFD was always someone I was able to call if I was stressed, confused or just wanted to talk in general. 

I am happy to say, after a long year, I will be taking on the role of an account executive again and I could not be more excited!

Have you ever thought of becoming an account executive or leader in PRowl?  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Importance of Providing Client Feedback

Public relations campaigns thrive from successful collaboration between the client and professionals. The client relies on the agency/PR professional to deliver the materials necessary to grow, and we rely on the client for providing feedback and vision to help the campaign come to life. The end result is a purely symbiotic relationship that, when properly implemented, nurtures growth and yields positive results.

Throughout a campaign, the client will continuously be providing feedback, suggestions, or asking questions as to other ways things can be done. As PR professionals, it is our job to take that feedback, and structure our methods (whenever possible) to best suit the client's needs.

As important as it is to gauge the client's satisfaction through feedback, it is equally important to provide the client feedback on their performance. This may sound a little obscure, but when you consider the nature of feedback, it actually makes perfect sense.

The perfect client is an ideal that many PR professionals will never realize, but by providing feedback, we can help to create better clients-- which in turn, will benefit us as professionals.

Client feedback could appear similar to the feedback you would give a member of your team, but should be tailored to enhance, and not hinder, client relations. Take note of the client's strengths and weaknesses, and make suggestions as to how they can improve for smoother work on future projects.

If you noticed that the client was never available for meetings or interviews that you arranged, you could recommend that they appoint a member of their team to be a point of contact, or make appearances. If the client was not always timely in turning around content edits, see if there is a way that you could help them strengthen their reviewing methods.

Providing feedback allows you to help the client improve internally. The client will be grateful that you not only invested time in the campaign, but also in the company/product as a whole. Exceeding client expectations is always a good thing.

Do you provide your clients with feedback?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Above All, Love What You Do

If you were to picture your perfect future, what would it be?
These are just a few things that might come to mind.

In my perfect future, I spend every day doing a job that I LOVE to do. Whether it's 9-5 or 24/7, as long as I truly enjoy what I'm doing I know I'll be happy and successful. I'm one of the lucky people who has never doubted their major. I've had PR in my heart since before I even came to college and that never changed. Now, as I email every person under the sun about a full-time job, that still stands true.

Spending the past three years with PRowl Public Relations has only solidified by passion for PR, and I couldn't be more grateful for that. It has everything to do with the fact that I was a sophomore in college working with real clients and being thrown into work that entry-level employees do. I love to be challenged. It has everything to do with being surrounded by people who love public relations as much as I do. It's been the perfect environment for myself and my peers to grow in.

Millions of dollars would be nice. A big house with nice cars and acres of land, endless vacations to tropical places, the whole nine yards. I think that's what most people are aiming for. I choose happiness and I choose to wake up every day knowing that I will be doing something that I'm passionate about.

That's my one piece of advice, to everyone: above all, love what you do.

Monday, May 5, 2014

What "Friends" Taught Me About PR

In honor of the 10 year anniversary of the series finale of Friends tomorrow, I've decided to list all of the public relations lessons our favorite friends taught me.

  1. Think before you speak. Rachel taught me that just as it's not a good idea to talk about your ex with your current boyfriend, it's also not a great move to speak prematurely on a delicate situation. When representing a client, or even yourself, make sure you're fully prepared to answer any questions that come your way.
  2. Always be aware. Ross taught me the power of unagi, also known as salmon skin roll. Basically, he taught me the principal of always being knowledgeable about what's going on around me. In public relations, it's important to stay on top of current events because, whether you realize it or not, it all has some impact on your own life. 
  3. Fake it until you make it. Joey taught me that if you aren't sure of what you're doing, pretend like you are. Although we would prefer to have all the answers, in PR, sometimes that simply isn't possible. Remain calm, do your research, and come back prepared with a brilliant plan. 
  4. Being controlling isn't always a bad thing. Monica taught me that a little anxiety may actually be helpful. Public relations professionals have a reputation of being control freaks, but that just means we like to get things done efficiently. Just remember to let your hair down every once in a while like Mrs. Geller-Bing to relieve some of that stress. 
  5. Laugh about it. Chandler taught me that not every failure has to end in tears. Pitch didn't get picked up? Client hated your campaign idea? Life goes on and so does your career, so keep pushing! Pick yourself up and smile about that amazing press release you wrote instead.
  6. Be flexible. Phoebe taught me to go with the flow. Despite her tumultuous life, she still managed to move forward. In public relations, there are going to be crises and obstacles but a great trait to have is flexibility. It shows that you are adaptable and a strong critical thinker, and those are great assets to have. 
Although the sitcom may be gone, the lessons Friends has taught me will live on. Hopefully, some of these lessons will help you as well!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Best Way to Successfully Negotiate A Salary

You just applied, interviewed, and were offered a new position that you couldn’t be more excited about. But after taking a look at the current salary offered, you decide that it may be in your best interest to try and ask for a little bit more.  

However, negotiating a salary can be a difficult and sometimes nerve-wracking task.  Negotiating or “bargaining” as it’s sometimes called, is not a skill that comes easy to many individuals. Those just starting off in a new position may feel like it is not appropriate, but in actuality it’s important to negotiate a little as it can be an opportunity to show your employer what you’re made of. Also, if you feel like your abilities do not reflect the amount you are being paid, there is no harm in having this type of conversation. Just be aware that if you decide to move forward with this to keep in mind the saying of “putting your money where your mouth is.” If you’re asking for more money, you better be able to back it up with those same skills.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and hold your own, remember that they came to you with an offer and you should not forget that! Use this negotiation time to shine, and prove that they made the right choice in hiring you.

To make sure you get what you deserve, here are a few vital tips to help prepare for the situation:

1)  Ask: Without asking you will get nowhere! Organize both your talking points and argument and go for it.

2) Do your research: Find out what others in your position make, talk to recruiters, and review similar job postings.

3) Know your worth: Be familiar with your own skills and if they exceed the job position you have been offered. If you know you can make a greater impact that is worth noting.

Good luck and let the negotiations begin! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Jenna Stern.