Sunday, August 31, 2014

Interview Etiquette

With PRowl hiring for the 2014-2015 school year, I believe a blog about proper interview etiquette would be helpful to all of our readers (but especially the prospective new hires that are looking at our site in preperation for the interview), which brings me to my first point. 

(google images)

1. Do your research 
ALWAYS research the company you are interviewing with.  Pay special attention to their mission statement, goals and client list.  It is better to be over prepared for an interview than not be able to answer a question.  Plus, researching allows you to better understand what the company is all about and helps you to figure out if you would be a good fit there.  Also, put together a portfolio of writing samples that the interviewer can keep.  As a PR major, make sure you are up to date on current events as well! 

 2. Dress to impress
It is always best to be overdressed than underdressed, especially for a formal interview.  Stick to the basics, but make sure your outfit also showcases your individual personality.  A simply statement necklace or fun tie can easily dress up a suit and also make you memorable to your interviewer.

3. Think before you speak
Remember that you prepared extensively for the interview so don’t let your nerves get the best of you.  Think carefully about your answer before you speak.  It is okay to take a few seconds to compose yourself as long as your stellar answer makes up for it.

4.Breathe, Stretch, Shake
Chances are your interviewer wants to talk to you considering he/she called you in for an interview.  So, own it! Stay confident and friendly.  Don’t let nerves and anxiety get the best of you.  Your interviewer has been in your position before so he/she knows exactly what you are going through!

PRowl interviews will be held this upcoming week! So if you are a public relations major looking to take the next step in the right directions, make sure you set up an interview! Hiring details can be found here:  Best of luck to everyone, can’t wait to meet you all!  

This guest blog was written by PRowl staff member Kaylie Corallo. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

4 Reasons To Declare A Minor

After transferring to Temple University last fall, my academic advisor told me that all students in public relations should consider picking up a minor. With a vast array of minor programs described in a brochure in front of me, I quickly became overwhelmed. What should I minor in?

Although picking a minor may be the farthest thing from your mind, having one can be a great asset to your professional development. Considering a minor can come as a blessing as it can lead you to learn more, in and out of the classroom about your strongest passions. 

Minors help you appear more well-rounded. My digital design professor told me this after I thought about adding Digital Media Technologies as a minor. I was not only good at communicating using emerging media and computer technologies but I had a passion for it. My professor advised me to take up this minor because even if it didn’t fit perfectly with my major of public relations, it did showcase a variety of skills I had to offer.

Minors help you gain different perspectives. College is a time to gain training and knowledge in fields you are interested in. It is also meant to open your mind to new opportunities and mindsets. In the PR field, you will be responsible for reaching out and connecting with various audiences, and different perspectives can help you better communicate with these audiences.

Minors widen your career opportunities. For example, an employer in a health care PR firm would highly prefer a public relations major with a health-related minor than another applicant with only a public relations major. In this kind of tiebreaker situation, a minor can be extremely beneficial.

Minors show you follow your passions. Potential employers are always looking for passionate team members. When you are passionate about something, it drives you to learn and succeed in that area or field even further. This exercise of passion leads to self-motivation, determination, positivity, and goal-orientation.

Many schools don't require declaring a minor. But with the job scarcity today, it is a good idea to have at least two areas that you have good skills in, which is the purpose of a minor. So, find something you enjoy and will have a life long interest in other than your major and make that your minor. You may even find that half way through your education you want to pursue your minor instead of your major. The benefits and possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new!  

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Nicole Beck.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

We're Hiring! Are You Ready To Take Your Next Step?

PRowl, Temple University's only student-run PR firm, is hiring! The start of the new school year ushers in brand new clients and PRowl will need fresh, innovative ideas. To help us meet the needs and demands of our growing clientele, we're looking to welcome new members to the PRowl Public Relations family.

Since it's founding in 2008, PRowl has served not only as a means to provide quality services to it's clients, but also as a tool to help passionate and eager public relations students learn and hone their skills. PRowl provides real world experience by giving student the chance to develop and execute real campaigns for real paying clients. 

PRowl members are highly driven, passionate and incredibly talented. Whether you have been a public relations student for three days or three years, we know that there is a way you could benefit our firm. We're here to help guide, teach and introduce you to all that being a PR professional has to offer.

In addition to a positive attitude and willingness to grow, you should be prepared to bring a copy of your resume along with two writing samples to your interview. Writing samples can be anything that you want, but we recommend one creative-type piece, such as a blog post, as well as a more structured piece, like a press release. Don't worry if this is your first time putting together writing samples --many students write their first press release in preparation for their PRowl interview. 

Please click here to learn more about setting up an interview, and taking your next step as a PR professional.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

PR at the Awards

This weekend celebrated the 31st Annual MTV Video Music Awards and the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.The Emmy Award acknowledges those who excel in the television industry, with nominees for categories such as Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actress - Miniseries or a Movie, and more, while the VMAs recognize those who excel in music videos. Major events like these need stellar PR in order to run smoothly.

Chances are you've seen some type of post - whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram - about the Emmy Awards. There are multiple key times when actors and actresses themselves, directors, supporters, and the PR/Marketing team push the event:
  • When the event date is announced
  • When the nominees are released
  • Short time leading up to the event
  • During the event
  • Day after the event
An award ceremony such as this leaves a good amount of opportunity for coverage. If you saw posts on your personal social media feeds leading up to the event, then you'll surely see a few today, being the day after (including this post you are currently reading.) One of the great things about these well-known award ceremonies is that even without social media, everyone would be talking. The show leaves so much to discuss - did your favorite show win an award? Did you see Nicki Minaj perform? Who was the best dressed and who was the worst dressed? Celebrities can slide through the red carpet unnoticed or making the biggest scene - it's up to them and the PR team.

Celebrities themselves take on their own PR with their personal social media accounts. Lena Dunham, writer of HBO's GIRLS, shared a few Emmy-related tweets over the last month or so. Fans find it exciting to hear about what their icons are up to & what better way to reach out to them then through humor.

Fashion is additionally a major part of any awards ceremony. It's certainly a time when what you're wearing actually matters. If you (or your client) show up unpresentable, it will be noticed. If you (or your client) show up in something outrageous, it will be noticed. For instance, at this year's VMAs, Katy Perry walked onto the red carpet with friend and rapper, Riff Raff, in what seemed to be a public appreciation of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. This kind of outfit choice is not just about getting dressed for paparazzi - it's a message!
(Source: Daily Mail)

Monday, August 25, 2014

What's Important

Today, at least at Temple University, is the first day of classes for the fall. Summer is over, and it's the chance at a new beginning, whether it's new classes, a new internship, or a whole new school. Your whole situation might be about to change, but it's still important to remember a few key things this semester. Especially for fellow PR people, who's lives and schedules might already seem packed to the brim, these are really important for your own sanity.

1. Always make some time for your friends, for your family, and for fun. Life can't be all about work, everyone needs a little time off. A friend of mine is studying to take her MCAT in a month, which essentially determines the rest of her life, but even she knows to take 1 day off every week from studying. Fit some time whenever you can, have some laughs with your friends, it'll relax you after a long day at work. Class and work can seem like they're taking over your life, you have to remember to make that time for yourself.

2. Be proactive, be preemptive. For when you are at class or at work, be proactive and preemptive with what you do. Don't wait for your boss to tell you to do something, have it already finished by the time they assign it to you; especially for interns, it'll raise you that bit above all the rest! When you come into work one day, sit a minute and think to yourself, 'What'll my boss ask me to do today?', and then see if you can get it done before they ask. Distinguishing yourself from the crowd in that way is only going to boost your reputation.

3. Throw yourself into what you choose to do. Even if you're at work and you get a task you don't feel strongly about, don't choose the lazy way. A lot of the time, your boss will be watching to see how you handle the tasks you don't like more than the ones you do like. A positive attitude towards everything that comes your way is a must, not only will it improve your work ethic, but also your general mood. Think positively, and you'll act positively.

Keep these 3 things in mind this semester, and you're on your way to a healthy standard of living for the rest of your days. In many ways school and internships are practice for getting that job after college, so make the most of your opportunities to figure out what works best for you. Don't be afraid to try new things, and don't be afraid to say no when you know you won't enjoy something.

What do you think is important to keep in mind at school or work? We'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Diner en Blanc

The Avenue of the Arts is known as the home to many of Philadelphia’s finest cultural institutions, including the Academy of Music, the Kimmel Center For the Performing Arts, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. However, on Thursday, August 21, 2014, it became home to a new cultural phenomenon – Diner en Blanc. 

What began in Paris, France over 25 years ago has become a worldwide sensation, taking place in over 40 cities across 5 continents. This year marked Philadelphia’s third annual celebration of the pop-up soiree, having approximately 3,500 attendees celebrating along Broad Street.

The event inhabits an iconic public space in its host city, where the participants dress from head-to-toe in white garb, equipped with their own tables, chairs, food, table settings, wine and champagne. It only made sense that Diner en Blanc, which celebrates dinner as art, would eventually take place on the Avenue of the Arts.

Diners feasted alongside close friends and perfect strangers with City Hall as the backdrop (which created very Instagram-friendly photo-ops.) After dinner, sparklers were lit and dancing began.

The greatest aspect of Diner en Blanc is the secrecy. The location of the event is not made known  to even the participants until they arrive, having been led throughout the city by different team leaders who help plan the event. 

I was lucky enough to have attended this year’s Diner en Blanc, and I was amazed. From a PR student’s perspective, the planning and execution of the event was flawless. The attention to detail was immaculate, and it was evident that the planning of Diner en Blanc 2014 began immediately after its predecessor in 2013. 

But how do you do PR for an event with a secret location? The social media presence of Diner en Blanc Philadelphia helped to generate buzz for one of the year’s most talked about events on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. From prior to registration through the day of the event, the Diner en Blanc Philadelphia accounts contributed photos, updates, outfit ideas, recipes, and suggestions to create excitement for the event. In addition, the hashtag #DEBphl14 allowed all participants to share their photos, thoughts, and excitement over the event.  

Diner en Blanc is a piece of art in itself, and was one of the most awe-inspiring events I’ve ever experienced. It was evident that all those who had a part in its success put their whole heart into bringing it to life. 

This guest blog was written by PRowl staff member Tyler Cameron.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Back to School, Back to Chaos

After over 3 months of sweet summertime, it is finally time to let go of the carefree days and fall back into the semester’s grind. For most students, back to school does not just mean classes, but also a large list of extracurricular activities and a social life. Don’t let the stressful semester take over your life. Rather, plan ahead and you’ll find that balancing all aspects of your life is a lot easier than you thought.

       Buy an agenda
Writing down your classes, meetings, due dates, appointments and all other busy times of your week will help you plan your days accordingly. Missing a homework assignment or a doctor’s appointment because you simply forgot will only set you back further in the future.

 Only take on what you can handle
The beginning of the semester is an exciting time and is the perfect opportunity to join clubs and take on leadership positions. However, it is important to make sure you have enough hours in a day to handle it. Rather than joining many different activities, choose one or two you feel is the most beneficial and try to excel.

 Communicate with your professors and bosses
If you are taking a difficult class or are worried about a hectic work schedule, it is better to communicate your concerns with your professors and bosses ahead of time. Letting them know of any problems early on will allow them to help and accommodate you the best that they can while giving you some peace of mind.

Take time for yourself 
The back to school chaos can often leave students with little to no time for themselves. Make sure to take a proper lunch and dinner break and let yourself unwind after a busy day. Go on a bike ride or visit a new place in the city to allow some rest and relaxation after a long week. 

Welcome back to Temple! Have a great fall semester! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Hiya Ray. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

This Week In PR | No. 10

Another installment of current events and public relations developments for the week, in case you missed anything!

  • Chi Omega faced public scrutiny this week after a social media fiasco by one of their members. A member of the chapter at the University of Alabama posted a picture on her Snapchat with a caption boasting that her organization doesn't recruit African American women. She has since been removed from her sorority. (Huffington Post)
  • Remember missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370? To add insult to injury, two people have recently been charged with alleged theft of $35,000 from the bank accounts of four of the missing passengers of the flight. Though the missing flight has still not been found, search efforts are scheduled to resume in September. (CNN)
  • Although this has been my personal opinion for a while, it's definitely comforting to know that I'm not alone. The events in Ferguson have exposed Facebook's shortcomings in relation to updating users on current events. Despite their efforts (such as implementing trending topics), Facebook falls short to Twitter when it comes to up to the minute updates in social news. (BuzzFeed)
  • Yet another social media campaign has gone awry. Puma launched a Twitter campaign where fans could use the #fastergraph tag in order to create a personalized autograph featuring their favorite Puma-wearing athlete. Unfortunately, with free will comes...interesting results. Take a look. (BuzzFeed)
  • Macy's has agreed to settle allegations of racial profiling at their flagship store to the tune of $650,000. The signed agreement also implements new policies to prevent any future profiling in any of their other 42 stores in the state of New York. (NBC Washington)
I hope you enjoyed the This Week In PR series this summer! Fridays will return to regularly scheduled blog posts starting next week. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Guide to Deciphering Business Attire

Most of the topics for my blog posts are inspired by real life occurrences from public relations courses to internships to personal experiences and this week’s post is no different. Earlier this week I was catching up with a fellow PRowler and the topic of PRSSA’s upcoming national conference came up. I was excited to share the news that the conference’s opening social was a black tie event. But what exactly does that mean- floor length gowns, cocktail dresses, actual suits and literal black ties? It got me thinking, we throw around terms like “business professional,” “business casual,” or even “black tie” but it’s not always easy to know what is appropriate for each. To help others (and myself!), I put together this easy guide to dressing for each situation.
  • Business casual. For business casual, the general rule of thumb is to avoid anything as casual as flip-flops, jeans and t-shirts. It allows you to dress less formally than traditional work wear but shouldn't affect your credibility in the workplace.
  • Business professional/business formal. Dress to impress. This is a step up from your typical work attire that calls for a more conservative look with either a suit, pencil skirt, or blazer.
  • Casual Friday. This is tricky, you can dress casually but not too casual. It’s generally acceptable to dress up a pair of jeans but definitely leave the tee at home.
  • Black tie. Chances are there will be very few events you will attend which require black tie attire. But if you DO happen to be invited to a gala or formal event (like PRSSA National Conference social) the dress code is traditional tuxedos for men and cocktail or long dresses for women. Think senior prom attire.

(Source: InStyle)

But remember, how you dress often depends on the culture of the office and many provide dress code policies to ensure employees are properly dressed. If you’re ever in doubt regarding what is and is not appropriate, simply look to see what the consensus is with your coworkers. If the rest of your office is in Prada, chances are that "lumpy blue sweater" not be appropriate.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Crisis Communication: Community Health Systems

Computer hacks are not entirely far-fetched these days. It seems that more and more companies are finding themselves in the hands of a hack before they even realize it. The most recent major hack was within Community Health Systems, one of the United States' leading operators for 206 hospitals across the nation. Hacks are something that PR professionals need to acknowledge, as you could one day find yourself in the position of handling a similar corporate crisis.

Hackers stole data from at least 4.5 million patients. 4.5 million. Just to name a few pieces of information, this means that hackers have access to names, social security numbers, addresses, birthdays, and telephone numbers. Information regarding credit cards has not been stolen, yet this personal information alone leaves space for identity fraud.
(Source: ABCNews)
The idea of an identity theft of this majority leaves many people nervous and cautious.

How do you handle this as the PR coordinator? CHS handled it by immediately hiring experts in the cyber-security field to track down where and when the hack took place. The FBI has also been in close contact with the hospital network to bring down the perpetrators as quickly as possible.

The sticky part of CHS' situation is that patients have grounds to CHS for negligence. This takes the situation into legal matters over those regarding publicity.

Community Health Systems' effort to settle the heavy hearts of its patients includes filing with the Securites and Exchange Commission, stating that it "carries cyber/privacy liability insurance to protect it against certain losses related to matters of this nature." CHS reassures patients that hackers' malware has been removed from their systems completely and that extra precaution has been set forth to avoid this type of hack to ever happen again.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Finding Your Perfect Fall Internship: Don’t Settle!

The summer air is beginning to cool off, and all of the PR newsletters you subscribe to are popping up in your inbox containing key words and phrases like “internships” and “fall opportunities”.

If you are like many aspiring PR professionals, you hope to have at least one internship under your belt before you graduate college and enter the job market.

However, picking an internship isn’t always as easy as filling out an application and getting an interview.
Even if you are able to navigate the interview and application process without a problem, what if after you have spent a week in the office, you realize that you won’t have a positive experience at the company?

This may sound obscure, however, it is very common in the realm of internships.

What if your internship coordinator is too demanding, or what if he or she is too laid back? What if your main task of the day involves being the runner for coffee?

Although it can happen, there are plenty of ways to avoid getting into an internship that won’t help you grow:

1.Gather Info: Do you like the sound of that agency in Center City? If so, reach out to a worker and see if you can schedule an informational interview. Unlike actual job interviews, informational interviews allow a potential intern or employee to ask various questions about the company of their interest to a staff member without having to apply first. Not only will this give you the opportunity to ask important questions, but it will also get you a connection within the company for when you apply!

2.Blast from the Past: Doing a quick LinkedIn search of the company you may want to intern with may help you find students who previously interned with the company. Take a look at their profiles to see what kind of duties performed while interning, and perhaps if you share connections, reach out to them to see what their experience was like.

3.Close Reading: It seems simple, but reading the job description posted online for an internship very closely can help you determine if you want to reconsider applying. If the job description doesn’t interest you or your qualifications aren't what they are looking for, you may need to wait until they do match or find another company you are interested in.

How did you find your perfect internship? Let us know in the comments below!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ready, Set, Conference!

It is time to register for PRSSA National Conference 2014! Last year, I had the honor of attending National Conference in Philadelphia. I attended with several of Temple’s PRSSA and PRowl members, and it was one of the best weeks of my life. Each day was filled with a variety of sessions, networking events and career opportunities. It was such a rewarding experience, and I learned more 5 days about public relations than I did my whole freshman year.
There are a countless number of benefits of attending this conference. Here are just four reasons why you should register for conference!

1.     Find your way in public relations
As a student, finding a particular type of public relations to work in is extremely difficult. There is nonprofit or corporate or agency or sports or publicity… the list goes on and on. Luckily, there were sessions for all of these at conference. Some of the sessions I attended included “Step up to the Plate: Sports PR,” “Fashion PR: More than Selling Items in a Store” and “Juggling Life at an Agency.” Each had a handful of professional that told stories of their experiences, weighed the pros and cons of each industry and of course answered questions. I enjoyed the session and wish I could’ve attended all of them, but it solidified my interest in working at an agency.

2.     Learn a little each day
The whole experience is such a great learning experience. I got tips on how to best pitch stories to the media, how to stand out in an interview and write a strong cover letter to prospective employers. The best thing I did to absorb as much information as possible was always have my notebook on me. I took notes at each Keynote and session. I now can go back and utilize the advice from all of these professionals and put it to use at my future internships and jobs.

3.     Network, network, network
Being at conference was such a unique experience. I participated in a Twitter chat hosted by PRSSA National a couple of weeks before the conference. The chat included tips of what to bring and expect for first time conference goers. The whole night I was favoriting and following fellow eager public relations students. Later, I went back and direct messaged them and talked about with they do for their PRSSA chapter and where they’ve interned for. Then at conference, it was easy to meet up with them and talk in person. I also made sure to sit next to other students at the sessions rather than Temple friends to branch out and introduce myself. Lastly, there was a career fair where I talked to different firms and companies about their internship opportunities.

4.     Travel
Being in Philadelphia last year wasn’t too exciting since I grew up right around the city, but students from other schools loved going to the landmarks like the Love Statue, Liberty Bell, the Art Museum steps and more. Washington D.C. will be just as great with all of the historic memorial and monuments. I have been on family vacations to D.C. a couple of times and love going to the free Smithsonian museums and memorials. Conference is like a mini field trip away from school. Take the time after sessions and lunch breaks to go explore the capital!

Conference is a unique and highly rewarding experience. It is the prime place for anyone interested in public relations even if you’re majoring in marketing or journalism. It’ll show you new opportunities to grow and learn.

Register for the 2014 PRSSA National Conference here. I hope to see you in D.C in October! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Shaun Luberski.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

How Did I Become a "S" Word Already?

As most can agree, college comes and goes in a blink of an eye.  I never thought I would see the day when I became a dreaded “S” word, a senior. It is almost unbelievable that I am heading into my final year as an undergrad this fall.  During my time here at Temple, I definitely gained skills and knowledge that have helped me advance as a student and prospective graduate.  However, there are a few things I wish I started sooner and opportunities I wish I took advantage of earlier.  So for those incoming freshman, whom I am greatly jealous of, here is a letter to you on your first day.

Dear Incoming Freshman,

Before you know it, you are going to be a senior.  Yes you will be called the dreaded “S” word.  Now, do not worry, although these years fly by, they will also be the best years of your life.  Here are some tips to help with your first year.

1.     It is okay to not know what you should major in right away.  So if you are not sure join any club, group, organization that sparks your interest.  If it relates to what you end up majoring, great.  If it has nothing to do with it, that’s cool too.  As long as you put yourself in positions to meet new people and learn new things, you will be benefiting.

2.     Go to office hours!  My best papers/grades have been from meeting with my professors and asking for help when I did not understand.

3.     Relating to tip number two, professors are great mentors.  One thing I am very appreciative is the relationship I have with one of my professors.  She has helped me with cover letters, internship questions and other class work.  The people teaching you have the skills and experience that can be of great value to you even outside of classroom topics

4.     Avoid buying books from the bookstore.  90% of the time you can find them cheaper online and save a lot of money.

5.     Manage your time so you can get the grades and still go out.  College is all about time management.  There is such thing as having enough time in the day for school, good grades, and fun.

6.     Enjoy every second.  These next four years are going to fly right by.

So, I hope you go into your first day of college beyond excited and ready to take on the challenge.  Although the dreaded senior year will creep up on you sooner than you think, appreciate the opportunity you have been given and make these years the best years of your life. Good Luck!

Any other "S" words have advice for incoming freshman? Leave your tips in the comments! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Brittany Barish. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

This Week In PR | No. 9 #Ferguson

Though there are always many public relations fiascoes to share, this is another week where it seems more appropriate to focus on one major issue that, believe it or not, impacts us all.

On Saturday, August 9th, Mike Brown, an 18-year-old Ferguson resident, was shot down by a police officer. Though some details of the altercation between the two are still fuzzy, it is clear from witnesses on both sides that there was a physical scuffle before Brown was shot 10 ten times, though his arms were raised above his head prior to being killed. Unfortunately, the cops and eyewitnesses tell two completely different stories as to what led to this tragedy.

Since the shooting of the unarmed, college-bound student, the city of Ferguson, Missouri, and the nation, have been in an uproar, both on the streets and on social media.

In Ferguson, many peaceful protesters joined together in a vigil to remember Brown earlier this week. However, police were sent to disperse the crowds and soon, the peaceful protests quickly morphed into looting and rioting. Ferguson police responded by throwing tear gas and shooting rubber bullets at civilians, most of which were the peaceful protesters.

In response to the media's interpretation of Ferguson events, many young, African American students took to social media using #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, a hashtag used to start a conversation about how black people are often portrayed in the media. The hashtags #MikeBrown and #Ferguson have also seen traction on social media as a means to share up-to-date information with the public about the developments in Ferguson since some major news outlets are misreporting stories.

Unfortunately, the events in Ferguson show no sign of slowing down and people are starting to take action. This past Wednesday students at Howard University, a notable Historically Black College or University (HBCU), shot a powerful photo featuring hundreds of young, black men and women with their hands raised in surrender. The following day, even more supporters came out for National Moment of Silence vigils held in major cities across the country. In our own city of Philadelphia, hundreds of people stood in solidarity at Love Park to show their support. Though issues in Ferguson still rage on, hopefully their citizens feel comfort in knowing that they are not alone.

UPDATE | After widespread public outcry, this morning the name was finally released  of the police officer who shot Brown: Darren Wilson. Wilson is a 6-year veteran with no previous incidents on his record.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

HR Insider: Interviewing Tips and Tricks

We’re all familiar with that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach right before an interview. Nervously waiting in an unfamiliar office while clutching your portfolio and trying to remember absolutely everything you can about the company you’re about to interview with. Well now you can relax thanks to some insider help! I sat down with Mara Sardella, Human Resources Coordinator at Brownstein Group, Philadelphia’s oldest independent brand communication firm to find out her best advice for nailing that interview.

How can a student make the best first impression in an interview?
When they come prepared with questions to ask the interviewer as well.

When interviewing a candidate, what generally impresses you the most?
When you can tell they have done their research on the company they are interviewing with. Also, knowing our clients and work and telling me how they can contribute their skills to what we offer.

How important is it to follow up after an interview with something personal, like an email or thank you note?
An email or hand written thank you note is very important. The HR Director and I always share thank you notes we get from candidates, it lets us know they enjoyed their time with us.

What is the oddest thing someone has done to set themselves apart from other job applicants? And do those over the top gestures really work?
We have had someone make us a tank top with the BG logo stitched onto it, someone sent their resume over in a bottle that looked exactly like our Liberty Kvell April Fool’s Joke, someone made a parody video to the song of Backstreet Boys, “I want it that way”, and it was called “I want a job today” (they actually got offered a job with us). All the creative gesture submissions get noticed and will always get a response and most of the time a meeting, but in the end it matters what is on the resume and if that applicant is qualified for the job.

Do you have a great tip for interviewing? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

5 Easy Steps To Boost Your Confidence & Credibility

While the old adage "fake it til you make it" may seem a bit cliche, oftentimes our lack of confidence and feelings of inadequacy keep us from reaching our full potential. With college students are prepping to return to class and new graduates are experiencing their first Fall in the work force, there is no better time to set an intention to make this upcoming season your best one yet.

You can only be as successful as the leaps you are willing to take on your own behalf. Before anyone else can support or help you along your way, you must be willing to first invest time in your own development. Here are five easy steps that you can take towards boosting your confidence and credibility.

1. Make a monetary investment in yourself. Willingness to shell out a few bucks shows that you're ready to make a commitment. One week of sacrificing your morning latte is enough to pay for custom business cards; packing lunch for a few weeks help you save up for a new blazer. Sacrifice a bit to save money for an investment that makes you feel like a better professional.

2. Choose your own titles. You don't have to wait until you're in a role to give yourself the title. Review your skills, and draft your own titles from that set. If you want to become a social media manager, change your social media bios to read something like 'Social media expert with a passion for non-profit work.' Start making a name for yourself so that people know what to reach out to you for. Just remember to always be honest, and only call yourself what you truly feel capable of expanding on later (like during an interview).

3. Have experts speak for you. Nothing helps to boost your confidence and credibility like knowing that someone else believes in you. Having that person shout your greatness to the world is an added bonus. Reach out to previous supervisors and co-workers and ask them to share a few sentences about you and your abilities. You can add these testimonials to your website, if you have one, or bring them up while networking or interviewing.

4. Stop being modest. While humility is a virtuous quality, there are times when boasting your skills and abilities is necessary. Write down your accomplishments, results you've achieved in and out of your field, and read them to yourself out loud. Get used to speaking out your accomplishments so that when it's time to really talk yourself up, you feel comfortable sharing your successes.

5. Pitch yourself without prompt. Your dream job or internship may not be posted online, or even be in existence yet. If you really want that dream position, you may have to be bold and create it yourself. Pitch yourself, your skills and your services to brands and companies who may not be explicitly looking for a professional like you. Worst case scenario, they won't need your services at that time. But when they do need someone, the person who took a risk and pitched themselves will definitely stand out.

What steps have you taken to boost your confidence and credibility? Any of the tips above?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back to the Basics

As I am currently running late on this Tuesday morning, I decided that I need to remind myself of all the basics of being professional. With so many tips on how to do this and how to do that, it's easy to get lost in all the advice and forget the backbone of making a good appearance in the office or any meeting. I've created a list of some of the most basic career building advice you just might need to be reminded of in order to get a gold star:
1. Be on time!
2. Look presentable. Don't get so comfortable in the corporate office that you're showing up in short shorts and your favorite band's t-shirt.
3. Aim your goals high.
4. Say hello to everyone you work with.
5. Be polite.
6. Speak up. Don't mumble or ramble on with your words. You're confident!
7. Introduce yourself to those you do not know.
8. Keep your business card on you.
9. Work efficiently.
10. Ask questions.
11. Follow up on your emails.
12. Proofread said emails before sending them out!
13. Meet all deadlines.
14. Be reliable.
15. Offer to help someone else with a project or task.
16. Listen carefully.
17. Pay attention and stay focused.
18.Be upfront about your mistakes - it happens!
19. Do not gossip (ever!)
20. Be a positive source of energy.

Keep on keeping on!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Smartphones: Essential or too Invasive?

Everywhere you go you will see people on their smartphones, from iPhones to Androids to Windows phones. Go on popular sites like Imgur or Buzzfeed, and you'll see all sorts of funny pictures and memes about how technology is taking over our lives, how when people are 'hanging out' with friends they're really just staring at their phone. Most people will argue that their smartphone is essential to their everyday life, but if that's true then what did you do 6 years ago, when smartphones barely existed? Even beyond technology taking up everyone's attention, apps you have on your phone may be taking more information about you than you realize. 

I recently saw an article about how Facebook's mobile messenger app for smartphones recently got a major update, along with several new required permissions. For Android users, every time you update an app, the app may ask to be granted access to more parts of your phone, such as your pictures or account information. Generally, everyone just accepts all new permissions, because you can't update the app otherwise. According to this article, which I ironically found through Facebook, the Facebook messenger app now has access to people's cameras, microphones, text messages, and emails. This means that Facebook can see what your phone sees by remotely turning on your camera and looking through. Facebook can hear what your phone hears by turning on the microphone. And Facebook can see all your text messages and emails, and even send messages on your behalf, without you knowing. Now, Facebook probably wouldn't send anything or take a picture without you knowing, but they can still see everything you might not want them to see. 

Facebook, smartphones, technology, and a whole lot of other potential privacy invaders are very useful to public relations professionals, but at what cost does using them on-the-go come to you? Right now there doesn't seem to be any way besides totally disconnecting, which many people can't do, so I believe that more people have to become aware of this issue and start protesting this invasion of million's of people's privacy. 

Here's a link to the full article: 

What do you think about smartphone use? We'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What Not To Say At Your Internship

As college public relations majors, we students have one thing on the mind, internships. These internships give students an invaluable experience in a professional work place that are extremely beneficial and could even lead to a job.

As these last few weeks of summer internships are coming to an end, be sure to continue with your bright shining smiles, and avoid the following phrases in the work place:

1. "It's not my job."
Yes, you are an intern, but your responsibilities aren't limited to those specifically stated in your job description. This type of attitude will not leave a lasting impression on your boss.

2. "I really can not stand (insert colleague name here.)"
The last thing you want to do is come across as an immature catty college student. You have made it this far, be respectful to those you work with-don't be immature!

3. "I got so drunk last night."
Drinking on a work night is not something you want your coworkers to know about. It just shows that you are not truly taking your job seriously.

4. "It was not my fault!"
Bosses expect you to make mistakes. That is what internships are all about. If you mess up, own up to your mistakes, and fix it for the next time. 

Are there any other tips that you have to add to this list? Leave your ideas in the comments! 

This guest blog was written by PRowl staff member Kelly Dougherty.