Thursday, April 30, 2015

Books to Read This Summer

With articles on every topic imaginable, the internet is chock full of useful information to help you get ahead and stay there in every aspect of your life. While this is convenient, sometimes it’s nice to have streamlined information take you on a journey of self-discovery, as opposed to mindlessly clicking from topic to topic. Books are a remarkable way to self improve, but there are so many out there that sometimes it’s hard to tell which ones are worth reading. These books are the perfect reads to get your mind set on success. They’re also light enough to read whilst lounging on the beach, whether it be Beury or Atlantic City.

1. How to Win Friends and Influence People
An oldie but a goodie, this classic written by Dale Carnegie in 1936 will take you to the next level of interpersonal communication. Easy to follow and expertly written, you’ll find yourself referring back to Carnegie’s advice well after you’ve turned the last page.

2. If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You
Some may know Kelly Cutrone for her appearances on hit TV shows, The Hills and America’s Next Top Model, but the fashion world knows her as the relentless feminist who has built her PR agency, People’s Revolution, from the ground up. Her book gives priceless advice on everything from securing a mentor to surviving, and eventually thriving, in Manhattan with nothing but your YSL jeans and a sparkling personality.

3. The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
Enriching yet hilarious, this page-turner will have you laughing, crying, and everything in between. By the end of this literary journey, you’ll feel like you’ve made a new friend in author Gretchen Rubin, and you’ll have a refreshing outlook on life and how you live it.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Savannah Blake 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Very Philly Summer

With summer right around the corner, it’s easy to forget about school and work, and hard to not think about relaxing for a few months. Staying in Philadelphia for the summer opens doors to mini getaways and a plethora of opportunities. Summer in Philadelphia is the perfect time and place to attend networking and volunteering events that help you expand your network.

Philadelphia houses hundreds of nonprofits that support different causes. Volunteering for them not only feels good and allows you to give back to the community, but it is a great way to form relationships and network. Start by browsing through the Get Involved section of Campus Philly’s website to find the perfect non-profit for you to volunteer with. Once you find it, reach out to the development or events coordinator to learn about the volunteering opportunities offered and create a relationship with the coordinator. Who knows, becoming a volunteer could land you an internship or your first or second job!

Attending formal networking events or seminars may be more feasible in the summer for those who are not taking classes. Returning to your alma mater for the summer to take advantage of these opportunities is a good start. Colleges often have multiple alumni societies filled with fun networking events for graduates and current students. A personal favorite is Temple University Women’s Network. Its events not only encourage members to form professional relationships with other Temple women, but also to create friendships.

The Young Professionals Network (YPN) offers networking and professional development opportunities for young professionals interested in learning from other recent graduates and experienced professionals. Also, if you are a dues-paying member, look out for emails from PPRA and PRSA featuring networking and professional development events held in the city.

Sometimes we forget Philadelphia is a city filled with opportunities for professional development. Now that you’re aware of them, find your perfect event and get ready to network!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Miljenka Sakic.

Monday, April 27, 2015

3 Things I Learned About Non-Profit PR

(Photo courtesy of

Like many PR students today, entering the career world can be overwhelming in deciding what field is the best to go into. With the semester coming to a close, I’ve been reflecting on my experience in my first internship. I had the opportunity of working in development/communications at a non-profit office in Philadelphia. The main focus of my time working there was planning a major fundraiser held every year and here are some of the top lessons I learned so far:

Getting Thrifty on a Budget: While this is true for all event planning, it’s most relevant for non-profits, since the goal is to raise the most money for the cause. Research is key in finding the best possible option. Whether looking for decorations or giveaways, the goal is to find the cheapest option possible without it looking like its price value.

It really IS all about who you know: Anyone in the communications field knows that networking is a core value in being successful in any aspect of one’s career. This is especially true in securing everything from in-kind donations, to sponsorships, to any other essential resource. The concept of “getting one’s foot in the door” is often stressed. From an intern's perspective, nonprofits are also often made up of members and volunteers from major businesses in the area that offer prime opportunities for personal networking.

No idea is too small: Brainstorming is used as much as possible, because a lot of the collaboration needed for communication efforts and event planning to be creative on a budget. Even starting with a ridiculous or outlandish idea as an end goal can snowball into finding something attainable for the organization. A lot of non-profits can be on their own in establishing the best PR moves, so it comes down to plugging in differing variables until something workable can come out on top.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Mina Lezenby

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Networking and sharpening PR skills over the summer without the stress

I don’t know about anybody else, but networking as a student and/or budding professional is kind of nerve-wreaking. There’s the speed networking, the awkward ice breakers, trying to meet people who are way out of your league--professionally speaking of course. The other kind of “getting to know people out of your league” is for another blog entirely.

The skinny of it is that networking is hard—especially during a time when we need to decompress or work that summer internship/job we spent the last several months trying to get.

With that in mind, I made up a small list of things you can do over the summer to make the daunting task of networking and sharpening your PR skills feel less intimidating.

1.     Say “yes” to as many opportunities as possible: Sometimes, a professional connection isn’t made at a mixer or a panel discussion. In reality, we meet professional connections every day at volunteering events, while traveling and even at casual parties. Keep those business cards handy this summer--you might meet your next employer at your aunt’s yearly get-together or at your local farmers market.

2.     Read at least 30 minutes a day: It’s just science. The Chinese University of Hong Kong has proven that reading develops vocabulary, exposes you to different writing styles, and deepens your subject knowledge. It also gives you an opportunity to comprehend a topic at your own pace. All of these help build your skills as a professional and make you more articulate in your field. So go out to the local bookstore this summer and browse the titles- at the very least, you will have some great poolside reading.

3.     Keep up with the news and talk about it: It’s time to put on the 4 o’clock news and read the newspaper, because a lot of employers and mentors looks for people that keep up with the times. You don’t have to do much- just know what is going on in your neighborhood and you will excel in any future position. To help with the search for a good news outlet, I recommend theSkimm and the Associated Press News App. Both are free ways to find out what’s new in the neighborhood.

4.     Write about things you like and pitch it to a magazine: This is a fun project. Find something you are interested in, be it fitness, arts, music, spinning plates on sticks, or whatever it is, and write an article about it. After you do that, try and pitch it to a magazine or local newspaper. If you aren’t getting any bites, start a blog about it and keep pitching those ideas- persistence is key.

5.     Set a social media follower goal:  If social media is your forte, make a goal to increase your following this summer. Plan out posts, giveaways, and other promotional means to get to that goal. It’s great practice and may even have you meeting other professionals in your field.

6.     Learn a skill – If you do only one thing over the summer, make sure you are learning something. Even if it is something that is completely irrelevant to your professional future, sometimes all you need to do is follow your passion of the moment and it will have you meeting people you thought you would never meet.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Kelly Armstrong.