Thursday, January 29, 2015

What Social Media Trend is Keeping Myspace Alive?

It’s no secret that Myspace is no longer the leading site in social networking. In fact, it’s likely the last site you would consider when naming social media platforms. But there is one online trend, however, that is helping keep the social networking site alive and, ironically, it’s one you post on other platforms- Throwback Thursday. Yes, Myspace users are logging in to find their weekly #TBTs.

Myspace analytics show that there is an increase in visitors to the site on Thursdays as users search their profiles looking for old photos from the mid-2000s. According to Tim Vanderhook, CEO of Viant, Inc., the parent company of Specific Media which owns Myspace, the site is bringing 50.6 million unique visitors each month. Not bad for a site that was launched 12 years ago and peaked in 2008.

“Myspace was an early photo-sharing platform,” said Vanderhook. “So we still see a lot of people coming back to access old photos. They may not visit every day but they come back once a week or once a month.”

Fortunately, Myspace is not completely reliant on the public’s need for Throwback Thursday Instagram posts. In 2012 it decided to rebrand itself, with the help of Justin Timberlake, as a platform for new music sharing and discovery. Now, the site mainly attracts the 17-25 year-old segment who is interested in the site’s music sharing and discovery function. In an effort to keep up with even developing trends and technology, they also released a free Myspace app. The app includes an ad-supported radio service similar to Pandora or Spotify as well as a GIF creator.

The wavering popularity of social networking sites comes with the territory of being an online medium. Although Myspace has likely seen their peak, it is clear they are making a strong effort to evolve along with social media trends, and benefiting from them.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Importance of Blogging

If you are like me, you have always wanted to be ahead of the game.

As a PR major, I always want to be informed of the newest social media tools, most innovative press release format, and more.

However, there is one thing that I have been hesitating to do: starting a blog.

Even though I realize it is important to be able to show potential employers that I have writing skills (particularly through writing short pieces for audiences on the internet), I feel as though keeping up with a blog and designing it will take more time and energy than I can afford.

Of course, I am wrong.

Creating a blog isn't only a necessity for a PR major, but it is as easy as taking a few minutes to create a username and password.

While at my new job, I discovered the simplicity of creating a blog through WordPress.
By selecting a theme and title, you are able to create your own blog, and if you are quick, it can be created in under 10 minutes!

Another concern that I have about creating a blog is the content. It can be hard to come up with endless content. However, blogging doesn't have to be rocket science!

Blogging what you know will lead to more content while ensuring that you are enjoying what you are writing about. If you are interested in books, you can write about your reactions to the novels you finish. If you are interested in professional development or have inspiring tales from your own experiences, you can share them on your blog!

In the end, I still haven’t created a blog, but I plan on doing so soon. As a student who is looking for the next big thing in PR, my next step is to build my blog from the ground up.

Are you putting something off that will enhance your PR skills? If so, let us know!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

"Do You Have Any Job Prospects Yet?"

It’s funny how you hear stories about how going to a family holiday party when you’re older is a horrific experience full of questions like, “Are you dating anyone?” or “How old are you now?”  But if you are a senior like me, then you can relate to hearing the most terrifying question of all…”So, do you have any job offers lined up after graduation, honey?”

*Insert hyperventilating, instant panic attack, hot flashes, slight crying, etc. here* 

(Source: Google)

If your answer to the previous questions was “yes” then great, you should be proud.  If your answer was “no,” you are not alone, I am right there with you and I’m going to tell you why it’s okay (through musical song titles because music is how I relax).

1. I’m Not The Only One by Sam Smith
While your significant other may not be cheating on you like Sam Smith says in the song, you are still not the only one.  As I just stated, every person our age is most likely feeling the pressure to find a job at this time, so confide in someone you trust to vent to.

2. Time of Our Lives by Pitbull & Ne-Yo
As Pitbull would say, “Have me a good time, before my time is up.”  College only happens once, so it’s important to remember to live in the moment!  Enjoy every experience the last semester has to offer and make sure you aren’t stressing so much about the job search that you are missing out on making memories. 

3. Elastic Heart by Sia
After three and a half years of college, you’ve built “thick skin and an elastic heart.”  So don’t get discouraged if you are applying to companies that aren’t answering you or respond saying you’re under-qualified; at least you’re putting yourself out there!

4. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift
“Don’t be getting down about all the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of the world when you could’ve been getting down to this sick beat.”  There is no shame in taking a break from your everyday searches on LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, etc.  Sometimes a dance party solves all problems.

5. The Heart Wants What It Wants by Selena Gomez
By now you probably have some idea of what kind of PR you want to take on as job whether that is fashion, corporate, tech, agency, etc.  Make sure to go after jobs in your niche, don’t settle for something that you are going to end up hating.  Follow your heart; the more passionate you are about what you do, the more you have to offer to the company.

6. Jealous by Nick Jonas
Do not be like Nick Jonas and get jealous.  One of my supervisors at my previous internship gave me advice that has stuck with me: “Don’t worry about what other people are doing!”  Nobody likes a green-eyed monster, so when your friends land awesome jobs, congratulate and celebrate with them!  Don’t let it stress you out or over-think your job-hunting situation.

7. Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift
Despite what Taylor may have to say, you are NOT out of the woods yet.  You still have classes to pass and internships to complete before you receive that diploma.  Dedicate as much time to your school work as you are your job search.

If all else fails, remember that just like Queen B, you are ***Flawless!  Things have a funny way of working themselves out.  You worked hard these past few years by getting involved, completing internships, making great connections and becoming a young #PRofessional ready to take on the real world!  Good luck and enjoy your last few months of college!  If you would like more advice on the senior year job search, click here.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Kaylie Corallo.  You can follow her @kayliecorallo.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Explaining PR to Uncle Joe

For no reason in particular I woke up this morning with graduation on the mind. Oddly enough, my only concern was how I was going to explain my major, and what I plan to make a career out of, to my family. It was difficult enough during the holidays and I would rather not repeat that spiel again come May 8th. So, I did the only logical thing I could come up with: turned to Google. I knew I couldn't be the only one with this problem and I was right. For those of you who may face this same issue, I've complied a few of the best explanations to help your family and friends understand exactly what we do.

  • "Public relations (PR) is the use of communications to manage public perception of an individual or an organization." What Is
  • "Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics." PRSA
  • "A public relations specialist is an image shaper. Their job is to generate positive publicity for their client and enhance their reputation. The client can be a company, an individual or a government. " The Princeton Review
  • "PR agencies and advertising agencies share the same goals:  promoting clients and making them seem as successful, honest, important, exciting or relevant as possible.  But the paths to creating awareness are vastly different. PR agencies, as opposed to advertising agencies, promote companies or individuals via editorial coverage." Forbes
  • "It’s my job to talk to the public about my clients, and to help my clients listen to what the public is saying about them. My ultimate goal is to get positive attention for my clients, which may mean securing news stories, getting people to talk us up on social media, planning cool events, or anything else creative I can come up with." Talent Zoo
  • “I help companies communicate with people – customers, employees, legislators. And with you! If you’ve read a story in a newspaper or on on a new product, a PR pro shared that with the reporter and lined up the interviews. If you see a business leader delivering a speech, a PR pro probably wrote it. If you happen across a really cool event in Bryant Park, a PR pro likely played a major part in the idea behind it. We work with executives to figure out the smartest, most effective ways to engage with people, let them know what’s going on with the company, and get their thoughts and feedback.” Communications Catalyst
  • "You make your clients look good by coordinating interviews and providing information about them to the media." Business Insider
Sure, most of these definitions are blunt or don't cover the full breadth of what we do, but for the purpose of having your relatives get a grasp of our industry, these should do just fine. We are taught to be concise after all!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

#SOTU: State of the Union Goes Social

President Obama gave the annual State of the Union address Tuesday evening, a topic that wasn't just trending in traditional media but on social media as well. I myself viewed the address on one screen and had my Twitter feed on another to keep up with public responses. I was surprised to find that my newsfeed consisted of almost exclusively State of the Union posts (along with a number of Flyers vs. Penguins tweets as the game between the rivals headed into overtime).

According to the White House’s Twitter account, it was the most interactive State of the Union address ever with 1.2 million views and Twitter reported that over 2.6 million tweets were posted using the hashtag #SOTU. Facebook also had similar results, announcing that “5.7 million people on Facebook made 13.8 million interactions (posts, likes, comments, shares) related to the President’s State of the Union address” that day.

In an effort to create a broader audience for the traditionally “old-media” event, the White House communications team  decided to revamp the way they promote the address. This year, they focused not just on traditional media like newspapers and television, but creating videos, digital op-eds and even six-second GIFs. The White House twitter account also live tweeted infographics, images and quotes in real time as Obama discussed various topics like sustainable energy and education costs. The same images appeared on television in a split screen with the live speech itself.

“To not have an aggressive social media strategy in 2015 would be the equivalent of not having an aggressive TV strategy in the 1950s.” –Dan Pfeiffer, White House Director of Communications

This year was the first time ever that the White House released the SOTU speech to the public prior to the address. In keeping with efforts to bring politics to the digital generation, it was released via Medium, a blogging platform created by the founders of Twitter.

But out of all the points President Obama made in his address to the American people, the most talked about moment on social media was by far:


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 Ways to Network without Leaving Home

Public relations is, go figure, all about relationships. Between clients, co-workers, potential employers and other PR professionals. Putting yourself out there and creating valuable connections is a critical part of any public relations career journey. These relationships not only assist in sustaining you professionally, but personally as well. No one will understand your long hours, obsession with your inbox or need to edit every piece of writing you see more than your fellow practitioners.

Still, these relationships take time to cultivate and even more time to sustain. There are plenty of ways, especially as a college student, to put yourself out there, such as joining your campus's PRSSA chapter. But if you're balancing a full course load, work, internships and other activities, getting out into the world to meet people may not make it onto your to-do list, though you wish you had the time.

Thanks to the digital age and the ever-advancing social media industry, connections can be created and sustained within your bedroom walls. Here are 5 ways to network without leaving home.

1. Create a Twitter list of professionals you'd like to connect with and @reply to them with a personal message.
Placing these professionals into a Twitter list allows you to easily keep track of who you've reached out to, and makes it easy to go back to contact them again. Be sure to make your messages to them personal and relative to the reason you want to connect with them in the first place. Go back to this list often to check-in with your new connections and grow those relationships.

2. Send personal messages when connecting on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a community of professionals looking to connect with other professionals --a networkers dream! When making new connections, be sure to delete the generic message LinkedIn provides and send something original. Use that message as the opportunity to introduce yourself properly and point out what you have in common with your new connection. And, of course, make sure your profile is up to date so that it speaks positively on your behalf.

3. Share, share, share.
If you have a platform, use it! You'd be surprised at how many connections you can make simply by sharing things that you are likely to have in common with others. If you read an interesting article online, share it and mention the writer or website that published it. Make your areas of interest public knowledge so that when people encounter your profiles they get an accurate glimpse of who you are.

4. Make a phone call.
The dreaded cold call. The up point about calling rather than emailing or messaging someone is that their phone is likely less active (and crowded) than their inbox. It's easy to stand out when there are less people standing around you. Call an old boss, co-worker or contact and just catch up with them. Ask if they're working on any new or exciting projects and let them know what's going on with you as well.

5. Join or launch online communities.
You aren't the only one seeking networking opportunities from the comforts of home. There are tons of blogs, websites and online forums which foster community for young professionals. Research sites in your industry and start leaving comments on the articles you read. Reply to the comments of others when you can and get to know the regulars. The answers to your hardest questions or greatest struggles could be waiting for you within these communities. And if all else fails, start your own! Launch a Facebook group where professionals from all over can come together and network virtually.

How do you network?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

PR: The New Orleans Style

Chaos, colors, and craziness is exactly what you expect to find on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. Walking down the street you are bound to find every tourist wearing colorful beads with the famous Grenade drink in their hand, and psychics promising you the details to your future.

New Orleans is known for being one of America’s cities that never sleeps, so how do they keep up that reputation? Well, every public relations professional could take a tip or two from the small city in Louisiana.

Recently I spent a week in New Orleans before the annual Mardi Gras celebrations began. I jumped off the plane and immediately had purple, green and gold beads- I was ready to take on the chaos of the city. However what most people don’t realize is that New Orleans can be a pretty average city, especially during the day. The small town manages to maintain a calm and quiet atmosphere when the sun is out, but as soon as it goes down, the city comes to life at night. New Orleans runs exactly how a PR professional runs. Think about it, during the day PR professionals manage to not look stressed and they appear like everything is under control, but just like New Orleans, a PR professional has to have the crazy come out! However, this is not a bad thing because PRofessionals accomplish amazing things through our efforts and help to make our client's brands/products/services come to life, just like New Orleans does at night! 

Here are a few tips about how to keep your PR style the New Orleans style:

1. Always hold your composure! Even when there is craziness going on always keep your cool!
2. Stay colorful! Make yourself bold and stand out with colorful clothing, business cards, and lingo. Don’t get caught up in boring and bland colors.
3. Make your voice heard! When talking with a client don’t shy behind their words but make sure that your suggestions and opinions are heard.
4. Like a street performer performing for money, a little sense of humor is always good to have in this business!
5. Get creative! You may not be able to read someone’s tarot cards, but always work on coming up with new ideas for campaigns, events, slogans, logos, etc.

Just like the city of New Orleans, you want to give yourself a reputation that lets people know you are here for business but you have a colorful, electric and exciting side as well!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Alissa Steele. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fake It Til You Make It

One of the newest trends when it comes to job hunting has been to create your own job. I don't necessarily mean become an entrepreneur and work for yourself, although that is also a viable option these days. It's come to my realization that most of the people I've spoken to about their own job search experience didn't find it on Indeed. Instead, they started with what they knew they wanted to do and found someone who was willing to let them do it. Sound a bit confusing? Well I promise it's much simpler than it sounds.

Typically, one would go on a site like Indeed, Monster, or even Craigslist to check out job openings in their field of work. However, the new trend (albeit a bit more risky and ambitious) allows young professionals to create their own positions. As opposed to simply applying to an open listing, people are doing the process "backwards" and starting with looking into companies or careers they love, whether they have announced a job opening or not.

Attempting to create a position for yourself doesn't go unnoticed; it shows real courage and confidence in yourself and what you have to bring to the company. Whether that leap of faith results in a job or not, you've just created a new network. Someone else in the industry now knows who you are and although they may not have a position to offer you at the time, it's always possible that they know someone who does. This generation is betting on themselves and selling their skills to their dream companies...and it seems to be working pretty well.

This new approach is actually pretty similar to what it was like applying to colleges. We were taught there were safe, match, and reach schools. Safe meant that you are over-qualified and guaranteed to get in, match schools are universities where your skills correspond to their qualifications, and reach schools are where your credentials fall just below their qualifications but you try your best regardless. Why can't applying to jobs be treated the same way? Reach for your dream job. The very worst that could happen is that they say no, but the very best could open up doors to a career that's tailor made for you.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Chipotle Pulls Pork from Stores- Why They Got it Right

Chipotle Mexican Grill has been on the rise in the fast food industry, known for serving “food with integrity.” The company was founded on the ideas of delicious food made from the best ingredients. After founder and CEO Steve Ells learned how meat and produce is mass produced in the US, sustainability, responsible farming and animal welfare were added to the Chipotle mission.

Many big name corporations say they are committed to serving local and ethically farmed food. Chipotle, on the other hand, actually is. The chain recently stopped selling pork, used as a key ingredient in a number of their dishes from burritos to salads. The meat was pulled from one-third of its locations, nearly 600 stores nationwide, when an audit of one of their suppliers revealed that their way of producing meat was not up to the standards set by the fast food chain.

“We could fill that shortfall with conventionally raised pork, but the animal welfare standards fall well short of our requirements, and (we) simply aren't willing to make that compromise,” said Chipotle Communications Director Chris Arnold, according to Reuters.

By pulling unethically produced pork from many of their stores, Chipotle stayed consistent with their brand as well as their ethical standards at the risk of losing customers and capital. It’s likely that customers will now have an even stronger loyalty to the brand thanks to their public dedication to the ethical treatment of animals. Had Chipotle continued to sell pork knowingly produced lower than these standards, it would have the potential to destroy not only the image of the company but it’s ever increasing position in the fast food market. Through their dedication to serving “food with integrity,” Chipotle was able to strengthen their brand and avoided a major PR crisis.

Chipotle has yet to release any official press releases and has not stated when they expect their pork products to be back.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

PRowl is HIRING for Spring 2015!

PRowl is looking to add new and fresh talent to our firm! 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, eager to learn 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. PRowl offers the skills and experience you need to help your coursework translate to the real world.

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 or email and schedule and interview today!

Monday, January 12, 2015

McDonald's Transparency Campaign: The Truth Behind the McNugget, Big Mac, and More

(Photo from

Have you ever wondered what's really in a Big Mac? If you have, you'll be happy to know that it is possible to find out.

Recently, McDonald’s has developed a campaign to increase its customer relations.The campaign, which features various videos and FAQ sheets regarding many popular menu items, is aimed at increasing the transparency of the company in regards to the ingredients that it uses in its food.

Over the last few years, McDonald’s has taken many hits for rumors regarding pink slime used in its food. From photos of the aforementioned slime to articles that tell of horror stories from the chain’s workers, hundreds of individuals have taken it upon themselves to fight against the company’s brand.

However, McDonald’s chose to fight back.

As any PR practitioner knows, good public relations requires a high level of transparency. In order to gain respect and trust from consumers, a company or organization needs to be honest about their products, business dealings, and more.

By allowing the public to see the beginning to end process of making McDonald’s signature items, those that were lost through the pink slime craze may see a new side of the company and decide to give it a second chance.

Also, through this campaign, McDonald’s addresses the rumors that have been plaguing its name for years. Not one stone is left unturned in this campaign, and that allows for the company to lead way for a new, more simplistic menu that is rumored to be rolled out within the next year.

If you would like to see this campaign for yourself, visit From there, find the videos and FAQ pages that correspond with the menu items that you are curious about, and see the difference between the interenet buzz and the actual happenings behind the scenes of Ronald McDonald’s home base.

What do you think about McDonald’s transparency campaign? Let us know in the comments!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

How To Stay Motivated For The Spring Semester

For many PRowlers, this is their last semester of their undergraduate college career at Temple University. Senioritis may have already kicked in for some, and for others, not quite yet.

All of the students who are not graduating this semester and not yet job hunting, are probably most looking forward to summer vacation; taking a break from school work and internships and most of all, being home enjoying home-cooked meals and sleeping in so late that half the day has passed them by.  

With just four months left of the semester, below is a list of different ways to stay motivated and finish strong. 

Say no to social media, say yes to the job search
Social media has become a part of many college students’ routines. They wake up, check their email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat all before they get out of bed and fully open their eyes.

Instead of checking out other people reaching their goals and having the time of their lives (and not being afraid to show it), switch up your social media obsession to a job search obsession. Through job searching, you will become motivated by realizing you are finally ready to take on everything the real world has to offer, and more. 

Reach out to PRSSA and PRowl alumni
There are many advantages to knowing and staying connected to Temple alumni. At the top of that list falls relatable experience. Alumni have been in your shoes before and know exactly what you are going through, whether you are feeling stuck, lost, or unmotivated. Take advantage of the connections you have to learn what these alumni did to overcome that lethargic feeling you have wanted to overcome recently.

Write everything down
College is something that can’t be described by many.  The definition is an “educational institution”; but I think we all know it is so much more than that. It is an indescribable experience, and one that can’t be lived twice (as an undergraduate).

For this reason, it is extremely important to write in a journal of everything you are going through. This could include day-to-day activities, accomplishments, hardships, or just your simple thoughts. Through writing you will learn more about yourself and delve into your own world of discovering your dreams. After each journal entry you should feel more determined to make these dreams into a reality. The hardest part is picking up that pencil and filling up that blank space in front of your face.  

Take a group fitness class
I say “fitness class” instead of “go to the gym” for a reason. A fitness class has a variety of perks. People who go to a class are required to keep up with the instructor and class, whereas people who go to the gym could simply run on the treadmill for 30-60 minutes and call it a day. Fitness groups make you push and surround yourself with motivated individuals wanting and craving to get in shape.

It is important to surround yourself with these types of motivated individuals. There is also a set time for fitness classes so you will have no excuse not to make the class. If it worked for your schedule one week, it could definitely work a second and third week.  Spring group classes will begin January 19. Learn more about group fitness at Temple’s Independence Blue Cross Recreation Center here.

Create a bucket list
Write down everything you want to accomplish before your college career endsand no, I don’t just mean acing all of your exams, or finally having the guts to call that cute guy that gave you his number the other night.  

Choose activities that will make your heart race, make you feel alive and truly make you ask yourself “Why did I ever sign up for this?” It is in these moments where you realize you are truly living. Self-motivation is the only way to cross everything off your bucket list. Accomplishing your list will give you a sense of gratitude and self-satisfaction a feeling no one can give, or take away from you.

So, what are you waiting for? Get up and get moving. It is time to make this semester your best yet.
What are some ways you stay motivated? 

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

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Build Your Confidence In Conversation

As a public relations student, throughout classes, student organizations and internships we have all been taught the “secrets” to becoming a successful public relation specialist. Time and time again we have heard that one of the most successful tools we need to optimize is networking. Networking is basically building personalized and beneficial relationships with other professionals.

Obviously, networking is extremely important and seems pretty simple. One of the first steps on the road to success is making a good and memorable first impression and building new relationships. Therefore, having a more outgoing and personable personality can be an asset to an aspiring PR professional. But, even the shyest PR student can learn to be confident in their conversational skills and eventually a confident networker. But first, these students should focus on feeling comfortable meeting and making conversation with new people.

Here are some tips for those quieter PR students:

1. Read
Obviously, as a quieter individual, meeting new people and making small talk can seem awkward. However, if you learn to feel confident in your conversational skills, this task won’t seem as daunting. For example, reading is an enjoyable way to learn more about a variety of different topics. You never know when something you learned while reading could come up and provide you with easy conversation.  Obviously, not everyone likes to read but there are hundreds of ways to expand your general knowledge. For instance, watch the news or play lots of Trivia Crack (which you probably already do).

2.  Be Curious
Sometimes, being shy or introverted makes one feel uncomfortable talking about themselves. However, developing a genuine curiosity about others and learning to ask questions can easily solve this problem. Being interested in others and what they have to say is a great way to deflect the conversation from you and allow others to talk about himself or herself. This also has the added benefit of making someone else feel appreciated!

3. Smile 
Smiling is an excellent way to begin building relationships because it signals you are open to one. By smiling more, you make yourself seem friendly and approachable to others. Also, smiling will allow others to feel more comfortable and relaxed around you, which will create a relaxing atmosphere. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Emily Charles.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

PR Resolutions and How to Keep Them

The dreaded New Year’s Resolution. Each January, we choose a goal to focus on for the next 12 months only to see our efforts fizzle out in weeks. We often focus on resolutions that affect us personally like changing out diet, exercise schedule or saving/spending habits. This year, instead try some simple but beneficial professional resolutions that are easy to keep.

  • Keep up with local and national news. Sitting down with a cup of coffee and skimming The Inquirer may seem like an impossible task, plus we all know PR pros drink their coffee on the go. But it doesn't have to be that way. Download a variation of news outlets’ apps onto your smartphone and check them throughout the day. Changing your apps’ settings will allow you to receive live updates when big stories are posted.  This lets you to stay up to date with local stories, national news and international affairs.
  • Stay in touch with contacts. You've spent the last year networking with PR pros and students alike. Now it’s time to do some work to maintain those relationships. This can be done easier than you think. Send a simple personalized email to the members of your network wishing them all the best this year or even a personalized Tweet just to say hello.  This will not only help foster these relationships but will keep you fresh in their mind if any opportunities may arise in the upcoming year.
  • Write more. We all known writing is a key skill to have in PR and, as the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Joining PRSSA’s newsletter committee offers an opportunity to work on your writing while getting your article published in the newsletter. Another great way to both practice your writing and add to your portfolio is to volunteer to write posts for PRowl's blog. You can also create a blog of your own focusing on personal or professional interests. Check out PRowl Firm Director Amber Burns’ blog or Assistant Firm Director JordanWashington’s for inspiration.

We want to hear from you, what’s your PR New Year’s Resolution? 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Four PRo Tips For Job-Hunting Seniors

The holidays are over, the start of the semester is around the corner and reality is becoming more real. For seniors everywhere, the next few months will be filled with interviewing, resume critiques and (hopefully) receiving the perfect job offer to commemorate four years of hard work.

Entering the "real world" can be a looming thought, and is one that many seniors have tried to put off having to face for many months now. Searching for the perfect job (or any job, for that matter) can be quite the overwhelming task. When you have the same end goal as the rest of your graduating class, it's easy to feel like a small fish in a huge pond.

Despite the pressures and concerns, we should all take comfort in the fact that this happens every semester. Seniors graduate, search for jobs and end up just fine. And you will, too!

Here are four tips to help you kick off your job hunt like a PRo, giving you the chance to start early in the semester.

1. Evaluate Your Network
Who do you know, and how can they help you? Take some time to consider if past mentors, professors, bosses or internship colleagues may be able to help make your search a little less stressful. Send emails or handwritten notes to check and and re-spark conversations (that you've hopefully been keeping up with all along). Really beef up your LinkedIn profile and make those connections more than just meaningless digital data.

2. Visit the University Career Center
This may seem a bit cliche, but considering you've been paying for your education for 4 years now, it's best to use every resource at your disposal. Ask for advice on your resume, cover letter and interviewing techniques. Does your university offer any assistance with connecting you with local alumni who you may want to network with? These are all valuable questions that can lighten the load of your job-searching burden.

3. Compile Your Accomplishments
No, I don't mean write a resume (though you should have one of those, too). I mean physically gather all of your accomplished works in one place, and create a portfolio of sorts. Your resume will outline the work that you've done over the years, but having the physical work in front of you will spark memories about just how good you are at what you do. Go through the materials you've gathered and develop taking points about your strongest work. Then, take those talking points and pieces into interviews for an even stronger self-pitch.

4. Develop a Plan
Right now, anything is possible. Your future career may be right in front of you or a plane ride away. To help narrow down the possibilities, it's easiest to work from a strategic plan (treat your job search like a client). Decide what you'd like to do, and what you wouldn't like to do post-grad. Select companies that you could see yourself working for and set up informational interviews, face-to-face or phone meetings. Create lists of why you'd be an ideal candidate for all of the positions you're interested in. Don't walk into the job search blind --know what's out there and go for it!

Seniors, what methods are you using to make the job search easier? And to those who have already graduated and landed their jobs, what advice do you have for current seniors?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

How To Keep Your Social Media Personal and PRofessional

We’ve all heard the advice “in order to get hired after graduation, do not post anything you would not want your future employer to see.” However, being Public Relations students, we have the opportunity to use social media to our advantage. Social media provides a platform for us to market ourselves, network with others and keep up-to-date on new trends. At the same time, we can still use it to keep in touch with friends and take Buzzfeed quizzes. Here are some tips and tricks for maintaining the balance between personal and professional on social media:

Be aware of what you post and repost. Social media has given us the ability to share our lives with the world, the good and bad. This general rule applies to thinking twice before posting pictures from a party, but also checking out someone’s bio before retweeting them. Also, if you’re having a bad day or have the urge to start an argument with a friend over social media, don’t. Put the phone or laptop down until you’re feeling better. Keep in mind, social media is a reflection of your life aka make your brand one that people will remember.

Interact with your audience. Commenting on others Facebook posts or recommending a blog post via Twitter are great ways to promote your own friends and followers, while building relationships. LinkedIn has also become a new form of promoting your professional self. By searching #PRSSA or “PR student” you can find people with similar interests and make more connections within your own city and around the country. To market yourself personally and professionally, create a bio on Twitter that people can relate to. Whether it’s tagging @PRowlPR if you’re a staff member or mentioning that you play a sport for your school’s team, you are guaranteed more exposure.

 Change your privacy settings (maybe). If you do plan on posting and tweeting things that could be considered inappropriate or controversial, make your security settings private. With that being said, professionals do understand you have a personal life and would probably find you boring if all you posted about was your internship or job. One way to decide whether or not you should post something is to ask yourself, “would I do or say this in real life?” or “would I want my younger sibling to see this?”

How do you balance work and play on social media? Let us know in the comments!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Merideth Ketterer. Follow Merideth on Twitter @M_Ketterer.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

3 of the Best PR Moments of 2014

With 2014 behind us and 2015 officially in gear, it’s important to reflect on some of the most important moments of 2014. Every year, it seems as though there is a new batch of PR crises, scandals and campaigns that through reflection, can teach us as PR professionals for the future. Here is a batch of some of the best PR stories of 2014:

Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took the world by storm this summer. The Internet exploded with videos of people from all around the world dumping buckets of ice on their heads in order to raise awareness for the ALS Association. Each person who participated in the challenge was asked to nominate three people to pass the challenge on to creating a viral phenomenon. Helping to raise millions of dollars for the ALS Association, the Ice Bucket Challenge succeeded in creating a campaign that individuals were excited to participate in.

CVS Caremark

CVS Caremark’s public announcement that it was going to stop selling tobacco products is an example of how brands can use campaigns and communications to build awareness of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts. Not only did this further brand them as a business that has a higher regard for the nation’s health, but it also teaches other organizations and brands that taking a chance and making a bold choice such as this one can really pay off if followed by positive action.


While other leagues such as the NFL seemed to be stuck in a crisis communications loop, the NBA and new commissioner Adam Shiner were able to act effectively on the Donald Sterling racism crisis that happened in the midst of the 2014 playoffs. Now ex Los Angles Clippers owner Sterling was caught making racist remarks during a private phone conversation. Silver took swift action and banned Sterling from the NBA for life, fined him $2.5 million and persuaded the other owners to force him to sell the club, which he ultimately did. By taking hard and fast action, Silver demonstrated how to not let a PR crisis get out of control. 

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