Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How To: Write a Professional Email

Everyone has heard the negative connotations that come with too much of a good thing. Even though we are all so lucky to be able to text, facebook chat, google chat, IM and email our friends almost anytime we want, it can really start to have negative effects on us! When we sit down to write an email to a professor, coworker or potential employer, where do we start? Here are some quick tips on how to write a professional email.
  • Start off with a professional greeting. Things like "Good morning," "Hello" and "Greetings" are all acceptable. One more thing: if you're going to personalize your email, remember to spell the person's name correctly! Even though it sounds silly, a mistake like that could cost you big time.
  • If you're emailing the person for the first time, make sure to introduce yourself. Were you a student in their class, an audience member at presentation they gave, referred by a colleague of theirs? Whatever it is, make sure to tell them!
  • Make sure the body of your email is clear and concise. In PRSSA today, Sarah Hines from PCVB gave us some great tips about PR. One of the things she said was to always keep emails short and to the point. It's okay to be friendly, but try not to go on and on.
  • Let them know how to contact you. Yes they already have your email, but what about your cell number? If you're sending in a resume for an interview, they may want to call you to set one up. Make sure to give them your information.
  • Just like you need a professional greeting, you need a professional signature. Signatures like "Thank You," and "Sincerely" are classic examples and are always professional.
  • Last but certainly not least, PROOFREAD! And when you're done, do it again. Make sure your email has no mistakes before you send it, because once you press the button there's no getting it back!

Does anyone have additional tips? Let us know!

Monday, September 29, 2008


It may seem kind of redundant to write about blogging in a blog, but we feel that it's an important topic to address for all PR students, and students in general.

What is a blog exactly? A blog can be defined as many things. It can be a personal journal, or an online space that focuses on a specific topic.

Why create a blog? Creating a blog is extremely important in today's fast-paced world. Maintaining a blog lets employers know that you are web-savvy, and that is a quality that many employers are looking for. Also, creating a blog can be fun!

You can create a blog on blogger.com (like this one) or wordpress.com. Both sites are highly recommended and fairly easy to use and navigate.

Next, you must pick a focus for your blog. This blog obviously focused on PR and current events. It's best to stick to the topic that you choose, because that way you can create a niche of readers.

Then, you must begin to write posts for your blog. It's best to update daily, if not more than once in a day. Readers will not want to read a blog that is updated once a week. New content is great, and will keep readers coming back for more.

After you have written strong posts, you need to build a readership. The way to do this is to become an active reader and participant of other blogs with similar topics. For example, the members of PRowl Public Relations read other PR blogs, and interact through comments with the people who update those blogs. Creating relationships is key in blogging.

Another reason to begin blogging is for personal enjoyment. It's fun! Blogs are an entire world on the internet in which you can create relationships and connections, learn more, and keep current in your industry.

And we all know that in the world of PR, it's very important to keep current....so, what are you waiting for? Create your own blog!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Networking 101

Some people are comfortable in a room of strangers and thrive on meeting new people. For most people, this is not the case. The idea of "networking" may scare the you-know-what out of you. Here are a few helpful tips to make the process a little more comfortable for you. Out of all of them the most important is to ALWAYS be confident!

1) Go to the networking event current on news and industry trends.

  • Not only will this make you sound intelligent, it will also be something to talk about and position you as a good resource in the other person's mind.

2) If you're really nervous about be able to make a connection with strangers, do a little practice before the big day.

  • Go to a casual location with friends and make it a point to work the location and meet new people. There is nothing to lose in the situation, so it is a good way to get your confidence up, and maybe make some new friends!

3) Know what you do and what you're interested in.

  • You won't get the formal question "Tell me about yourself" at the event most likely, but you should know the answer. Knowing who you are and what you want will help guide the conversation. It will also help with your introduction. If it helps, have a list of people you have a goal of talking to and practice some introductions for them. You don't want to just introduce yourself by your name and title, but also try and bring up a common interest.

4) When you get to the event, be confident!

  • Introduce yourself with a strong handshake and maintain eye contact. Also, don't be afraid to go up to people you don't know, introduce yourself and start a conversation. They will be impressed with your confidence and initiative. Make sure when you are engaged in the conversation your speech is also confident. Try not to sound nervous and talk fast. Remain calm, and don't forget - you have something to offer them as well!

5) Don't be afraid of rejection!

  • The worst thing that can happen is the conversation is a little awkward and you move on to the next person.

6) It's important to be able to talk to a person, but it is also just as important to listen.

  • If you are not listening to what the other person has to say, you will not be able to have an interactive conversation and connect with one another.

7) Not only do you have to listen, but it is also important to give as much as you get.

  • Instead of only wanting something for yourself, make sure you also are open to doing the other person a favor. If you do something for them they will likely return the favor. As the saying goes: "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

8) Ask open-ended questions.

  • Open-ended questions elicit responses with detail and not just "yes" or "no" answers. Some ways to do this are by asking the who, what, where, why and how questions.

9) Collect business cards.

  • Make sure to give and get as many business cards as possible! Maybe even set a goal for yourself before the event so you are motivated.

10) After the event, make sure to follow-up.

  • If you met someone that you feel could benefit your career or your organization, make sure to follow-up with a phone call or an e-mail to tell them how much you enjoyed meeting them. Maybe set a lunch date to talk more.

As I'm sure you've heard many times before: Network, network, network! Knowing people and making connections is the basis of our public relations profession!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Text message this...

The first time I saw these advertisements in the subway cars, was on my commute to Temple’s main campus. I initially thought they were funny, entertaining my thoughts on the ridiculous combination of gum, internet clichés, and young people just having fun. It was a nice chuckle to my morning.

But that was then…

So when I saw this article in the New York Times today, my consequent thought (in the voice of my advertising professor Dr. James Marra) was… “Advertising goes where the people go.”

Inevitably advertisers have taken a step forward, following the technology surge of electronic communication and the youth of today’s obsession with it.

This Dentyne chewing gum campaign, called “Make face time,” features taglines associated with cell phones, the Internet, messaging and popular social media jargon. The lingo for those readers who might not know are relative to text messaging, online chatting and the ever popular Facebook. But then again, I’m not sure how you couldn’t recognize the connection between the two. Especially, considering today’s society and the fascination with the conveniences of technology.

As the article states, “People under 20 are the most avid gum chewers,” so it seems more than appropriate for advertisers to target this specific audience. High school and college students are presently the primary electronic communicators, as well as internet addicts.

The campaign was created by the adverting company McCann Erickson, which is part of the McCann Worldgroup unit of the Interpublic Group of Companies. In addition to creating the print ads, they also established a creative online presence. Visit Dentyne’s website at www.makefacetime.com which, consequently warns visitors the page will shut down after three minutes! The page urges visitors to do just as the Times’ article is titled, “Get off the Internet and Chew Some Gum!”

And so, it also seems the company has been receiving a great deal of positive responses from the public. One consumer reacted, “…Dentyne, you may be at the forefront of an emerging social phenomenon!” Honestly, I couldn’t agree more. The new ads definitely break from the traditional gum angles, but I’d say it might change more than just the gum industry’s way of considering advertising avenues.

*Picture from NewYorkTimes.com

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Organization and Time Management

Now that we are about a month into the semester, it's that time where assignments and tests are coming full force. Organization and time management are very important all of the time, but they are especially important when you have a lot of things on your plate. Here are some tips to make sure you get everything done on time:
  • Get a planner, or some kind of calendar system. I personally use a weekly planner that I carry with me at all times, and a desk calendar for my room. When you get an assignment or you have a date that things are due, write it down! If physical calendars don't work well for you, use an electronic calendar. Pretty much any e-mail provider also has a calendar function, and some even send you e-mails in advance of when something is due! Also be sure to write fun things down too, so it doesn't seem so overwhelming.
  • Make lists. You can make daily lists, weekly lists or even random lists of everything that you need to do. When you finish each task, cross it off. As you keep crossing things off the list, your stress level starts to go down too.
  • Take a deep breath. Things can definitely be overwhelming. Instead of panicking, use some kind of relaxation method: take a deep breath, close your eyes and count to ten, etc.
  • Get a jump start on things. If it's possible, start things well ahead of the time they are due. It is especially a good idea of you have a handful of things due right around the same time. This way you're not staying up all week trying to get papers done and studying for tests.

Just remember to calm yourself down and plan everything out, and hopefully you won't be panicking too much!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Don't Forget ...

PRSSA is hosting a guest bartending event this Thursday at Mad River Bar and Grill and we want you to be there! There will be food and drink specials available and 100% if the tips will go toward funding PRSSA this upcoming school year. It's an all ages event, so come out and have a great time with your fellow PRSSA members!
Not only is this a great time to hang out with some really fun people, it's the perfect chance for all of the members to get to know each other a little better. This year, we've already been stressing the importance of networking with everyone, including your peers. Take the opportunity on Thursday night to try it out.

I know I'm planning on going, and I hope to see everyone there as well!

Event details:
Where? Mad River Bar and Grill, 126 Chestnut St., Philadelphia
When? Thursday, September 25 from 7-10 p.m.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tweet Tweet Tweet

Twitter is a fairly new phenomenon that is taking over the Internet.

So, what exactly is Twitter?

Twitter is a free, social networking and micro-blogging service that allows members to answer the question, "What are you doing?" in 140 characters or less.

When you enter a response, that response is called a 'tweet.'

Once you join, you can search for other people by subject. For instance, when I joined Twitter, I entered the word 'public relations' into the search engine and received hundreds of results of other people who entered the words 'public relations' into their profile. When you choose to read someone's entries, you are 'following them.'

I choose to follow other PR practitioners to stay current on what is happening in the PR world.

I can reply to someone else's tweet, and begin a conversation, or I can direct message (DM) someone, and begin a private conversation, all under 140 characters!

Many companies are also using Twitter to keep consumers updated on their newest products.

PRowl Public Relations uses Twitter to keep our followers current on announcements about the firm and blog posts. You can follow us by searching for PRowlPR.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Zach Hill, Director of Communications for the Philadelphia Flyers

Last Wednesday, my Intro to PR class was honored to have Zach Hill, Director of Communications for the Philadelphia Flyers speak to us.

Hill, an elementary education graduate decided to go to grad school to get his Master's and took a class in sports administration. In this class, he was required to get an internship, and he eventually got an internship working for the Philadelphia Sixers.

After interning there, he was offered a job with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Here are some tips he offered to us:

-In order to be a success, you need to be consistent in your behavior. KEEP YOUR COOL at all times. People will remember the times that you yelled and screamed, and will not have a good impression of you, so it's important to keep an even temper.

-Stay upbeat! Life is not that bad!

-Always keep a camera and tape recorder with you. Hill mentioned that he has conducted many impromptu interviews that he has sent to journalists and gotten coverage.

-In sports PR, you must create news, especially in the off-season. You must create reasons that people will want to write about you. For example, community outreach events. Hill told a story of how two Flyer's players knocked on the doors of selected season-ticket holders to present them with their tickets. This story made the evening news.

-If you're new to a company, people are going to test you.

-There isn't anything too stupid to try!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

BlackBerrys - Love It or Lose It?

"Study Finds That 35 Percent Of BlackBerry And PDA Users Would Choose Their Device Over Their Spouse"

A study done by Sheraton hotels found this shocking percentage when polling 6,500 traveling executives.

The BlackBerry, also known as the “CrackBerry” to some, has been wedging its way into many lives, young and old. Not only do executives use this personal digital assistant, but so do many students. At 20 years old, I have only had my BlackBerry for 3 months, but I already could not imagine my life without it. Many staff members of PRowl Public Relations are constantly toting their BlackBerrys with them, checking e-mails, looking at documents, catching up on the news.

Although this study shows that the BlackBerrys are taking the place of many’s loved ones, the BlackBerry is also a great tool for a public relations practitioner. One of the most important parts of being in this field is keeping current on everything and anything. Not only do you need to know the news, both local and national, you also need to be reachable by your client at all times. Public relations is truly an all-day job, and your BlackBerry can be an essential tool.

What do you think? Is the BlackBerry’s addictive features worth its benefits or should we get rid of our digital assistants for the sake of our person lives? You decide.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Know the News!

Almost every professional will agree being up to date on current events is critical. Within the field of public relations especially, familiarity with the latest headlines is vital. As public relation practitioners it is important because it affects how to go about certain things. If a particular breaking news story affects your client, then you need to be ready with a response or know how to respond under the circumstances. Being well informed about the news and happenings in specific industries is also beneficial when trying to create a pitch or newsworthy angle.

Also, being aware of what is going on makes for great conversation starters. Professors, colleagues, your boss and even your potential job interviewer will appreciate your interest and knowledge with the latest current events. Keeping up with the news is a healthy habit to get in to and it will only be beneficial to you!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Spelling and Grammar

There are few things worse than sending out a press release with spelling and grammatical errors. It is very unprofessional and if a potential employer sees anything, even your resume, with these errors, they're bound to turn you down for the job. Here are a few tips for keeping your documents error-free.

-Use spell check. Word processing programs have this amazing button that actually goes through your document and checks for spelling errors! USE IT!

-Sometimes spell check misses things, but that is because the word is spelled correctly. However, it's not the word you want to use. Read over your document a few times to check for words that are spelled right, but are the wrong words to use.

-Make sure you use commas and apostrophes in the correct place. Use the AP Stylebook for these guidelines.

-Use the correct form of a word: they're / their / there, to / too / two, then / than, your / you're, etc.

They're going to the beach. This is their house. There is a cat.

I'm going to the movies. We are coming with you, too. I have two umbrellas.

They went to the movies, then they went out for ice cream. My dog is better than your dog.

Is this your car? You're going to love this restaurant!

-Keep reading over the document. Have someone else look over it for some fresh eyes too!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Brainstorming Essentials

Brainstorming is absolutely essential in many areas of life, and a tool that we use in PR quite often. Brainstorming occurs before a group of people start work on a project. It's a way for the group/team to collect different ideas to see what would work best for their project. Here are some tips to conducting a successful brainstorming session:
  • Make sure to vocalize your ideas - Many times we don't say what we think because we're afraid that it's not good enough or no one will like it. Brainstorming sessions are a time to put every idea on the table, and then sift through what works and what doesn't. It's important for all of the members to participate by throwing all of their thoughts out there!

  • Be willing to work through ideas - A lot of times in a brainstorming session, and idea is stretched and modified to fit the project. Going into a session with an open mind and a willingness to problem solve is a must. Be ready to put your thinking cap on!

  • Plan to spend a good deal of time in the session - Sometimes it's hard to get going in a brainstorming session, but once ideas start flowing it's hard to stop. Keep in mind that sessions may take quite a bit of time (from getting ideas out, to refining and modifying them, etc.) and it's important for all group members to be there. If you know that you have a brainstorming session coming up, try to clear your schedule for that time period so you can be devoted to the session. Good things take time!

Brainstorming sessions are a great tool to use in the PR world. In my time at PRowl I have attended many brainstorming sessions. I have found that they produce great results, and give everyone a chance to get to know each other.

Does anyone have any additional tips/experiences? We'd love to hear about them!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Get Involved in College

It's so important to be involved in different activities during college, not only for your resume, but also to become a more well-rounded person.

Potential employers want to see variety on a resume. They want to see professional organizations, but they also want to see your interests.

Joining a professional organization like PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) is a great tool to help you network and find internships.

Also, even if you are a PR major, it's a good idea to get involved in other kinds of communication organizations like your school's newspaper, or television station. This is an example of becoming a well-rounded person. Potential employers will see that you are skilled in all areas of communication, and not strictly PR.

Don't forget to join clubs and organizations that have absolutely nothing to do with your major! Play a club sport, join a fraternity or sorority, join anything that you have some interest in. College is the time to dabble in a bit of everything.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What do you like about PR?

This is a question that PRowl Public Relations's Board of Directors has been trying to answer this weekend. Below are our responses. What do you think? Let us know by commenting...we want to hear what other PR students and professionals like about public relations.

Jaime Scofield, Firm Director says, "Definitions of “public relations” vary. One such definition is “the actions of an organization in promoting goodwill between itself and the public.” Although promoting goodwill between your client and their publics is always a goal to achieve, the part of public relations that thrills me the most is the problem-solving that takes place when creating your campaign. There are many situations in which an organization will need the assistance of a public relations expert (a negative situation, an event, maintain goodwill, etc) and each will require a different outlook. And don’t forget, a problem is not always negative. A problem to be solved could be “what is the most creative way that we can reach out to our target audience that will influence them to purchase a ticket to this performance?” All problems need a solution, and thinking critically and creatively about this is my favorite part of public relations."

Melissa Marsili, Assistant Firm Director says, "I like the teamwork aspect, and working with other people who want to do great work. I love the diversity of PR. I like dealing with different types of clients, that way I don't get bored! I also really like that you can work in several sectors of the career world with a PR degree."

Crystal Wang, Assistant Firm Director says, "I enjoy public relations for so many reasons, but mostly because the options and opportunities are endless! Whatever you are interested in you can intertwine with PR. Whether it is sports, charity work, entertainment, corporate or anything in between, they all rely on public relations in one way or another."

Jessica Lawlor, Director of Public Relations says, "My favorite thing about public relations is becoming an "expert" on many different topics. When working with a client, you must become an expert on their organization and the topics and news that surrond their business's industry. You are forced to learn about things that you would have never otherwise looked into. For example, at my internship last week, I did extensive research on vision and different eyeglasses companies. It wasn't something that I would have ever chosen to learn about on my own, but I definitely learned some interesting facts."

Reilly Fies, Director of Finance says, "My favorite part about PR is getting to help businesses and organizations succeed. I like being able to plan special events and getting to carry them out. Planning events is fun because you get to be really creative and you can see the success that they have. I like thinking of neat, different ideas that help draw a crowd."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Writing an Evaluation

You are to the end of your contracted period with your client. First thing you need to do: rewind a few months to the beginning of the campaign. This is when the evaluation starts. As you progress through your public relations campaign you need to document every little thing that you do - all of the outputs and outcomes you receive, press clippings, etc. Not only will this make your life easier come the end of the contract, but it ensures that all information is accurate and as detailed as possible.

Before you begin writing the contract you should get together with your account and brainstorm just as you did in the beginning. One of the most important parts of the evaluation, especially if you are looking to renew, is the “improvements for future work” section. This should not just be corrections of possible mistakes that may have happened, but fresh ideas that will lure the client in. Although this is one of the most important parts, there are several others. Below are different sections that are important to include in the evaluation.

1. An introduction summarizing what your goals were for your campaign
a. This is a good way to start your evaluation so the goals you had originally presented to the client are fresh in their mind when you are presenting.

2. Tactics
a. The next thing you want to do is break up all of your tactics into main sections, such as “public outreach, media relations and promotional activities.” Under each section you will write the exact tactics that were carried out and the outcomes of those specific tactics.
b. It is incredibly important to QUANTIFY EVERYTHING. If you are saying that you placed an article in The Temple Times, the next thing you should say is what their circulation is. The client will be happy you got them coverage, but what they will really want to know is- who did I reach, how many people did I reach, etc.
c. You also want to be explicit and say exactly how that tactic and outcome benefitted the client.

3. Your tactics section should be followed-up with a short paragraph summarizing the outcomes and benefits of your campaign.

4. Problems that occurred
a. It is important that you are honest during this section, while maintaining professionalism. If there was a big problem that impeded your ability to your best work, you need to address the issue. If there was an internal problem within your firm, this should remain private unless having a significant impact on the campaign.

5. Improvements for future work
a. As I said earlier, this is your part to end the evaluation with a bang and leave the client wanting more. Come up with fresh ideas, and use what you have learned over the course of the campaign to determine what could work better next time.

So there you have it, a mini framework of a public relations evaluation. Although your formatting could change, the topics outlined are the essentials. Always remember – start the evaluation from day one and quantify, quantify, quantify!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tips for Interns!

Be Responsible: This means quite a few things, such as making sure you get to work on-time (which means arriving early, not right on the dot) and meeting deadlines. Also, with responsibility comes expectations; it is important to position yourself in the office as reliable and accountable.

Be Focused: Take your internship seriously because it could lead to other opportunities. Listen carefully to directions and what other people are saying. Don’t be afraid to take notes and write things down so you can remember them later. Also, there is nothing wrong with asking questions if you are unsure of something.

Be Proactive: Your boss might ask you to do something and accomplishing the task is one thing, but doing something more to show your creative side or that you really care is important. You don’t necessarily have to go “above and beyond” for every task your assigned, but putting forth extra effort, while showing enthusiasm really says something about you.

Be Attentive: Avoid distractions and pay attention! Keep your cell phone off your desk; texting and personal phone calls are not appropriate in the office unless there is an emergency. If you can’t bear to turn off your cell phones, you must put your phone on silent or vibrate. Limit socializing with co-workers unless on your lunch break and try not to gossip or contribute to the office rumor-mill.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Interview Tips

Internships are very important for students to have, especially in the PR world. They build your resume and give you a chance to practice what you have been learning in your classes. Here are some tips for when you go into your interview:

  • Dress professionally. A simple suit would be best, especially if you're interviewing in a corporate office. Those who are interviewing you may also let you know ahead of time what to expect and how to dress.
  • Bring your portfolio. Nothing is worse than being ill-prepared. Bring a few copies of your resume and any writing samples you have done. The last interview I went to, the man interviewing me told me that one person he interviewed forgot everything, and then asked to go home to get it! DO NOT DO THIS!
  • Practice before. Think of some typical interview questions (best and worst traits, how do you describe yourself, etc.) and run through how you're going to answer them.
  • Relax. Don't be stiff. Take a deep breath and smile!
  • Have a firm handshake and be confident.
  • After the interview, thank everybody. Send a thank you note either through the mail or the Internet, depending on how the atmosphere is in that office.

Good luck!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why Join PRSSA?

As you all know, today we had our first PRSSA meeting of the semester. There were lots of PRSSA veterans there, as well as some new faces. Even though we went over some of the great benefits of becoming a member of PRSSA, here are some of the highlights:
  • Putting a professional organization on your resume can do wonders for you at an interview. Even though your GPA is important, employers are looking for people with experience, and PRSSA is a great place to get some!
  • Seeing the guest lecturers is fantastic. As Professor Feistman said, many times guest lecturers come with business cards AND internship opportunities. Even if they aren't looking for interns, it's a good opportunity to ask tons of questions and get your name out there.
  • There are many opportunities for you to take advantage of, right within the organization. From writing for the newsletter to being on the fundraising committee, there is always something exciting to do that will get you involved!
  • Network, network, network! PRSSA is a great place to network with PRSA members, faculty, people that work in the public relations field, and each other! Remember that the people you're attending meetings with may be your coworkers in the future. As much as the professionals can be a useful resource, so can your fellow students.
  • Last, but not least, it's FUN! I think that this year PRSSA will be especially exciting. I know that E-Board has tons of fun activities planned, and I hope to see everyone come out for a good time!

So here's the deal, join PRSSA, get experience and have a great time. Don't forget to come back next week - Room 217D in the SAC. See you then!

Podcamp Philly

This weekend, I had the privilege of attending Podcamp Philly, which can be described as,

"a BarCamp-style UnConference dedicated to podcasting, blogging, video bloging and all things New Media."

I arrived at the Tuttleman Learning Center, on our very own campus of Temple University, and was amazed at the number of people who had traveled from Washington D.C. and New York City to attend this "unconference."

I was immediately handed a gift bag (with a headset with a microphone for the computer, and 30 free Skype minutes) and a schedule of the weekend's events.

I sat down and tried to decide which sessions I would attend, and found that there were many in the same time slot that I was interested in!

The best thing about this conference was that once in a session, you did not need to feel obligated to stay. We were promptly told that we could feel free to wander from room to room, to make the most out of our time there.

My favorite session by far had to be the intense one-hour discussion of Twitter. I have a personal Twitter, and PRowl Public Relations has a Twitter, so I was very interested to hear what other people had to say about this social tool.

Turns out that many other people use it WAY more than I do (and I thought I was addicted). One couple in the room even admitted become engaged through the site.

Well, its not my idea of romantic, but whatever floats your boat!

The weekend was a success and I definitely left Podcamp Philly with a lot more knowledge of social media tools than I did when I first arrived.

Friday, September 5, 2008

College Campus or Shopping Mall?

Imagine walking down your campus’ busy walkway, such as “Liacouras Walk” at Temple University. You see “pop-up” stands bearing the names “PINK,” “Kiehl’s,” or flip-flop maker “Havaianas,” among others.

At universities such as Penn State University or the University of Alabama, this is a reality for college students. According to the latest College Explorer study by Harris Interactive for Alloy Media and Marketing, the discretionary spending of 18- to 30-year-old students is estimated to reach $53 billion this year, 10% more than last year and 29% more than in 2005. In other words, the college-age audience is a dream for many marketers looking to build brand loyalty among younger consumers.

So as you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking that this is great and now you don’t have to travel to your favorite retailer- they’re right at your campus door. Well, if they’re not already there, there is probably a reason. Universities across the country have given a big “no” to college-hungry marketers for a few reasons. Among the reasons, they are not looking for competition in their own school stores, and at University of Florida they “don't want our faculty and students overrun with commercialization."

What do you think? Would you love to have your favorite brands on-campus, or do you think this may quickly turn your educational facilities into a shopping mall full of monetary distractions?

Check out more information in the article “Retailers Give It the Old College Try” from the Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

TV today...

Turn on the television during primetime nowadays and it just isn’t what it used to be. You won’t find the wholesome “7th Heaven,” or “Gilmore Girls,” and there sure isn’t anything similar to “Clarissa Explains it All.” Instead, shows like “Gossip Girl,” “The Hills,” and the newest addition of the return to tv “90210” dominate the ratings. It all seemed to start with the hit show “The OC,” where the wealthy sun-kissed Cali kids shopped till’ they dropped, wore head to toe designer clothing and went to school just like they were attending another lavish social event.

I found this article in the New York Times today, titled “Fancy-Schmancy Kids, Now Much Schmancier." How incredibly true…

I wonder if anyone else thinks about this infatuation of the lives of the super wealthy, particularly, the dramatic lives of teenagers and their families. But it isn’t just the middle and high schoolers tuning in. I for one know college students, young adults and even the occasional addicted mothers tuning in to watch. Of course, the dramatic plot lines are hard to turn away from, but why are we so drawn to these shows? And why aren’t there new series with more innocent, wholesome plots and better family values? How come we only want the racy and provocative stories? Are we that bored, that we need over-the-top excitement? Or maybe it’s just a portrait of reality. With a society obsessed with celebrities and the rich and famous… Maybe we just watch because for that hour, we get to live those lives we follow on the Internet, in the magazines and in the movies.

I for one, am not sure. But I will admit to watching these shows and if anyone else has any other opinions. Feel free to let me know…

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Classes and your Options

As a junior in college, I was planning to pursue a general business minor, in which I would be taking four mandatory classes, then I would choose four other business classes from a long list. I realized at the beginning of the semester that a business minor might not be right for me. I declared it pretty late in my college career, and I don't see myself working in corporate PR.

After having a discussion with my parents and some fellow classmates, I came to the conclusion that I will not work towards a business minor anymore. One of my classmates was advised by a professor that, as a PR major, instead of looking towards a minor, take courses from the other majors in the School of Communications and Theater. That's my plan now, and I'm a lot happier with that decision. I want to learn more about the other fields of communication and how they all work with and against each other.

As a student trying to figure out what to do with elective credits, try to picture yourself in the future. If you know you want to work in Corporate America, then a business minor would most likely benefit you, or maybe even pursuing a double major. However, if you know that Corporate America isn't the right fit for you, then look in another direction. Get opinions from your peers, professors, older classmates, family members, etc. You'll get a lot of different input and you have a better look into all of your options.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

PodCamp Philly!

As Temple students, we are well aware of the benefits of the TECH Center. The TECH Center has great things like free printing, 24/7 computer labs and Starbucks. In addition to all of that, you can attend an UnConference called PodCamp Philly at the TECH Center this upcoming weekend (September 6&7.)Podcamps are UnConferences that deal with all different kinds of new media, like blogging, podcasting and videocasting.

PodCamp originated in Boston in 2006, and is now held in 35 cities all around the world! Cities include Toronto, New York, Berlin and Stockholm. 2007 was the first year that PodCamp Philly was held, and we're very excited that Temple Universality was chosen for the 2008 location!

For more information, or to register for PodCamp Philly, go to this link.

Monday, September 1, 2008

McCain and Palin

Time Magazine asks the question Bold or Disastrous? in regard to John McCain choosing Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate.

Well, as much as I'd like to say it was a bold move (because it was)..it was just disastrous.

I really don't think choosing a woman to try to appeal to the many Hillary Clinton supporters will work in his favor.

Also, this woman has only been in office since 06...is she ready to lead, should something happen to McCain?

What do you think?