Saturday, February 28, 2009

Into The Wardrobe

There's something about little kids walking into a closet and entering a magical world called Narnia ruled by a huge lion named Aslan that is just so incredibly intriguing and entertaining. Whether you've read the books, seen the movies at least a few times each (like me) or haven't a clue as to who this Aslan character is, the Chronicles of Narnia exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia is sure to be enjoyable.

The premise behind the C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia is simple—four siblings enter a mysterious wardrobe leading them to a magical world filled with shimmering snow, an evil witch, and talking beavers. After several intense mythical battles, the siblings become kings and queens of this world and reign in Narnia for years. The exhibit at the Franklin Institute allows visitors to experience a real-life version of Narnia complete with movie sets, original props, and activities to partake in.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the exhibit is the scenery. Visitors take the position of the four siblings as they enter through the wardrobe into Narnia (complete with falling snow and an icy wind) and even sit on the evil White Witch's icy throne.

I've never gone to the Franklin Institute and not learned something useful, and this exhibition only reiterates that fact. With all the talk of global warming and the harm done to our environment, the Chronicles of Narnia exhibit features a display describing the impact of climate change on our planet. Visitors can build an archway inside of a castle, even with no architectural skills at all! There's also a medieval catapulting weapon, chain-mail armor, and battle reenactments.

The exhibit runs everyday until April 19. Really, what is more exciting than being able to say, "Yep, I sat on the White Witch's throne. Oh and yes, I did construct a mythical archway with my bare hands."

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Marissa Sudol. Follow her on Twitter: @marissasudol

Friday, February 27, 2009

Media Lists

We are very excited to have signed both of our clients this semester, The Rebecca Davis Dance Company and Ursula's about PHace. As we gear up to start our campaign, one thing that we need to do is compile our media lists. Yesterday, PRowl Public Relations discussed some helpful tips about building a media list.

Here are a few things we came up with:
  • First decide what kind of publication you're targeting. Is it a city paper or a suburban paper? Local or national? Free or paid-for?
  • Create a list of publications you'd like to target and decide which section best suits what you're pitching.
  • If you don't have a media database such as Media Map, try and keep track of the journalists for the publications you're pitching, and the stories they have written. This will help when pitching so you can cite past articles.
  • If you do not have a specific journalist in mind, find the contact information for the editor of the section you are targeting.
  • While some contact information is listed online, it often can be hard to find. If you have exhausted all resources to find the contact information, call the publication. Be prepared to introduce yourself and discuss what you're pitching in case they transfer you to the journalist or editor you're looking for.
  • Make sure you keep track of all this information in an organized media list (an excel sheet is helpful). It is also good to keep track of the dates you pitch, when you follow-up, if you left a voicemail, etc.
  • As publications consolidate during this tough economic time, it becomes even more important to try and stay current on changing media positions. While this is very hard for students, one thing you can do is follow @themediaisdying on Twitter. This Twitter account sends updates to those who follow it on changing positions, who gets fired, hired, etc.

Does anyone have any more tips? We'd love to hear them!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rihanna + Chris Brown = PR Problems

The Rihanna and Chris Brown incident have garnered a great deal of press recently for many reasons. The young celebrities are dominating forces in the entertainment industry and with serious cause for concern on both ends, public relations professionals are being called in.

The rapper, singer, entertainer and more recently, actor, Chris Brown, (only 19-years-old) hired a crisis public relations agency to assist in his rather large predicament. With so much at stake, the future of his career and his credibility are at risk, if not already massively hurt. The Los Angeles based PR firm, Sitrick And Company are well known for aiding celebrities caught between negative publicity. The company can more recently be related to Mel Gibson and the public’s negative reaction to his situation. Along with the help of Sitrick, other media professional as well as lawyers, the magnitude of Chris Brown’s situation does seem to require tremendous expertise from various outlets.

Though, after visiting the website of the “Strategic Communications Firm,” as they tag themselves, the About Us section goes on to say, “Sitrick And Company is one of the nation's leading public relations firms. While best known for its communications work in sensitive situations…” So, perhaps Michael Sitrick, himself, along with his staff really does have a handle on controlling negative press and directing the media. But, after taking a look at the very very very extensive and diverse client list the firm has acquired over the past twenty years, I would be lying if I wasn’t curious about how this firm actually operates.

Is anyone familiar with the firm, Sitrick And Company? What have you heard?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Newspapers are in Trouble!

As PR practitioners, we rely on newspapers to get our stories out and in the public. But what happens when the company that produces some pretty big newspapers files for bankruptcy? Well, this is exactly what's happening here in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Media Holdings, LLC owns the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, two of the largest newspapers in the city, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In a modern world with dwindling resources, we have to come up with other ways to get our news out. The Inquirer and Daily News aren't stopping production any time in the near future, but could this be the first step in technology taking over everything in our world?

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Client Update: The Rebecca Davis Dance Company

Here we are, heading into our third semester (not including Summer 2008) with The Rebecca Davis Dance Company, and we couldn't be more excited! This semester, our account team looks like this:

Me: Assistant Firm Director
Samantha Sultzer: Senior Account Manager (PRowl's newest position, added this semester)
Jade Barnes: Account Executive
Reilly Fies: Staff Member, Secretary, Director of Finance (This girl does it all!)
Emily Woodward: Staff Member, New member this semester
Evan Nicholson: Staff Member, New member this semester

We've got a good mix of new members and veterans of PRowl Public Relations. Here's a sneak peak of what we have going on this semester:
  • We're working to promote RDDC's upcoming performance called Van Gogh. It's the story of Vincent Van Gogh's life, told through eight important people in his life. The eight people are represented by eight of Van Gogh's paintings. RDDC is always coming up with new and exciting ways to bring history and social issues to life!
  • The performance is April 15 and 16, 2009 at The Prince Music Theater in Center City, Philadelphia. Both performances are at 8 p.m.
  • We already have some of our tactics planned out. We're doing some new things, as well as bringing back some tried and true favorites. Hint: Look for PRowl members out and about at First Friday in April ..
  • We'll be doing some social media work, and well as more traditional media relations. Being in college gives us a chance to really dive into social media. It's something that many of our clients look to us for help with.

I'll make sure to post more details about our campaign and the performance as the semester rolls on. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 23, 2009

PRSSA Update

Since PRSSA is PRowl Public Relations' sister organization, I thought our readers would like to know what Temple University's PRSSA chapter is up to this semester.

This semester, we will have two great guest speakers. This coming Tuesday, Aimee Cirucci will be speaking to the chapter about negotiating pay for your first entry-level job. In April, Gary Frisch will be speaking to the chapter about how he started his own PR firm, and how we can too.

Instead of having general meetings each week, every other week we hold committee meetings. The four committees are:

1. Fundraising- Plans and executes fun events to raise money for the chapter.
2. Newsletter- Brainstorms, writes, and edits articles for our chapter's newsletter.
3. Public Relations- Allows students to put what they learn in class to good use doing PR for other student organizations.
4. Community Service- Plans community service events for the chapter to participate in.

In order to get members even more involved, we've put a point system into place that allows members to accumulate points for coming to meetings and events, wearing our PRSSA t-shirt, writing articles for the newsletter and much more. The member with the most amount of points at the end of the semester will win a prize.

Tomorrow we will be holding a cupcake sale in the Student Activities Center from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

We are also planning a networking event for the spring, so stay tuned for more details!

What is your PRSSA chapter doing this semester?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mountain Dew Mouth

Last week I read an article about a dentist donating his time and money to help those with no dental insurance in the Appalachia region. Central Appalachia is number one in America in toothlessness, and Dr. Edwin Smith saw the severity of the situation, mainly affecting children. Using his own resources, Smith created a mobile dental clinic that he travels with a few times a week to help those in need of tooth repair.

The article named the tooth decay problem “Mountain Dew mouth.” While the problem is not specifically caused by Mountain Dew, a product of PepsiCo, the amount of sugar in the drink compared to other soft beverages is significantly higher, thus the name “Mountain Dew mouth.” PepsiCo originally issued a statement saying that soft drinks cannot be blamed for tooth decay. The company said if individuals maintain a balanced diet and brush properly the problem can be avoided.

Two days later when a report of this issue aired on “Good Morning America,” PepsiCo decided to reach out to the dentist and offer support in his efforts to help those in need. A main concern will be to educate the people of the region on proper dental care and following a balanced diet.

I was happy to hear of the action PepsiCo decided to take. Mountain Dew does not solely cause tooth decay and has gotten a bad reputation since “Mountain Dew mouth” has become a common name, but by helping those affected by the problem, PepsiCo is restoring the image of the company and its beverages.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Laura Macenka. Follow her on Twitter: @lauramacenka

Saturday, February 21, 2009

When Does It All Become Too Much?

Ask a college student, “So what’s on your schedule for today?” and their answer willl most likely be, “Well I have class, then my internship, and I probably will be at work until 10 tonight.”

Do you think I’m kidding? I’m not. This is true, and as a busy college student myself, it’s hard to believe.

With the downfall of our economy and the competition to find work, the expectations of college students are extremely high. Parents just simply cannot afford to pay for tuition, let alone give their children some spending money. This is when the great need to find a job comes into play. Students need money for groceries, rent, and their simple wants and needs.

Now on top of schoolwork, you have work. Work will take up a sufficient amount of time, but it gives you the money that you need! For the moment what seems more important? Studying for a prolonged reward, or working just a couple of hours, to put cash in your hands?

Not only is it cash that you need, but it is the “real life experience,” professors would say, that internships provide. When my sister was in college just a few years ago, one internship would do the job. Now, professors recommend at least three before you graduate! Most internships do not pay, and take up more time than work and classes.

So now you have schoolwork, work, and an internship. There is not much time for anything else!

I believe it is important to earn money and get the experience you need, but college students need to take a step back. This is the time to find yourself, explore, and have at least a little fun. So if you are having trouble balancing it all, think about eliminating one of your obligations. Just don’t drop out!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Samantha Sultzer. Follow her on Twitter: @samanthasultzer

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Quick Fix

The New York Times published an article this week, Low-Tech Fixes for High-Tech Problems, discussing quick and cheap tricks to fix "misbehaving gadgets."

Although these tricks may not have anything to do with public relations, I thought they could be helpful for all the readers!
  • Cellphone almost out of charge?

Cellphones lose their charge faster when exposed to warm temperatures (like your pocket!), so in order to preserve your charge when you're without a charger, stick your phone (turned off) in the fridge overnight.

  • Need to expand the range of your remote car key?

Use your head as an antenna! Put the metal part of the remote key and hit the unlock/lock button. The fluids in your head can expand the range a few car lengths.

  • Cartridge running out of ink?

Ever run out of ink when trying to print an important paper? Take out the cartridge and heat it with a hair dryer. The heat helps remaining clogged ink move through the cartridge.

  • Drop your cellphone in the toilet?

Immediately take out the battery, dry it with a towel and stick the phone in a bowl of uncooked white rice. The rice has a magnetic attraction to water molecules, sucking the water out of the phone.

Other fixes in the article include how to: Get a longer WiFi reach, clean dirty discs, diminish the flash on a cellphone camera, and save a crashed hard drive! Check out the helpful article, and I suggest forwarding it to all you know!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fashion for the moment...

I always try my best to post interesting and worthwhile entries on here. Though, I can’t always promise they will be relative to public relations, I can only hope to offer you something of substance.

Sooo, with that being said… My new favorite obsession is the New York Times blog called, The Moment,

which highlights both women and men’s fashion, travel, food and design. This blog has especially been updated frequently due to the fact that it’s FASHION WEEK in New York City. There is also an exciting new trend occurring, and this one is not on the runway. Instead, it’s the idea of utilizing, (yep you guessed it) social media. Designers, writers, reviewers and spectators are now able to give instantaneous updates by twittering and blogging from their front row seats. The mentions of twitter and blogging are almost inevitable to spot in any fashion post it seems lately. Who will be the first to share what they have just witnessed to cyberspace and the fashion aware audiences? I sure am interested in knowing the next up and coming fashion trends… anyone else interested?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Death Threats, for a PR Firm?

Killeen Furtney Group is the LA-based PR firm that represented Nadya Suleman, a woman who gave birth to eight children, making her grand total of children reach 14. During an interview on Larry King Live Joann Killeen, president of Killeen Furtney Group, explained why they recently dropped Suleman as their client.

They were receiving numerous death threats through e-mails and voice mails. The dialogue from the interview and all other details can be found here.

PR firms are always told to keep their clients' best interest in mind. However, you sometimes forget about keeping your own safety in mind, until death threats begin to surface.

How would you handle this kind of situation?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


The more I learn about social media, (with Jessica's help, of course) the more I like it. I recently signed up for Twitter, and have become mildly addicted to it already. There is so much great information, and so many interesting ideas posted on Twitter all the time. After signing up, I started following a few people that Jessica had recommended in her Twitter guide. One person from the guide, ijustine, posts all the time. I paid special attention to her this weekend, because of all her tweets about Twestival.

After seeing all of her posts about Twestival, I decided to look it up. It turns out that Twestival was a worldwide event held on February 12, 2009 that's aim was to raise money and awareness for charity:water. charity:water is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing clean water to third-world nations. Separate Twestivals occurred in cities all around the world, including Philadelphia.

I wish I had researched Twestivals sooner, because I would have loved to be a part of the one in Philadelphia. Even though I didn't get to attend the event, I was so happy to see that the social media world is more than a tool used in Public Relations and other fields, or a tool used to keep friends and families connected.

Want to learn more about Twestival? Check it out here!

Monday, February 16, 2009

SEO What?

As social media savvy as I like to think that I am, I can honestly say that I do not know much about SEO (search engine optimization).

On Saturday, Nick Lucido of PR Start wrote an excellent, comprehensive guide to SEO. He broke it down very simply in terms that anyone could understand.

First, let's discuss a basic definition for SEO. Nick says, "In general, SEO is all about increasing a Web site’s page rank. In terms of Google, the higher the page rank, the higher the site will appear in a search."

Some of the basics I learned from his post are:
  • Network- We all know about the importance of networking in real life, but it's becoming increasingly more important online as well. Blog networking includes providing useful links to your blog readers by linking to other bloggers. Doing this forms relationships and increases credibility.
  • Technorati- I used this website at my previous internship, but never put it to use for my work with PRowl Public Relations. By "claiming" your blog, you can help raise its "authority" (or importance on the web). This semester, I hope to become more familiar with the blog directory.
  • Grammar, Grammar, Grammar- We hear it over and over and over again. Be sure to edit your work. Check for those silly mistakes that can lower credibility and destroy reputations.
For more information on SEO, be sure to check out Nick's blog!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fashion Week

There are moments through out the year that everyone looks forward to. For some it's St. Patrick’s Day, for others it’s the first trip to the beach in New Jersey, Christmas time. But for the fashion forward, New York City twice a year, it's Fashion Week, which is one of the most looked forward to times of the year. For every major fashion label, students studying the art, or just the next Carrie Bradshaw who is a fanatic for fashion, this week is a major part of New York City culture.

The kickoff of Fashion Week (sponsored by Mercedes-Benz) was last night in Bryant Park (42nd and 6th). This huge eight acre park holds a variety of tents or “houses” where the fashion designers hold their shows and have models grace the catwalk with the new styles for the spring and summer. Through out the week many designers such as Nicole Miller, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Zac Posen, and Diane Von Furstenberg will be showing off their latest styles.

A change for Fashion Week is also happening in the year 2010. The beloved location Bryant Park will no longer be the home of the latest fashions. Instead it will be held at the Lincoln Center. This change is due to Bryant Park stating that they would not be allowing shows to be held in the park due to delays in the ice skating and summer use of the lawn. I’m sure many people will still have fond memories of Bryant Park, but now the newest fashions and style will have a new home.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Jade Barnes. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebarnes

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How to Get Your Foot in the Door

Since starting college, I have tried to do everything that would help prepare me for success in my future career; I have always stayed on top of my assignments and grades and have joined several organizations. However, it recently hit me that I am almost half-way through college and am still missing a key ingredient to both a solid preliminary resume and a well-rounded academic career: hands-on experience in the PR field.

Since becoming involved with PRowl Public Relations, I am already gaining a lot of insight into the PR industry and have had some great opportunities to grow. Yet it is no secret that internships are one of the best ways to gain pre-career experience. Here’s what bothers me: many internships require previous experience and a lack of experience may lead to difficulty getting an internship. Paradoxically, though, if you can’t get an internship, it’s hard to get experience.

Thus, I have always been intimidated by the idea of applying for internships. Honestly, part of me still is, but I have decided to embrace this challenge. Recently, I have put a lot of energy into trying to figure it all out. Here are some important tips I have gathered from my inquiries:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s okay if you feel as though you don’t know how to begin. Asking those around you with more knowledge, experience and expertise is one of the best ways to learn more about the process. In my experiences, people are very willing to help.

Put yourself out there. Let people know that you are interested in learning more about PR and developing further experience as an intern. Social networking sites like Twitter can be great for accomplishing this end. The more you put yourself on the radar, the more likely you are to stumble upon good opportunities or helpful connections. Use your resources!

Develop some sort of portfolio. Most internships require writing samples as part of the application process. If you do not yet have many formal samples to use, this problem can be solved creatively. Some employers will accept short papers or news stories as writing samples. If not, choose a current topic and write a press release about it. This is a great way of practicing your skill while also developing a portfolio.

Wait for the right one. Think about your level of experience, the time you have available to commit, the employer’s expectations, and the skills or experiences you hope to gain from the opportunity. Wait for the internship best suited for what you have to offer and what you hope to learn.

Take the plunge. Once you have found an internship that sounds like a good fit, apply for the position! Don’t be nervous! Commit to the process and follow through. You never know until you try.

This brings us to exactly where I am in the process of becoming an intern. I have found a position that sounds like a great fit from both angles and am looking forward to the adventures the future has in store as I embark on the application and interview process. Hopefully this experience will bring me one step closer to realizing my full potential as a PR professional!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Emily Woodward. Follow her on Twitter: @ecwdwd

Friday, February 13, 2009

This Week's Tip: Press Releases

As I said last Friday, PRowl Public Relations has begun doing workshops during the weekly staff meetings. Yesterday we went over press releases and some tips to be used when researching and writing.

First, researching for a press release is just like researching for a pitch letter. You need to do your research on the writer, the publication and their audience. Although press releases can be standardized, if possible, it is important to at least tailor the pitch to be local, also called a "hometown" release. Ways to make a release local include supplying a local number, giving local names and telling stories based on local people.

A few more tips:
  • Use inverted pyramid style; most important information should be in the first few paragraphs. More detailed information can be further down.
  • Use one to two quotes from sources who are considered experts on the topic. For example, for a new product, a press release may want to quote the VP of Development.
  • Do not editorialize; use facts, not fluff.
  • Do not use hype words such as "unique" and "state of the art." Exaggerating will only hurt your and your company's reputation.
  • Releases should be as brief as possible; about one to two pages long.

We also went over the sections of a press release:

  • Company logo
  • Media contact information (person listed should be able to answer media questions)
  • "For Immediate Release:"
  • Headline, Sub headline
  • Dateline
  • Lead paragraph
  • Body
  • “-more-“ at the bottom of page if press release continues
  • Give a place "for more information," such as a company website
  • Boiler plate (should be the same on every press release for a company)
  • “###” signals the end of a release.

Hope this is helpful! PRowl Public Relations would like YOUR feedback. Are there any topics you'd like us to do a workshop on? Let us know!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Who doesn't like pudding?

The other day my friend James Varon sent me a message about a new site he and a few friends have created, called The Pudding. I hope you all to check it out at As an advertising major and a fellow Temple University student, he writes for the Media & Advertising section; but the site also features subjects in Business, Arts and Reviews.

He explains, “The Pudding is geared towards those in need of valid information in a way that is simple to understand, easy to retain and most of all comical. With many serious issues going on in our world broadcasted negatively by popular media, we have chosen to deliver important current events in a non-serious manner.”

The site will be updated weekly every Monday, so check back with new articles. I’m excited to see what my fellow students will have to share! I wish the gang at The Pudding the best of luck!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Importance of a Thank-You Note

In my Fundamentals of PR class last night, we had two guest speakers come in to talk to us about our final project. They are both writers and communications experts. They told their stories, then we got the chance to ask them questions. We talked about our futures and where we would like to go in PR and that internships and networking are very important.

Our professors said that, in almost every situation, she always hires somebody that sends her a thank-you note after the interview. Our guest speakers were also able to confirm the importance of that note. Even when they've been at networking events, they will find a nice letter in their mailboxes a few days.

Next time you meet a professional that gives you excellent advice, or when you're interviewing for your dream internship (or even job!), take the extra time to hand-write a nice thank you note to them and stick it in the mail that night, or the next day. It can't do anything but help you. It looks very professional and proves that you're the right person for that position, especially if it's a very close race between you and somebody that didn't send a thank-you note.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Fine Art of Organization

Today, I guest blogged over at Nicole Crimaldi's blog, Career Girls: Smart, Sexy, Savvy about how to stay organized. As young PR professionals, staying organized is key!

Check it out!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Social Media Savvy

One of PRowl Public Relations' goals for this semester is to get each individual member more involved in social media.

To help motivate our members to dive into the wonderful world of social networking, I will be creating "guides" for them teaching them how to utilize different sites.

This weekend, I wrote a guide to using Twitter.

Twitter is my favorite social media site. I am absolutely addicted to it. I love to use it to discuss everything from television shows to PR. I'm happy to say that the connections I've made on Twitter have led to an internship!

If you'd like to read the guide, please e-mail and I would be happy to send it to you.

For now, I'll leave you with an excerpt from the guide; My list of the top PR people to follow on Twitter!

And of course, if you're not already following me or PRowl PR, click right on over and become a follower!

So, what's your favorite social media site?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tips on Pitching the Media

PRowl Public Relations has started a new way of holding our weekly staff meetings. We do client updates and then will hold a general workshop of tips for writing and dealing with the media. Yesterday's workshop was about pitching the media.

Here are some tips we went over:
  • A “proposal” to the media outlet is intended to “sell” a story idea on a specific topic.
  • Do your research before anything else. Keep in mind the audience demographics, the reporters’ beats, past articles written and keep current on changing media positions.
    Read the news to keep current on issues and trends that you can “react” to.
  • Pitch should be targeted to a specific medium and should contain specific, unusual story angles.
  • Pitch should open with an interesting statement that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to read on. A good way to engage the reader is to ask an unusual question.
  • Explain why the media should be interested in what you’re pitching – how does it benefit their readers, viewers, etc.
  • Pitch should be one page or less, with clean, sharp sentences.
  • Address the letter to a specific person (that covers the topic you're pitching!), not just “Dear Editor.”
  • Come up with a creative subject line that makes the receiver want to open the e-mail.
  • Be proactive. End the pitch saying when you will contact them to follow-up.
  • Be persistent. Always follow-up with a phone call. A voicemail should only be left after the first call.

Do our readers have any other tips they'd like to add to the list?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Social media is at it again...

Maybe some of you readers have already seen or actively participated in what I'm about to discuss...

Recently on the social media mains stage,, there has been an overload of the "25 Random Things," a note that users can write and tag their friends to be apart of. It has been making the rounds on more than likely a good chunk of your "friends" list for those of you Facebook users and as a result has even caught the attention of the New York Times. In an article, "Want to Know More About Me? Here are '25 Random Things,'" the idea of learning, "more details about a person's life without actually interacting with them," as the article states, is further discussed. Sharing personal information has both been criticized and praised; check out the article for more scholarly opinions.

These surveys are usually found on, but this particular "25 Random Things," has really stirred up talk over the web and is hard to avoid on Just within the past few weeks, if you google "25 Random Things About Me," you'll find almost 36,000 results!

So how many of you created a list of "25 Random Things" for yourself on Facebook? How do you feel about sharing personal or random information that others might find interesting?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Role Model, Or Not?

If you haven't heard about the latest Michael Phelps scandal, you're probably living under a rock. It was the topic of discussion in all of my classes yesterday, except for one. This article explains everything about Phelps' marijuana-smoking picture that was released this weekend.

Some of the conversations we had included:

  • He's in the public eye, so he should be more aware of his actions, especially after his DUI bust following the Athens Olympic Games.
  • Who cares what he does? He's allowed to do what he wants.
  • He apologized, so just let it go.
  • He's an Olympic athlete. He should not be using ANY kind of substances.
  • It's illegal. There are "normal" people getting busted when he's just getting slapped on the hand. There should be a bigger punishment.
  • What was he thinking?! He's a role model to so many kids!
We also talked about who this is good / bad for...
  • Good for his competition. He may have used other substances that enhanced his performance for both of his Olympic appearances.
  • Bad for Phelps. He's not getting very much good criticism out of this, at all. He could lose all of his endorsements.
  • Good for the "drug war." Advocates for legalizing marijuana have his "support."

The good thing is, Phelps came out right away and apologized for his actions. The best way to fix a crisis in PR is to come out with the truth immediately. Don't try to hide anything, and always be honest.

What do our readers think? Leave us some comments!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Gawker vs. Phawker

Superbowl XLIII was reported to be the second most-watched Superbowl ever, with 95.4 million viewers, says Advertising Age. There were people tuned in that were bleeding black and gold, others that were cheering for those underdogs, and many people just watching for the commercials. No matter the reason for watching, Superbowl commercials are always highly anticipated, and extremely expensive. As I was reading blog articles today about which ones were crowd favorites (mine are always Budweiser, I adore those horses!), I noticed that two popular blogs ranked one commercial on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Gawker rated the article with the screaming woman as one of the worst of the whole night, and Phawker rated it as the best of the whole night. Gawker provided a quick blurb about why it was so bad, but Phawker just posted the clip of it.

I always like reading blogs to see reactions and opinions because they are usually so different and so uncensored. I actually agreed with Gawker's rating of's commercial I thought it was repetitive and I didn't like hearing that women scream so many times!

What Superbowl commercials did you like? Which ones did you think were not worth all that cash?

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Social Media Journey

Yesterday, fellow PR student Janet Aronica posted about what she has learned from being involved in social media thus far.

Her post got me thinking about my own social media journey and what I've learned along the way.

Much like Janet, my journey began with Facebook. Entering college, Facebook was a must-have for social reasons. Little did I know that 3 years later, Facebook could serve such different purposes. I immediately signed up and added every person I knew from high school. I enjoyed posting photos and viewing photos. I loved checking out my friends profiles and writing on their walls.

Sophomore year of college began, and I heard about blogging. I had, of course, visited blogs, but never thought about creating one of my own. I religiously read gossip blogs like Perez Hilton and TMZ.

A guest speaker came to talk to Temple's PRSSA chapter and mentioned Twitter. I came home and signed up. I totally didn't understand it, and let my profile sit untouched for months.

In January 2008, when PRowl Public Relations officially opened for business, this blog was born. I slowly learned more and more about blogging. I began to read other well-known PR blogs. I introduced blogging to the other members of the board of directors, and we all began to learn more about social media.

In the beginning of the summer, I heard about LinkedIn. I thought it was awesome that I could put my entire resume on the Internet, and connect with potential employers.

In July 2008, I re-activated my Twitter. I still didn't quite understand, but utilized a search tool to find other PR students and professionals. Slowly, I began to gain followers, and learned to engage in conversation. Later in the summer, I even created a Twitter site for PRowl PR.

In the beginning of September, I learned about the magical-ness of RSS feeds and Google Reader. Google Reader helped me to organize the blogs that I read, and made it easy for me to see when each blog updated. I learned the importance of linking to and commenting on other blogs in order to build relationships.

Now, in February 2009, Twitter has helped me in more ways than I could ever imagine. Through my connections on Twitter I've found great new blogs, guest posted on other blogs, found a mentor, and landed an internship! Blogging has become a bit of an addiction for me, and my Google Reader is always full.

I've made mistakes along the way, and I'm certainly still learning, but I've enjoyed the progression of my social media journey. I can't wait to see what comes next!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Trivia

Yesterday, in my Fundamentals of PR Writing class, we had an interesting discussion about Superbowl commercials.

Did you know that this year a single 30-second commercial will cost an advertiser $3 million? That's $100,000 per second!

Did you know that the commercials airing in the first half are more expensive than the second half? That means that if the game is good, and people stick around until the end, advertisers are getting a bargain!

Do you know what commercial revolutionized Superbowl Commercials? Apple's "1984" commercial in 1984. Check it out here.

Do you know why beer companies invest so much money in Superbowl ads? Well, pretty much their entire target audience is watching the same television event! What do most people drink while watching football? Beer. What better way to advertise than during the Superbowl?

Do you know what beer company will be airing one second commercials during the Superbowl? Miller High Life.

Do you know who will be performing during half-time? The Boss aka Bruce Springsteen.

Enjoy the game (and commercials!) and make sure to come back and let us know what your favorite commercial is!