Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another Internship Good-Bye...

Six months ago I began my internship at Cashman & Associates… and this past Monday was my last day.

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone at the company and of course, my amazing supervisor Dana Lombardo. Over the past months I have learned such a great deal about public relations, special events and working with the media in Philadelphia. I’m appreciative for the opportunity and the chance to meet some really talented people. From every employee to my fellow interns, some of whom have become my good friends, I’m grateful to have got to know everyone.

So what did I learn from it all? So very much, indeed. Everything from maintaining client recaps, clipping hundreds of media hits and of course writing various materials including updating press kits materials, to media advisories, press releases, event postings and more.

Considering it all, what would I recommend for future interns? I’ll let them fend for themselves. Just kidding! I’ll offer a few light-hearted tips.

-Master the tech!
Whether it is computers, copy machines, fax machines or printers. Get ready to try and figure them out. Every office is different and the technology can be challenging at times. There are always tricks and tips, so don’t be afraid to ask other interns for help, especially if you can’t figure it out. Nothing’s worse than taking 30 minutes to make 5 copies, but don’t worry you’ll get it eventually.

-Always have your cell!
I don’t mean carry your cell phone with you around the office or text, or answer calls while you’re working… What I mean is, when you’re out running errands it’s important to have your phone with you. In case you have a question or something comes up while you’re out, you can easily call the office.

-Clean your car!
This is just to avoid silly embarrassment. You might have to drive, drop off or pick up a co-worker somewhere and there’s nothing worse than explaining that your car might not be the best choice for transportation at that moment (because there’s left-over or tons of wrappers and trajavascript:void(0)sh in the back seat). So try to keep it sort of clean at least.

That’s all for now. Gooooood luck!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Looking Back On A Great Intership

Today was the last day of my internship at the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. I absolutely LOVED it there, but it had to end eventually. As I was having my "good-bye, good-luck and thank-you" lunch with my boss and two other people that I helped out through the semester, we talked about my three months at the PCVB.

I was asked what I liked the most, what I liked the least, what I learned, etc. Then they asked me what I would tell an incoming intern to be prepared for. That one definitely got me, but after I thought about it for a few seconds, I think I had it. We all know that writing is key and we've heard it so many times before. But it's so true! You definitely need to know how to write well. But not only do you need to know how to write well, you need to know what audience you're writing for. I learned how to tweak my writing for different audiences, and I know it will help me in my future!

I had a great time at the PCVB. I made some great professional relationships, became friends with the other interns, gained great PR contacts, and learned SO MUCH!

It is so important to get internship experience. It should be a requirement, because the work you do there is so different from the textbook and classroom.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu Going Social?

This morning I was reading my Bulldog Reporter e-mail when I saw a headline that got my attention: "Buzz About Swine Flu Spikes Big Online: CDC Posts Updates as Bloggers and Twitterers Spring Into Action." Since I have been reading articles about the swine flu like crazy the last few days, I immediately clicked on this article.

The article said that the words swine flu had been present in 2% of all Tweets on Twitter, the swine flu Wikipedia page was updated more than 60 times in one hour and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has been updating its website frequently as well.

This article was of interest to me not only because of my growing concern for a possible swine flu pandemic, (I'm leaving for Europe in 23 days and I'm hoping that won't be affected!) but because of the growing impact social media has on our lives. Bloggers and Twitter users are quickly becoming the first people to break news. People don't even have to watch TV or read newspapers anymore. Just go to your favorite social media website and get your news there!

What do you think about the capabilities of Twitter users and bloggers to release breaking news? Do you go to Twitter or blogs for news before other types of media?

Monday, April 27, 2009

PRowl Public Relations/PRSSA Fundraising

It's tough being a student organization.

We do receive some money from Temple University, but for the most part, we fundraise heavily throughout the school year to raise money for our chapter and firm.

Last year, we held comedy shows and an open mic/spoken word event. This year, we have held several cupcake sales (yes, just cupcakes...they are quite a popular item!).

On Wednesday, Temple University celebrated Spring Fling, an all day event where student organizations set up tables outside on campus and fundraise and promote their organizations. There are moon bounces, free food, and bands playing all day long.

For the last few years, our PRSSA chapter has been quite successful in selling pina coloda and strawberry daiquiri flavored smoothies. This year was no different. The weather wasn't ideal, but we still had a great day.

Me (Incoming PRSSA president) and Olivia (PRowl PR fundraising liasion, and incoming PRSSA fundraising director) in front of our lovely PRSSA banner at Spring Fling.

PRSSA members manning the Spring Fling table. Mary, on the very left is our current fundraising director, and has done a great job raising money for our organization this year.

For all of you students out there, how does your PRSSA chapter (or any organization for that matter) fundraise? We'd love to try out some new events and ideas next year!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

7 Tips To Surviving Finals

“I am so stressed,” is a common statement you will hear from college students as the semester comes to an end. The one thing making everyone feel this way is FINALS. It is inevitable that finals are coming and most of the time they are going to make or break your grade. The best thing to do before your finals is to be prepared and not be stressed. Here are some tips from The University of Pennsylvania on how to survive finals.

1. Don’t panic!

The first thing you should do is to check what the final is worth in each course. Remember, it is only one component of your final grade. If it is worth 20% or less, you probably won't be able to bring your final grade up or down by more than one grade level (e.g., B to B+), unless you perform extremely better or worse than you have on other exams and assignments during the semester.

2. Don’t be too relaxed!

On the other hand, you should try to do as well on the final as you possibly can. Furthermore, sometimes the final is a big part of your final grade (30% or more), in which case it is more likely to make a significant difference in your final average. It is better not to go into the final with the idea, "I just need to get x number of points to keep my B (or whatever it is) average." It may not be possible to calculate this accurately anyway, since teachers sometimes compute things like participation grades at the very end.

3. Make time for "renewing" activities.

This is NOT the time to stop exercising or doing other things that you find enjoyable. Pace yourself! You will study more effectively if you spread things out and take breaks. But watch the proportions here. Beware of doing 15 minutes of studying followed by a two-hour break to play a video game!

4. Use an effective study method.

The key to effective retention is repetition, and not overloading your brain (it can only absorb so much in an hour). Whatever you do, don’t do it all in one long cramming session. Which brings us to:

5. Get enough sleep.

Don’t pull an "all nighter." You will do better if you are rested, and cramming often leads to a superficial and confused knowledge of the material you have studied. There is a reason why sleep deprivation is used as torture. Failure to follow #4 and #5 can lead to writing nonsense on exams. Teachers often fall off their chairs laughing at some of the silly statements that appear on finals.

6. Resist the urge to party on "off" days.

Instead, if you have a break in your exam schedule, use it to get a head start on the exams coming up. This can be a time to catch up on missed reading, or to complete Step 1 of "Immediate Preparation" in my study method. REMEMBER: if you party, you will need to recover! And research has shown that people who engage in high-risk drinking deaden their cognitive skills (ability to recall and organize information, etc.)

7. When the exam is over, let it go!

Forget it! Move on to the next one, or go enjoy the break! If you do have major concerns, make an appointment to see your professor at a mutually convenient time.

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

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Small Beginnings Become Big Bucks and Big Love

The year is 2003, and a few students at the University of Pennsylvania wonder what is missing in their lives (or in their stomachs). They then get the bright idea to bake cookies late at night and give them to their friends, with some milk of course. This may seem like a small act of kindness, but this is the act that turned a few college students with some cookies into a nation-wide baking machine. At the time, Seth Berkowitz had no idea his late-night milk and cookie delivery would become something that college students at over 19 universities would long for.

Although Insomnia Cookies may be relatively new to Temple University, its legendary love and respect has been a part of many college students lives for over six years. The truck that sits by the Student Center on Montgomery Street first came to us spring semester this year, and it did not take long for the the word to get around that something yummy was baking on the streets of campus. It's late-night delivery also did not take long to catch on with Temple students.

Beginning at 7 p.m. and until 2:30 a.m., anyone living between Diamond St. and Jefferson St., and 18th St. to 8th St. can order warm cookies to be delivered right to their door. The Insomnia Cookies creators believe that late night hours are the most important aspect of their success, because they understand college students' desire for good food that is not greasy or heavy during the late hours they are awake. Insomnia Cookies also offers great deals and promotions that can always be redeemed either at the truck or for delivery.

Working as part of the Insomnia Cookies marketing team for Temple University since the beginning of this semester has been an extremely beneficial experience. Knowing that this company began with just a few UPenn students who had a great idea and turned it into what is it
today, shows me that all of us are capable of anything we set our minds to. This company has proved that a small business can always have the possibility to bloom into an extremely successful profit-making machine. Insomnia Cookies is a now a big-time company with a small-time feel, and it has definitely been one of the best additions to Temple's campus.

Visit Insomnia Cookies today.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Melissa Colelli. Follow her on Twitter: @m_colelli

Friday, April 24, 2009

Interview now for PRowl Public Relations!

Sorry for another announcement post, but last call for all of you PR students at Temple University thinking about interviewing for PRowl Public Relations!

At PRowl Public Relations, students are given opportunities to develop their strategic thinking and gain tactical practice. Members create and execute public relations campaigns, form valuable relationships with professionals in the Philadelphia area, apply their classroom knowledge to a real-world setting and prepare for life beyond graduation.

Interviews are being held until next Friday (a week from today), May 1. Interested? E-mail me, Jaime Scofield at!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Perfect Summer Job: Tweeting?

After browsing the New York Times online the other day, I came across the headline, "Tweeting Becomes a Summer Job Opportunity." The article is more so a job posting for Pizza Hut, in which the job title states: "Summer Twintern."

The Twintern will "be our social media journalist, chronicling in 140 characters or less what’s going on at Pizza Hut,” said Bob Kraut, the vice president for marketing communications at the company.

There's even mention of the Domino's Pizza YouTube video that went viral on the web. (Which was a public relations crisis!)

Although the posting is for an internship, I think its interesting to note that even in this tough economy, companies and businesses realize the importance of social media. Frankly, I think this is great news, imagine all the awesome places you could possibly be a Twintern!

Are you interested? Well you'll have to re-locate to Dallas, TX this summer, but go for it! Go to to apply!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

2009-2010 PRSSA E-Board

Yesterday, PRSSA held elections for the 2009-2010 school year. Congratulations to the new E-Board:

President - Jessica Lawlor
Vice President - Reilly Fies
Secretary - Huiling Zhao
Public Relations Director - Ashlee Chisholm
Director of Social Media - Brendan Lowry
Director of Fundraising - Olivia Ragni
Treasurer - Jade Barnes
Temple Student Government Representative - Jonathan Burns
Director of Development - Jaclyn McKeown
Historian - Sarah Hutton
PRowl Public Relations Firm Director - Jaime Scofield


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Miss California and the Media

Something that has been getting a ton of media coverage over the past few days has been Miss California's answer to Perez Hilton's gay marriage question at the Miss USA pageant on Sunday night. When Perez asked Miss California about legalizing gay marriage, she replied that she believes it should be between a man and a woman.

Since then, Perez has been blogging, Twittering, and interviewing all about the incident. He says he was "floored" by her answer. This incident has been in all different media in the past few days, and I'm sure everyone has seen it. Just last night, Perez was interviewed on Larry King Live.

Perez is an avid social media user, as everyone knows. Do you think that from this point on we will see an increased number of people using social media to speak out about their beliefs? I think social media is a great tool for people to let their voice be heard!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Being My Own Publicist

As a student studying public relations, I have learned a lot this year about compiling media lists, writing press releases and pitching. However, one of the most important lessons I learned recently did not come in the classroom.

After my summer plans fell through, I realized that I would be able to take on an internship during the summer months. I was really excited by this prospect, but was also worried because I would be spending the summer in my hometown, which is located in a relatively small media market. I also had very few networking connections in my hometown. I decided that launching a small-scale PR campaign of sorts would be the best way to help me find an internship. After all, if I can't do PR for myself, how can I expect to do it for others in my future career?

I started by doing a google search of PR firms in my hometown, making a list of the firms that came up and taking down their addresses and phone numbers. I also spent a significant amount of time reading through each of their websites and learning about what each firm was like and the type of work they did. This stage reminded me a lot of putting together a media list.

When I was finished with this, I analyzed the information to see which firms would be the best fit. I also decided, based on the information I had about each firm, what would be the best way to "pitch" each my my "targets." I designed and sent an email pitch to each of the firms that interested me most and followed these up with phone calls a few days later, during which I pitched myself over the phone.

Though the majority of firms I spoke with did not offer internship programs, one firm owner offered to forward my pitch to some of his contacts. Another of the firms was interested in taking on an intern and, after reviewing my resume and cover letter, offered me a chance to intern with them! Besides resulting in an internship, my "campaign" was a great experience. It gave me a chance to practice some of my skills and I felt that it was an effective way to foster some networking relationships in my hometown. Learning to do PR for myself has been one of my most valuable lessons on my path to a career in public relations.

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

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Process from Pitch to NBC 10's Evening News

Last Wednesday, April 15 PRowl Public Relations landed coverage for our client Ursula’s About PHace on NBC 10’s 6 O’Clock news. This was one of PRowl’s biggest achievements thus far and was a great moment for our members. It is a testament to our hard work and a sign that PRowl Public Relations is taking off!

The process leading up to this coverage was a very detailed one. We spent quite a few hours crafting the perfect pitch for Ursula’s Phillies PHacial, and with the advice from our faculty adviser we decided to pitch to television outlets. As an new Account Executive for PRowl Public Relations, TV seemed very daunting and I was skeptical that our student-run firm would have much success. Little did I know…

I learned yesterday that with pitching, timing is everything, especially when it involves a television crew. We received an email at 12:30 p.m. from NBC 10 saying that their planned segment for that evening was canceled, and asked if we’d step in. Of course we would! They wanted to be at our clients studio at 1:30 p.m., leaving us only an hour to prepare. We rushed downtown from Temple’s campus to Ursula’s About PHace at 1700 Sansom Street just in time for the taping. We knew we had hit the big one, the great coverage that we’d only dreamed of snagging our client!

By 3 p.m. the segment was taped, and everyone felt a sense of excitement and achievement. The camera man was so impressed by facialist Elina Safin that he scheduled an appointment for a Saturday morning Phillies PHacial on the spot! The segment aired at 6:15 p.m. in the middle of the evening news cast. It was a full 90 second story preceded by two teasers that were seen by over 119,000 viewers!

The shock and excitement still hasn’t worn off yet and I’m very excited to see what PRowl Public Relations can do in the future.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Brianna Fisher.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How To Design A Logo

The logo is the brand of a company –it’s their identity. Everyone presents their image in some form; humans have profile pictures, companies have logos. There is meaning to a logo, one that communicates personality and character. High school girls dig through clearance bins at Abercrombie & Fitch looking for those logo-blasting slim-fit T’s because a logo has meaning, even status.

So when designing a logo, it is important to keep a few principles in mind:

  1. Keep it simple; less is more. Complicated designs are not memorable designs.
  2. Color/shape psychology. Shapes like circles communicate a feeling of unity, wholeness, and community. Meanwhile, a rectangle represents logic, security, and structure. Color carries connotations leaving intended impressions as well.
  3. Readability/memorability. Can the concept be easily understood, or is it lost on the audience?
  4. Scalability. What will the logo look like expanded on a billboard compared to how it will look printed on a business card? The image bust be simple enough to reduce.
  5. Black & White. A good logo should be easily converted to black & white, since it will not always be printed in color.
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Keith Flanagan. Follow him on Twitter: @keithflanagan

Friday, April 17, 2009

Perez Hilton: Just Another Celebrity?

So, I know I know, Twitter is huge and has been for a few months now. Although I had created an account (to make our PR Director, Jessica Lawlor, stop bugging me about it!) I never actually “tweeted.”

Wednesday night I made my first official tweet. I wanted to use every channel possible to get the word out there that PRowl Public Relations secured our first TV spot for a client. Since then, I haven’t been able to get off! If you thought Facebook was a stalker machine, get on Twitter. Celebrity obsessed? Get on Twitter. Watch them chat back and forth; it can be quite amusing. I am guilty of doing so for a few minutes (okay, maybe more than a few…). While following the Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN Twitter war, I somehow got on Perez Hilton’s Twitter. It seems he’s quite friendly with many celebrities now and even jokes back and forth with some, like Spencer Pratt of MTV’s “The Hills.”

The only reason I care about this is because I started thinking: how will his increasing fame and celebrity friendships affect his gossip blog? Perez Hilton was known for entertainingly making fun of celebrities (for example, Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag). Now, he’s tweeting with them and posting blogs about how great her music is!

What do you think? Will you keep reading his blog if it becomes just another channel to promote his celebrity friends’ projects, or will you change blogs to a site a little more scintillating?

By the way, if you're on Twitter, follow me: @jscofield

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mud on Your Face!

If you haven't already seen it... here it is!

Watch this segment featuring our client Ursula's About Phace (Ursula Augustine and Elina Safin) with NBC host Tim Furlong.

Check back this weekend to hear from Brianna Fisher, Account Executive of PRowl Public Relations, to get an exclusive recap of the process of pitching the story to the actual filming of the segment!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Watch NBC 10 Tonight at 6:15 p.m.

If you're in or around the Philadelphia area, watch the NBC 10 news at 6:15 p.m.

PRowl Public Relations is proud to announce that our client Ursula's about PHace will be featured on the news TONIGHT at 6:15 p.m.

Check out the news story here!

If you miss the story tonight, be sure to check out Comcast On Demand, or check back to our blog for the video.

April is Accreditation Month!

If you've noticed the tag APR after some of your professors titles and don't know what it stands for, it means Accredited in Public Relations. Some of my professors are accredited and they said it's a good thing to have because it puts you a step ahead of other PR professionals.

In yesterday's edition of PRSA Issues and Trends, there was an article about the benefits of becoming APR. "APR is a voluntary certification program of PR professionals." One of my former professors said that it's an extensive two-day long examination that tests your knowledge of PR. One day is an objective portion and another day is a written test that requires you to think strategically and tactically about public relations. Read the complete article here.

Are any of our readers APR? If so, please comment and share your thoughts on it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Have You Heard? We're Hiring!

That's right, we're hiring for Fall 2009. PRowl Public Relations wants dedicated students who need some hands on PR experience. Even though you can get a good idea of what we do in the firm by reading the blog, here are some quick requirements to think about if you're interested in PRowl.
  • Meetings will be from 3:30-4:15 on Thursdays from September to May. These are mandatory!
  • You must be a dues paying member of PRSSA
  • Freshmen to seniors are accepted
  • You must interview for a position

I've had many great experiences with the firm, and I encourage you to come out and interview. Contact our Firm Director, Jaime Scofield, at for more information, and to set up a time to interview!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Freelance PR Part 7

In my never-ending quest to find out what I really want to do with my life, I came across a new avenue of public relations-- Freelancing.

After interning at an agency this past semester, I realized that perhaps agency work isn't quite the route I want to take upon graduating from college next year. I realized that I love to write, and often prefer working solo. I reached out through our
Twitter to find other PR practitioners out there who have done some freelance work. Luckily, many people responded!

This is the seventh post in what is a series of posts featuring different PR freelancers

After a few month hiatus, the freelance series is back, and better than ever! This week, I interviewed John Sternal, co-owner of Sternal Consulting.

Mr. Sternal describes freelance PR as something that companies utilize when they, "
wish to retain outside PR counsel for a specific project or on an ongoing basis but they choose not to engage with a large public relations firm."

After graduating from the University of South Florida with a degree in communication, he gained experience in corporate communication with a Fortune-500 company, professional sports, small and large agencies, and now working as a co-principal with his own consulting firm.

When deciding on how to charge for freelance PR services, Mr. Sternal advises that there are two important aspects to consider. The first is to balance the value of your services, and the second is to think about what is going to win the business over. He reminds us that freelancing is ultimately a business, and the goal of a business is to make money, so it's important to think about what will be profitable.

Interestingly, throughout his career, Mr. Sternal did not become interested in freelancing until later. After clients approached him about doing work "on the side", Mr. Sternal realized how profitable freelancing could be. However, he warns that his success would not be the same had he not worked in other areas of PR before diving into freelancing. "
There's a reason for the saying, "you must crawl before you walk," he said.

When asked how he obtains clients he jokingly says, "When you find out, could you let me know?" Mr. Sternal suggests thinking about your own interests, and focusing on courting clients who fall into that realm.

Mr. Sternal's favorite part of freelancing is answering to himself (and the client, of course). He enjoys knowing that he can focus on whatever aspect of PR he wants.

His least favorite part of freelancing is making sure you have clients and constantly searching for clients. He mentions that he does enjoy doing this, but it is time consuming.

To stay current with industry trends and news, Mr. Sternal relies on the Internet. "
From Twitter and Facebook to LinkedIn, it's very easy to participate inside your industry circles and be a known player. I would also advise that you use many of these social media tools to set up actual face-to-face networking opportunities after hours outside of your home," he said.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Safety on the Line: Improving Community Relations in Philadelphia

Recently, there have been a few incidents in the city of Philadelphia between Philadelphia police officers and local residents that demonstrate the divide between the two groups. Two cops are being investigated for allegedly cursing and using unnecessary force on state Rep. Jewell Williams. This is the second time these same officers have been accused of such activity.

In another incident, an officer in the 22nd district was quoted by a Temple journalism student as saying the residents of the area were animals. Local bodega owners allege they have become the unwarranted target of undercover raids by police officers. They claim that during those raids, the officers take merchandise from the store for personal use. Another officer has been arrested by the FBI after being caught selling drugs.

All of these events have come to light over the past two weeks and are playing a major role in shaping the public’s opinion of the Philadelphia Police Department. While it is unfortunate that a few bad people can ruin the reputation of many good men and women, it is a reality. If the public’s opinion of the police force is very negative, it will be very hard for the two groups to work together to keep the city safe. The citizens’ lack of trust may lead to some people wanting to “take things in their own hands.” There is a reason that the police force exists, residents should not need to protect themselves on their own. Now is the time for the city of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Police Department to improve community relations and regain the support of citizens.

Mayor Michael Nutter has begun to take the right steps to improve the situation, by agreeing to meet with bodega owners in regards to recent police raids. Establishing an open line of communication is always crucial for strengthening ties. Another measure that Mayor Nutter can take is to require all police officers to go through strict sensitivity training. Also, the police department should plan community days within different districts to develop a relationship with different groups of citizens. Since this is a public issue, all community members should have a voice in this situation. Do you have any thoughts on improving community relations?

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

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Twitter is Everywhere

In these technological days, it is safely said that Twitter now plays a significant role in public relations. When I first heard about the social networking site, I was somewhat skeptical. I became convinced that Twitter is a lasting networking tool while watching the University of Oklahoma women's basketball team’s recent run to the Final Four on ESPN. The commentators mentioned Twitter numerous times because the network itself has an account. It is used primarily for feeding followers story headlines from their website.

ESPN has over 67,000 followers while it is following over 74,000. So what is ESPN’s purpose of all that tweeting? It can allow ESPN to make a personal connection with its many admirers and sports fanatics. It can also be used to measure the network's perception. It appears the trend is going strong. All the major networks have Twitter accounts, including CNN, which has over 855,000 followers.

This just further proves that, like it or not, Twitter is here to stay.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Stephanie Loiero. Follow her on Twitter: @xo_steph

Friday, April 10, 2009

First Friday Pictures

Girl on the street with Van Gogh's "Starry Night" on her back!

The Ursula's about PHace account handing out treats and engaging the people walking by!

Sam and Jade at our Van Gogh exhibit in Artists' House Gallery!

I know these are a week late, but I was experiencing some technical difficulty trying to get the pictures from my BlackBerry onto my computer!

First Friday was a success! The weather held out on us (with the exception of a few very quick downpours in the beginning!), and a lot of people came out to enjoy Old City's festivities.

People devoured the Ursula's about PHace tasty treats (including homemade granola bites), and in spirit of the Rebecca Davis Dance Company's upcoming performance, Van Gogh, we even found someone with Starry Night on their back!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Running Effective Meetings

The other day I attended a meeting in the Village of the Student Center for PRSSA. It was a workshop highlighting how to run effective meetings, which covered great tips and named the "5 P's," which I'll share below.

1. Purpose
Why is the meeting be held?
2. Participants
Who is invited or should attend the meeting?
3. Planning
Create an agenda, stay organized and on task.
4. Participation
How can members or participants be involved during the meeting?
5. Perspective
Evaluate the meeting; was it successful? Did you accomplish the necessary tasks?

Additional tips:
-Keep the discussion on topic
-Try and stay neutral on all issues
-Make sure your meeting space is of appropriate size and there is enough room for everyone
-Encourage all members to participate in discussions
-Address unfinished or newly resolved issues from previous meetings

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Branding and Marketing in the Economic Recession

In yesterday's e-mail blast from PRSA Issues and Trends, there was a pretty neat article from AdvertisingAge. It talked about all different kinds of products and how well (or not well) they're doing marketing themselves through their advertisements. Brands included Bounty, Wendy's, Xbox and GM.

Here are some tips from the article:
- Offer consumers assurance
- Make sure your ads are aggressive
- Be innovative with your product
- Be without a unique message
- Ignore brand-oriented ads

You can read the entire article here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How Do You Get Attention?

Last week was a very busy week for me. I helped with the opening of Philadelphia Vision Center's new location, and both PRowl account teams did promos at First Friday! You may not think that eye wear has anything to do with First Friday, but that it just not the case.

Both events that I worked at used flyers to gain the attention of the target audience. Flyers are tricky, because you never know if people are going to take them. Usually I try to use a couple different strategies when giving out flyers. Here are some that I used last week:

1. Say the two or three most important words. For example, "Eye wear coupons!" or "Discounts on Tickets!" Many people, especially in this economy, want to save some money, so if you're offering a discount make sure you tell them!

2. Ask a question. For example, "When was the last time you had your eyes checked?" "Have you ever heard of the Rebecca Davis Dance Company?"

3. Just hand a flyer out when they are walking by. Sometimes there is no time to say anything!

Does anyone have good tips for getting attention while you're handing out flyers? Let us know!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Public Relations Podcasts

As much as I love social media, I've never gotten into listening to podcasts. In fact, it was only last month that I listened to my first podcast. I'm still trying to get the hang of it, but I know that many PR professionals swear by podcasts to keep up with the latest industry news.

Barbara Nixon, a professor at Georgia Southern University who I admire and follow on Twitter asked her PR class to listen to a PR or social media podcast, and to blog about what they got out of it.

She left her class with a list of suggested podcasts.

With Barbara's recommendations, I decided to listen to a bit of Inside PR Podcast. I really enjoyed my experience, and am definitely considering checking out some more of Barbara's recommendations.

So, now I ask you: What's your favorite PR or social media podcast? What do you get out of listening to them?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Philadelphia: the city of bRotherly love

Public Relations in Philadelphia is more than just some corporate, money-hungry, entertainment industry, people really seem to love PR in Philly. Everyone’s typical Public Relations dream is to do PR for George Clooney or P-Diddy (or whatever his name is now), hell it was even my dream, it was the reason I picked Public Relations as a major. But when I look at the professionals and students that I meet in Philadelphia every day, everyone seems to be passionate about the basics of Public Relations; the writing, the honesty and planning, not just the glitz and glamour. Sure, everyone wants to be successful at what they do, but does it have to be in the typical “Hollywood” fashion?

Recently, I met a public relations professional who has been working in the non-profit industry for twenty years in Philadelphia. Most people would think of this as hell, but not her. I was astonished at her passion when she spoke about her career and the satisfaction she receives out of doing something she loves every day. And I began to realize that every story I‘ve heard of PR professionals in Philadelphia has began to reshape the way I think about Public Relations. And then it clicked, wow I finally know what it means to be successful = happiness! Once you are happy and content with your career, you have become successful, so simple, yet I never would have though.

A lot of people I know who are in New York for school automatically think that their lives will be great because they will be thrown into corporate PR and make tons of money and work for the stars. Now that I think of it, I would never want to be in that type of environment. It would take out the fun and passion of PR and push in stress and hatred! I love PR and if New York PR is what determines “successful” PR, than I want to be an “unsuccessful” PR professional living in Philadelphia, working for whatever I am passionate about and living happily. Call me crazy but I think happy is the way to be! Public Relations is steadily growing in Philadelphia with tons a great people and ideas, my hopes are high that we will change the way people look at PR rather than turn into another city corrupted by fame.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Olivia Ragni. Follow her on Twitter: @oliviaragni

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Shadowing PR Practitioners

When I attended Careers 101 hosted by PPRA last week, several opportunities to shadow a PR practitioner were given out as raffle prizes. Although I did not win one of these chances, Bill Larson, who was one of the professionals available to be shadowed, advised me to not let that deter me from taking advantage of shadowing opportunities.

As someone who is interested in the competitive field of sports public relations, I realize the difficulty in entering the field. Bill Larson suggested that even though I may not have had the fortune to win a shadowing day with a professional, I should contact a practitioner in the sports field to ask if he or she would be willing to let me shadow him or her for a day.

Although I have not yet worked or interned in the sports public relations field, it would be valuable to be able to follow a practitioner to learn about his daily duties and responsibilities. This would provide insight as to what I may encounter should I choose to work in sports public relations. Not only would I acquire this useful information, but I would also gain a valuable contact.

Do whatever you can to get knowledge and experience in the field you hope to enter. Pick up the phone, preferably, or send an e-mail inquiring as to whether a practitioner would be willing to let you shadow them for a day. What is there to lose?

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Evan Nicholson. Follow her on Twitter: @evannicholson

Friday, April 3, 2009

PRowl Public Relations at First Friday

Have your fingers crossed that the weather holds up in Philadelphia tonight! Being the first Friday night in April, Old City should be loaded with art enthusiasts, wine connoisseurs, and well – everybody!

PRowl Public Relations will be going double time tonight representing our clients the Rebecca Davis Dance Company and Ursula’s about PHace.

For the Rebecca Davis Dance Company, we’ll be stationed at Artists’ House gallery on 57 N. 2nd Street (across from the Arden Theatre). Interested in seeing a contemporary performance about the life of Van Gogh and the inspiration behind some of his most famous paintings? Well, you’re in luck! The Rebecca Davis Dance Company will present the world premiere of Van Gogh at the Prince Music Theatre (1412 Chestnut Street) for two nights only: Wednesday, April 15 and Thursday, April 16.

Tickets for Van Gogh are normally priced at $25, but PRowl Public Relations will be offering a special discount price of $10 tonight at First Friday!

For Ursula’s About PHace, the PRowl Public Relations team will be decked in robes and visors touting edible treats. Why? To promote the Ursula’s About PHace Pause PHacial Station’s all-natural facials! Instead of using synthetic chemicals on her clients, expert facialist Elina Safin mixes a combination of vegetables, fruits, herbs and dairy to specifically treat the skin of each client. And better yet – all the ingredients are bought locally at the Reading Terminal Market and Sue’s Produce.

Come support PRowl Public Relations, the Rebecca Davis Dance Company and Ursula’s About PHace all in one place – First Friday in Old City, Philadelphia. Hopefully we’ll see you tonight!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Personal Blogs

I'm taking a journalism class this semester and my professor keeps talking about personal blogs for students. We all know that blogs are huge, but should everyone keep a blog? My professor says yes! He says it's a good idea for students because you can practice your writing and get yourself out there. But he also recommends that we have a theme to our blog. "Don't just rant and rave about things that make you mad. That's what Facebook is for. Make sure you're writing about a specific topic."

I've been contemplating making my own blog for a while, but couldn't think of what to write about. I've finally come to the conclusion that when I have some spare time (so not anytime soon - sorry!) I will create a blog about travel.

What about everyone else? Do you have a personal blog?

Here is the blog for my journalism class, and our professor links to all of his former and present students' personal blogs.