Saturday, October 31, 2009

Keeping Up with the Trends

Let’s face it. If you’re in PR, you probably have an interest of what’s hot and what’s not in every industry. Fashion, food and beverage, beauty, tourism, event planning—you name it, it’s got a trend. And in PR, it’s our job to know what these trends are for our clients. Luckily for us, we have so many resources to research the latest trends that it makes it easy to find what we’re looking for. In fact, we have so much information at our fingertips that we have to weed out the info that’s irrelevant to our client.

Here are some tips you can use to make your research much easier:

  • Know Your Competitors: If you are representing a chef who specializes in Southern cooking, don’t check out what chefs who specialize in Italian or French cooking are doing with their restaurants or cuisine—the more efficient search would be to see what Paula Deen is cookin’ up with some butter.
  • PowerPoint is Your Friend After All: Instead of typing up extremely long reports, use PowerPoint to create organized slides of your findings. You can summarize your findings much easier in bullets, and then show examples with pictures. Make it a fun learning experience for your client as well as your staff.
  • Split ‘Em Up: More often than not, there are many trends going on in your industry of research. Make sure to create categories for the trends that differ from one another and add anything that goes with the trend. For example, there is a “glamour” trend going on in fashion next spring, and it would be important to add the accessories that go with that trend to the report.
  • Learn by Doing: Now that you know the basics, exercise what you know! Trends are all around you, and they’re just waiting to be discovered and acted out.
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member, Ashley Kraynak.

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Wow 'Em in a Week"

It's not only important to take the necessary steps to get a job (for advice, read Melissa Marsili's post "So You're Graduating in May. What Now?"), but to take the steps once you've gotten the job to be successful. In an article by WetFeet, the editors outline a 6-day plan so you can "Wow 'em in a week." Here is a summary of each day:

Sunday (or, night before your first day):
  • Pick out your outfit (during your interview you should either take note of what other people are wearing in the office, or just ask).
  • Make a list by asking yourself a few questions: 1.) What are the top 3 things I hope to learn or accomplish? 2.) What is my role at the company? 3.) What are my most important projects?


  • Meet with your manager to make sure your notes from the night before match his/her expectations. What are some short term vs. long term projects you need to be working on? What are the deadlines for these projects? Are there any administrative documents to read before beginning your personal projects? This meeting is critical to making sure you're on the same page as your boss.


  • Get organized. Create a system to keep track of tasks, projects, meetings, etc. Your company may use Microsoft's Outlook, which is a great way to manage e-mail and your calendar all in one place. Also, to-do lists might help you stay on track (I live and breathe by to-do lists, personally).


  • Pick out go-getters in the company that you can look up to as mentors. Schedule lunches with these coworkers so you can learn the ropes of the company. The most important part of each meeting is to get to know the person and build a lasting relationship built on trust and respect. By showing an interest in fellow employees, you are continually building your network.


  • By now, make sure you have a general understanding of office procedures and administrative tasks. Consult your company's training manuals and check with coworkers.


  • Ask your manager if you can have a meeting to discuss your progress over your first week . By maintaining an open line of communication, you're showing your commitment to doing the best job you can. Make sure you get plenty of feedback so you can show how you have improved at your next evaluation meeting.

To read the full article, click here.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

When is the best time to reach journalists?

This is a question with many answers, but is there even a 'best time'? Check out Jeremy Porter's article on the 'Best time' to reach journalists? Just try taking a better tack. Below are some points of advice Porter offers to avoid being hung up on:
  • Is this a good time for you? For starters, always use common courtesy. This goes beyond your media calls. Sure, there are plenty of journalists that will say “no” just to get you off the phone, but most will give you a minute to two.
  • Be prepared with an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is typically used for describing “what you do” in the time it would take to go from one floor to the next in an elevator. In this instance, prepare an elevator pitch for what you’re calling them about. Think in terms of Twitter, where you only get 140 characters. Once the journalist gives you that minute, you should go right to your elevator speech. If they’re interested, keep talking. If not, proceed to the next bullet.
  • What would make this pitch more interesting? Try to get some advice on the call that will help you with other pitches. If the journalist says “I never write about this type of story,” ask them who does. If they tell you, “I just wrote a story about that, and I won’t cover it again for a while,” ask them when a good time to follow up might be. If they’re just not that into you, move on to a different contact.
  • What if you can’t find the number? Good salespeople know how to get around the gatekeeper. So do good PR people. Although most journalists prefer e-mail, I’ve had far more success with phone pitching – particularly when I don’t waste their time. If you can’t find a direct number for the journalist, call the main number and ask to be transferred. It may sound like common sense, but it works. If you get voicemail, leave a message with your elevator pitch.
  • Repeat your name and number. Nothing annoys people more than having to listen your message over and over again to hear the phone number you rambled off. Speak slowly, and repeat your name and number. This could improve your chances of getting a call back.
  • Consider social media. If you’ve got a great story, consider contacting the journalist through Twitter, LinkedIn or (on rare occasions) Facebook. Again, use your elevator. Ask when a good time to reach them would be and leave it at that. Social media is more casual. Keep it brief, cordial and professional.
  • Confirm how they like to receive information, and when the best time to reach them is. Regardless of their interest in this pitch, you’ll want to know how they like to get stuff and what the best day and time would be to reach them. Forget what it says in your “pitch tips”; that information might be outdated. Once you know this, make sure the rest of your team has this information. The better your team is at working with the media, the easier it will be for all of you to find success.
  • Maybe there is no “best time.” There are some journalists who prefer never to be contacted. For them, there is no best time. That also means anytime will do. Even difficult journalists work with PR people on stories. The trick is getting their attention and giving them something of value—something they are genuinely interested in. There are plenty of other posts on this blog that deal with that topic, so we’ll leave it there for now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Perfect Pitching

Is there such a thing? Of course not, no one's perfect, but a pitch to a journalist must be very close to gain their attention. What, then, makes up a near perfect pitch? Lately, as a PR student getting my feet wet in this fickle field I've been wondering just that. Today, at a PR committee meeting of one of PRowl's new clients, pitching was discussed quite a bit. As I sat listening to the ideas of the seasoned PR professionals in the room I realized how vital a perfectly tailored pitch is.

I've learned today that the key to tailoring a pitch is to know exactly who it is that you're pitching and exactly the type of content that they write. Becoming a news junky is vital, especially in the region where you're working. You must be able to identify the journalists who work at news outlets relevant to your clients message. For example, if your client's target audience consists of corporate professionals then you must have a contact at the local business journal.

Knowing the names and interests of so many journalists may seem to be a daunting task, but luckily there is a quicker way to figure out what stories they are buzzing about. HARO, or Help A Reporter Out, is a website dedicated to matching journalists with the sources that they need to develop their story. A journalist can post an inquiry for more information about the story that they're working on and a PR person can pitch them in response. If that pitch is uniquely tailored to the journalists story it has much more of a chance to be used. Websites like HARO make effective pitching much easier. Happy pitching!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So You're Graduating in May. What Now?

After registering for my last semester of classes, I felt overwhelmed. The process was quick and painless (have no fear, OWLnet gets easier as time goes on) and I'm right on track for May 2010 graduation. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of "what do I do now?" though. No matter how much post-graduation advice I hear, it doesn't seem to make graduation seem any less daunting. However, buckling down and taking that advice will help me to make this huge transition into the work world less scary. Here is some of the advice I've been getting:

  • Network, network, network. Talk to people everywhere you go. Many PR professionals have said that the jobs they have had in their careers have been acquired through someone they knew.
  • Get business cards and carry them with you everywhere. You never know when someone may think of you for a project, internship, or even a job. Make sure they have a way to get in contact with you!
  • Work on your writing constantly. I've heard countless times that good writing is what makes people stand out. It's a skill that has to be developed over time, so you must always be taking steps to improve it.
  • Go on informational interviews. Even if a company isn't hiring, ask them if you can come in for an informational interview. This is a good way to network and practice your interviewing skills!
  • Go to the Temple University Career Center. You can have your resume critiqued, sign up for a mock interview, look at job openings, and much more. Do it, it's free!
  • Talk with your peers about how they are dealing with the job search process. Share tips, experiences, successes and failures. Learn from each other!

Does anyone have any more post-graduation advice? We'd love to hear it. It's a big world out there!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Matching a Name to a Face

It has often been said that public relations is all about who you know. For this reason, the importance of networking cannot be overstated in our industry.

After the subject was broached at a professor panel recently hosted by Temple PRSSA, I have decided to get personal business cards. Although this idea may sound strange at first because I am only a student and not a business professional, it actually makes perfect logical sense.

In fact, I have come to see that business cards can be an important tool for future success. After all, I've heard many times that, especially in the case of one's first job, jobs are often located through connections in one's business network. With this in mind and as a college junior, now is the time for me to make tangible connections with fellow public relations professionals and those involved in the industries in which I may one day want to work.

Simply meeting people is fine and good, but without a tool like a business card, how are the people you meet ever supposed to remember your name and contact information for further contact or partnership? It is difficult to build an effective network without a means for sustaining contact with new-found acquaintances.

Although it is very important to make a strong and lasting first impression while networking, in facilitating future contact, business cards are important vehicles by which professional relationships can be solidified.

Here is a link to one site where students can order affordable and personalized business cards. Check it out!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Re-branding in a Tough Economy

Is a burger the new golden ticket to make a restaurant stand out in today’s economy? Nation-wide chain, Denny’s, seems to think so. While normally only known for their senior citizen specials and breakfast menu, the company has decided to create a brand for the other meals served throughout the day. After traveling the country, the company’s chefs have claimed to have developed the “best of the best” in the burger world. Priced at a wallet-friendly $6.99 and coming in five different options, all served with fries, is it a meal America couldn’t love?

With a company as classic as Denny’s going through the process of branding, are other businesses feeling the pressure to redevelop their brand in today’s economy? All the evidence seems to point to yes, from runway designers developing subsidiary labels for lower price-point stores to restaurants changing their menus to be more wallet-friendly. The re-branding phenomenon helps reassure that in a tanking economy, public relations should not be the first department cut and that we really are needed more than most think.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member, Tristin Fabro.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Internet and Media Attention of Balloon Boy

Millions of people around the world watched the fate of Falcon Heene, better known as “balloon boy,” who was thought to have taken off from his Colorado home in a helium balloon, last Thursday, only to be found safe hours later.

Speculation soon grew that the incident was just a hoax and publicity stunt engineered by the boy’s father, Richard Heene. Falcon, when questioned in an interview about why he had hid in his house during the chaos replied to his father, “You guys said that, um, we did this for the show.” The family is now being accused of being publicity hungry and just wanting to be reality TV stars.

So how could the major news networks feed the publicity hungry when we have more pressing matters and timely causes to be informed of? "Easily," wrote Greg Mitchell, editor of Editor & Publisher. “The press and news agencies reported for over an hour that a boy was in the balloon, without any qualifiers, even though the only witness was a sibling who saw him climb inside,” Mitchell wrote. “Only after the crash did TV hosts stress that reports of a boy in it were unverified and raised the possibility of a hoax. Few had raised the issue of whether such a balloon could even lift off with a 50-pound kid inside, and then float the way it did.”

“Balloon boy” became the No. 1 search on Google within hours of the event and it was closely followed in blogs and social networking sites, with Twitter taking the lead.

We are always taught in our public relation and news writing classes the importance of making sure press releases are “news worthy.” In my opinion, this story has gotten far more attention than it really deserves, especially now that we know the boy is safe and that it was all a hoax and mere attempt at notoriety.

What do you think? Did this incident deserve the coverage it received? Is the media at fault for letting the story get out of hand?

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member, Trish Wyatt.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tweets: "Google It"

After Microsoft’s Bing announced they would be adding Twitter updates to its search engine results, Google has quickly followed behind. On Wednesday, the search giant blogged:

“Given this new type of information and its value to search, we are very excited to announce that we have reached an agreement with Twitter to include their updates in our search results. We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months. That way, the next time you search for something that can be aided by a real-time observation, say, snow conditions at your favorite ski resort, you’ll find tweets from other users who are there and sharing the latest and greatest information.”

To read the full article, click here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Congratulations Philadelphia!
The Phillies are going
to the World Series!

Last night the Phillies beat the Los Angles Dodgers at Citizen Bank Park 10-4
. Fans and Philadelphians celebrated all along Broad Street after the exciting win!

*image from

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

PR and Digital Media: A Love Story?

The public relations field of twenty years ago consisted of 'snail-mail', a fax machine, a telephone and the creativity of the professional. Now everyone in the field is praising the importance of social media. What a contrast. With the digital media revolution, the PR industry has become much more complex and is now almost entirely web based. PR professionals still craft pitches and news releases to send to main stream media, but the field now has many more facets. You can now manage a client's Facebook page, Twitter account, You Tube channel and blog to build their reputation and reach their target audience. Pitching traditional media outlets such as newspapers and magazines is no longer the bread and butter of the industry. PR professionals are beginning to include bloggers and online journalists as important contacts on their media lists. All of these new forums are a great way for us to gain audience awareness of our client's message, but it also raises questions of the future of PR.

Yes, digital media is providing great opportunities for PR professionals to promote their clients, but isn't it just creating a lot more 'noise' to cut through? As Twitter, Facebook and blogs gain popularity the unique pitching opportunities that they offer will become more mundane, and the traditional media that our industry has relied on thus far will be dead and gone. There is even talk of the social media boom becoming a 'crutch' for PR people to blindly pitch their clients without strategically crafting their message.

Now, I'm blogging about this topic so it's clear that I don't feel like the growing popularity of social media is entirely negative. But I do feel, however, that it is up to PR professionals to use this digital revolution to enhance our craft without damaging our credibility. I feel that we must only use these media outlets when they make sense strategically and that we shouldn't just 'tweet' for the sake of 'tweeting'. Are we really ready to rely solely on the fickle tendencies of those who participate in social media?

How do you feel about the digitization of the PR industry? Is it a smart new craze or a lazy phase?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Matt Lauer at Temple University!

I had the amazing opportunity to see Matt Lauer speak today at Temple, and he didn't disappoint! He gave a short introduction, made a joke about having a beer at Maxi's on his way over, then generously invited students to ask him ANYTHING. Students seemed a little hesitant at first, but after a minute or two there were lots of hands up in the crowd. The result was an engaging Q&A session about jobs, interviews, advice, and some of the best times of his career. Here are some key points that I took away from his talk:
  • Surround yourself will good people who will tell you the truth. This is important in good and bad times.
  • Want to differentiate yourself from the rest of our jobless generation? Write an excellent cover letter. Make sure the person reading it knows you're writing it especially for them.
  • NBC hires interns, and may even help find them housing! Juniors and seniors - look into it!
  • Specialize in something while in school. Become an expert on something that people will be talking about for years to come. His examples: China or the environment.
  • Do your homework! When asked what he does to prepare for a tough interview he said that he prepares more. Know the subject as well as who you're interviewing.
  • Develop a tough skin. Things will happen to you over your career that will hurt, so be prepared to deal with them.

These are just some of the great things we heard from Matt Lauer today. A big thanks to him for coming, and to the School of Communications and Theater for inviting students to attend!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Get Published!

In a recent e-mail conversation I had with Tim Klabunde of Cofebuz, he emphasized the importance of getting published for aspiring public relations professionals. While this may sound like a daunting task, Klabunde explains that it doesn't have to be that way. Here are a few tips to make the route to publication easier:
  • For those of you who have blogs, Klabunde recommends using Google Analytics to gauge which of your posts have been most popular. This will help you decide which posts are on the right track and would make good candidates for developing into articles.
  • From there, my personal advice is to read as much as possible. This can help enhance your own writing skills while also lending insight into how to develop a good article.
  • Next, look into what publications are accepting articles. Klabunde recommends starting with small digital publications and working your way up to larger ones.
Ultimately, as with so much in the world of PR, the goal is to build relationships with others. Getting your name out there and forming relationships with those in your industry and those within publishing circles will help you find opportunities to get published.

Getting published is invaluable because it will enable you to build your portfolio, grow your presence in your industry and further develop your professional network for future opportunities.

I have come to see getting published as an important next step in my professional development and have set a goal for myself to get at least one article published before I graduate next year. Have you set any goals for yourself about getting published? What are your own tips for getting published?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

When Crisis Communication Is Needed In The Office

By now, I'm sure you have heard or read about the David Letterman scandal. Sure, these allegations make for an increase of ratings, widespread water cooler chats and some interesting points of view about the CBS funny man. But all jokes and opinions aside, what happens after the release of these statements and fingers are pointed disdainfully? What is the role of a PR professional working with the show and network? This is when damage control and crisis communication sets into overdrive, and communication professionals begin to mold situations to their client's favor.

It is always advisable to get out in front of bad news, so David Letterman told the story in context, which did not allow for the story to be owned by outside observers who may not have the same interests in mind. There are some exceptions, of course. The last thing you want is to create a news story when otherwise no one would pay attention.
That clearly would never be the case for a celebrity like Letterman, but for lesser known executives that is always the balance that must be struck.

In the end, this fiasco has revealed that the true face of media has changed. It seems that every average Joe has become a citizen journalist heard by sizable audiences. This changes the game for those who hope that they can quickly sweep it under the rug after admitting their wrongdoings. At the same time, if Letterman hadn’t admitted it all, it would have eventually become known and the wrath of the media would have been ten times as vicious. It is always important to keep in mind that a successful public relations campaign does not aim to convince the public that a bad thing is actually good, but instead helps to alleviate the damage.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member, Stephanie Loiero.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cat Got Your Tongue?

According to several studies, public speaking is the number one fear among adults, topping the fears of flying, heights, sickness, and even death. What is it exactly that has so many people nervous about speaking in public? Is it the fear of being judged? Or is it the fear of being unprepared?

Whatever the reason may be, public speaking is something that everyone must do at some point in their career - no matter what their vocation may be. Whether you are an engineer, an accountant, or a public relations director, knowing how to confidently present to your colleagues and clients is an incredibly important skill to possess.

To conquer the number one fear of adults, I’ve created a guideline that I’ve titled “The 3 P’s of Public Speaking.” These are little tricks and strategies that I have learned through various public speaking classes along with my personal experiences of presenting.

  1. Prepare. Many people lack confidence when addressing audiences because they do not feel comfortable and knowledgeable about the information they are presenting. This can easily be conquered by conducting as much research as you can gather. The more educated you are about your topic, the more confident you will be when presenting it. Also, draft several outlines of your speech, making sure that your points are easy to follow and your transitions are clear and concise. Audiences naturally drift in and out of presentations and you want to make sure they can jump right in to where they left off. This can be done by using recognizable (yet smooth) transitions and key words that are repeated frequently throughout your speech. The more prepared you are for a speech the less anxious you’ll feel.
  2. Practice. Practice as many times as you possibly can. Many people make the mistake of thinking they can just “wing” their speech, but often times those mistakes lead to discombobulating, confusing, and unorganized speeches. It is important to practice because the old saying is true; practice does make perfect (or at least brings you a lot closer to it). The more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel with the material. The majority of presentations have a time limit and even in the professional world presentations are expected to meet allotted time slots. With practice you can establish your rate and delivery techniques so that your speech is both time efficient and effective. Stand up and deliver your speech out loud several times, finding out what you need to improve on, whether its your tone, pitch, rate, or volume. The more you practice the more it will show when presenting.
  3. Present. Take advantage of every public speaking opportunity you come across. The more you present, naturally the more comfortable and confident you will become. You can gain more experience by joining organizations or clubs that provide opportunities for you to present or by seeking out opportunities within your job or internship. It is also important that after every presentation you gather feedback from your audience because critiques only help to strengthen your skills for the next presentation.

Even if I didn’t cure your fear of public speaking I hope that I offered some valuable and helpful advice for future presentations. If worse comes to worse, you can always rely on the age-old trick of imagining your audience in their underwear (although I don’t always recommend it!).

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Niki Ianni.

Friday, October 16, 2009

PRowl's Crash Course

What’s great about PRowl Public Relations is that every semester we are able to recruit and add new student members who are interested in gaining more hands-on experience in the PR industry. What’s bad is that sometimes we at PRowl forget that our young members have not all been trained in pitching the media, engaging the public through social media, etc. and we immediately begin getting them involved in a project.

At our PRowl Public Relations’ staff and board meetings yesterday, we discussed how important it is to slow down at the beginning of every semester and do a training/reminder crash course on all things PR. This will be beneficial for new members who may have little to no experience, as well as serve as a reminder for our established members on all the different aspects involved when completing our campaign successfully.

Some different things we’d like to go over at the beginning of every semester:
-How to create a "fan page" and other varieties of profiles on Facebook
-How to begin discussions on Facebook
-How to create an event on Facebook
-How to strategically add "friends" who add value (not just random people to superficially bulk up the numbers)
-Little things to remember on Facebook, such as: accepting friend requests, and then writing messages to new "friends" when relevant; writing back to comments on the Facebook page; responding to new messages; and posting daily.
-How to strategically "follow" the right people on Twitter so you know trending topics relative to the client's industry
-Relevant topics to post about on Twitter regarding the client
-Ways to get others to "follow" you
-How to synch Twitter and Facebook so each is updated when you post a message or a "tweet"
-How to create press material, such as a press release, media alert, pitch letter, PSA, etc.
-When and how to follow-up with the media
-Things to do before you ever pitch (for example - know the journalist's beat and make sure they haven't covered your story already...)

These are just some preliminary ideas! We want your feedback! Do you have any additional tips you think would be important to discuss every semester to make sure PRowl is able to offer the highest-level of service to our clients?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Trending Topics on Twitter

For all you Twitter users out there... you probably have some knowledge about the list of "trending topics" on the right hand side of the home page.

Twitter lists the trending topics for "right now," "today" and "this week." The site explains trending topics as, "Twitter looks at every incoming tweet,then ranks the popularity of certain words or phrases in real time." So in an nut shell it's what people are tweeting about most. The topics usually relate to breaking news or hot topics at the time, but sometimes they seem to be completely random.

But what starts a trending topic? People just start tweeting about the same thing and it becomes a popular subject to include in your allotted 140 characters. I did a little research to try and find out more about trending topics on Twitter and found out a lot.

First of all there are trending topics, which Twitter ranks, but then there are hashtags, which users can purposely add to a subject or topic they might be referring to. Say for example during the MTV Video Music Awards last month, #VMA was a hashtag used in tweets for reactions during the show.

For more information visit these sites to learn more:

-Twitter Fan Wiki has a great page about Hashtags

-Mashable offers 15 Ways to Track Twitter Trends

-How to use hashtags for business on Mashable

You can even follow these users on Twitter too!

Bio: I tweet the topics that are being talked about most on Twitter

Bio: The user-editable encyclopedia for hashtags found on Twitter. Follow this acct and send a DM to look up a hashtag.
Or visit their site: What the Hashtag?!

Do you use hashtags or follow trending topics regularly on Twitter? Do you have any advice?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Interested in Interning for a Nonprofit?

The National Kidney Foundation Serving the Delaware Valley (NKFDV) is currently seeking a special events and development intern to begin immediately. Daily intern responsibilities will include assisting with the planning of development events, such as the annual Kidney Ball, and development campaigns, such as Casual for Kidneys, a program where children can make a donation to the NKFDV to dress down for a day of school. NKFDV interns gain hands-on experience finalizing details of events as well as media coverage for them. This is a great opportunity for anyone who would like to see how a communications background can be put to use helping those who are ill and less fortunate.

I have a soft spot for the NKFDV because I’ve been interning there myself for the past 10 months and have learned a great deal from my experiences. The office is small and interns really feel like an integral part of the staff. Interns really do get hands on event planning and development experience. For example, during my time with the NKFDV I’ve assisted my boss with the planning of two major events: High Heels Kick Out Kidney Disease and the 2nd Annual Wilmington Kidney Walk. I’ve also been able to develop my social media skills through this internship. Over the summer I handled some media relations for the 8th Annual Philadelphia Zoo Kidney Walk. I was responsible for the Twitter and Facebook accounts and got a chance to write press releases and media alerts for the event. I also got a chance to work side by side with a PR professional from Maven Communications who donated her time to help assist with the media relations for the walk.

This internship will definitely be what you make of it and there are many possibilities for personal growth and development at the National Kidney Foundation. The position is unpaid, but I have been able to earn my work study grant through this internship because it is a nonprofit. Hours and days of work are flexible and you can basically set whatever schedule works best for you.

If you are interested in this position please contact Internship Coordinator Kimberly Hamm at or 215-923-8611. Good luck!

Are You a Twitter Addict?

Many people joke about being addicted to social media. How many times have we heard people say that Facebook or Twitter was distracting them from being productive? I was reading when I saw an interesting article titled, "Top 8 Signs you're a Twitter addict." Even though the signs were amusing, I'm sure everyone knows people who would fit this profile! Here are the 8 signs:

1. You think your URL shrinker is better than someone else's.
2. You know which avatar you like most of a Twitter friend.
3. You've used the term, "I should Tweet that."
4. You get your news from trending topics.
5. You've contemplated going to, attending, or dating someone you met at a TweetUp.
6. You hate someone on Twitter that you haven't met.
7. You judge people on their following/follower count.
8. When Twitter goes down you spiral down emotionally.

Do any of these signs describe you? Let us know!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Utilizing Skype in Communications

Skype is a free software program that, with a computer, a webcam and the Internet, can transmit video and audio to another user across the globe. I first downloaded Skype to communicate for free with my uncle who recently moved to South Korea. I was amazed at the sound and video quality that this free software provided. Now, my conversations with family via Skype feel more like a visit than a phone call.

Now, what does Skype have to do with PR? Have you ever watched a talk show where a guest spoke to the audience via Skype? It seems that Skype offers an opportunity to our clients to reach out to media outlets that they may not have been able to before. Skype allows an expert to appear on Oprah without ever setting foot in the studio. Skype opens up new interview possibilities for our clients. Even if a client isn't available to travel we'll still be able to get them exposure on an international scale!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Airlines Online!

It is no secret that social media has revolutionized the way we live, work and communicate, and the phenomenon is ongoing.

I am always fascinated by the new uses we continue to discover for social media outlets. Last week, I caught my roommates doing an eight-minute ab workout - on YouTube! I also talked to a fellow student who admitted he used a YouTube video to guide him through tying his tie.

The uses for social media are endless, and it seems that everyday a new use makes itself apparent.

Airlines are apparently tapping into the sphere of social media, too. According to Mashable, "now planes are tweeting, too!" Lufthansa "has set up a new service called MySkyStatus that automatically posts the current position of your flight to Twitter or Facebook so your friends can follow your travels (and your friends living in those cities can look up!)."

Pretty cool, I say! Where will social media pop up next?

Advice from Bruce Bobbins!

On Friday, my class and I had the chance to meet with Bruce Bobbins, executive vice president at Dan Klores Communications, in his New York City office. I had previously heard Bruce speak at a Careers 101 event at Temple University last year, but this time he offered greater insight to his experience and advice on the public relations field. After treating the class to pizza, Bruce shed light on his background, past projects, while shared some valuable tips and advice.

Here are the highlights:

The two most important things you must take away from your educational experience:
1. Be the best writer you can be.
2. Take as many internships as you possibly can.

Don't exaggerate and be honest on your resume. Don't list "organized red carpet event," you're interviewer knows you didn't "organize" the entire event, instead say exactly what you did, such as "helped set up for the event" or "worked behind the scenes," as interns do.

When pitching a story to a reporter, don't oversell your angle or idea. Never say you have the "best story;" don't over promise or spin a story to make it sound better because chances are you'll get caught.

Send a thank you note or e-mail to the reporter/producer after they've covered a story you've pitched. Also, let them know they can always reach out to you if they need help with anything in the future.

The job market is changing, it was once normal for you first job to be your last job, but nowadays it's alright to have three or four jobs by the age of 30.

Never be afraid to ask questions, there is never a stupid one! Try to learn from your mistakes by correcting them. Always apologize if you've done something wrong and don't blame it on someone else.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

PR and the Red Carpet

One of the most important nights in Philadelphia Theater just occurred this past Monday. The Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theater went off without a hitch this year, honoring over 25 artists who perform and work in the Philadelphia area.

Every year, over 100 productions are produced by theaters all over the region and the Barrymore Awards is the night of all nights. Just like the Tony Awards in New York, The Barrymore Awards includes nothing less than a red carpet, press coverage and pure glamor. As an intern at Fleischman Gerber & Associates (FGA), I was given the opportunity to attend the 15th annual awards ceremony. One of FGA's many clients includes the Theater Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, who runs and sponsors the event. Although I was not able to actually sit and watch the ceremony (I was busy setting up interviews and making sure camera crews were arriving at the right place!), I gained much experience and knowledge about handling the press during an event such as this. I was also given the opportunity to pitch the media before and after.

Some of the PR for this event included pitching to nominees' hometown media and making sure the most key press was present at the actual event. They were given on complimentary ticket and the opportunity to interview winners directly after they were announced.

In the end, the press coverage was beyond what we had expected! ABC, NBC and FOX all aired about 2-3 minutes of coverage and the Inquirer, Philly Mag, and other print publications all had a lot to say about the event.

Overall it was a great night with successful PR execution. I learned a lot, and I even got to meet Tony Danza, who was presenting an award at the ceremony!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member, Melissa Colelli.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Last Chance for Student Discount!

TOMORROW is the Rebecca Davis Dance Company’s latest performance Dancing to the Edge of Darfur at 8 p.m. at the Prince Music Theatre, 1412 Chestnut Street.

It’s your last chance to buy Temple University student discount tickets for only $10 each (that’s $35 off the normal price)! To purchase tickets, go to “The Reel” box office, located in the Underground at the Student Center.

If you’re a student, but not at Temple University, e-mail Brianna Fisher at to get access to your online student discount code.

About the event: With money raised through the Rebecca Davis Dance Company’s original Darfur performance in April 2008, Global Grassroots was able to fund a theater group in Rwanda to help educate the population about the causes and consequences of violence against women. Video footage of the theater group will be combined with excerpts from the original Darfur ballet performance to demonstrate tangible ways in which audience members can aid those affected. In addition, photographs smuggled back from Darfur by U.S. Marine Brian Steidle will be shown along with readings by his sister Gretchen Wallace Steidle, founder of Global Grassroots and co-author of “The Devil Came on Horseback,” an account of Brian’s time as a soldier in Darfur. Excerpts from the award-winning documentary “The Devil Came on Horseback” will also be part of the event.

100 percent of the profits from Dancing to the Edge of Darfur will go to Global Grassroots, a non-profit organization advocating social change for women in war-torn Sudan.


Not a student? Click here to purchase tickets today!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More Magazines Become Extinct

In the communication world, the name Condé Nast rings a bell with most people. It's a company with many powerhouse publications, including Vogue, Allure and GQ. However, four of their magazines are being cut this week, proving that no one is safe from the uncertain future of print publications. The four publications that are being cut are: Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Gourmet and Cookie.

In a memo sent out to Condé Nast staff members, the company said it will focus resources on other magazines, such as Brides and Bon Appetit, and invest in others areas as well. It also thanked the staff of all four closing magazines for their hard work over the years.

As communcations professionals, how do you feel about the cuts being made at Condé Nast?

*Information taken from "Bloodbath at Condé Nast: Following Review By Consulting Company, Publisher Announces Plans to Shutter Gourmet Mag and 3 Other Titles" Daily Dog, October 6, 2009.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Use Social Media as if it Were Your Job

Check this out!

"Some small-business owners, overwhelmed by the time commitment required of marketing their products and services via social media, are hiring consultants to lend a hand," explains Sarah Needleman in a Wall Street Journal article, "Firms Get a Hand with Twitter, Facebook."

"'It's just better having someone dedicated to thinking of stuff to put up,'" said one business owner quoted in the article.

The recent development of firms dedicated solely to maintaining companies' social media marketing, as well as the trend among small businesses to hire PR people to keep after their Facebook and Twitter profiles, is all the more reason why those of us aspiring PR professionals must stay abreast of social media outlets.

This article fits in perfectly with some of the advice offered by Vault Communication's Meg Kane, who spoke at our PRSSA meeting this week. "Be on Facebook and Twitter as if it were your job," she said, "because one day it very well could be."

That is not to say that some businesspeople do not prefer to maintain their own image on social networking sites. "'The idea with Twitter is that you get close to an immediate response,'" one business owner said as for why he wouldn't pay someone else to update his profiles. Doing it himself, he adds, means that "'there's no middle man that has to go check with the company [before posting or responding to someone else's post].'"

Nevertheless, we cannot overstate the importance of being active participants in - and students of - social media marketing. Now more than ever.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Digital Business Cards: The New Networking Tool

Recently I found an interesting article on about the rise of digital business cards. Entitled, “Eight digital alternatives to paper business cards,” the author talks about the newest tech trend in networking. She describes what digital business cards are and how to distribute them, but emphasizes that paper business cards are still the norm.

Here are some tips for different social media users:

  • Recent graduates should use the website DubMeNow. It allows you to showcase your tech skills, but again you should carry traditional business cards when attending career fairs, etc. The e-business card can be sent through text or email from DubMeNow and saves in the recipient’s address book. It also saves the person’s information for your future use.
  • Frequent Twitter users can use TwtBizCard to link your digital business card in your profile. Also, you can tweet using the hash tag #twtbizcard to allow followers to see your contact information.
  • If you have multiple social networking profiles, Retaggr is available to create an online business card that combines all of these online personalities. Along with receiving your contact information, users can see your photos on Flickr.

To see the rest of the sites offering digital alternatives to paper business cards visit

In such a competitive market, it is important to network with the top tools. The digital business card will help show your ability to use technology and new media, giving you an edge over the competition.

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

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Follow These Positive Tweeps!

Twitter is one of the most-used sites for social media. As a Public Relations student who should be up to date with the different forms of social media, I’ve recently become semi-addicted to Twitter. I do not tweet very much (I still haven’t mastered how to come up with interesting 140-character phrases about my day-to-day life), but I follow a lot of interesting people.

PR professionals, my friends, Kathy Griffin—all are avid Twitter users. However, what I discovered recently is that there are people on Twitter that exist solely to make Twitter users have a better day. Needless to say, I have started following these positive people.

To name a few…

@SparkPeople aims to “SPARK” its followers to reach their goals and lead healthier lives. SparkPeople replies to its followers with encouragement and praise if they reach their goal. Their smiley face emoticons and motivational quotes help too!

@DoOneGood inspires its followers to do one good thing everyday and is complete with re-tweets on its followers’ good deeds, and positive words of encouragement.

@Livinthefitlife tweets very frequently each day, encouraging its followers to live healthier lifestyles. It offers tips for eating healthy, staying physically fit, and maintaining a great mood to enjoy each and every day!

@Motivational supplies its followers with a motivational quote at the beginning of each day. What could be better than waking up to some positive words to live by?

@PositiveClicks believes in the power of living positively, so each tweet links followers to “how to” websites about living positively, acting creatively, eating healthily, and overall having an optimistic outlook on life

Now whenever I log onto my Twitter account, I read the recent happenings in the lives of my favorite celebrities and useful tips from PR professionals all over the country, but I also get a little boost of positivity to get my day started with the right attitude!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Marissa Sudol.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Breslow Partners Seeking PR Intern

Breslow Partners, a full-service public relations agency in Philadelphia, is looking for an intern... NOW! And... it pays. This is a fantastic opportunity to work for one of Philadelphia's finest in PR and gain a tremendous amount of valuable experience. Check out the description below to see if you have what it takes:

Are you dying to have a career you love, one that you can really sink your teeth into? Do you dream of reaching the top of your chosen field? Would you do just about anything to assure yourself the right opportunity to make all of this happen for you? If so, this just might be your chance!

Breslow Partners, an award-winning public relations firm in Philadelphia, has an immediate opening for one intern.

The lucky candidate will participate in all aspects of the company. This job is the equivalent of PR boot camp. BUT, you must be willing to give this opportunity everything in the hopes of learning public relations from the bottom up. We’re looking for a highly motivated individual, who is eager to work hard to obtain excellence in his/her career. Ideal candidate can devote 20 hours per week.

Candidates are required to be outstanding communicators, both written and oral, organized and have the potential to be effective project managers, capable of performing multiple tasks under tight deadlines, as well as able to work both independently and in teams.

The selected candidate must be proactive in understanding what the clients they are working on are all about, what their goals are, and how to pitch them to the local and national media. They’ll be expected to study print and online publications, be aware of social networking opportunities and watch television shows for potential placement opportunities.

If you think you’ve got what it takes for this paid internship position, email your resume asap to: To learn more about the company, check out the website at

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Diamonds and Social Media Marketing?!

Karri Flatla discusses diamonds and social media marketing in her article, "The 4 Cs of Social Media Marketing," a fun and interesting metaphor!

The 4 Cs:

Check out how the 4 Cs of diamond shopping are parallel to the social media marketing world.