Sunday, January 31, 2010
In the beginning of our discussion of the marketing planning process, we began to learn about the various components of a marketing plan. Of particular interest to me was the SWOT analysis, in which a company examines its strengths (S) and weaknesses (W), as well as the opportunities (O) and threats (T) it faces.
In class, we chose major brands on which to conduct practice SWOT analyses. These exercises proved to be both fun and challenging. What was also interesting was how such a simple-seeming exercise yielded so many potential viable ideas for the brands we discussed.
I think we should all conduct SWOT analyses more often, in the organizations in which we are involved, in the companies for which we work and even in our personal lives. I plan on conducting SWOT analyses more frequently in my life, and I think that taking an objective step back will help me find new ways to constantly raise the bar for success in my life.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member, Josie Fox.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Because of the nature of the class, my instructor thought the name may have been a mistake due to the lack of “marketing research” and thought perhaps there were no women in the focus groups when the name was decided. Although most of the class chuckled at the name, myself and a few others thought differently.
I had just read an article about the iPad in the Wall Street Journal before coming into class and the first thing that came into my mind was “notepad.” I actually thought that it was a good name being as though it maintained Apple’s well-known brand identity with the “iP” in iPhone and iPod.
Once I realized the nature of the name that was provoking jokes and heard about the reactions, I decided that this could possibly be a great strategic PR move. So many people were buzzing about the new product, and name, that the joke “iTampon” even became a trending topic on Twitter.
As one person in my class put it: “People are talking about it and awareness and hype is being generated. Will the name really deter people from purchasing the product? Probably not.”
What do you think of the name “iPad?” Was it a strategic move or did Apple really just forget to do their marketing research among women?
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Here are the following sites which offer the Twitter accounts in directory format of journalists:
Additional Twitter directories mentioned include the following, which aren't limited to media contacts, but other fields as well:
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The event will include a series of bizarre PR workshops and break out sessions with several professional guests. The event will conclude with a networking social with members of Philly PRSA, PPRA and IABC from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
If you're interested in this event register now by clicking here before the February 1, 2010 early registration deadline. Early registration tickets are only $40, but after February 1 tickets are $50 for members until April 2, 2010. Tickets are $65 for non members and PRSSA members who register after April 2.
For more information visit the Drexel PRSSA Regional Activity website.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Today at the meeting we will be:
- Receiving information about PRSSA
- Learning about speakers and events for the semester
- Signing up for committees
So come out and start off your semester by joining an awesome professional student organization. If you're already a member, make sure you get there so you can reconnect with all of your peers!
If you need more information about PRSSA at Temple University, please contact Jessica Lawlor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want more information about PRSSA as a national organization, visit the website at http://www.prssa.org/!
Monday, January 25, 2010
What do they do?
- They use the "leaky-faucet" approach to PR, meaning that they steadily release newsworthy releases over time.
- They find creative angles for stories.
- They're well organized.
- They can multitask and think on their feet.
- They know the media inside and out.
- They're persistent but also know when to back down.
- They set goals and measure results.
Which of these habits have you mastered, and which do you need to focus on more?
Saturday, January 23, 2010
How are you preparing yourself for the new semester? Will you be devoting more time to the Tech Center or Library? Or maybe working endlessly on trying to break the evil procrastination habits most of us seem unable to escape? Will you join the world of tweeters and discuss your interests with people across the world? Maybe you wish to cut back on Thirsty Thursday’s? Or possibly this semester you wish to make a change to your health and fitness?
Whatever changes you wish to make, this is the semester to do it. Spring semester flies by in the blink of an eye. With the summer months rapidly approaching, we often lose track of the goals we originally set for ourselves. So, take time to write down the goals you wish to accomplish as the new semester gets underway. Make your first semester of 2010 your best.
From all of us here at Prowl Public Relations, good luck!!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Amanda Kaster.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Do you think these actions are enough to salvage Royal Caribbean's image? How would you handle the PR for this company in this situation?
Here is another article that appeared in Ad Age in which PR pros themselves debate the actions of the cruise line.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The NY Times put together a Q & A article which answers many people's questions and general concerns about what is to come and details about this major change. See some of the highlights below or click here for the complete article.
Q: Will access to NYTimes.com be free for subscribers to the print newspaper?
A: Yes. Even people who subscribe only to the Sunday paper will have free, unlimited use of the Web site.
Q: How much will be charged?
A: That has not been decided.
Q. How much will I be able to read without paying?
A: A reader will be able to see a certain number of articles in a month before hitting a so-called pay wall. That number has not yet been determined. Any reader will have unlimited access to the NYTimes.com home page. You will still be able to read individual articles through search sites like Google, Yahoo and Bing without charge. After that first article, though, clicking on subsequent ones will count toward your monthly limit. After reaching the limit, you will still be able to get to Times articles through the search engine, but you will not be able to click to a second article on the Web site without paying.
Q: If I agree to pay for content, will I be charged individually for each article I read, or will there be a flat rate to read as much as I want?
A: A flat rate for full access to the site.
I personally go on the NY Times site daily, so I'll probably be considering paying the fee to go on the site next year. But who knows what might happen by that time. What are your opinions about there being a fee to access NYTimes.com?
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Where: Atrium of Annenberg Hall, Temple University Main Campus (2020 North 13th St.)
What: Bake sale featuring an array of baked goods such as cookies, brownies, cupcakes and more
Presented by: Temple University Public Relations Student Society of America; Temple University Black Public Relations Society
All proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders to fund their efforts in Haiti.
Doctors Without Borders is an independent, international medical humanitarian organization. The organization has been working in Haiti for several years and has recently set up three emergency hospitals in Port-au-Prince to respond to the devastating earthquake that hit the small island country. Doctors Without Borders will use donations made to the Emergency Relief Fund to reinforce teams on the ground so that the organization can respond to the immediate medical needs of the Haitian people and assess what humanitarian needs are essential in the months ahead.
The only complaint that PR people have had with HARO was that they have to search through every query to find topics that relate to their clients, but as of yesterday that has changed. Now PR people can subscribe to the master HARO e-mail and also secondary HARO e-mails that only contain queries of a specific topic, like technology, food or lifestyle.
Other changes to HARO will benefit the journalists who use it regularly. Journalists e-mails will no longer be written directly on the query lists in order to avoid e-mail harvesting. For example, instead of PR people sending their response to email@example.com, they will now send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The masking of journalist's email addresses will also protect them from spamming.
I'm excited about HARO's streamlining of their query system. It will make finding media opportunities a lot quicker and easier. How do you feel about HARO's changes? Let us know!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The title of Conan's post selling the Late Show to the highest bidder states '4-Sale: Barely-Used Late Night Talk Show: Make Me an Offer!!!' with a sarcastic guarantee to the buyer that the show will last up to seven months.
In his personal Craigslist.com ad he describes himself as a 'tall, slender redhead available for nighttime recreation' and stated in the ad that if the buyer would like him to 'perform after midnight, it'll cost you!'
According to a Mashable.com article, Conan has received thousands of ridiculous offers for The Tonight Show ranging from a man's high school diploma to an autographed Chumbawumba CD. Though both of the ads are fake they're still posted on Craigslist.com. Click here for Conan's The Tonight Show ad and here for his personal ad.
What steps should NBC take now? In this case, the old adage that all publicity is good publicity may apply, but will all of this have a negative impact for the network? What do you think?
Monday, January 18, 2010
- Have I checked my spelling and grammar?
- How negative is my tweet?
- Am I just sending this tweet so people don't forget I'm around?
- Is my tweet sized right?
- Will this tweet stand the test of time?
We'd love to hear from you!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
On Tuesday, O'Brien finally addressed the situation himself. In short, he expressed disappointment in the changes being made. He said he doesn't feel that his show will be "The Tonight Show" if it doesn't air until the next morning, and this makes him not want to do the show.
From my point of view, this situation is unfair. However, as a PR student and someone who understands that sometimes business must come before fairness, it must have had to be done. NBC hasn't spoken out much this week following its announcement, but I'm waiting to hear what its plan of action will be if O'Brien quits. Interestingly, ratings are up this week for both Conan O'Brien and Jay Leno's shows as people tune in to hear what both hosts have to say about the situation.
We will just have to wait and see what NBC will do in the coming weeks and the strategies they will use to save their network lineup and their image.
What do you think they will do? What would you do in this "no-win" situation?
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member, Ashley Kraynak.
Friday, January 15, 2010
For these ongoing relief efforts, social media has proven to be an essential tool in helping to disseminate vital information about the devastating effects of these earthquakes in Haiti and bringing in much-needed relief aid.
Ragan.com, in their article Social media sites rife with activity after Haiti quake, outlined three ways nonprofits such as the American Red Cross and Yele Haiti are utilizing social media:
1. Organizations focus on facts on Twitter
The State Department posted phone numbers for Americans to inquire about the well-being of friends and family in Haiti.
The White House’s early tweet to its 1,652,300 followers about the Red Cross’ accepting text donations help set off the trend. Twitter says 100+ others retweeted the original message.
In disaster situations, the American Red Cross also asks its employees to get involved in the massive amount of communications by sending out a “social media toolkit” and ready-made 140-character messages for them to send out on Facebook or Twitter.
2. Communities ask questions and get answers on Facebook
The community kept the conversation going—people posting names of friends they were trying to locate, asking how they could help. It looked like a forum instead of a wall, very self-regulating and geared toward people getting others the information they sought. With 101,657 members of the American Red Cross fan page and counting, there were plenty of people to lend a hand.
3. People look to visuals for earthquake news
A few organizations also turned to visual sites including YouTube and TwitPic. Mashable had the most retweeted TwitPics of the disaster.
Oxfam of Great Britain had an emergency appeal it posted in video form on YouTube, garnering 302 views. Doctors Without Borders posted a video of its Wednesday press conference, which got 319 views. An American Red Cross video about the latest disaster response to Haiti as of Tuesday night had 137,620 views and 1,909 comments by Wednesday afternoon.
Have you used any of these social media sites to learn more about the disaster?
Make a quick and easy $10 donation to the Red Cross International Relief Fund by texting "HAITI" to 90999.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Mashable.com lists 10 tips for marketing to women on Facebook. Check out some of the highlights below:
Create and Emotional Connection
The article uses the brand Dove as an example, in which the company has provided content everyday women can relate to. "Igniting a reaction... will encourage women not only to respond to your messages, but actually remember them."
Give Fans a Voice
"Women like to be heard. Stand out from the crowd and engage us. By creating a two-way conversation, you are personalizing your brand and making it one that can be trusted." A Facebook page can be a great tool to use instead of the traditional focus group, utilize people's opinions on the web.
Fans want to know they are being heard. "If a fan posts a question on your page, answer it. If she compliments your brand, thank her." Build a relationship, which highlights the customer service your company demonstrates.
Read the full article here for all 10 tips.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tip #1, Offer a Peek Behind the Scenes, urges companies to allow a preview of products and services via the web to entice new business. Joyner gives proof of her #1 tip through the local example of the use of Flickr by John Doyle, owner of the Philadelphia based chocolate company John and Kira's who posts photos of new products to garner online feedback.
Joyner's #7 tip, Interact with Visitors - Really, suggests that it is not OK to post stagnant web content via Facebook or a blog. Interacting with visitors, fans, followers and subscribers is the best way facilitate personal relationships between your company and the members of your target audience.
Finally, my personal favorite tip is #12, See What People are Saying About You. A great example of this is Domino's latest campaign where, in their commercials, they recognize the complaints of dissatisfied customers and show the ways that they are trying to improve. This is a refreshing take on company to consumer communication that wholeheartedly takes the consumer's opinions into account. Why operate a company with disregard to your consumer's wants and needs? Find out what they're saying and refine your business accordingly to stay strong in your market.
Check out the Inc. Magazine article here for the full list of 30 tips and let us know which was your favorite!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Here are the first 3 points of his plan:
1. Tweet about new blog posts.
-This is an easy way to try to attract new followers while driving people to his blog at the same time!
2. Tweet more often.
-Social media is all about who is the most current. Not tweeting every day will definitely not help get more followers.
3. Develop a schedule and Tweet at the best times.
-This is a great strategic move and one that will get Nick into a Tweeting routine.
Want to see the rest of his list? Check out the article on Twitip.com (via Ragan.com)
Monday, January 11, 2010
Despite the obvious importance of a medium that allows companies to reach their publics on a more personal level, actually using social media effectively is another story; some businesses have been more successful at achieving this feat than others.
One company I would like to commend is the TV network HGTV. This past summer, the network engaged in a campaign to engage with its audience in online formats like Twitter and Facebook. I found this particularly interesting because here is a TV station, a traditional media format, adapting to an increasingly digital world by tapping into the world of social media.
Anyway, the company launched an ad campaign this past summer informing consumers of their online presence and encouraging consumers to "follow," "friend," and participate in dialogue with them online.
More recently, I have noticed commercials on HGTV that further encourage viewers to engage with the station online. These new commercials spotlight some users' online comments and also answer questions posed to the network on Twitter.
For example, in one TV ad, the network showcases one user's tweet that asked the height of one of the channel's show hosts. In the commercial, the network says "Candace's response is..." This ad is great because it reminds viewers to engage with the company online while also proving to the viewers that the company really does monitor and value its online interactions.
What examples have you observed of companies effectively integrating social media into their day-to-day operations?
Sunday, January 10, 2010
A press release was sent out stating that $100,000 in revenue would be lost due to the lack of "tailgating parties" at this game. When the amount was double checked with the CEO of Star Industries, he said that someone had added a few zeros into the projected number. On top of that, AdAge points out how, with the lack of alcohol being sold in the stadium, the amount consumed outside during "tailgate parties" should increase.
So was the increase in zero's an honest mistake? A loss of $100,000 is much more newsworthy then $1,000 in today's economy and this proved true as CNN.com, the New York Times, and the New York Post all covered the story. As a PR student, my professors preach that honesty is the best policy. However, I do not feel that honesty was the policy followed in this case since now Majorska is the brand everyone is talking about all because of a simple addition of a few zeros.
What do you think? You can read more from Ad Age on the issue by clicking here.
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member, Tristin Fabro.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Since its creation in 2006 by Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, Twitter has gained notability and popularity worldwide. Reflecting back on the past year, users and experts agree, it has significantly changed our lives. Hundreds of thousands of people jumped on the Twitter bandwagon in 2009 and if you have yet to do so, you might be missing out.
Twitter allows you to make new friends, network (very useful in PR), and get messages directly from celebrities, politicians and companies. In addition, it keeps us up to date about world events, and many times it can be the first source of breaking news. The 140-character limit on messages allows us a short glimpse into the lives of whoever we are following and is supposed to answer the question, “what’s happening?”
Here’s how this social media phenomenon changed our lives, one tweet at a time in 2009.
Finding and interacting with new people:
Twitter allows its users to interact with anyone they want, whether they know them personally or not. Users are free to meet new people and connect in a non-threatening way because less personal information and pictures are required in comparison to Facebook and Myspace. Twitter adds a second layer of discussion with its open conversation atmosphere that encourages participation from wider audiences into what would have been a private exchange.
Celebrities and politicians using Twitter:
Celebrities and politicians now use Twitter to reach out to their fans and constituents directly. They are often able to do this without traditional public relations and security barriers. It also helps celebrities and politicians seem more human to their followers, especially when they tweet about their daily lives.
Companies listen to our complaints:
2009 was the year that many companies joined Twitter to better suit and connect with their customers. It allows customers the opportunity to complain or ask questions, and many of these companies are seeing to it that designated employees are answering and engaging with customers.
How people get their news and gossip:
Twitter has changed the way people watch and read the news. Users rely on other users to screen through the most interesting news and recommend links for them, rather than going to the mainstream medias. There is often a huge outpouring on Twitter of events a good hour before it is reported on some other channels.
Be careful what you tweet!
Because what we Tweet is public record, people have quickly had to learn to be careful with what they say, and suffer the consequences. Screenwriter Roger Avary was re-sent to jail because of “security reasons” after he had posted a series of tweets about his jail experiences when he was at work on the outside. Connor Riley, who tweeted in March that she was unsure about taking a job at tech firm Cisco, and was weighing the “utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work,” had her job offer revoked after a Cisco employee read her tweet.
So while Twitter has managed to change some elements of our lives in 2009 by letting us reach out to more people and obtain information from a variety of sources we’ll just have to wait and see whether it is another passing fad or posses the necessary staying power.
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member, Patricia Wyatt.
Friday, January 8, 2010
According to an article posted on WetFeet.com, there are six tips to consider before starting your blog and ways to utilize it as a way to boost your career prospects:
1. Choose a Unique Topic: “Start with your passion and expertise, but if that’s too general, create a niche by catering to a specific audience,” says Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0: Building a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success.
2. Keep the Content Professional: For example, comment on an industry article you found, review a book related to your expertise, or offer tips based on a previous job or research.
3. Match Your Blog to your Brand: When picking a blog name, URL, or username, stick with what’s on your resume. You might even consider purchasing your name as a domain so you can create www.yourname.com, which can be redirected to your blog.
4. Write Regularly: If you’re going to create a blog, you need to be active enough to show employers that you’re committed to keeping current on industry buzz. Although PRowl Public Relations attempts to update daily, it is recommended to update at least twice a week.
5. Market Your Blog: Once you have a cache of entries, include your blog on your resume, or mention it in interviews or follow-up conversations with employers. On a resume, list your blog with your personal information or under “Relevant Experience.”
6. Don't Isolate Yourself: Search for other blogs (try technorati.com), post comments, and link to them from your blog. Read books and post comments on Amazon.
Click here to read the full article!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Even though graduation is bittersweet, I have determined that being prepared is the only way to curb my real world anxiety. Over the past year and a half, through internships and my PRowl Public Relations experience, I've been collecting important documents that I've written or designed. I began this collection with the intention of taking the cream of the crop to use in my portfolio, the absolutely necessary tool to gain employment in the PR field. Well, the time has come to pick and choose from everything that I've been collecting and finally create my own professional portfolio. But where to begin?
Of course, in this age of the internet, I turned to Google for answers and stumbled upon a jewel of helpful information on SlideShare.com in the form of a handy 17-slide presentation on Public Relations Portfolios by Karen Russell. Important slides include 'What does the employer expect?' and 'What goes into the portfolio?' as well as 'How should I organize it?' She ends with the optimistic seventeenth slide 'I got a job! Now what do I do with it?' and lets us know that our portfolios should be living documents, constantly updated for future opportunities.
Check out Karen Russell's full presentation here and take advantage of her tips and tricks while creating your own portfolio! Good luck, grads!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Reading this list got me thinking about words I use in my writing, specifically in projects I work on here at PRowl and in assignments I complete for PR classes at Temple. I know there are some words and phrases that I like to use when writing, and in 2010 I'm going to try to use them less.
Are there any words that you feel are used to often and should be banned for 2010? Let us know!
Find the complete list of banned words here.
Monday, January 4, 2010
According to the article, the PR "industry as a whole has done a poor job of laying claim to being the authoritative voice on all things social and digital."
The article goes on to say that "the industry has stood by, similar to the way it did during the dot-com explosion, while media, direct, digital and creative shops have taken business that it should be handling." Further, it alleges that "the evolution of the media ecosystem has brought fewer traditional outlets and contacts to pitch to and a tougher task in identifying the more influential new-media players."
"Looking ahead," the article says, "most, if not all, PR shops need to put a more intense focus on navigating and understanding which outlets are having the most impact on consumer decisions and start staffing their agencies with the type of talent that understands these mediums."
Do you agree with this characterization of the public relations industry over the last few years, and on this appraisal of the outlook for the industry in the coming year? We'd love to hear your thoughts!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
With the New Year here, it is the time for all of us to reflect on everything we have learned this past year and all of our goals that we have set for the year to come. The article Public Relations Measurement 2010: Five Things to Forget and Five Things to Learn by Don Bartholomew discusses how public relations is now entering a new age where old techniques and measures that have been taught no longer apply to the changing world of public relations today. It is our job in the new year to adapt to these changes, throw out a few of the old rules and allow ourselves to learn and grow with such a fast changing profession. Here are just a few of the tips on his list:
Things to Forget in 2010:
- Media Relations Focus: A focus on media relations fails to capture several important aspects of PR – brand, reputation, crisis, employee communication and DTC to name a few. Also, the importance of traditional media is declining. Numerous studies have shown people don’t trust what they read in the media, they trust each other.
- Outputs : The need to put PR results in a business context has never been greater. We need to be able to address the question – what are we doing to help drive the business? If you are focused on output metrics like impressions or message delivery, you will always have a hard time explaining business impact. Instead, we need to focus on outcomes and answer the question – what happened as a result of our program or coverage? Understanding outputs has primary benefit as a diagnostic tool rather than a ‘scorecard’.
Things to learn in 2010:
- Total Value of PR: The majority of current PR measurement efforts focus on marketing/sales and output metrics. The Total Value Cube is a way to visualize and think about all the potential value your PR and social media efforts deliver. Beyond marketing to include brand and reputation, beyond outputs to include engagement, influence and action, and beyond revenue generation to include cost savings and cost avoidance.
- The Difference Between Impact/Value and ROI: ROI (Return on Influence) is a form of value/impact, but not all value takes form of ROI. ROI is a financial metric – percentage of dollars returned for a given investment/cost. The dollars may be revenue generated, dollars saved or spending avoided. ROI is transactional. ROI lives on the income statement in business terms.
Value is created when people become aware of us, engage with our content or brand ambassadors, are influenced by this engagement, and take some action like recommending to a friend or buying our product. Value creation occurs over time, not at a point in time. Value creation is process-oriented. Value lives on the balance sheet. Your investments in social media or public relations remain an investment, creating additional value if done correctly, until which time they can be linked to a business outcome transaction that results in ROI.
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member, Niki Ianni.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
It's not necessary to spend several months developing the perfect plan. However, take the time to develop measurable goals, think through what messages will have a lasting effect with your audience and what you want someone to do, and complete research to find which outlets will be most useful n helping you achieve your strategy's aim.
Creating reachable goals and researching what your audience wants are both effective starting points. Develop a network, and then use online and offline communication to engage the audience. Finally, I learned through a public relations course this past semester to measure the return on investment. For instance, this could be the percent of customers who read product reviews and used that information in making purchase decisions.
For a small or start-up organization that knows it needs to incorporate social media into its publicity plan but isn’t quite sure how, I would suggest thinking through those five steps before rushing through the task. Once you have successfully completed this, you’ll be the way to developing a smart approach to social media. Begin a public relations campaign by following these tips, and you're sure to have a successful start to the new year!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member, Stephanie Loiero.