Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cleaning Up the WikiLeaks

The Obama Administration is working to contain the damage incurred by a leak of 250,000 classified documents. The information released included "unflattering assessments" of world leaders, and may have a negative impact on foreign policy with both allies and foes.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke about the leaks and promised an aggressive response. Clinton stressed the importance of candid and confidential communications in every profession. While this is true, the confidential information at stake is not comparable to information leaked in a business setting. This breach of information could cause more than embarrassment for the United States.

There are many audiences which the United States must now respond to, including the countries mentioned in the documents and the U.S. citizens. Damage control is needed to both mend any severed relationships with the other countries and to address U.S. citizens' national security concerns.

What do you think about the U.S. response to the WikiLeaks? Click here to watch Clinton's press conference.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Creating a logo

Many of us take for granted the logos we see and recognize every day. What makes those logos significant? What are the characteristics of a good logo?

At PRowl Public Relations, we have been asked to design a logo for one of our clients. Although we are working on some good concepts, this task has proven more challenging than first expected.

1stwebdesigner.com offers some great tips to consider when developing a logo:

  1. Your logo should be versatile; it should lend itself well to a wide variety of media
  2. Your logo should be easy for anyone to understand and recognize. This also involves considerations of color and shape.
  3. Your logo should tell "'why? who?, what?'" As the creator, you must consider the purpose and target of the logo.
  4. Your logo should be timeless; avoid trendy, time-specific logos.
  5. You should design a logo that can be changed to black and white
  6. Create a logo that is "impressive and seductive." A company's logo is the first step to telling consumers what sets the company apart from its competitors. In this way, the site says, "[h]aving an impressive and seductive logo brings you closer to potential clients."
  7. Keep the logo simple
What have your experiences been with creating logos? What advice do you have?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Could Twitter Save Tiger?

“What’s up everyone? Finally decided to try out Twitter!” was Tiger Woods’ first tweet on his new twitter account. With only four tweets this month, his twitter account has reached over 250,000 followers and substantial media buzz. Of course we all remember the consequences of his scandal – losing million dollar endorsements, pulling out of tournaments, tainted public image, etc. – but it’s been a year. Has his bad publicity gone away? Will his re-emergence into social media help his image?

According to Mashable.com on Wednesday, November 17, “Tiger’s account — which is verified by Twitter — appears to be adding hundreds of new followers per minute since his first tweet was published at around 11:00 a.m. ET.”

One thing I’ve learned from my public relations classes and textbooks is that a high number of followers, hits, and views on social media means virtually nothing because what we really care about is who the followers are, not how many there are. In Tiger’s case, it may seem that his Twitter stats are impressive and helping his public image but we don’t know this for sure. It could simply mean that he has gained a surge of followers and attention because he was out of the media’s scope for months.

What’s interesting is that Tiger’s tweets have been fairly sociable and open: “Yep, it’s me. I think I like this twitter thing. You guys are awesome. Thanks for all the love” and “The best part about phone interviews is getting to wear shorts.” This is a major difference from his previous attitude towards the media. Following his scandal, it took nearly three months for him to speak to the public about it. Perhaps Tiger’s publicity team is looking towards Twitter to reach new audiences and re-build his image. To know if Twitter is helping Tiger, we, as fellow Twitter users and social media boomers should ask ourselves these questions:

• Who are the main audiences targeted by Tiger’s messages?
• What is his audience reach?
• How are the messages received: are they received in the way they are intended
to be received?
• Has overall opinion, attitude and behavior towards Tiger changed since he began tweeting?

What do you think about Tiger Woods emerging on the Twitter scene? Will this help his image? You can follow Tiger Woods at: Twitter.com/tigerwoods

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jessica Lopez.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Provocative in Pink?

Victoria’s Secret is known for its sexy and provocative line of bras, panties, and other intimate apparel and primarily targeted an older audience. In 2004, it launched its new Pink collection for young college students ranging from 18-22 years old. This line was designed to be cute and playful but some of their recent sleepwear contains sayings filled with strong sexual innuendos.

According to Anthony Hebron, spokesman for Victoria's Secret parent Limited Brand, the collection is intended “…to capture the spirit of the young with Pink.” Sayings like “Let’s get Naked,” “Unwrap Me,” and “Sure Thing,” are not exactly the ideal ways to describe the spirit of the young.

Victoria’s Secret’s image as a whole is provocative, but its Pink collection was supposed to be less provocative and for a younger crowd. This raises the question of where to draw the line between the two collections. The Pink’s collection has a lot of youthful colors and prints but sayings such as “Noise Maker” and “Naughty Not Nice” put a different spin on the cute and playful image Victoria’s Secret claims to be marketing.

The majority of girls who buy from the Pink collection are in college, high school and even younger because of the girly image of the collection. Perhaps Victoria’s Secret should reformat which audience they really want to target with the Pink collection and design appropriately.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jesenia Lepiz.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tips for Office Success

Whether in a full-time position or in an internship, there are a few things to keep in mind to keep your boss happy and be successful in the office.

In an article on WetFeet.com, William Speed Weed, Alex Lash and Constance Loizos discussed "30 Ways to Enrage the Boss."

Here are my five favorite tips from the article:

1. Whenever you enter your boss' office, always be prepared with a pen and paper to take note of any new assignments
2. Always read your e-mails again before clicking "send"
3. Hold your tongue in the elevator about business - you never know who may be listening
4. If you have to make a personal call, don't change your tone - it will call more attention to the fact that you're not doing work
5. Take a hint - if your boss doesn't look up when you walk in the door, he/she is busy - go back later

To read the other 25 points of advice, click here.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

On behalf of everyone at PRowl Public Relations, I would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stand Out & Shine at Your Internship

When starting an internship, you want to make sure you establish yourself as more than just a student but as a valuable part of the company that can bring fresh ideas and skills to the table. Classroom to Cubicle gives four great steps to ensure success at your next internship:

Establish Goals
Set several goals for yourself in a variety of paths, such as: networking (online and offline), skills development, project management and soft skills.

Be sure to write these goals down and share them with your supervisor/mentor so that they can assign projects accordingly and be sure to keep them informed of your progress.

Don't be afraid to let your supervisor know where you can be the teacher and can create a plan for educating employees about unique skills you have.

Establish a Relationship with a Like-Minded Mentor
Create and maintain a relationship with someone within your organization who possesses the skills that match your goals and learn from them. Those individuals are very enthusiastic to share their knowledge and skills with eager to learn students.

Be Prepared to Manage Up
Some organizations have a small team environment and do not have an already established "intern program." This may result in not always having constant supervision. Instead of fearing away from the challenge, embrace it by remaining efficient with your time management and organization in order to help the company get to the next level while earning a reputation for being a strong independent thinker.

Track Learning and Accomplishments
Whenever possible, track quantifiable results that you have contributed to, for example: "Helped increase the company's Twitter followers from 10,000 to 30,000 during my three month internship."

Additionally, track anecdotal measures of progress and performance by receiving testimonials from team members and supervisors.

What other tips do you have for being a stand-out intern? Let us know!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Do You Follow the Cheese?

Last night, my professor showed a short animated video to my class. The video seemed a bit silly at first, but the message behind it is a pertinent one. The video is based on Spencer Johnson's book Who Moved My Cheese? The story follows two mice and two little people on their search for "cheese." The cheese is meant to represent anything you want in life. Throughout the video, the cheese moves and the characters have to choose whether to follow the cheese. Ultimately, the characters learn the importance of following the cheese when it moves. In other words, the video conveys the message that it is important to anticipate change and adapt to change. I think this message is not only important for attaining what we want in life, but for success in careers such as public relations, which depend on keeping up with the trends. What do you think about this message?

Here is a preview of the video:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tools of the trade: 'credibility, trust and authority'

"In PR, the primary goal has always been to tell a story using influential channels so that ideas, products and services are brought to light in a way that moves the needle for those involved," said Hugh Burnham of Gutenberg Communications in a recent post for the PRSA blog ComPRehension. "This means engaging with influencers and becoming part of the conversation in a meaningful way," he said.

Today, social media is an important part of public relations. Burnham points out that, while social media has changed the game in some respects, in other respects, the game is still the same. He explains: "the way that PR professionals can create influence in the social media sphere is the same as it has always been for years in traditional media — by establishing credibility, trust and authority."

This is an important reminder for both young and seasoned PR practitioners. No matter your communication channel, make sure conversations are two-sided and strive to provide content that will interest and engage your audience. Only by actively engaging your audience and members of the media are you going to establish the credibility and trust it takes to get your message heard.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Ultimate PAID Internship: Starting Your Own PR Business

Who says you can’t be your own boss in college? Recent advice from a guest speaker in class made me think long and hard about this question. This speaker, who has had jobs all over the PR spectrum, informed us of what she did in college to build her portfolio and take a break from typical internships.

By making a few business cards and handing them out to small companies around her campus, she gained a handful of clients who she did press and advertising for. She charged for the work she was doing, all while gaining important experience. Aside from getting practice on writing press releases and contacting the media, she learned how to manage finances and run her own business.

As a college student, I know finding a paid internship is like finding gold. They are rare and highly competitive, so when the time comes to start searching for one, I just may consider following this brilliant and innovative plan. Who wouldn’t want to gain experience, be their own boss, and make a few extra bucks in college?

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Mackenzie Krott.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Big Brother is Watching; or at Least, His Father is

I'd like to share a recent blogging mini-disaster that happened in one of my classes two weeks ago. The course is concerned with the laws and regulations governing advertising communications as defined by the Federal Trade Commission. As a class, we keep a blog where we post weekly responses to cases where promotion went legally wrong.

For a recent assignment, the class commented on a 2006 incident where 17-year-old Colin Braun, a motor-sports racer, was prohibited from racing in an event due to another driver's sponsorship by a tobacco company. The FTC policy on tobacco sponsorship around minors is pretty strict, for obvious reasons.

Most of my classmates completed their posts within an hour of the deadline. To say the posts were 100% accurate would be 100% inaccurate. To the students in the class, this blog post was homework, and who really gives a hoot about homework? Well, Colin Braun's father does.

We tend to forget blogs are public. People remind us about posting information on public forums all the time, almost as much as people say, for example, smoking tobacco is bad for you. Sometimes, when a deadlines approaching, we click the "post" button before we dot our i’s and check our facts. One of the responsibilities of a great PR professional is to keep an eye (and ear) out for what people are saying about your company, product, or client. Colin Braun's father is the PR professional in this situation, since he read one of the student's posts and commented on the blog correcting the student's statements.

The situation was handled well. No one threw any punches. No one called anyone names. It was surprisingly drama free (major kudos to Mr. Braun for being professional). Nevertheless, in a different situation it could have been worse, and this is always important to keep in mind. So keep your blogging clean, ladies and gentleman. Part of being professional is being responsible. Everyone armed with a keyboard and a WordPress account needs to keep his or her safety on by double checking (if not triple checking) their work.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Keith Flanagan.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Target's Social Media Holiday Strategy

A recent PRowl alum, Brianna Fisher, brought a Mashable.com article to my attention yesterday about Target and one of its holiday advertising initiatives: promoted Twitter ads that carry the #BlackFriday hashtag.

The retailer is using this promoted trend to build hype about a daily gift card sweepstakes that will take place until Saturday, November 27. The link in the promoted tweets brings visitors to a page of the company's website that has a countdown to the shopping extravaganza, gives ways to enter the sweepstakes and "join the conversation," two-day shopping strategies and tips, and much more.

The #BlackFriday hashtag is spreading quickly as people weigh in on the promotion, their plans for Black Friday shopping, as well as their complaints (who does like those crowds, anyways??).

Target is not shy about getting involved in social media. In addition to taking advantage of advertising possibilities on Twitter, the company just launched a partnership with location startup ShopKick to offer rewards for checkins, and even offers Facebook credits in stores.

Check out the article here to learn more!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Evaluating the effectiveness of your campaign is an essential part in the public relations process. Analyzing the success of each tactic shows whether or not each was useful in achieving a goal or objective. Not only do you want to evaluate each tactic, but you want to provide value for what you were successful with. Collecting the articles and mentions about a client is one way to measure the success of your campaign. However, it is also important to attach a value to each medium where the client was mentioned.
For internet hits, use Quantcast to measure the value of each site. This free toll allows a user to type in a website and find out the number of viewers nationally and globally per month, while also breaking down the viewer's demographics. The site continues to break down information, which is useful when attaching a value to the media coverage that has been obtained.
Not only can you use this site for evaluation, but you should also keep this site in mind when you are planning the outlets to pitch to. Check out the site to see what else it can do for you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Questions to Impress

People often forget that interviews are a two-way street. Not only should you impress your potential employer with well-articulated and thoughtful answers, you should also be prepared to tackle the second part of the interview process. At the end of every interview, potential employees are all asked..."Do you have any questions?" Instead of replying with the overused and careless "no," here are some great questions from Classroom to Cubicle that are sure to impress:

About the company:
  • Where do you see the company five years from now?
  • What can you tell me about the company’s plans for growth?
  • What is the company’s management style?
The position's history:
  • What is the potential for growth and advancement?
  • Are there any immediate challenges that will need to be addressed by the person in this position?
Next Steps:
  • Would you like a list of references?
  • If I am extended a job offer, how soon would you like me to start?
  • Are there any other questions I can answer for you?

From personal experience with interviews for part-time jobs and internships, having well-articulated questions leaves a great last impression for your potential employer to reflect upon. It shows that you are enthusiastic about the company and position and have invested time into adequately preparing for the interview. So be sure to put as much thought into your questions as you put into your answers!

Make sure to read the rest of the questions found in the article. What are some great interview questions that you have used in the past? Let us know!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Has Breast Cancer Awareness Become a Trend?

My aunt, a two-time breast cancer survivor, sent me an interesting New York Times article titled Think About Pink. The article offers one breast cancer survivor's perspective on the trend of sexualizing breast cancer awareness.

You have probably seen the bracelets, t-shirts and other items displaying slogans such as "I Heart Boobies," "Save Second Base" and "Save the Ta-Tas." These have become particularly popular among teens and young adults. The aim of these campaigns is to continue to break the silence and the stigma that surrounded breast cancer just decades ago. The growing popularity of these items has made breast cancer a more positive and popular discussion among young people. However, this new image of breast cancer does not accurately reflect the experiences of most women who have dealt with breast cancer. The author of the article offers an interesting insight about these campaigns when she says, "Forget Save the Ta-Tas: how about save the woman?"

Although these campaigns create a buzz about breast cancer, they may not be doing so in the most effective and sensitive way. The campaigns are not encouraging action or understanding about the disease itself, but rather creating a false image that some breast cancer survivors may find offensive.

Do you think these breast cancer awareness slogans bring something positive to the issue, or have they become a pop culture trend with little meaning behind them?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Worst-Case Scenario

As many of you are aware, following an engine compartment fire, the Carnival Cruise Lines "Splendor" ship was disabled at sea last week--one day into its seven-day journey. Thanks to support from two tug boats, the ship arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Luckily, while stranded on the ship, passengers "reported long lines for food and a feeling of boredom and frustration but no major problems," a Los Angeles Times article said. At the same time, passengers "signed up for a great cruise vacation, and that’s obviously not what happened,” acknowledged Carnival Chief Executive Gerry Cahill.

To alleviate the situation, the company worked to arrange hotel accommodations and travel arrangements for the passengers as they returned from the cruise ship. Despite the safe outcome of this potentially disastrous problem, Carnival is in need of some serious PR help. Now that the passengers have been returned safely to land, what steps can Carnival take to restore public confidence in their company? What would you do if in their position?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Using Social Media for Social Good

The other day I was perusing one of my favorite sites, Mashable.com, when I saw something of interest on the main page. The page featured a story about a non-profit organization using Foursquare to raise awareness about homelessness. The North Carolina non-profit organization, Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD) provides food, shelter and clothing to the city’s homeless. The organization recently launched a Foursquare initiative “designed to unsettle application users and raise awareness around homelessness in Durham. “ Basically, UMD wants to inspire Foursquare users to check into unusual locations, such as abandoned warehouses, to raise awareness about homelessness prevention.

After reading this article, I realized Mashable.com features non-profit organizations on a regular basis in its Social Good section. This section is dedicated to discussing organizations’ social works projects. It allows readers to see how organizations are using social networking sites to promote their causes and it allows readers to track the success of these projects.

Social media is a great way to raise awareness and many organizations are finding unique ways to promote their cause. Check out how some organizations are using social media to promote non-profit campaigns at http://mashable.com/social-good/.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kurie Fitzgerald.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Public Relations for Potentially Dangerous Products

For public relations practitioners, positioning their client’s product or service to the public as a must-have is often challenging. This is particularly true if the client is offering a service or product that is potentially harmful. The New York Times recently published an article, A Safety Kink in Hair Relaxing, which examined whether the popular Brazilian Blowout treatment was dangerous because it contains low levels of formaldehyde, a cancer-causing agent if present in high levels. The article made me wonder how PR practitioners develop a communications plans to promote a client’s potentially hazardous product. From the article, it seems that convincing the public to purchase a potentially hazardous product, like the Brazilian Blowout, requires a public relations plan centered on image rather than down-playing the dangers of the product.

As PR practitioners in training, we are constantly reminded that our job is not to spin, but to present an honest image of our client’s product or service, in hopes that honesty translates to customer loyalty. While journalist Terry Pristin cited in his article that one stylist stopped offering the treatment because of its potential dangers, other stylists claimed that the demand and profits from the service was too great to lose. What is surprising is not that the stylists offered the service after reports surfaced that it contained the carcinogen formaldehyde, but that their clients still requested the treatment. Why would people knowingly put themselves at risk? In one word: image.

Perhaps looking at the way PR practitioners present other harmful products will better illustrate this point. Take cigarette companies, for example. Although any media promoting the product must legally let the public know the product is harmful, cigarette companies still earn millions each year. How are they able to do so, even after numerous studies on the dangers of tobacco? They present smoking as a cool thing that independent people do. By presenting the product as representative of a type of lifestyle or image (i.e. an independent person or in the Brazilian Blowout case an attractive person) some people will overlook the dangers of the product, just to attain an image society deems attractive.

While it is up to the individual to decide whether they will use a potentially harmful product, is it ethical for public relations practitioners to advocate the use of such products? Would you represent a client with a potentially dangerous product?

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Shari DaCosta.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Trends from PRSA International Conference

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has an International Conference that coincides with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) every year, always overlapping for a few days and in the same city. If you read the PRowl blog regularly, you know that this year's PRSSA and PRSA conferences were held in Washington D.C. in mid-October. Linda Welter Cohen, APR, had the opportunity to attend the PRSA conference and wrote a great wrap-up of the top ten trends she learned on her blog, CaliberPlus.com.

1. New media have created new opportunities and challenges for communicators.
2. Self-proclaimed experts are the new influencers.
3. Print media should still be taken seriously.
4. Good content and storytelling is paramount to breaking through the clutter.
5. The competition has a new face.
6. Keeping up with new technologies can derail strategy.
7. Maintaining ethics and intellectual property rights has become more challenging.
8. Tracking and communicating ROI is imperative.
9. Stakeholders expect an immediate response following a crisis.
10. Reputations are at a greater risk today.

Linda provides details about each trend in her blog post "New media is redefining the way we build brand reputations: Top 10 trends from the 2010 PRSA International Conference." Make sure to read the full article!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Be Careful What You Tweet

Be careful what you write on Facebook. Don't post anything you wouldn't want your mother to see. Don't tweet anything inappropriate. This is all advice you should take to heart. Here is another example of why.

In January, a man from South Yorkshire tweeted about bombing an airport. Although this tweet was a joke, the police showed up at his door step a week later. The judge ruling over the case claimed the man's tweet contained menace, and was, therefore, taken seriously. He was convicted. Read the full article here.

Although this is an extreme instance of an inappropriate tweet, the lesson in this story is to be careful what you tweet. Obviously joking threats should not be tweeted, but even tweeting about typical college activities should be avoided.

Please remember, be careful what you write on the internet.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

5 Things to Check Before Hitting Send

We can never be cautious enough when it comes to writing a perfectly-crafted press release. PRFuel offers five things to check before hitting 'send' to boost your chances of obtaining coverage:

1. Newsworthiness: If your story is uninteresting and irrelevant, then you are wasting everyone's time. Make sure there is substance and newsworthiness to your story because press releases without news value will ultimately damage the credibility and reputation of your company or organization. For tips on determining newsworthiness, click here.

2. Double-check claims & statistics: Although you want to present an interesting story and angle, avoid hype and unsubstantiated claims that are misleading. Always be sure to check every claim and fact mentioned in your press release to avoid issues of liability.

3. Optimize!: Because most press releases wind up online, it is incredibly important to optimize your story. Be sure to target key words in the release and the headline and provide relevant backlinks. For some do's and don'ts on SEO, click here.

4. Back to basics: All of the following basics should be included in every single press release:
  • Headline and subtitle
  • Release date
  • Answers to the who, what, when, where, and why questions
  • Contact information
  • Brief bio about your company
5. Find the fluff: Tighten up your press release as much as possible by eliminated unnecessary excess information in order to entice reporters into asking for more information. Remove any jargon and make sure that your story and angle are clear and concise.

What are other things you should check before sending out a press release? Let us know!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Resume Refresher: Passing the Initial Scan

In my Senior Seminar class and among my fellow Seniors, there has been discussion about the ever-important initial resume scan: the few seconds hiring managers take to scan your resume before deciding if you are an immediate no or if you have potential. Here are some tips I found on CAREEREALISM for making it past the initial resume scan:

1. Professional Formatting: A resume with an organized, easy-to-read layout is more likely to be read than a resume with an unorganized layout. My professor told us our resumes should look like something you could frame and hang on the wall. If the layout doesn't look appealing to you, chances are it won't look appealing to hiring managers either.

2. Easy-to-Find Requirements: Most job listings include required or preferred qualifications. Hiring managers spend time writing these for a reason, and resumes that don't include any of the qualifications are not likely to make it past the initial scan. To increase your chances of catching the hiring manager's attention, make these qualifications easy for them to find on your resume.

3. Compelling, Easy-to-Read Content: Keep your content concise and highlight your accomplishments. No one wants to read a whole paragraph to figure out what you have done. Don't overuse bold, italics and underline, but use them to highlight the most important information.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Media tips: 'exploit every opportunity'

I recently found this great post by Steve Earl via Ragan's Daily Newsfeed. In it, Earl shares some great tips--30 to be exact-- about succeeding in various aspects of the PR world. I really enjoyed his tips, and think many of them are very practical and helpful. Here are a few from his "Media: exploiting every opportunity" section you don't hear everyday:
  • Listen to a radio program while you're getting ready in the morning
  • know at least three major news stories from each day
  • Learn to pitch your content in 25 words or less
  • Know what journalists want, and learn to write like one
  • Stay involved with what's going on in the media--even on weekends!
  • Learn "techniques for evaluating publicity"
Be sure to check out his post for more great tips! What tips do you see as most novel or most valuable? Do you have any to add?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Can John Stewart and Stephen Colbert Make You Vote?

On October 30, Comedy Central comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert decided to try to make a difference. Their Rally to Restore Sanity, held in Washington D.C., was aimed at people who think the loudest voices aren’t the only ones that should be heard. According to CBS News, the rally had a turnout of 215,000 people. This great turnout could be attributed to Stewart and Colbert’s use of social media.

One may think the 2008 election boosted the voter turnout of the country’s youth. However, despite Obama’s Facebook page personally designed by the founders of Facebook, his campaign only boosted youth turnout by a meager 2.1 percent. These statistics may raise doubts about whether two Comedy Central comedian-hosts will be able to use social media to raise numbers.

Stewart and Colbert may be able to increase youth voting through their presence on Facebook and Twitter. Colbert has already raised an abundance of funds online, and both his and Stewart’s late-night shows appeal to the demographic in which they are trying to encourage voting.

Attendees of the Rally to Restore Sanity were encouraged to RSVP to the Facebook event “Election Day.” On Election Day, voters also got to display an “I Voted” badge on their Facebook page for their friends to see. As more people clicked that they voted, the numbers continued to increase throughout the day, showing the amount of Facebook users who were headed to the polls.

Stewart and Colbert encouraged attendees to sign in to the rally using Foursquare or Gowalla, which display location checkpoints on users’ friends’ news feeds. Voters could also use these sites to check into their polling locations. If that wasn’t enough to spread the word, there is a Rally for Sanity iPhone application and a #RallyForSanity hashtag, which Twitter users could include in their posts to make the rally a trending topic.

What do you think about Stewart and Colbert’s social media outreach?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Why Traditional Media Will Never Die

There has been a pronounced debate as to whether traditional media is threatened by internet-based communications, or whether it can stand its ground and endure in a digital world. Public relations practitioners have been challenged by the explosion of the internet and social media sites.

Traditional media continues to reach large audiences for public relations practitioners. Network television stations, like ABC, reach millions of viewers at a time during
just one prime-time hour. It is unlikely to ever get that many visitors to a website on a given day, or even week. According to Editor & Publisher magazine, daily newspaper readership, although declining, maintains a circulation of about 55 million during the week and 58 million on Sunday. Consumer magazines total a monthly circulation of almost 300 million copies, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation. Radio is not going anywhere either, reaching 95 percent of the public every day of the week, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Established media are also filtered by the press and gatekeepers, who help interpret and sort the excessive amount of information we are constantly bombarded with for what is most important. This process involves a lot of fact checking and creates more trustworthy, familiar news, which some internet-based sources may not. In addition, traditional media have more influence with older populations, who are better reached through television and newspapers than websites, blogs and social networks. The opposite may be true for younger populations who have different news and media habits. For this reason, it is important to know how your audience gets their information.

With the popularity of social media sites and blogs and their increasing numbers, it is easy to get caught up in all the hype about them. While they may act as mass distribution channels for news, they are still merely one of many tools public relations practitioners should consider when communicating their messages.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Philly Ad Club

Countless communications professionals have advised students to become involved in their professional fields after graduation. I have been told multiple times to join professional communications organizations. I plan to become a part of several organizations for public relations professionals after I graduate in May. However, I did not know there were groups I could become a member of while still in college.
I attended the "Personal Branding Boot Camp", presented by Philly Ad Club, last week. In addition to learning some of the most useful tips about personal branding, resumes, cover letters and social media, I was made aware of the opportunity for students to join while still in college. For $10, I immediately became a member of the Philly Ad Club.
What are the benefits of becoming a member of a professional organization while still in school? Read below!

Build Your Resume
- Participate in events and workshops for free or at a reduced cost
- Receive opportunities to visit advertising agencies, career seminars and panel discussions
- Leadership opportunities among many of the committees available to join

Expand Your Network
- Participate in the mentoring program where you are paired with a professional in the area you want to pursue
- Network with professionals in the industry

Opportunities To Get a Job
- Internship and job postings on www.phillyadclub.com

All of these benefits are amazing for a student to have while still in college. The Philly Ad Club stands out among other professional organizations because it allows students to join before they graduate. As a public relations practitioner, I am a huge believer of networking with professionals in other industries. By joining an advertising professional organization, I will have the opportunity to meet people I will work closely with in the future.

Join today! Check out Philly Ad Club's website for more information.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Temple Cookie Selection Day 2010

Yesterday, millions of Americans fulfilled their civic duty by visiting their local polling places and making sure their voice was heard for the 2010 midterm primary election. In order to raise school spirit and remind students to vote, Temple University Dining Services held their own mock election yesterday, known as Temple Cookie Selection Day 2010.

Throughout election day, students were able to vote on an official poll in the Student Center, Johnson & Hardwick cafeteria or the Learning Center on Ambler Campus to select the first official Temple cookie. Voters had four delicious candidates to choose from: Cherry and White, Red Hot Temple Berry Smash, Coconut Cherry Champ and MY-T Red Velvet Chunk. All four candidates were available for sample tastings and students were then able to fill out a ballot voting for their favorite sweet treat. After the ballots have been counted, the newly elected cookie will be available for purchase at the Student Center and retail satellite locations, such as Lucky Cups and Fresh Bytes.

I think Temple Dining Services did a great job with their Cookie Selection Day campaign because not only were they effective in involving and engaging the student body in a fun and creative way, they were also able to remind and encourage students to participate in the primary midterm elections. Although all of the candidates were delicious, I made sure I voted for Coconut Cherry Champ and enjoyed the rest of my samples while waiting in line at the polls.

Do you think Temple Dining Services' campaign was effective and successful at engaging the student body? Let us know what you think!

Check out the rest of the article and the Temple News exclusive here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

SEPTA's New Silverliner V Cars

This past Friday, SEPTA unveiled the first of their new Silverliner V railcars. According to a video on their website, the new cars focus on "customer comfort and convenience." Features include the removal of middle seats, an automatic bridge plate to allow easier wheelchair access, and digital displays showing route, time, and location information.

SEPTA has ordered 120 of these new cars, which will replace 73 cars built in the 1960s. Nine more Silverliner Vs are expected to be running by the end of December and the remaining of the 120-car fleet are expected to be running by the end of 2011.

The positive attention for SEPTA and the new railcars comes after some negativity this past summer. During the summer, passengers were left waiting or stranded at different stations on multiple occasions when the older SEPTA railcars experienced electrical and signal problems due to the excessive heat. Besides the heat problems, SEPTA has gained a reputation for running behind schedule on a daily basis.

The new Silverliner V cars are aimed to increase comfort and convenience for commuters, and encourage the use of public transportation. Only the future will tell whether the new railcars will improve SEPTA's overall service by eliminating problems associated with the older railcar models.

Will you be more inclined to ride SEPTA once the Silverliner V cars are running?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Don't underestimate the power of paper

"The digital revolution has swept away many tree-based products, but the lowly business card, against all odds, is thriving," Michael Rosenwald asserted in a recent article for the Washington Post.


In his article, Rosenwald seeks answers to this question. For one thing, "'there is something incredibly genius about the business card performing a single function very well,'" one person explains in the article, "'it works right every time.'"

While many alternatives to business cards exist, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and various apps for smart phones, it seems these programs are "'trying to solve a problem that nobody wants solved.'" Rosenwald explains that, even in today's digital age, there is something uniquely "intimate" in a physical business card. They're also "as speedy as their digital competitors," and their printed nature allows for the formation of mental impressions; they can convey personality, and can also function as conversation starter, which, in turn, helps make introductions more memorable.

Today, people are coming up with more uses for business cards, including fishbowl drawings and even business cards designed for dating situations!

Moral of the story? Even though our society continues to emphasize digital communications, business cards are still--and will continue to be--important. If you're serious about getting ahead, make sure you have some!