Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5 Ways To Prevent Writer's Block

Public relations and writing go together like math and science, you can't do one without encountering the other. But when it's time to write that perfect pitch or media advisory, writer's block is the last thing you want to deal with. Here are 5 quick and easy tips to prevent writer's block:

1. Write Daily: If you write every day, it makes writing almost effortless and quickly becomes second nature. Even if you only write for 15 minutes a day, it will help you develop a habit.

2. Change Your Surroundings: Finding inspiration can be difficult when you're always surrounded by the same 4 walls. Try talking a walk, writing at a coffee shop, or relocating your workspace to keep your creative juices flowing.

3. Read: If you're having trouble putting together your own words, seek out inspiration by reading a good book. You never know when one sentence or paragraph will give you just the boost you need to write something brillant.

4. Sleep: Writing while sleep deprived is a recipe for disaster. Getting 8 hours of sleep at night helps recharge your brain, allowing you to think more clearly and creatively!

5. Keep Learning: Opening yourself up to new experiences helps to keep you fresh and cutting edge. Try visiting museums, taking day trips, or a class. The more experiences you have, the more you have to add to your writing.

What tips do you have to prevent writer's block?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Plan B

You've spent hours crafting and proofreading a press release, one that you just sent out to the media. A couple days go by, and not a bite from reporters. So now what? Yeah you can follow up by emailing, calling, the works. But before you pull your hair out from frustration, consider the following points via PR Daily:

  • Remember that timing is critical when pitching: Consider what is going on in the world when you are pitching. If you are pitching a farmers market in the midst of a national disaster, then obviously your pitch is going to get pushed to the back burner. Sometimes reporters will pick up on your story after a couple rounds of pitches, simply because the time is right. 
  • Sometimes it takes a while, too: Of course it's better when a reporter gets back to you immediately. But sometimes it'll take a while, depending on several different factors like time, place, market, etc.
  • It's not always about timing, of course, so trust your instincts: While someone can get back to you months after your initial pitch, maybe its time to switch it up after a while. Sometimes we can be so focused on just getting the pitch out and running that we neglect to see when the body of our story is lacking. 
  • Regrouping with colleagues always helps if you need a new perspective: Another set of eyes are always beneficial when you're in need of an extra push. A colleague may be able to show or tell you something that you missed. Even a family member or friend could be of help, after all, they're representative of your target audience. 
Have you ever been stuck when reporters don't respond to your pitch? What was your Plan B? Let us know!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Removing Joe Paterno’s statue: A PR No-Brainer.

As if the conviction of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was not enough of a PR nightmare, the release of the Freeh report detailing Penn State officials’ involvement in the covering up of Sandusky’s crimes made things much worse. The 267-page report  released on July 12 named Penn state officials such as university president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and the beloved and revered head football coach Joe Paterno. 

Since the release of the report several groups have made attempts to distance themselves from Joe Pa. First, Nike announced they would remove Paterno’s name from their Child Development Center. Brown University, Paterno’s alma mater, decided to take Paterno’s name off their annual award recognizing the top performing freshmen student athlete. The most recent group were Penn State students who announced that they would re-name the tent village that pops up every year the night before football season tickets go on-sale “Nittanyville”, instead of its previous name, “Paternoville.”

These groups recognize the damage that associating with Paterno can cause to their image and have made the necessary steps to remove themselves from the situation. Despite all of the changes Penn State had prior, made it was clear that  Joe Paterno’s statue had to come down.

Penn State can never make what happened go away and can never repair the lives of the victims that Sandusky and those who let him run free destroyed. However, it can prove to the world that it cares about these victims, its students, and the community more than it cares about winning football games.
Much of this scandal has been a PR disaster as Penn State struggled to jump to any conclusions or make any rash and insensitive moves before finding out the truth.

After the release of the Freeh report there should not have been much discussion. The only sensible move to maintain Penn State’s fragile relationship with the public was to remove the statue. One could argue it took them too long as they initially decided to keep the statue up and a week later announced its removal 

If PR is all about building and maintaining relationships with your publics than the only logical move was to remove the statue and cut any ties the university has with Joe Paterno’s name, no matter how much fun it was to win all those games. 

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Matt Jones

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Social Celeb

When it comes to social media, how celebrities use their accounts is really no different than the rest of the world. However, their communities, reach and relevance is much more prevalent and on a much larger scale.
When a celebrity tweets or makes a status update it is literally “heard” around the world. Celebrities can use this personal PR tool to provide their fans and followers with a more intimate look into their lives. When used correctly, social media can be powerful and instrumental in taking relationships, engagement and establishing connections to a higher level. The growing use of social media among people in the public-eye is bringing them closer to their fans.
Celebrities utilizing social media can be dangerous though. Since it is an instant form of PR placed directly in the hands of the individual, the reality is that celebs have a lot to lose if they don’t use discretion with their social media accounts.
Here are some positive ways celebrities have used social media to their advantage:
-          Connect on a personal level with fans and followers
-          Rally community support for a good cause
-          Increase awareness on a certain public issue
-          Drive sales
-          Promote contests and giveaways
-          Announce private news before it goes public
Can you think of other ways that celebs can get the most out of their social media profiles? Let us know!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Don't Over Feed!

As aspiring public relations professionals and young adults, many of us are constantly "plugged in". Throughout the day we are on social media sites commenting, re-tweeting and posting not only on our personal accounts but also for our internships and places of employment. We know it's sometimes unhealthy but some of us have trouble "shutting off". While feeding my addiction on Pinterest, I found this funny and cautionary warning.

The new motto, "Don't over feed". Sorry, Drake.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Facebook’s “Likes,” Shares and Comments Mean More to Google

Google is the most used search engine in the world. It works by using keywords found in the website’s text to help users find what their searching for. Google also ranks its results by how often users have previously clicked on the result. 

Now, Google uses Facebook’s "like’s", shares and comments as better indicators of what users are searching for. Searchmetrics, a Berlin based metric firm, collected data over two months using 10,000 top keywords, 300,000 websites, and millions of links, shares, and tweets.

The result of the data concluded that Facebook’s “likes,” shares and comments showed a strong correlation with the results Google provided. The firm also determined that Twitter and Google+ were also driving results.

Client’s brand on social media will matter more than it has in the past. Not only will the content be used to help users find your client on Google, but it will also help your client determine the success of their social media presence. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Social Media And The Penn State Sanctions

Yesterday morning, my Facebook newsfeed and Twitter timeline were both filled with comments about the NCAA sanctions on Penn State. The sanctions included:
  • A $60 million fine, with the money going to an endowment to benefit the welfare of children.
  • A four-year ban on postseason play, including the Big Ten championship game, bowls or the playoffs coming in 2014.
  • A reduction in the maximum allowance of scholarships offered to incoming players from 25 to 15 a year for the next four years.
  • Any entering or returning player is free to transfer without restriction (such as sitting out one season). Others can maintain their scholarship at Penn State and choose not to play.
  • The vacating of all victories from 1998-2011.
The responses to the sanctions ranged from some agreeing with them, some completely objecting to their severity, and others begging for people to just stop posting about it. While I was scrolling through posts, especially those by Penn  State students, alumni, and fans, I couldn’t help but wonder if people knew their statements were public. When hot topics and big issues hit the news, it is important to remember that the comments you make on social media are public, and you should choose your words wisely. Here are 4 lessons I learned from observing social media on the NCAA sanctions:

You’re opinion isn’t the only one: Not everyone is going to agree with your point of view, and that’s ok. Be prepared to receive responses from others with a different viewpoint and respond in an elegant and polite manner.

Your opinions are a direct reflection of you: Not everyone is going to understand that your comments were made in the heat of the moment. You don’t want to leave an impression that you cannot control your thoughts or have a tendency to lash out.

Everything online is public: No matter how well you think you’ve mastered privacy settings, what you say online can be viewed by everyone. You never know who will be offended by your comments, or how your comments will affect you in the future.

Sometimes, saying nothing says everything: You do not have to comment on every major topic that hits the news stands. Silence can oftentimes be the greatest mode of communication. You know your thoughts, opinions, and viewpoints and sometimes, that is satisfaction enough.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Social Media and its Role in the #Aurora Shooting

Many of you have probably heard about the shooting in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater during the premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" on Friday. 12 people were killed and 58 injured in what is now the largest mass shooting in history. 

Traditionally, people have looked to the radio, television and newspapers for the latest news. Within the last couple of years, social media has taken its place as the single quickest way to receive news. Prior to the shooting, Jessica Redfield, an aspiring journalist and avid hockey blogger, tweeted her excitement about the movie. In an unusual turn of events, Redfield was at the Toronto shooting in June and was a casualty of Friday's shooting. Redfield was not the only one connected via Twitter. 

During and after the shooting, people inside and outside of the theater tweeted about the shooting. Some tweeted about seeing the victims, others gave their best wishes to those who were affected. Following the shooting, #Aurora, #theatershooting and #Batman were trending. The actors of "The Dark Knight Rises" also expressed their sympathy alongside President Obama, who has flown to Aurora, Colorado to visit the victims. Christian Bale, who plays Batman in the franchise had the following to say:

"Words cannot express the horror that I feel," said Bale in a statement. "I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them."

Following the tragedy, people around the world remain connected via social media for the latest developments on the condition of the victims, as well as the beginning of a long path to determining the motive of James Holmes, the man responsible for the Aurora shooting. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

To Klout or Not to Klout

This week at my internship, my boss looked at me and asked what my Klout score was.  I looked at him somewhat confused then remembered Klout is a website that measures your impact on social media.  I signed up and all week my boss and I have become obsessed with Klout.  

Klout measures your retweets, replies, followers and the topics you discuss on Twitter.  On Facebook, Klout measures how many likes, wall posts, and comments you receive.  Other social media sties can be connected to your Klout, but Twitter and Facebook seem to be the main drivers behind a Klout score.

Your Klout score is updated daily, with influencers and topics updated weekly.  Businesses can use this to see how affective they are with their audiences on social media.  A score goes up by creating great content that people want to share and respond to. If a business wanted to try a new social media strategy, they could use Klout to see if this strategy was affective and could measure the success of the strategy.  

Klout also wants to allow brands to reach and engage with their audiences through Klout Perks.  Klout Perks are rewards that Klout users receive through their Klout scores and the topics that they are seen as influencers on.  Klout Perks seem to be the main drive behind people joining Klout.  Some perks have been advanced screening of a movie, laptops and trips all over the world.  People who are against Klout as an effective measuring tool find the perks as problematic because they say Klout favors certain topics, therefore having the same people win perks over and over again.  

Klout Perks to me seem the most useful for a business using Klout, like the theater. Businesses and brands can start a Klout Perk of their own.  If the theater created a Klout perk, it would be advertised on multiple social media platforms.  To win the perk, the theater’s social media followers would need to discuss it on their own social media accounts, creating more followers who would want to win the perk. 

After looking into Klout, do you think Klout would be useful for you or your business?

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jackie Grillo.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Facebook and Twitter are NOT Reliable Sources

In highs school you were taught that Research Paper Rule #1 was “credible websites end in .org, .edu, and .net.”  While there can be some debate on that topic seeing as major news sources such as CNN and MSNBC have websites ending in .com, there is still something to be said about which websites are and are not reliable.  In recent years, it seems that people have developed the opinion expressed by the women in this State Farm commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmx4twCK3_I.  I think we can all tell by the end of the clip that the theory “they can’t put anything on the internet that’s not true” isn’t accurate. 

Facebook and Twitter are two of the most widely used unreliable sources.  If other people are saying it, it must be true—right? Wrong.  A great example of this is the post about Starbucks that has been circulating Facebook for the last month or so.  The Facebook post shows an email from a United States Marine detailing an experience with Starbucks in which they were asked to supply coffee to the troops and Starbucks wrote back and said no, we don’t support the war or the troops.  The post then asks people to stop supporting Starbucks.  The post, though untrue, got Facebook users fired up. Read more about this situation here: http://news.starbucks.com/about+starbucks/myths+facts/militarydonations.htm

Another instance where a social media site led us astray was when Joe Paterno was very sick.  A very popular and widely viewed Penn State Twitter account posted about Paterno’s death and everyone started posting RIP Joe Paterno in response.  It wasn’t until Paterno’s own son tweeted that his father was still alive that people stopped believing the tweets.

These situations can cause major PR nightmares.  Starbucks’ PR team had quite the task ahead of them with this rumor.  This would prove particularly hard because many people today don’t do their own research.  In the case of the incorrect tweets about Joe Paterno, it reflects poorly on the Penn State twitter and must’ve been incredibly stressful for his family.

So, the moral of the story is: don’t believe what you see and hear on Facebook and Twitter.   If you do see something on a social networking site please do some research before you repost it and fuel the fire.  Times are changing and social media is playing a bigger and bigger role in our everyday lives, but that doesn’t mean we have to believe everything it tells us.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member London Faust

Friday, July 20, 2012

What Electronic Dance Music Can Teach PR Pros

Over the past few months I have attended my fair share of concerts, most of them being categorized under the genre of EDM. It’s no secret that electronic dance music is on the rise in the United States With songs like Nero’s “Promises” being featured in a Hewlett Packard commercial and household names like Avicii and DJ Tiesto beginning partnerships with big name brands, the presence of EDM is spreading rapidly and will only grow larger in years to come. Shows put on by well known house music DJs like Swedish House Mafia and Kaskade are selling out in a matter of minutes with tickets priced close to $100 or above.
Looking at this from a public relations standpoint, I feel like there is a lot to learn from this recent phenomenon. The EDM audience consists of men and women ages 18-35, with a focus on college students, who are extremely tuned into social media and are willing to spend upwards to $300 dollars on festivals like Camp Bisco and Electric Zoo. Due to this audience, there are specific reasons as to why house music, dubstep, techno and trance artists have become so popular. After some research, here are some things I believe PR pros can take away from the explosion of EDM into America’s pop culture scene:
  • It’s all about social media: Although this is an obvious observation in 2012, the key to making social media work is by integrating all social media channels. House music DJs utilize social media far better than any other type of artists/bands that I follow. They engage their audiences by syncing Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and YouTube to connect with fans, announce shows and line-ups, post photos in real time and to hold contests and giveaways. I have had DJs reply to a tweet and a something as simple as that allows the fan to feel a personal connection, something that brands may have a hard time doing.
  • People like suspense: Welcome to the world of teasers. DJs have caught on to the fact that teasers work. The infamous trio known as Swedish House Mafia created a teaser website hinting at something epic before announced their 2011 Madison Square Garden show. Within minutes fans were sharing the link and counting down the days until the big announcement, which was their show at MSG that completely sold out in 40 minutes. Similar tactics are used to announce and promote EDM festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra Music Festival. When launching a new PR campaign, consider coming up with a teaser that will get your audience excited.
  • Recycle: Well, not literally. Today’s DJs are known mostly for how they re-work other DJ’s music. They are performing at sold out shows playing recycled songs that they have made their own. Repeated ideas are often seen in the PR world. The key to making it thrive, however, is to take an idea that works and simply make it your own. New ideas are often more successful than the original (hence remixes).
Do you see other ways in which this music culture can be helpful to PR pros? Let us know!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Social Media And The Olympics.

Social Media has created quite the stir for the 2012 Olympics. Many of us around the globe follow our favorite athletes on Twitter and like them on Facebook. Originally, the Olympics were covered in and you received updates via print. After the invention of the television, the Olympics, beginning in 1964, were broadcasted live all over the world. However, today, many of us now stay tuned in through Twitter, Facebook and other social sites. The infographic below highlights a more in depth look at the history of how the Olympics were previously covered and how social media has effected its coverage. 

Assuming you are subscribed to as least one social site, you have probably come across tweets or posts about the 2012 Olympics. If so, how are you following the Olympics and are you following any specific athletes?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Questions That Will Show You Care

As a first time intern, to say I have a lot to learn is an understatement. In just a few months I've gained some great experience and learned a lot of lessons, but I still have a long way to go. One lesson I learned very quickly is the importance of asking quality questions. Coming to your internship with good questions shows your superiors that you are eager to learn and that you are paying attention. Here are 5 great questions every eager intern should ask:

Are there any case studies on past clients that I can read? - Asking to read past case studies and reports on former clients shows that you are invested in the company and what it does. When you go over case studies, be sure to make note of how and when certain strategies and practices were used. This will definitely be helpful to your future.

What is your job description? - This question is a great way to not only find out more about the people you work with, but help decide where your interest in the industry is. Make note of which job titles and descriptions appeal to you for future reference.

Could I possibly see some examples? - Writing a press release or media alert for the first time can be very stressful. Ask some of the staff members you work with to show you examples of things they have written before. Once you see how it's done, be sure to keep the documents handy to reference later.

Ask them anything! - There is no such thing as a stupid question in the world of interning. If you aren't sure how or why something is done, ask about it. Keep a notepad with you so you can jot down questions as they come up. Make the most out of your internship by learning and asking everything you can.

If you have more great questions to ask, share them with us!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lessons from Jury Duty

I found out yesterday that I have been summoned for Jury Duty. Actually, as you all read this post, I'm probably sitting in a court room, hoping that I haven't been called! When I first heard my panel called I was frustrated. I have a job! I don't have time to just sit idle in a court house! But like any situation, the best thing you can do is make your experience positive and learn for it. It just so happens that I came upon an article on OPEN Forum: "5 Lessons From Jury Duty". Below is what I took away from the article:

  • When put on the spot, people tend to be honest: Most people look down upon jury duty as a nuisance, me included! We figure that only those who don't have a demanding career would actually voluntarily endure jury duty by telling the truth, but its quite the opposite. Whether you're interviewing someone, looking to potentially hire an employee, or just simply communicating with other professionals, you'll find that they will be honest and tell the truth when the lime light is on them. 
  • Keep an open mind: This goes for practically anything that you put your hands in. In court, you have to keep an open mind, because you could be holding someone's life in your hands, and the worst thing you can do is make assumptions according to your personal views. For example, if you're right a strategic plan, taking the time to look at the big picture will allow you be more flexible in changes from your client, rather than feeling cornered into straying from your personal preference.
  • Most people are very different from you: Your way is not the highway. On your jury panel, you'll see a variety of people in different walks of life. This is great practice for the real world. You can't assume that everyone shares the same views and ideas that you have. Assuming this will only harbor miscommunication, which ultimately leads to inefficiency.
Have you ever served on jury duty? What did you take from it? Let us know!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Practicing PR On The Job

Summer is a little more than half over, and that means it’s was time to start thinking about a job for the fall semester. Though ideally I would rather take on two internships than a job, the fact of the matter is I need a source of income while at school. At first I was discouraged at the fact that I would not be able to work at a place that would benefit my area of study; but the more I considered my possibilities the more I realized that more often than not ones typical “after school job” is actually extremely beneficial to a career in the public relations industry. Below are just a few of the correlations I found between typical student jobs and work in the public relations field. 

Restaurants: Working in the food service industry gives you many skills that you can use in any field of study. P Although the issues may not be on the same scale, the skill set used is very similar. Through my own experiences I have learned how to remain calm with a customer in stressful situations, and handle the situation in a way that is practical for all parties involved. 

Secretarial Jobs: Working as a secretary can also give you skills that will aid you for a future in the public relations industry. Answering calls and scheduling appointments are valuable skills that can be transferable to any industry. Secretarial jobs also teach one to be organized and efficient when handling another person’s schedule, because they are relying on you to be consistent and thorough. 

Retail: Working in retail is very applicable to the public relations industry because it teaches one good customer service. On top of that, working in retail allows one to utilize their skills of persuasion. Convincing customers to buy a certain product can give you the same experience as convincing someone to see your point of view, or convincing someone to attend an event. These skills are directly transferable to the PR industry. 

Any Job: As we all know, the single most important aspect of any public relations professional’s job is to network. Therefore, with any part time job, you should take advantage of the opportunity to connect with new people. Network with your co-workers, and keep a good rapport with your managers. You never know when you will meet the person that has the key to your success in the industry!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Lexi Drexler

Saturday, July 14, 2012

We All Have to Grow Up Sometime

By the time college is over, we have entered into our early 20s.  Some of us may continue on to further schooling, while others venture out into the real world. Seeking the “perfect” job becomes our number one priority, which then leads to us hopefully living our perfect lives. Twenty-five becomes that magic number. When we reach this number, everything should hopefully be set for our futures. Careers become our number one focus, and it is important to know as much as we can without making drastic mistakes. Here are the top 6 things to know by the time you are twenty-five:

6. Put in your two-weeks notice. 
After landing that first job, if you are not happy be sure to always give a two-weeks notice, no matter what the job is. A written resignation is the most professional way to exit a business.

5. Unplug. 
After you leave work, shutdown. Do not go home and continue to answer e-mails and phone calls. When at home, enjoy what you have worked so hard for. 

4. Delegate work.
Asking others who can help to lend a hand is not a poor reflection on you; asking for help shows you want the job done and to satisfactory standards. But remember it is your responsibility to get the job done. Managers like for their employees to recognize that they are not above any type of work. 

3. Ask for a raise. 
Never be afraid to ask for more money. After more than three years at a job, learn how to introduce the topic to those in higher power. 

2. Craft an appropriate connection. 
When sending messages over social media outlets, tailor messages to each person. People appreciate when you take the time to write thoughtful messages.

1. Take rejection with poise. 
Rejection is one of the hardest things to face in life, but remaining poise is imperative. It is better to leave a job on a high note than a sour one. 

Entering the real world can be one of the scariest parts of our lives, but by possessing these tips anyone can make it through the stressful time. Twenty-five is when our lives begin and we must go out and conquer the world before it conquers us. 

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Alison Curran

Friday, July 13, 2012

Always Mind Your Manners

One of my biggest pet peeves in the professional world is when I see people around my age who don’t use proper manners in a business setting. We all learned what good manners are from our parents and school teachers, however business etiquette is a lot more than the “please and thank you” of your peanut-butter-and-jelly days.
Business manners are certainly not a popular topic covered by today’s media outlets but that doesn’t make them any less important. Manners express a sense of respect and courtesy no matter what setting you are in. They are genderless and simple. Manners may even determine if you get the job or not.
Here are some tips to refresh your business etiquette skills:
Shaking Hands: Always look the person in the eye and make sure your handshake is not too firm or not too soft. Be confident.
Holding the Door: Rule of thumb – the first person at the door should hold it open.
Introductions: Introduce a lower-ranking person to a higher-ranking person. Always apologize if you forget someone’s name.
Telephone Calls/Emails: Return calls immediately and reply to emails within one business day. This shows respect.
Texting: No matter what the situation it is ALWAYS rude and inconsiderate to text during a meeting or conversation.
Business Hours: Everyone needs time away from office life. Unless you have a dire emergency, contact people during the hours of nine to five PM only.
Co-Workers: You spend a lot of time with them; why not get to know them?
Private Conversations: Keep them private, plain and simple.
Please & Thank You: No matter how old you are, these words should always be a part of your every day vocabulary.

What are other manners you live by in your professional life? Let us know!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Irrive, The New Way To Travel Socially

Have you heard of the new social site which allows you to "weave all of your tweets, posts and check-ins into a sharable story"? Steve Cohn, founder of Living Social, who has since sold the company is beta testing a website called Irrive. Irrive, is a visual story of your travel. It views like a social scrap booking application like Pinterest or Flipboard, allowing you to integrate your photos, video clips,but differs by also including social media posts and narrative in real time. The posts, pictures, video clips and narratives are then turned into one beautiful, streamlined "TripPage". Each "TripPage" has its own unique URL that your friends and family can then follow. All of your "TripPages" are added to your dashboard where you can relive past all of your past and plan your future trips. Below is a screen shot from the website.

I just signed up for a beta trial and cannot wait to use it for my next trip. Have you signed up yet? If so, what are your thoughts?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Seven Tips to Help You Proofread Your Next Article

Typos get in the way of presenting your thoughts and opinions. Not only does it make the reading less enjoyable, it also sends a negative message to your audience. 

Avoid mistakes and follow these simple steps to help catch typos. 
  1. Take a day- Let a day pass for you to come back to review your content with fresh eyes.
  2. Print it out- Although it might be less convenient to print out your material, studies have shown that you are more likely to catch errors on paper than on a computer screen. If you are unable to print out your content Ragan.com suggests using a more distinct type face.
  3. Proper nouns- Look at the who’s, where’s, and when’s in your content. Make sure that addresses and dates are in AP format as well as making sure names and places are capitalized.
  4. Reverse- Start at the end of your content and read backwards line by line.
  5. Use a ruler- On printed material, use a ruler to go under each line. This will prevent you to skipping ahead to the next line
  6. Know yourself- It’s important to know what you’re not good at when it comes to proofreading. Make a list of common mistakes you make when you write.
  7. Read aloud- Reading aloud has been an instilled proofreading method since the third grade and it still works.a

For more tips read Daphne Gray-Grants article on Ragan.com

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Social Media And Speeches

Speeches and social media may not seem to have much in common. Generally, speeches involve lots of one way communication from speaker to audience. Social media, on the other hand, is much more interactive. Utilizing social media when making a speech allows you to keep the audience more engaged simply because they feel more involved. Here are some ways to use social media to improve upon your speech making:

1. Research- Social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook have groups where people with common interests can join together on one page. Before giving a speech, you can access these groups and see what your future audience is talking about. You can poll members of these groups to get their opinions about topics and issues, and shape the dynamic of your speech from the results.

2. Interact- The best way to keep your audience engaged is to interact with them. Live polling websites such as Poll Everywhere offer free live polling. While you are asking your audience poll questions, they can take a more active roll in your presentation. Also, encourage members of your audience to discuss your presentation live on their various social media networks. Create a hashtag so that those who aren't present can still take part in discussion.

3. Evaluate- After your speech or presentation is over, you will want to evaluate how the audience perceived it.You can do this by searching the hashtag you created on Twitter, or by going back into LinkedIn and Facebook groups and polling members who took part in your presentation. By checking results over social media, you can collect responses much faster and track them with ease.

Have you ever used social media when giving a speech? If so, tell us how you went about it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Paving the Way with the Mission Statement

When you visit any company’s website, one of the first things you’ll come across is their mission statement. A mission statement tells the public about the purpose of the company or organization and serves as a guide for the actions of the organization at large. But writing a mission statement can sometimes be challenging. Just like a tweet, condensing the ideas and purpose of your company into a small blurb is often time consuming. Below are some tips on crafting a mission statement:

Ask and answer the right questions: Of course you want to answer the question of what the purpose of your company is, but you also want to touch on how your company does it and why. Why is your company different from the other companies in your market?

Be succinct and be clear: You don’t need to write a novel to get your point across. Keep your statement as short as possible so that prospective clients and customers can walk away with your company in their mind. Part of accomplishing this is also being clear; is your message understandable?

Be inspirational: Your mission statement shouldn’t only inspire the public, but also your employees, so that they can look back on the mission statement and know which direction to take.

Match the statement with the company: A quality mission statement should be in the voice of its respective company. This is a great way to be creative while also setting the tone of how your business will be run.

Does the company you work for have a mission statement? How does it guide your company? Let us know!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Enjoy Summer Without Breaking The Bank

Interning in New York City has taught me many things this summer; one of them being how to be frugal.  When you don’t have a paid internship (I think we all at some point have to feel this pain), it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice fun. Whether you are in Philadelphia, New York City, or another major metropolitan area, there are a number of free and affordable things to do. Here are some tips for enjoying the summer on a tight budget:

-Visit your local library:. Most of us haven’t stepped foot in a library for fun since elementary school, but don’t count your library out. Keep in mind they have free reading, workshops, classes, exhibits, and even movie nights. This is also a chance to meet others from your town and practice your networking skills! 

-Check out local museums and zoos:. Most museums and zoos have free admission on certain days, and many museums have a “suggested admission price.” Be sure to check the museum and zoos websites for special prices and events. 

-Utilize Groupon and Livingsocial: These websites are a great way to do more and spend less. I’ve gotten many haircuts, massages, discounted, and free admissions through these programs. If you have a Smartphone, these apps are a necessary download. They also have great detailed websites that are user friendly and easy to navigate. 

-Look for student discounts: Just because you aren't on campus doesn't mean your student ID is useless. Many places offer discounted prices with the presentation of a student ID. Try and visit these venues first.

Be sure to give these tips a try, and let us know what your favorite free or discounted adventures are this summer! 

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations' staff member Katherine Carpenter

Saturday, July 7, 2012

7 Things You Should Know

If you are a communications student you’re certainly aware of just how tough it is to obtain your dream job. Whether you’re an incoming college freshman or a soon to be graduate, it is crucial that you do these 7 things before you leave college life and enter the “real world.”

1. Have a clear goal: Almost every career in the communications field is cut throat meaning you have to be considered the best of the best to obtain a job. Be sure to make clear career goals before you graduate from college, or else you may find yourself with a communications degree but still living at home at the age of 25. 

2. Resume: Resumes are crucial if you plan to be successful after you finish college. Luckily, you have four years to create a perfect resume. Start off a resume your freshman year; put together all of your best professional accomplishments and continue to build your resume being sure to edit along the way.  Every resume must be unique, so it's important to create a resume that makes you stand out.

3. Portfolio: Portfolios are a great way to compile all of your best work together so that future employers can see your strengths. For example: if you are a public relations major, put together any press releases you have created or even your best pieces of writing. If you are journalism major, you can put together your best articles that you have written in class or for your school's newspaper. Most importantly, make sure to present your portfolio in a nicely bound binder with high quality paper. Presentation is key!

4. Internships, Internships, and More Internships: Apply for internships because, let's face it, to be successful in most careers in the communications field, one has to have a few internships under his or her belt. Internships are the best way to get your foot in the door.

5. Organizations: Join some of the organizations at your university because it gives you the opportunity to meet new people. I personally made sure to join my university’s student run PR firm PRowl Public Relations. If you are a journalism major, join your university’s newspaper. If you're in advertising, seek out an advertising club. The great thing about college is that there are so many opportunities when it comes to organizations and many times you can find a organization that's tailored to your major. Remember connections, connections, connections.

6. LinkedIn: LinkedIn is not only a great way to engage with friends on a professional level, but it is also great way to network with industry professionals. Make sure your LinkedIn is always up to date and is updated frequently, because you never know who may want to enter your network.

7. Business cards: Business cards are a fast and easy way to get your information out into the world. Be sure to create a business card that not only gives your contact information but also looks great!

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jummy Temidayo

Friday, July 6, 2012

Get Creative!

It is the end of the work week and everyone knows what that means; you’re spent. You are most likely tired, feeling less motivated and are dreading performing any task in which you need to think creatively.
One of the most valued aspects in PR, however, is the value of creativity. Whether you have to brainstorm a new idea for your internship or have to come up with content for a group projectyou’re your summer class, creativity is always embraced and is something that comes naturally to most people who enjoy public relations.
To help get those creative juices flowing on this dreadful Friday, here are some tips I use:
·         Switch up your daily routine – see how things can be done differently.
·         Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion – challenge yourself!
·         Think outside of the box – the less “normal” you think it is, the better.
·         Borrow an idea – take a good idea and transform it into something new to call your own.
·         Get up and walk around – leave your cubicle, desk or house and explore new sights.
How do you spark creativity?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Can You Survive On A Social Media Salary?

There is a new trend on Google, and it's the keyword search for the salary of a social media manager. Your parents probably already don't understand your career choice and just want to know that you will be able to afford to eat and to put a roof over your head. You on the otherhand just want to make sure that you can cut the chords and move out of the house and afford that closet sized apartment in the city you've been dreaming of.

Below is a ‘Social Media Manager Jobs Salary Guide’ that has been compiled and published by Onward Search. It lists social media job categories in addition to average salaries across the United States.

In addition to looking at position and location factors, you will also need to factor in whether you will be working for a small business or non-profit organization or whether you are willing to go corporate in order to earn more money. As highlighted by the graph, jobs in the social media scene are few and far, especially well paying ones. As aspiring professionals, it is important to diversify your experiences early on therefore making yourselves more marketable in the industry. Marketability means more money and more money means less phone calls home to mom and dad.

The question remains, can you survive on a social media salary?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Get To Know Our 2012-2013 E-Board

Samantha Wanner, Firm Director

Samantha Wanner is a senior at Temple University majoring in Communications, with a focus in Public Relations and a minor in Business. Samantha also serves as Firm Director for PRowl Public Relations. Her main interests in the PR industry include the fast-paced world of social media and promoting and developing charities for established organizations.

Marianna Morris, Assistant Firm Director

Marianna Morris is a junior Public Relations major and is an Assistant Firm Director for PRowl PR. She is most interested in Crisis Communications and Healthcare PR, because she feels that there are always challenges to overcome and opportunities to be made in both that will impact the world.

Kaitlyn Sutton, Assistant Firm Director

Kaitlyn Sutton is a junior at Temple University majoring in Strategic Communications with a focus in Public Relations. Kaitlyn also serves as an Assistant Firm Director for PRowl Public Relations. Her main interests within the PR industry include corporate communications as well as healthcare public relations

Cori Shearer, Director of Finance

Cori Shearer is a junior in the Temple University Honors Program, majoring in Strategic Communication with a focus in Public Relations and a second major in Marketing in the Fox School of Business. Cori serves as the Director of Finance and also as the Account Executive for…Her main interests include nonprofit, arts and hospitality PR, as well as fundraising, development and event planning. 

Amber Burns, Director of Public Relations

Amber is a sophomore at Temple University majoring in Strategic Communications with a concentration in PR and minoring in Spanish. She serves as the director of public relations for PRowl Public Relations. She also serves as the Director of PR and social media for Temple University's PRSSA chapter. Amber's main interests include the arts, theater, and lifestyle sectors of PR.

Tools To Organize Your Twitter Feed

Twitter can be a great way to stay up to date and interact with a wide variety of people. However, if your Twitter feed is full of spam and inactive accounts, it defeats the purpose. Taking the time to clean up your account makes using the social networking site much more enjoyable. Here are some tools you can use to help ease the hassle of organizing your Twitter feed.

Twitter list: Twitter allows you to organize your followers and the people you follow into groups called lists. Organizing your followers this way makes it easy to find contacts. It's also helpful to have organized lists when people, such as potential employers, are looking to see who you follow.

Twit Cleaner: Twit Cleaner is a service that helps remove bots and spam accounts from your followers list. Many of these accounts contain malicious links, and since it's impossible to track and report them all, Twit Cleaner does the job for you.

Tweepi: Tweepi is a service that is great at managing people you follow who don't follow you back. If you are trying to gain a more balanced following to follower ratio, this is a great service to use.Tweepi also deletes accounts you are following which aren't active on Twitter anymore.

Social Omph: Social Omph can be used for many things, but is popular for its ability to automatically follow back.

All of the above services are easy to use and completely free. How do you keep your social networks organized?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summertime Job Hunting

So you've just graduated college in May and you're finding yourself jobless. You wonder to yourself, and anyone who will listen, where are all the jobs?! Take a deep breath, because nows the time. Below are reasons why summertime is the perfect time to go job hunting:

  • Summer is a slower season: For PR, this really depends. For those companies that focus around one yearly event or find themselves with a higher volume of work during the year, this is prime time to apply. Potential employers will have more time to schedule interviews and take the time to train you if and when you're hired. 
  • Jobs do exist: It's hard to believe especially when only a small percentage of young people are getting hired, but its true. Put yourself out there, because the 78th job application you send out could be your ticket to a job.
  • Unexpected networking opportunities: People love to socialize during the warmer months. Barbeques, lunches, and get-togethers are a great time to meet other professionals. You never know who you'll run in to!
  • Summer is an easier transition period: Things are usually slower in the summer, which allows you to get into the groove of how things work around the office without the hustle and bustle of the calendar year.
Have you landed a job this summer? How did you get motivated? Let us know!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mastering The Phone Call

An efficient career in PR has become heavily reliant on ones ability to craft the perfect email, perfect attention grabbing social media blast, and the USB press kit. In a world filled with typing, the ability to effortlessly speak actual words aloud can become lost. There are a few things you should keep in mind for a flawless phone conversation, and by using these easy tips you may think twice before emailing your next pitch.

Get the details, before you dial the number. Know the proper title and pronunciation of the name of the individual you need to speak with. Before you pick up the phone, know exactly what information you wish to gain from the conversation and what information you need to communicate to the individual you are contacting. 

Make a plan, and write it down. Often you know exactly what you want to say, but simple distractions can have you stuttering and stumbling over your words. Unexpected questions can catch you of guard so instead of mumbling a made up answer, ask for a moment so that you may ensure the information you give them is up to date and accurate.

Use your manners, be polite and stay professional. Limit your use of “yea” and rather use “yes." Be humble, if the individual you are speaking with is disrespectful or difficult, do not give in to harsh words. Rather rise above their own ill manners and do your best to get the basic information you needed.  

If you can efficiently, accurately, and pleasantly deliver your message to your audience, there is a greater chance of building a positive relationship with that individual or public. Being personable places a voice behind future email correspondence. Speaking up will encourage a relationship that is more likely to be long lasting, personal, and pro-active. 

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Emily Storz