Friday, August 31, 2012

Business 101: Why PR Students Should Take A Business Class

Most, if not all, aspiring PR pros shudder at the thought of taking a business course. We went into public relations for a reason; to avoid taking accounting, economics and any other classes that involve numbers. That may be a bit of an exaggeration but I have yet to meet a PR student or professional that enjoys the subject of math. 

A professor recently told my class he had taken a basic business course while he was in college and that, although he absolutely despised it, it was one of the best decisions he ever made. Why you ask? Simply because everything in life is a business. There is no getting around it. If you are looking to become successful in the public relations field, you will most definitely be working with clients who only speak in business lingo. That means they communicate in terms of numbers, metrics and, most importantly, money. 

Public relations is all about knowing your audience. There will be numerous points throughout your career in which your audience is going to be upper management and business professionals. It is our job as aspiring PR pros to learn their language. There is a serious need for young professionals to understand the realm of business. Knowing certain business jargon will not only be beneficial to you, it will also help to put you ahead of your peers. In today's job market, you should be willing to do anything and everything that will put you ahead of others. 

So, instead of using that elective credit on a pointless aerobics class or a boring music class, aim instead to take a business course. Look for an introduction to management, marketing or a business 101 course to give you that extra knowledge that will not only open up your mind, but will help to get you ahead in your career!

What business courses have you taken? Let us know!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Five Types of Social Media Users.

In the world of social media, all users process and disseminate information differently. There are the producers who create original content. The commentators who keep the conversation going and always having something to say, both good and bad. The gatherers who find the information and overload our feeds. The joiners who strengthen the community and build our followings. Then finally there are the observers who process all of the information which the others have encoded and disseminated. These are the users that increase our views, popularity and hits.

Which type of user are you?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What a new logo can do for your brand

A new logo can say more about your business to an audience than any advertisement. A logo can provide a connection for a consumer, it can be like putting a face to a name. It can even provide an identity for your brand. Or, like Microsoft, you may want to consider changing your logo when you have a reputation, who after 25 changed their logo.

A logo should be a mirror of your brand and your mission. It should represent the culture in which you are immersed and a projection of your audience.
Changing just the font and/or color can say a lot about the direction of your brand. Color can represent an audience that you are trying to appeal to. For example Microsoft ‘s new four colored logo square are a representation of,”…the diversity of our (Microsoft’s) products and the diversity of people that we serve, “ says Jeff Hansen,  Microsoft’s general manager of brand strategy.
If it is not about your client’s logo, how about your own personal logo? Creating and developing a logo for business cards or personal letterhead can be a real stand-out in the job market. Designing logo can be as simple as using a consistent font or color scheme for all your literature.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

5 Useful Apps For PR Pros

Today marks my one week anniversary with my iPhone 4, and I don't know how I've managed life without it! Being able to access the world with a swipe of my finger allows me to multitask, organize, and communicate like never before. Smart phones have definitely become a necessity to anyone who needs to be able to email, tweet, and share information on the go. Here are 5 smart phone apps that will help make every PR pros life a little easier:

1. Pulse: If you love staying current and getting live updates from all of your favorite publications, then Pulse is the app for you. Pulse allows you to make a live news stream featuring articles and headlines of interest to you. 

2. Dropbox: Dropbox allows you to share and store files on your computer, phone, and on the web. This app is perfect for anyone who needs to access lots of documents, photos, or files without taking up a ton of space on one device.

3. JotNot Pro: Jotnot Pro converts the camera on your smartphone into a scanner. Even when you are out of the office, you can scan documents and send them out via your smart phone.

4. World Card: Are you always exchanging business cards with other professionals but haven't found an effeciant way to store your new contacts? World card converts the information from any business card to a storable contact in your phone. You can even save an image of the business card to help jog your memory.

5. White Noise: If you find that your profession causes you to travel often, this app is perfect to prevent sleepless nights. White Noise can help you block out noise in any setting.

What smart phone apps do you use the most? Let us know!

Monday, August 27, 2012

For The People, By The People

Everyone has someone to answer to, it's a fact of life. But when you are writing a press release or blog, whether it will be read by reporters or the general public, it can be hard to think about who you're writing for, when you have to hand it up to your boss to look over. I experience it myself, all of the time. I want my supervisor to like what I've written, and I want to make them happy, but the bottom line is that you are not writing for you supervisor or board of directors, etc. You are writing for an audience. Check out the tips below on how to write for your readers--not your executives:

Use the words your audience would use when describing your product: While you may work for a company that manufactures technology used in space, using industry jargon will get you no where. If you are aiming at a younger audience in an effort to gain more widespread support, think about the language they use. The culture they are in. Adjust to that, and you will get more of a response and a better understanding of the product you're selling.

Your customers are people; treat them that way: In some industries, companies will refer to their customers as "insureds" or "patron". Using these terms can sometimes de-humanize clients. Your customers are people too, and most likely don't refer to themselves as such, and may not even appreciate it. I would personally prefer someone to cut to the chase and call me what I am--a consumer, or a customer.

Writing informally is not dumbing down: Nix the ain't and the ya'll, writing informally is getting rid of the static and getting down to the roots. Who, what, where, when? Try to write in such a way that your reader won't have to keep going over what you wrote. This saves both you and the customer time, energy and frustration.

Have you ever been met with the challenge of writing to your audience while still keeping appearances with your boss? How did you manage? Let us know!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Crucial Details to Remember when Tempers Rise in PR

Its not always smooth sailing in the field of Public Relations. As the professional, we have been taught to always keep calm in a situation of crisis and to never show fear in the face of a challenge. Although, when your blood starts to boil because your diva client thinks he or she knows everything or a journalist featured your company in a horrible story, reacting carefully and calculating your plan of action will remind everyone that you are the professional for a reason.

Let me give you an example: your client seems to think that telling the New York Times that the company funding his project has a pompous CEO who doesn’t understand art. The story runs front page and you have three missed calls, from your boss, the artist, and the CEO. Lets be honest, your fuming...but you don’t have time to be angry because YOU have to fix this. Write down your plan of action, the first call your going to make is to your boss alerting him of how you plan to sooth hard feelings. You will probably take the heat for your prima donna’s big mouth so be prepared to endure criticism from your boss. As the PR professional, you do not get the time to be furious so don’t let anger hinder your ability to come up with a plan of action.

 The pretentious client gets the second phone call, because he can not believe that the journalist choose to quote him stating his opinion. Calmly remind him that in the future he must stick to pre-fixed talking points for this exact reason and that just because press asked a question, does not mean he has to answer it. An apologetic phone call or email from the artist to the CEO is unlikely, therefore when you contact the CEO funding the project, you are apologizing on behalf of the artist. Be sure to remind him of the positive press he has received through this project and ensure him that this story can be countered. Repairing relationships between your clients, the public and other parties is imperative. NEVER try to cover up the negative incident, you have to acknowledge what happened and take steps to counter its consequences. 

Often there is nothing you can do about the published story, it’s out there in the public eye. Although you can make your clients unavailable to that particular journalist in the future. After speaking with your client again about press etiquette, hopefully all potential press contact will be negotiated by you. Your presence is necessary for all future interviews and talking points will be the only matters discussed with journalists. Lastly, try to immediately follow this negative press by pitching a positive story about your client or the company funding his/her project. It is best to just stash your frustrations because although yelling and complaining about the press or your client may make you feel better, it will not help you solve your problem efficiently and in a professional manner. 

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

Friday, August 24, 2012

Resume Refresher

It is hard to believe the beginning of the semester is right around the corner. Although you may not have classes for the next couple of weeks, this is the time to finish applying for fall internships. This may be the first time you have applied for an internship, or, it may be your third time. No matter what, one thing to remember when applying for internships is to always update your resume.

Since it may have been awhile since you last edited and updated your resume, here are some great refreshers to keep in mind:

1. Sell It, Don't Tell It: Don't simply state facts. Promote it, advertise it and make sure you draw attention to it.

2. Focus On The Big Things: When deciding what to put in your resume make sure to focus on new things and major projects. You want to pick out the most important things you were responsible for and how well you did them.

3. Make It Easy To Read: It is easy for resumes to become distracting with its structure and content. Make sure to keep it nice and simple.

4. Be Truthful: Don't make up skills and qualifications just because you think it will get you the job. Honesty is always the best policy.

5. Be Confident: In order to succeed at anything at life, confidence is a must. Your resume should reek of confidence because you wrote it to sell you and highlight your qualifications and your success.

Good luck!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Senior Year Send Off

It seems hard to believe that this is my last year of college. While I am excited about a new journey and my future, there are still some loose ends to tie to prepare for my final year of school and a job.
One of the most important things you can do to help yourself find a job for your senior year is reach out to previous acquaintances or contacts.  

First, if you had any internships, reconnect with your employers and peers. Inquire about future position openings and engage in “water cooloer talk,” it may help you decide whether the work environment is right for you.

Another thing you can do to reconnect in hopes in finding a job, is to contact business cards you collected over the course of your college career. I collected over 40 business cards over the course of four years and wrote how and where I met them on the back.  The first form of contact should be email. It might seem awkward to contact someone who you hadn’t talked to in over three years so trying to remember something about them is crucial.

Introduce yourself, tell them about your school, major, and most importantly, that you are graduating.  Another suggestion would be to ask for an informational interview or inquire them about shadowing them for a day. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Who's The Boss?

It can be awkward navigating your way around telling someone that you don't like something. But unlike telling your friend that the shirt they're wearing is a little outdated, telling a client that they're idea is either impossible or downright not a good idea. Some clients may feel that you are stepping on their toes or telling them what to do when you are too outright. Below are some tips on counseling a client around an inadvisable idea:

Stay informed about trends, mistakes, and successes: When your client comes to you with an idea or concept, being up-to-date on current events will help guide you and your client. This way, when your client comes to you with an idea that simply won't work, you will be able to bring up a circumstance or example in which that idea ended up not working out.

Keep a neutral tone when rebutting and countering a client's idea: Always keep your cool. First off, it's completely unprofessional to raise your voice or scream at a client. Maintain a calm exterior, even if you are feeling on edge. A client, or anyone else, will be much more inclined to listen to you, when they know that you have listened and taken their words into account before voicing your disagreements.

Ask the client to play the scenario through: Role play them through their idea, and bring up any possible issues, while still maintaining a realistic scenario. Remember that this is their baby. Give your client the ability to take responsibility for their decisions rather than you taking over control.

If you really feel strongly, or there is an ethical lapse involved, bail out: If you strongly disagree with your client for either practical or moral reasons, do yourself and your client a favor and bow out. It wouldn't be good for either of you if you just stayed with the client to stay with the client. As always, if you must part ways, be professional. Thank them for the opportunity and part amicably.

While you should be gentle when you are disputing a client's idea, remember that above all, you must tell the truth. Skating by, manipulating your client your way will not only put you in bad relations with your client, but is also unethical and unwise.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

How May We Not Serve You Today?

Why would you make a product audience members weren’t interested in? You wouldn’t, right? Social media has opened doors to help producers invent products that will make consumers interested in buying their product. Consumers are the most honest people out there; they are not looking to by a product that does not interest them. So, why does it appear corporation’s interest in what consumer opinions are has depleted? 

Social media has boomed over the past couple of years, and with this boom comes advancements for those creating new products. Target audiences respond to products advertised via social media, and their responses can prove to be quite valuable. They are the ones who will potentially purchase the product so tailoring it to what interests them should come easy, but it doesn’t. But even though companies offer response to their products, their perspectives are not always taken into account. 

In a recent study, results indicated requests left by consumers go unnoticed by companies. Roughly 70% of questions and comments posted on social media outlets go unanswered. Companies have even closed access to writing on their Facebook wall. This closes a company’s obligation to acknowledging their audience’s suggestions. Though companies removed access to leaving comments on their wall, companies still know consumer involvement in products will increase sales of the product. 

Companies appear to all have the same end goal- to make the most money. But, how do they expect to make money of their audience fails to recognize their product? If they want to make the most money, they need respect the comments given by customers. Social media allows them to know what the opinions of the public are. Corporations have to allow for comments to be made and value what their target market’s reactions are. 

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

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Social Media Isn’t the Easy Way Out

Social media has managed to speedball into our lives. As young public relations professionals we hold a key advantage to those professionals who are ten plus years our senior. We don’t need to learn about social media, it is integrated into us beginning with Myspace in the mid 2000’s. Companies have made it essential to understand social media and hire those who are capable of taking on a social media account. But some companies or organizations might not know what they are getting themselves into. On the outside, social media seems like a cheap, efficient, and personal way to market. There are two big myths of the golden ticket known as social media. 

Myth #1: It’s simple
This myth stems off of the idea that social media accounts can be maintained and updated sparingly. A social media account needs love, care, and attention to become an effective tool to any enterprise. You must capture and create content that will entertain, educate and inspire the audience. Social media is more than just Facebook as well, blogs, Pinterest images, and Tweets; the list can go on. Publishing on multiple networks and creating a process or system as to who updates it can become confusing. 

Myth #2: It’s free
Those professionals who are able to understand a social media account and keep it active need to get paid. When you are hiring someone to do a job that requires creating content, planning, and paying attention to SEO (search engine optimization) you need to pay for his or her work. Your content to fuel the Twitter and Facebook accounts require budget and commitment and will therefore require compensation.

Professionals cannot forget the role and importance of serious business and traditional marketing practices. Incorporating social media with an enterprise is a great way to stay current, but it is not a replacement for the traditional methods. 

What’s your take on social media? Is it more hassle than what it is worth? 

This post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Katherine Carpenter.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Email Is Still King

Like everything else, public relations is a business. And in any business, communication is key. Although email is not hip compared to the social media tools of our time, email still rules in business communication. Email is vital to the success of a business and aspiring PR pros should know that email should is their number one tool of communication.
This past summer I had the opportunity to intern in the corporate communications department of a national insurance company. A heavy reliance was placed on work email communication. When an important message needed to be sent, I could find it in my inbox.
Email has become almost a universal language for the working professionals. It is old, familiar and most of all, dependable.
Here are some tips to put you on the right track to writing a professional email:
  1. Greeting: When writing an email it is always important to have a proper greeting. Depending on when you send the message, you could put “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon.” Most important about a greeting though is to address the person you are emailing by first name. This makes it more personal and warm
  2. Body: Keep it short and sweet. No one likes to read more than three simple paragraphs anyways!
  3. Closing: Depending upon the subject matter of your email, your closing can vary. I usually stick with “Best,” or “Best Regards,” however you can always close out your email with the go-to “Sincerely,” or “Thanks.”
  4. Signature: Email signatures are key to an email. They tell the person a little bit more about yourself without having to research. Your signature should include your college status and major, any positions you hold as well as your current job title. Here is an example of what my email signature looks like:
Kaitlyn Sutton
Temple University '14
Strategic & Organizational Communication, Public Relations

PRowl Public Relations
Be Seen. Be Heard. Be Known

Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority, Phi Theta Chapter
Public Relations Chair

Philadelphia Insurance Companies
Corporate Communications Intern

(c): (insert cell phone number)

5.   Spell Check: This is a vital tool that most people forget to utilize. Make sure you not only spell check your email but read it out loud once or twice to make sure you are also using correct grammar and sentence structure.

What other things do you keep in mind when writing an email? We want to know!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What retail has taught me about trust

Ten weeks ago I embarked on a journey with Target Corporation as an Executive Intern. The internship consisted of four, ten hour days, and a focus in a specific department within the store. The program enabled interns to choose a primary focus and own a piece of the Target’s business, driving a metric that effected the stores overall operational score.

My focus, RED card conversion, allowed me to get to know over 70 Team Member employees and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. While getting to know others from different backgrounds was a challenge, I learned the most important quality of a leader, trust. 

While many may respect you because of a given title, it does not guarantee trust. Trust can be formed and retained in many different ways. Trust can most simply be gained by sharing a small piece of information. For example, if an employee shares with you the name of their most beloved pet. While it might not be someone’s deepest darkest secret, it means that they trusted you enough to share a piece of personal information. 

It will go a long way with your employee when you ask  them how their pet is doing, not only will it show that you care about your employee’s interests, but you also took the time to listen.
An employee that is willing to trust you, is an employee that is willing to work for you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Giving Constructive Criticism The Right Way

No matter how organized or efficient you are when working solo, it’s important that you also be able to cooperate, collaborate, and work with a team. Depending on the client, public relations work can often call for having all hands on deck. When this happens, it’s important that members of a team not only be there to support each other, but also help one another grow and perfect their skills and specialties. There is no better way to do this than by giving constructive criticism. When you decide to give constructive feedback to your coworkers, it’s important that you keep these points in mind so that the advice can be received the way you intend it to.

Get to the point: Don’t add a bunch of meaningless fluff to your critique. The purpose of constructive criticism is to point out what needs to be improved on. Make the necessary points, include suggestions, and move on.

Be Helpful: Don’t just provide a checklist of changes and errors. Always include possible suggestions so that the recipient knows how they can move forward in a more positive direction.

Perception is everything: Constructive criticism is often seen as negative because the comments were perceived to be negative. Be aware of your tone and approach. Don’t come off too strong, or seeming to have all of the answers. Your goal is to help - keep that in mind before you make your comments.

Take as well as you give: Once you feel you are able to effectively give constructive criticism, prepare for the tables to be reversed. Don’t take offense when someone turns the tables and gives you tips to improve upon your own skills. Process the comments given to you, and apply them when possible.

How do you feel is the best way to give constructive criticism? Let us know!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Chick-Fil-A Debacle: Takeaways for Small Businesses

For the past couple weeks, the Olympics have has competition: fast-food chain Chick-Fil-A. When Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy said in a statement that,"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage," clearly noting his stance on gay marriage.

Bad publicity isn't good publicity: The old adage "there is no such thing as bad publicity doesn't apply here. Cathy was voicing his personal opiniom, neglecting to put into account that the company he spearheads has an anti-discrimination policy, one that his statement could be seen as violating. After news broke out that WinShape, one of the charitable organizations that Chick-Fil-A funds, donated 2 million dollars to anti-gay organizations, the public responded. Politicians in both Chicago and Boston announced their plan to ban Chick-Fil-A from their cities. Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee even went so far as to make August 1 National Chick-Fil-A appreciation day. People packed into 1,600 locations across the country to stand against gay marriage, or for some, free speech. Since Cathy's statement, the LA Times reports that public opinion of the fast food chain is the lowest its been in two years.

Small Business Takeaway: While Dan Cathy holds the right to his own personal opinions, Chick-Fil-A is a franchise business. When the owner's political or social issues become those of the entire company, it doesn't only effect the company, but also its employees. While it is okay to share your personal views, before going in front of the world to voice your opinions, take into account the scope of your actions on other people.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Landing Your Dream Internship

As public relations students we love to make lists are all over my desk are lists: to do, to make, to buy, but my most important list is posted right next to my desk, my dream internship list. Everyone has one, the internship you would love to have and start doing what you ultimately want to do with your career before you even graduate! At the end of June, I was lucky enough to land my dream internship, working in the Development department at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia for the fall semester. This did not fall into my hands by any means, I got the internship by being proactive and knowledgeable of the company and position I wanted.

Proactivity- One must know when internship openings are posted and then mark those dates on your calendar! Being one of the first to send in your resume and cover letter shows genuine interest in the position and company.  Also, you will be one of the first to interview and make that lasting impression.  If you wait too close to the due date to apply, there is a strong possibility the position will be filled. The Wilma posted their internship positions around May and I had all of my information sent in and an interview lined up for June very quickly. I landed the internship by the end of June, leaving me stress-free for the remainder of the summer.  Another reason why being proactive is very important for landing your dream internship is because, well, the internship posting may be up! Your dream company could have nothing listed, but this does not mean it does not exist. Reach out and contact the company, see if they have anything available and if you could come in for an interview. You may have beat them to the punch and reached out before it was posted or they may not advertise it heavily, either way, your proactivity shows the true passion and determination of someone who will be a great intern!

Knowledge- If this is your dream internship, make sure you know the ins and outs of the company. Know their mission statement, clients, past events and their story.  In your cover letter as well as during your interview it helps to bring up key points pertaining to the company to show you truly care and are invested in what could be your potential internship! Throughout this past spring semester and summer, I followed the Wilma Theater very closely, reading play reviews, their website, and following them on social media. By having extensive background knowledge, I could ask and answer specific questions about what I was interviewing for as well as the company as a whole. 

What is your dream internship and how are you going to land it?

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Brianna Rooney.

Friday, August 10, 2012

So Long Sweet Summer... Internship

It’s hard to believe how fast this summer has gone. With most summer internships coming to an end, it is time to prepare for going back to school. It is the prime time for stocking up on school essentials and to start regretting that morning class you registered for.
Although it may seem like you summer is over, you most likely still have a week or two left of your internship. Before you get too caught up in making plans for the fall you need to think about how you want to positively end your summer internship. To make the most out of all the hard work you put in to your job over these past few months, here are some things Her Campus suggests you do before you walk out of those office doors for good.
Here is how to make a positive lasting impression on your boss and coworkers:
Ask for Feedback – This is single handedly the most important part of any internship. How can you grow into a professional without learning about yourself from others? Ask your boss to assess your performance and in which aspects you could have done better. Take advantage of the learning experience that internships provide!
Ask About Continued Work – If your fall schedule allows for it, speak up and express your desire to keep working with the company. It is always good to show that you enjoy working for the company and asking to stay shows your motivation.
Ask for a Recommendation – Now is the perfect time to ask. This encourages your boss to reflect on the impact you had on the company and all of your stellar intern qualities. You could even go so far as to ask for a LinkedIn recommendation which will also show initiative!
Gather Contact Information – although you may have your boss’ work phone number and email, ask if you could have his or her personal information just in case they are to move to a different company. This can be very beneficial for networking in your future. It never hurts to ask!
Handwrite Thank You Notes To Everyone You Worked With – I have learned by now that handwritten notes are a very personal way to leave a final, lasting impression on your employer. Instead of only writing one to your boss, make yourself stand out among the other interns by giving each of your co-workers their own personal thank you.
I know I will definitely be doing everything on this list before I leave my internship next Friday! Do you have any other tips you would like to share? Let us know!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

PRSSA National PRSSA Conference 2012, Why You Should Attend.

For all of my fellow undergrads, the start of the fall session is just around the corner. Meetings and events for all of our professional organizations will also soon resume. Additionally, if you are an aspiring public relations professional and a member of PRSSA, which you should be, conference is also just around the corner. For many of us, this means we will soon need to decide whether or not we will be attending.

This year, the PRSSA National Conference will be hosted in San Francisco, California. The conference is four days long and is set to offer a plethora of well known and what I believe to be promising keynote speakers and guests. However, the question remains, what are YOU getting of it, and why should YOU attend? Below are a few reasons why I believe attending this year's conference and other professional conferences while in college are important:

  1. You get to see 'real' professionals in action.
  2. You will be provided with a better understanding of what is current and what is trending in your field.
  3. You will get to see people in your field excited about their work. Hopefully, in turn, this will excite you for your hopefully soon-to-be future.
  4.  The more conference presentations you observe, the better you will become at giving presentations.
  5. You get to network. Maybe you will meet your future employer or even your next business partner. The possibilities are ultimately endless. Additionally, see if the conference you are attending needs volunteers. Volunteers sometimes get extra opportunities and discounted rates on conference fees.
In all, I am determined to attend conference this year and I hope you plan on attending too. Will you be attending conference this year, and if so why do you believe it will be beneficial?

Additionally, if you haven't checked out the conference website or wish to register, follow the link below.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

PRowl Wants YOU!

PRowl is looking for a graphic designer for the upcoming academic year. This is a unique opportunity for graphic design students to expand their portfolio. The graphic designer will work directly with clients and PRowl account members to create unique brands and a tailored experience for our clients.  PRowl has had the distinct pleasure of working with national clients such as the American Cancer Society, The Department of Strategic Communications, Jean Madeline and Jean Madeline Aveda Insitutes; ranging from creating promotional fliers, invitations, and even a sponsorship package.  Previous PRowl graphic designers are currently attributed with Temple University Television and the Department of Strategic Communication logos.  

Graphic Design Job Duties:
  • Gather information and materials in preparation for all projects.
  • Conceptualize materials by studying information and keeping the target in mind.
  • Illustrate concepts by designing a rough layout of art and copy regarding arrangement, size, type size and style, and related aesthetic concepts.
  • Obtain approval of concept by submitting rough layout for approval.
  • Prepare a final layout of each material by marking and pasting up finished art.
  • Ensure operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; following manufacturer's instructions; troubleshooting malfunctions; calling for repairs; maintaining equipment inventories; evaluating new equipment.
  • Completes projects by coordinating with outside agencies, art services, printers, etc.
  • Maintains technical knowledge by attending design workshops; reviewing professional publications; participating in professional societies.
  • Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
Skills/Qualifications: Graphic Design Skills, Layout Skills, Creative Services, Customer Focus, Creativity, Flexibility, Attention to Detail, Deadline-Oriented, Desktop Publishing Tools, Acute Vision, Handles Rejection
Previous work available upon request.  Must be a  current Temple University student.

Please contact Firm Director, Samantha Wanner at for submission of work or any questions. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How To Multitask Successfully

Any PR pro will tell you that knowing how to multitask is a must. When clients are calling, pitches have to be sent out, and a staff needs to be managed, it's important that you know how to stay on top of everything without losing any attention to detail. It seems overwhelming, but the best of the best do it everyday. Here are 4 quick tips to help you multitask effectively:

1. Eliminate unnecessary tasks: When working on multiple tasks at one time, it's important that you stick to what has to be done. Taking the time out to browse through Facebook or Twitter could take away time that you need to complete pressing tasks. Remove the fluff from you schedule and stick to what is necessary.

2. Work on one thing at a time: Working on more than one thing at a time is a recipe for failure. It's impossible to juggle multiple things at one time and give everything your all. Make a to-do list and work your way down one task at a time.

3. Keep track of yourself: If you find yourself in a situation where you have to multitask, make sure you're writing down what has to be done, what has been done, and what can wait until later. Keep your list organized and orderly to get the most out of it.

4. Ask for help when you need it: If a project or assignment is becoming too much for you to handle, ask for help. It's never good to miss a deadline or turn in an assignment late. Communicate your workload with the people you work with, they won't want you to be overwhelmed and will most likely love to help you out.

How do you manage multitasking? Let us know!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Responding Appropriately After a Tragic Event

In light of the recent events surrounding the Aurora, Colorado shooting, many media professionals are hesitant about their response process. As PR pros, our goal is to get the message out to the media accurately and in a timely manner. But when we are responding to a tragedy, we must work hard to respect the families of the victims and be sensitive to the issue at hand: people have died, and our priority is to those who have been affected. If you find your organization at the forefront of a tragedy, following the guidelines below may prove to be beneficial:

  • Your first responsibility is to the victims and their family members: They should be the first ones to hear any information that you discover. Keep in mind that although this is your job, this is also their life. The last thing they need is to hear vital information about their families through the grapevine.
  • Acknowledge social media: Yes, this is the social media age and the quickest way to receive up-to-date news. But also be mindful that social media is the most reliable source for unreliable information. Make sure you are releasing information as quickly as possible to avoid a slew of radical claims. 
  • Work with law enforcement: You shouldn't be the only one releasing information during this time. Keep in contact with the police to release information in regular intervals. This way, there won't be any conflicting statements or findings. Doing so will tighten up leaks and prevent rumors from floating around.
  • Don't be afraid to say that you don't know: As was mentioned before, the families and victims of the tragedies should always be notified first. It's okay to say "that's confidential at this time" or to say when you don't know. You're not always going to know everything about what is going on when you are approached by the media. By telling the truth, you are shielding your organization's credibility.
Have you ever been at the forefront of a tragic event? What was your process? Let us know!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Informational Interviewing for Dummies

One out of every 200 resumes results in a job offer, while one out of every 12 informational interviews results in one. Although informational interviewing is not a tool used specifically to obtain a job, the possibility is not completely ruled out.

According to the University of Colorado’s Career Services website, informational interviews are helpful for multiple reasons including to gain experience and self-confidence during interviews, to gain valuable information for career planning and job searching, to build your professional network, to mentally ‘try on’ an occupation, and more.

An informational interview is different from traditional interviews because you are the one who gets to ask the questions.

You can request an informational interview in many different ways. Begin by asking your friends, relatives, neighbors or classmates for contacts or introductions to people who are in a field that interests you. Additionally, you can ask professors for the contact information of any colleagues or alumni who are employed with organizations that align with your interests. Another way to find professionals to interview is to use an alumni network or social networking site such as LinkedIn. 

Once you have found people to ask, you can contact them through email or by giving them a phone call to see if they are interested in answering a few career related questions. Everyone loves to talk about his or herself, so finding someone to interview should not be too hard!
Here are seven quick questions to consider asking:
  1. Can you tell me how you got this position?
  2. How do people break into this field?
  3. What interests you most about your job?
  4. What are career paths for this type of work?
  5. What do you read to keep up with developments in the field?
  6. What is a typical workday like for you? Workweek?
  7. What types of skills are needed to succeed in this career?
Being a master informational interviewer is an excellent skill to have. According to The New York Times’ writer Marci Alboher, “The need for informational interviews in our careers never ends. With each big move or subtle shift, we need to find the people who’ve been there and who are willing to impart some wisdom.”

Final words of advice: Never overstay your welcome, come prepared and think of ways to give back to those who have given you their time.

Have you ever gone on an informational interview? If so, what advice stood out the most?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

MBA Programs Add Public Relations Coursework to Curriculums

Perhaps one of the reasons that many do not understand what public relations actually does for businesses is that in 2010, 80 percent of MBA programs did not have coursework that gave students specific training on the role that PR plays in strategic communications.  In recent years, business schools have recognized that PR is no longer a specialized skill.  It is an important skill for all business professionals in a leadership role.

PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) has aided the process for business schools to add PR coursework by developing a curriculum to distribute to schools.  Paul Argenti, a professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, was the professor who developed the program. His college will be one of five in the nation where the program will be tested in the upcoming school year. 
The business schools of Northwestern, Maryland, Quinnipiac, and University of Texas El Paso are the other four schools that have seen the need for PR to be a part of their MBA programs and have signed on to be a part of the pilot program testing PRSA’s curriculum.  After the pilot this year, PRSA will develop a guide for business schools to use to unveil new PR programs in the 2013-2014 school year. 

As a student strongly interested in corporate communications, I am thrilled to see that top business schools are expressing a need for PR to be incorporated in their programs.  I believe this is a step in the right direction for the PR industry – when working for a company with upper-level management who have been educated on the importance of PR, the activities of our department will likely have stronger support.  

Do you also think incorporating PR into MBA programs is good for the profession? Let us know!

Friday, August 3, 2012

How To Reach Out to Bloggers

With the explosion of the internet over the past decade, every PR pro knows that no public relations campaign is complete without blogger outreach. Bloggers target certain niche audiences that may be hard to reach otherwise. Blogs also have a lot more credibility than ads that are paid for. Making strong connections with bloggers can prove to be very beneficial because they tend to have a loyal audience who are always willing to follow their recommendations.
Blogging is a fairly new media outlet and for most PR professionals interacting with bloggers is a whole new ball park. Bloggers are extremely diverse. Some write because they are passionate about their subject matter. Some write for profit. Some do both. This is why one approach may be welcomed by one blogger but not well received by another.
I don’t believe there is one right way to pitch to bloggers, just like there isn’t just one way to pitch to any other media outlet. Just keep in mind bloggers are people too. They enjoy well thought out pitches that are sincere, relevant and useful to their audience. And who can resist a good story?
Here are some tips to help you achieve better results from your blogger outreach:
1.    Do your research: Before you approach the blog owner with your pitch make sure you know what the blog is about, the content of the posts as well as what kind of audience they are reaching out to. You can do this by reading a variety of posts and comments from various months/years to get a good idea.
2.   Interact with bloggers way before your campaign: When you reach out to a blogger to pitch a story, it is always better to already have a relationship with them before hand. Bloggers could get offended if you only approach them when you have a campaign you’re working on. No one likes being used! To start building a relationship long before your campaign starts, read and comment on their blog posts, follow their social media accounts and recommend them within your personal network. Going the extra mile will definitely help you out in the long run.
3.   Be natural: Bloggers write in everyday, conversational language. When pitching to them, make sure you lose the formal, corporate language. 
4.   Provide more than they need: Make their job easy by providing them with all the essentials to publish a high-quality blog post. This could include photos, videos, quotes, pre-written tweets/status updates and always offer them interview options.
5.   Offer valuable content: Try to pitch stories that will grab a bloggers attention. Most of the time bloggers will be more inclined to publish a story about free products, giveaways, special offers or exclusive interviews rather than a boring press release. You need to make sure your story has potential to go viral, will attract traffic to the blog and help to build profit by enticing subscribers.
Have you ever had to reach out to a blogger before? If so, what was your experience? Let us know!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Expelled From the Olympics With One Tweet

Greek triple jumper, Voula Papachristou, apologized for “tasteless” tweet after nation’s Olympic committee expelled her from the London Olympic Games.

The “tasteless” Tweet was sent on Sunday by Papachristou stating, “With so many Africans in Greece… At least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!!”

The Hellenic Olympic Committee in response to Papachristou statement and her expulsion from the Olympic games explained, “ (Papachristou is) placed outside the Olympic team for statements contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement.

Her apology the following week on Twitter stated:

“I would like to express my heartfelt apologies for the unfortunate and tasteless joke I published in my personal Twitter account. I am very sorry and ashamed for the negative responses I triggered, since I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights.”
With 800 million more Facebook users and over 400 million more Twitter users than the last Olympic games (according to USA Today), social media is more venerated than ever.