Friday, May 31, 2013

How To: Dress For A Summer Interview

With the temperature rising as we continue into the summer season, dressing for summer interviews gets a bit tricky. Summer is the season of bright colors, short-shorts, light tank tops and airy sundresses. Interviews call for dark hues, stiff blazers, long pants and stuffy button-down shirts.

The best advice I have ever received in regards to interview wardrobes was "Dress to impress," Even if you are interviewing with a company that tends to dress a little more casual, always stick to a business casual approach.

Although the summer weather may make dressing in a suit or blazer uncomfortable, it is always important to dress up instead of dressing down. You should always look well-groomed and neatly dressed for an interview, no matter what season. 

Here are three essentials of a summer interview outfit:

Blazer: Summer calls for blazers, which are more casual than suit jackets but are still professional. Try to choose a neutral color, perhaps a light color. 

Button Down Shirt: A white, cotton button down is key for any summer interview outfit.

Dress Pants: Pants should also be a neutral color. Khakis are key for summer interviews. Women can substitute pants with cropped pants or ankle-length skirts.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Are You Familiar With The AP Stylebook?

The Associated Press Stylebook is an essential device for every journalist, editor and writer. If you have not yet  acquainted yourself with this book, you definitely should. As aspiring professionals in the communications field it's important we use this Stylebook as a reference when writing.

I am currently taking a news writing and media relations class and this book truly acts as my bible in this course. After using this book, I became more aware of the silly mistakes I made when writing articles and press releases. Now, having this book as a resource it eliminates trivial errors in my writing.

Below, are some minor pointers the AP Stylebook brought to my attention while writing a better press release:

Addresses: When writing an address, we only abbreviate street, avenue and boulevard in a numbered address.

Numbers: Be sure to spell out numbers one through nine and use figures 10 and above unless, its a measurement,math, money or starts a sentence.

Times:  When writing the time use figures except for noon and midnight.

Months:  Be sure to abbreviate months that are longer than five letters.

Formal Titles: Tittles are lowercase unless it is a formal title, it is right in front of a name and it is not set off with a comma. For e.g President Barack Obama spoke at a conference in Dubai. The aforementioned example demonstrates the title being uppercase. An example to show the title lowercase is: The president, Barack Obama spoke at a conference in Dubai.

Whether you are wondering if a specific word should be capitalized or if a title should be abbreviated or not, the AP Stylebook will answer such. Remember, the less errors in your writing generates a clearer message to your audience. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The TRUTH About Unpaid Interns

Last week, PR Daily posted this article featuring 5 things not to expect from an unpaid intern. The article basically tells internship coordinators and PR pros who will work with these interns to brace themselves. It describes unpaid interns as slackers who won't be motivated to be great interns if they aren't being paid to do so.

Having completed two unpaid internships with a third in progress, I know a few things about being an unpaid intern. The PR Daily article definitely does not describe any successful intern I've ever met, paid or unpaid. While being paid to intern is great and a big help to many, it should not be your only criteria when selecting an internship, nor should it determine the type of intern you will be. I know plenty of students who have held multiple unpaid internships and walked away with a wealth of knowledge of their field. I also know people who have held multiple paid internships, and only walked away with a paycheck.

That being said, here are three things I believe you should actually expect from an unpaid intern:

1. They are passionate about their field: Knowing that twice a week I get to wake up and do what I'm most passionate about is the best feeling in the world. Unpaid interns do what they do because they love what they do. Doing the job for free shows that they refuse to put a numerical value on their passion.

2. They will give it their all: Despite what PR Daily says about unpaid interns giving their all, I believe that an unpaid intern will put everything they have into an internship. Many times, interns are upperclassman (juniors and seniors) who will be searching for long term employment in the near future. They cannot afford to risk a bad recommendation  an underdeveloped resume, or to lose industry connections. For these reasons, along with many others, unpaid interns will give their all to their internships!

3. They want to learn and grow: My favorite part about interning is getting a chance to observe the workplace environment. You learn the most from just observing how your superiors go about things and handle certain situations. Unpaid interns, as they aren't being paid, want to leave with a takeaway, and that takeaway is knowledge. The goal of every intern should be to know more by the end of their internship about the field than they did when they started.

Have you ever held or are you currently holding an unpaid internship? Do you think less is expected of you than a paid intern? What did you think of PR Daily's article? Share your thoughts!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Types of First Days

In my experience, there are two types of first days when it comes to a job or internship.

The first type is the typical training day where you get acclimated to the environment, maybe read a thick employee manual, and learn everyone's names.  While this might not be the most thrilling day of your job, it's crucial in adjusting to a new position.

The second type of first day is more exciting.  You go in and after a few brief introductions you're thrown into the fast-paced rhythm of the business just like everyone else.  While this type of first day is arguably more desirable, it can also be fairly overwhelming.
The first day at my summer internship was the exciting one.  I was there for half an hour and then was hustling to a press conference, researching press coverage, and writing a press release.  I was thrilled to be given responsibility on the first day but I was also so nervous that I had to constantly remind myself to take deep breaths and calm down.  Overall the day went really well and I learned a lot from it.
Here are some tips if you're feeling nervous on your first day:
  • Write everything down.  Whether it is names, assignments, or directions, it helps to have something to refer back to.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help.  No one expects you to know everything, especially not on the first day.
  • Be confident!  You have experience, even if it's only learning from a textbook.  You're more prepared than you think.
What advice do you have for the first day of a new job or internship?  Share with us!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Blog Branding

At this point I think it is safe to say that we are all aware of the importance of maintaining a personal blog. In some arenas it has even become a necessity. Since blogs, more specifically being a blogger, has grown in popularity, it has also become a necessity to distinguish your blog from the millions of others in the world. Now, we not only have to focus on branding ourselves professionally, but how to brand our blogs as well. Luckily, I stumbled upon an article that inspired me and gave three short tips to keep in mind, and keep you focused, when developing your blog and its brand.

  1. Identify what you want to be known for. As opposed to choosing an arbitrary topic to center your blog around, think about what you want people to say about your blog. Do you want your blog to be known for being informative? Comical? It’s important to pinpoint your blog’s purpose so that every post is a step towards accomplishing that goal. 
  2. Be what you want to be known for...consistently. This may sound like a simple concept, but it does take some practice. Keep the brand that you want to portray in mind when doing anything related to your blog. From writing a post to sending a tweet, it’s important to “stay in character,” so to speak. You don’t want to contradict the brand you are trying to create.
  3. Monitor and participate in conversations about you. The author of this article simplifies branding as what people say about you when you’re not in the room. So, find out what people are saying about your blog when you’re not in the room. While some reviews may not be so easy to hear, the purpose of researching people’s opinions is not to defend your blog to the death. Instead, enter into it with a “genuine desire to listen and connect.” You may discover something that can be improved.
What is most important to remember is that your brand should be an extension of yourself, and your blog an extension of your brand. If you stay true to who you are then you, your brand, and your blog may be imitated, but can never be duplicated. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Got Professionalism?

We all write emails, sometimes multiple times a day, but how much effort is put into the emails we write? Even the simplest emails should be given the utmost time and attention. It is important to always appear professional and take the time to construct every email you write. If you follow these simple tips, you will never think about writing an unprofessional email again. 
  1. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point: People are normally busy and don’t have much time to spare reading a long email. 
  2. Be polite: Don’t be rude when it comes to asking people for things. Remember to say, “Please” and “Thank you” throughout the email.
  3. Take a breather: Never write an email while you are upset. Aggression is easy to pick up on in an email and people don’t want to feel you are yelling at them. Write your thoughts down first and then edit to make them sound pleasant. 
  4. Hold the creativity: Some people like to use colorful fonts or big print. Don’t! Standard, black font is the most professional. It is classic and people find it easier to read. 
  5. Proofread, proofread, proofread: Never send an email without reading it first. Do not just rely on spell check; read it yourself and read it slowly. There is nothing more embarrassing than someone reading an email and correcting a spelling or grammar mistake.
Emails are a part of our everyday communication. Careful attention must be put into every one. Mistakes in an email are the fastest way to disrupt a relationship with people. Take your time and read through every email before you hit the send button because once you hit send, it’s out there and cannot be retrieved. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Alie Curran. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Perfect and Professional Portfolio-ism

For internships, jobs, and even student organizations, PR students have to go through several interviews. Of course with an upcoming interview comes the re-wiring of your portfolio. Whether you are just starting to put together your portfolio or updating it, following these few steps can lead your portfolio to perfection.

Compile all the pieces. Since public relations consists of a broad range of skills, there are plenty of options for material for a portfolio. The majority of your portfolio will consist of writing pieces of all different kinds: press releases, media alerts, PSAs, media kits, pitch letters, articles, and even informal blog posts. Make sure to include pieces that reflect your relevant skill set, even things such as graphic design or media technology.

Quick Tip: Don’t forget to grab a program from any event you’ve worked or volunteered at. Add them to your portfolio to show that you’ve been out and about in the world of public relations at events, not just writing from an office!

Find the perfect fit. By the time you graduate, you’ll probably need a 3” inch binder, but don’t overcompensate as a beginner. Open space will take away from the neat look of your portfolio. Pick out a binder that is going to accommodate what you have currently, and then move on up in size.

Perfect your resume. Edit your resume for the specific position you are interviewing for, adding any newer relevant positions you hold. Always keep a few copies of your resume in the front of your portfolio. If you’re using a binder, slide them in the outside sleeve. You could be surprised by multiple interviewers and wouldn’t want to be without copies for everyone.

Use a peer review. Ask fellow students and friends to take a look at your portfolio. They can check out your resume and writing for any small errors you may not have noticed, and catch if your portfolio has the right appearance. The more eyes to view it, the better.

Overall, you want your portfolio to come off like yourself do in an interview: cool, calm, and collected.

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Alyssa Guckin.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer Internship: Is It Too Late to Find One?

The simple answer is no. It is not too late to find a summer internship. Summer does not technically begin until June 21 so there is still time! While it might be too late to receive school credit for one, if you are looking to gain first hand experience in the PR industry, start searching today.

Here are a few tips to help get your internship search started:

1. Reevaluate your resume: Take a better look at your resume. Make sure you are highlighting things that are relevant to the PR world. Check for grammar and spelling mistakes. Switch up you "pitch" email. Updating and editing your resume should take place every few months to help ensure you resume is fresh and really speaks to your experience within the field. 

2. Check your school career center: This is a great way to find opportunities that is often overlooked. Reach out to your adviser.

3. Think outside of PR: Being able to get creative and take your search for an internship outside of the typical PR agency is a great way to find hidden opportunities. I once interned at an insurance company and had one of the best experiences to date. Consider other outlets and you never know what you'll find.

How did you find your summer internship? We want to know!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Keep it PRofessional on Social Media

As we know, social media is the perfect medium for networking and staying in contact with peers and colleagues. While we continue on the social media wave, I cannot stress enough on the importance of keeping it professional on your accounts. With the advancement of technology you have to be wise and careful on what you choose to share to the world.

Last week I attended a job interview and midway through the interview, the interviewer asked me to pull up all my social media accounts. Yes, this is a common request in interviews nowadays especially if you are in the Communications/PR field.

Wondering how to keep it professional on your social media accounts? The following are a few tips you can follow:

  • Refrain from writing short hand- This tip goes particularly to Twitter seeing that it only permits us 140 characters for each tweet. Yes, its difficult to get your point across in such limited terms, but you can make every word count. Try rephrasing your words and get straight to the point. P.S stay away from writing"2" in place of "to." 
  • Post with thoughtfulness- Be it Facebook, Instagram or Twitter you should post with care. With the screenshot features on smartphones nowadays this causes posts on social media to be permanent. As the saying goes "Prevention is better than Cure." So if you are hesitant on posting a picture or tweet, don't post it.
  • Watch your language- Using obscenities or indecent language on your social media is not a good look; therefore be careful on your choice of words and expressions. 
As we work on capturing our dream jobs and goals, don't let social media be the cause of not receiving that aspiration. Including your personality and having humor on your social media are excellent qualities, but don't forget to keep it PRofessional. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Brand Integrity: Tumblr + Yahoo!

My personal Tumblr feed went crazy over the weekend when rumors of Yahoo! Buying the popular micro blogging site first hit the web. Monday morning, Tumblr user’s worst fears were realized and the buy became official; Yahoo! Is now the new owner of Tumblr. The deal is expected to close towards the end of 2013, and David Carp the current Tumblr CEO will maintain his position.

Tumblr users were outraged, some even threatening to delete their blogs and leave Tumblr for good. Tumblr, because it is such a small and personal blogging community, is known for being a haven for creatives. The liberal use of movie and television clips to make GIFS and the posting of explicit images are definitely a few of Tumblr's trademarks that many fear will disappear under Yahoo!’s supervision. Many Tumblr users fear that, their favorite blogging site will never be the same again.

Do users have the right to feel this way? Absolutely! Time and time again we have watched larger, more lucrative brands come in and completely makeover a smaller brand. When the focus becomes less on maintaining the integrity of the brand and more on dollar signs and advertising gains, it is easy for a once popular brand to become unrecognizable to previous users. Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer has promised “not to screw it up” when it comes to the acquisition, and says that Yahoo! plans to grow and brand Tumblr separately of itself. While this hasn't been Yahoo!’s way of doing things in the past, it seems like Mayer has learned from past mistakes, and that Tumblr won’t be turing purple anytime soon.

Do you have a Tumblr blog; will the Yahoo! acquisiton impact you at all? Do you think Yahoo! will maintain the integrity of Tumblr’s brand? Share your thoughts!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How to Quit Your Job

Maybe you're moving.  Maybe you're ready for bigger and better things.  Maybe you're just ready to stop emptying trashcans, taking lunch orders, or fetching coffee and start making a career for yourself.  Whatever the case may be, there comes a time when you're going to have to quit a job. It doesn't have to be as difficult as it might seem.  Here are some tips on respectfully resigning from a position:

  • Give appropriate notice.  Quitting on a whim isn't going to benefit you. Two weeks notice is the traditional time frame.
  • Tell the right people at the right time.  Don't discuss your plans to resign with your coworkers before your boss.  The grapevine is a powerful thing.
  • Be mindful.  You are probably leaving a lot of work behind for other people.  Offer to stick around and help train your replacement.
  • Give good reasons.  Don't be vague when you talk to your boss.  They will respect you more if you are honest with them about why you want to leave.
  • Don't burn bridges.  While you might have some complaints you've been waiting to get off your chest, it's best to maintain positive relationships.  You never know when you'll cross paths again.
If you go about quitting a job maturely and professionally, you'll find that the majority of the time your coworkers will be supportive.  It's exciting to start a new chapter in your life and it's even better when you close the previous one on a positive note.

Share your tips and tricks for leaving a job the right way!

Monday, May 20, 2013

From Mentee to Mentor

When is it that you go from being a mentee, to becoming a mentor in your own right? I have recently gone through this transition myself and to be honest, there are no clear cut signs. As PR students, it is easy for us to get caught up in our work, head down and full speed ahead. What we have to remember is that sometimes we need to look up and look around us. Oftentimes we'll find that we have accomplished much more than we realized. We get appointed to executive boards of different organizations on campus, land a great summer internship, or even just ace a really difficult PR course. No matter what the accomplishment, we need to slow down long enough to appreciate them, not just for ourselves, but for other students around us.

With those accomplishments come experience that can be shared with others. Questions that you used to ask, you now have the answers to. "How do I apply to E-Board, what should I bring to my internship interview, and how on Earth did you pass that class?!" You now have first-hand experience that can help another student achieve the same goals or inspire them to strive for some of their own.

I know it may feel a bit intimidating or awkward mentoring someone close to your own age, but you simply have to get over it! If you have the answers that another student is searching for, wouldn't it behoove you to help them? Through your mentorship, you could potentially foster a future E-Board member or encourage them to go after an amazing opportunity. After all, at one point you were the mentee that needed guidance. It is important for us to pause long enough to recognize when it is time to return the favor. 

What experience have you gained in the past year? Have you shared it with others? We want to know!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

“Prior planning prevents poor performance” is what one of my high school teachers told me in class one day about three years ago. This quote was drilled into my head and has been in the back of my mind ever since. I never truly understood the importance of what he was telling me until college. I live by these 5 P’s because they have yet to let me down. With planning, I have succeeded in everything I’ve put my mind to because I took the time to think of the steps that were needed to get the outcome I desired. Without the practice of planning, life would be disorganized and difficult. 

Not sure how to plan? Here are a few tips that may help!
  1. Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve- In order to plan something, you need to know exactly what you want to accomplish in order to take the correct steps to make it happen.
  2. Visualize your goal- This is the most simple, yet most beneficial thing you can do. Just by closing your eyes and picturing yourself reaching your goal, will help you get to it. This small exercise will provide you with the self-confidence and motivation you need because you “see” yourself reaching your goal. 
  3. Map out, or make a list of what needs to happen- Lists are essential in planning. Simple daily, or weekly, “to do” lists will help you stay organized and on track. Just remember, always jot ideas down when they come to you!
  4. Be specific- Break down the steps you need to take so there is no confusion and so you have a clear understanding of what you need to do. Every detail makes a difference.
  5. Always remember deadlines! - People make deadlines for a reason…for you to meet them! It might be helpful to even put deadlines next to each step of your plan to make it even more structured. 
Making a plan is the most effective way to achieve a goal. Yes, it takes time to plan something but it will be extremely beneficial, and you will thank yourself in the long run. It is important to stay positive and always keep in mind what you want to happen. Keeping your goal in mind will give you motivation and that extra push to get to what you want. Believe me, if you don’t stop when the plan gets tough, keep focused, and have your “eye on the prize,” you’ll see progress! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations Staff Member Amanda White.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Social Media Savvy for the Summer

The time has finally come! Finals are over and all of your grades are almost in. You're ready to hit the beach and begin your summer vacation but before you start packing your suit, step back and think about how you are going to stay relevant in the public relations realm this summer break.

If you are an aspiring PR pro, the summer is a great time to build up your social media presence. Most likely you will have more time to think and plan out posts. You'll have more time to catch up on those PR blogs and find out what's going on in the PR industry to get in on the discussion.

Here are some things to keep in mind while posting on your social media networks this summer:

Find a voice & stick to it: Creating a "voice" for how you want to be portrayed on your social media is key for any brand but it's importance is often forgotten when it comes to personal social media accounts. Being able to be consistent with the way in which you craft posts gives you a voice. The most vital aspect of creating a certain social media personna is to stick to it so your followers don't get confused.

Post about recent news: This is a no brainer. Keep everything you post about relevant and use hashtags that relate to recent news and current events.

Incorporate your real life events: Summer is a time to have fun and relax. If you are on vacation and your vacation city's tourism, find their Twitter handle and tweet to them or find their Facebook page and post on their wall. Be sure to also post photos whenever you see fit because visuals are very powerful on social media outlets.

How will you stay relevant this summer through social media? We want to know!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

By Bloggers, For Bloggers

In this day and age, it seems that everyone has or wants to start a blog. As a young blogger, it's hard to imagine that my small contribution to the web will ever go on to making a major impact on an industry. As a PR student, I blog to control my online image and reputation, and to generate a positive image of myself.

Because blogging is becoming so popular, more and more applications are being created to help blogs become that much better. From the development of the "Pin it" button which allows readers to add content from blogs to Pinterest, to websites like Click to Tweet, developers are going crazy trying to meet the numerous needs of today's blogger. These applications are great, and allow bloggers to use multimedia resources and easily integrate social media. But of all of these applications, the best ones seem to be the ones created by the bloggers, for other bloggers.

Image Source
The popular DIY/creative blog A Beautiful Mess (ABM) has decided to take development into their own hands and is releasing an app made especially for other bloggers! The application takes into account the creative and social media needs, Instagram in particular, into mind. The team at A Beautiful Mess has worked hard to develop tons of filters, frames, and add-ons to help Bloggers make their images pop and give life to posts. The app will be available soon for iOS for $0.99 fully loaded, and hopefully development will start for Android too!

The creation of the app by bloggers is a great example of taking your niche to the next level. When the bloggers at ABM first started their site, I doubt they knew they would go on to become major developers. Through careful observation of the needs of consumer , they were able to make a huge impact!

Monday, May 13, 2013

PRowl 4 Lyfe

The time has come for me to write my last PRowl blog post. Over 100 blog posts later, I feel different than I did as a freshman PRowl staff member, nervous about writing the wrong things or looking inexperienced compared to the rest of the more experienced staff. Back in May of 2011 I became the Director of PR for PRowl, and managed this blog. I learned more in one year of editing and promoting blog posts than I had in my classes, not to mention learning from being part of the Jean Madeline Aveda Institute account. From there, I transitioned to my last position, an Assistant Firm Director in which I managed two accounts. I went from being a wide-eyed staff member, watching as older members commanded the meetings and dealt directly with clients, to later being in their shoes. I watched staff members grow into great leaders. I experienced great times, and times where I wanted to rip my hair out. I watched some great leaders and professionals graduate from PRowl and become successful in their post-graduate life. I have met some of my best friends in PRowl. In every interview I have ever had, PRowl has been my main talking point. The knowledge I have gained from PRowl and PRSSA has set me up for the rest of my life, and prepared me for my impending graduating from Temple in the fall. 

I have so much to thank PRowl and its staff for. I'm really, really sad to leave, but excited to watch the firm grow in the coming years. PRowl4lyfe!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Typo Tips

It happens to all of us. You think you just crafted the perfect tweet or status, you send it off into the vast space called the Internet and then you re-read it; you made a typo! 

My last major typo was about a month ago, while sharing a blog post on Facebook about a controversial topic - and my mistake was caught by a Facebook user. 

Naturally, I deleted the post entirely within minutes of the initial posting, which also removed the rude comment calling out my mistake. 

I have tried to be typo-free ever since, however, with the hastiness in which we all use social media ,I am bound to make more mistakes.

My example is on a small scale when it comes to typos but what if I were the PR social media manager for a national organization and made the same mistake? Would there be severe consequences? Would I be fired? 

There is a lot to think about as budding PR pros when it comes to typos and grammatical errors. As I wrote in an earlier blog post, grammar mistakes are my biggest pet peeves and clearly do not fly in this industry.  Typos, because they are so easily avoidable, are even worse than grammatical errors. All it takes is some proofreading. 

If you didn't remember to proofread however and find your self in a typo catastrophe, here are three ways to recover from a typo on social media provided by PR Daily: 

1. Own it, quickly: Respond directly, rather than deleting the post. Though a user’s comment can be rude or ugly, a simple “thank you for pointing that out” would have sufficed. Addressed the comment right away, will help to build credibility for the organization.

2. Keep it short and keep it sweet: Though an answer is most certainly warranted, less is more. A big explanation can leave you equally vulnerable. Trying to justify a typo will only lead even more conversation in the public eye. Not a good idea. 

3. Accept it: Even if you didn’t make a mistake, what’s published on social media is fair game and everyone has different tolerance levels (especially when it comes to hot topics like religion and politics). Although you invite people to comment, “like,” and tweet, you take the risk of getting an answer you might not like. Don't take things personally; keep your head held high. 

Have you made a mistake on social media? How did you handle it? Let us know!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Next Steps for Tumblr: Babblr

Tumblr, the popular microblogging site, has always been criticized for the lack of social interaction available between users. Only having the ability to like, reblog,  send "fan mail" and submit questions to other blogs has left users wanting more direct ways to communicate. As of today at 6pm, Tumblr will officially give its users what they want via a new third party Google Chrome application called Babblr.

Babblr, which is currently in its developmental Beta mode, allows Tumblr users to chat in real time. It was developed as an add-on application and is downloaded through the Google Chrome browser as an application. Once users download the app, it is synced with Tumblr and imports followers as chat contacts. The contact list even organizes itself, making groups of followers, people you follow, and the option to create unique groups.

One of the more creative features of Babblr is the censorship function in the chat. Instead of allowing users to use inappropriate words, Babblr turns the words into funny sayings. For example, when I user attempts to send an "f-bomb", Babblr will convert the word to "fudge." With Tumblr users being big on free speech and de-censorship, it will be interesting to see how they respond to this feature.

Babblr will officially be available for download as of 6pm tonight. Users who signed up for the service prior to today automatically received downloads for free, but new users will have to select a payment option. Babblr is branded as a pay-what-you-want app for Google Chrome, so users will either select a dollar amount to place on the app or share with friends, and give Babblr a little free publicity, to receive the app for free.

Have you heard of the new Babblr app? Will you download it to check it out, and if so would you pay to use it? Share your thoughts!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Choosing the Right Client

Here at PRowl, we choose our clients just like any other firm does. We initially correspond via email, and then set up a meeting to talk about working together, what the client wants, and what we can do for them. It's important to have these meetings, because you learn what you can and cannot do for a client, based on your firm and your staff, student-run PR firm or not! Below are ways to avoid choosing the wrong client for your firm:

  1. Understanding goals: Talk to your client about where they want their company to be in a few years. They could want more customers, more awareness, or more targeted messages, and the list goes on. As you're listening, think about whether or not you and your team can accomplish these goals, while benefiting your firm.
  2. Setting expectations: I find this to be the most difficult, but necessary task. Having a client who has unrealistic expectations of you can (and will) put you in an awkward situation. You can avoid this by being clear in what you can realistically accomplish well. Of course you want the job, but if you don't set expectations appropriately, you could be out of a job and slapped with a not-so-great rep.
  3. Transparency: In an agency, you will have several different clients. When you meet with a potential client, be honest is how much time it will take to accomplish their goals. With so many agencies transitioning out of monthly retainers, firms are being less transparent about billable hours. Save yourself the grief and scheduling issues by honestly communicating with your client.
Do you have any additional tips? Let us know!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Turning Your Blog into a Business

For some people, blogging is just a way to openly express themselves and what their favorite hobbies and interests may be. There are thousands of different kinds of blogs ranging on all forms of subjects. However, as blogging has become more popular, more people have found that they can take something they considered to be a “hobby” and turn it into a lucrative business. 

Everyone has heard of the Huffington Post, but what about the background story on how it was created? Arriana Huffington started the website in May of 2005 first as a liberal news and blog site that featured a variety of columnists. Shortly after its launch it became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently cited media brands on the Internet. How did she do it you ask? She followed these 5 important tips that I’m going to explain:

  1. Originality: Originality is vital when starting a blog and making it successful because you are setting it apart from everything else. Every post does not have to be completely out of the box but creating unique content is important.
  2. Discipline: In order to keep people coming back to your blog you must keep the content fresh. Try your best to blog everyday and designate a specific time for writing and posting.
  3. Use Analytics Software: If you want your blog to make money you have to view it like a business, and one thing businesses do is keep track of their figures. Google Analytics is easy to use and can be linked to your blog to monitor traffic and let you know where people are visiting from. You should check your traffic several times a week to see if your figures are growing. Use your analytics as a guide for your content. 
  4. Monetize: Your blog instantly becomes more monetizable if you send out a newsletter to everyone that subscribes to your blog. It’s your job to make people want to subscribe to your newsletter, but going the extra mile is what’s going to set you apart from the “hobby” blogger. 
  5. Link websites to your blog: Many times in business you earn a great deal of money from referrals, and blogging works the same way. Always be sure to contact websites you link to and ask for a return or referral link. Link referrals also help you get higher up on the Google page rankings. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations Staff Member Jenna Stern.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Importance of Interview Questions

As aspiring PR professionals, we have learned that being prepared with questions to ask the interviewer during an interview can make or break whether or not you will get hired for the position. However, I’m sure that at least once when we were asked “Do you have any questions for me,” we may have replied with a disappointing “I don’t think so.” This is not something that we want to do. Here are some key reasons why asking questions in an interview is important:

Shows you are genuinely interested in the position:
If you come into the interview and have done your research on the company or person performing the interview, asking questions will let them know that you care about the company and aren’t just looking for any old job.

Questions leave a good impression:
Being prepared with great questions for the interview will set you apart from other candidates who did not ask informed questions. This will leave the interviewer impressed and they are more likely to want to hire you.

Helps you make a decision about the company or position:
An interview is not just for the company to decide if they want to hire you; it is also for you to decide if you would like to work for the company! Asking questions is your chance to find out whether the position will be a right fit for you.

Now that we have reviewed why asking questions during an interview are so important, what are some good questions to ask? Check out this article I found on PR Daily titled“6 interview questions that will make any employer want to hire you” with some great question ideas to prepare you for your next interview!
What are some questions you find are important to ask during an interview? Share them with us!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kaitlyn Mashack.

Friday, May 3, 2013

PRowl's Senior Farewell

With graduation right around the corner, PRowl Public Relations honored its senior members in its last meeting of the semester yesterday. Each and every graduating member have made their mark on this organization and will never be forgotten. PRowl's 2013 graduates have helped to make PRowl Public Relations what it is today and will truly be missed. 

We are also saying goodbye to our 2012-2013 Firm Director, Samantha Wanner. She has been an amazing leader and true inspiration to all of our members! Check out @SamsPRowlLegacy on Twitter to see what our members had to say about her!

Here's to wishing to seniors good luck to the next chapter of their lives!

Katherine Carpenter

Kyra Mazurek

Samantha Miller

Jessica Ross

Emily Storz

Samantha Wanner 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Don't Be Another Victim of Twitter Hackings

Twitter hackings are becoming a more common thing. Major corporations have been subject to this type of incidents. Twitter information spreads quickly and once the information is out there, it is hard to retract it. Someone somewhere has seen the tweet and there is no going back from there. But the follow tips are sure fire way to reduce the chances of your twitter being hacked and false information being plastered all over social media.
1. Change your password regularly.
2. Never share passwords with other or over email.
3. Limit the number of people who can access your account. 
4. Be careful with usage on mobile devices.
5. Review authorization on applications.
6. Know what you’re clicking and where you are going on the Internet.
7. Check ones account with Twitter to make sure its official.
8. Be careful about where you log in to your account.
9. Create crisis plan so if something like this happens, you are prepared.
10. Keep a watchful eye on your account. 

Now, these tips will only be successful if put into use. Twitter is a powerful tool and can cause immediate damage to anyone if not used properly. These tips will help reduce the chances of having to deal with a crisis and the possible aftermath of suck crisis. However, these tips are not just for the major corporations as well, anyone on Twitter is at risk of being hacked. Don’t let this happen to you and monitor your account as much as possible. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

PR Summer Checklist

Summer is just around the corner, and that means that you'll have a bit more time on your hands. What are some things us PR students can do with this extra time? Take a look at my checklist below to find out. 
1. Update your resume & LinkedIn profile
First, take a look at your current resume. What can be removed or replaced? Have you accomplished more this semester than ever before? Get rid of any fillers to make room for the most important stuff. Be sure to quantify as much as possible, showing key accomplishments from projects you've worked on. The same goes for your LinkedIn profile. With LinkedIn however,  you can go into a bit more detail, explaining your projects more in depth.  
2. Refresh your Twitter headline
Have you been elected into a new position within a student organization, or get a new internship or job? Update your Twitter headline to let people know! Always be sure to have a professional headline, and ask yourself, “Would I want to follow me?”. If it’s not there already, add a link to your LinkedIn page, blog or website.
3. Start a blog
Summer is the perfect time to start a new blog. What type of PR are you most interested? Pick a focus and get creative. A blog is the best way to show off your writing skills, and create your own personal niche. Having a professional blog can give you great talking points to use during interviews and especially while networking.
4. Plan for future internships
Take the time to research companies and industries you are most interested in. Create a list of your most desired internships and get familiar with them. Look at what you have coming up in the next year, and figure out which internship would fit best with your schedule. Use the summer to reach out to these organizations and conduct informational interviews. 
The key to these checkpoints is consistency. Make sure your resume info matches your LinkedIn info and make sure you’re presenting yourself online professionally! All of these tips will hopefully put you in a better position to gain an internship for next school year. Any other points to add to this check list? Let us know!