Saturday, February 28, 2015

How To Stay Sane In College

College is a busy time. You start with a full class load, add on a couple of student organizations, one or two part time jobs plus an internship and you're already overwhelmed. As a junior with all of the above, I soon realized this year would be more difficult than freshmen and sophomore year combined. I challenged myself with being a Resident Assistant on top of 16 academic credits, an on-campus job, an internship, three student organizations and still making time to eat, sleep and see friends. 

As a PR major, I have found almost all of my friends in the major are in a similar situation, yet we all are able to be successful and somehow keep our sanity. 

Here are the ways I have been able to cope and survive week to week:

My planner is my life. 
Every year, I get a free Temple University planner from my residence hall, and it saves my life. I like it better than putting events and reminders in my phone calendar. All of my meetings, appointments, exams and work schedules go in it right away. Whenever I get an email I pencil it in. My planner keeps me organized and prevents me from double booking myself.

Make "me" time.
Going to the gym and just lying in bed watching Netflix is sometimes 100% my priority. I love going to one of Temple's gyms or group fitness classes;it makes me feel good and forces me to put down my phone or homework. Afterwards, I feel refreshed and more energized. The same thing happens with Netflix because sometimes at 10 pm I just cannot work on my study guide anymore or edit another assignment. I put everything away and lay in bed with my laptop to unwind after a long day.

When meetings overlap and you get asked to do 5 things at the same time, pick what is most important. It is okay to say no to people or organizations. You cannot be everywhere all the time. If you said yes to something last time, give something else a chance next time. It can be very hard, and I struggle with not making everything a priority but have gotten better at it over time.

How do you stay organized and handle all of your obligations?

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Shaun Luberski.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fashion Police & Guiliana Rancic: Crisis Comm 101

Recent comments from Fashion Police host Guiliana Rancic have caused the internet to buzz with commotion and cries for apology. In this recent episode of Fashion Police, a popular show on the E! network known for making snarky comments about celebrities and their attire, host Guiliana Rancic made some less than thoughtful comments about actress Zendaya and her hair style at this year's Academy Awards.

Rancic is quoted saying "I feel like she smells like patchouli oil," Rancic snipped, drawing chuckles from her co-hosts. "Or weed. Maybe weed?"

It didn't take long for 18-year-old Zendaya to respond with this message which has been shared countless times over social media:
Rancic followed up with her own apologetic tweet, which users did not respond well to. After event more controversy stirred when another Fashion Police host, Kelly Osborn, gave an ultimatum that the issue be addressed or she'd leave the show, Rancic issued this apology, which has been better received, but has still done little to reverse the damage done.

Apologies have been issued, but the dust is far from clearing in this situation. Moving forward, there will be plenty of scrutiny, criticism and careful watch over Guiliana, the Fashion Police team and the E! network as a whole. As a TV personality and a brand, Guilana will need to put her best PR foot forward in figuring out how to:

  • Reassure her fan base/audience that she's truly learned her lesson without coming off as coached.
  • Reassure those that she has offended that it will never happen again.
  • Showcase this character correction in her brand.
  • Work together with members of her E! network and host family to collectively show a change in character
How would you handle this crisis situation? Do you think E! is handling it effectively, now?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Management: Avoiding First Impressions

We've thought long and hard on how to master the first impression. Some of us still reign better than others. But while we're stressing out over our showing our future employers our best appearance, we stay blind to what it's like to be on the other side of the interview. First impressions influence the way we continue to view a person, but there are ways to push these initial thoughts aside.
(Source: Desired Haven)
  • Stay open-minded: According to best-selling management author, Dr. Stephen P. Robbins, "think of any early impression as a working hypothesis that you're constantly testing for its accuracy." Instead of immediately deciding on whether or not you feel a job candidate fits, allow yourself more time to come to a conclusion. By leaving your mind open, you will be able to assess more accurately without the bias of your first impression.
  • Do not judge a book by its cover: Appearances give us the unfortunate opportunity of judging a candidate off of their looks before hearing anything they have to say about their skills and traits. Though each candidate is preferred in business casual and presentable, their job qualifications need to have a major influence on your decision as a manager. When hiring, make sure to hear the interviewee out about their past experiences and qualifications along with their business appearance!
  • Ignore bias: Studies show that positive first impressions lead interviewers to continue the interview in an agreeable manner, and negative first impressions in a negative manner. In some cases, a manager may even find him or herself asking less-stressful questions to the candidates they immediately resonated with. By ignoring your own bias, you will be able to identify which candidates are best for the position without any outside factors interfering.
Source: The Truth About Managing People (3rd Edition), Stephen P. Robbins, Ph.D.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Unconventional Stress Relief Tips

     If you Google “stress relief”, thousands of articles will come up with suggestions you've been hearing from your mom since middle school: get a good night’s rest, eat healthy, etc.

     However, as PR majors, our lives become so hectic, oftentimes, these helpful tips are not enough to keep a crisis at bay.

     If you are looking for a new way to de-stress after a long day, week, or month, take a look at these three unconventional stress-relieving practices that have helped others in the past:

1. Read a Book: Diving into a good read that you have been anxious to start will help you de-stress, and no, a textbook does not count.  Reading transports you to another place and forces an individual to focus on the novel without thinking about other things. Also, reading gives you an opportunity to settle down in your favorite cozy spot with a snack, coffee, or hot chocolate.

2. Interact with Animals: It has been scientifically proven that animals can be a de-stressing agent for the humans they come into contact with. If you can afford to adopt a pet, that is the best option, however, if you can’t, taking some time to visit or volunteer at an animal shelter will give you a chance to play with as many animals as you want, for free! Many city shelters look for people to socialize animals they hope to adopt out, so this will be a win-win for you and the animals you visit!

3. Start a Journal: This may seem like something you would tell an elementary school student to do, however, journal-writing is a great way to release tension and stress in a way that won’t cause you consequences. Many people bottle up stress and frustration to the point where it boils over and cause problems. This is why it is important to be open about your feelings, and sometimes, a word dump is the best thing to do.

     Do you have any advice for relieving stress? If so, let us know in the comment section!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Nailing The First Date

Sometimes the first date can be extremely nerve racking. You walk into a nice restaurant and there is your date patiently waiting for you to sit down. You wish you were at home binge watching Netflix, but now you’re here so you may as well make the most of it. The first date jitters are common for most, but for a PR pro, well, we are basically experts in the dating realm.

Check out these seven tips PR pros use every day when they are on their first meeting with a client.

Social Media Stalking
Don’t be afraid to stalk your client on social media to check them out to gather more information about them. Besides, you want to know who you are about to meet with anyway. You always want to know all of the positives and negatives of your potential client before…

The First Date
The first date is like the first meeting with your new client. The first date serves as the perfect opportunity to show your client all of your best qualities. It is your time to sweep them off their feet.

Dress to Impress
On every first date, and every date after that, you always want to look good! You want to be the best and trendiest thing they have ever seen, to really impress them. The way you present yourself really shows who you are as a person, so remember to always dress to impress!

Don’t Talk Too Much
On any date with any love interest, you want to avoid releasing too much information about yourself, so do the same with your client! Don’t ramble on about how awesome your PR firm is or how your hashtag was trending for two weeks, instead take the time to listen to them to find out what their interests are. You want them to feel special!

Be You
Don’t go out of your way to be someone you’re not. Show your personality, and don’t try to make someone like you because it’ll backfire on you. Be you! I’m sure they’ll love you anyway!

Have Good Etiquette
When you’re meeting someone for the first time, everything should be up to par so stay classy! Watch your language, and don’t talk with your mouth full.

Show Your Teeth
Don’t be afraid to show your teeth. Engage in the conversation with your client and don’t forget to smile. Make them feeling comfortable with your warm smile, but lead the conversation because after all, your end goal is to make them yours!

When meeting your client for the first time, make sure to keep these tips in mind. You’ll be sure to sweep any client off of their feet! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Alissa Steele.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Increase Your Shareability

Social media fuels the world we live in. We love to share content that defines ourselves, entertains us, develops relationships and gets the word out about causes and brands we support. In order for your content to stand out amongst the millions of other voices in your social media and communication channels, it is important to make your content as shareable as possible.

Create reactive content. Shareable content evokes strong emotions, such as excitement, astonishment, awe, anger and frustration.

Create useful content. People like to read posts and articles with information that makes their lives easier or benefits them in some way. Share content that enriches the lives of others. An easy way to share useful content is to create “how to” articles or lists of tips and tricks.

Share relatable content. Be genuine and share content that reflects who you are to your readers, followers and friends. People are more likely to share content that represents who they are and shows others what they care about.

Use subheads, bullets and lists. Now more than ever, people have low attention spans and like to scan, rather than read things word-for-word. It is important to make your content scannable with a clear direction for your reader. Don’t make the design or layout complicated, and choose a font that is easy to read.

Incorporate visuals. Visual content is becoming a norm in the social media, public relations and marketing worlds because visuals help tell your story in two seconds or less. Incorporate videos, photos and infographics into your content to increase your shareability.

Use nostalgia. Think about your customers and what they might miss or may have forgotten. Share content that creates nostalgia because it helps build a relationship with your customers who share the same emotional reaction. For example, you can participate in “Throwback Thursday” by using the hashtag #tbt on social media to remind your audience of a specific moment in time.

By thinking about your audience and using these tips, you will increase your shareable content for either your own personal brand or for your client. Do you want to learn more? Check out the infographic below:

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Megan Healy.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Snapchat: The Official Sponsor of #NYFW15

If you aren't aware or have refused to hop on the bandwagon, Snapchat is a mobile app a bit over a year old that allows users to post quick pictures and videos that disappear after designated amount of time as opposed to being stored. While it was fairly popular upon its launch, the introduction of "Stories" made the app even more interactive. It's also the stories feature that has turned New York Fashion Week this year into an insider event for everyone.

While social media in general has increased "outsider" participation in recent fashion weeks, this year Snapchat has been proven to be ahead of its application peers. The immediacy of story posting makes pictures and videos of runway shows super accessible. Though websites such as live stream many of the shows, if you're on a mobile device playback may not be as smooth. Snapchat allows for seamless streaming and varied points of view depending on the Snapper (if that's a term yet). 

Fashion bloggers, show curators, models, volunteers all use their social networks to share what they're up to. Lucky for us, that consist of tons of runway shows, industry events and behind the scenes production that we normally wouldn't have access to. Within two short days of NYFW, industry insiders already voiced a clear preference in Snapchat for sharing up to the minute details of their day. During the final days of fashion week, there was even a special story hosted by Snapchat itself dedicated to all of the images and videos taken that week. Though this fashion week is over, we have another to look forward to in the fall and let's not overlook London and Paris fashion weeks coming up soon. Both of which, I'm sure, will be taking over your Snapchat feeds soon. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mistakes You Might be Making at Your Internship

Internships are an ideal opportunity to learn about the industry in real-world experiences. Of course, you won’t know everything about public relations and, as a student, no one expects you to. But there are a few big but easily fixable mistakes you might be making at your internship.

  • Not asking questions. You may feel like asking your supervisor a question makes it seem like you don’t know what you’re doing. NOT true! Asking a question when you don’t understand an assignment or an industry term (i.e.: “trade pubs”) shows that you are ready to learn and willing to make sure you get the most from your internship.
  • Not paying attention to other departments. Even when a meeting or assignment doesn't concern your department, pay attention to what’s going on. Everything that happens within the organization or company will likely have a trickle-down effect, influencing work you may be given.
  • Not asking for feedback. Sometimes supervisors either don’t think to give feedback or simply forget. When an office gets hectic and a press release need to be written quickly, it’s hard for them to remember to stop and work with their intern. Asking for feedback shows that you want to learn and are invested in your internship experience.
  • Waiting for assignments. Supervisors may not think to be continually giving you assignments which may leave you sitting, twiddling your thumbs. But speaking up and asking if there’s any additional work, even if it’s for a different department, demonstrates your commitment to your internship. It will also help you learn more about the organization. Running to get coffee for the HR department may not be very prestigious but at least now you know when the HR office is!
Even if you are guilty of a few of these internship sins, they’re simple fixes! An easy way to ensure you aren't making these common intern mistakes is to treat your internship like a full-time, permanent job.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What Brand Loyalty Means for PR

The power of branding has become more evident in recent years than ever before. A brand of coffee is no longer just "a brand" it becomes "my brand." In every category you could imagine, consumers are attaching themselves to what they believe are the heart and soul of the brands they love.

Brand loyalty isn't something that can be generated in an engineering lab or strategically mapped out by a killer marketing team. Just like making friends in elementary school, the brands we become loyal to are steeped in a ton of other lifestyle choices and personal beliefs. Our environment, goals and even the brands we've already become loyal too will all impact the brands we choose to extend our trust to in the future.

As PR professionals, it's our jobs to help build a bridge between the brand and the consumer. While we can't force any kind of brand relationships to form, we can help our clients promote all of the positive attributes they already have, and keep those at the forefront.

Several brands are doing this very well, and have seen excellent results. Apple, for example, is a key player in the brand loyalty arena. It isn't uncommon to see someone sitting with their iPhone, iPad and Macbook --not because that's the most advanced technology, but rather because they are loyal to Apple. They've managed to create a lifestyle around their brand of choice. Recent reports state Apple's brand loyalty is 87%. Whoa!

Aside from larger companies, smaller start ups are mastering brand loyalty in their early stages. One brand that comes to mind is Dear Kate. This new brand creates women's apparel, and works hard to build that bridge between themselves and the consumer. Their blog does a great job at not only showing off their products, but telling a greater story that gives consumers something to connect with.

How can you build the bridge for your clients? How can you showcase them as a brand worthy of consumer loyalty? Maybe it's through blog posts that showcase the lifestyle your brand contributes to, or showing off the philanthropic efforts of the company. Maybe it's through content shared on social media, or even through events that give back. Whatever the medium, its's up to you, the PR person to gather that material and build that bridge as best you can.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Social Media Savvy: #SNL40

Even though we were not physically there, Saturday Night Live's 40th Anniversary event was an interactive night. @nbcsnl took to Twitter for about 5 hours during the event's red carpet and main event. Here are four different ways that SNL used social media to their advantage in gaining coverage:

Photo Booth
SNL linked all of the photos taken of their guests passing by on the SNL40 red carpet. Photo after photo was posted on the production's Twitter page while the red carpet interviews were aired on television. It was an added bonus for excited guests interested in seeing what the guests were wearing, and for most of them, acting goofy. Later on in the evening, the SNL Instagram began posting "Instabumpers," or photos of guests at the event in front of neon-colored backgrounds with the small text, SNL40. The Instabumpers colorful, creative, and of all of the guests seeming energized and happy to be there in support of SNL.
(Source: @nbcsnl Instagram)
Linked Up
SNL's tweets included the official Twitter handle of each of the celebrities featured in a post. This allows fans and followers to directly link to that guests' page, almost like a small promo. Tagging guests makes for relationship building on social media.
Graphics & Video
The team behind SNL40's social media was prepared with graphics showing the remade sketches as "now & then" photos. One side of the graphic depicted the original skit and the other side was in the skit in color happening now on television. As a marketing tactic, these graphics remind the audience of the skit and hopefully, gets them excited about the production. The account also used GIFs to highlight bits of the show in what seems like 5 seconds.
Live Tweeting 
SNL40 was an opportunity for both the social media team, guests, and audience at home live tweet! These three demographics are extremely broad and bring a wide range of people to the conversation about SNL40 online and in the media. Posts were sent from the SNL account like clockwork throughout the entire show, with photos, videos, and text. Celebrities at the event took to their personal accounts that night and this morning to express support for the production, giving them positive coverage. Lastly, the audience watching used #SNL40 to express any and all thoughts on the sketches, performances, and celebrity gossip that comes with an entertainment event like this.

Social media is a way we can bring large groups of people from all over the world into one conversation as communications professionals. Live tweeting and sharing photos are common ways to bring attention to your event through all social media platforms, not just Twitter. Stay creative, and use hashtags to get your event trending!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Looking Forward: PRowl PR

What first started as a firm of less than 10 staff members and non-paying clients, has now transformed into a firm of 56 staff members and five paying clients. To continue the firm’s growth rate and communication between Temple students, specifically the School of Media and Communication, PRowl is implementing Professional Workshops and Twitter Chats, open to the Temple community.

Professional Workshops:
A variety of professional workshops will be hosted by PRowl members with the goal of providing Temple students with advice and feedback for their professional future. Workshop topics will include, resume and cover letters, business cards, blogging tips, email and social media etiquette, business casual do’s and don’t’s, and more! Our first workshop will be a resume and cover letter review.

The workshops will be twice a month between one to three hours. The location of the workshops will be announced via PRowl social media prior to the tabling event and are open to everyone to participate in. The official hashtag for the workshop events will be #PRofessionalOwl.

Twitter Chats:
Each month, PRowl staff members will start a conversation with Temple alumni to provide students with answers to common professional questions. Since alumni have been in the same shoes as current students are today, it is important to learn from recent alumni what they did to earn job interviews and land them their first job post graduation.

The first Twitter Chat will be Sunday, February 15 prior to Temple’s Student & Alumni Networking Night on February 17. We encourage everyone to join in on the conversation (especially seniors), by using the hashtag #BeHeardTU. The official time will be from 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.

*You do not have to be associated with PRowl PR to participate in the workshops and Twitter Chats.

PRowl members are also looking forward to celebrating PRowl’s 8th Year Anniversary! Temple faculty and PRowl’s staff members and clients will be invited to enjoy a Night out on the PRowl. The tentative date and location will be announced in the near future.

To stay up to date with everything PRowl PR and the PR industry, be sure to connect with our social media networks, Twitter and Facebook.  We hope to see you at our upcoming events! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Amanda White. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

It's Not Delivery, It's Iggy Azalea

Iggy Azalea had a gripe to handle before heading to this year's Grammy Awards, and she took to social media to settle the score. After an issue with a Papa Johns Pizza employee who, according to Azalea, distributed her personal phone number to family members, Azalea tweeted at Papa Johns searching for answers.
Papa Johns responded to the tweet, but the response was far from what any patron searching for quality customer service would want in return. Taking advantage of the social media moment, Papa Johns completed their response with hashtags referencing Azalea's lyrics. The response did nothing to suggest a settlement of the issue, had no mention of policy or procedure and made it clear to followers that the issue was not being taken very seriously.
Azalea continued her protest on Twitter bringing up what, I believe, to be very relevant points about the issue of protecting customer privacy.

In a day and age where everything ends up online and celebrities are having their privacy breached more than ever, sensitivity and attention to this issue would have been best. Brands and social media managers must be aware that while not everything is a crisis, having a scene play out before the public requires careful handling. Papa Johns may be a respected brand with a loyal following and customer base, but if this is how they treat a public figure, imagine how the situation would be handled with a non-celebrity customer.

 Overall, the response makes Papa Johns look unprofessional and reflects poorly on their customer service standards. There was no public resolution made to the original issue.

But the real winner of the night? Definitely DiGiorno Pizza, who decided to interject themselves into the end of Twitter feud.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Chipotle's Offensive Twitter Hack

Chipotle Mexican Grill had a lot of cleaning up to do after the brand's Twitter account was hacked for two hours on Sunday morning. Hackers changed the account's avatar to a picture of a swastika, edited the bio information, and sent out multiple tweets using offensive language to attack President Obama and the government systems.
Source: Coloradan Magazine
According to Mashable, Chipotle Communications Director, Chris Arnold, immediately responded to the hacking by making a public statement:

"Our Twitter account was hijacked overnight for about two hours during which a series of offensive tweets was posted to the account. We apologize for the nature of the posts that were made during that time, and we are now conducting an investigation to try to determine what happened and who might have been involved." 
During PR issues such as these where customers and audience members are offended, it is important for the brand to come forward with a spokesperson and a statement. Sitting back in silence can often lead to assumptions that your brand or organization is backing up whatever drama has occured. Not only did Chris Arnold speak on behalf of Chipotle, but the brand also tweeted a public apology and deleted all remains of the inappropriate hack.

Chipotle is commonly associated with positive marketing. Its current "Cultivating Thought" campaign involves printed literature on the restaurant's cups and paper bags as an activity for customers while dining. The works of well-known authors, such as Malcolm Gladwell, Toni Morrison, and Michael Lewis, and even a few faces from the entertainment realm, like Bill Hader, Sarah Silverman, and Judd Apatow, are used within the series. Additionally, the brand had a successful Twitter contest the week prior to the hack; followers posted haikus about Chipotle on Twitter and shared via Facebook to be entered to win a free entree for two.
Source: Vanity Fair
In July of 2013, Chipotle actually "faked" its own Twitter hacking as a publicity stunt for their 20th anniversary, and wound up with over 4,000 new followers the next day. Let's see how much @ChipotleTweets' followership increases after a real hack.

Hopefully the Communications staff was able to treat themselves to a hearty burrito after what must have been one stressful social media Sunday.

Monday, February 9, 2015

On the Search: Being a Culture Detective at Your New Job

When you first start a new job, you should focus on fitting into your new position seamlessly while being as productive as possible throughout your first few weeks.

However, you should also take it upon yourself to add a new, unwritten job title to your name: culture detective.

As a new employee, it is just as important to determine the culture of your new workplace as it is to adjust to your new position. The quicker you are able to decode your office’s environment, the faster you can find your niche within it.

Determining how much creativity is encouraged in the office setting can help you avoid making mistakes. For example, if you see your boss and coworkers have little to no décor in their offices or cubicles, you may stop yourself from hanging decorations from your walls (it may be against company policy),  or at the very least, you will know to ask someone before hanging anything.

By observing how your coworkers interact, you will be able to see how much socializing is appropriate in your company. If there are times when coworkers go to each other’s work spaces for friendly conversations, you can be sure of yourself when you feel the need to converse with someone during your shift.

Another important area to study is your boss’s feelings towards working from home and swapping hours. Some offices are friendlier with employees working from home on a Friday or leaving an hour earlier one day and staying later the next. However, not all offices accept this behavior, and for the most part, a new employee should not test their luck until they have worked at the company for a few months.

By keeping a close eye on the policies and social happenings at your new office, you can stay away from making embarrassing mistakes and begin growing into your new position at a faster rate!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Interning At Events

As most of us know, being an intern in the Public Relations field can be hard. We don’t normally get paid, we often have tedious tasks to complete and juggling school with an internship can sometimes feel impossible. But there’s a reason we still do it, the experiences and opportunities internships open for us are second to none. As an intern at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I find myself experiencing new things and learning every day. Most recently, I was invited to help the Communications Department of the museum at a Press Advance Luncheon in New York City. At this particular press advance, the CEO of the museum as well as the curators of the upcoming exhibitions spoke to press about what they were working on for the upcoming year. Meant to connect New York journalists with PMA curators so that their exhibitions can be covered, it is one of the most important events the Communications Department produces. Here are some of the most important things I learned helping out as an intern for this event:

When working a press event, it’s easy to get caught up in the logistics. Whether it’s fixing the seating chart, making sure you have enough press packets or worrying about being on schedule, it’s easy to get caught up in the planning when you should really be worrying about the most important people there…the press. When working with the press, it’s your job to take the time to get to know them. The more you know about who they are or what kind of stories they write, the easier it will be for you to find leads and make the connections between the press and in this case, the appropriate curators to speak with.

Be Proactive
As an intern, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by an event and hide in the shadows of the chaos. But think of it this way, there is a reason that they want you there. Even if you are just an intern, you are a vital part of making sure the event runs smoothly. Be proactive and always ask if you can do more to help out. Whether its directing people from one room to another, chasing press to make sure they received press materials or just being an extra helping hand, you can always be of help.

At the end of every event, it’s important to reflect back on how the event went so that you can better it for next time. Sitting down with all people involved and breaking down what went well and what can be improved on will help you find the strengths and weaknesses amongst your team, and will help you to start planning for the next event. Sitting down and reflecting allows you to be realistic about what you deliver with the resources you have, and makes for better events in the future.

Is there an event you’ve worked as an intern that you were able to learn from? Let us know! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Rute Barkai.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Understanding How The Owls Took Charge

The Super Bowl is the biggest night in network television. Billions of families across America tune in to watch the most exciting football game of the season. The day consists of men yelling at the TV, Pinterest-inspired snacks, Buffalo wings, an over-the-top halftime show and commercials that will be buzzed about for weeks to come. However, this Super Bowl consisted of something completely new: this year there were owls. For the first time ever, Temple University aired a commercial during the Super Bowl. Regardless of whether you loved or hated Temple’s commercial, here are some important points to know about Temple’s ad.

The actual commercial- In case you were replenishing your plate with cliché Super Bowl food, Temple’s commercial aired during the fourth quarter of the game. It was a 30 second spot that depicted the Temple community doing different things. Band members practiced music, basketball players made slam dunks, professors lectured, students cheered at concerts and commuters hopped on the subway. The last shot featured Temple’s favorite owl, Stella, next to the caption “Take Charge.”

The cost- The average cost of running a 30 second national spot during the Super Bowl is about 4.5 million dollars. However, Temple was able to buy a regional spot for under 200,000 dollars and NBC will air the commercial for the next three weeks.

The background- This campaign was created by Temple University’s Marketing and Communications Department.  The first phase was launched in October 2014. The premiere of the Super Bowl ad marked the second phase of this campaign. This commercial was shot with two different endings: one with Stella and one with Morgan Hall in the Philly skyline. Temple posted both of the commercials online and asked viewers to vote for which one they wanted to see in the Super Bowl.

Why?- According to Temple’s data, 89 percent of the 300,000 TU alumni are not engaged with the school. The purpose of this commercial, and campaign for that matter, is to generate awareness of how strong Temple has grown to be. The marketing team wanted to air the commercial when they knew alumni would be tuned in to the TV.

Temple Made or Take Charge? - Some students were confused after seeing Take Charge splashed across their TVs. Some believed Temple was going through an identity crisis. Are students supposed to be “Temple Made” or are they supposed to “Take Charge”? Well, the answer is both! This new campaign is not designed to erase the Temple Made campaign. In fact, “Take Charge” is a branch of the “Temple Made” campaign. The messages are designed to coincide with each other. Yes, Temple students are self-made, Philly-made and Temple-made, but they are also ready to step up, take charge and make things happen. In other words, Temple students learn how to be self-sufficient (self-made) in school so when they graduate from Temple they are ready to “take charge.”

Do you think the “Take Charge” commercial stacked up to the other Super Bowl commercials? Do you believe it was an affective form of advertising? Share your comments below!  

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Lauren Bentley.

Friday, February 6, 2015

T-Mobile's Brilliant Kampaign

Say what you want about the Kardashian clan, but you can't deny that T-Mobile's recent campaign featuring family front man Kim Kardashian West is ingenious. If you haven't seen the commercial just yet, take a moment to check it out now. If you have seen it, watch it again because it's hilarious.

What worked best is that instead of attempting to mold her into a new character, they used her just as she comes. Let's face it, she's not an actress and probably wouldn't have been able to pull off a campaign like Rob Lowe's recent string of DirectTV commercials. She's also been criticized before for having a flat, and almost unapproachable, affect which T-Mobile used  to their advantage. By having Kim poke fun at herself, she not only became approachable and relatable, but funny too!

T-Mobile has also taken this commercial a step farther by creating an entire social media campaign around it. You can now visit to connect with her on social media, view a lesson in how to take the perfect selfie and share your shameless snaps with an entire online community using #KimsDataStash. And let's not forget the whole purpose of all this: to promote T-Mobile's new rollover data policy so that you can share all the selfies you want! Brilliant.

This post was written by Assistant Firm Director, Jordan Washington. Follow her on Twitter here.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What is Your Interview Body Language Saying?

Interviews can be a stressful ordeal. It feels like everything from the experience on your resume to your interview outfit are being scrutinized and evaluated. And often, interviewers really are looking at ever little detail. But one of the biggest communicators during an interview may be something that isn't said at all. Your body language often communicates much more than anything you may say. Check out these body language mistakes to see what message you might be communicating in an interview.

  • Posture. Your posture actually says quite a lot. Leaning forward comes off as aggressive while sitting back seems lazy or arrogant. Thankfully there is a happy middle, literally. Sitting up tall in a more neutral position, while it may not feel the most natural, is the ideal posture to impress your interviewer.
  • Hands. Not knowing what to do with your hands is often people’s biggest downfalls in interviews. Refrain from leaving them in your pockets or behind your back, making you look stiff and unapproachable. Instead, gesture with them in a natural and conversational way to reinforce what you are actually saying.
  • Eyes. Eye contact is particularly important but can be tricky. Distracted eye movements often make it seem like someone isn't being truthful but staring comes off as aggressive and uncomfortable. Instead, make natural eye contact and avoid quick shifts in eye movements like looking down or away suddenly.
  • Hair. Playing with your hair is a common and unconscious thing that many women do. Whether it’s a nervous tick or a distraction, it often comes off as unprofessional. The best way to avoid this diversion is to simply wear your hair back for your interview.
A surefire way to know if you are making any of these mistakes is to practice! By video recording a mock interview and reviewing it, you can see how your body language is coming across. Don’t let the great things you’re saying be overshadowed by the messages your body language is conveying.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Importance of Working Your Network

As a pubic relations professional, no matter what stage of your career that you're in, you've likely heard a dozen times that PR is based off of relationships. Whether you're focusing on relationships with clients, coworkers or other professionals, these relationships will be the ones that make or break you.

As you continue to grow in your career, you'll find that the network you create is one of your most valuable assets. Many times, it's not what you know but who you know that proves to be most helpful. But knowing names and having a long list of email addresses isn't enough. A network is more than a contact list. It is a group of people with whom you can collaborate and engage to produce mutually beneficial results.

Yes, your network needs you as much as you need them.

If you're working on growing or sustaining your network, consider how you can best create mutually beneficial results between the people you connect with. 

If you're currently a senior and starting the job search, you may find that you need to reach out to your network for position openings or general job search advice. But no one wants to feel used for their resources. If you want your network to take an interest in what you're doing, you should take an interest in what they are doing as well.

As the public relations industry continues to change, it is impossible for one professional to be a master of all aspects of PR. We each have strengths and weaknesses that set us apart as individuals and professionals. Our networks represent different pillars of strength and weakness all necessary to make what we do a reality. We need each other; we need to be able to tap into each other's talents and abilities to produce the best possible results.

Failure to work with your network  puts you, and others, at a serious disadvantage. Not only are you unable to tap into the talents and vast capabilities of your peers, you also don't get to share all that you can do with others. Going the journey alone is a tough path to travel. Instead, fill your professional world with mentors, inspiring colleges and the best of the best.

How do you maintain and work your network? How do you successfully contribute to your network? Please share with us in the comments!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Super Bowl Commercials: More Interesting than the Game?

Last night, the 49th Super Bowl was played by the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots, with the Patriots winning 28-24. Many will attribute this win to an interception on the one-yard line by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler. But something I realized during the game, and confirmed with many of the people watching with me, was that they cared more about the commercials than the actual game.

I was sitting next to one of my roommates, watching the game, when I happened to glance over at him, and noticed he looked a bit strained. Asking him if he was okay, he replied, "I need to use the bathroom, but I am waiting for the game to come back on so I don't miss any of the ads!" As he said this, a few other people around us nodded their heads, some saying they didn't know or didn't care who was playing, but only cared about the quality of the commercials. I realized in myself that unless my home team (the Eagles!) were playing, I cared more about the ads than the game. Especially in the last four or five years, the Super Bowl is known as the place for big companies to release their best ads. Many companies will save an ad, keeping it secret, just for this night. As far as public relations goes, the Super Bowl is one of the most watched events, if not the most watched events in the United States. Even though it costs upwards of $1 million to air something, on a cost per thousand viewers basis, it is more than worth it. Especially now, when so many people just watch to see and talk about the ads.

One of my personal favorites was the ad for Clash of Clans, a mobile app game, featuring Liam Neeson, a actor known for many movies, but most recently the Taken movies. Clash of Clans has had a lot of very clever advertising in the last few months, the TV commercials are always really funny, and I see their ads on the subway, on buses, and on taxis. You can watch the commercial below. The Budweiser commercial, featuring the puppy and Clydesdale horses from previous years was another favorite, along with the 'Like a Girl' ad by Always.

This post was authored by Faiz Mandviwalla, the Director of Finance for PRowl Public Relations. Follow him on Twitter here. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The PR of Commercials and Football

Today, the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks will take the field and play in the NFL's 49th annual Super Bowl. The Super Bowl takes on the traits of a holiday for football lovers across the country. We throw parties for friends and family, stocked with wings. fries, and brews. Not to mention, the stigma surrounding Super Bowl commercials and who can create the best one.

Public Relations happens all around the Super Bowl. There are five obvious outlets:
  • NFL
  • New England Patriots
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • all brands with placed commericals
Though the commercials of the Super Bowl are the works of advertising, the discussion each individual commercial creates is a PR situation. For instance, GoDaddy intended on releasing a commercial during the Super Bowl, but found that the public opinion was not on their side, and decided to remove the commercial. The ad seemed to be mocking Bud Light for their use of an adorable blonde Labrador in their Super Bowl commercials every year. The ad shows a puppy getting lost after falling off of its owners' truck and finding his way back home, just to have the owners proclaim that they can't wait to sell the pup online thanks to GoDaddy.

Many found the advertisement insensitive, while GoDaddy thought its audience would laugh. The PR decision was to make a statement revoking the commercial and announcing that the public will still see GoDaddy on screen during the big event. GoDaddy left their audience with a little mystery.

Check out the Super Bowl tonight, and expect to see a lot of PR talk about the Half Time Show and advertisments come tomorrow morning!