Monday, March 30, 2015

PPRA's Careers 101: Is it Worth It?

Short answer: Yes. Long answer? Keep reading!

First off, you should know that PPRA stands for Philadelphia Public Relations Association, and that it is the oldest and largest independent public relations association in the country. And to put that into perspective, this year is their 70th anniversary!

Secondly, Careers 101 is an annual event that PPRA puts on to bring together students and professionals for a night of networking and learning. For all us PR students out there, this event will get you a resume critique, professional head shot, networking opportunities and raffle chances for shadowing days and informational interviews...all in ONE NIGHT. I've never even been before but I can tell you all that is worth it. This year it's on April 1 (this Wednesday night!) and the theme is 'Your Career is No Joke.' (Get it!?)

But, to make it even better, this is Careers 101's 10th anniversary, so in honor of that and PPRA's 70th birthday, all the panelists are PPRA Hall of Fame recipients and/or past PPRA Presidents. And hopefully you will understand that to be in one or both of those categories makes you the best of the best - and worth hearing from. During Careers 101, for about an hour, six of Philly PR's best will be sharing their unique and experienced insights about the industry and how they went from a PR student to a PR leader. The moderator is David W. Brown, who was the 2007 Hall of Fame recipient. The five panelists are Bill Cowen, President of Metrospective Communications LLC; Bonnie Grant, Executive Director of Greater Philadelphia Life Sciences Congress; Catherine Engel Menendez, Communications Director of PECO; Lisa Simon, President of Simon PR; and Mark Tarasiewicz, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Mark, Lisa and Catherine are also all Hall of Fame recipients.

And as if all that wasn't enough, anyone that goes this year will get a free professional head shot! I know I need one, I'm still using a picture from three years ago. A little more detail on the other benefits you get from attending: PPRA leadership will edit and critique all the resumes dropped off into the box during the event - and you'll get your edited resume back at the end of the night. This is such an easy way to get professional advice on that resume that's always going to be one of the first things your potential employer sees about you. You'll also be entered into a raffle to win one of many opportunities to shadow a PR professional or get an informational interview with them. I know that it is awkward enough reaching out to people you don't know for such an opportunity - this way it's all done for you and the awkwardness is gone! I've had four informational interviews in the last two years, which have led me to my current internship and (hopefully) next one! Plus, you get connected to another PR pro, and in PR, it's often all about who you know.

I know that in the last few months we have been inundated with networking event after networking event (especially at Temple) but I really do believe this one is worth it. I first heard about Careers 101 last summer, and even though I haven't been before, I got on the planning committee for it because I really believe it to be one of the most beneficial events to students of the year. Here is a link to the official Careers 101 page, and below are some more logistical details.

Careers 101 will be on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 from 6 - 8 p.m. at The Liacouras Center - Fox-Gittis Room. It costs $20 to attend, unless you are a member of PRowl Public Relations - in which case please email me asap if you want to go at

Hope to see you all there!

This post was authored by Faiz Mandviwalla, a junior at Temple University and the Director of Finance for PRowl Public Relations. You can connect with him on Twitter here

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cover Events Like a PRo

As the summer approaches and the opportunity to attend events widens for you, you may want to share your experience. When you present event coverage, you want to make your audience feel like they're at the event with you. Whether it's a conference, networking or special event, here are a few tips that will help you cover it like a PRofessional!

As any PR person knows, its good to start with the basics and to be prepared for any task.
      Introduce yourself. “Hello, my name is…” may sound like the most fundamental thing to do but introducing yourself could go a long way. You may have found an event as an “attendee” but would like to cover the event as the “press”. Email in advance or seek the contact onsite and introduce yourself. This could be a step to getting introduced to others and building connections
      Attend the event with a list of questions. Although you may or may not be able to ask them, its good to know that you were prepared for anything.
      Pack the essentials. A camera, a notebook to take notes and your phone (along with a charger) are necessary to create the content on the event that you're covering. Taking a handful of business cards along would also be essential if you network while at the event.
There are various ways you can cover an event. Before posting online, decide what kind of content you want to produce and what format will work best for you and your audience.
      Live-coverage allows you to report from an event in real time. This provides immediate coverage. Since there is a such thing as too much coverage, be sure to not overwhelm your audience with a huge number of posts.
      Daily wrap-ups are used to provide day-to-day highlights, especially if you are attending a multi-day event. If you want to provide something that is quick and easy for your audience to take in, this format is for you.
      Post-event coverage is composed at the end of an event after you’ve collected what you want to produce. Using this format allows you to focus on what you think was the best content from the event. It’s not best to use this format if you are producing time sensitive information.
Now that you’ve written your post(s), it’s time to share them. Here are a few simple ways to easily increase the distribution of your event content.
      Utilize the event hashtag. Easily spread the word about your posts by including the event hashtag. Using the hashtag will increase your online visibility as well as include you in the conversation on the event.
      Send your content to the event’s organizers. Not only will you audience benefit from your coverage but the event organizers may be likely to see and share your content as well. Doing this will be an advantage for you and the event organizers.
      Think beyond Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and your blog. These platforms are great to use but you can get different storytelling opportunities using Vine, Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat.. Using these platforms for event coverage will provide an interesting and innovative way of sharing content.
Now that you have these tips, you can take your audience along for the ride as you attend events. With the essential tips, covering an event effectively should be a breeze.  
This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Jade Taylor.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Q&A With Tierney's Francesca Gunning

With eight years of PR agency experience, Francesca Gunning, a Senior Account Executive from Tierney shares her agency experience with PRowl PR. Francesca's career began at LevLane as an intern in 2009. After gaining valuable agency experience, she moved her talents to Tierney in 2012. 

Check out our Francesca’s insights in our Q&A below:

Describe yourself in three words.
Perpetual plate spinner

Tell us about your hobbies outside of PR?
I am a Spotify and Instagram addict, always exploring and capturing new music and interesting moments from the City of Brotherly Love. I love to run, watch HGTV with my four-legged best friend - a 19lb Boston terrier named Cookie - and enjoy all that Philadelphia’s culinary scene has to offer.

Describe what you like most about working in an agency.
I love the variety and the opportunity to gain experience in multiple different industries. I can bounce between industries ranging from automotive to food and healthcare to nonprofit on a daily basis. Being at an agency certainly keeps me on my toes and forces me to be nimble.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Usually I come in and determine the biggest priorities for each of my clients and then get to work. My daily activities can range from conducting media relations, to planning events, to handling crises or managing issues, to meeting with clients or my internal teams.

What does being a Senior Account Executive entail?
As a Senior Account Executive, I serve as a day-to-day contact for clients. I work with my supervisors to manage projects and team members, with a deep understanding of my clients’ business and communications objectives. I offer proactive recommendations to our clients, leveraging industry trends and the changing media landscape. I also research, develop and present communications plans.

What type of work does an entry-level PR position typically do?
Our entry level PR position is called an Account Coordinator. They’re the backbone of our teams. Our “ACs” help us do a variety of things like daily media monitoring, conducting research, planning meetings, building media lists, creating press documents and much more.

Based on your experiences, what would you say makes a successful client-agency relationship?
I would say trust and open communication. The best clients that I have worked with have been really trusting in our team’s ability to be successful and have been engaged and responsive every step of the way.  I’m lucky that I’ve had, and still get to work with, wonderful clients each and every day.

Do you have any advice for professionals entering this industry?
If you’re trying to work at an agency, I recommend that you try and get an internship at one in the market where you’d like to work. When you’re there, be a sponge – soak up as much knowledge as possible and become a critical extension of the team that you’re supporting. If you’re already in an entry-level position, work hard and don’t be afraid to try new things and learn from new people. Seek a mentor who can show you the ropes and give you advice when you need help. Your early years can be formidable and will shape you who become as a professional – cherish and own this time.   

Name three skills you believe all PR professionals should master.
  1.  AP Writing
  2. Flexibility
  3. Time Management

What is your proudest PR accomplishment?
Landing my first national news story on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams was amazing. It was about a nonprofit that was working to revitalize an 87-acre park in North Philadelphia. It took two years to make and when it aired, it was the best feeling in the world. It garnered so much great exposure for my client and the project took off from there. It really showed me the positive impact we can make in this industry. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Colleen Chase.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Starbucks' 'Race Together' Ends After One Short Week

Starbucks recently began and ended a marketing campaign called 'Race Together' that was intended to open discussion between baristas and customers about race in our current society. 
Source: (CNBC)
Chances are you've had an immediate reaction to this initiative. Customers (and most likely part-time baristas) are wondering: why? After talking about the campaign details with peers, it seemed like the majority were only interested in being handed a grande Pike Place first thing in the morning.

Starbucks' latest campaign stirred up a lot of conversation, nonetheless; just not the type of conversation the company had expected. The public took to social media and blogs to express their distaste for the forced 'Race Together' discussions. Only a week after the campaign's birth did Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, formally announced the end of 'Race Together':

"While there has been criticism of the initiative -- and I know this hasn't been easy for any of you -- let me assure you that we didn’t expect universal praise."  

Schultz insists that the initiative was scheduled to end on March 23, 2015 to begin with, and that the criticism received has nothing to do with its removal. Schultz also mentions that this is not the end of the long-term discussion Starbucks' is looking to start with its customers - more campaigns are to be anticipated and more goals have been added to the company's to-do list.

What would you do as one of the PR professional for Starbucks? Take Starbucks Senior VP of Global Communications Corey duBrowa as an example of what NOT to do. After receiving negative feedback on social media about the campaign's obvious flaws, duBrowa decided to delete his Twitter account.

"I was personally attacked through my Twitter account around midnight last night and the tweets represented a distraction from the respectful conversation we are trying to start around Race Together. I’ll be back on Twitter soon," duBrowa told Business Insider.

The PR issue is that the SVP of Global Communications should not delete a personal form of communication during a communications dilemma. If the campaign is focused on starting conversation on race relations, then the communications team should be prepared to share, too.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Travelling Tips for PR Students

Whether you are studying abroad or travelling to a different city to shadow a successful PR executive, it is important for students to master the art of travel and packing techniques that will save you time and stress!
1. Pack Basics: Regardless of your destination, you will need to be wary of how much you pack. If you are taking a flight, you may only be allowed one “free” bag check, and even if you aren’t flying, you don’t want to be lugging around multiple suitcases! When packing clothing items, it is important to pack essential pieces for the dress code you are hoping to fit into. If you are going for business casual, packing key pieces (khakis, blouses, etc.) will help you stay away from over-packing. Also, packing certain items over others will increase your ability to travel light. If you pack chunky suit coats or things that need to be carried, your baggage could weigh you down. Instead, pack items that may still be considered professional, but don’t need as much care! (sweaters, dresses, tights, etc.)

2. Start Early: Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your hotel details and to pack! Travelling itself is full of stress, so adding last minute troubles will only make your experience less enjoyable! Be sure to book your hotel room in advance not only for convenience, but because it may be cheaper to book earlier rather than later. Also, packing is a burden regardless of when you do it, but the sooner the better! Leave your toiletries and electronics out until the night before, but be sure to pack your clothing and professional materials (such as portfolios or resumes) at least a few days in advance.

3. Remember the Small Things: Your last packing step should be making sure you remembered small details that will make your travelling experience more pleasant. If you are taking a plane, remember to pack gum so that you can keep your ears from popping. If you will need a passport or some sort of ticket, make sure you have those items in an easily-accessible compartment of your bag!

Do you have any travel tips to share? Let us know!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Apple Watch

No matter your opinions on the new Apple Watch, the simple fact of the matter is that you have heard of it. Anyone that is even somewhat remotely active on social media or catching their news online has probably heard news about the new Apple Watch from someone, whether their comments were positive or negative. This is exactly how Apple is getting the best unpaid marketing possible.
When Apple announced its new watch earlier this month the Internet exploded. Some people were excited and others were skeptical, calling it unnecessary and over the top. Call it what you will but Apple is riding this controversial surge perfectly.

A recent social media study by Mediametric stated that on the day the new watch was announced the amount of social media chatter and buzz that the watch produced well surpassed Game of Thrones, which had just released a trailer for it’s upcoming season. That’s really saying a lot, that within minutes of being unveiled it had gathered more social media steam than one of the most social media frenzied shows on television.

Now, starting in early April you can walk into an Apple Retail store and try on an Apple Watch for no more than fifteen minutes, along with a whole other bunch of conditions that must be met before you try it on. In order to try on the watch for fifteen minutes an appointment has to be made and the fifteen minutes are guided one on one with an Apple employee. At the time of the appointment you can also schedule another appointment to pick up your watch when it’s officially released at the end of April.  
Seriously, how amazing of a marketing ploy is that after such a media uproar? What can Apple do after such a controversial social media explosion except make the product even more mysterious and controversial by allowing people to try it on with all of these crazy stipulations.

Not only is Apple using all of the social media to their advantage, despite the fact that responses seem to be split evenly down the middle in terms of positive posts and negative posts, they are also doing an excellent job of upping the hype even more by allowing shoppers to wear their watches for fifteen minutes in a very controlled environment.

Word of mouth advertising can be one of the most important aspects of a companies PR campaign nowadays, especially since opinions and thoughts travel so quickly on social media. Apple is showing exactly how you can play that word of mouth up and use it to your advantage by creating even more hype and talk.

Regardless of how well the Apple Watch actually sells, it will still have accomplished it’s goal of being one of the most talked about things on social media and that, in and of itself, is a major PR achievement. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Hannah Litchfield.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Meerkat: SXSW's Hottest App

It seems like there is always a new and inventive app trending that it’s sometimes difficult to keep up. The latest taking the app store by storm is Meerkat, a user-friendly iPhone app which allows users to livestream video. It also links (well, linked, but more on that later) to Twitter, allowing users to comment and share through tweets. It’s quickly becoming the hottest trend at this year’s South by Southwest festival (SXSW), an annual festival celebrating music, film, and interactive media.


Twitter recently confirmed their purchase of Meerkat’s competitor Periscope. Now they are limiting Meerkat’s access to the “Twitter graph,” effectively making it impossible for users to find and follow other Meerkat users. It’s a setback and experts are skeptical the app can recover.

Whether it’s a long-lasting service or a SXSW trend, here’s everything you need to know about this videosharing app so you can get to “Meerkating” too.

  • It’s only developed for iOS , allowing users to live stream from iPhones or iPads. Sorry Android users.
  •  Previously, when Meerkat users start streaming, the app would automatically tweet out a link to the video. The app “borrows” your social network from Twitter so you don’t need to search and add your current social media following on yet another outlet.
  • Since Twitter acquired livestreaming competitor Periscope, they have removed the app’s access to this “graph,” giving Meerkat a hesitant future. 
  • Twitter only gave Meerkat cofounder Ben Rubin two hours’ notice before cutting off their access. 
  • Although SXSW continues until Sunday, many assume Meerkat will receive the unofficial “it” app of the festival.

It’s not all bad news for current and future Meerkat users, though. You can still post videos on Twitter and log in to Meerkat using your Twitter password/username.  The difference is that Twitter will no longer automatically send notifications telling your followers when you are streaming live.

Give it a try and let us know what you think of this up and coming app!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Killin' that Snapchat Game

Two weeks ago was spring break, and I was able to spend half of it in beautiful, warm Los Angeles; where even though it rained it was still a million times nicer than the frozen tundra of the East Coast. A little while after landing, I opened my Snapchat app and noticed a new story on my feed called 'LA Life.' I quickly realized that the story only appeared because I had my location services allowed, and was specific to the city of Los Angeles area. Even better, any snap I took I could upload to be considered for show in the story, for the entire city to see. I assume that some computer or team of people looks at all these snaps and picks the best for the story, so it was even cooler when my first snap actually appeared in the LA Life story about 30 minutes later. I had obviously picked something that I didn't mind everyone seeing, and it was cool to know that so many people were really going to see it. Snapchat has had these stories, native to a particular area or event for a few months now, but this LA Life story seemed to just exist there perpetually, as a place for all the 'Snapchatters' of LA to share their stories. I was disappointed (for many other reasons, too) to return to Philadelphia and find no such story for our area.

Snapchat has also introduced a new idea called geo-tags in the last few months, where they have preset filters that can be overlain on your pictures. Based on where you are, there are filters customized for that area. For Philadelphia, you can overlay the word 'Philly' in a bright, sparkly font. In Los Angeles, there were tons of different geo-tags, even for different districts of LA; there were two specific just to the Santa Monica Pier! They have also added ones that tell the time or temperature of where you are, as well as how fast you are moving. As a form of social media, Snapchat has rapidly become the most fun to use platform, as well as the most customizable. And, Snapchat has done it without really appearing to most people as a form of social media, but more as a means of communication, a means that is becoming integral to many people's daily lives. I know I always checking out all the Snapchat stories, from people I know to all the featured ones. There have been featured stories from the New York Fashion Week, from huge concerts and festivals like Tomorrowland, and just everyday life ones like the LA Life story. Snapchat has been doing everything right, and I believe will become the biggest social media platform.

Questions or comments about Snapchat? We would love to hear from you in the comments section!

This post was authored by Faiz Mandviwalla, a junior at Temple University and the Director of Finance for PRowl Public Relations. You can follow him on Twitter here or on Snapchat at bbqpringles. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

How To Tackle Your First Weeks At A New Internship

Joining a new organization can often feel nerve-wracking and overwhelming. Where do you go on the first day? What if you don’t make any friends? Who do you eat lunch with? These were the same questions we had on the first day of school, and many of the same questions we have the first day at a new internship. But, the good news is that everyone understands and will try to make your transition as seamless as possible. To further ease into a new internship, try taking a look at the following tips.


[Source DIY Network]

Tour the Office
You can acclimate yourself to new surroundings by taking time to explore the office. Your supervisor will likely show you around on your first day, but exploring on your own means you can discover new things that weren’t on that initial tour. You may discover a different kitchenette, or maybe a fully stocked storage closet.  And when your supervisor needs you to make those copies, you’ll know exactly where to go.

Meet Fellow Interns
Your first days, and even weeks, at a new internship will be filled with meeting new coworkers and interacting with supervisors. It is also important to form relationships with other interns in the office. Remember that other interns are just as new and confused as you are, and you’ll have to lean on each other to figure things out. Fellow interns may be the people you go to lunch with everyday, and will be valuable contacts to have in your network.

Schedule One-on-One Meetings
Scheduling meetings with individuals in the organization allows you to form personal connections from the very beginning. You’ll be able to understand exactly what someone’s role is, which will allow you to better understand the organization as a whole. The office won’t be full of nameless faces, but rather people with whom you can connect and share stories. These relationships will prove to be invaluable, especially after your internship ends.

This is some advice that has gotten me through four different internships, and as I embark on my fifth I still believe it’s useful. As summer internships approach, I hope you also find it beneficial. If anything, always remember to show interest and enthusiasm. Asking questions and finding ways to make the lives of your coworkers easier are the best ways to make a lasting impression.  

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Janelle Grace.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spring Cleaning-Time To Clean Up Your Professional Life

With the snow melting and the sun making campus warm, it’s about that time for spring cleaning!  You can participate in spring cleaning in all aspects of your life, including public relations!  Below are some tips to keep your professional tidy:

Clean up your resume: The more experiences you get and the more activities you participate in, the more information gets added to make your resume longer.  Every so often you have to go through your resume to edit descriptions and delete less important information. It’s best to keep your resume as simple as possible to make it easy to read and get a good idea about you quickly.

Clean out your inbox: Your inbox can get super crazy this time of the year.  You’re in the middle of the semester will all of your classes and you’re probably receive emails from your current internship while you’re looking for another internship for the summer.  There is so much going on and you receive so many emails daily.  One way to de-clutter your inbox is to start by going through all the emails you received from past professors.  All those emails are just taking up space in your inbox and making you stressed out.

Clean up your social media:  Being college students, sometimes you may post a picture on Instagram, a tweet on Twitter, or a post on Facebook that is less than professional.  Cleaning your social channels is a good thing to do often so you don’t have to go through a whole bunch of tweets and posts.  Your social media accounts are a reflection of you and future employers will take a look at your social media.  It’s best to keep it clean and check it often just in case to ensure it emulates you properly.  

Clean up your connections:  It’s good to keep in contact with previous internship supervisors and other connections you may have from networking events.  Keep in contact with people you know so they what you are doing and know your future plans.  By doing this, they will be able to keep you in mind for jobs that may come across their desk.  This can help you out in the future and also could connect you to other people they may know.

Spring cleaning can be a very liberating feeling and make your life a whole lot less stressful.  Are you ready for spring cleaning?  

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Kristen Hallahan.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Getting Ready for PRSSA’s TU Invitational

It’s that time of year again! Temple PRSSA is hosting their second annual TU Invitational next Saturday, March 21 in the Howard Gittis Student Center.  The invitational welcomes chapter members and young professionals to learn, discuss and network with professionals in the communications industry at a one-day conference. This year’s theme is Broad Street: Your Road to Professional Development.

Last year's TU Invitational program

The invitational is over a week away, but there’s still plenty you can do in the meantime to prepare. Here are just a few things you should check off your pre-invitational to-do list:
  • Order your business cards. If you put your order in soon, you’ll likely receive your custom business cards in time for the invitational. Although you’re not a professional (yet!), business cards are still a vital networking tool. You should include information like your name, phone number, email address and social media links such as LinkedIn and Twitter if they’re professional and appropriate. Don’t forget to add a special element to make them stand out from the crowd like a personal logo.
  • Do your research. Before the invitational, be sure to look up details on each of the speakers and keynote. Knowing background information like alma mater, previous position and current position will help you decide if they are a PR pro you would like to network with at the event.
  • Prepare your elevator pitch. If you decide to introduce yourself to speakers with the intention of later applying for an internship or job, it’s best to be prepared with an elevator pitch. The speaker will likely be meeting many other students so you need to make a quick impression. Don’t forget to hand them your business card too.
  • Reserve your spot! Be sure to purchase your ticket if you haven’t already. Early bird prices expire tomorrow, so the sooner your get your ticket, the better. You can get all the details and register here.
What are your best recommendations for members preparing for TU Invitational?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Grad School: When Should You Take the Next Step?

I always thought that I would come out of my undergraduate years in college and immediately enter the professional world. As a communications major, it never crossed my mind to consider graduate school.

Even when I started my undergraduate career, the only thought I had about in regards to graduate school was the possibility of being paid by an employer to get a higher degree later in my professional career. I had heard that some companies were willing to help their employees advance their careers through further education, but again, I was mainly focused on graduating with a four-year degree first!

This is a common mindset among communication majors. When asked about graduate school, oftentimes, individuals do not see a need to jump into a further degree in our field right away.
However, as the job market becomes increasingly competitive, it may be time for students to change their thinking.

Universities are beginning to see the change in job market as well, and many schools are starting to offer accelerated programs for students to earn their master’s degree is less time or even during and after their undergraduate careers.

The positive side to starting an upper level degree as soon as possible is that students still have the academic momentum from their undergraduate work to put towards this new opportunity. Oftentimes, waiting until you have been out of college for a while can make it harder for you to get back into the rigorous environment of continuing education.

Also, you will never know where your life will go in a few years. It can be difficult to return to college once you have a family and other commitments. By starting a master’s degree earlier rather than later, you will be able to plan ahead and know your limits better than trying to predict things well in advance. Of course, nothing is set in stone, but it is much better to plan ahead for the next few years than for many years in the future.

What are your thoughts on starting graduate school sooner rather than later? Tell us in the comments below!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tips For Young Professionals Starting A New Job

You nailed the job interview, and now the hiring manager wants to know when you can start, and whether you're planning to take some time off between leaving your current gig and starting the new one. You may be tempted to take a week off just to put your feet up, or start as soon as possible to avoid any gaps in your income, but here's how to make the right decision and determine whether you're mentally or emotionally ready to start a new job right away. 

(Source: Google)

 Can You Afford a Break?

The first question to ask yourself when considering your new job's start date is how long you can afford to be out of a job. In some cases, your new employer may want you on the job as soon as possible, and if you can't afford to take time off in between jobs, even for a few days or a long weekend, then the decision is already made for you. If you can afford a few days away from work, have your own emergency fund, or just need some time to recharge, you may want to consider a couple of days in between jobs to help you get in the right mindset to start a new gig. Here are some basics you should consider:
-Do you need time to recharge?
-Can you survive missing a paycheck?
-When does your new employer want you to start?
-Do you have questions for your new boss that you want answered before you get there?

Are You In The Right Frame of Mind for A New Job?

Stop and take stock of your mental, emotional, and physical health. How has your diet been? Have you been exercising regularly, and getting enough rest? They may seem personal, but all of them have an impact on your professional performance, and if you those personal habits aren't where you want them to be, you won't find a better opportunity to take the time to correct them than the time in-between jobs.

How Stressed Out Will This New Job Make You?

Even if your internships didn't stress you out, your new job may be the biggest professional challenge you've faced. If you know you're about to walk into one of the most hectic, busy, and possibly stressful positions you've ever had, you may want to take a little time before you walk in the door for the first time to get yourself psyched up for it.

Do You Need To Brush Up On Your Skills?

If you think your new job will challenge you in ways you've never been challenged before, or you know from your interviews that your new job will require you to use some skills and abilities you haven't used in a while, it may be an absolute must to take a few days off between jobs to brush up. If you take some time to get your skills and tools sharpened, it will help you feel more confident in yourself, when entering the new workplace. 

Do You Need to Make Any Changes to Your Wardrobe, Workspace, or Buy New Equipment?

You have a new job, but do you need to buy new clothes? Perhaps you'll be working from home and your desk just isn't set up for long hours of work. Maybe you need to buy some new equipment, like a new laptop or monitor for your home office, a new laptop bag for work, some new notebooks, or just desk organization tools to help you get settled at the new job. The last thing you'll want to worry about when you start a new job is whether or not the Staples will be open on your way home from a new office on a drive you're not familiar with. Make sure you talk with your future boss about what your company's equipment policies are, what they will provide you with, the dress code, and then go shopping for the rest. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Nicole Beck. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Real Life Olivia Pope's Newest High-Profile Clients

Most aspiring Public Relations specialists can’t help but look up to ABC’s Scandal’s main character, Olivia Pope, who plays the ultimate crisis management expert who represents everyone from politicians to celebrities.  But, what most people don’t know is that Olivia Pope is actually based off a real woman: Judy Smith. Judy Smith was a former Bush administration press aid turned crisis management expert, just like Olivia Pope. Also, just like Olivia Pope, Judy Smith is making headlines.
(Source: Google)
In December, Sony Pictures Entertainment was attacked when computer systems were hacked exposing extensive private data including the social security numbers of thousands of employees. As if that wasn’t enough, hackers also revealed racist and inappropriate emails by Amy Pascal, Sony Picture’s film chief. Amy Pascal and Sony Pictures are definitely having a tough time but their luck might be turning around. Judy Smith has been hired to aid Amy Pascal and Sony’s internal public relations department. This is obviously a huge scandal for Pascal and Sony and definitely a testament to the success of Judy Smith. However, Sony is not Smith’s only new client.

Judy Smith was also recently hired to represent and guide Girls’ actress and creator Lena Dunham. Dunham has consistently been making headlines since the premier of her show in 2012. Dunham is extremely outspoken on social media and recently publish a memoir entitled, Not That Kind of Girl. Dunham’s frankness on social media and candid memoir have definitely caused a stir and even caused her some major bad publicity, which led Dunham to hire Judy Smith to give her counsel. Dunham is hoping to take a more active roll in her press coverage and even stated plans to delete her twitter account.

Obviously Judy Smith is extremely well known and capable of handling diverse clients. Plus, her newest high-profile clients are a testament to her success and capabilities. Do you think Smith is powerful enough to change the public perception of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Lena Dunham?  

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Emily Charles.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

It's A Good Thing To Be Called A "Brand Influence"

Trends in our culture are changing at rapid speed and it took me until three weeks ago to take a step back and think, “Who influences these trends?” This semester I am taking a Personal Branding course through the Advertising department in the School of Media and Communication. This course has opened my eyes to the other side of an individual’s or company’s brand; where the brand influence came from. In terms of effecting brands, an influencer is someone who thinks and expresses himself or herself differently. Jay Z to TED Talks are both examples of a “brand influence.” These influencers are who helps create and end trends, as well as assist others in creating their own.

As public relations professionals it is important to identify your personal brand and who influences you. Public relations is a field where you have to be up to date on the latest cultural trends and be confident in what makes you stand out from other practitioners. An individual’s personal brand is what can separate someone from the rest. In class, a personal brand was described as a unique promise of value. Having a stable personal brand with a core group of influencers, can not only be beneficial to one’s personal life, but can positively reflect in their career.

Embracing social media is something public relations professionals must do. Following different blog sites and social media platforms are a great way to start paying attention to brand influencers. Blogs are a way to keep up, city to city, on what the next big trend might be and how it evolved. This will expose you to new ideas and a creative world that can translate through your professional development.

Personal branding in the past has always been presented to me in strictly a professional light. I think it is important to view a brand in a deeper way and analyze how it evolved over time and who influenced it. The video below is a short film about “brand influence.” I encourage you to watch it and get a glimpse of recent influencers and their impact on society. 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Gabrielle Lacherza.