Saturday, April 19, 2014

Measuring the Success of a PR Campaign


It is that time of year again for PRowl Public Relations when we begin working on evaluating the work we have done for our clients. Evaluating a PR campaign is an important final step and can provide valuable information for both the client and PR professional. With today’s technology and increasing social media platforms, there is also an increasing need to know what companies are doing right and where they can improve. Companies are going to rely on their PR professionals to give them this information.


Even though this step is a vital part of a campaign, it is often forgotten or skipped over. If this part of the campaign is missed, how can you tell if the hard work you did was a success or not? Without this evaluation, you would not improve your work moving forward. Below is alist that highlights what I think are some of the most important outcomes an evaluation can provide:


Learn your strengths: Through a final evaluation, you can assess the success of your team’s strengths based off of what areas the data shows that you did well.

 

Determine what was effectiveWhether it is an event, a written analysis or a rebranding of a company, it is important to know if what you did accomplished the goals and objectives that you had laid out originally.

 

Hard numbers for future referenceA campaign evaluation utilizes many hard facts and statistics to show what was accomplished for the duration of the campaign. For instance, was there a percentage increase in the number of Facebook “likes” or how many people actually attended an event in comparison to the number that was invited?

 

Suggestions for improvement/future workIf you do not stop and asses the success of a campaign, you will never learn how to improve and will just continue to implement the same plans over and over. An evaluation can help you determine which areas need improvement and help you grow as a companyand as a professional.

 

Learn from your mistakes: Along with the good things that an evaluation will tell you, there are also areas where you went wrong. You can then take this information and learn from it moving forward.

Do you think there are any other positive outcomes of evaluating a PR campaign? Share your experiences in the comments section below!


This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Kaitlyn Mashack.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A New Twitter Is Coming!

This Tuesday, Twitter will be rolling out a new design for profile pages. If you are a Twitter addict like me, you may agree that the additions seem to be quite useful. Among the new features are the following:



Best Tweets: Tweets that have received more engagement will appear slightly larger, so your best content is easy to find.

Pinned Tweet: Pin one of your tweets to the top of your page, so it’s easy for your followers to see what you’re all about. Most of your followers won’t visit your personal page often, but when they do it’s nice to be able to control what they see first. Maybe that means pinning your top story at the time if you’re a newspaper, or pinning a feature you’re particularly proud of if you’re an individual journalist. It’s a new way to make sure visitors to your page see something useful right away. 

Filtered Tweets: Now you can choose which timeline to view when checking out other profiles. Select from these options: tweets, tweets with photos/videos, or tweets and replies.

How will you use the new Twitter features? We want to know! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How to Handle Rejection

I'm not talking about getting turned down for a date--you'll have to go to another blog for advice on that one. I'm talking about job rejection. Whether you're about to graduate and applying for your first full-time position, you're an eager student applying for summer internships, or you're just looking to make a career change, there's a chance you could be facing some rejection sometime soon.

Getting a rejection letter or email for a job that you carefully crafted a cover letter and tailored your resume to can be pretty discouraging, but I prefer to think on the bright side of things and I've come up with some ways to handle rejection and turn it into something positive.

1. Learn from it
Maybe you can pin-point what you said (or didn't say) that caused your job-quest to end in rejection, or maybe you're not quite sure. Go back through the job description and look at the skills and think of ones you might not have highlighted enough or ones you could improve on. Think back to the interview process and consider what you might have done better or changed. Use this opportunity to reflect and improve.

2. Understand it
In a perfect world, every employer would call the people they reject and tell them exactly why they aren't getting hired. Unfortunately, that's usually not the case and it's up to you to figure it out. Try and think about the office atmosphere, the type of work they do, and the way they do it. You might have had all the qualifications, but not have been the right fit for that company. If they didn't think you were a right fit for them, they probably weren't a right fit for you anyway.

3. Use it to your advantage
In interviews you might get asked "what's your biggest failure?" or "talk about a time you didn't succeed and how you handled it". Job rejection is a perfect scenario to use in an answer to this question. You will learn from it and it will help you along the way, whether you realize it now or not, and employers will be impressed with how you handled it and all the ways you used it to become a better PR pro.

4. Chin up, soldier
Remember, there are hundreds of opportunities out there for you. Don't let one rejection get you down or stand in your way of doing the best you can. Keep looking for jobs and internships and you'll find the right one, even if it's somewhere you might not expect.

How have you handled job rejection? We want to hear from you.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What Game of Thrones Can Teach Us About Transparency

Warning: If you plan to watch the HBO show Game of Thrones, this does contain spoilers. 


In the very first episode of HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones, we learn that the queen of Westeros, Cersei Lannister, has been involved in an incestuous relationship with her brother Jaime since before she was married to the king, Robert Baratheon. Unbeknownst to everyone but Cersei and Jaime, Cersei and Robert’s children are actually Jaime’s children, with no relation to King Robert at all, making the 3 kids 100% Lannister, and in no way related to the throne of Westeros. King Robert Baratheon dies under suspicious circumstances only a few episodes later, making Cersei’s oldest child, Joffrey, the new king. However, Robert Baratheon’s friend and advisor Ned Stark soon learns the truth about Cersei’s children, that they are not Baratheons and therefore not eligible for the throne.


       Right here is the main thing about public relations that Game of Thrones can teach us: to tell the truth and not try to cover up dirty secrets, because they’re going to come to light anyway. Ned Stark confronts Cersei about her children’s illegitimacy in private, and she uses her brother to have him imprisoned, and then her son has him beheaded. However, despite Cersei’s rather extreme reaction and attempted cover-up, Ned Start had already sent letters containing the truth to many different lords and ladies across the world.


Take any class about public relations, or just ask most people, and you’ll realize that public relations practitioners, and the industry as a whole, are often perceived as masters of some dark art of manipulation, wherein the truth is never what you think it is. While this may have been somewhat true in the days of PT Barnum, nowadays, regardless of what you may want, the truth has to be clear and visible to all, no matter how dirty it is. In this modern age of technology, it’s nigh impossible to sweep something under the rug forever, and being caught trying to hide something will always make the situation worse. It’s always better to get out ahead of an ugly truth, by being upfront with it as soon as it is relevant.


       Spend 5 minutes with Game of Thronesand you’ll realizethat one hallmark of the show is its intricate webs of internecine politics and relationships. Despite its complexity, Game of Thrones can teach us many practical, real life skills, especially about public relations.


       If you’re a fan of the show, what are some PR skills that you’ve seen in Game of Thrones? We’d love to hear from you!


This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Faiz Mandviwalla.

 



Saturday, April 12, 2014

Find Your Balance

Wake-up. Internship. Class. Meeting. Class. Work. Night class. Homework. Sleep. Repeat.

Does this sound familiar? This seems to be the normal schedule for many public relations majors. We are the type-A, really busy students that somehow find time to breathe. It is great because we are ambitious and driven, but sometimes we need a break from all the stress and multitasking. After all, it will not get easier once we graduate.

To help us all distress a little, I have complied a list of things to help step away from work and class to get some “me time.”

1.      Turn off all devices (or at least put them on airplane mode)
You read that right- turn off your phone and shut down your laptop or tablet. In our busy world, we are constantly checking social media or emails. It is really liberating to sometimes get away from it all; you don’t have to be connected 24/7. Stepping away from your phone allows you to do other things like watch a television show in peace or grab lunch with a friend without seeing your phone light up every three minutes.

2.      Go to the gym
I absolutely love going to the gym as much as possible. It could be that the endorphins released during exercise make me happy (and that I love wearing my gym clothes) but this is one of my favorite ways to distress. I will sometimes put my phone on airplane mode, so I can focus on my work out. Luckily at Temple, we have three different gyms available, so I can always find an open treadmill to burn some calories and take my mind off of work.

3.      Have an outlet
Find a hobby! I love photography and sometimes will sit on my laptop just to edit pictures from events and add fun filters. Some people love to run because they can blast their favorite songs and get some fresh air while clearing their mind. Whatever your outlet is, find and embrace it. At the end of a crazy week, it’ll help you find your sanity again and relax a bit.

In the end, the most important thing is to have a balance. Yes work is important, but so is having a life outside of public relations. Take the time to do some of these things because that media pitch and press release can wait until Monday morning when you get back into the office.

Do you have any tips on how to relax after a long week? Share below!

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Staff Member Shaun Luberski.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Say 'Yes' to the... First Job Offer?

As graduation looms, the class of 2014, along with myself, have been anxiously awaiting that "first job" offer. When that offer letter finally arrives, however, the stress and anxiety sets in. You ask yourself, "Is this the right decision?" Or, "Will I be happy at this company?" A whole series of questions and emotions will overcome you as you set out to make this life-changing decision. 
In a recent article, Heather Huhman, a Gen Y Career Expert, outlined some tips for considering your first job offer. If you've recently received a job offer or are anticipating one, these are great things to keep in mind:
1. Determine whether the job fulfills your immediate needs.
Before accepting any offer, make sure it fulfills your immediate needs. To determine whether the position is a good fit, ask yourself questions such as "Why should I accept this job offer?" or "Does the job meet my career goals?"
To help your decision, make a list of your personal and professional needs. Outline everything you desire out of your first job -- from the type of lifestyle to specific benefits/perks to your goals, and everything in between. 
2. Find out as much as you can about your potential boss.
A huge determinant of whether you’ll like your first job depends on your boss. This is why it's a good idea to learn about your potential boss before accepting the job offer.
Make a list of qualities you look for in a boss. These can be characteristics ranging from management styles to personal values. Do I prefer a supervisor who values flexibility? Do I want to avoid bosses who micromanage? Asking yourself these types of questions can get you thinking about the type of person for whom you want to work.
After creating a list of what you're looking for in a boss, research what the boss at this potential position is like. If the qualities aren't lining up (especially the most important ones), this could be a red flag.
3. Consider the big picture.
What do you want to accomplish in the upcoming year? Where do you see yourself five years down the road? As you look at the big picture and what you want to accomplish, determine if this position will help you get there.
For example, if you picture yourself moving up in a company, you'll want to make sure the company provides opportunities for growth -- and approximately how long it should take you to reach each stage.
4. Make sure every detail is crystal clear.
As you review your job offer, make sure every detail is clearly outlined in writing. (An offer isn't an offer unless it's in writing.) Ensure you are promised everything the employer told you during the interview. If something is unclear to you, ask the employer for clarification.
The job offer should clearly outline details regarding your schedule, compensation, and various benefits, including vacation and healthcare plans. You should also look out for extras such as contracts or buy outs. Some employers want to lock in their new hires for a specific period of time. If that's something you're not interested in, definitely reconsider the offer.
5. Don’t make your decision on the spot.
Although you deserve some time to think, most employers give candidates 24-48 hours to make a decision. In other words, you should be prepared to make a decision fairly quickly or risk losing the offer altogether.
If you feel like you're struggling with your decision, ask the employer if they can give you an extra day or two to decide. This would give you more time to weigh your options and talk to a friend or mentor to help you make an informed decision.
As you continue to think about your first job offer, make sure you're aware of your needs, as well as any warning signs. Every offer should be in writing and clearly explain the agreement. Accepting your first job is a huge milestone, and you want to make sure you make the best decision for your career.
What tips do you have for accepting your first job offer?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

8 Terms to NEVER Use in a Press Release

'We're thrilled to announce our new product launch," said Joe Smith of XYZ Inc. "We are proud of all the hard work our team put in and are excited to watch the success unfold."

How many times have you read a quote like that from a bigwig at a company or the mayor of the city? Chances are, it's a lot. While the readers might not know that many quotes in a story are written by PR professionals, the journalists definitely do and when they read quotes like the above that are dripping with overzealous emotion and fake positive attitude, they're likely to roll their eyes and move on to the next headline in their inbox.

To give your story (and your client) the best chance of landing some news coverage, skipping those overused words and phrases that make journalists cringe is crucial.  PR Daily recommends omitting the following words and phrases from your press releases:

1. Pleased/proud/thrilled/excited to announce

2. When asked for his/her input

3. Best-in-class/Best-of-breed

4. Wealth of experience

5. For the first time ever

6. This event boasts an impressive lineup

7. Just in time for

8. Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Can you think of anymore overused words of phrases PR pros should avoid? We want to hear from you!