Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fall Break: The Perfect Time To Catch Up

Temple University has finally joined the Fall Break bandwagon and added five extra days to the Thanksgiving holiday students look forward to every year. For most, those extra days mean lazy days in bed, scouring the refrigerator for as many home cooked meals as we can eat and Netflix. A lot of Netflix. However, without any classes, internships or other commitments to attend to, everyone should take a few hours to do a little bit of housekeeping on the professional aspect of your life.

Update your LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the social media site that often gets overlooked after we have exhausted through our five other websites. Update your LinkedIn profile, add your most recent internships and work experience, and connect with people you met during the semester.  Staying on top of your LinkedIn can help you create new connections and networks.

 Research Internship or Job Opportunities
Fall Break is a great time to begin looking for spring internships, or, for seniors, jobs for post graduation. Applying for work can be time consuming, so leave the Netflix on in the background and start researching potential opportunities. Making a list and applying to a few per day is a great way to space out the applications without overwhelming yourself.

 Update your Resume
Take the time to revise your resume. Add new experiences, take out old ones that don’t relate to your goals, and proofread for mistakes. Taking a fresh look at your resume after some time can help make it sound and look better.

Reach out to professionals in the field who interest you and set up a coffee date. Sitting down with someone for even a half hour can give a lot of insight about the PR world. Many times, a meeting can lead to internships and other job opportunities.

All these helpful tips will only take a few hours to do and can be beneficial a long way from now. So grab some warm apple cider and start catching up!  

This guest blog was written by PRowl staff member Hiya Ray.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Why Mentorship Matters

Just last week, I announced the mentorship matches for fall 2014, a semester in which we saw an increase in both mentor and mentee applications. Each year, the program seems to expand as more members become aware of the program and the benefits of participating in mentorship. Even at PRSSA National Conference a few weeks ago, PR pros continually mentioned the importance of mentorship and how that played a part in their professional success. So as the PRSSA mentorship matches begin to meet and develop their relationships, I wanted to highlight the top reasons why mentorship matters.

  • Mentee benefits. Mentees receive valuable knowledge from those who have first-hand experience. They also find a source of guidance and support in their mentor. Mentees can rely on their mentors to cheer them on when they succeed and help them up when they fail.
  • Mentor benefits. The relationship is mutually beneficial, giving mentors the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills. They are also able to develop a professional and/or personal relationship with their mentees, expanding their networking and hopefully creating a friendship in the process. And of course, there’s that feeling of gratification mentors knowing they were instrumental in helping another succeed.
  • Success. A 2006 study done by market research firm Gartner showed that in a company, mentees were promoted five times more frequently than those who did not have a mentor. This is a perfect example of the great success that comes from participating in a mentorship program.

Mentorship is a clear win-win for everyone involved. It benefits both the mentors and the mentees but also strengthens the organization. PRSSA has many members who, thanks to the mentorship program, have passed along advice, encouraged involvement and worked to make the chapter the best it can be.

Do you have a mentor who has helped you succeed? We want to hear your story! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#Coffeegraphy: When Coffee Calls Your Name

PR professionals have been listed as the largest group of coffee consumers, taking the #2 spot in a ranking of 15 professions. So, there may be a bit of bias behind the appreciation for Nescafe Dolce Gusto and their newest brand campaign!

To launch two new coffee machines, Oblo and Jovia, Nescafe Dolce Gusto developed an interactive and engaging campaign to help consumer's find themselves in the product, literally. The social media campaign ran on the brand' Facebook page for a week, and asked fans of the page to participate by describing themselves using only three words. Those three words were then taking to match the fan to the new machine, Oblo or Jovia, which best suited their personality. Once the fan was matched, they were given the opportunity to have their name written out in coffee by a professional calligrapher. Nescafe Dolce Gusto Expresso Intenso served as ink to bring this modern coffee art to work.

This campaign works well for a few reasons, one being that it allows the consumer to connect closely and intimately with the brand. Public relations professionals take time and careful consideration when trying to position brands and products and establish a connection with their audience. Nescafe has managed to force the consumer to see themselves in their brand in the most literal sense.

Most importantly, #coffeegraphy gives consumers something to take away, and help them remember the brand. Coffee shops and coffee makers are ubiquitous, with a Starbucks on almost every corner of every major city. The coffee industry is not at loss for competition between brands. What sets those brands apart? Experience. #Coffeegraphy provides a consumer experience that other brands haven't touched yet.

What do you think of the #coffeegraphy campaign? Does it peak your interest in the brand and products? Share with us in the comments!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Get Inspired by a Story

Storytelling is a part of your everyday life - more than you realize. Talking to friends, calling your parents, answering a question in an interview, we all share stories as a form of communication and reflection. First Person Arts is Philadelphia's premiere storytelling non-profit, focused on using documentary and memoir art to reflect, learn, and in some cases, heal. Fortunately, I was able to interview Becca Jennings, FPA's Marketing & Communications Coordinator, and find out the details on First Person Arts, marketing, and being a young professional. Becca is enthusiastic about her career, takes pride in her work, and has some amazing insights on self-development!
(Source:Visit Philadelphia)
Alyssa: Tell us about First Person Arts!
Becca: First Person Arts is a nonprofit arts organization committed to the power of personal storytelling. We believe that everyone has a story to tell, and that by sharing our stories, we build connections with each other and the world. 

The organization produces at least 65 live events each year including twice-monthly storytelling competitions called StorySlams, memoir and storytelling classes and workshops, applied storytelling programs, and the Annual First Person Arts Festival. 

Beyond the live events, we present storytelling content online via broadcasts, which include the weekly First Person Arts Podcast and the First Person Arts YouTube Channel.

Alyssa: As Marketing & Communications Coordinator, what are some of the
projects you've worked on over the last year?
Becca: I manage the creation of all print collateral, press, online presence, and ad sales/ placement for the organization throughout the year. 

But more specifically:
-Develop organizational Marketing Plans
-Press outreach
-Write copy for all organizational promotional materials including the FPA Festival brochure, StorySlam cards, flyers, and postcards
-Write copy and upload weekly podcasts
-Manage Marketing Intern, Executive Podcast Producer, and AV Intern
-Sell ads for FPA Festival brochure
-Identify and cultivate opportunities for promo partners/group sales
-In house graphic designer
-Liaison with out of house ad agency
-Manage, build, and create the schedule for all eblast communications
-Oversee and report out on web and live audience data collection
-Manage promotional distribution
-Manage community outreach to promote fall Festival
-Develop and execute advertising plans
-Social media manager
-Develop marketing budgets
-Onstage host at live events
-And much more!

Alyssa: What are some skills you look for in an intern or even Marketing co-worker?
Becca: Excellent writing skills, ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously in a fast-paced deadline driven environment. The ability to plan is key--we're a small team of three people so forward thinking is a strong and valuable skill!

Alyssa: What advice can you give students looking to work in the arts & culture industry? How about the non-profit industry?
Becca: Do what you believe in and you will find a way to make it work for you. If you dream of a 6-figure salary, arts and culture might not be the direction for you. However, if you're inspired by the mission of the organization, and care more about that, you will have a gratifying job experience. Work extra hard, be very humble and gracious in the beginning, go above and beyond, and your career path will emerge. 

I think a lot of young people starting out are simply "looking for" their career paths. The truth is that their career path doesn't exist for them yet; so how can they "see" it? You have to walk it into existence--place one foot in front of the other-- and as you go along, your path will appear. Don't hang back waiting for your path to reveal itself to you. You reveal it for yourself by engaging with your passions and goals each day--by pushing past your comfort zone and testing your endurance--by meeting new people and listening to their stories. 

And if it doesn't happen for you right away, keep applying yourself. Fully discovering one's own career path is a lifelong journey.

Alyssa: What's your favorite part about working at First Person Arts?
Becca: I listen to stories for a living. That's pretty rad.

Dream big - chase after what makes you happy and find inspiration in your work. Interested in hearing some of these inspirational stories? The 13th First Person Arts Festival is coming up this Nov. 4 -15 and features some fantastic workshops, seminars, and stories. For more information on upcoming events, visit

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's Been a Week: How to Stay in Touch

It's been 1 whole week since the PRSSA National Conference, and it already seems like a lifetime ago. I wore what I now think of as my 'conference suit' today to work because it made me feel like I was getting dressed for another session or workshop. But, while conference may alternatively seem like a long time ago and very far into the future (over a year from now, in Atlanta!) there are some things you can, and should, do to stay in touch with the people you met at the conference. And for those that didn't attend conference, these tips are a good way to stay in touch with anyone you meet that you won't normally see.

For better or worse, technology, and specifically the Internet, rules our world, especially for public relations and its practitioners. The days of handwritten letters as a means of correspondence are over, now getting an actual letter is something special and rare. While at conference, after meeting with people I always make sure to give and get a business card, and I always tried to follow them on Twitter before we parted ways. Not all business cards are made the same way, so don't count on them to have all of the person's relevant information. Twitter becomes very popular while at conference, the hashtag #PRSSANC was trending for awhile because of all the users. Once you have that mutual Twitter follow with someone, you are good to go meet other people; just make sure to hold on to that business card!

Around right now is the perfect time to invite people to connect on LinkedIn; it's been a week so the memory of conference is fading. Sending out and getting LinkedIn invitations right now serves to jolt those conference memories back into action, and will get people looking at your profile. This is especially good for connecting with professionals that you met at conference!

Lastly, and this depends on how close a relationship you want to maintain, send the person an email a week or two after conference. Talk about it was great to meet them, ask a question or two about what's going on in their life, and if it's someone you really want to learn more about, ask to schedule a call or meeting. I shouldn't be anymore, but I'm still surprised and inspired by how helpful every PR pro I've met is willing to; they're always willing to take the time to talk to you and give you tips and advice to further your own career.

Have any questions or comments on the best practices to stay in touch with people? Comment below, we'd love to hear from you.

This post was authored by Faiz Mandviwalla, a junior at Temple University and the Director of Finance for PRowl Public Relations. Follow him on twitter @faizmand

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What To Do When You're Infected

There is this little disease we all have heard of throughout our years in school.  It hits hard like your first cold of the winter season, and stays with you as long as those annoying sniffles last. Symptoms may include: fatigue, lack of interest, trouble concentrating, unable to read, write, type, raise hand and/or even own a flash card.  This dangerous infection usually strikes nation wide, primarily targeting students in their last year of college during their spring semesters. 

What is attacking these students you may ask?  Well, it is the ever infectious, Senioritis. Unfortunately, there is no known medical treatment; however, as a senior myself, I have come up with a list of how to fight the symptoms when Senioritis infects you and your last months of college.

  • C’s get degrees, but F’s get you another semester in college.  Although senioritis takes over your motivation, you cannot let your grades slip.  The entire reason why you have made it to senior year was the motivation to graduate.  So, whenever you get that all too familiar feeling to watch an entire T.V. series on Netflix instead of writing your paper, remember you are not graduated yet!

  • Manage your time.  YOLO is a great expression to use during your last year of college.  Trust me, I could not count the amount of times I have made a decision that followed with the statement, “Why not? It’s my senior year…” However, you made it far enough in college that you know how to budget your time to get all of your school work done, and still have a handful of senior year YOLO moments. 

  • Appreciate the rest of your time as a student.  Pat yourself on the back.  Every all nighter pulled, paper written, book read is an accomplishment that got you to your senior year.  Realize that these years do end and the real world is a head of you.  So when your infected senioritis brain is telling you to skip class, remember this will be some of the last times you get to be a student and not an employee.  Go to class and embrace every second of student life while it lasts.

Okay, so I know fighting off Senioritis sounds like an impossible task, but the symptoms are in fact combatable.  By reminding yourself how important it is to not give in to laziness, you can be cured in no time.  Graduation is the finish line of a college career.  So, my fellow seniors, lets finish strong! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Brittany Barish.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

PRSSANC: Where Phone Batteries Go To Die

This past weekend, 10 other Temple PRSSA and PRowl students and I had the honor of attending the PRSSA National Conference in Washington, D.C. Each year, this nationally recognized professional development conference is held in a different city. Last year, it was right in Philadelphia, but this year we got to travel a few hours south to the nation’s capital. After four days of packed sessions where we learned about various types and aspects of public relations, endless live-tweeting and some sightseeing of national monuments, I am finally able to reflect and absorb what I learned from several professionals sessions I attended.  

 Agency experience is invaluable
One common piece of advice from many guest speakers was to get agency experience. They stressed the importance of gaining various skills like media relations, pitching, multi-tasking and social media development that all come from working at an agency. One speaker during the tourism and hospitality session, Sarah Lipman, a public relations manager for Hilton Worldwide, stressed how agency gives you the best options and skills that are transferrable to any other sections of public relations that you may go into later like corporate. It is also well-known that it is good to try an agency internship in college because it’ll help determine if the fast paced agency experience is for you or not instead of taking a job at an agency and not liking it.

Stay in contact with Linkedin
Today, with so many different ways to contact people via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email and telephone, it can be hard to actually get through to that people in your industry you want to reach out to. At conference, I learned that Linkedin is essential to keep in contact. One speaker, Anthony LaFauce, VP of Digital Communications Group at Porter Novelli, stressed how Linkedin is the best way to network and contact professionals in your desired field just to ask them questions and meet up if you’re in their area. He talked about how networking can be causal like going to happy hours but that following up with a personalized Linkedin request is the best way to maintain that connection. Before sending out all your new invites, make sure your Linkedin is updated with all your past and current positions and includes skills you possess like Google analytics, SEO, and Vocus or Cision.

Better to be last and right
In the 24/7 world of public relations, it is easy to want to push out content and be the first to break news for a client. The reality is that hurriedness often ends up to incorrect information getting out and incomplete stories. Our field is built on trust and transparency as professionals stressed all weekend to us. Speakers like Jason Mollica, Temple alum and president of JRMComm, spoke about how important it is to have and keep trust from both your clients, publics and the media. He admitted that he would rather be last and right then first and wrong. Always take your time to double check you work whether it is an email or press release or tweet.

The conference was a wonderful opportunity to immerse myself in public relations and refocus my short and long term goals. It was great meeting other students from around the country and seeing what steps they have taken professionally to put themselves ahead and continually grow. Next year the conference will be held in Atlanta, GA, so be sure to start saving now to travel to the south because learning about public relations never ends.

Do you have any tips you received from a fellow student or professional that resonated with you? Comment below! 

This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Shaun Luberski.  You can follow Shaun on Twitter at @sluberski94.