Wednesday, April 30, 2008
-While you are working with your client, keep referring back to the evaluation section of your PR plan. As one thing finishes, write something down right away to remind you how you will evaluate it instead of scrambling at the end.
-Make sure the evaluation follows your PR plan. Answer the evaluation in the same order that it is on the plan.
-Refer back to your plan so you know what you are evaluating.
-Include both positives and negatives (of the firm and the client).
-At the end, be sure to mention how things could have been done differently. If you didn't meet your goal, explain why and how it could have been done differently.
-Give suggestions for future work that is similar to the work you have just done. This way you know what to stray away from and what to try for next time.
First, be sure to take all of your documents. It's so easy to forget to do this! Just grab a flash drive and move all of your folders and documents from your desktop to your drive. This will be more valuable than you know- you'll have access to countless writing samples for your portfolio and templates for your work in the future.
Second, leave behind your gratitude for the people you worked closely with. This should include your boss and any superiors, but also anyone you worked closely with during your time at a job. Leaving on a good note is important because it opens the door for future networking opportunities when you or your colleague has a professional need.
Third, make sure you have a letter of recommendation from your supervisor. You never know when a letter of recommendation will come in handy. Keep this somewhere safe for future interviews.
Fourth, take all of your personal belongings with you. No one wants to receive a phone call explaining that you left personal items or confidential documents behind. Make sure you leave your desk area tidy for the person who will be sitting there in the future.
Finally, take the good and the bad experiences with you and learn from them. Each job is unique and teaches us different lessons. Look critically at your experience with your employer and use it to progress and succeed in the future.
Monday, April 28, 2008
This weekend I read an amazing book titled, “The Last Lecture” by Professor Randy Pausch. You may have heard his story; he has been on Primetime and on Oprah in the past few weeks. Randy taught at
Randy was a computer science professor, specializing in virtual reality,but he also enjoyed giving lectures on working in groups and time management. Time management is important for all people in the working world, but especially for those in PR. To maintain a good reputation with our clients and coworkers, we must be reliable and manage our time. Randy gives some pointers on time management for life, but I think they can definitely apply to the world of PR as well.
Time must be explicitly managed, like money: Don’t invest your time on irrelevant details.
Delegate: It’s important to let others do work as well. Trust others to do important things.
Randy acknowledges that some of his tips are dead serious and others are tongue in cheek but he leaves us with one final thought: “Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think.”
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Board of Directors
Jaime Scofield, Firm Director
Crystal Wang, Assistant Firm Director
Melissa Marsili, Assistant Firm Director
Jessica Lawlor, Director of Public Relations
Reilly Fies, Director of Finance
Keith Flanagan, Creative Director
Jade Barnes, Secretary
Samantha Sultzer, Fundraising Coordinator
Kim Sherman, Website Designer
Andrew Bowman, Account Executive
Friday, April 25, 2008
1) Eye Contact: Maintain eye contact, it shows respect and genuine interest. Just try not to stare.
2) Posture: Stand up straight! Slouching or bad posture shows lack of self-confidence.
3) Arms: Your arms express openness, so keep them relaxed, at your side or behind your back. Don’t cross your arms in front of others unless you want to express a negative feeling.
4) Avoid distractions: Sometimes we do things subconsciously and we don’t even realize it. Try to avoid playing with your clothes, hair, jewelry or any thing else on your person. Also, if you’re taking notes at a meeting, don’t doodle or play with the pen or paper, as these are interpreted as you being bored or not paying attention.
5) Smile: Smiling is one of your greatest body language tools. Don’t smile constantly, but show you are approachable, friendly and happy to be there.
Body language is a serious thing to consider when meeting with someone or making a first impression. Be aware of yourself. Take into account what your body is expressing and try to practice these helpful tips often!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
-Interview: Always go with a basic black suit. This is your first impression for your interviewer and you want to make it the best impression as possible.
-Your First Day: You go the job, but that doesn't mean you can dress like a slob now. Many companies have a 90-day trial period with their new hires. Not only do you have to do well at your job, you must dress well too. As your time goes by at the company, you will become more familiar with the style of the office.
-Casual Friday: The term "casual Friday" is different at every office. Some places allow you to be completely dressed down, even to denim. However, on the other end, some offices might just allow open-toed shoes for women and no tie for men (but still wearing dress shirts). It all depends on the company. Be sure to ask before your first "casual Friday" experience.
-Shoes: This one goes for both men and women: splurge on the shoes. They're more comfortable and they will last for a long time. As you get them re-soled and re-heeled and keep them polished, they'll be cheaper in the long run.
-Bags/Briefcases: Same rules apply for men and women here also. Splurge on the bag too. Simple and black are the best choices that fit most every outfit. Also look for a leather envelope that you can take to meetings / interviews. This prevents you from having to dig through a messy bag and you can fit everything from resumes and writing samples to a few pens, all the while looking neat and polished.
-Suits: Until you've landed that corporate job and spend your money freely without having to worry about feeding yourself for the next three weeks, you can find an inexpensive suit. H&M is a great quality store without the high prices. Macy*s also has a lot of sales and coupons running through the papers every week.
-Wardrobe Building: Look for separates that you can mix-and-match with each other. This way you aren't spending a fortune on pants and shirts that only go with one thing. You will also have enough options so that it doesn't look like you're wearing the same thing every day.
-Tailoring: Make sure your pants are hemmed and your sleeves aren't too long. Be sure that your clothing fits well. This makes you look polished and not like a slob.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
People all over our state will be hitting the polls to choose their favorite candidate. We, as PR people, know that political campaigns are all about strategy and persuasion. What's the PR perspective?
Hillary and Barack have both had their share of PR moments. Hillary's crying incident and sniper-fire snafu. Barack's relationship with Jeremiah Wright and his comments about "bitter" Pennsylvanians. Egos have been bruised on both sides.
As much as we talk about truth in political campaigns, the candidates are still human. With so many appearances and speaking engagements, they're bound to slip up. Our job as PR people in the political sphere is to stop these things from happening- to push the strategic messages and teach candidates how to bridge when asked questions they aren't ready to answer.
As we enter into the final months of the 2008 election, keep your eyes open for the power of PR. Take note of things the candidates do well and the things that could use some help.
Feel free to comment about what you've seen from our candidates-- we want to know what you think about the election from a PR perspective!
Monday, April 21, 2008
The show is about a man named Duff who opened a custom cakes shop called Charm City Cakes in 2000. After getting a lot of exposure from his amazing cakes, the Food Network decided to create a reality show around the business, taping the everyday operations of the shop.
Duff and his crew have made some truly incredible cakes. Check out their website here.
On the episode I saw yesterday, Charm City Cakes created a cake for Southwest Airlines. They replicated an actual plane. Let's take a moment and think about this. Who gets the PR here? Well, both companies. Southwest got PR by deciding to use Charm City Cakes and from having their segment shown on the air. And...Charm City Cakes gets PR by showing the world that their cakes are good enough that a big time company like Southwest chose to use them.
In the past, the show has done cakes for the Radio City Hall Rockettes, the Baltimore Zoo, the Broadway premiere of Hairspray, and a cake of the Hogwarts Castle for the LA premiere of the fifth Harry Potter movie.
It's interesting to think who benefits from the exposure...well, in this case, both companies definitely do!
Friday, April 18, 2008
The following are various tips from Tina on the world of PR and how to pave your way in it:
How to build relationships with the media:
-Build your name and reputation by being TRUSTWORTHY!
-The media will respect you if you pitch stories accordingly.
-Make sure you know the publication you are pitching to and the journalist’s beat!
-By continuously pitching stories that are relevant, the media will begin to respect you and will start jumping for the phone when you call!
Tina’s special weapon (shhh!):
-Taking people out to lunch! She has learned that it is the best way to get to know someone and build a relationship.
Important attributes that Tina looks for:
-Don’t have entitlement issues (aka-you think you deserve the world upon graduation)
-Hardworking and driven
-Someone who makes things happen, and most importantly…
-Be fun to work with!!!
-Video will be the thing of the future (so make sure know it and know it well!).
-TV and internet will merge together (as it has already begun to).
-Agencies will change. Tina predicts that agencies will hire specialty workers that are relevant to the account at hand. These workers will change with the accounts (so basically, LEARN A SPECIALTY!).
To learn more about Tina and her agency, Breslow Partners, visit:
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Today’s entry may not directly correlate to Public Relations, but it is definitely prevalent and relative in concerns with general politics, and especially with the enthusiastic hype over the upcoming presidential primaries in Pennsylvania.
Just this morning, in my American Political Science class, we had the opportunity to hear from a special guest speaker, Mr. Neil Oxman. Oxman is a consultant at one of the nation’s leading political media consulting firms, The Campaign Group, Inc., based in Philadelphia. The firm has won more than 90% of its campaigns and he is also highly recognized as one of the nation’s top democratic political consultants. He has worked with an extraordinary list of candidates, including Pennsylvania’s present Governor Ed Rendell and Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael Nutter. Both campaigns were awarded by the American Association of Political Consultants and the firm was recognized for “best overall television campaign for any office in America in 2007” for Mayor Michael Nutter and as “one of the three best overall media campaigns for any political office in 2002” for Governor Ed Rendell.
The three most important things Oxman stressed during his lecture, regarding a successful candidate, were as follows:1.) Define Yourself
- You must define yourself before anyone else does. Determine who you are and how you want to be perceived by the public.
- Distinguish who your opponents are and recognize what they stand for.
- Establish what issues mean the most; center the election around what you want and what is important to the public.
Oxman has had years of experience with various political campaigns, ranging from presidential primaries, running for senator, state representatives, governor, mayor and more. However, he says it always comes down to the three main points stated above.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The day after your interview you should have already sent a thank-you letter. This keeps you fresh in their minds the day after, and if they have other people to interview that day, they won't be putting you in the back of their minds.
Next you need to follow-up. This still keeps you fresh in their minds, AND it lets your interviewer know that you are serious about the position you had interviewed for.
If you are calling and they don't pick up, leave a message. If they don't return your phone call, try again but DO NOT leave another message!
If they are a company that would rather use e-mail, keep in touch through that. Just let them know that you're just circling back with them.
It really all depends on the atmosphere of the company you interviewed with. If they were very corporate and serious, then you word you self in a corporate and serious way. It they were casual, you can keep it casual, but make sure you still sound as professional as possible.
Remember: you want to make a relationship with them, but don't be an annoyance!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Today at Temple's Spring Fling, PRowl members were handling some promotions for clients - namely handing out flyers to Temple students. Some members were more successful than others. So I set out on a search for some tips for handing out flyers. Here's what I found at www.ehow.com: (These are general tips- most of which can be tailored to a college campus.)
Stay in a specific location. A mall or shopping center that has a high amount of foot traffic is a good location. As people walk by, hand them flyers. If a person has her hands full or is distracted, wait for the next person. If you can, answer any questions a person asks you.
Walk an established route. You can hand out thousands of flyers by walking an established route. You can find a route to walk by looking at demographics for the area and find the demographic that most closely matches the target clientele.
Tag vehicles. Depending on your city code, you may be able to leave flyers on vehicles. You need to place the flyer under a windshield wiper to prevent it from blowing away. You must be careful not to set off a vehicle alarm or scratch the vehicle with loose zippers or bags.
Join a program. There are some organizations, like the Chamber of Commerce, that have a welcome delivery system for new residents. If you would like to hand out flyers for this, you need to have the set amount of flyers to the organization. Some organizations may require you to place the flyers into the specific packaging.
Practice safety. Plan on handing out flyers during daylight hours. Have someone hand out flyers with you, especially in areas that are cause for concern. Beware of loose dogs. Skip any house or area that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Know the laws. You cannot deliver flyers to houses that are marked "No Handbills," "No flyers," or "No advertising." You are allowed to leave flyers at homes that have "No Soliciting" signs.
Monday, April 14, 2008
While Facebook may be nice for college students and even professionals, let’s face it: it’s not exactly the best place to show off our resume and skills. What many PR students do not know is that there is a whole world of social networking sites on the internet for professionals. Here are just a few to check out:
Linkedin is a site where you can create a profile for yourself, post your resume, and join networks, all while adding colleagues from work, former classmates, and other people that you may know. Linkedin works with the idea that you are never more than 6 people away from someone you may want to meet. With linkedin, you can “add someone to your network” which is sort of like “friending” somebody on Facebook. Once you have acquired friends, you can check out your friends connections…ohh your friend is friends with the head of that PR company you were interested in interning at! Well, with the simple click of a button, you can “get introduced through a connection” with that head of the PR company. Linkedin is nice because it lets you tell other professionals about your skills and the experience that you have gained.
Twitter is a service for people to stay connected with their friends and family by answering the question, “what are you doing.” You can stay connected via text messages to your cell phone, or an email sent to your inbox. Either way, at any given moment you can know what your friends are up to!
Blogging: You can make a blog pretty much anywhere on the internet nowadays, a few notable sites are: blogspot.com and wordpress.com. It doesn’t matter what you blog about. Blog about your life, current news, things you like or dislike. Getting yourself known on the internet may be important in the near future, and having a blog that you maintain regularly is an added bonus to your resume!
Friday, April 11, 2008
1) Know the audience
-Who is going to hear the speech?
-If you know the characteristics of the audience then you will be able to form the speech to best fit their interests
2) Know the speaker
-When writing a speech for someone else you have to take into account their personality
-If you write something that he/she is uncomfortable saying, it will show through in the speech
-Also, for example, if the speaker stutters, don’t give them long words to say in the speech
3) Be aware of all of the factors
-The time frame of the speech, what time of day it will be presented, the type of arena the speech will take place in, etc
4) Make sure there is an introduction, body and conclusion
- In the introduction you should preview your speech with important points
-The details are given in the body of the speech
-When concluding the speech make sure the speaker says how all of the points they made relate
-It is very important for the speaker to tell the audience the action they need to take
-Don’t leave it up to the audience to figure it out the action, be direct
5) Visual aids
-Visual aids, such as a powerpoint presentation, might be necessary depending on the type of speech
-You may also be responsible for these
There are many other factors you need to keep in mind when actually writing the speech, but it is important to do your research first. To write a successful speech, make sure you know the audience, the speaker and the miscellaneous factors before beginning.
*Some information taken from
Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics
D. Wilcox, G. Cameron, P. Ault, W. Agee
8th Edition 2007
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Yes-Yes: Begin with points and subjects that will create a pattern of “yes” answers. If the audience tends to agree with what you have to offer at first, then they are more willing to agree with the conclusion you are about to develop.
Commitment: Incorporate the idea of commitment to some sort of action to your audiences. Leave the door open for opportunity.
Ask for more, Settle for less: Its good to ask for more, because then you’ll be ok with settling for less. Submit your complete version, but then be willing to compromise by dropping certain parts.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: Repeat the main messages frequently. Repeat key points in headline, text, body, captions, illustrations, etc.
Avoid Distractions: Stay away from complex arguments. Remain focused, organized, as well as keeping on task and on topic!
*Some information taken from
Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics
D. Wilcox, G. Cameron, P. Ault, W. Agee
8th Edition 2007
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Spokespeople for American declared that there were no safety issues on their planes and nobody would be in danger. However, American knew that there were faulty wires in their system.
Even though American knew that there would be the possibility of canceling many of their flights, they did not warn anybody in advance. That was one of the many complaints passengers had. They wished that American would have let them know ahead of time, just in case they had to reschedule and find another flight.
When you're stuck in a PR crisis, it is always most important to tell the truth, and not hide any important information, especially if it has to do with the safety of your clients. You also want to warn people of something that might affect them. In American's case, they should have let their passengers know that their planes were going to be inspected for safety, and that there would be a possibility that their flights may be canceled.
So, always tell the truth and warn your client ahead of time if something is going to affect them or their plans!
*Some information courtesy of www.cnn.com*
Recognize the Value of Pitching. In class, we focus a lot on press releases and tend to skim over pitching. Dan informed us that pitching is a key skill to have, and a well-crafted pitch is more valuable to him than a lengthy press release. If they're interested, they'll ask for that extra information.
Get Personal. As PR people (especially at the intern level), we can get caught in the monotony of making follow-up calls to long lists of journalists. We get so stuck on getting the calls done that we forget to make our pitches personal. Something as little as a one-sentence note to personalize an e-mail goes much further than we think. So take the extra time and make the effort to create a relationsihp.
Know the Publication You're Pitching. This should be a no-brainer, but we often end up pitching so many publications that we don't have time to read them all. Debi stressed that we should focus our pitches on a few key publications. Know those publications and their audiences well, and you're on your way to getting covered.
[On a local note - never pitch the same story to the Inquirer and Daily News. If one paper prints the story before the other, you've wasted the writer's time and damaged your own reputation.]
Start from the Bottom up. Know the value of pitching to columnists and beat writers first. If they shoot down your story idea, then you can go to the editor with another pitch. But if you start with the editor, there isn't much room for a second chance. Know what each targeted writer is interested in and appeal to that interest when you pitch.
Now you're ready - practice your skills, take this advice - then go forth and pitch!
*Special thanks to the Daily News staff- you guys were great!
Monday, April 7, 2008
1. You're applying for a job in PR; the least you can do is be your own best advocate. A resume is more than informational, it should be motivational.
2. Focus on the employer's needs- not your own. Sure, you'd like to telecommute from Tahiti but this is about what the employer needs, not what you need or want! Besides, what you really need is a job.
3. Be honest! Use your resume to showcase your best self, but yourself nonetheless.
4. Do sweat the small stuff. In a resume and cover letter, there is no small stuff. It's all important.
5. Entertain 'em from the start. Your resume and cover letters are your "first" impression. Make them count.
6. What's your point? Include an objective. Without an objective you have no direction.
7. Be specific. Back up assertions with evidence.
8. Be an e-dult. Don't be undermined by your internet presence.
9. Use everything. You don't need to be paid to have gained valuable experience.
10. Follow up. Don't be a stalker but do be persistent.
ONE BONUS TIP: Destroy your life plan! Or at least keep it flexible...
Friday, April 4, 2008
Come out to support the relief in Darfur and learn about Rebecca Davis Dance Company’s world-premiere show. Details follow:
What’s This All About? We’re selling discounted tickets for the premiere show of "Darfur" (the performance itself is on April 23, 2008 at 8 p.m.)
How Much are Tickets? $10- that’s half price!
Where Do I Get Them? In front of The Arden Theatre, 40 N. 2nd Street, Old City, Philadelphia
When? TONIGHT April 4, 2008 from 5-9 p.m.
Why should I come to this show, anyway? – "Darfur" is a modern ballet based on U.S. Marine Brian Stiedle’s experiences in Darfur. The ballet is set to contemporary music like The White Stripes, Damien Rice, and more!
And, BONUS: 25% of ticket sales will go to Global Grassroots, a non-profit organization working toward relief in Darfur. Visit www.rebeccadavisdance.com for more information about the show.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
The basic outline of an agenda might consist of the following:
2. Review notes from the last meeting
3. Hear updates from other members, possibly concerning account teams or department reports.
4. Old business
5. New business
6. Open discussion for member announcements, concerns and thoughts
7. Schedule time and place for next meeting
However, an agenda is only a plan, it can be modified by adding items, moving tasks or even tabling the agenda if a necessary assignment or emergency must be dealt with.
Agendas should be adapted to the specific meeting’s purpose, while also using it as a checklist to help the group work through its tasks effectively and efficiently. Also, remember, agendas can be simple, straightforward or even extremely creative!
* Lumsden, Gay, and Donald Lumsden. Communicating in Groups and Teams. 4th ed. Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth, 2004. 74-77.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
At 69-years-old, Larry Shenk enters this baseball season as his last one as vice president, after 45 seasons. However, he is still staying involved with alumni issues and special events.
According to Shenk, "you need younger people, maybe new thinking. The internet is a new world that I don't fully understand. I'm fortunate they'd like to keep me around."
As the internet is becoming more popular and paper sources are becoming obsolete, it is key to have younger PR professionals. But that does not mean that the older you are, the closer you are to losing your job. Young adults that are new to their PR careers look up to PR veterans as their mentors. They have a lot experience in the field and so much can be learned from them.
It is important to keep PR young and fresh, but it is also important to have experience. In Shenk's case, he is still working with the Phillies but will not be quite at the top. However, he has the familiarity in the world of PR that he can teach to the new professionals coming out of college. So basically, it is important to keep things up to date and new, but you also need the expertise from somebody that knows what they are doing and have been doing it for a long time.
*Information found at www.phillies.com
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Sometimes networking can seem daunting, especially if you're networking with people who are older than you or have much higher positions than you in the working world. Luckily, PRSSA has a clever solution!
On Thursday, April 10, you can practice your networking skills with your fellow PRSSA members, members of Temple's Ad Club and members of other local PRSSA chapters. Temple PRSSA is holding a special networking event at Mad River Bar and Restaurant, located at 126 Chestnut Street in Old City.
The event runs from 7:00-10:00 PM. Whether you come out to make some new contacts, to support PRSSA, or to grab some food at the bar, just make sure you come out!