Saturday, December 31, 2011
Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schulz
“Onward” is a great book to learn more about organizational structure and image, as well as leadership. It provides a first-hand account of how Starbucks recreated itself, and how CEO Howard Schulz developed his main leadership philosophy. This book is especially appropriate in terms of seeing how a company was able to be successful and revive its image in one of the most tumultuous economic times in history.
The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott
Especially important for the modern workplace, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” is a great read. It provides readers with the knowledge of how web communications may benefit your business. Establishing a proper personal relationship with your customers via the Internet is essential in the new media world. The book offers first-hand examples of marketing and PR trends, techniques for using social media sites, an action plan for utilizing new media and suggestions of how to craft powerful, effective messages.
The World is Flat, 3.0 by Tom Friedman
To know your world is to be a better public relations practitioner. Tom Friedman helps readers to understand globalization. It is important to know how globalization provides opportunities for individual and organizational success, how it is helping poverty around the world and how it may be detrimental environmentally, socially and politically. The book helps address the essential question “How may globalization effect different industries?”
How to Win Friends and Influence People
This was one of the first books I read relating to public relations, and one of the most influential I have read so far. The best advice I received from this book is how to communicate with others and to value them and instead of manipulating their attitudes and beliefs working to change them by ethical means.
Do you have any PR reads to add to our list? Let us know!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kurie Fitzgerald.
Friday, December 30, 2011
I've noticed New Year's resolutions get scoffed at a lot more often than they get created. In fact, when talking of my personal resolutions to a friend, I was told, "Why wait until one day in the entire year to decide to make yourself better? Shouldn't you be constantly be making resolutions to accomplish?"
I realize he made a valid point. It was this conversation that sparked my realization that we view New Year's resolutions all wrong. They aren't a list of the typical, yet hardly-ever-accomplished goals we make for ourselves once and year only to abandon two weeks later. Instead, they are a part of an on-going process that in PR, we like to call the RACE model, and January 1st is all about evaluation.
The RACE model is known worldwide in terms of the PR industry, however I think it applies perfectly to the concept of New Year's resolutions. The four-step model includes the phases of Research, Action, Communication and Evaluation.
Before we make any resolutions, we need to know our problem areas or areas of improvement. It takes time, thought and effort to put together a list and some basic research is always done prior to declaring resolutions. There are only so many days in a year, and its important to set reasonable and achievable goals for yourself. It's important to note, these goals can be set any time of the year, as self-improvement should always be an on-going process.
As an example, one of my goals this year is to take the time to create an online portfolio for myself to showcase my work to potential employers.
Like any good campaign, it's always best to start with a plan of action. What resources will you need to accomplish this goal? What steps will you need to take and when do you need to take them? When you have a plan in place, it's much easier to stay on course. This isn't to say you won't deviate from the plan at times, but its there to always steer you back in the right direction.
Continuing with my previous example, I know in order to accomplish this goal I will need to create a detailed timeline for myself, compile my best work that I want to highlight and consult someone with web design knowledge to assist me in the creation of my website.
Typically in a PR campaign, this is where you communicate your message(s) to target channels and publics. With resolutions, it's a bit different. Sometimes resolutions can seem unreachable or you've run out of ideas to inspire yourself and find motivation. The communication stage should be used to communicate your goals to peers, mentors, friends and family in order to gain additional support and sources of motivation. These people may be able to provide you with solutions to any roadblocks you may have encountered during your plan of action. Always communicate your goals and take advantage of the advice others may have to offer.
For my personal resolution of building an online portfolio, I may reach out on Twitter for example to outsource ideas for what materials I should include and what site builder is best to use. There are many people who have already accomplished this goal who may be able to offer me their advice.
At the end of every PR campaign, the most important part is always evaluating whether or not you were successful in achieving your goals and objectives. With resolutions, it is no different. As I stated earlier, you can create goals for yourself during any point of the year, however it's always good to have a slated time for reflection and evaluation and what better time than the start of a new year? Use this time to ask yourself, "did I accomplish any of my personal goals this year? What worked and what didn't? What should I continue to improve for this upcoming year?" Don't use New Year's as the one and only time to make goals for yourself. Instead, use it as a time to evaluate everything you have accomplished in the past year and determine where to go from there.
This past year, for example, I accomplished my goal of studying abroad during the summer. Through careful research, a solid plan of action and my willingness to communicate any questions or help I needed in the process, I was able to spend five weeks this summer in Paris, learning French at the Sorbonne.
So regardless of what you want to accomplish, or when you set your goals, always remember New Year's is about self-evaluation and a time of reflection, not a two-week membership to the gym.
What are your resolutions this year? Did you accomplish any of your goals from last year? Let us know!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business and PRSA have teamed up to pilot an initiative aimed at getting PR into more business schools. Soon Dartmouth will allow its MBA students to take a strategic communications course in one of three formats: a semester long course, a nine-week abbreviate session or in seminar format.
This is a leap forward for both the profession of public relations and MBA programs everywhere. More and more business leaders will begin to take their corporate communications more seriously and businesses will be better prepared to deal with crisis when the happen. It seems to me that introducing PR training in MBA programs is a win-win. Good job, Dartmouth!
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Reporting to all stakeholders
As a result of the great discussion had at the PRSA conference, the prediction, and already integration, of PR practitioners reporting to stakeholders and not just clients. This includes investors, other businesses, and even customers. Reporting information concerning demographics, analytics and more involvement from all participating parties will result in more activity to manage for PR professionals.
The newest trend in TV watching is streaming the Internet and having access to the Internet with your TV. Major content producers are developing technology to access content from search engines such as Google. Google introduced Google TV about a year ago and is now just starting to catch on. What this means is that more people are using social media on their TV. The content of posts will be directly linked to trending TV shows, YouTube videos and other users on social media.
Algorithms are the future of measuring content and how it is received by an audience (SEO) and really the only way to calculate the results of your social media. If you have not been tracking your own social media you really should start in 2011, Twitter especially. Facebook now has their own analytics called Insights, which we know no algorithms, but Twitter is different because there is no developed analytics for the site currently. The bottom line is how do you know your contributing to the bottom line if you have no measurements?
Apps will rule the world
There’s an app for just about everything including social commerce. Starbucks was revolutionary with the idea that you could transfer money to an app to pay for goods. Starbucks has the app where you can pay for your purchases by pulling up a bar code on your phone that the cashier scans. More businesses such as Apple are doing this now and should be becoming more and more popular including and introducing more commerce through Facebook which will directly impact how you target your content.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Before the New Year, take a chance to think about how you're going to improve your online presence, not only for professional reasons, but also to showcase personal achievements as well. Personally, one of my resolutions is to create my own blog. While it may seem like a daunting task, with a little bit of research, I've outlined some tips on how you can get started.
- Figure out which site you want to host your blog. The majority of sites use WordPress, but there are also easy posting sites such as Tumblr and Blogger depending on what your needs are.
- Brand yourself through the blog's title. Make it unique, something that can only relate to yourself and will make your stand out. It can be something related to one of your hobbies, your location, etc.
- If you are using your blog for purely professional reasons, be sure to include an "About Me" page to give a little background on yourself. You can link back to other social networking sites you are on such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.
- Put original content in their designated pages on your site. You can include different pages for recommendations, writing samples, your resume, etc. Make sure they are updated and the files work correctly.
Monday, December 26, 2011
- Sometimes a punchy headline is all you need: When I sit down on Sunday nights to write my blog post for Monday, I start with the title. Nothing starts off a blog post on a better foot than a catchy title. Pondering over something so simple has a title can even help you smooth out the bumps in your blog post and get the creative juices flowing.
- Blog about something you're actually interested in: Time goes so slowly when I try to blog about something boring. Some of my best blog posts are the ones that I either based off of my own experience, or that I have felt connected or invested into.
- Stumped? This happens to me all the time. Take a step back, reread, and consider; what else is there to be said? I don't always freestyle my blog posts, sometimes I will read an article about a topic that I feel would fit in great with the blog, so I will take some of the points and rework them to my perspective. Most of the time I have something to add, elaborate on, or even disagree with.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
When I further investigated the product, I found out it is probably not the magical solution to writing in AP style that I originally thought it seemed to be. Subscriptions start at $60 for an individual user, which puts the product out of price range for most college students, considering that the AP Stylebook is only about $12. Also, it has only been developed for PCs, so Mac users will not be able to use the product at all. Last week, @APStylebook even tweeted “StyleGuard is a useful tool but it's not a substitute for the skills you develop as a knowledgeable writer.”
The software is a great idea that can be developed further and eventually become widely used to help prevent PR students and professionals from making minor AP style mistakes. For now, it looks like it would be best for us to pay attention in our news writing classes and aspire to be our own StyleGuard!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kyra Mazurek.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
This holiday season I have a million things to be grateful for, topping the list is completing college this semester. The last four years has been a whirlwind and a tremendous learning experience, from serving as a PRowl staff member to holding several PR internships. I have gained invaluable experiences that have equipped me with the skills to not only be a successful PR professional, but also a well-rounded individual.
Here are some of the invaluable life lessons I've learned from studying PR:
• Be Persistent: The most important lesson I've learned as a communications student, PR intern and PRowl staff member is to be persistent. Public relations professionals constantly have to sell their client to the media, their internal and external publics, and even convince the client that the communications plan is the correct move for the organization, so being persistent is key to overcoming any doubts from these publics. Similarly, being persistent and hardworking is key to accomplishing anything in life.
• Expect the Unexpected: One of my favorite things about PR is that you never do the same work twice. With no workday being the same for a PR pro (or PR intern), I've learn to expect the unexpected in both my work and personal life. Having an open mind to unexpected changes will be essential to effectively handling crisis situations for clients, as well as setbacks in my personal life.
• Stay Organized: As a communications student balancing classes with internships and work has taught me the time management skills essential to balancing the various demands of clients. From these experiences I've learned to stay a top of my schedule by prioritizing tasks, and keeping track of everything with a planner and electronic calendar and other useful organizational tools. These time management skills will be important in not only managing my work as a PR professional, but maintaining a proper work-life balance.
• Know when to hold 'em, know when to walk away: Like the old Kenny Rogers’ country song says, one must know when to walk away and change the game plan. As a public relations professional, you must be prepared to switch things up on the fly, whether it's finding a new vendor for an event after the old one flakes out at the last minute or entirely changing the communications strategy for a client. PR pros must be prepared to quickly adjust to changes with clients, the media and their work environment.
What life lessons has PR taught you?
Friday, December 23, 2011
PRowl Public Relations!
- Each year more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone.
- Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.
- "Jingle Bells" was first written for Thanksgiving and then became one of the most popular Christmas songs.
- Candy canes started as white sticks used to decorate Christmas trees. It was not until the 20th century that they were given red stripes.
- The earliest known Christmas decorations were apples.
- A total of 364 gifts are given by the lover in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas"
Do you know any interesting facts about Christmas or have any favorite holiday traditions? Share them with us!
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Kim Jong-il was an interesting man, to say the least. Many have gone as far as to call him paranoid and possibly deranged. He has been a consistent thorn in the west’s side and has issued numerous nuclear and chemical threats against neighboring South Korea.
Kim Jong-un, Jong-il’s 27-year-old son and the “great successor,” led the ceremonies on Tuesday morning as the country bid farewell their former dictator. The death of Jong-il means the potential end of an era marked by increasingly authoritarian policies, state-sponsored brainwashing and attention-hungry PR stunts.
However, it doesn’t appear that North Korea is giving up on its PR stunts quite so fast.
On Monday, North Korea released footage of thousands of citizens publicly crying over their former leader’s death. The tapes showed masses of mean and women neatly lined up and violently weeping.
I don’t mean to sound crass, but this kind of stuff just doesn’t happen naturally. It seems to me that this public spectacle must be a product the years of brainwash or some brand of state-sponsored propaganda released after the passing of their Dear Leader. I mean, Jong-il’s rule didn’t exactly do much good for North Korea. I doubt that recent famine has boosted the public’s moral to the point that they’d freely weeping for him.
North Korea then launched off at least one short-range missile into the waters near South Korea, North Korea’s long-time enemy and an ally of the west. This missile test was supposed to be a show of strength but to me it was just a thinly veiled PR stunt trying to mask Jong-un’s cowardice.
North Korea is no stranger to these publicity stunts but I think the country’s bark is worse than its bite. Jong-un is inexperienced and he has just inherited a world full of enemies and problems, including humanitarian crises within his own country. North Korea’s thinly veiled PR stunts don’t fool me for a second. Jong-un is unprepared to deal with the realities of leading a country, especially one as besieged as North Korea. Keep launching test missiles North Korea, because that’s all you’ll be able to do for a long time.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
1. Influence. Everyone seems to be on social media today, with sites such as Klout where we can "measure" our influence online on certain topics. This will turn into a more professional technique to scale results you have received from your posts.
2. Sharing. While you can share a variety of things online, this will grow more into sharing feedback from your latest department store purchase or the vacation you just booked to your network through their site.
3. Social Television. People talk about what they're watching on social networks already, but more shows are integrating social media into their voting and feedback. You can use the app Get Glue, which acts like a Foursquare for media.
Where do you want to see social media in 2012?
To read more click here.
Monday, December 19, 2011
- Make a list, check it twice: Make sure you cover all angles; countless times PR pros have been caught in a situation because of stray press releases or emails being flung around. Check that you are including everyone necessary on your lists, and omitting those who are not, then check again. This can be said for emails and writing in general; always edit your writing, then check it again by having someone look over it for you. Little mistakes can get you in hot water so save yourself the effort and check your work. If Santa and his little elves could make toys for thousands of Christmas lists, you can manage your list too!
- Plan, prepare, and deliver: Plan how you want to approach a crisis, prepare for what you are going to do about it, and deliver your results. Never promise your boss, client, or a report something that you cannot deliver within their set deadline. Santa has to plan months in advance, but in the end he always makes his deadline!
- Ho! Ho! Ho!: The tagline that Santa is famous for. "Got milk?" "I'm lovin' it!" "Just do it." All are famous for the brands they are attached to. Santa is reknown for his, and though it may be corny, people always know the image attached.
- Big rep: He's known across the world as Santa, St. Nick, Father Christmas, etc. But still, he is the most recognizable man on the planet. It has taken time, but so does a solid reputation.
Have you learned anything else from Jolly Old St. Nick? Have anything to add to the "list"? Let us know!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Consider the following guidelines:
• Give readers a reason to care: If you’re covering a bland topic, brainstorm for unusual leads and less obvious angles. This will help in making the release more interesting. Never hesitate to ask a colleague, “Do you find this enjoyable to read?” Remember not to be offended when they offer suggestions. A colleague can provide needed insight into how successful a press release will be once in the hands of a reporter.
• Go beyond text: Audio, screenshots and videos can help aid in delivering a message. If you see a chance to stray from the traditional press release, go for it!
• Include a call to action: Reporters must enjoy your release if you expect them to cover it. Remember, however, that once this happens, readers outside the media will see your content. Readers can help spread the word and do some PR leg-work. Links to a survey on Facebook or a suggested tweet are excellent additions to the end of a press release.
• Edit well: Your writing must meet the grammatical standards of journalists and reporters but beyond that, a press release is a reflection of your client. Poorly edited press releases bring about negative attitudes and diminish reputation.
The above suggestions can help turn seemingly dry content into a relevant, newsworthy press release. In addition to these guidelines, using as much creativity as possible can only help in PR writing. Get your media list ready, it's time to send out your press release! Let us know if you have any additional suggestions to make!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Frank Kunkle.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
During the fall semester of my junior year, I became a Resident Assistant (RA) for Temple’s University Housing and Residential Life. I joined because I wanted to help other students like my RA had helped me. I had no idea how much my RA position would help in building my transferable skill set.
Here is the list of transferable skills that I developed as an RA:
• Organization: As an RA, I have to manage 50 underclassmen while also balancing my own work. Each resident has a folder that I’m in charge of updating regularly.
• Event Planning: Each month, I am required to complete two programs for the residents on my floor and in the building. This means I need to write a proposal, complete a catering order, create advertisements, and get people to come to the event. It is very similar to planning events in the PR world, just on a smaller scale.
• Crisis Communication: RA’s are on duty once a week and also have three duty weekends a semester. This means they hold a specific phone that residents and security guards can call if there are any problems. Sometimes, there are major issues in a building that need to be handled immediately. In essence, answering the duty phone is like responding to a PR crisis.
My position as an RA proves that you can use different opportunities to build your transferable skill set. While it is important to have PR experience during college, you should use every volunteer opportunity and job you have to develop your transferable skill set.
What other ways can PR students develop transferable skills? Let us know!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Alex Crispino.
Friday, December 16, 2011
1. AP Stylebook: Every PR pro needs to stay up-to-date on the latest with AP style. The bound version will cost anywhere from $13-20, or you can get an online annual subscription for only $25. (http://www.apstylebook.com/)
2. Premium Business Cards: Looking to grow your network? You'll definitely want to have some business cards ready to hand out at the next professional mixer. Vistaprint is a great resource for business cards. You can either purchase free ones (just pay shipping) or you can upgrade to Premium starting at $19.95. Vistaprint is almost always running a special on discounted premium business cards so subscribe to their email list to hear the latest about special offers. (www.vistaprint.com)
3. Padfolio: When you are heading to your next interview and you find yourself whipping out a neon pink Five Star notebook (sounds like a situation I found myself in last year), you know its time to invest in a padfolio. They are a great way to add an extra professional touch, helping to make an even better first impression. There are a ton of places you can find an affordable padfolio, however Staples is always a great place to start. They offer padfolios ranging from $7 for the basics to $75 for the ultimate padfolio experience.
4. PRSA Membership: As someone who has been a member of PRSSA for four years, I have every intention of becoming a PRSA member upon graduation. I have reaped the benefits as a student and know that becoming a PRSA member will only help enhance my career with the many tools and resources it offers. Luckily for recent graduates, PRSA offers a very nice discount for anyone who was a PRSSA member during their time as an undergrad. As long as you have graduated within the past two years, you can become a member for only $60. (http://www.prsa.org/joinus)
5. Business Suit: As a freshman, khakis and a sweater may have done the job, but as someone preparing to enter the workforce, first impressions are everything and often times those first impressions come in the form of a suit. Suits can be incredibly expensive, however there are always sales and remember, its a long-term investment. Macy's is a great place to start and often runs several discounts and sales, offering name brand, quality suits for a fraction of the price. For ladies, suits start at $40 and for men, suits start at $50.
6. Thank You Cards: Whether you are interviewing for an internship or a job, having an informational interview or chatting with a mentor, you always want to leave a lasting impression by sending a thank you card. Target is always my go-to place because they sell them cheap and in bulk. Prices range anywhere from $3-25.
7. Starbucks Gift Card: You've heard PR is one of the top caffeinated professions, right? There is nothing more jolly than a Starbucks gift card in a PR pro's stocking. The great thing about it? Its reloadable! (https://www.starbucks.com/card)
8. Yearly Planner: There's nothing that I love more than writing down everything I have to do and keeping it neatly organized (and often times color-coded). Check out OfficeMax for a wide selection of planners, ranging from $8 - 150, depending on how generous Santa is feeling.
9. Reading Material: As young PR pros, we should be constantly educating ourselves on an ever-evolving industry. I know many college students scoff at the idea of "leisurely reading" (who has time for that during the semester?) however, there are definitely some great reads to make time for. One book that I'm asking for this year is Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR by Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge. Buy it at Amazon for a discounted price of $18.78.
10. A home-cooked meal and a good night's sleep: That's right. Sometimes its as simple as a comforting plate of your favorite meal and a good night's rest over the holiday break that will help you clear your mind, relax a little and wake up even more prepared to conquer the world. Although many of us like to think we're unstoppable, sometimes its important to stop once and a while and just relax. Put down the smartphone...Twitter will be there in the morning, and your inbox full of emails can wait. Take some time this holiday season to rest up, because I'm sure you'll be plenty busy once the semester resumes in January.
Are there any items on your PR holiday wish list not included here? Please share and let us know!
Thursday, December 15, 2011
• Stay Humble: I feel as though I accomplished a lot during college but college accomplishments don’t always translate into the real world. Stay humble and represent yourself as best you can without sounding pompous.
• Stay Involved: I’m currently a member of five different clubs but what will happen once I graduate? I’ll join more, of course. Post-college clubs are great for networking and learning more about the PR industry.
• Never Stop Learning: Just because you’ve graduated college doesn’t mean you know everything. Continue to ask questions and accumulate knowledge wherever life takes you!
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Needing a personal invite from a Pinterest member to join, the photo sharing site allows users to "pin" to manage your themed image collections. Just like Facebook, you can "friend" other users and "like" pins that they may have posted on their own boards.
There are more than a variety themes you can peruse, most popularly being food, apparel, hair, wedding, DIY, architecture, art, fitness tips, home decor, just to name a few. When these pins are clicked on, it usually leads back to the original website that the item can be purchased at or gives more similar items the user might enjoy. Soon enough talking about something you "repinned" the other day, will become just as socially acceptable as "tweeting" or "liking" a page.
Are you on Pinterest?
Monday, December 12, 2011
Such sequential violence on the Virginia Tech campus has left students feeling ill at ease regarding their safety. However, Virginia Tech has made a considerable effort to improve their communication strategies following the 2007 shooting. During the 2007 shooting it took the school two hours to send out an email to its students regarding the shooting. Thursday, it took merely seconds. The school first sent out a message saying, "Stay indoors. Secure in place", a quick but effective alert rather than a long-winded message that would only put its students in danger. After that initial message, the school website kept up a live feed from 12:37 p.m. until the lock down was lifted at 4:31 p.m. when the school sent out a message that "law enforcement agencies have determined there is no longer an active threat or need to secure in place. Resume normal activities."
So far, the university's quick response in a crisis has been commendable. During the lock down, I followed the live feed and was impressed with the school's attention to not only the news coming from law enforcement, but also from students utilizing social media across the campus, providing a comprehensive assessment from all angles of the shooting.
While Virginia Tech's response in light of the Virginia Tech shootings has undergone many improvements, it remains to be seen whether the family, friends, students, and staff of the university will be so quick to regain trust in the safety of the Virginia Tech campus.
To view the live response during the Virginia Tech shooting, follow Virginia Tech affiliated student newspaper The Collegiate Times at @Collegiate Times.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Something I’m asked quite often about is personal branding. You’ve probably been told it is important that you focus on developing it. But are you REALLY a brand?
In the last five years, we have seen Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the blogosphere serve as an online portfolio for students and current public relations pros. The importance in this, to me, is that you can be constantly judged by colleagues, employers, and potential employers. We stress openness and honesty in public relations. We need to carry that over to social media, as well. That’s not personal branding. That’s being professional. Here are three tips you can keep with you while using social media.
1. Be smart- The old adage "think before you say something" can be re-imagined as "think before you tweet/post on Facebook." Simply put... If you don't want to see it retweeted, don't type it.
2. Be honest- No one- friends or employers- like a fake. It's pretty easy to spot a fraud in social circles. If you want to be taken seriously, show what you are about. Drop some knowledge!
3. Be engaging- Something I stress in speeches and talks with clients is the importance of engagement. You can have a Twitter account, but what are you doing with it? Show your networking and communications skills. Get out there and participate.
Remember: employers can’t use your social media against you if you use it the right way.
Jason Mollica is a 1997 graduate of Temple University's School of Communication and Theater. Since then, he has worked in television and radio in Philadelphia and New York City. Upon leaving the industry in 2005, he began a career in public relations and marketing. He is currently the public relations manager for Carr Marketing Communications in Amherst, N.Y. You can follow him on Twitter, @JasMollica, and read his blog at http://oneguysjourney.wordpress.com
Saturday, December 10, 2011
• Plan ahead: Knowing what you have to do in advance enables you to get things done promptly. Using monthly calendars that have important dates and events listed not only helps you pan out how much needs to be done but also how much time you have to do it in.
• Color Coding: Some may say that color-coding is only for the OCD organizer, but it is an extremely effective method of organization! Give every category a color, so that when it’s listed on a calendar or to-do list you instantly know the task at hand. Color-coding little things like day planners and to-do lists will also help you find daily tasks faster. The more organized you are, the more time you can spend with family and friends.
• Turn Off the Smart Phone: This may be the hardest tip by far, but it is also the most crucial! Set a time each night that you will turn off your phone and stop replying to emails. Removing work distractions during time spent with family and friends insures a better time had by all.
• Friends Only Social Networking: As PR professionals, many recreational social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are used for work as much as they are used for play. Try keeping all social media interactions on a strictly recreational level. It’s much easier to have a good time when you aren’t tweeting about clients and deadlines!
These tips are sure ways to enjoy the holidays without returning to the office with a pile of work. It’s all about maintaining the balance between home life, and office life. Do you have any additional tips on balancing? Let us know!
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Amber Burns.
Friday, December 9, 2011
A total of ten faculty and alumni participated in the event and represented organizations such as Lincoln Financial, Vault Communications, Bullfrog & Baum and Skai Blue Media to name a few. Over twenty students came to the event equipped with business cards and resumes, ready to network and make connections with well-established professionals in the communications industry.
Overall, it was an incredibly successful event. Photos from the event will be available soon on the StratComm Facebook page. To learn more about the Department of Strategic Communication, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter at @StratCommTU.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
There is little worse in this world than sitting through a long, boring, and drawn-out speech, especially when you know that you’re the next one up. So how do you prevent continuing to bore the audience when it’s your turn? Here are some tips from Ragan.com and my own experiences to help ensure that your speech isn’t as bad as the last guy’s.
- Don’t Ramble: No one wants to hear a long, rambling story that where the point is lost half way through. I’m reminded of Mitt Romney’s story about why he decided to run against Ted Kennedy in 1994 (starts around the 42 second mark). His audience was sympathetic but the pundits haven’t been.
- Use Hand Gestures: Use hand gestures to help convey your messages. As a few of my distinguished colleagues have pointed out in no uncertain terms, I have a few go-to hand gestures when I’m speaking in public. If you’re in the same predicament, check out these tips on using appropriate body language to effectively communicate with your audience.
- Move Around: Step away from the podium and towards the audience to address them in a more personal manner. Movement can be very effective in reducing the boredom induced by your speech’s content.
- Humor Me: No, seriously. Make your audience laugh to break up dull parts of the speech. Remember: it’s not the end of the world if you make a mistake during your speech. Maybe a joke is all you need to get back up to speed.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
- Netflix: When they split their business, there was a lack of communication to their consumers when this split also came with increased prices. They also chose to make their announcements via blog post as opposed to coming right out and saying it.
- Bank of America: As if people didn't have enough issues with their banks, Bank of America customers were extremely unhappy when the bank made them pay $5 to take out their own money.
- Penn State: While I could write a short book about everything to do with this scandal, overall Penn State did not confirm their message to the public internally, and it didn't help that when beloved Football Head Coach, Joe Paterno was fired, students on campus rioted and decided to ignore the fact that he never called the police concerning allegations against Jerry Sandusky. While THEY ARE Penn State, it will take some time for their reputation to heal.
- Herman Cain: With various sexual allegations, he never clearly addressed them and would tiptoe around questions concerning the issue. The truth was never told and the story never went away, much to Cain's dismay and ultimately his chance to be a Presidential candidate.
To read more about the biggest Crisis PR blunders of the year, click here.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
But before we start inviting anyone to dinner, ehow.com offers some solid beginning tips:
- Write to all your area teams; college, NFL, NBA, MLB, etc.
- Volunteer to work on game days. Working on game days is the best way to get your foot in the door with a sports team and get your first public relations experience on your resume.
- Get a long-term internship with the team or college you've been working with.
- Colleges in particular have a lot of work that needs to be done, as most have several sports, some with 20 or even 30+ teams that need to be covered. College PR departments tend to be underfunded, so they will generally allow interns to cover one of their lower-end sports to gain experience and save money on staff.
Why do you think sports PR is so popular? Or is there a more popular field in PR? Let us know!
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Ask lots of questions: Asking a lot of questions demonstrates that you are interested in the company and what the professional does. Not only that, but asking questions also shows that you are thorough and like to know all of your information before delving into a project. In public relations in general, it is always important to have as much information as possible when pitching an event or doing some major crisis management. As an intern, it is vital that you demonstrate these qualities as early as possible in the interview.
Keep on your toes: Although this probably goes without saying, it is also incredibly important that you stay up to speed on what is going on in the news, and especially the news pertaining to the company you are interviewing for. Nothing hurts your chances more than not knowing a crucial piece of information or an event which occurred in connection to the organization.
Embrace questions about yourself: This is the time to pad yourself up and talk about how awesome you are. Your resume has hopefully done that a bit for you, and now it is time to go in-depth. Add on to your work experience by connecting what you have learned in other ways outside of your work. For instance, in a recent interview, I connected my work experience with PRowl Public Relations to how I benefitted with other organizations I am a part of. PRowl Public Relations has taught me to have better time management and how to connect with others to get a task accomplished, which I use elsewhere in my life.
Employers know life is not all about work, hence why they ask you questions about what you do outside of work. It shows a bit more about who you are and how you prioritize your time, and makes you look more like a human being, rather than an internship robot. Just make sure you present your self in such a way that you both stand out, and conduct yourself professionally.
For more internship interview tips, check out Claire Celsi’s article “20 tips for mastering an internship interview”
Friday, December 2, 2011
In the beginning of the semester we signed returning contracts with TUTV, Temple's student-run television station and the Department of Strategic Communication as well as welcomed two new clients, Jean Madeline Salon and Institute and Visit Bucks. On these accounts, students had the opportunity to write strategic communications plans, pitch the media, develop a social media manual, host several successful events ranging from the StratComm Social to the upcoming event, No Nonsense Networking, and help create and produce new content for a TV station.
In addition to finishing old projects and starting new ones during yesterday's meeting, we also said goodbye to a graduating staff member, Shari DaCosta, who has been with the firm for over a year, working on several accounts. The staff wishes her the best of luck on her future endeavors and plans. The 2012-2013 firm director was also announced during yesterday's meeting and a big congratulations goes to Samantha Wanner, who has proven that hard work and dedication can pay off in a year's time.
Thank you to the current staff members, previous staff members, clients and our supporters for helping this firm grow into the success that it has become. Here's to a great fall semester and an even better one in the spring.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Do you write for a blog with a dwindling readership? If so, it may be time to reevaluate how your blog is operated and promoted. In honor of PRowl Public Relations recent ranking in a list of the Top 50 Blogs for the PR Major, here are some tips on how to increase blog exposure adopted from SEO Godfather.com and personal experience:
- Link with social media accounts: What better way to increase a blog’s exposure than to promote it to different audiences? Use your social media accounts to promote and generate buzz about your blog to maximize exposure.
- Use keywords: Many blogging websites (such as this one) allow you to add keywords to your blogs. These keywords help with navigation and SEO.
- Generate consistent content: As with most social media, a blog is nothing without consistent content. Be sure to focus on quality of content too, you don’t want to alienate users with irrelevant or poorly-written posts.
- Make RSS feeds available: Allowing your readers to subscribe to an RSS feed of your blog is a great way to maximize exposure. Make sure your RSS feed button is prominently displayed on your blog to encourage subscriptions.
These four simple tips will help you boost your blog's readership and exposure levels. What do you do to maximize your blog’s exposure?