Hustle Harder

Attending professional development events can seem like a nuisance. You probably make excuses like “Oh I’ll go next semester” or “I have to pay money for this? No way.” However, time is ticking and making advances in your career is priceless.

As a student, you’re offered a multitude of opportunities to further advance your studies and career. Here are a few methods you can utilize for your own professional development. photo-1461039088886-b5c863279a0e.jpeg

  1. Mentorship. Finding a mentor, whether it’s a peer or professional, is extremely valuable (and free). A mentor can offer advice, help with decision-making, and guide you in the right direction professionally.
  2. Conferences. Conferences can offer you an opportunity to learn more and network with other professionals in the industry. Whether it’s the PRSSA National Conference or Temple’s Leadership Conference, any event will boost your resume.
  3. Networking Events. You’re never too young to attend a networking event. Connecting with the right professionals can lead you to new opportunities or help you reach new career goals.
  4. Webinars. Webinars are easy since they’re offered from the convenience of your own home. PRSSA offers their own for students, but you can find them all over the internet for little to no cost.

The harder you hustle the more success you’ll have in your career. If you continue your own professional development, it’ll help you land undergrad internships and post-grad job opportunities.

By: Clarissa Ford

Why I Love Facebook Live

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Image provided by Forbes

As a public relations student, I thrive off of first-hand experience, whether it be through internships or volunteer opportunities. However, when it comes to social media, I like to explore through my own experience on my personal accounts. Facebook Live is fairly new addition to the platform’s community. With its growth, I felt it was only appropriate to begin engaging with it.

As Facebook explains, “Live lets people, public figures and Pages share live video with their followers and friends on Facebook.” They advertise that the feature allows you to have engaging conversations with followers, reach new audiences in new ways, connect instantly, and tell your own story in your own way.

For example, Diamond Reynolds was able to live stream her fiance, Philando Castile’s, death after being shot by police in his car. The video helped bring light to the Black Lives Matter Movement in real time without any prior influence from the media simply because it was unedited and live.   

This past summer I decided to give it a try at a concert. I went live for about 4 minutes as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band sang away at MetLife Stadium. It was an unusual experience as my friends enjoyed the concert live just as much as I did in real time. People watching were able to react and comment as it was streaming. They got the cheapest ticket in the house. However, all they had to do was scroll through their Facebook feed to find I was sharing the concert live.

Would I use Facebook Live again? Absolutely. The feature offered an opportunity to give a live glimpse at my life, whether I be at a concert, protest, event, etc. It allows public relations professionals a unique platform to connect with audiences in a direct and intimate manner.

To learn more about how to live stream to the fullest potential, read about Facebook’s best practices here.

By: Clarissa Ford

Why I Can’t Warm Up to Instagram Stories

Snap VS Insta.jpgA few weeks ago Instagram launched “Stories,” a feature which greatly resembles one of Snapchat’s most notable assets. While Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom can’t deny the similarities, he argues the new addition to the photo sharing app saying, “They deserve all the credit. This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and about how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.”

However, I’ll have to agree to disagree. When the new feature first debuted, many of my own followers saw it as a channel to advertise their Snapchat usernames. It had me confused. From the beginning, Instagram users seemed to disregard the convenience of the feature to instead vocalize their preference for the original stories app.

Within the past few weeks, the amount of Instagram stories dwindled. The only users who seem to take advantage of the feature are brands, such as the sports leagues, fashion companies, entertainment news channels, and more. For brands, Instagram stories is ideal because it offers them an additional outlet to advertise their product.

Instagram stories did not put their “own spin on it.” Snapchat offers face filters and geotags that change regularly. It offers users a unique interactive experience every time they use the app. However, Instagram stories only offers filters and different drawing utensil options.

While Instagram’s concept of adding stories could’ve been extremely effective since it offers one stop shopping for photos and 24-hour stories, it doesn’t.

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is common expression. Snapchat is like smartphone user’s old trick, and it seems like users just like it a whole lot more.

By: Clarissa Ford

Retail Wisdom: The Summer Job You Never Wanted (but really need)

LScreen Shot 2016-08-09 at 9.05.57 PM.pnget’s be honest not all of us have that dream internship. You know…. the internships that are Monday through Friday from nine to five and are paid. Realistically, most of us have part-time unpaid internships or none at all.  Like most college students, we need money. This summer I went to my internship two days a week and worked the other days in retail.

However, I did learn a few lessons from my part-time job that offered me a few insights into my public relations profession.

Customers are like clients. You have to maintain a level of professionalism at all times, even when you’re dealing with picky, stubborn, and rude demands. While the customer may not always be right, there is always a compromise that both parties can reach.

Professionalism is key. This summer I had customers complain that I was too friendly and chatty, but I would rather be remembered for that instead of being sarcastic and impolite. Maintaining a level of professionalism shows you’re well-mannered and will ultimately leave you respected and trusted.

Hard work pays (off). Getting your hands a little dirty in fields other than strategic communications helps build character. It gives you a different perspective and teaches life lessons. It’s also a pay check, which is motivation in and of itself. Plus, the employee discount is also a perk.

Communication is vital. Staying in touch with your coworkers is extremely important for productive and successful results. Whether it’s through email (at your internship) or an intercom (at your part-time job), communicating wants, needs, goals, and concerns with others will help achieve the best results.

“Team work makes the dream work.” My manager would constantly drill this motto to our team. During any shift, certain team members would stock shelfs, put away returns, do markdowns, or work the cash register. Either way, each of my coworkers had a role that would help contribute to an enjoyable shopping experience for our customers.

By: Clarissa Ford 

Back to Reality

hands-coffee-cup-apple.jpgWith a month until classes commence, it’s time to begin mentally preparing for busy weeks of classes, meetings, and more. While you enjoy your last few weeks of freedom, there are a few ways you can prep for the new school year.

  1. Buy an agenda. Kick
    start your school year off productively by making sure you stay organized and on top of your schedule.
  2. Plan a budget. Whether you need school supplies, clothes, or apartment/dorm goods, make sure you strategically plan your budget to get the most cost-friendly deals. Take advantage of grocery store school supplies, student discounts, and coupons.
  3. Print out your schedule. Having copies of your schedule can come in handy when you can’t remember when and where to go on the first day of classes.
  4. Mentally prepare for the stress. Acknowledge your stress levels from previous semesters and figure out ways to avoid mid-semester meltdowns. Through exercise, yoga, meditation, or hobbies, learn mechanisms to manage your stress for a smooth semester.
  5. Set goals. Setting a few good intentions for the semester can help you feel focused and grounded. Goals act as ins
    piration for hard work and success.

By: Clarissa Ford

A Look Back On My Summer Internship Search

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Today, I confirmed when my last day will be as a Public Relations Associate for Flackable. It is crazy to think that my summer internship experience will be over in just one month. When I think back to what seemed like the never-ending process of finding an internship, I am more than happy to be where I am today.

Let’s backtrack! 4 to 5 months ago my life consisted of resume and cover letter building, informational interviews, networking, the tedious application process, and (if I were lucky enough) interviews. For me, opportunity was endless. You name it, I applied to it. I searched for internships in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, LA, and ironically enough, I work virtually, right from home.

I was extremely flexible, however, I knew I wanted an internship that would not only allow growth on my resume but I wanted to grow. I was ready to expand my knowledge of the PR field. When applying I learned to go to every networking opportunity and every interview that you’re offered. That being said, networking can open up many new doors, (doors that Google may not show exist.) Additionally, when attending an interview it is important to remember that you are interviewing the company and position just as much as they are interviewing you. You may find that an internship you thought might be for you is in fact not for you.

During this grueling process of applying and preparing for finals it did not seem as if time were on my side. Before I knew it, it was the end of April and I still was searching for an internship. At this point, I had learned that some companies will not even look at your application, let alone respond to any emails. Unsatisfying, yet not to be taken personal. Somewhere along the way, I had networked with Brian Hart, the CEO and Founder of Flackable. After emailing him with great interest in the position, I had secured a phone interview. When I asked him, “What is one thing you look for in your interns?” He responded, “Well, of course, being a Temple Owl,” which is always refreshing to hear. When Brian explained the position, it sounded like everything I was looking for. After a Thank you email and several follow-up emails I got the position! The process was over!

Now that I have been at Flackable since May, I would do the whole process again if it led me to where I am today. My internship has brought me a new world of experience. In just one month, I will have finished an experience that has only enabled me to pursue and reach my goals. Looking back, I have learned to never leave a stone unturned. The application process can be emotionally exhausting but it is important to never give up! Internships will allow your resume to stand out after graduation and instill you with the confidence to produce great work. Follow my next blog to hear in great detail about my experience at Flackable!

Twitter is the New LinkedIn

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 10.25.35 AM.pngWhile you may use your Twitter to complain about how tired you are or post funny GIFs, as a public relations student it’s also important to maintain a level of professionalism online. Twitter is a valuable platform for connecting with other professionals in the industry. Employers will review your social media before interviews and hiring, so make sure your accounts best represent you and your personal brand. Here are a few tips on how to create a polished and professional Twitter (And yes, it’s okay to have a personal AND professional account).

  1. Make a simple handle. Unlike your unique and funky personal account, your professional Twitter handle should be relatively simple. Generally, stick to your first and last name.
  2. Have a sophisticated Twitter avi. It doesn’t need to be as professional as your LinkedIn photo, but make sure it represents you in a mature manner. Avoid using a photo of yourself with a Snapchat dog filter covering your face, which is fine for your personal account.
  3. Follow relevant accounts. Create a network of people in the industry, follow relevant media outlets, and other accounts that’ll help expand your knowledge and professionalism in the industry.
  4. Write an engaging bio. Your Twitter bio is your pitch to professionals about what you represent. Include your experience, interests, and goals. If you have a blog or website, be sure to include it! While it doesn’t need to be super professional, make sure your personality is reflected in it as well.
  5. Pin a tweet. It’s important that you tweet your online published work. Showcase your portfolio pieces and make sure to pin them, so they can be presented at the top of your account.

Follow me on professional Twitter: @ceford16

By: Clarissa Ford

PRowl Leadership Spotlight: Jenna Faccenda

Jenna Faccenda is a senior Journalism major and Public Relations minor. This year she will serve as PRowl’s Director of Public Relations. Previously, she has been an account associate for PRowl Internal and a Junior Account Executive for TUTV.

As DPR, Faccenda will be responsible for maintaining PRowl’s online presence through social media and the website. She also creates the blog schedule, plans social media posts, and promotes the brand online.

“During my first year at Temple, I attended a PRSSA meeting and fell in love. I adored everything from the organization to the fundamentals of what PR is about. After I picked up a PR minor, my love for it just grew!” says Faccenda.

unnamed.jpgThis summer she is working for Running Press, a division of Hachette Book Group, as a publicity/marketing intern. At Running Press, she is responsible for running campaigns for certain books and launching their Snapchat account. Faccenda is currently working on an outreach for a self-help book called “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero. Her favorite part of the job is always being surrounded by books. “Honestly, I am a huge book nerd and I love to write,” says Faccenda.
Faccenda attended the NYC Publishing and Creativity Conference for Writers. The one-day conference taught her about the publishing process of a book. “It was a ton of fun, and I got to network with other writers and even talk with an editor at Penguin Randomhouse.”
She also attended the three-day Philadelphia Writers’ Conference where she participated in workshops, spoke with agents, and networked with other writers. In July, she will attend the Her Conference in New York City about women empowerment.

The conferences are her go-to as a writer to hone her craft and help pitch her novel. Faccenda has finished her first manuscript and is in the process of trying to get it published. She hopes to one day become a published author as well as work as a book publicist for a publicist for a publishing house.

By: Clarissa Ford

How to maintain a healthy lifestyle while majoring (or working) in public relations

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Maintaining a work-life balance can be hard, but it can be achieved with enough effort. 

If there is one thing I learned as a PR major (and budding PR professional), it’s that we have a lot going on: we have to not only learn all there is to know about current events and PR but we are expected to do a lot of other things too. We have to constantly network, intern as much as possible before we finish college, build our social media platforms and have a solid enough personal brand once we graduate to get hired. To say the least, it’s easy to lose track of your personal life. However, I have learned some tricks that have helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle while trying to get a head start in my career. Continue reading

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3 Ways to Work Your Skills if You Don’t Have an Internship

By Sabine Lavache

It can be hard to find an internship these days. You can send out so many applications and not get a response from anyone, but don’t fret! I have a few ideas that will help you work on your skills even if you don’t have an internship. And if you do have one, it doesn’t hurt to put in some extra work if you have the time

Freelance Writing

Writing is a very important aspect of public relations. Whether you’re writing a press release or pitching a client, having good writing skills is essential in the field. To work on your creativity and writing, try some freelance work. You’ll be able to practice pitching your ideas to different people and also get to have something published.

Volunteer 

Look for places to volunteer. They will look great on your resume since they give you an opportunity to develop your time management, leadership, and development skills among others.

Informational Interview

Take the time to set up an opportunity to speak with someone in the career field you would like to go into. Think about the questions you want to ask beforehand, so you can get everything you want out of it. This interview can help you figure out if you’re on the right path or not.