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.

 

The “New” Running Man Challenge

Ckb9324VAAAAzU-.jpg-large.jpegThis year’s newest edition of the AP Stylebook is bigger and better than ever. With 250 new additions, the book’s 600 pages can seem overwhelming to say the least. Some of the most significant changes to the 2016 edition are that “internet” and “web” are now lowercase.

When the AP Stylebook was released in early June, I decided to challenge myself to a new goal: read the entire book by December. I’m giving myself a realistic end date because summer, school, and work can easily get in the way.

But why am I doing this? Here are three reasons why you should join me too…

  1. It will improve your academics. By familiarizing with yourself with the Associated Press style of writing, it will help you excel in the classroom. Writing with correct form will improve the grades on your writing assignments in all of your courses.
  2. It will improve your career. When you’re more knowledgable about the industry’s style of writing, that will make you a standout candidate for internships and jobs. Employers will notice your fine-tuned grammar skills. Correct grammar will pay off!
  3. It will diminish your self-doubts. Giving yourself goals for personal and career advancements will make you feel proud and accomplished. Achieving a goal helps prove to yourself that you’re dedicated and hardworking, which will also reflect your attitude in your career.

To take this challenge too and get your copy of the 2016 AP Stylebook, see here.

By: Clarissa Ford

Member Spotlight: Shaun Luberski

Shaun Luberski has been a member of PRowl since January 2014. After getting her start as an account associate, she became the secretary in April 2015. Having the opportunity to learn how the editing process works and being able to enter new internships and jobs confidently are some of the many ways PRowl has helped her.

When she wasn’t doing work for the firm, Shaun was busy getting even more PR experience and working towards her dream career in the magazine industry doing public relations, marketing, event planning, and photography.

Shaun has had two internships during her duration at PRowl. Both internships were at Philadelphia magazine and Flackable. At Flackable, an agency that focuses on financial public relations, she gained experience in writing bylines, video scripts, and creating media lists.

She had been at Philadelphia magazine since January 2015 and has assisted the event marketing managers and event marketing coordinator with planning, executing, and cleaning more than 33 events. She also helps create promotional materials, proposals, and media kits.

Shaun has even landed the role of Account Coordinator at Philadelphia magazine quickly following her graduation from Temple University this past Spring. Shaun supports the Account Executives over at Philadelphia magazine by creating contacts, collecting print and digital ad materials, and maintaining contacts with relationships and clients.

Throughout her experience as a public relations student, Shaun has noticed her personal growth. She has become better at prioritizing tasks, multitasking, and has learned how to maintain professional relationships through networking events.

Shaun’s best piece of advice for people interested in PR is to “Intern, intern, intern!” She believes that an internship will give you valuable experience.

“Even if it’s unpaid, take the opportunity to learn as much as you can. Be committed and work hard to prove yourself. Ask for advice and don’t neglect the importance of connecting with your boss and co-workers since people in the communications world are connected in various ways.”

Shaun also has a blog through which she has been contacted for job opportunities. Be sure to keep up with Shaun by following her as she documents her life events and shares photos on her blog, https://shaunluberski.wordpress.com.

Top four most common AP style mistakes

By Kelly Armstrong

AP Style guide

The Associated Press Stylebook – known to many as the go-to lexicon for professional writing.

 

In all of my years of editing news articles, press releases and the like, I have noticed an interesting trend with Associated Press style – everyone practically makes the same mistakes. With that said, I wanted to go over the top four AP style mistakes that everyone seems to struggle with at one point in time, regardless of how experienced they are.

Continue reading