How to Celebrate the Holidays in Philly (On a Budget)

In Philadelphia especially, November and December are truly the most wonderful time of the year. With the holiday season sweeping into the city, Philly truly gets into the holiday spirit, with many super fun and also free activities open to the public. Here are some of the best things to do in Philadelphia on a college budget.

Dilworth Park

Dilworth Park is a hub for holiday joy in Philadelphia. With almost all of the activities free, there are many different things going on in Dilworth over the next few weeks!

Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market

Running from November 18 to January 1, the market is a great place to get a jump start on your holiday shopping. Entrance to the market is free and is easily accessible to Temple students, as it is located in Dilworth Park right off the City Hall stop of the Broad Street Line.

Christmas Village at Dilworth Park

Christmas Village is a holiday tradition in Philadelphia that is also located in Dilworth Park. Open on November 23 until December 24, this German style market is a great place to go shopping in the heart of Center City. Also, the center of City Hall boasts a holiday carousel as the centerpiece of the Holiday celebration.  

Rothman Ice Rink

Located in Dilworth Park, starting on November 10, you can fulfill your Ice Castle inspired dreams at the Rothman Ice Rink, and for the price of $5 for adults.

America’s Garden Capital Maze

This is the second year that this new tradition has been in Dilworth Park and is also free! The maze is similar to the idea of a corn maze, but holiday themed and not in the countryside. Think of an urban escape to the Corn Maze traditions you went to as a kid. This newer attraction is a cute place to stop on the way to explore all the holiday options in Dilworth Park.

Penn’s Landing

Blue Cross RiverRink

This holiday tradition includes an ice rink, food tent, arcade and fire pit area. Nothing says winter fun more than enjoying a nice hot chocolate in between ice skating with breathless views the Delaware River waterfront. Admission to the park is free, and Ice Skating is only $3 a person.

Hopefully these fun Philly holiday activities get you ready to explore the city of winterly love.

This blog post was written by Junior Account Executive Max Simons.

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How to Make the Most of the “Best Years of Your Life”

People often say the years you spend in college are the best years of your life, so you shouldn’t let them go to waste. While that may be true, what if students today are not spending enough time actually enjoying themselves?

Between tireless nights of tackling piles of homework and early mornings waking up for class, it can be exhausting to be a college student. As a junior at Temple University with an above average GPA and extracurriculars that add a lot to my plate, I put a lot of time and effort into my college career. Being a student in an accelerated master’s program at my school has overwhelmed me with higher level course readings and work as well. I enjoy learning, and because school is historically known for teaching I attempt to attend each class with vigor and excitement, even after the hours seem to drag on. During the week I have little time to eat sleep, go the gym or even talk to my friends, as I move from class to meetings, and finally to the library to finish my work. So, are these really the best years of my life?

College is supposed to be a safe haven to learn, explore, find and reinvent oneself; so let’s take this time back! Here are a few tips that I use to not let school “take over my life.”

Use Your Time Wisely

Time management is the most important aspect of keeping centered in the midst of such a busy schedule. I find it easier to spend my mornings in the library getting the majority of my most difficult work or readings out of the way so I can spend my afternoons doing slightly less difficult work or having study sessions with my friends. This way, if you get a little distracted, you have already finished the bulk of it. Getting the majority of your work out of the way early also frees up your day to attend any meetings, schedule some time for the gym or get to work early. If you work better at night, try to get the greater part of your day done (work, gym, meetings) in the morning and schedule some time to concentrate on school work at night.

Understand that it is okay to be frustrated

Stress and frustration is all a part of the job. School gets harder as the years progress, and as students, it is important to realize that things are going to be okay eventually. Everyone gets a bad test grade once and awhile. Do your best and try not to focus on the past or on things you cannot change. Put your energy into things you can control.

Make time for Yourself

It is critical to remember that while school and other commitments are important, your mental health and wellbeing are a priority. Take the time to pamper and treat yourself, whether that means putting away the books and taking a nap, or taking an hour out of your day to go to the gym. You must make sure that you are strong enough to take on the next day and the rest of the semester. Make sure that you eat every day. Take care of your skin. Put yourself first.

This blog post was written by Account Associate Jasmin Senior.

How to be like the Influencers of the Influencers

In today’s world, being an influential person has great benefits when it comes to brand marketing and advertising. Companies look for the most influential of all people to promote their brand in order to make an impact. These influential people are followed by thousands of millions of people, but who influences these people? A new research study done by Ipsos shows us that there is a sub-group within the influential people known as “Affluencers.”

Affluencers are a group of influential people that, along with a massive social following, have the capital to back everything up. This subgroup, according to the new Fall 2017 Ipsos  Affluent Survey, is the driving influence for shopping and buying behaviors of people. So why is it important to target this group? This target has the potential to not only represent a disproportionate amount of purchases, but also represent a group that is sought after for their advice and purchasing input across all categories. The survey defines this group as adults living in households with at least $125,000 in annual household income, a group that reflects the top 16 percent of American households.

Distinct differences between affluencers and influencers

1. Affluencers spend more.

This group spends 40% more on across all categories than others.

2. Affluencers are early adopters.

They are given the newest technologies and products first to try and test, even though the product could be costly or comes with a risk.

3. Affluencers have a high future intent.

Their future earnings are set up well in advance and they have diverse portfolios.

4. Affluencers influence their networks to buy.

They influence others to buy the same products you use.

So who are affluent people? (according to Forbes)

  • Parenting World
    • What’s Up Moms: Med Resnikoff and Elle Walker
  • Fashion
    • Chiara Ferragni
  • Travel
    • Brian Kelly
  • Entertainment
    • Lilly Singh
  • Fitness
    • Kayla Itsines
  • Beauty
    • Zoe “Zoella” Sugg

It is very interesting to think the mainstream celebrities are not on this list. Celebrities are usually  influenced by affluencers. When a brand wants to promote its products, the people they start with are not always A-List celebrities. Usually it is the affluent people that influence the influencers.

This blog post was written by Account Executive Evan Goldwasser.

A Survival Guide for the Week Before Thanksgiving

Fall semester generally seems to fly by, with Thanksgiving and winter break just a few weeks apart. But the first half of the semester seems to do nothing but drag on. If you’re like me, you’re getting pretty antsy. Post-midterms seems like the perfect time to take a little break, but the grind doesn’t stop until Thanksgiving. Here’s how to survive that long week before Turkey Day.

Keep up with your to-do list

The week before Thanksgiving is known to be one of the busiest weeks of the fall semester—up there with midterms and finals. Professors notoriously assign projects and exams to get things out of the way before break. Clubs and organizations have activities they need to squeeze in before they adjourn for two weeks. Needless to say, there is a lot to do. With that being said, staying busy can help time fly—especially when you are meticulous about your to-do list. There is no better feeling than crossing off assignment after assignment. Keep up with your list and watch the days pass.

Pack for break throughout the week

When the clock strikes “break,” it’s time for break. No time for laying with your closet exploded on the floor of your dorm, wondering what to wear to Thanksgiving dinner. During the week, take some time to do a little packing every so often so that you will be ready to go. Pack up your cosmetics and live out of your cosmetic bag for a couple days. Wear the same sweatshirt to class two days in a row, so you don’t have to dirty up your packed Thanksgiving laundry. (Your Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes don’t have to know about your Tuesday/Thursday life).

Get in touch with your friends from home

No better way to procrastinate than doing something else that makes you feel productive. Getting back in touch with your friends from home means making plans and reconnecting with old friends. Mapping out the most interesting of all the boring places to visit in your hometown will be sure to keep your mind from going into the pit of break-deprived despair. How can you feel down, when you are going to be hanging out in the McDonald’s parking lot with your best friends in just a few days? That’s right—you can’t.

This blog post was written by Account Associate Grace Hanlon.

Navigating Your First Networking Event

Networking events are a fantastic opportunity to not only get out of your comfort zone but also meet many different people that can help you along your way to success. However, the idea of approaching a complete stranger and trying to introduce yourself can be extremely intimidating and at some times, down right terrifying.

I had always heard of the importance in going to networking events as I knew the many benefits that would come out of it. At the same time though, I would always find some type of an excuse as to why I couldn’t go. In reality, I was worried about feeling like Jack Sparrow in the gif below and the professionals being the group chasing him.

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I finally decided I needed to put my big girl pants on and just put myself out there if I wanted to better off my future and fortunately, the event went better than I could have ever imagined. That being said, here are my key takeaways from the event that you should keep in mind before your first or tenth networking event!

1. Practice small talk to help you become more comfortable and familiar with it.

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The worst possible thing that could happen to you during a conversation at a networking event is coming across the dreaded awkward silence. This happened to me a few times at the event I attended and while we were both able to laugh it off and move past it, it certainly made my confidence drop. To avoid this, practice small talk with anyone you can, create a list of possible questions you can always ask and if you can in moment, try to deepen the conversation. Don’t ask anything that can be answered with a simple “yes or no”.

2. Know exactly who you want to talk to at the event and do your research on them.

Image result for i wanna know you gif

With most networking events that I have come across, a list is typically developed with some of the professionals that will be in attendance. If one or a few of those names stick out to you on the list, keep that as your motivation to kill it at the event and research them so you have starting points to ask questions off of. As mentioned above, the last thing you want to deal with is awkward silence so if you can prepare yourself in advance for talking to someone, the more confident and better off you’re going to feel.

3. When in doubt, talk with some of the other students or younger people there.

Image result for wanna be friends gif

If you don’t necessarily feel comfortable enough going right up to the Vice President from a huge company, that’s okay! Instead of just standing around sipping on some water, go talk to someone who might be just as nervous as you are. At one point during the event I went to, I just stood back and looked for someone I felt I could start a conversation with. Little did I know that that girl would soon be starting an apprenticeship with Villanova athletics and wanted to stay in contact due to my connections to professional sports and hers with collegiate sports. You never know who you might meet or how they can help you in the future so try to make the most of the situation!

4. If you don’t have them already, invest in business cards!

Image result for let me give you my card gif

Never in a million years did I think that at 21 years old I would have my own personal business card. To be honest, I always kind of laughed at the idea because I thought it was too excessive but ohhh will it help you with staying connected with the professionals you meet. Face the facts, we’re terrible at memorizing information especially when it comes to putting a face with someone’s name, a phone number or an email address. Having a business card and taking them with you to an event like this will be an absolute lifesaver for when it comes to following up with individuals. It also makes you feel so much more professional than you think.

5. BE CONFIDENT

Image result for shes the man gif

On the inside, you might be trying to figure out a game plan on how to escape the room, call an Uber, head home and get back in your pajamas to watch Netflix. However, do not let this show on the outside. If you want to leaving a lasting impression, you have to be confident in yourself and in what you have to bring to the table for someone. Even if that means going in the bathroom and giving yourself a pep talk, do it. I promise it will help.

How to Put PRowl on Your Resume

Elle-Resume.gif‘Tis the season for resume writing! As you look for Spring internships or full-time jobs, you may wonder how to market your PRowl experience on your resume. Use the examples below to see how I’ve highlighted my work with firm.

When applying to jobs, it’s always important to emphasize your accomplishments both in your resume and cover letter. During your interview, remember to elaborate on specific projects you’ve worked on. In addition, make sure to follow up after each interview with a thank you email.

If you want more advice on how to perfect your resume and cover letter, don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone in a PRowl leadership role. 

Tips

  • Always list your current position
  • State your start of employment
  • Proofread for spelling
  • Indicate the city (Philadelphia, Pa)
  • Use numbers to emphasize your role
  • List 3-5 bullet points
  • Use action verbs only
  • Only used past tense verbs if you are no longer working in the position
  • Emphasis that PRowl is one of 25 nationally affiliated firms in the country (Hint: good to include this in your cover letter)

Examples

Account Associate at PRowl Public Relations- Philadelphia, Pa                         Fall 2015 

  • Wrote three articles for my client, Department of Strategic Communication, on events and faculty and student accomplishments
  • Composed two weekly social media posts for the department’s Facebook and Twitter
  • Compiled media lists and composed email pitches

Junior Account Executive at PRowl Public Relations- Philadelphia, Pa      Spring 2016 

  • Co-led account of six associates along side Account Executive for my client, Department of Strategic Communication
  • Conducted weekly account meetings, including professional development workshops
  • Composed weekly account agendas to delegate and manage account tasks
  • Edited social media and other client projects

Assistant Firm Director at PRowl Public Relations- Philadelphia, Pa                   2016-17

  • Managed two client accounts: Department of Strategic Communication and Saint Lucifer Spice Co.
  • Delegated, oversaw, and edited 18 associates’ work on all client projects, such as event planning, email promotions, social media, press releases, flyers, pitches, etc.
  • Wrote articles on a bi-weekly basis for firm’s blog about industry news, career development, and more
  • Made decision critical to the firm’s growth through hiring and promotions

Firm Director at PRowl Public Relations- Philadelphia, Pa                          2017-Current

  • Oversee entire firm operations, including six clients, an executive board, and a staff of 50
  • Facilitate hiring and promotions, conduct incoming staff and leadership trainings
  • Secure new and returning clients each semester
  • Run weekly meetings, including professional development workshops and secure guest speakers
  • Manage accounts on client projects to ensure work is held to a high and credible standard
  • Edit and approve all content created by account members, such as strategic plans, press releases, media pitches, contracts, etc.

 

Putting Knowledge to Action

Social media exists to connect us to each other and the world around us. If you take a look at anyone’s Twitter, Instagram or Facebook profile, you can easily identify what their interests are. In our hyperconnected society, we have crafted our social media to be extensions of ourselves. But how often do our posts, likes and retweets get put into action?

Every communications student has learned about the narcotizing dysfunction of mass media coined by Paul Lazarsfeld and Robert Merton at one point or another. Essentially, the media can cover a particular topic or issue so extensively that you confuse your own knowledge on the subject for action. This then fosters a vicious cycle in which media consumers do not work to remedy the situations we hear so much about, causing new complications to arise. Take Hurricane Maria for example; many of us are aware of the state of devastation the natural disaster put Puerto Rico in, but I would be willing to bet that most of us, including myself, have made little effort to donate money or contribute to relief efforts.

Social media can certainly be a double-edged sword, as we utilize it to keep abreast of the news but fail to go beyond informing ourselves. It is crucial that we are engaged with what is happening around us and can form our own opinions about the stories we see reflected in the media. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking we are contributing to a cause when we speak out about it on social media or retweet a post made by a favorite organization or public figure. Doing this helps stimulate vital conversations, but I would encourage all of you to truly involve yourselves in what you hold close to your hearts.

As aspiring PR professionals, we are studying to become advocates for whatever distinct avenues we choose to pursue. By moving away from the narcotizing dysfunction, we are preparing ourselves for our future careers by championing what we feel passionate about. I challenge everyone to pinpoint something they frequently communicate about on social media and have a clear comprehension of. Perhaps you are enthusiastic about environmental protection, politics or humanitarianism. Browsing the internet for just a few minutes can link you to people who are actively giving back. The possibilities are endless; you can become a volunteer, raise funds or become a voice for other students on campus. Your help is always needed in some capacity.

Keep speaking out on social media, but never become apathetic. You wield significant power with the amount of information at your fingertips. Civically engage yourself and go beyond what is on your screen. It is impossible to crusade for every issue that the media presents to us, but putting your knowledge to action will reveal more about yourself and your ability to change the world more than you could have ever imagined.

This blog post was written by Account Associate Christina Borst.

Help Feed Philly during the Holidays

According to the US Department of Agriculture, 41 million people face hunger in the U.S. today — including nearly 13 million children and more than five million seniors.

The community has supported PRowl Public Relations for the past ten years, so now it is our turn to give back. This week we will be collecting canned goods and cash donations for the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission. Please consider dropping off donations in The View Lobby on Nov. 13 and 15 from 12-5 PM.

If you would like to send a cash donation, please contact Jeremy Rives at the email listed below.

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Switching Coasts: An Alumni Spotlight on Faiz Mandviwalla

Without knowing what the future might hold, Faiz Mandviwalla moved to San Francisco after graduating from Temple in 2016. After working as an associate for six months at The OutCast Agency, Mandviwalla was hired full-time as an Assistant Account Executive. A PRowl Public Relations alum, he recently spoke to the firm, sharing his experience about post-graduation and welcoming questions about his time working in the field.

Mandviwalla joined PRowl as a sophomore at Temple; he spent his first year working on the university’s communications account, SM+C, and helped plan and execute several events that increased school spirit.

“I actually heard about PRowl when I was still in high school. One of the reasons I chose Temple was because I already knew I wanted to study public relations. In my first year at PRowl, we brainstormed and executed several campaigns to increase school spirit, including coming up with the #CherryOn campaign,” he said.

Mandviwalla became the Director of Finance during his junior year, and worked on the Liacouras Center and Department of Strategic Communication (STRC) accounts. He created social media content for the Liacouras Center and developed promotions to target incoming students for STRC. He served as an Assistant Firm Director his senior year, overseeing the same accounts.

While working at PRowl, Mandviwalla also interned at various organizations and companies around Philly. One of his most valuable experiences was a year-long internship at the Philadelphia Bar Association. “I was given a lot of autonomy and responsibility, even calling and pitching reporters myself. I also led communication strategy for several smaller events, such as an intimate conversation with the Philly school superintendent, and another with former world heavyweight champion, Larry Holmes,” he explained. Mandviwalla also interned with Bellevue Communications Agency, where he was able to draft social media calendars for multiple clients and work on story content for the then-upcoming Democratic National Convention.

At The Outcast Agency, a communications and marketing agency with locations in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, he worked with clients such as Amazon, Facebook, HBO, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Recharge Labs, Tanium and Zunum Aero as an associate. “The first six months at OutCast as an associate were great. I learned the ins and outs of tech PR and worked with some amazing clients along the way. After getting hired on full-time, I realized that the fun was only just beginning. Now, I have the freedom to interact with my clients at will and to pursue interesting opportunities for them as they appear, rather than wait for approval.”  

He currently works with Facebook Games, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Primer AI, and the Long-Term Stock Exchange (LTSE). Facebook Games is the part of Facebook that is pushing into video game streaming and partnerships. DARPA is the Pentagon’s R&D division and is credited with creating the Internet, GPS, and drones. Primer AI is a recently launched AI startup that processes and analyzes the world’s information. And finally, the LTSE is an ambitious idea to create a new kind of stock exchange where long-term planning, rather than quarterly reports, are prioritized. Mandviwalla does something completely different for each of his clients, which is something he loves about being at a PR agency.

He misses being on the East Coast and PRowl, but also loves how amazingly weird and energetic the West Coast is. “I miss Wawa, Jim’s on South Street, and my mom’s cooking the most, but PRowl will always will have a special place in my heart.”

This alumni spotlight was written by Account Associate Neil Egan.

How to Handle the Stress of College as Told by The Office

College is known for being the best four years of your life. People tend to overlook that it
can also be the most stressful four years of your life. Balancing a social life, a job, endless
amounts homework, an internship, clubs and self-love is A LOT. OF. WORK. Luckily, with help
from the crew at Dunder Mifflin, there are ways to beat the stress, and enjoy the best four years
of our lives.

Remember to treat yourself every once in awhile. When you have two tests, an essay and a
presentation all in one week, go out and buy yourself some ice cream. Or even better, stock up
on ice cream so you have it at your disposal when you’re craving Chunky Monkey at 1 am and
don’t feel like going to the grocery store. Ice cream, or any dessert, makes studying ~bearable~.

Friends can make any situation better. They offer the best advice when you’re unsure of what to
do, they know your pain when you have bags underneath your eyes from your lack of sleep, and they are always there if you need a shoulder to cry on when you did not get the internship you really wanted. After all, college is where you meet the people that will be in your wedding one day.

When in doubt, make a countdown. Seeing the number of days left until a well deserved break
is THE best type of motivation. Think about the mornings where you don’t have to wake up to
the sound of an alarm clock, sleeping in YOUR OWN BED and most importantly, all the home
cooked meals you will be devouring as soon as you step foot into your childhood home.

Make the most of every day and live in the moment because as cliche as it may sound, college goes by in a blink of the eye. Will it be acceptable to wear sweatpants to work? Probably not. Can you take three hour naps in the real world? Highly unlikely. Will you have sleepovers with your best friends every day of the week? Not a chance. So enjoy every small thing college has to offer, instead of focusing all of your energy on the stressful things. After all, people also tend to overlook that college is the fastest four years of a person’s life…

This blog post was written by Account Associate Shannon McQuaid.