Growth in the Unknown

In almost every situation of growth and personal development, a person is confronted with new tasks, new opportunities, or information that challenges old way of thinking and requires new effort. These things can cause people severe anxiety. To help calm your mind and build your confidence, remember these tips:

Negative self talk serves no purpose

Who you tell yourself you are is who you become. What you decide to fill your thoughts with is the kind of experience you will attract. By telling yourself, “there is nothing I cannot handle,” “I can find my dream job,”  “I can do my dream job,” “I can be happy today,” “I can be productive today.” These thoughts will start to cultivate a more powerful, positive, and productive perception of yourself.

Call out that fearful feeling for what it is

Your self-doubt is your complacency. The voice in your head that questions your ability to rise to these new challenges is your complacent and comfortable voice. Know that this feeling of doubt means you are taking steps to challenge yourself, be a little happier, learn a little more, be your best self, and have your best life.

Remember how you have risen to meet other challenges

Remember that you have felt this feeling before. When you graduated high school, became a college student, made new friends, studied abroad, started a new internship, you have been successful in the unknown before. You have evolved and grown through those experiences, and you can do it again.

Comparison is the thief of all joy

Rather than comparing what another has accomplished, focus relentlessly on your own journey. Instead of comparing, learn from the people who have what you want. Seek out these people; they are resources if you wish to use them as such. Ask them questions, follow some of their own practices, and take their advice.

It is those most adaptable to change that survive

Adapting to new environments and situations is a power we all have as human beings. There are skills and knowledge inside of you for these new tasks. Go to that networking event. Apply to that job. Travel to a new place. Start a new workout class. Meet new friends. Expand your world.

This blog post was written by PRowl Account Associate Chelsea D’Ortone.

Fyre Festival Fiasco: What Went Wrong and Key PR Takeaways

Fyre Festival was supposed to be a music festival for the elite. The festival, organized by Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule, was created to promote the Fyre music booking app, an app used to book celebrity appearances. The luxurious two-weekend event was set to take place in the Exumas district of the Bahamas with top performers, such as Blink-182 and Major Lazer. What actually took place, however, is a completely different story.

Guests arrived that Thursday evening to find an empty gravel lot, subpar food, absent staff, and disaster relief tents scattered on the festival grounds. The event was marketed to have Starr catering, celebrities, yachts, villas, and pristine beaches, but what guests arrived to was an unfinished disaster.

I know what you are thinking: How did festival creators manage to pull off this incredible scam? Easy: through a talented public relations team. Fyre’s priorities were in its marketing- and that was the problem.  

Long before the planning took place, Fyre Festival was already releasing flashy advertisements, including a commercial featuring supermodels Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, and Alessandra Ambrosio. Influencers were also contacted to promote the event on social media.

As the event steadily approached, musical acts began to drop out, after festival organizers failed to pay them. Starr Catering Group’s steep price for high quality food was too high for Fyre’s budget. And when nothing was ready in time, Fyre Festival’s organizers said nothing.

With all of the backlash unfolding after this fiasco, there are a few things that we can take away from this horrible PR crisis:

  1. Always under promise and over deliver

Perhaps Fyre’s biggest mistake was that it failed to live up to the buzz it created. Fyre Festival’s marketing set expectations too high. Marketing is important, but if there isn’t an amazing product to back it up, there isn’t going to be a good reaction from customers, which will result in a not so good ending for a company.  

  1. Planning is all in the details

One of Fyre Festival’s biggest issues is that it spent far too much of its budget on marketing and not enough on the things that really mattered. Organizers knew what they wanted their event to be but didn’t think of all the little things that go into planning a music festival. Performers dropped out because no one had contacted them in regards to payment. Little details, like payment, caused big problems for Fyre Festival.

  1. Communication matters

One of the biggest problems with Fyre’s team was the lack of communication they had with festival-goers. Organizers not only failed to tell guests about changes in catering, but also failed to reveal the performers. Even days before the festival, acts weren’t announced because most of them were in the midst of pulling out from the festival. Blink-182 released a statement on Twitter, revealing why they weren’t performing. Fyre’s team also should have made moves to reschedule the festival. Instead, they let it go on, knowing that things weren’t complete or up to par with what had been marketed.

  1. Apologies must be sincere

While Fyre Festival was very quick to apologize on social media, it should have been done long before. And the apology was very long, saying things like, “We’re sorry, we’ll double-down next time.” They shouldn’t even be thinking of a next time. It makes the apology seem ingenuous, and as if they don’t realize the repercussions of their actions. Apologies that are made need to be done in a timely manner, but also should be short and to the point.

This blog post was written by PRowl Account Associate Nicole Pedrick.

Maintaining Face in the Digital World

In today’s digital age, social media has become more and more apparent in the professional world—with many employers searching for you on various social media platforms.  Currently, 65% of employers are looking at your social media profile before they make the decision to hire you, so it is important to keep your profile up to date and professional. So, if you are beginning to realize your social media profile is not up to professional standards, or could use some cleaning up, read along and follow these tips!

Don’t post anything inappropriate!

Although obvious, it still stands true! I am not saying to not post about going out with your friends or that cute selfie you just took, but do not post anything you would not want your grandmother to see. Even if your grandmother does not have social media, your future employer does!

Join LinkedIn!

Otherwise known as the professional Facebook, LinkedIn is a great social media platform to join. Many recruiters are often sifting through LinkedIn to find that perfect future employee, which could be you! It’s a great way to show off all your skills and qualifications without sounding like you are constantly boasting about it.

Make your profile pictures appropriate!

Excluding LinkedIn (where you should DEFINITELY use a headshot), your Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media outlet you may use should showcase an appropriate image of yourself. Do not stray away from using that picture you took by yourself in your favorite sweater. As long as you are yourself and you look appropriately dressed, you’ll be fine. But hey, if your headshot is your favorite photo, use it!

Don’t use social media too often…

You’ve established this online persona for yourself, so go live up to it! Not only does it allow you to live your life, but not posting on social media often shows that you’re not addicted to posting, so you definitely won’t be on it in the workplace.

Be yourself!

Sounds cliché, I know, it’s true! You want your true personality to shine through your social media. When you get to that interview, you want to be consistent to how you appear online. Your personality is one of the many reasons your potential employer is interested in you!

Social media can be tricky, but following some of these tips will help you update your profile into the professional and current individual you are.

This blog post was written by PRowl Account Executive Leah Hillegas.

How To Market Yourself Without an Internship

Struggling to find an internship or job without any prior experience? Don’t fret, there are several ways to market yourself as a capable and passionate future employee.

First and foremost, be proactive. As a college student, I found that the best way to do so is by joining a student organization relatable to your field of interest. Most universities offer a large variety of organizations that are always searching for passionate students. This will give you a little taste of real life experience, and make you stand out amongst your peers. It will also provide you writing samples for your portfolio, or even discussion points in an interview.

Second, NETWORK. You’ll hear it on a regular basis as a college student, as it is important to build relationships with as many professionals as possible. You never know who may offer you a job one day, or who they might know to further your career. At the same time, it’s important not to be too aggressive. Employers can easily spot those who are just trying to find a job. Instead, do your research on that person or their organization. They’ll find that far more flattering, and conversation will flow with ease. Also, if you haven’t created a LinkedIn page for yourself yet, DO IT IMMEDIATELY. LinkedIn is the most beneficial networking tool of the 21st century, making it easier than ever to reach top professionals.

Third, keep up that GPA. As a college student, everyone knows how important grades are. Top grades and a high GPA help highlight your time management skills and ability to dedicate yourself to something. If you’re able to maintain top-tier grades while participating in outside activities, you will really stands out.

Finally, be confident in yourself. Know that if you’re doing everything in your power to become successful, there is no reason for self-doubt. Self-doubt is another weakness that employers can spot rather quickly. Whether it be an interview, networking opportunity, or even in class, be confident in your abilities and you will be destined for success.

This blog post was written by PRowl Account Executive Matthew Duddy.

Have a PRoactive Summer!

Ah, sweet, hot summer is right around the corner! It’s time for road trips with friends, family vacations, and simply a little bit of relaxation! Now even though resting, relaxing, and having fun are all important parts of the summer break, there are still some things you can do to stay proactive this summer. Participating in these five activities will assure that you become the best version of yourself and stay on top of your own professional development. Trust me, none of these tasks should take up every second of your sweet summer time.

Network

Since most students have more free time in the summer, the break is the perfect time to look for professional networking events hosted around the area. Many professional organizations host luncheons, guest-speakers and events that the public can attend. Even if you travel back home for the break, it is a good idea to look for networking events there. You never know who people in other cities may know and what new opportunities will be introduced to you.

Intern

So, you are bummed out because all your friends have internships for the summer and you don’t. Don’t be. Just because you did not score an internship that starts the day the spring semester ends does not mean you will be internship-less all summer. Many times, internship openings become available mid-summer, due to a need for more interns or scheduling conflicts with those they hired. Be sure to keep your eyes open and stay in touch with places you want to intern for. In the end, if a summer internship doesn’t work out, it is never too early to begin the search for a fall internship.

Volunteer

If mid-summer is approaching and you still did not score an internship, don’t worry! Volunteering is another great option. Volunteering is an important experience for job recruiters to see on a student’s resume. It shows you care for something larger than yourself. There are many non-profits, charities, and events one can volunteer for in the Philadelphia area. By volunteering, you will also continue to gain skills and build your network with local professionals.

Work

Getting a summer job at an ice cream stand or an amusement park is not necessarily the most glamorous way to spend your summer, but it is better to work than to sit at home bored. Imagine all the cash you will earn to buy something you are yearning for! A part-time job will help with that. Most places need extra help throughout the summer, so do not hesitate to apply!

Take a class

Going to school in the summer is probably the last thing you want to hear at this point, but do not put off the chance to take a summer class and knock some credits out of the way. Even if you do not want to take a summer class, see what events your school offers in the summer that interests you. Checking out what your school has to offer throughout the summer is a great way to be more prepared to arrive back in the fall!

These activities are important to participate in at some point throughout your college career. Doing some of them in the summer will just put you ahead of the game while you have more time to dedicate. Most importantly, whatever you do this summer, enjoy it!

This blog post was written by PRowl Account Associate Diana Cielesz.

The do-nots of a PR crisis

As a public relations practitioner, it is likely that you will face a crisis during your career at least once. Whether that crisis be big or small, it is extremely important for you to understand how to handle these situations. It is important to remain calm, know the facts, keep the media in the loop and have a plan ready to go in the event of a crisis.

Do not panic

Obviously, the word crisis itself instills some type of fear in us. It is extremely important to remain calm during a crisis of any kind. Whether it be a scandal, a fire or a data breach; it is crucial as the PR practitioner to remain cool, calm and collected. If you are panicked, it will convey to the media that you do not have things under control.

Do not spew information

Unless the information that is about to leave your lips is a fact, do not say it. You cannot tell the media “the situation is under control” or “it is being handled” if you have no idea if it is. Refer the media to others who may know the information (i.e. police, fire department, etc.).

Do not assume other roles

Remember that you have one job – media relations. Your job is to talk to the media, not to find out who was injured, what information was leaked, etc. It is your job to protect and defend an individual, company, or organization while they are facing a challenge.

Do not be unprepared

As a PR practitioner, it is crucial that you are PRepared for anything that could come your way. Although you may not be anticipating a crisis, it could strike at any minute and you need to be ready for it. Make sure your team has a crisis management plan set up just in case. This plan should include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Crisis management team
  • Established roles of team members
  • Guidelines as how to communicate internal and external stakeholders
  • How to handle the media – who is designated to represent the organization?
  • Possible travel arrangements, if necessary

This blog post was written by PRowl Account Associate Kate Yeager.

United Airlines PR crisis: What went wrong and how to rebuild a positive image

Have you ever been pumped up to go on vacation, only to get to the airport gate and be told your flight is overbooked? Well surprisingly, it happens all too often. Airlines typically overbook flights frequently due to the assumption that not all passengers who booked a flight will actually show up.

The question then becomes, what if everyone who booked seats shows up, but now there are not enough seats for everyone who paid? What does the airline do? What should they do? This may seem like a recipe for disaster, and that’s exactly what recently happened with one of the biggest airlines in the United States, United Airlines.

Social media went into a frenzy over the weekend, when a viral video showed members of security physically and violently dragging a passenger off of a flight due to both overbooking and the need for open seats for airline employees to board.

miya blog

While new details continue to make headlines about what actually transpired, newer footage continues to surface, and many flyers bash the company and vow to never fly with United again. Here are some ways United Airlines could turn this corporate public relations crisis around quickly:

  1. Due to the 24-hour news cycle, time is crucial. Therefore, a public and personal apology should have come immediately and appropriately.
  2. United should take full responsibility and inform the public of their mistake, and how they plan to implement a new strategy on how to fix their booking system to avoid this happening again.
  3. United should refund all passengers on board whom may been affected; this shows a sincere concern and customer service awareness.
  4. United should also utilize all of their social media platforms to inform the public and stakeholders about their mistake and tactics they plan to utilize to get back in the public eye in a positive way
  5. And lastly, United should continue to check in on the harmed passenger and inform the public that passengers are the top priority, and that United is a safe, welcoming airline that values all passengers.

There are many different tactics and useful suggestions that United Airlines could utilize as they go through this public relations crisis. As larger corporations face public relations crises, it is essential that companies have ready-made contingency plans in the event that a crisis may occur—time is crucial. This case shows how important it is for brands to maintain positive, clean images, and how hard it is to get back into the public sphere once a brand has been weakened.

This blog post was written by PRowl Account Associate Miya Fredericks. 

Be Brief, Be Bold, Be Gone

handshake-440959_960_720

The most valuable lessons I have learned during my time at Temple are three simple things: be bold, be brief, be gone. In today’s business world these three pieces of advice can help better your chances to nail that job or internship that the same 30 other people could potentially be going after.

Be Bold:

It’s easier than ever to make an impression with the people who matter; the hard part is getting the courage to go up to them. There are so many opportunities for you to get out there and meet those people that could be your future employers, like TU Invitational, the career fair, etc. You should always stay engaged while panelists speak, and ask questions when they are finished. It is also encouraged to go up after they are done speaking and introduce yourself; if anything just tell them how much you enjoyed their talk. Putting yourself out there shows effort and initiative that you can use to your advantage in the future.

Be Brief:

Like I previously stated, potential employers meet so many people everyday and it can get exhausting. While I said it is important to be bold, it is also crucial not to stretch your time. Being concise, both in real life and on paper is vital. If you’re meeting someone in person, be mindful that they probably have somewhere else to be or other people to meet. If you’re submitting a resume or cover letter you should be brief as well. Your potential employer has so many items they have to review, so make sure you put the most important content on your resume/cover letter.

Be Gone:

I know this may seem like an obvious part of the equation, but this part can get taken away from people sometimes. It is important to set an end time for things. For example, if you are meeting a professional for lunch, you should have a set time for the lunch to end so there is no awkward, leftover time. This can change the other person’s impression of the lunch from “It was productive” to “It was okay.”

I have personally practiced these three things when meeting with professionals of all kind, and it has worked wonders. It has both increased my confidence and opportunities in my public relations career.

This blog post was written by PRowl Account Associate Lailumah Faisal. 

 

Four need-to-know tips for time management

As a college student with a job, internship and full class schedule, I know how hard it can be to manage your time. That is why I have created this list of ways to ease the stress of rushing around and managing your time effectively. Here are things I do in order to manage my time and make the most use of it.

Untitled

  1. Have a Planner

A planner is very helpful and allows you to have a list of things you need to get accomplished. Let’s be real, we all forget things. Tracking events, assignments and test days in your planner is productive, and this system allows you to plan for each task instead of memorizing everything. It is also useful because after you complete an assignment or project you can cross it out, which is quite satisfying if you ask me.

  1. “To Do” Lists

Set aside 20 minutes every day to write out your daily to-do list. Why? It helps you manage how your day is going to be spent. If you want to get creative with it, you can make approximate times for each item on your list. This is great for getting all the little things done during the day and helps you knock out large tasks more efficiently.

  1. Allow time for interruptions during the day

Even with a planner and to-do list, you should allow yourself time during the day for interruptions. If you are in a work environment and do not want to be bothered, you can use headphones, or if you are in an office setting, putting a simple, “Do not disturb” sign on the door can limit the amount of interruptions.

  1. 1-hour rule

No matter how busy you are on any given day, allow yourself at least one hour to relax and let your brain and body rest. This hour could be sitting on the couch watching TV or reading a book. Stress can really tear a person apart, depending on stress levels, but with the one-hour rule, you give yourself a break and time to recharge.

Use these tips to help you better manage and make use of your time. Time management is an important aspect of any and everyone’s lives, and once it is learned, it can really take the stress off and create a more organized way of living. I hope you enjoy this list of tips for time management and utilize it for your own life!

This blog post was written by PRowl Account Associate Caroline Bardo. 

5 Skills to Master for Working in PR

In an ever-changing world of technology and social media, it can become hard to keep up with the latest trends and ideas. To become the most effective public relations practitioner possible in changing times, a lot of patience and fluidity is required in the development of strategies and tactics for organizations. While the adaptation can be sudden and sometimes confusing, there are certain skills and abilities one can establish to make the constant change a bit simpler.

Here are five skills that can make your future job in PR a little easier when it comes to transitions:

1. Creativity

Public relations is one of the few fields one can enter that isn’t as static and predictable as many other job options. Aside from standard writing formats and AP style, creativity plays a huge role in how successful a practitioner can be. A constant, creative mindset allows for new innovative ideas to be put into action and further challenge other competitors in exposure to different audiences.

2. Public Speaking

How confidently and efficiently one can speak on behalf of their client or pitch ideas, can affect whether or not a relationship between an organization and its public is mutually beneficial or not. Considering this is the whole purpose of public relations, it is crucial to be a good public speaker since credibility can be based off of this and ultimately dictate how an audience perceives a specific company. If one does not confidently represent an audience’s best interest, the target audience won’t be persuaded to believe in the organization.

904f4-how-to-conduct-an-interview

3. Effective Writing

The ability to be a strong writer can go a long way in public relations. Whether it’s writing a pitch, press release or social media post, being able to write at a higher level can also aid in whether or not a public finds the relationship mutually beneficial or not. Writing about anything on a constant basis allows for practitioners to brush up on their skills and establish a more personal and effective writing style of their own.

4. Ability to Conduct Research

Knowing one’s audience is key in public relations. In order to accurately create communication methods that work for different audiences, it is imperative to do research. Becoming an effective researcher helps practitioners understand different markets and demographics but can even help in understanding the constantly evolving media world. If one can acquire the skills to become a good researcher or at least comprehend the value behind research, the better off they will be.

5. Detail-Focused

In public relations, how effective you are as a practitioner can come down to every little detail of your work. From how informationally accurate your facts are to the correct spelling of a person’s name, every little detail counts. A supervisor will have a specific level of expectations for yourself and one mistake can result in termination, so it is very important to establish a routine of consistently checking your work. Whether that be fact checking, extensively researching the topic or checking specific spellings, getting in the habit now will help in the long run.

This blog post was written by PRowl Account Associate Lauren Marhefka.