This past fall, 32 NFL teams began training camp with a quest to win one of the most famous trophies in sports: The Vince Lombardi Trophy. Twelve teams qualified for a spot in the playoffs by the end of December. As we approach Feb. 4, there are still two teams with a chance to become Super Bowl champions: the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. While the Patriots are the favorite to win on the field, let’s take a look at the matchup from a brand standpoint.
When it comes to primary logos, both teams could make improvements by going back into history. The “Soaring Eagle” and the “Hiking Patriot” are both classic logos, and upgrades from what each team has now. However, both of their current logos have stood the test of time from their debut in the 90s.
The Eagles rebranded in 1996 and dropped its eagle soaring through the sky holding a football as prey, in favor of a modernized, white and grey, angry eagle face. The biggest loss was the change from a bright and vibrant “kelly green” to a darker “midnight green.”
The Patriots, on the other hand, had a revolutionary war soldier hiking a football from 1961-1992. It was a hand-drawn masterpiece, but it was replaced by what is often referred to as “Flying Elvis,” in an effort to modernize the team and bring it into the new millenium. The team adjusted its colors in 2000 to what we see now. Its most recent improvement in 2013 was an update to the wordmark found on the jerseys and in the endzones.
Put side by side, the Eagles’ logo is fiercer and flows better with its uniforms.
The Verdict: Eagles
Just like their logos, each team’s uniforms have suffered in the name of “modernity.” Although this has given us some fantastic throwback jerseys over the last few years, it has ultimately left us with disappointing and dull current uniforms. Just like the logos, both uniforms have remained almost unchanged since they were rolled out in the 90s.
During the 70s and 80s, the Eagles wore fantastic, vibrant kelly green uniforms, but the logo change brought on a new “midnight green” color scheme. Although this was a downgrade, the team kept its strongest uniform feature: the wings of the eagle on the helmet. Unlike most NFL teams, the Eagles don’t use the team’s primary logo on the side of their helmets. Instead, the team’s helmet design features a dynamic image of an eagle’s wings coming from the front of the helmet, contrasted nicely with the primary eagle logo on the shoulders of the jerseys. This gives the Eagles of one the best helmet designs in the league. The negative thing about its uniforms is the number font, which seems out of place with the rest of the design, but color change aside, it’s a good look.
The Patriots used to have white helmets and pants and a clean red jersey that had simple shoulder stripes. These uniforms have made their way back on the field a few times in throwback fashion. Although it didn’t make much sense to have the “Patriots” wearing red when the British army was the “redcoats,” it was still a timeless design. The move to silver helmets and more striping on the sides fit well in the early 2000s, but appears cluttered today. Don’t expect the superstitious Patriots to change anything while Brady, Belichick and Kraft are still in power, though. The team has won five Super Bowls with this current set, and it’s wearing white on this upcoming Super Bowl Sunday thanks to its undefeated Super Bowl record in the road uniforms.
The extra piping under the arms really subtracts from the Patriots look, while the wings on the helmet give Philly an edge.
The Verdict: Eagles
The NFL has done a fantastic job of building its brand as a league, to the point of taking over baseball as “America’s pastime” (according to Bloomberg Politics poll, 67 percent of Americans consider football as “America’s pastime,” while only 28 percent say baseball still is). Individual teams have benefited greatly from this trend and have built their own individual identities, uniting cities, states and sometimes even entire regions around a group of men playing a game.
Longevity is a vital part of building a brand. The Eagles have been around for a long, long time. Founded in 1933, the team has been a staple of Philadelphia and of the NFL. Counting this upcoming game, it’s been in two Super Bowls and won the NFC east division 13 times, but its players are still searching for their first Super Bowl win. Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles’ stadium, is regarded as one of the most hostile environments for away teams and fans in the league. Compared with many other franchises, the Eagles have something to be incredibly proud of.
But, even better for a brand than longevity is sustained success. The Patriots have essentially been the benchmark of that for the last 15+ years. The team has now appeared in 10 Super Bowls, winning five of them and looking for a sixth ring, even though it was founded almost 30 years later than the Eagles. The Patriots’ identity is forged by no-nonsense characters like Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, who are never content with current success. Belichick is famous for his short and usually not sweet interactions with reporters, almost appearing robotic at times. He also coined the mantra that inspires his team, “Do Your Job,” encouraging players and coaches within the organization to stay focused on what they have to do each week and not worry about anything else. The organization has built a loyal fanbase in the New England area, which makes the entire region feel connected to what happens in Foxborough, Massachussetts, on Sundays during football season.
The name “New England Patriots” carries with it a heavy weight among the NFL that “Philadelphia Eagles” simply doesn’t. It is hated, but respected.
The Verdict: Patriots
Whether through Twitter, Instagram or a website, it is vitally important to connect with your targeted audience and develop a voice for your organization digitally. For fans who are unable to watch a game, getting live game updates on Twitter might be just what they need. A well-designed gameday graphic could inspire someone to tune in and watch the team play. A website that’s easily navigated can push someone toward buying a favorite player’s jersey. It’s incredibly important for teams to have consistent, coherent and creative messages across all platforms.
The official website of the Eagles, philadelphiaeagles.com, is clean, but bland at first glance. It lacks good design, but it is well-organized. On Twitter, the Eagles have built a unifying rally cry, “Fly Eagles Fly,” into a hashtag, boosting fan interaction. On Instagram, what it lack in graphics, it makes up for in incredible photography, but the communication team could afford to add in a few graphics to give its posts a flow.
The Patriots website, patriots.com, is very well-designed. The content is intriguing, with a “lifestyle” news section and a “locker room celebrations” video section. This shows another side of the players that you don’t get to see on the field. The best part of the team’s digital footprint is the “Not Done Network," which delivers non-stop coverage of the team leading up to the Super Bowl, with content on the website, Twitter Live, Facebook Live and YouTube. The continuous coverage gives people the ability to consume as much as they want to, and brings media across several different platforms. On Twitter, the Patriots created the hashtag “#NotDone” specifically for the playoffs, although it’s not as well-known as “#FlyEaglesFly.” Its Instagram account has solid photography, but also mixes in the right amount of graphics.
The design across all platforms and the creation of the “Not Done Network” give the Pats an edge over “Fly Eagles Fly.”
The Final Verdict:
While the final score will decide the best team on the field, it’s ultimately up to the individual to judge between these two brands. The Super Bowl is a special event that brings in the whole world, connecting over 100 million people who are watching the game, the commercials or just Justin Timberlake’s halftime show. There are many groups of fans who will simply root against the Patriots in every game, and many more want to see the underdog get the upset. As the game plays out, try to think deeply about the lessons that can be learned about the brand and voice of a sports organization, while enjoying the reactions of people at watch parties and on Twitter.
Soak everything in this Super Bowl Sunday.
By Hudson Nuckolls, Capstone Agency Assistant Firm Director
MSL, one of the world’s leading public relations and digital communications agencies, is looking for candidates with strong writing, communication and social media skills.
This is an 8-12 week paid internship in a specific practice (corporate, consumer or digital). Project opportunities range from traditional media relations and content development to social media content creation and event management, among others.
More information about the MSL Atlanta summer internship program, as well as an application link, can be found here.
The deadline to apply is Friday, February 16.
As a kid, I loved reading. If I got sick and had to stay home from school, my mom would sit with me, and we’d read books all day. In middle school, I’d rush home, sit on my bed and read Harry Potter novels for hours. I had bins filled with books, and I read each one.
In high school, something changed. Most of my time was filled with extracurriculars and homework. By the time I had finished my daily responsibilities, I felt like watching TV and doing nothing else.
College is no better. After completing hundreds of pages of assigned reading for classes each week, the thought of opening a book and reading for fun often feels off-putting.
This past December, I was packing to go home for winter break and decided to throw a book in my bag. I almost always intend to read in airports and on flights, but this rarely happens (I typically succumb to the lure of Netflix). During this particular trip, my lengthy layover in Dallas got even longer after two delayed flights. Much to my dismay, wifi at Love Field is not free (the horror). I was left to occupy nearly four hours with the only non-digital form of entertainment I had packed.
So, I found a chair, got comfortable and read. And it was actually nice. I realized that I had missed reading things besides news articles, blogs and textbooks.
This semester, I decided I would spend one hour each week reading a book for fun. It’s not a lot of time, but it’s manageable with my busy schedule. It’s only been a few weeks, but so far I have truly enjoyed my allotted reading time.
I think we all would benefit from, and even enjoy, some leisurely reading. Here’s why:
1. Reading improves your vocabulary and writing ability.
It’s no secret that reading can expose us to new words and unique storytelling methods. Reading news articles and textbooks is a great way to learn new things, but these media aren’t known for their rich word choice—they’re meant to be easy to read. On the other hand, novels are filled with uncommon words and intricate stories. Reading well-written books is a great way to become a better writer, which is important for public relations students and professionals.
2. A good book can relieve stress and ease depression.
An article from the Baltimore Sun notes that reading a non-business book is a good way to disengage from everyday stressors. Good novels can transport us to another world, and this allows us to relax and forget about our worries for a short time. Happy, light-hearted books can even ease symptoms of depression.
3. Reading can help prevent Alzheimer’s.
According to an ABC News story, people who engage in intellectually demanding activities, like reading, can lower their risk of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases. People who don’t exercise their brain risk losing crucial cognitive abilities.
4. Getting lost in a book can help you sleep better.
A book can help you relax and relieve stress, which makes reading a good bedtime activity. Many of us find we have a hard time shutting off our minds when it’s time to go to sleep, but reading before bed can help the mind relax and prepare for rest.
5. Novels make you more compassionate.
An article in The Washington Post discusses how reading can help us develop empathy. Novels allow readers to connect with fictional characters, which make us better at understanding human emotions. An ability to gauge others’ mental states can help us be better employees, leaders and people.
As Stephen King said, “Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”
In 2018, let’s fill life’s inevitable dead spots with books instead of Netflix.
By Alyssa Comins, VP of Web-Based Communication
Hello spring, hello internship application season! If you’re a sophomore or junior, I’m sure you’re feeling the heat of trying to solidify your summer plans. After submitting numerous applications, we all hope to move on to the interview phase. However, interviewing for your dream internship opportunity can certainly spark some nerves. A great way to alleviate some stress is to prepare well. Listed below are eight common PR internship interview questions to help you practice!
1. “Tell us about yourself”
The “So, tell me about yourself” question — we all get it. This is an opportunity for you to showcase who you are, what experiences/skills you have and what particularly your career aspirations are. Consider having an elevator pitch ready so you can highlight each of these three areas. Also, make sure to align your past experiences with the position you’re seeking.
2. “Tell us what you know/like about our company”
This is a common question that will narrow down who has invested time in learning more about the company and is passionate about pursuing the position. Head to the company website and pick out the mission statement, frequently found phrases and words, news involving the company and campaign work its staff have done.
Furthermore, it will definitely look impressive if you say “Oh, I found this great campaign on your website; can you tell me more about it?” This will prove that you are passionate and well-educated on the company. Additionally, you can tailor your answers so you sound like the candidate they’re searching for. This is definitely doable if you look through the position description.
3. “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”
Understanding who you are and what your skills are is crucial to having a successful interview. Knowing what sectors of the PR industry you’re especially good at will benefit you in the interview process.
When listing off weaknesses, you do not want to say things that are essential in the PR field, but obviously don’t lie. An example of a good weakness is that you’re impatient and want to complete tasks right away. This weakness is especially easy to spin into a strength, which is something to always consider doing when listing off weaknesses.
4. “Who do you consider our top three competitors to be?”
This really tests how well you know the industry. Make sure to do in-depth research about the industry, come up with reasonable competitors and integrate substantial points as to why they are.
5. “What are your favorite aspects of public relations?”
While this might be a very simple question, a simple answer is not really the right way to go. Employers want to hear beyond that “textbook” answer. Instead, speak about personal stories that make you hungry for a career in PR. Think about what aspects of the industry really electrify you and align with your strengths.
Something you should not say is “I love people!” While PR professionals do interact with people regularly, as is the case with many jobs, the interactions serve to a high purpose and goal.
6. “If you were given tasks of equal importance that had to be done by the end of the day, but you knew you weren’t going to finish it all, what would you do?”
Basically, how do you prioritize your tasks? If you’re a planner (like I am), then really highlight on that. Talk about how you strategize your time to the highest efficiency in order to complete as many tasks possible, but still producing exceptional work.
7. “What are some of your favorite PR campaigns?”
This is the perfect time to show your personality and your interest in the industry. Interviewers want to get to know you, so pick campaigns that incorporate your passions and talk about how they further your desire to be in the PR industry.
8. “Where do you get your news?”
With a career in the PR industry, it is a MUST that you know what is happening in the world around you. Always check current events leading up to your interview date, if you don’t already, and be prepared to discuss them in an interview. To answer this question, you could talk about how you read theSkimm each morning or articles on whichever major news website you follow.
This is not an extensive list by any means, but these are some common questions asked in interviews. The main point is to be relaxed and show your true, professional self. Understand your strengths and how your past experiences align with the position you’re interviewing for. Remember that you don’t just wish for dreams; you work for them. Best of luck on your interviews!
By Katrina Waelchli, VP of Social Media
Congrats, you’re hired! You’re now an intern at your dream company after weeks of cover letters, interviews and follow-up emails. It’s time to finally relax and take things easy, right? Well, not so fast. Finding an internship is the strongest way to get your foot in the door at your dream company, but it’s not guaranteed to keep you there. Showing your amazing talent and work ethic is what’s going to help you stand out as a great candidate for full-time employment. Here are five simple ways that you can set yourself apart as a stellar intern:
1. Be present.
Listening intently and being present in the moment cannot be stressed enough. A meeting is never the time to be mentally planning that day’s happy hour, nor is it a time to type out your next batch of emails. Instead, focus on what’s going on around you, what’s being said and how your co-workers interact. Not only will you learn more about the company than what you could ever glean from research, but your attention and listening skills will definitely be noticed.
2. Keep a list of your weekly goals, accomplishments and lessons learned.
Internships are a time to learn and grow as a professional, and documenting that experience can help you see just how far you’ve come during your internship. A great way to use this list is to share it with your direct manager once per week. They can use the list as a tool to identify where you’re strong and where you could improve, then provide constructive feedback on how to do so. They should be giving you this kind of feedback anyway, but you get bonus points for making their job easy!
3. Be eager and excited to do your job.
A common trap that interns fall into goes something like this: “I’m an intern; I do intern work and my intern work isn’t actually that important to the company, so I shouldn’t try that hard.” That kind of attitude is a great way to get yourself sent out the door. Bosses are impressed when you approach every task with an open mind and a positive attitude. Don’t treat it like “intern work”; own your work and make it represent the best of you. If you want to go a step farther, volunteer for tasks that are outside of your assignment. You’ll be seen as helpful, as well as gain experience in something new.
4. Get to know your co-workers at all levels.
Sure, going to happy hour with your fellow interns and grabbing lunch with your direct manager are a start. But if you really want to make yourself known in your internship, you have to make connections. Try setting up coffee dates with people outside of your team or department to learn more about their positions. Most people would be more than willing to chat with you about their experience with the company, and hearing different points of view can help you decide if it’s the right fit for you. At the same time, your co-workers are learning a little more about you, helping them to remember your name and personality.
5. Share candid feedback about your internship experience.
Every company wants to attract the most talented interns, which is why most take great care to craft incredible internship experiences. In order to better the experience year after year, they will ask their interns for recommendations on how to improve the program. Even if it was awesome, this is not a time to say, “Oh, it’s perfect! There’s nothing I would change.” Try to provide real feedback, either on a change that can be made or a way that something good could be even better. Doing so will show that you paid attention, truly evaluated your experience and wanted to see the company succeed in the future.
Following these five tips will help get you noticed for all the right reasons in your next internship. Putting in a little extra effort can go a long way!
by Bethany Corne, President
All blogs are written by general members of UAPRSSA and Capstone Agency.