Thursday, June 28, 2007

Can We Do It? Yes We Can.

In a recent marketing survey in PR Week, I came across an interesting quote. Clark Caywood, professor of integrated marketing communications at Northwestern University, said he’s skeptical as to whether the PR industry can capitalize on the new media that has emerged in the last few years.

Caywood doesn’t believe that the “PR industry will be able to demonstrate some form of thought leadership on blogs, how to measure blogs, or even the integration of video and blogs,” according to the PR Week article.

“To a lot of my friends in PR, [new media] is like another press release vehicle, and that’s not what it’s all about,” said Caywood.

Respectfully, I disagree. Just because new media may not make for an easy ROI formula, does not mean that we underestimate its value or mistake it for another vehicle for distributing press releases.

To the contrary, Furia Rubel and many of our colleagues encourage clients to blog, not just when they have press release-worthy news to report, but when they come across an article and want to comment or share important and relevant information with their target audiences. We also encourage new clients to embrace Myspace, Facebook, YouTube and other social media opportunities when it makes sense to reach their target audiences. Certainly a press release wouldn’t jive with any of those forums.

Perhaps the industry can take this skepticism as a call to arms and rise to the challenge of utilizing new media.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Your PR Firm and Marketers Shouldn't Blog for You

I just read an excellent blog post by Kevin O'Keefe of LexBlog. Kevin says, and I agree, that "Blogs are not meant to be published by a PR agency or law firm communication folks. By their very nature, blogs are written by the lawyers participating in an online conversation on their niche area of expertise." He's right.

Interestingly enough, Kevin quotes Steve Rubel, (no relation to me as far as I know - but for we share the same last name and love of public relations) as saying:

Communities like Facebook, the blogosphere and digg are becoming even more
influential than certain traditional media outlets. Their relevance to PR pros
is rising and the industry is responding by wisely trying to beef up its new
media acumen.

Unfortunately, the biz is not evolving quickly enough. Many in PR seem to be treating Web 2.0 as simply an extension of the traditional media - another venue for buzz. They are pumping thousands of email pitches into the community every day.

.....Journalists are accustomed to the PR mating dance. They know that as soon as they get a desk, a phone and an email address they're going to get bombed with inquires from PR pros. Some of these will be helpful, others won't be. Journalists know that PR inbound is an occupational hazard that comes with the territory.

Online social networks and communities are completely different. Bloggers, social networkers, diggers, social bookmakers and Wikipedians don't want to be pitched. They're collaborating on these sites for a reason - to share, be entertained, to become informed, to connect, etc. They place value on people who contribute regularly and selflessly.

Kevin goes on to say:

Unfortunately, most PR agencies and communications professionals working with
law firms do not understand PR by participation. Worse yet are the agencies that
belittle blogs and social media when law firms bring them up.

Although this is true, I have found it just as daunting and common to counsel law firms regarding their need to reach their target audiences via strategic and well planned social media programs only to be told, "all we need is a brochure. . . . "

The time has come for communicators and lawyers alike to embrace social media, to learn how to use it strategically, and not to throw caution to the wind when it comes to communicating within the bounds of legal ethics.

Monday, June 25, 2007

What's Your Number One Song?

Okay, so for a fun bit of trivia, do you know what song was number one on the day you were born.? I didn't until my friend Suzanne sent me this link:

If you're going to be hosting an anniversary event, this is a great site to look to for theme ideas tied to the number one song on the day you incorporated . . .

Food for thought.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Blogging is so 15 Minutes Ago

Just when you finally got the hang of blogging via your computer, a new trend has hit the blogging scene.

According to PR News, the new trend is “Cell blogging,” from your mobile phone or Blackberry device. Apparently, in the instantaneous age in which we live, waiting until you can get back to your PC is the equivalent of blogging next week.

Until LG finds a way to attach a full-sized keyboard to my cell phone, I don’t think I’ll be trying it any time soon, but maybe this new trend will save time for the more cell phone savvy while tailoring to the short, concise postings that readers want.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The New Facebook Means New PR

In early May, Facebook , a social utility site designed originally as an online community for college students, opened its doors to everyone. As someone who joined the Facebook bandwagon in the days before users could even post photo albums, I was surprised. I think the New York Times article ‘omg my mom joined Facebook!!’ best sums up most college students’ feelings.

But now, Facebook is becoming much more than a social network of college students, and if creator Mark Zuckerberg has his way, it will replace the fragmented social networks of yesterday, when online users had to visit different sites for shopping, online dating and blogging. He predicts that Facebook will provide it all.

The new Facebook has partnered with big-leaguers like Microsoft and the Washington Post to launch a host of applications that users can download and install on their page, to share political leanings, movie reviews, music preferences, etc.

But what does this mean from a PR standpoint?

“Facebook is now offering the opportunity for any company, Internet service, or software maker to build services for its members,” according to senior editor David Kirkpatrick of Fortune magazine. With 24 million current members, and 150,000 news members joining every day, Facebook is quickly becoming a vast market for advertisers and PR campaigns. Microsoft and Victoria Secret frequently advertise on the site and presidential hopefuls and non-profits like the ONE Campaign have recently hopped on board.

As a college student, I have mixed feelings about all the changes Facebook has made, but after my first month at Furia Rubel, I see Zuckerberg’s social utility site as fertile ground for launching new forms of PR targeted at Generation X and Y.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

MAC or PC?

I don't have a definitive answer as to which is better; MAC or PC. I use a PC because, well, just because. The fact is, this video caught my husband's attention and he forwarded it to me because "MAC" is my cousin Peter Furia who never ceases to amaze us with his talents. Just listen to the lyrics - they're fantastic! Peter MAC, you rock!!

Tradmarked Words in Your Copy

Last week our proofreader at work corrected the use of the word "Xerox" in a contract. She reminded us that the word is "photocopy." It's amazing how many trademarked words have found their way into our everyday language. Common examples include Band-aid, FedEx, Kleenex, Lycra, Legos, and many others. If you would like more information on this subject, we suggest the International Trademark Association's (INTA) Trademark Checklist.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Blogging for Lawyers

Law firms, when appropriate, should be incorporating social media in their public relations campaigns. Blogging is a great way for an attorney to establish him/herself as an authority in their practice area. It’s also a great way to have a social discourse with members of the media and other publics who have an interest in that area.

Blogs are an underused vehicle in the legal marketing and public relations arena – however, I suspect they are going to multiply in leaps and bounds. So, if you haven’t considered blogging just yet, start reading all about it. One of the leading resources is Kevin O’Keefe. You can read all about attorney blogs at

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Daily Blog Tips Blog is a Must Read

While researching the best way to launch a blog for a client, I came across the blog "Daily Blog Tips" which is absolutely fantastic. The blog is fascinating and a must read for anyone who is an amateur (such as me) or up-and-coming blogger.

It's tough trying to keep up with the peregrine falcons when you feel like a terapin. Alas, I remember the days without email, cell phones, VCRs, Tivo, PDAs and even iPods. . . . .

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

We Hit The Five Year Mark!

Five years ago on June 12, 2002, I filed the Furia Rubel incorporation papers as my special 33rd birthday gift to me! What started out solo has evolved into my very own certified women-owned agency with a solid niche in legal communications and divisions serving the non-profit, healthcare, and professional service industries. Since then, I've presented PR educational programs in several states and have taught continuing legal education programs for hundreds of attorneys on the East Coast. Yes, I am certainly tooting my own horn.

When I started Furia Rubel, I believed I could provide efficient and effective strategic public relations solutions to clients and still have a balanced family life. I was right. According to client feedback (I always ask for feedback), corporate growth (or as my accountant would put it, the financials) and the time I get to spend having dinner and playing outside with Scott and the kids, I have definitely reached my personal goal.

I absolutely love what I do. I work with an extremely talented and dedicated pool of women who care about our clients, care about the community, and care about our company. I’m personally indebted to each and every one of my teammates, my husband, parents and clients because without them, we wouldn’t be celebrating a fifth anniversary in business. That said, if it wasn't for my mother who takes care of the kids after school and helps me put dinner on the table, I'd have just a few more grey hairs. . . . and believe me, there are already enough!

I really have to say that starting my own public relations agency was the best business decision I have ever made. The second best decision I made was to only partner with clients who value our services and understand that public relations is an investment not an expense.

My motto and one that everyone on our team must embrace is, “To think about failure is to invite failure and to think about success is to experience it.” Funny thing though, today I attended a Women's Business Forum meeting and when I answered a friend's question, "how's business?," I responded, "Great - I'm just hoping we land the three accounts in our pipeline this month." She then told me not to "hope" but to "believe" - and referred to the book, "The Secret." I guess it's time for me to read it and believe!

I look forward to ringing in our silver anniversary in twenty years but for now, savor the fifth anniversary symbol of wood which signifies strength and solidified relationships.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us to beat the five-year odds!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Networking Advantages for PR Grads – Follow Up to Micallef’s Post

M. Micallef, is a Brisbane, QUEENSLAND, Australia attorney with a national law firm who is in his also a student at Deakin University studying for a bachelor’s degree in public relations. He’s also a blogger and maintains “Opportunities and Information for PR Graduates.”

In a May 30, 2007 post titled Networking Advantages for PR Grads, Micallef provides students with information about how they can use blogs, podcasts and social media to network and then refers to my blog post “Online Rants Raves and Resumes: The Digital Dirt You Leave Behind.” For some reason, his link takes readers to a different post so hopefully, when you get here, you’ll find this post.

Sidebar: One thing I love about the Internet is that is has opened the global gates of communication. This morning, I sit here at home preparing for my work day. I add a post to my blog as part of a global discussion with my “mate” (used as an Aussie term meaning male friend) on the other side of the globe. In 1977, when I was a young girl, I had a pen pal in Sydney, Australia and it took us weeks to get information to one another through snail mail. I have a dear friend from Oz, Neen James, who now lives just miles away from me in dear old Doylestown. If you don’t know who she is, check out her website, She provides valuable productivity and networking information for everyone!

MySpace Continues to Grow in Leaps and Bounds

MySpace Continues to Grow in Leaps and Bounds

Joseph Menn of the Sydney Morning Herald tells us that MySpace and Photobucket struck a deal last week for $250 million. After Photobucket was banned from the most popular social media site, MySpace purchased Photobucket “which draws more than 30 million monthly visitors who view and store billions of digital photographs, videos and slideshows.”

Menn says, “Like MySpace, both Photobucket and Flektor are set up to make most of their money through advertising.” Now Fox Interactive adds these to their suite of services.

Fox Interactive president Peter Levinsohn said, "We now control the single busiest social media site, the single biggest personal media destination, and what I think is the coolest set of tools that exist today," referring to MySpace, Photobucket and Flektor respectively.

This is yet one more reason why MySpace continues to lead the pack in social media.