Monday, October 29, 2007

Online Contest a Slam Dunk for Website Traffic

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) partnered with 5W Public Relations in New York to generate traffic to their newly redesigned website. The team devised a web based contest that I thought was absolutely brilliant and fun – check it out!

The web based contest, PetStyle Contest, invited animal lovers to upload their favorite picture of their pets. Piggy backing off of American Idol’s voting tactics, registered users were allowed to vote for their favorite picture. The top 10 pictures won various prizes.

This fun and innovative contest yielded great results for the SPCA:

Coverage by industry reporters on local and regional beats, publications and blogs
Viral penetration by “send a friend email option” which was utilized 9,500 times
Generated traffic – 1.5 million pageviews (doubling previous total)
Created new brand loyalty – 700 people offered to volunteer for SPCA
Active participation in event – 3,650 photos submitted and 12,500 voters

The next time you are thinking of a creative way to drive more traffic to your website and satisfy your customers – remember the SPCA’s creative efforts. It’s not only beneficial to you but also to your audience.

For more information check out http://www.spca.org/

Friday, October 26, 2007

Glossary of Web 2.0 and Social Media Terms by Digital Influence Group

For those of you still trying to figure out all of the new vocabulary used to identify all of the cool tools and features of Web 2.0 and social media, there is a great glossary of terms provided by Digital Influence Group - a company started by Larry Weber. Larry is the author of "Marketing to the Social Web" which is a must read!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Keeping Up With the Blog Conversation

Here are some tools to help you keep up with the conversation on blogs. These are tools you can use now to track what’s being said about you, your industry, your company and your competitors:

Ice Rocket (www.icerocket.com)
Blog digger (www.blogdigger.com)
Blog Hop (www.bloghop.com)
Plazoo (www.plazoo.com)
Feedster (www.feedster.com)
Google Alerts (www.google.com/alerts)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Online Investment – Survival Guide

Take a look at tips from Julia Hood’s “Survival Online Will Require Investment in Measurement,” article published in the September 24, 2007 edition of PR Week. This article succinctly outlines how to make your business survive in the world of online media.

Some of Hood’s tips for online survival include:

  • Invest in internal measurement programs – hiring an external partner will cost you money and enable you to know your audience first hand
  • Provide a clear message – like any branded campaign, messages need to be clear to capture audiences – so invest time in what you want your audience to know
  • Track your audience – by consistently interacting and meeting the needs on your online audience, you will create loyalty among them
  • Analyze feedback – generate new business leads or potential opportunities from data collected

If you take away one concept from this article, let it be the word INVESTMENT. The more time and energy you invest into tracking, measuring and analyzing feedback, the more benefits your company will see in return.

For more information on this topic, click here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mike Rubel, Castle Maker, Dies

My husband informed me today that his distant cousin, Mike Rubel, died this week. Alison Hewitt, Staff Writer for the Whittier Daily News reported that:

“Mike Rubel, a world traveler who, along with friends and volunteers, built a river-rock and glass-bottle castle in Glendora, died this week.

Michael Clarke Rubel, 67, lived in the turreted castle made from recycled materials. (Photo Gallery: Castle Master dies) A heart attack three years ago, from which he never fully recovered, forced him to give up life at "Rubel Pharm and Castle," as it was sometimes known.”

My husband has had the opportunity to visit the Rubel Castle, known as Rubelia. It’s a must see if you’re ever in Glendora, CA.

Our condolences to Mike’s family.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Web 2.0 is the New World of Public Relations

If you haven't read the article "Web 2.0 - The New World of Public Relations," it's a must read written by yours truly, the PR Lawyer.

Some of the Web 2.0 tips detailed in the article include:

  • Registering your office address in Google Maps
  • Creating a profile for your event on MySpace or Facebook
  • Serving as a Wikipedia contributor
  • Creating and managing your own blog
  • Getting Really Simple Syndication
  • Getting LinkedIn
  • Craiging

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Here is an interesting article I found on Philadelphia.bizwomen.com: It's a must read and I hope you all enjoy!

Who wants to be a millionaire?
October 4th, 2007

Make Mine a Million, a contest for women business owners described as a cross between “American Idol,” “The Apprentice” and “Queen for a Day,” is featured in today’s New York Times.

The article by Lisa Belkin cites these two well know statistics:
More than half of today’s startup companies are owned by women. But 43 percent of women-owned businesses have sales of $10,000 or less.

That combination led to the formation of the Make Mine a Million contest, which lets women business owners who want to take their businesses to the $1 million mark and beyond compete for help to get big, including business coaching and a line of credit from OPEN by American Express.

The goal of the contest, according to the founding nonprofit Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence is to inspire a million women entrepreneurs to reach annual revenue of $1 million by 2010.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rudy Giuliani Addresses Italian-Americans at NIAF

My cousin, Arthur Furia, who is an attorney in Miami, Florida, shared this wonderful video clip with me of Rudy Giuliani at National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) Gala dinner in Washington this past Saturday night. It's a must see. Giuliani talks about his stint on Saturday Night Live (SNL). Enjoy!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fortune's 50 Most Powerful Women

When I came across “Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women of 2007” on CNNmoney.com I couldn’t help but give a shout out to these powerful and dynamic women.

Let’s draw from each others’ success and use that inspiration to reach our dreams!

I encourage you to check it out, it's truly remarkable what one person can achieve.

"PR Works According to Mark Weiner"

A recent article by Mark Weiner, Senior VP and Global Director of Research at Ketchum, titled PR outshines advertising in return on investment published in O’Dwyer’s PR Report discusses PR myths. His conclusion, as all PR professionals agree is that PR works.

According to Weiner, “Analyses such as marketing-mix and communication-optimization models, have shown in every case that PR delivers among the very best values at par with and frequently much better than advertising, price promotions, trade marketing and all the rest. When mass-marketing advertising yields roughly $1.20 on the dollar and trade marketing yields $2.00 on the dollar, PR generates on average about $6.00 on every dollar invested and as much as $45.00 on the dollar!”

It is safe to say that PR is an effective choice. PR delivers worth, engagement and integrity where others practices fail.

Weiner goes on to talk about the “PR Measurement Conundrum.” .This really is an accurate term as measuring PR success is a constant hurdle for practitioners. He mentions that in the last 20 years emerging realities have reshaped the world of public relations and that these realities are constantly challenging us. We continue to see
- transformations in the media business;
- the declining impact of traditional mass-marketing;
- changing media consumption habits;
- higher levels of access, abundance and speed of information;
- decreasing brand loyalty;
- increasing distrust of large organizations; and
- the increasing desire for greater accountability.

Weiner’s conclusion is optimistic. He suggests utilizing these challenges as opportunities which PR is uniquely qualified to overcome.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ad Age Reports Growth for Yellow Book USA

So many plaintiffs’ attorneys ask me if they should invest in Yellow Page advertising. My answer always depends on what the firm is trying to accomplish and what books are available in their market.

Ad Age recently reported on 2006 net U.S. revenue and growth for the top four Yellow Page companies. Check out the growth of Yellow Book USA. 11.1% growth in net revenue as compared to a loss for the other three. Nice work in a market where naysayers believe it’s the end of the printed directory. Just like the Internet didn’t do away with print newspapers (not yet anyway), printed directories aren’t going away any time soon.

The bottom line: Yellow Pages need to continue to diversify into the digital markets, capitalize on Web 2.0, and keep the medium affordable for advertisers.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dan Cirucci on Life Celebrations - Philadelphia Inquirer

Daniel Cirucci contributes a brilliant commentary to The Philadelphia Inquirer titled Funerals needn't be so deathly. Dan is a PR guru, colleague and friend. He reflects on the trend toward "life celebrations." I like the idea of a life celebration personally. It makes mortality easier to digest. He says:

Death just ain't what it used to be.

So why not just forget about death altogether. Let's dwell on life and just party on - even in the presence of the corpse. Makes sense, right?

Dan - I love ya buddy! Yes, let's party on! Celebrate life!

Gmail: According to Steve Rubel

Long gone were the days of missed appointments, forgotten birthdays and no time to read the morning paper.

Steve Rubel’s blog, Micro Persuasion had crafted a unique way to utilize Gmail into your personal social networking hub.

Keep updated with your life and your friends’ lives with the ability to post to social nets, keep a “lifebase” and prioritize your everyday needs.

Check it out at Micro Persuasion.

Flat Rate vs. Billable Hours – Lawyers and Public Relations Practitioners

Sacha Pfeiffer of the Boston Globe reported in Beat the clock – that the Boston law firm of the Shepherd Law Group says no to billing by the hour, and its clients say they are pleased.

According to the article, The Shepherd Law Group has abandoned the billable hour all together. Pfeiffer reports that,

Shepherd, a five-lawyer firm that specializes in employment law, charges its
clients a flat annual fee or flat price per task. Clients can call the firm as
often as they want to discuss legal issues, although some services, such as
training and litigation, cost extra. The new approach helps clients determine
legal costs in advance and often prevents legal problems from escalating because
clients are no longer reluctant to seek advice out of fear of incurring a hefty
bill, said Jay Shepherd, the firm's founder.

The abandonment of billable hours has a small following in the U.S. with law firms and public relations agencies alike. It’s a refreshing shift but is it “the answer?”

I don’t believe the answer lies in determining “which form of billing is better” as a standard of practice – rather, “which form of billing is better in the individual situation and which will help deliver the best services to the client.” Clients do need options and as a recovering attorney, I agree with Pfeiffer that most people don’t like the billable hour but the key in that term is “most.” “Most” does not equal “all.”

I do find it both amusing and refreshing that Shepherd’s PR agent is quoted in the article since many firms are making the shift as part of their public relations and marketing strategy.

The bottom line: law firms and public relations agencies should offer options to their clients. When you entertain, it’s customary to offer coffee and tea.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Quality Not Quantity of Media Placement is Key

I am reminded that quality not quantity is what we really need in today’s media after reading an article in the New York Times written by Richard Pérez-Peña, “Why Big Newspapers Applaud Some Declines in Circulation.”

Pérez-Peña notes, “As the newspaper industry bemoans falling circulation, major papers around the country have a surprising attitude toward a lot of potential readers: Don’t bother.” He later goes on to report that this decline is due to a variety of reasons: the migration of readers to the Web, pressures from advertisers, marketing and delivery costs and the expense of finding, serving and keeping readers.”

Although in the end everyone is happy…

Advertisers are moving toward the Web as a way to reach a more narrowly targeted audience. And newspapers are content with the quality of readers that continue to read their traditional papers, ridding themselves of subscribers who cost more and generate less revenue.

Quality over quantity. In public relations, it is key to always do the research. By targeting the right beat reporter or trade publication, networking group, or client you will ultimately increase the quality of your results. It’s not how many media hits you get – it’s how many good media hits you get that reinforce your goals and objectives.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Join me in Philly at PRSA Conference Oct. 23rd

I'm going to address “The Do’s and Don’ts of Legal Communications” as detailed in mylatest book, Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers at the 2007 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) International Conference in Philadelphia on October 23, 2007. I plan to explore how PR professionals can comply with the rules of ethics as required in every state in the U.S. while effectively getting their messages across to their key publics. If you plan to be at the conference, please stop by. (http://www.prsa.org/conf2007/).

The conference will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown at 1201 Market Street. Public Relations professionals from around the world will gather to attend professional development workshops. The conference aims to provide various organizations with essential industry information from noted leaders within the profession.

Additional speakers include: Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes, Mia Farrow, acclaimed actress and humanitarian activist; Tim Russert, managing editor and moderator of “Meet the Press” and political activist for “NBC Nightly News” and “Today”; Donna Brazile, political commentator and chair of the Voting Rights Institute; Brian Tierney, Esq., CEO of Philadelphia Media Holdings and publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.

PRSA is an organization for public relations professionals. PRSA aims to heighten standards in the public relations profession, provide opportunities through various educational programs, and provide members access to professional information at the national and local levels. For more information visit http://www.prsa.org/.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The New "American Idol" - Internet Style

A recent video from YouTube called “Chocolate Rain” by Tay Zonday is proof that the Internet is an impenetrable machine to be reckoned with.

A Minneapolis graduate student was able to generate 9.5 million hits and has received so much national attention that he appeared on Jimmy Kimmel’s “Internet Talent Search.”

One can argue the level of talent, but my point is to show the power of online resources.

You can check the video out here:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=NattlyH0IeM

Monday, October 01, 2007

How Does Your Credit Card Rate?

I came across an article, “The Best and Worst Credit Cards” on CNNmoney.com and wanted to share this information before the Holiday Season hits us all.

Topics include consumer satisfaction, all-in-one credit cards, interest rates and timeless money rules for credit cards.

Hopefully you will think twice before swiping your credit card after reading this article!

Facebook Warned It Could Face Fraud Charge for Safety Claims - Associated Press

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — The social networking Web site Facebook has been warned that it could face a consumer fraud charge for failing to live up to claims that youngsters there are safer from sexual predators than at most sites and that it promptly responds to concerns, a spokesman for New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

"We expect an immediate correction eliminating the dangers exposed by our investigation," said the spokesman, Jeffrey Lerner.

Cuomo announced last week that he had subpoenaed Facebook after he said the company did not respond to "many" complaints by investigators who were solicited for sex while posing as 12- to 14-year-olds on the site. Officials from Cuomo's office discussed the issue with Facebook by phone and fax Friday after they said Facebook took three days to answer calls and e-mails from state investigators.

An official in Cuomo's office said he and others are scheduled to meet with Facebook representatives this week and anticipate changes will follow immediately.

"We said, 'You have got to make accurate representations on your Web site," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because court filings haven't yet been made. "What we told them is, 'Correct the language describing the site and stop marketing yourself as this pristine Web site ... parents have a misimpression. You can't mislead people."

Lerner said Facebook's contention of being safer than most sites was accurate when it started out as a closed site 3 1/2 years ago. But it's now much larger, and the safeguards and apparently the response times for complaints aren't what they once were, he said.

There was no immediate response to e-mail and phone messages left for a Facebook representative. But a statement issued a week ago stated the company was concerned about Cuomo's claim that sexual predators could use the site to meet with children.

"We strive to uphold our high standards for privacy on Facebook and are constantly working on processes and technologies that will further improve safety and user control on the site," Fcebook spokeswoman Brandee Barker said in the statement.

Lerner said Facebook has continued to promise to cooperate.

Staying on Top of Your Game: WSJ, Drudge Report, Law.com

There is so much information out there that we’re constantly on overload. I tell all my clients to stay on top of the news and the reporters that cover their topic. Get a news aggregator and pull the RSS feed from your favorite blogs, and so on. Here are three more great places to start your morning: The Wall Street Journal’s The Morning Brief by Joseph Schuman which you can subscribe to online by going to “My Online Journal,” Law.com and of course The Drudge Report, known as one of the leading places for breaking news.

There’s a great piece today by Tony Mauro on Law.com titled, Supreme Court Heads into New Term. Among the issues to watch this year is that of Internet Free Speech.

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