Monday, March 31, 2008

Muslims "Overtake" Catholics, Become Largest Religion

According to Allessandra Rizzo of the Associated Press in Vatican City, Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism as the world's largest religion. See National Geographic report.

The article reports that "Catholics are holding steady at about 17.4 percent of the world population," while "Muslims are now at 19.2 percent."

I've included links to news from around the world today (below). I think it's time the Catholic Church invested in the services of a public relations firm . . . .

Today's news:

Minority Report: Mine's no longer bigger than yours - Islam ...Independent, UK - 7 hours ago By Jerome Taylor According to the Vatican, Islam has overtaken Catholicism as the world's largest single religious denomination for the first time. ...

Islam overtakes Catholicism as world's largest religionTimes Online, UK - 11 hours agoIslam has overtaken Roman Catholicism to become the world's largest single religious denomination, according to L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper. ...

Vatican says Muslims more numerous than CatholicsReuters UK, UK - 13 hours ago VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The number of Muslims has overtaken the number of Roman Catholics in the world, a Vatican official said on Sunday. ...

Religion's evolution tests toleranceToronto Star, Canada - 17 hours ago If the Vatican looked askance at this religious arriviste three kilometres from St. Peter's Basilica, it made no comment. That sumptuous mosque, opened in ...

Muslims outnumber Catholics, Vatican, United Kingdom - 18 hours ago By Megan Levy and agencies Muslims now make up 19.2 per cent of the world's population, outnumbering Catholics at 17.2 per cent, according to the Vatican's ...

Number of Muslims ahead of Catholics, says VaticanGuardian, UK - Mar 30, 2008The number of Muslims has overtaken that of Roman Catholics for the first time, the Vatican said yesterday. Muslims account for 19.2% of the world's ...

'Islam world's largest religion'The Press Association - Mar 30, 2008The Vatican acknowledged that Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism as the world's largest religion. Vittorio Formenti, who compiles the Vatican's yearbook, ...

Muslims More Numerous Than CatholicsABC News - Mar 30, 2008AP By ALESSANDRA RIZZO AP Writer Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism as the world's largest religion, the Vatican newspaper said Sunday. ...

Muslims now outnumber Catholics worldwide, making Islam the most ...Jewish Telegraphic Agency, NY - Mar 30, 2008According to official Vatican figures for 2006, Islam has more than 1.3 billion adherents, comprising 19.2 percent of the global population, ...

Vatican: Muslims outnumber CatholicsRadio Netherlands, Netherlands - Mar 30, 2008Vatican City - A report published by the Vatican says Muslims for the first time outnumber Catholics worldwide. According to the article published in the ...

Muslims outnumber Catholics: Vatican researchTimes of India, India - Mar 29, 2008VATICAN CITY: Muslims outnumber Catholics worldwide, according to the latest count by the Vatican published in its daily newspaper on Saturday. ...

Catholics Outnumbered by Muslims in the World for the First TimeCleveland Leader, OH - 2 hours ago According to the Vatican, for the first time ever, there are more Musliams than Roman Catholics in the world. Monsignor Vittorio Formenti compiled the ...

For the First Time, Muslims Outnumber CatholicsCitizenLink, CO - 4 hours ago The number of Muslims has overtaken the number of Roman Catholics in the world, a Vatican official said Sunday. Muslims make up 19.2 percent of the world's ...

Muslims worldwide outnumber CatholicsFunctionpix, UK - 7 hours ago Figures for 2006 disclose that Muslims comprise 19.2 per cent of the world’s population, and Catholics 17.4 per cent. "For the first time in history we’re ...

Islam Rivals Catholicism as World's Largest FaithAOL News Newsbloggers, VA - 7 hours ago By Justin Paulette The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, has reported that Muslims now outnumber Catholics. thus ranking Islam as the world's largest ...

Vatican: Muslims Have Outnumbered Catholics AHN - 8 hours ago Vatican City (AHN) - The official Vatican newspaper announced Sunday that for the first time, the number of Islam followers has surpassed that of Roman ...

Muslims now outnumber Catholics but Christians still leadBreaking News, Trinidad and Tobago - 8 hours ago Muslims now outnumber Catholics for the first time in history, the Vatican said in its newspaper L'Osservatore Romano this weekend. ...

Muslims now outnumber CatholicsCatholic World News - 11 hours ago Rome, Mar. 31, 2008 ( - The world's Catholics are now outnumbered by Muslims, according to the editor of the Vatican's statistical yearbook. ...

Vatican official: World has greater number of Muslims than CatholicsCatholic News Service - 11 hours ago By John Thavis VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A Vatican official said that, for the first time, the world's Muslim population is greater than the number of Catholics ...

Vatican Says That Muslims Overtake CatholicsEnews 2.0, UK - 12 hours ago By Ted Moore Vatican has learned that the number of Muslims is greater than the number of Roman Catholics in the world. Monsignor Vittorio Formenti ...

Vatican: Islam World’s Largest ReligionThe Media Line, NY - 13 hours ago Islam has now overtaken Roman Catholicism as the world’s largest religion, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reports. Monsignor Vittorio Formetti ...

Muslims outnumber Catholics across the world:, India - 15 hours ago"For the first time in history we are no longer at the top. The Muslims have overtaken us," the media quoted Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, who compiled the ...

World & Nation BrieflyUT The Daily Texan, TX - 18 hours ago By AP HARARE, Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe's main opposition party claimed an early lead Sunday in elections amid an ominous silence from the Electoral Commission ...

Islam surpasses Roman Catholicism as world's largest religionGulfNews, United Arab Emirates - 18 hours ago Vatican City: Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism as the largest religion I the world, the Vatican said on Sunday. According to latest statistics compiled ...

Muslims outnumber Catholics in 2006, 1st time ever: Vatican paperAntara, Indonesia - 21 hours ago Rome (ANTARA News/Kyodo) - The Muslim population in the world exceeded that of Catholics in 2006 for the first time in history, the Vatican daily ...

Muslims outnumber Catholics for first timeScopical, Australia - Mar 30, 2008For the first time in modern history, Muslims now outnumber Catholics, with the Vatican today releasing statistics showing their share of religious ...

Islam 'has overtaken Catholicism'Metro, UK - Mar 30, 2008Muslims now outnumber Catholics, making Islam the single biggest religion in the world, the Vatican has said. More than 19 per cent of the world's people ...

Vatican: Muslims Outnumber CatholicsNewsroom America, New Zealand - Mar 30, 2008Vatican officials said Sunday that Islam has more followers than Roman Catholicism, making it the world's largest religious denomination. ...

More Muslims than Roman CatholicsPoliGazette, Netherlands - Mar 30, 2008According to the Vatican, Islam has overtaken Roman Catholicism as the biggest single religious denomination in the world. Of course: there still are more ...

Islam overtakes Catholic population in numbersSpero News - Mar 30, 2008According to the chief statistician of the Vatican, Muslims now outnumber Catholics worldwide. However, Christendom's 33 percent of world population looms ...

Muslims outnumber CatholicsPRESS TV, Iran - Mar 29, 2008Muslims outnumber Catholics worldwide, according to the latest numbers published by the Vatican in its daily newspaper. According to the Sunday edition of ...

Now Islam overtakes Catholicism as the world's biggest faithScotsman, United Kingdom - Mar 30, 2008By CLAIRE GARDNER ISLAM has overtaken Roman Catholicism as the biggest single religious denomination in the world, according to new figures. ...

Vatican: Muslims outnumber CatholicsHEXUS.Lifestyle, UK - 14 hours agoFor the first time in history, Islam has become the most widespread religious denomination, says the Vatican. According to the Vatican's 2008 yearbook of ...

Muslims outnumber Catholics, not ChristiansSunshine Coast Daily, Australia - Mar 30, 2008Roman Catholicism has officially fallen behind Islam as the biggest single religious denomination in the world, according to the Vatican. ...

Vatican: World's Muslims now outnumber CatholicsWBOC TV 16, MD - Mar 30, 2008AP - March 30, 2008 3:33 PM ET VATICAN CITY (AP) - A Vatican official says that for the first time in history, there are more Muslims than Roman Catholics ...

Furia Rubel Enjoys Continued Expansion and Welcomes New Clients

We are pleased to announce that numerous companies, from shopping malls to a media production company, have joined our growing client roster. We will provide planning and public relations services to Allied Pixel; Elephant’s Eye Bucks County Artist Studio Tour; Franklin Mills Mall; Montgomery Mall; and Oxford Valley Mall.

  • Allied Pixel: Allied Pixel is a next-generation integrated media production company with a client list that includes some of the country’s best known companies and institutions. They create interactive Web sites, mobile applications, Web- and desktop-based applications, DVDs, CD-ROMs, and kiosks, all marked by Allied Pixel’s passion and dedication to excellence. As Allied Pixel’s media relations partner, Furia Rubel will help build awareness of the company’s offerings and its wonderful reputation.
  • Elephant’s Eye Bucks County Artists Studio Tour: For two weekends in May, some of Bucks County’s finest artists will participate in this first ever tour, which is slated for May 9 through 11 and May 17 through 18 where participating artists will open their private studios to the public, giving art lovers an inside glimpse into each artist’s world of creative magic. Artists include: Cedar Maze, Chris Bonner Studio, Ellsworth Studios, Ken Vavrek Studio, Lisa Naples Ceramics, Smith/Chamlee Studio and Steve Tobin Studio. Furia Rubel is handling event promotion and media relations for this exciting inaugural tour.
  • The Simon Property Group-owned Franklin Mills Mall : Franklin Mills features some of the best names in manufacturers’ and retail outlet stores. Located just off of Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, the mall’s offerings include Off 5th Saks Fifth Avenue, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store and Last Call Neiman Marcus as well as high quality entertainment venues such as AMC Theaters and Dave & Busters Grand Sports CafĂ©. Furia Rubel will work in tandem with the Franklin Mills Mall marketing team on event publicity and media relations.
  • The Montgomery Mall and the Oxford Valley Mall: Both Kravco Simon properties have selected Furia Rubel as their agency of record. Furia Rubel will handle the malls’ event publicity, media relations and other strategic communications. Both malls feature four department stores – JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears and Boscov’s – and offer specialty shops for every interest, including Hollister, Gap, GameStop and The Disney Store. Extensive food courts and numerous eateries are also available to mall guests. The Oxford Valley Mall is situated in the heart of Lower Bucks County, while the Montgomery Mall is located in North Wales, Pa.

Stay tuned for more Furia Rubel news!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Advertising or Public Relations Per Tom Kane

Tom Kane's post, Which is Better: Advertising or Public Relations?, on hits the nail on the head.

I couldn't agree with Tom more when he says, "until a firm has done the basics involving strategic marketing planning, [advertising, public relations,] or both could be a total waste of money."

He is so right.

I regularly encourter law firms who still take an ad hoc approach to their marketing efforts. They advertise in the XYZ magazine supplement because they're getting a "discount" or at least a perceived discount. They hire a consultant or service to "issue a press release" and then don't leverage the value of the news or coverage. They purchase a directory listing upgrade because the sales person said they should. And the list goes on.

The bottom line is that law firms need to approach their communications the same way big businesses have for decades. It's about strategic planning. They need to identify what their trying to accomplish, who they're trying to reach, the messages they want to deliver, the time-frame within which they need to act, the best vehicles for success (advertising, marketing, interactive technologies or public relations) and how they will measure the success of their efforts.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pew Releases "State of the News Media 2008" Report

All this, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts" . . . .

This fifth edition of the annual report "The State of the News Media 2008,"tracing the revolution of news by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, can certainly not be summarized in a "Research Brief." However, the content is so encompassing, and the analysis so probing, that it begs excerpting to compel interested readers to pursue the complete study through the link provided.

The recently released study opens by saying "The state of the American news media in 2008 is more troubled than a year ago. And the problems, increasingly, appear to be different than many experts have predicted."

Online, for instance, the top 10 news Web sites, drawing mostly from old brands, command a larger share of audience than they did in the legacy media. And research shows blogs and public affairs Web sites attract a smaller audience than expected. Several trends, says the report, bear particular notice heading into 2008:

News is shifting from being a product - newspaper, Web site or newscast - to becoming a service. There is no single or finished news product anymore. As news consumption becomes continual, more new effort is put into producing incremental updates, as brief as 40-character e-mails sent from reporters directly to consumers without editing. But service broadens the definition of what journalists must supply. The hope is, however, that service, more than storytelling, could prove a key to unlocking new economics.

A news organization and a news Web site are no longer final destinations. They move toward being gateways to other places. As much as half of every Web page, designers advise, should be devoted to helping people find what they want on the rest of the site or the Web. A year ago, only three of 24 major Web sites from traditional news organizations offered links to outside content. Eleven of those sites now offer them.

The prospects for user-created content, once thought possibly central to the next era of journalism, now appear more limited. News people report the most promising parts of citizen input currently are new ideas, sources, comments, pictures and video. But citizens posting news content has proved less valuable, with too little that is new or verifiable.

Increasingly, the newsroom is perceived as the more innovative and experimental part of the news industry. New technologies are seen as less a threat to values, or a demand on time, than a way to reconnect with audiences. Majorities think things such as journalists writing blogs, the ranking of stories on Web sites, citizens posting comments, and citizen news sites are making journalism better.

The agenda of the American news media continues to narrow, not broaden. A comprehensive audit of coverage shows that in 2007 the war in Iraq and the 2008 campaign filled more than a quarter of the newshole and seemed to consume much of the media's energy and resources. At the same time, domestic issues each filled less than a single percent of the newshole including education, race, religion, transportation, the legal system, housing, drug trafficking, gun control, welfare, Social Security, aging, labor, abortion and more.

Madison Avenue, rather than pushing change, appears to be having trouble keeping up with it. Like legacy media, advertising agencies have their own history, mores and cultures that keep them from adapting to new technology and new consumer behavior. In the short run, this may be helping traditional media hold onto share of advertising revenue. The question of whether, and how, advertising and news will remain partners is unresolved, concludes the report.

Concluding this brief summary, the report says that an analysis of more than 70,000 stories from 48 separate news outlets in five media sectors in 2007 offers an empirical look at the content of the American media. Among the findings overall:

The agenda of the American news media is quite narrow

  • The agenda of the American news media is quite narrow
  • Rather than cover the world, only two countries in 2007 received notable coverage, both closely related to the war - Iran and Pakistan
  • Geopolitical events in the rest of the world made up less than 6% of coverage studied that includes Afghanistan, Korea, China, Russia, Israel and everywhere else combined
  • The media and the public often disagreed about which stories were important in 2007. Citizens wanted more coverage of bread and butter issues, such as rising gas prices, toy recalls, and the legislative battle over children's health insurance, and less coverage of the crisis in Pakistan, certain aspects of the Iraq debate, and of other distant places in the world.
  • The media also showed a marked short attention span in 2007
Each news medium is examined in more detail, and the complete study may be freely accessed here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Court Decision Perpetuates Fodder in Mumia Case

Today, a Federal Court overtured the death penalty in the Mumia Abu-Jamal case. To this, I certainly have something to say since I was Judge Sabo's law clerk in the mid-90's when we heard the PCRA matters. I published my two cents on The Legal Intelligencer's Blog at

Details about the Court's ruling can be found in Shannon Duffy's article, Abu-Jamal’s Death Sentence Overturned, But Conviction Upheld.

As I said in my blog for The Legal Intelligencer, this decision just gives rise to plenty of fodder for the media, continues to keep the case alive and perpetuates the injustice to the Faulkner family.

Here is some of the coverage today......

Court orders new death-penalty hearing for Abu-Jamal; murder ...USA Today - 59 minutes agoA federal appeals court has ruled that black activist Mumia Abu-Jamal cannot be executed for murdering a Philadelphia police officer in 1981 without a new ...

US court overturns death sentenceBBC News, UK - 2 hours agoA US federal appeals court has overturned the death sentence imposed on former Black Panthers member Mumia Abu-Jamal. The court said Abu-Jamal's conviction ...

US court orders new hearing for death row campaignerAFP - 4 hours agoWASHINGTON (AFP) — A US federal appeals court on Thursday upheld the murder conviction against Mumia Abu-Jamal, but ruled the death-row campaigner cannot be ...

US court says Mumia death sentence may be reviewedInternational Herald Tribune, France - 7 hours agoPHILADELPHIA: A US federal appeals court on Thursday upheld the murder conviction of black journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal for killing a white policeman in 1981 ...

Court: Mumia Deserves New HearingThe Associated Press - 7 hours agoPHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court on Thursday said former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal cannot be executed for murdering a Philadelphia police ...

Free Mumia Abu-Jamal! Emergency protest March 28Bay Area Indymedia, CA - 57 minutes agoby Partisan Defense Committee ( pdcbayarea [at] ) On March 27, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision upholding Mumia ...

New Hearing On Sentence But Not Murder Conviction For Death Row InmateAHN - 1 hour agoWashington, DC (AHN) - The Third Circuit US Court of Appeals on Thursday refused to reinstate the death sentence of death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal in the ...

Mumia Abu-Jamal to Be Re-Sentenced, Date Not Yet ScheduledBay Area Indymedia, CA - 1 hour agoThe Third Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal. The court has called for a sentencing hearing that would result in ...

Abu-Jamal conviction, PA - 1 hour agoFormer Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal can’t be executed for murdering a Philadelphia police officer without a new penalty hearing. The murder conviction was ...

BREAKING! Court rules against new trial for Mumia! SF Actions Friday!Bay Area Indymedia, CA - 2 hours agoby SF Mobiliation to Free Mumia LOCAL PROTESTS SET FOR FRIDAY, MARCH 28 FOLLOWED BY NATIONAL PROTEST APRIL 19 (SAN FRANCISCO) AND APRIL 26 (PHILADELPHIA). ...

RIGHTS-US: Court Rules No Death Row for Mumia Abu JamalIPS, Italy - 2 hours agoBy Adrianne Appel BOSTON, Mar 27 (IPS) - A federal court has ruled that Mumia Abu Jamal, known the world over in the fight against the death penalty, ...

Court: Mumia deserves new hearingWLOS, NC - 3 hours agoPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Prosecutors in Philadelphia are reviewing a federal appeals court ruling that orders a new sentencing hearing for a former Black ...

He Still Shot the SheriffReason Online, CA - 3 hours agoRemember Mumia Abu-Jamal, the cop-killing NPR contributor who rallied legions of campus radicals during the 1990s to protest his innocence? ...
Death sentence lifted for time being against Black PantherMonsters and - 3 hours agoWashington - A federal appeals court Thursday upheld a lower court decision to suspend the death sentence against Black Panther member Mumia Abu-Jamal. ...

Cop's Widow Reacts to Third Circuit Court of Appeals Granting, MS - 3 hours agoBy The Lyons Press "Today, after 26 years of waiting, my family and I can finally say that Mumia Abu-Jamal is officially a 'murderer. ...

Federal appeals court backs new sentencing hearing for Mumia Abu-JamalJURIST - 4 hours ago[JURIST] Journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal [advocacy website; Philadelphia Inquirer archive], convicted in 1982 of killing Philadelphia ...

No death for Mumia Abu-Jamal — at least for nowPhiladelphia Inquirer, PA - 5 hours agoBy Emilie Lounsberry In a major victory for world-famous death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, a federal appeals court today refused to reinstate his death ...

US court overturns rights campaigner's death penaltyRaw Story, MA - 5 hours agoA US federal appeals court on Thursday overturned the death sentence passed against human rights campaigner Mumia Abu-Jamal, while upholding his conviction ...

Court: Mumia deserves new hearingKGAN, IA - 7 hours agoPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- It's up to prosecutors now to decide whether to seek another death sentence for Mumia Abu-Jamal . The former Black Panther has been on ...

No death sentence for Mumia Abu-Jamal without new hearingCNN - 1 hour agoBy Bill Mears WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, sentenced to death for gunning down a Philadelphia police officer 27 years ago, ...

Court says famed death-row inmate deserves new penalty hearingInternational Herald Tribune, France - 7 hours agoAP PHILADELPHIA: A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld the murder conviction of former Black Panther and celebrity death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, ...

National DigestAnnapolis Capital, MD - 3 hours agoPHILADELPHIA - A federal appeals court has ordered a new penalty hearing for celebrity death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal. The 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals ...

News Minute: Curfew in Baghdad...Economic report...TI's guilty, ID - 1 hour agoPHILADELPHIA (AP) - Prosecutors say they are weighing their options now that a federal appeals court has ruled that former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal ...

Cop's Widow Reacts to Third Circuit Court of Appeals Granting, MS - 3 hours agoBy The Lyons Press "Today, after 26 years of waiting, my family and I can finally say that Mumia Abu-Jamal is officially a 'murderer. ...

5 Simple Ways to Brighten Your Day

Amidst the hustle and bustle of spring, there is a recent article in PR Tactics that gives great advice on how to enjoy balancing both your personal and professional life. Sometimes it’s the little things: Simple tips to enrich your personal and professional life, written by Chuck Hester, APR provides simple, everyday tips to bask in life’s smallest pleasures that are sure brighten your day.

Here are simple tips from Chuck Hester:
  • Make your business trip a pleasure trip: Indulge yourself in new surroundings for some adventure on your business trip.
  • Take a mental health day and do nothing: Don't plan anything and do what strikes your interest in the moment; it is bound to invigorate you.
  • Say thank you more often: Brighten others' days by expressing your thanks and the gratitude from others will likely brighten your day as well.
  • Write a letter: Write someone you love. Reminisce and remember those fond memories with them for good cheer.
  • Take a drive to nowhere: Pick up and explore your surrounding; you may be suprised a what you find at the end of your journey.

So no matter what tasks lay ahead in your work day, take a moment for yourself and enjoy your surroundings. You will be bound to have a happier, more satisfying day.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rubel to Moderate Philadelphia Bar Association’s Bar-News Media Committee Hosts “Meet and Greet Your Legal Beat Reporters” Luncheon

On Tuesday, April 22, Gina Rubel will serve as a moderator for the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Bar-News Media Committee's “Meet and Greet Your Legal Beat Reporters” Luncheon held at the Philadelphia Bar Association at 1101 Market Street, 11th Floor Conference Center at noon.

The purpose of the “Meet and Greet Your Legal Beat Reporters” event is to provide a quality and diversified educational program that address regional media opportunities and help build relationships between members of the bar and members of the media.

Panelists for the event include:
  • Jeff Blumenthal, Legal Reporter for the Philadelphia Business Journal
  • Mike Dunn, City Hall Bureau Chief for KYW Newsradio
  • Chris Mondics, Legal Reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter for The Legal Intelligencer

Lunch tickets are optional and available at $7.50 per person. For more information or to register contact the Philadelphia Bar Association at (215) 238-6300 or register on-line at All reservations that are not cancelled 24 hours prior to the event will be subject to a cancellation fee of $7.50

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Governor Rendell Announces Winners of Annual Best 50 Women in Business

I'm excited to share some great news with our readers.... I have been named among Pennsylvania's Best 50 Women in Business by Governor Rendell. This is such an honor and I am so proud but I have to publicly say that this would NOT be remotely possible if it wasn't for the hard work of the Furia Rubel staff, the encouragement of our friends and the support of my family. I'm also honored to be named in the same list as my friend and colleague in public relations Bonnie Squires, president of Squires Consulting in Wynnewood, PA. You go girl!!

Governor Rendell Announces Winners of Annual Best 50 Women in Business:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Social Media Connects Firms with Clients

A recent article, “New Media Helps Firms Connect with Clients,” written by Ted McKenna, a Washington bureau chief for PRWeek, provides a great example of why social media skeptics should at least experiment with new media tools like blogs and podcasts if they want to connect better with current or potential clients in this new media realm.

While McKenna believes that not all agencies should feel obligated to use every new media tool that’s available just because everyone else is, but rather to find one or two that fits their company’s needs. For example, McKenna quotes Arketi Group principal, Mike Neumeier on his company’s new implementation of using Podcasts, “what we found is basically about 15% of Web site traffic is coming in through our podcasts,” and Neumeier adds that, “clients mention it (podcasts) and we certainly showcase it when we sell our clients. We encourage them to go out and look at what we’ve done for ourselves.”

Here are some key points McKenna gives in his article:
  • Agencies shouldn’t use new media tools just because they can, but because they help market the firm in meaningful ways
  • Podcasts can give a quick, personal overview of how agencies address communications issues
  • New media’s impact is measured mainly anecdotally, though client’s viewing of blogs and podcasts can be easily tracked

For more informational, here is a link to the “New Media Helps Firms Connect with Clients” article written by Ted McKenna.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Harnessing the World of Social Media and Client Relationships

The Wall Street Journal Online recently published an article by Marshall Loeb of MarketWatch titled Improve Client Relationships Through Social Media.

In this article, Loeb discusses the growing popularity of social media platforms like MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn, and how all types of businesses are embracing these tools to build community and strengthen consumer interest.

Loeb then highlights the co-founder of ThePort Network, Dan Backus. ThePort Network is a firm that focuses on creating software tools for virtual communities. Below Backus outlines the following four tips on how to use the power of social media to support your company's advantage when dealing with consumers:

- Know your audience. The tools you will want to invest in should be directly related to the online behavior of the people you are trying to reach. Ideally, you will want to conduct audience research to determine how often potential customers are online, what other sites they visit and how comfortable they are downloading podcasts or setting up RSS feeds.

- Align organizational objectives with social media tools. Different tools are better at accomplishing specific goals. For example, blogs are a great way to get feedback on potential programs from large groups of readers, while photo-sharing programs are useful for building a sense of community and excitement around new programs.

- Establish procedures. Social media require companies to have a higher level of trust in their publics than other communication tools. At the same time, it is important to retain some oversight to ensure communications remain appropriate and continue to focus on your company's key goals. You might want to begin by identifying forum moderators and establishing rules for posting.

- Identify resources and bring everybody on the same page. A successful social-media strategy requires participation from many constituents, as well as from the organizational leaders themselves. Before initiating, make sure the internal personnel support the idea and are willing to integrate social media functions into outreach activities. Ideally, those same leaders will want to participate in the online communities themselves – both to learn more about their customers and to use that knowledge to shape future goals.

These are great tips on how to harness the world of social media to your company’s and/or your client’s advantage.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Don't Start Digging Graves for Yellow Pages Just Yet

Fast Money declared Yellow Pages dead last week. In the interview, the Fast Money Traders appear to argue a good case without seeing the upside of what’s happening in the industry. Yes, stock prices are down – but that doesn’t mean we should pick up our shovels and start digging graves just yet.

David Swanson, CEO of R.H. Donnelley Corp had something to say on CNBC in response to the Yellow Page attack. Swanson focused on the misperception of usage and the diversity of offerings by the Yellow Page companies. He said, “This year 13.4 billion people referenced the print Yellow Pages. Last year it was the same. Now add to that the fact we’re diversified online. Internet yellow pages received up to 17.2 billion references.”

It can’t be that bad if companies like Yellow Book continue to expand amidst a volatile market. As recent as March 16, 2008, Yellow Book announced an expansion into South Carolina and entered into a large deal with Microsoft.

- CNN Money:

- Reuters:

As long as the leading Yellow Page companies continue to expand and enhance their online offerings, they aren’t going anywhere. I do presume, however, that we will continue to see changes during the coming months.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Everyday PR for Lawyers - Chapter 4 Tip - Part 2

Chapter 4:

Tip Two:
Here are some quick tips for crafting copy that is clear and concise:

  • Define legal and technical jargon in easy-to-understand language
  • Your readers would rather read a short, to-the-point piece than a long, drawn-out piece
  • Paragraph length is among the most important, if your paragraphs are too thick, the information looks slow and uninviting

Stay tuned for more tips!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Link Your Blog - Increase Visibility

Susan Ward, director of marketing and communications at Carlin & Ward, wrote a great article on linking blogs for the New Jersey Law Journal. The article, Top Blogs Hit All the Right Links, is posted on

Some bullet points from the article:

  • While it takes time to build a cache of relevant posts, blog placement can be achieved through relevant content, and inbound and outbound links to other sites.
  • Blog reputation, reach and value are derived from linking in and linking out to other sources that are relevant to your topic -- whether they are mainstream press, nonprofit public interest sites, or other law blogs, even those of your competitors.
  • Blogs always quote other blogs. The connection to the source drives traffic to those sites, enhancing their value. So when you use another writer's content, provide a link. The link should always go to the permalink page of the source blog post, not the front page of the source blog.
  • Blog links include those within the post and blogrolls that are listed in sidebars. Typically, a blogroll is comprised of fellow bloggers whose site content is relevant to your niche or your industry. Industry-related links are valuable because they can enhance your credibility and increase your visibility through branding.
  • Anchor text is comprised of the words that provide the clickable hyperlink. According to Wayne Hulbert at Blog Business World, it is better to use a keyword as the basis for the hyperlink than "click here" or "read more." Keywords as links provide search engines with recognizable themes, says Hulbert.
  • There are tools designed to quickly assess the relative visibility of a page or site, the potential strength and ability of a page to rank in the search engines and data on popularity, links and mentions of a page across the Web. To test your page strength, go to

For more information on the bullet points listed above, check out the article here: Top Blogs Hit All the Right Links.

You might also visit Ms. Ward's own weblog effort on behalf of her firm, New Jersey Eminent Domain Law Blog

Legal Directories for Law Firm Marketing?

In a article titled, Legal Directories: Valuable Resource or Waste of Time?, Michelle Madsen of Legal Week looks the corporate counsel’s view of directories. Do in-house attorneys use directories such as Chambers and Partners, the Legal 500 and Lawdragon or are they “a self-perpetuating marketing arena for law firms, or a useful tool for clients?”
Madsen concludes that “A sensible attitude to the directories would seem to be to regard them as a resource, a tool to be drawn upon and, compared with other sources of information, not as a substitute to personal contact or knowledge. As such, they need to be judged critically but, on balance, it would seem they have earned their place on the shelves of most general counsel.”

In my latest book, Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers, I provide a short list of such directories which also includes:

• American Lawyer AMLaw 200
• Best Lawyers in America
• Euromoney Expert Guides
• Global 100
• Leading Lawyers
• Legal Experts
• Martindale-Hubbell
• Multicultural Law Top 100
• National Law Journal 250
• Of Counsel 700
• PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook
• SuperLawyers
• The Vault
• Who’s Who Legal

You can find more comprehensive lists in Leigh Dance’s Global Guide to Law Firm and Lawyer Directories and the companion book compiled by Deborah McMurray, North American Guide to Law Firm and Lawyer Directories.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Advantages of New Age Journalism

In an age where people can have current news at a click-of-a-button, it becomes increasingly difficult for journalists to satisfy the cravings of consumers for minute-to-minute updates on local, national and world news. Luckily for journalists, technology has provided mediums which can deliver their opinions, facts or breaking news within seconds to people all over the world.

Frank Washkuch wrote a Definition of “Journalist” is Changing Fast for the March 10 edition of PR Week. In Washkuch’s analysis, he provides key examples of why incorporating new technology such as Web reporting, blogging and the use of multimedia applications is more important than ever stating that, “The speed of publishing today creates additional pressures for reporters or editors to get the story out quickly…”

Washkuch notes that there are several advantages of utilizing on-line tools such as:

  • The ability to control the news you receive
  • The ability to write your own original content when / how you want
  • The ability to update your news or writing when / how you want

For more information on the growing trend of new age journalism, click here to read Frank Washkuck’s Definition of “Journalist” is Changing Fast.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Governor Spitzer's Indiscretions

In today's Legal Intelligencer blog, I wrote about "Legal Strategy versus Media Management: When a Governor Faces Federal Charges." I comment on New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's public address regarding the his alleged patronage of a prostitution ring, the Emperors Club VIP. I ask, "Which takes priority, the legal strategy or the media management?" For my opinion, you'll have to to click on one of the two links above.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Everyday PR for Lawyers - Chapter 4 Tip - Part 1

Chapter 4 - Tip One

Writing an authoritative article to garner positive publicity:

Writing authoritative articles is one of the easiest and most effective ways to garner valuable publicity—especially if you like to write. When an article is published and you haven’t paid for the space (as opposed to placing an advertisement), you immediately establish credibility with your target audiences. It positions you as an expert without you saying, “Hey, look at me, I’m an expert on this topic.”

Keep tuned for more information on how to garner positive publicity along with rules of ethics where you will see that calling an attorney an expert can get you into hot water.

Friday, March 07, 2008

I just received the most wonderful compliments from my friend and PR mentor, Dan Cirucci, regarding my latest book, Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers. I can't help but be proud and share his comments: If you don't already subscribe to Dan's blog, it's a must read!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn

We have posted several articles on the benefits of utilizing on-line networks such as LinkedIn. You may have checked it out, or even signed up for an account, but have you capitalized on any of the opportunities of networking on social media sites?

If not, here is an informational article to jump-start your on-line networking capabilities, Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn. The author, Guy Kawasaki, is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm and a columnist for

In this article, Kawasaki provides the following “how to” tips on on-line networking:

  • Improve your connectability
  • Increase your visibility
  • Perform blind, “reverse,” and company reference checks
  • Gauge the health of an industry

For more information, check out this article on-line.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Lawyer, The Judge and The Ascot

Today, in my blog for The Legal Intelligencer, I wrote about a Lawyer Reprimanded for Fashion Choice where a Milwaukee County courthouse, state prosecutor Warren Zier was reprimanded by Judge William Sosnay for wearing an ascot to court. His rebuke has garnered media attention from the Wall Street Journal to the Chicago Sun-Times -- which I'm sure was not his intention when he tied his ascot that morning.

To read the full post at The Legal Intelligencer Blog - go to

Keep Your Press Releases Relevant

Craig McGuire of PRWeek recently shared tips on how we can all keep our press releases relevant to the rapidly changing times. According to McGuire, “In this digital age, social media and video elements are essential.”

News releases are used by 90% of business journalists as sources for story ideas and 54% of the same journalists also use bloggers for story ideas. McGuire urges his readers to go beyond simple text and to incorporate links, social media tags, images, etc., into all press materials. It is crucial to give journalists all the resources to use our releases and to offer bloggers and social media site users the same tools.

McGuire then goes on to highlight the dos and don’ts of keeping your press release relevant:

- Include links to pages where multiple instances of your keywords/phrases reinforce your message.
- Place terms in key positions like headlines and first paragraphs.
- Distribute a release through a service that carries hyperlinks to downstream sites such as Yahoo Finance, AOL News and Netscape.

- Go link crazy. Too many links will confuse journalists and draw focus away from key messaging.
- Use low-res images. Opt for high-res multimedia that can easily be used by layout pros.
- Use all tools, all the time. Focus first on the message. Use the bells and whistles to complement the campaign.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers Weekly Tip: Pitching the Media

What does “pitching” the media consist of:

“Pitching” a reporter or producer in public relations is akin to throwing a ball to the batter to see if she’s going to hit it and, if so, how far. Even though the commonly known terminology is “pitching,” think of it more as the art of communicating and having a conversation. There is no single way to pitch the media. Under­standing some of the nuances of the media will help you become a better com­municator in the long run.

An important aspect to consider when reaching out to the media:

Be memorable – Reporters receive hundreds of calls, phone calls, e-mails and faxes every week, so it is important that your story stands out from the rest. Be familiar with articles that the reporter has written in the past and, if you can, tie one of them in with your pitch. Be specific and brief—this will show the reporter that you are not wasting her time.

For more important tips to understand when reaching out to the media, read Chapter 3 in Everyday PR for Lawyers. Excerpt from Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers, Copyright 2007. Furia Rubel Communications, Inc. To purchase the book, click here.