Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Passing of NBC10's Edie Huggins - Philadelphia Media

I was saddened this morning to learn that Edie Huggins, a long-time face of NBC10 in Philadelphia, passed away last night. Edie was a television news media pioneer, role model for women and for the entire African-American community.

She was kind, caring and down to earth. She was one of the first women in journalism that I met while I was still a public relations student at Drexel University in the 1980s. She shared stories, inspirations, and tips as to how to be a better PR practitioner. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work with Edie from time to time. She was always a lady - always dignified - and will always remain a role model in my eyes.

NBC10 is remembering Edie at -- even if you're not from Philadelphia, her story is worth reading.

Mendte's Digital Footprint

Last week, I was published on The Legal Intelligencer's blog about Larry Mendte. He is Philadelphia's own news anchor who has been charged with a felony for breaking into Alycia Lane’s (his co-anchor), personal e-mail accounts. According to the local news coverage, he hacked into her e-mail more than 500 times and then shared information with a local newspaper. To read the full story, go to:

Eventful – Discover, Promote, Share, and Create Events

More than 5 million internet users are employing a single outlet to increase their awareness about an abundance of local and world-wide events. Everything from concerts to singles events and even political rallies are tracked and shared on this new communal site called Eventful.

Correspondents for Eventful insist the site is not an “event planning site.” According to their blog, Eventful is “the best way on the Internet to discover, share, track, create, and demand events.” Since day one, Eventful's mission has been, in three words, to “maximize event discovery.” “Event discovery” is the act of discovering events that are interesting and meaningful to Eventful’s audience members such that they would then attend the event.

Eventful is a unique outlet in that it offers a “Demand Service.” This service empowers users to influence where their favorite performers, candidates, or celebrities schedule appearances in the future. Users create “viral grass-roots campaigns to demand them in their town.” Using the Eventful Demand Service, performers are capable of making informed decisions about where to appear and how to contact their target audience.

Along with MySpace, YouTube and iTunes, Eventful is an increasingly popular online marketing tool for performers, politicians and others. Feel free to visit the Eventful website and see if it is a tool that your company can put to use.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Special Event Tip: How to Plan for Success (Part 2) Tips from Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers

Here are a few more tips on special events and how to plan for success. Please see some of our tips and tactics below.

  • The preparation and thought you invest will undoubtedly determine whether your event is a success. Document your plan and checklist so that you create a system for duplication each year.
  • Set a date and send a “save the date card”
  • Pick a convenient vendor location for your guests
  • Invitations should be customized, concise and memorable.
  • Giveaways - Do or Don’t: If you are so inclined to spend the money on favors, make sure they leave a lasting impact. Think about the item that will remain long after the party is over. What fits within the theme of your gathering and still makes sense for you to give to your attendees? There is no one single answer—it all depends on your firm’s culture, its budget and what will hit a home run with your guests.

For more important tips on using special events for success, read Chapter 6 in Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers. Excerpt from Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers, Copyright 2007. Furia Rubel Communications, Inc. To purchase the book, click here.

Journalists move into PR positions to answer media industry troubles

In this week’s issue of PR Week, Frank Washkuch published an article titled An Unstable Media landscape has journalists seeking PR positions. The report noted that while many journalists ultimately end up in PR, “the media industry’s troubles are causing some to do so earlier in their careers.”

Diane Lore, VP of digital media at GCI Group and former Atlanta Journal-Constitution features Project Editor, even helps to administer a “second life club.” Diane frequently circulates e-mails among ex-editors and reporters who are contemplating a career switch and regularly includes opportunities in PR. “The money is not there, and because of the constant filing for the online presence now, the pressure is so much higher,” she said.

Presently, prospective and current college students are re-thinking their decision to study journalism “because they feel the opportunities will be better for them based on what’s happening with print newspapers and other media.” Will Shanley, a previous business reporter at The Denver Post, added that “there are multiple avenues to make more money and get more responsibility in PR… whereas in the newsroom, you’re a reporter and maybe you become an editor, but it’s not like they’re growing the number of editor positions, for the most part.”

We found this recent occupational trend for Public Relations and Journalism professions and studies to be interesting. To read Frank Washkuch’s entire front page article, click here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lights out in Vegas

Monday night, at 9:30 pm, all of the lights at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas went out for one minute. So, who was responsible for this monumental black out? No, it’s not George Clooney or Brad Pitt from Oceans 11.

Instead, Monday night’s black out was inspired by Absolut’s “Global Cooling” campaign. The campaign aims to “draw attention to the effects of global warming” and was initially launched in January. The campaign is supported by the AOR Public Relations Agency, Ketchum.

Absolut is encouraging consumers and bar/nightclub owners to save energy,” Sarah Bessette, PR manager for Absolut Spirits. We found this “lights out” PR strategy rather bold and thought we would share. To read more about this PR campaign read Absolut puts out lights for environment from PR Week by Nicole Zerillo.

Monday, July 21, 2008

How to reach your target audiences through special events (Part 1) Tips from Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers

Here are a few tips on how to reach your target audiences through special events. Please see some of our tips and tactics below.

Tip One:

  • Celebrate a holiday or anniversary.
  • Conduct a poll or survey.
  • Create a contest.

Tip Two:

  • In the current day and age, community relations are of growing importance to law firms. Because society expects corporations to be socially responsible, becoming active in the community is to everyone’s advantage.
  • Community relations activities can include exhibitions, celebrations, ceremonies, speeches, sponsorship of nonprofit organizations, pro bono work, official representation at functions and participation in community activities.

For more important tips on using PR to reach your target audiences through special events, read Chapter 6 in Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers. Excerpt from Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers, Copyright 2007. Furia Rubel Communications, Inc. To purchase the book, click here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Average American – Knowing Your Audience

Pitching news to the average American in an engaging way is a skill that all PR specialists have been perfecting for years. The underlying question that begs to be asked is; do we really know who the average American is? An article from the Los Angeles Times titled “In Search of the Average American” by Breanna Maloney explores this question and offers us a few new and entertaining statistics on the average American.

Did you know…

  • The average American can name all Three Stooges but not all three branches of the federal government.
  • The average American lives within three miles of a McDonalds
  • The average American believes nature is sacred or spiritual but spends 95% of his time indoors.
  • Sixty percent of Americans eat peanut butter at least once a week, and the average American eats three pounds of it a year.

These indiscriminate statistics, among others, were all compiled by author Kevin O’Keefe in his most recent book The Average American: The Extraordinary Search for the Nation’s Most Ordinary Citizen. For his research, O’Keefe criss-crossed the country for more than two years and knocked down “many of the myths about Americans.”

For example, “We have this image that the average American is lacking in smarts,” O’Keefe says, “but in this country, the average IQ scores have increased three points per decade since nationwide IQ testing began in the 1920s.” Additionally, he disproves the age old assumption of the average American as someone who lives on a farm in Middle America. “The last time that most Americans lived in rural areas was about 100 years ago. Most average Americans live in metropolitan areas,” says O’Keefe.

Kevin O’Keefe initially held high-profile jobs in the sports and entertainment industries, designing countless national marketing and public relations campaigns to reach the average American. More of O’Keefe’s notable research and findings are in the article, In search of the average American.

We found O’Keefe’s research on the average American interesting as it is so very important for all firms and businesses to target and intimately know their audiences.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Twitter for fun & Customers' attention

Everyday, more and more discussions about the power and impact of new social media outlets are penetrating PR publications. Alexandra Bruell, writer from PR Week, recently recounted the story of Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant is a plus-sized clothing retailer who utilizes popular social outlets such as Twitter, to build brand recognition.

To engage consumers, Lane Bryant created a wardrobe giveaway contest in which the winner won a trip to London with tickets to the premiere of the movie Mamma Mia! Kristyn Wilson, the media relations manager of Lane Bryant’s PR team (MediaSource) felt “that the media doesn't cover who won contests, unless you won the power ball, it was not a story angle.”

To overcome that obstacle, the contest winner used Twitter to “tweet” her journey overseas and build interest in the movie and clothing brand. Amy Vogt, VP of marketing, PR and Communications for Lane Bryant said, “This is the first time it was used purely for fun…We believe this is the first time Twitter was used in this fashion and our feedback has been nothing but positive.”

Lane Bryant and the PR team both agree “now that we have our customer’s attention, we want to keep their attention.” For more on developing media strategies and online networks through new social outlets, read Alexandra Bruell’s article Lane Bryant builds online strategy with Twitter, MySpace.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tune-in to Neen James on WOGL 98.1 on Sunday, July 20 at 6am

We are excited to announce that one of our clients, Neen James, will be featured on 98.1 WOGL, The Philadelphia Agenda with Brad Segall this Sunday, July 20 between 6am – 7am!

During the show Neen will provide a variety of productivity tips including how to be productive in a recession, in the summer and even at the airport! In addition, Neen will be sharing inside productivity secrets from her latest book, Secrets of Super Productivity.

We hope you can join us and tune-in for this wonderful show. If you happen to miss the show, check for an audio file of her interview.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Speak Up and Be Heard- Tips from Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers

Here are a few tips on speaking up and being heard. Please see some of our tips and tactics below.

  • In addition to getting published to establish credibility and generate awareness, you can feed your interests while generating potential business by speaking at business forums, industry conferences, bar association meetings, seminars, universities and continuing legal- education programs.

    When you speak on a topic of interest, you are positioned as an expert in your field and can demonstrate rather than “sell” your knowledge, just like writing articles.

  • Often attorneys are just as stumped for a speaking topic as they are for an article subject. If that is the case, Take what you’ve written about and use those same topics to create something valuable to say. For every article you write, you can create a topic to speak about and vice versa.

For more important tips on using PR by speaking up and being heard, read Chapter 5 in Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers. Excerpt from Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers, Copyright 2007. Furia Rubel Communications, Inc. To purchase the book, click here.

Come to PR For Lawyers on July 24 - Philadelphia

Come to PR For Lawyers on July 24 - Philadelphia

Today is my first day back to the office after a 10-day vacation. It was so nice to spend time with my family. It’s amazing how quickly we get back into the groove of work. So with that, I want to invite any of you who may be in the Philadelphia area on July 24, 2008 to join me at The Philadelphia Bar Association on July 24, 2007 at 12:00 noon for my presentation: EVERYDAY PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR LAWYERS: THE NO NONSENSE STRATEGIC APPROACH TO GETTING NOTICED.

The details follow below.

Location: Philadelphia Bar Association, 11th Floor Conference Center, 1101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA.

Speaker: Gina F. Rubel is an attorney and legal-industry communicator who speaks nationally on topics of marketing, public relations, ethics and business development. In her presentation, Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers: The No Nonsense Strategic Approach to Getting Noticed, Gina reveals the secrets to law firm communications success

Gina’s program will inspire, challenge and energize attendees. Her interactive and lively approach keeps attendees wanting more.

Based on her latest book, Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers, Gina explains why in today’s competitive marketplace, attorneys can no longer afford to ignore the power of public relations. This straightforward and thorough presentation covers everything that seasoned and new lawyers alike need to know about promoting themselves, their law firms and their practices.

Rubel provides hands-on advice on all aspects of public relations, from the do’s and don’ts of media relations to controlling your message to harnessing the power of the Internet.

To Register: go to or print this page, complete the form items below and return it with payment to:

Solo and Small Firm/Marketing/Bar-News Media – July 24, 2008 – Luncheon Program
Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107-2911

The cost of lunch is $7.50 per person and will only be prepared for those that have made reservations and paid in advance either via check or credit card. Checks should be made payable to the Philadelphia Bar Association. To secure your reservation, please complete the from below, including credit card information, unless a check has been included. All reservations that are not canceled 24 hours prior to the event will be subject to a cancellation fee of $7.50. To cancel, please contact Dawn Burger at 215-238-6367 or

____Yes, I will attend and buy lunch.
____Yes, I will attend but bring my own lunch.

Credit Card #:
Expiration Date:


Please check one:

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

New Rules for Experienced Pros

In the Career Development section of The Strategist spring 2008 issue, Robert L. Dilenschneider discusses the importance of experience in the realm of PR, stating that there is “no substitute for invaluable experience.” Dilenschneider is the founder and principal of the Dilenschneider Group, Public Relations firm where the average employee is older than 50.

Nevertheless, Dilenschneider acknowledges the ever-changing career climate and divulges new “power rules” for aged PR Pros. Dilenschneider says, “technology is an area that young people take to naturally and an older professional would do well to sharpen his or her skills.” He recommends professionals should comprehensively understand how to use search engines, blogs, iPod downloads or mass Internet postings.

On the other hand, Dilenschneider recognizes the downside of the recent high-tech revolution, sighting too many people with “minimal writing skills” who “do not take the time to think logically and critically.” Therefore, it is crucial to “connect directly with people” and to have the ability to “fashion information into a compelling story or argument.”

Mr. Dilenschneider has authored eight books, the most recent being 50 Plus!-Critical Career Decisions for the Rest of Your Life. Additional tips from his book can be found in Robert L. Dilenschneider’s article The New Power Rules PR Pros Should Know About.

Best-Selling Author of "Book Yourself Solid" to Host Workshops in Philadelphia in July

Do you know Michael Port? He is a Doylestown resident and is also a mega-bestselling author. He's written Book Yourself Solid and Beyond Booked Solid. These two books serve as valuable resources to our business. We've gotten to know Michael over the past year and, not only is he a marketing and business growth guru, but he's an extraordinary guy with the highest levels of integrity.

We recommend you read his books and he also has two upcoming workshops, Book Yourself Solid (July 22-23) and Beyond Booked Solid (July 25-26) both happening at the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia. To learn more about his workshops in Philly click here.

Michael is offering these workshops at 60% off the regular tuition. So, you can go to his two-day workshop for only $499 instead of the regular $1199. To learn more about the workshop discount and his upcoming events, click here.

You can also learn more about him by visiting his main Web site. If you have any questions, you can email him directly at

Monday, July 07, 2008

Social Media Implications for PR

At a recent PRSA Digital Impact Conference, New York Times columnist David Carr spoke about the implications that social media tools hold for journalism and public relations. In his conclusion, Carr offered PR professionals a few helpful tips to use when working with journalists.

1. Don’t ask “Did you get my e-mail?” “Don’t have your junior deputy call and ask if I got your e-mail as another way to make contact,” Carr said. “Yes — these are all very reliable technologies — I did.” If he didn’t respond, he simply isn’t interested in the story.

2. Don’t send blast e-mails. A single personalized e-mail will be far more effective than hundreds of generic messages, Carr said, especially since it takes minimal effort to rework an individualized release for print. “We’re not lazy so much as incredibly busy,” he said. “If someone gift wraps something and hands it to you — ‘This is only for you’ — chances are you’re going to take it.”

3. Only pitch legitimate news. When telling your boss that the information they want you to pitch is not newsworthy, they may reason that making the phone call can’t hurt. “Yes, it can,” Carr said. “I’m going to think you’re a twit.” PR professionals need to educate those they work for about what should be pitched to reporters. “Don’t try to manage me,” he said. “Manage them.”

For the past 25 years, Carr has been writing about media as it intersects with business, culture and government. We found this information priceless and thought we should share it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Are you managing your online firm reputation?

My colleague Rich Klein of Beckerman Public Relations (Hoboken, NJ) wrote an insightful article about the online reputation of law firms in the June 2008 issue of Strategies, The Journal of Legal Marketing. One good point he makes is that some attacks on a law firm's reputation online might end up offline, in print newspapers and on television and radio. Managing your online reputation is critical in the Web 2.0 world.

PR Spamming- what not to do.

PR Week’s article titled PR Spamming Doesn’t Create Results by Melisa LaBancz-Bleasdale, in the May 2008 issue, reminds readers about the importance of increasing media coverage through targeted pitching. The article demonstrates that sending a mass media message, known as “spam”, is an ineffective way to reach your audience. “Spamming” is often defined as an e-mail or press release that gets distributed to whole media lists which are outdated or lack the knowledge about fundamental interests.

Most importantly, spamming rarely results in coverage of any kind, decreasing the chance to showcase your clients’ news. PR professionals who spam do not produce results or uphold their integrity. LaBancz-Bleasdale asks the readers to put themselves in our client’s shoes and decide, ‘Would the CEO of a Fortune 100 company send 300 indiscriminate invites for taquitos and martinis?’

Melisa also included additional tips in order for successful pitching, including:

  • Personalize your pitches.
  • Understand the company/product/issues you are pitching, because you only get one chance to capture the writer’s attention.
  • Always follow through.

For further guidance and insight on how to avoid spamming and produce more front page results, read the full article PR Spamming Doesn’t Create Results.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Reports of Dead Newspapers - Are They Exaggerated?

Randy Siegel, the President of Parade Publications, recently wrote an article in Advertising Age regarding the decline of newspapers. Major-market-newspaper circulation has declined 15% since 1997 and TV and consumer magazines have lost circulation as well. However, he demonstrates a unique point of view in that he thinks optimistically and believes in the reinvention of newspapers.

Within his report, he suggests that newspapers learn from MySpace and Facebook and create social net-working sites. This could “engage their different audiences around consumer interests.” Additionally, newspapers could start “charging for the newsroom content that portals and online aggregators pilfer and profit from.” Lastly, Siegel feels that newspapers could benefit from hiring “more-provocative and diverse voices, including high-school and college students, who can help create compelling content for their respective communities.”

Therefore, Siegel urges newspapers to “rethink their strategies and reengineer their organizations.” Then, newspapers could have the ability to prove, once and for all, that reports of dead or dying newspapers are greatly exaggerated.

For more on Randy Siegel’s evaluation of newspapers, read the full article “Parade President: Reports of death of papers have been greatly exaggerated.”