Friday, August 29, 2008

Blog Posts Can and Will be Used against You

On the front page of The Intelligencer earlier this week, there was an interesting article titled “Defense Attorneys Trolling the Internet Too” by Laurie Mason, concerning defense lawyers using social media outlets to help their cases in court.

Police and prosecutors have been using the Internet for some time now when gathering materials in a case. Now defense attorneys are joining the crowd. Mason’s article highlights the increased usage of sites like MySpace and Facebook as they provide an unfiltered look into clients' lives.

Blogs entries about alcohol-abuse, hidden drug stashes, or entries talking about revenge or payback all are now being used to speak volumes to a judge or jury.

Middletown attorney, Niels Eriksen has used “printouts of alleged assault victim's MySpace blogs in which the participants posted entries about how they threw the first punch or got the better of the other brawler or were plotting revenge against his client.”

Not only are client’s personal blogs and networking sites being looked over, but their friends and family members' posts could also be used in court.

Experts in the article say these sites are often seen as an outlet to vent to a few close friends but those involved in court cases don’t always keep in mind that their posts are public. Furthermore, pictures and blogs that are published on the Internet are hard to erase.

According to Mason’s article, "defense lawyers don't have to reveal their tactics before trial, the unveiling of a racy Internet photo or salacious blog can result in a true ‘gotcha’ moment in court."

Not all attorneys agree with using these Internet posts in a client’s defense case. Doylestown attorney, Craig Penglase says, “The problem with these networking sites is that it is really a domain of fiction, and is therefore an unreliable source of information. Anyone who uses such information in court proceedings without substantial corroboration is doing justice a grave disservice.”

Regardless of whether attorneys use this information or not, I thought this was an important article to comment on as it showcases the importance of monitoring what is put out onto the Internet. From a public relations standpoint, blogs and social networking sites are ways to reach your target audience such as existing clients, stakeholders, community members and provide outlets to garner new business by creating a two-way conversation.

From a personal branding angle, a "gotcha" moment could haunt you in a variety of ways. For example when interviewing for a future job, if old college fraternity party pictures of you are found showing you in an unprofessional manner that may be the deciding factor between you and the other job candidate. This is just another lesson in brand management for all of us. It is important to be aware of your online presence. How you display yourself on the Internet can and will be used against you in a variety of situations, now just in the court of law.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rubel’s Rebuttal to Recent PR Industry Blast Quoted by O’Dwyer’s PR Blogger

Jason Calacanis, a new media entrepreneur behind the Silicon Alley Reporter and Weblogs Inc., recently created an uproar in the PR industry with his blog post titled “How To Get PR For Your Startup: Fire Your PR Company.”

Furia Rubel CEO, Gina Rubel, posted a response to Calacanis on both his blog as well as the Furia Rubel Communications company blog, The PR Lawyer.

One excerpt from Gina’s response to Calacanis’ blog post read, “Not all CEOs know the difference between what the media considers newsworthy versus self-serving hype – and for that reason alone, they should not all run out tomorrow and start pitching the media.”

O’Dwyer’s PR blogger, Greg Hazley, referred to Gina’s rebuttal in his own commentary concerning the frenzy in the Latest of Industry Attacks. An industry leading site, O’Dwyer’s PR Blog covers topics on PR, public affairs, marketing and the world of communications. To see Gina’s full response to Calacanis’ blog post, click here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Legal Intell Quotes Rubel on Philadelphia DHS case

On Monday, The Legal Intelligencer featured an article called, “Kelly Estate Suit Reveals Gulf Between Lawyers, Public” by writer Zach Needles. Furia Rubel CEO, Gina Rubel, Esq., was quoted in the article in regards to George Bochetto’s representation of Brian Mildenberg in the civil suit against the Department of Human Services (DHS) for the untimely death of Danieal Kelly. Kelly, a 14-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, starved to death in her mother's West Philadelphia home in 2006. To read more on the article, click here.

Gina is well versed in both the legal and public relations realms; therefore she has a unique perspective on this situation. "George is very media-savvy," she said. "He understands the media and how it works."

I agree with her point of view when she notes that Bochetto’s communications with the media are more in line with his role as an attorney rather than as a public relations professional. The industry of public relations as a whole encompasses more than just media relations and ultimately, lawyers are hired to protect the interests of their clients.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Silicon Alley Insider Says You Should Fire Your PR Firm – I Disagree

Silicon Alley Insider, Jason Calacanis tells readers that they should fire their PR company if they want to get PR for their start up companies.

Jason tells us in the first paragraph that he’s been a journalist. That fact alone makes it much easier for him to reach out to other journalists and get media coverage. He also has something newsworthy to say when he says it. Not all CEOs know the difference between what the media considers newsworthy versus self-serving hype – and for that reason alone, they should not all run out tomorrow and start pitching the media.

But Jason has some great suggestions on how you can better communicate and build your brand although I have some cautions and comments to share.

Jason says, “Be the brand.” I agree. Then he says, “Be everywhere.” I caution you on this one – if you are everywhere, you may be in places that don’t make sense and cost you time and money in the long run. Be smart and target your message. That’s why good direct marketing has such a solid ROI. So does targeted media relations.

He says, “Always pick up the check--always.” Agreed – when it’s a business meeting with colleagues. Caution – picking up the check for reporters and journalist is frowned upon and can get you into hot water. I add that you should give your credit card to the host or wait staff in advance of the gathering so that the check never even appears on the table.

Jason says, “Be a human being.” He then goes on to say that “journalists hate PR people and they hate being pitched.” What Jason doesn’t tell you is that journalists often rely on “PR people” to provide them with experts, to feed them stories, and to assist with story development and research. We get calls and emails from the media every day asking for experts and stories. I’m sure there are many journalists out there who would disagree with Jason’s statement. That said, yes, please be a human being. No barking or growling allowed.

Jason goes on to provide some great tips on how you should pitch journalists (while still putting down PR folks). He’s right – your message has to be targeted and you should always research what has been previously covered by the person you’re pitching. Your PR firm should also encourage your company leadership to reach out to the media directly when appropriate. It’s true that many PR practitioners get in their own way by playing gatekeeper – if the client is media savvy and knows how to speak to the media then help them reach out directly.

He goes on to say that “There are a handful of journalists I will speak to on the phone or in person because I know they are not going to spin me.” And he knows this because he has existing relationships with those journalists and because he too was a journalist. All too often, companies don’t engage PR experts and as a result – they say things that they regret, they get misquoted or improperly paraphrased and then they call a PR firm to clean up the mess. Why not do it right from the start?!

He says, “My philosophy of PR is summed up in six words: be amazing, be everywhere, be real.” But he makes is sound like public relations is the same thing as media relations.” The two are not synonymous – media relations is just one thing that PR firms do.

Public relations firms should be helping their clients with the positioning of their products and services, opening doors with key target audiences (not just the media), positioning their clients as experts in their respective fields, garnering speaking engagements, integrating their news into their marketing and social media programs, building relationships with strategic partners, helping bring in new business, planning and executing important events, creating and managing crisis communications plans, getting articles published, implementing community relationship development programs, assisting with employee relations, and so much more!

On a final note, what Jason doesn’t say is “take a stand” or “be controversial.” When you do either, your message is heard, loud and clear – and it gets attention. You see, Jason knows this. And he’s smart. He’s getting responses to his post, it has more than 200 Diggs, and look at me, I’ve written a blog about it.

More Press Release Tips from Everday Public Relations for Lawyers

Today we will be continuing with tips from last Monday's post on press releases.

Tip Three:
Research the intended recipient of your press release:
Before sending a release to the media, research the reporter or editor you are targeting. Make sure that he or she is the correct person to receive the release. You can go to the outlet’s Web site, use a paid media database source (see page 24) or pick up the phone and call the publication to ask. Also, it cannot hurt to find out how the reporter or editor prefers to receive press releases—via fax, e-mail or snail mail.

Tip Four:
In many cases, including a photo or two with a press release can add greater impact and news value to your story, not only for the readers of the publication (if it gets picked up), but also for the editor when deciding which stories to cover. If you have a good photo of a person or event that you can attach to a release, you should do so. It will not hurt your chances of getting coverage—it can only help. There are many reasons to include photos that illustrate the news in your press release. A press release with a photo attached is four times more likely to be read.

For more important tips on press releases and their uses, read Chapter 8 in Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers. Excerpt from Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers, Copyright 2007. Furia Rubel Communications, Inc. To purchase the book, please click here.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Drexel University Ranked in Top U.S. Universities

As an alumna of Drexel University and a member of the Board of Governors of the Alumni Association (check out our new Web site), I’m extremely happy to share with you that Drexel is now ranked 89th in the category of Best National Universities. This is the University’s highest ranking ever and Drexel’s first appearance in the top 100. Just last year, the university ranked 108.

Our amazing President, Dr. Constantine Papadakis (known to many of us as Taki), announced today that for the first time ever, U.S. News decided to rank the nation’s top “up-and-coming schools.” The schools they selected have demonstrated “the most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus, or facilities.” Only twenty universities in the country made this exclusive list, and Drexel ranked sixth! To make this list, the universities had to have “recently made striking improvements or innovations” and be regarded as “schools everyone should be watching.” The article advises the country, “these colleges may not be at the top of the rankings (yet), but they’re tops for innovation.”

I’m sure the addition of the new Earle Mack School of Law has helped with these rankings.

Papadakis said, “This rise in our national ranking is remarkable. We have gone from the third tier of national universities as recently as 2003 to the top 90. We are now ranked among the best 50 private universities in the country.”Factors that U.S. News notes contributed to our improvement this year include: improved graduation rate performance, smaller classes, and improved test scores for freshmen.

The US News & World Report "Best National Universities Rankings" and the article about Drexel’s selection as an “up-and-coming school” can also be found at and

Building Trust through Communication

A recent blog post found on the Public Relations Society of America’s ComPRehension blog written by Gerald Baron, struck a chord with me. Baron is the Founder and CEO of PIER Systems, a provider of crisis communication management technology and in his post, “Does Trust Really Matter?” he addresses the need for honest public relations and communications in business today despite changing economic times.

With the weak economy bearing down on every industry, numbers are the driving force behind measuring a business’ success. It can become easy to forget about long-term relationship building through communication in terms of building consumer trust. In my opinion, it would be a huge mistake to let communications fall by the wayside in the wake of shrinking budgets and economic recession.

According to Baron, “Some seem to think that the business of business is profits only. The smart ones know to first build trust and value, and money will follow.”

In today’s world, with customers accessing social media outlets like blogs, the importance for businesses to effectively reach out to its customers has increased. When the time is taken to listen to the customer and build trust, the outcome will surely be reflected in the overall bottom-line. Trust in a brand will fuel word-of-mouth marketing for loyal customers to pass on their recommendations of trusted companies, products or stores to others.

As a recent college graduate, fresh to the workforce, many of my fundamental PR classes are still fresh in my mind. Throughout my four years of Communications studies, my professors and class material has emphasized the need for honest communication in any industry. Much like conversations with a trusted friend, businesses need to focus on creating a two-way street for communication to ensure growth and success.

I believe that the issue of trust needs to be taken seriously and I agree with Baron’s blog when he states that, “without the focus on building trust through effective communication, we may be left to focus on important goals, like finding new employment.”

Thursday, August 21, 2008

More on Paul Gillin..

A few days ago, I wrote a blog about Paul Gillin's book, The New Influencers. The book gives a great background of the beginning stages of social media and opened my eyes to the benefits of blogging to reach an audience.

He wrote a comment and graciously offered our readers a copy of his next book, Secrets of Social Media Marketing. The book is a "how-to" guide for social media and will be due out in the fall.

Thanks Paul!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Clear Communication or Search Engine Hits?

Last week, there was a thought provoking article in The Philadelphia Inquirer about the over use of jargon in today's business world. The article, "Too Many Firms Use Jargon to Convey Ideas,” written by Stacey Burling brought about some interesting points of communications that PR professionals and writers deal with on a daily basis.

Search Engine Optimization seems to be the reason for confusing and long business explanations. The idea is that the more keywords you use in your blog or website, the easier it will be for your consumers to find you in search engine results.

Burling’s article quotes Rich Sherman, an Austin, Texas, marketing consultant, who defended a business description that he wrote for one of his clients. According to the article, “Sherman, said his target readers were supply-chain managers and trade-press writers, not reporters for daily newspapers. ‘It is not our strategic intent for you to understand,’ he told an Inquirer reporter.”
Has clear communication been lost? Should communicators and marketers focus on clarity and understanding or focus on being the first hit on a Google search? As a recent college graduate, professors constantly emphasized the need for clear and concise writing in public relations. Writing with an audience in mind is important to craft messages that can be understood. How can your message make a difference if your audience is confused? In my opinion, businesses with vague mission statements and long-winded explanations of who they are and what they do are only more prone to be lost in the shuffle.

I would have to agree with a fellow blogger, Joe Ferry (, when he said clear communication should be a bigger concern then search engine optimization.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Remembering the Basics about Blogs

I recently began reading, “The New Influencers” a book written by Paul Gillin which details the various facets of the social media realm. Gillin is a journalist with 24 years of technology writing and editorial work under his belt.

I myself have grown up with Facebook and Myspace and recently joined sites like Twitter, Plaxo and LinkedIn. Although I have been familiar with these sites and know how to use them, I wanted to become more knowledgeable in understanding the overall role that social media plays in the world of PR.

The PR Lawyer blog has written a lot in the past about the importance of blogging for your business. I wanted to reiterate some points from this book in support of that advice.
Here at Furia Rubel, we believe blogging should be a strategic decision made during overall PR planning. Remembering the basic ideas behind blogging and understanding why you have created a blog is just as important as the content included and topics it should address.

In the last chapter of Gillen’s book titled “Next Steps,” he outlines all of the possibilities of what blogs can and will do for business owners and some points to consider for businesses – big and small.

Gillin paraphrases some points from The Corporate Blogging Book by Debbie Weil, which I feel are important to note.

Large corporations who blog will be noticed by consumers and the media. It should be a regular commitment and something that once a business decides to begin, it should be continued.

Blogging = excellent way to start a conversation with your customers and the media. It is important to evaluate the level of comfort in your industry to the idea of open, honest, communication.

Blogs are open venues for conversation where criticism is a definite possibility. Your business should be able to handle negativity quickly and honestly.

The online community is all about being interactive. Links, videos, music, pictures are all important factors to consider when crafting a business blog to keep viewers engaged.

I would recommend Gillin’s book to anyone who is apprehensive about “joining in the conversation.” I myself did not blog for a long time and wish that I had started sooner. Blogs have opened my eyes to a whole new world of different online communities and people with various interests. I am very interested to hear more from Gillin and his new book titled, Secrets of Social Media Marketing, due out this fall.

Monday, August 18, 2008

10 Ways to Use Your Reprint to Generate a Buzz

Article reprints are typically used to share a company’s key media placements. This PR tool often helps you / your company create a buzz, generate awareness and build a solid corporate reputation. A reprint also assists in communicating you / your company’s good news to your clients, prospects, colleagues, friends, family and competitors.

Some great ways to use a reprint besides having copies for your files include:
  1. Sending it to customers / clients / prospective clients
  2. Sending it to vendors / strategic partners
  3. Sending it to employees / colleagues
  4. Sending it to associations / organizations in which you / your company belong
  5. Adding a Web link of the article to your e-mail signature and professional on-line profiles (ex. LinkedIn and Facebook)
  6. Placing copies in your company lobby / your office
  7. Adding it to your Web site and blog and linking it back to the actual article from the online publication
  8. Displaying it in sales and promotional collateral material
  9. Putting it in the news coverage section of your media kit
  10. Including it in your newsletter (print and on-line)

Whatever the news may be, there are many ways to use a reprint to increase awareness of you / your company, your offerings, your community involvement, your products and to help retain current customers and generate new business.

The Press Release- Tips from Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers

Today's blog is about the almighty Press Release. Some tips from Chapter 8 from Everday Public Relations for Lawyers are below:

Tip One:
A press release is a crucial public relations tool that can be used in a variety of ways. You may read countless articles and online commentaries that say the press release is dead, but that’s a bunch of malarkey.

Tip Two:
Some great ways to use a press release besides sending it to the media include:
• Send it to current and prospective clients, vendors, referral sources, family and friends as “Firm News.”
• Include it on your firm Web site.
• Send it to all of your firm’s employees via e-mail and encourage them to pass the news along to their contacts.

For more important tips on press releases and their uses, read Chapter 8 in Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers. Excerpt from Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers, Copyright 2007. Furia Rubel Communications, Inc. To purchase the book, please click here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Hispanics Media Outlets Boom While Other US Media Sources May Plunge

According to a recent PRWeek article titled “Hispanic outlets expand in size and reach,” PR Week healthcare reporter Jaimy Lee highlights some interesting findings involving the Hispanic traditional media market. While other U.S. media sources are suffering due to the increased popularity of the online news sources, Hispanic and Spanish-language TV stations and publications are booming! Why is this?

Lee attributes several reasons for the increased success with Hispanic media outlets like Univision. According to the US Census Bureau, there has been a rise in the Hispanic population from 35 million in 2000 to 44 million in 2006 which in turn affects the viewership / readership of ethnic media outlets. Another reason for continued success of Hispanic media is that these niche media outlets cater to a specific audience, more specifically immigrants who are still adjusting to new surroundings. Some of the experts highlighted in this article believe it is a sense of community that keep minority media outlets thriving. I think it also has to do with the Hispanic culture in general. These publications and TV stations are providing familiar pieces of culture this specific audience gravitates toward.

Lee also sheds some light on an interesting fact that ethnic media outlets have a history of playing an advocate role in its communities. “Spanish-speaking viewers tend to view media outlets as part of a community dialogue, calling up news stations with crime tips and watching for news from their home country,” said Manny Ruiz, president of PR Newswire's multicultural services and Hispanic PR Wire. Another ethnic media expert noted that, “The community emphasis is a main reason for the new growth in the Hispanic media market.”

On the other end of the spectrum, traditional U.S. media has and continues to emphasize hard-hitting news coverage and expresses opinions through outlets like blogs and some journalists who take an opinionated stance in their writing.

How is this important in PR? With an increase in ethnic news outlets, at least two publications for every 50,000 Hispanics in a community, the need for targeted stories and ideas has also increased. More media outlets mean a greater opportunity to communicate your message. The need for constant research and audience identification has become paramount and this idea piggy-backs on Rachel’s recent PR Lawyer blog post regarding “The Average American.” She addressed the topic of knowing your audience and I completely agree. I believe that it is important to tailor your message and really know who you are trying to reach. This is all equally valid when serving an ethnic community.

Intimately knowing the Hispanic culture, its sense of community, advocacy role and encouragement of dialogue will indefinitely help you craft the most effective messaging. This is not only true for the Hispanic and ethnic communities, but for all industries. It is important to know what makes your audience tick.

Since starting my internship with Furia Rubel, I have found it interesting to keep an eye on communications and marketing efforts that are geared toward minorities. Furia Rubel works with a variety of clients in a plethora of industries. I have learned that it is important to constantly educate yourself on the needs and wants of your audience; keeping abreast of new trends and happenings allows for the freshest ideas and creativity and allows for you to become a true expert.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

On-line Video Viewing is No Longer a Novelty

The International Herald Tribune (The Global Edition of the New York Times) recently featured an article titled Whichever Screen, People Are Watching. In the article, Brian Stelter discusses recent reports following on-line consumer viewing habits.

According to the article, “The first in a series of new ‘three-screen’ reports by the Nielsen Company shows an emerging shift toward a more video-centric use of the Internet. The average American spent 127 hours of time with TV in May, up from 121 hours in May 2007; and 26 hours on the Internet, up from 24 hours last year. More than 282 million people watch television in a given month and nearly 162 million use the Internet.” Furthermore, data reaffirms that “on-line video viewing is no longer a novelty. Two-thirds of Internet users in the United States or 119 million people, watched video in May.”

In fact, a similar article, Product Placement Creeps Into Amateurs' YouTube Offerings, highlights this increasing trend and how more corporate sponsorships of on-line video clips are becoming more popular. According to author Mike Musgrove, “Product placement and corporate sponsorships have been seeping into new, user-generated turf lately. Last year, Dr. Pepper sponsored production of a music video by YouTube star Tay Zonday. This year, Sprint Nextel is offering a few bucks to people who incorporate a new Samsung phone into a home video and post the results to YouTube. Finally, big-name entities from Revlon to Coldplay also have recently sponsored contests on the video site.”

Mike Musgrove believes, “It's easy to understand why sites like YouTube are attractive to advertisers and corporate sponsors. Getting a 30-second commercial on the air in front of a prime-time audience costs hundreds of thousands of dollars; uploading a video to YouTube costs nothing.”

With such easy access to on-line video sites today, videos have the potential to reach large internet and target audiences. They also serve to be useful PR tools by releasing product messages in ways that are fun and attention grabbing. We found this article reinforcing the significance of on-line videos to be important and wanted to share.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Awards Programs- Tips from Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers - Part 2

Here are a few more tips on implementing awards programs to build your business. Please see some of our tips and tactics below.

Creating Awards for Your Target Audiences

  • The premise of an awards program is to celebrate those companies and indi­viduals who exemplify the characteristics that resonate with your firm’s culture. Awards programs should also have meaning and be created because your firm has something to say.

Here are some things you should be thinking about when you are creating an award:

  • Are we trying to reach a particular niche industry or market segment?
  • Are there any prominent figureheads in our industry or firm for whom the award should be named?
  • Is there a unique innovation, program or methodology that has helped people, the community or target industry that can be acknowledged?

For more important tips on awards programs, read Chapter 7 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, August 07, 2008

Gina Rubel to Keynote at Network Now One Year Anniversary Celebration

On Friday, September 26th, at 6:30 p.m., our very own Gina Rubel will be serving as keynote speaker for Network Now’s One Year Anniversary Celebration. Network Now is a women’s entrepreneur networking organization located in Bucks County, Pa. The anniversary celebration will take place on the patio of Procerus MedSpa, 430 Union Square Drive, New Hope, Pa. Catering will be provided by Hetu' Fine Food. Wine will also be served. The event is open only to members, advisors and partners of Network Now. For more information on Network Now and its upcoming events, click here.

Using Sweepstakes to Benefit Your Brand

In a recent issue of PR Week, Beth Krietsch offered information how on-line sweepstakes can help build a brand’s personality. Krietsch believes online sweepstakes are a “simple, yet often overlooked, method that PR pros can use to draw attention to a brand or product.”

Sweepstakes can spark media and consumer attention while offering an outlet for product messages in an easy-to-understand way. According to Gregg Alwine, the Co-President of, “companies can implement sweepstakes to encourage consumers to revisit the Web site, exposing them to the message or brand more frequently.”

Sal Cataldi, President of Cataldi PR, adds that sweepstakes “can actually give a personality and a cachet to the brand. The monetary value of the prize isn’t supremely important. It is more imperative for the prize to have some sort of unique appeal to the target consumers.”

For example, Cataldi PR recently managed public relations for a fine-art-focused television network and incorporated an on-line sweepstakes with a unique prize of a painting by infamous art forger, John Myatt. This reward fit well into the sweepstakes program because according to Cataldi, it “tapped into the unique interests of the consumer, and was at least as big of a draw as the monetary prize.”

We found the idea of using sweepstakes to be a creative and interesting way to add a twist to your brand and product outreach and thought we should share it. For more information on how to draw attention to a brand or product with an on-line sweepstake, read Beth Krietsch’s article Sweepstakes bring excitement, personality to brands.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

How to Manage the “Generation of Talent”

A few months ago, one of the Furia Rubel account managers wrote a blog entry in reference to Ken Jacobs’ article on Managing Up featured in PR Tactics, Public Relations Society of America’s award-winning monthly newspaper. Jacobs has since written another interesting piece on Managing Millennials which was recently featured in Al Croft's Management Strategies for Public Relations Firms monthly newsletter. As an intern at Furia Rubel and therefore the youngest member at the firm and classified member of the millennial generation, I found it appropriate to take my turn and comment on Jacobs’ most recent article.

Jacobs is the principal of Jacobs Communications Consulting, and believes that ‘Generation Y’ is a force of talent that cannot be ignored. The term “Millennials” refers to individuals “born from 1978 through 1999 and are the largest (at 80 million strong) and fastest-growing group of workers in the U.S.” Jacobs also believes that “they are the bulls-eye target in the quest for the talent that we so desperately need.”

Some of the talents and values Millenials possess include being “highly self-driven, socially responsible, and truly comfortable with and influenced by technology.” Of course, I found his reports on my generation’s talents to be accurate and flattering! However, Jacobs’ article is mainly helpful for business owners or managers to attract, understand, and motivate “this important workforce group.”

For example, the article states that most Millenials can “blow you away with their ability to multi-task.” Hence, it is important to “leverage this ability by granting them independence and assigning them multiple tasks with short-term goals and interim deadlines.” Also, it is very important to create a work environment that fulfils the Millenial generation’s need for a “sense of community, team collaboration, and fun.” Doing so will guarantee your employees will produce a “higher output of work” and a stronger “loyalty for your company.” Perhaps, putting in the effort to create an appropriate environment can “retain them just a little longer and attract more of them to your organization.”

To read Jacobs’ suggestions on how to successfully create this kind of work environment, and the rest of his very functional advice for managing younger employees, read his article Managing, Mentoring, and Motivating Melennials: How To Get The Best From Them. Jacobs can also be reached at and his website is

Awards Programs- Tips from Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers - Part 1

Awards programs are excellent public relations tools to enable you to recognize and be recognized. There are many ways to implement awards programs to build your business. Please see some of our tips and tactics below.

  • Apply for awards for which you qualify
  • Create awards for your target audiences.
  • You should also check national trade publications and the American Bar Association for additional awards opportunities. Apply for awards that recognize community service, pro bono work, Web sites, firm marketing and public relations, diversity, and anything else for which your firm or its attorneys stand out. Be sure to set aside a budget line each year for awards applications, as they can become quite expensive.

Awards vs. Directories Tip:

  • Awards are not the same as directories, Web sites and organizations that rank attorneys and law firms. A partial list of such publications includes:
    • American Lawyer AMLaw 200
    • Best Lawyers in America
    • Chambers Global

For more important tips on awards programs, read Chapter 7 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.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Word of Mouse- The Latest Trend in Online Travel Planning

Social networking sites have infiltrated various businesses to link together professionals around the world. For the business professional who physically travels the world, social networking sites are making researching details of their next business trip just a click away.

According to the article Advice From Strangers from the Business section of the New York Times, “Word of mouse is the latest trend in on-line travel planning, and a variety of corporate travel companies are setting up networking sites in hopes of becoming the Facebook of corporate travel.” Expedia, American Express Business Travel, and Orbitz are all announcing their new offerings this month.

Egencia, the fifth-largest corporate travel company in the world, is working closely with Expedia’s non-corporate travel planning assets to provide information to travel planners such as, the best and worst of airline seating, TripAdvisor’s City Guides, and a mass of hotel reviews from a variety of sources.

The on-line travel networking tools are “in the very, very early stages of development”, but can offer efficient advice in planning and booking. Furthermore, the networking sites such as, can connect business travelers with related interests and improve the somewhat random networking opportunities at major trade shows.

Ivo Sluiter, who is a skylounge member and director at an on-line energy trading company, confirms that the site has helped him get more out of trade shows. “I can see who is there and prepare product information.”

For more about networking sites as up and coming trends for online travel planning, read Claire Atkinson’s article Advice From Strangers.

Viral Communications: Blogging, Rofo and HARO

Dean Guadagni of Domus Consulting Group; Inner Architect Media in San Rafael, CA share’s my cousin, Peter Furia’s YouTube video for

Guadagni shares how Peter pitched him to blog about this video including some great background information on Peter. Well done.

In my opinion, viral marketing MUST be included in your communications plan if your company has a Web presence. Not all viral marketing should include stunts, pranks and spoofs – especially for the more conservative B2B folks. But when done right, the return on your viral investment will far surpass traditional advertising.

Another great resource for viral communications is Peter Shankman’s book, Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work and Why Your Company Needs Them. Peter also launched Help A Reporter ( which connects journalists with the sources they require using a social media platform. HARO (Help A Reporter Out) is already over 12,000 members and growing, and has a growing stable of national journalists using the service on a daily basis. I know tons of people in the public relations industry who subscribe. You should too.