Tuesday, March 31, 2009

PR News Unveils "It's the PR" Campaign

PR News Unveils Industry Advocacy Campaign: "It's the PR"

New York, NY (March 31, 2009) - Underscoring the relevance of public relations to drive marketplace success, influence ideas and manage reputations, PR News has rolled out the industry's first-ever advocacy campaign touting the power of public relations. The "It's the PR!" campaign's main message is that PR is a major driving force, albeit an often unrecognized or dismissed area of the marketing mix.

PR News, the leading information resource among PR professionals, has launched an online store where communications professionals can express their support for PR. Located at www.itsthepr.com, the It's the PR store includes branded merchandise plus case studies of PR's powerful impact on the marketplace of ideas, products and services of all kinds. PR News' social media site, PR Peeps, also includes a special section called It's the PR where the thousands of users can share mini-case studies of PR's influence.

So, Why PR?

? 72% of senior level marketers perceive PR to be most valuable in supporting product marketing and launches (Council of PR Firms and Advertising Age).

? Total communications spending expanded at a compound annual growth rate of 5.9% to a record $885.2 billion, driven by strong gains in alternative advertising, marketing, and institutional spending.

? Overall communications spending is projected to grow 6.4%, exceed $1 trillion, and post a CAGR of 6.7%.

? While consumer media usage dipped 0.5%, institutional time spent with media increased 3.2%, according to the first-ever analysis of business media usage patterns.

Source: The Council of PR Firms

Friday, March 27, 2009

Blogging for Lawyers

This week's Social Media for Lawyers blog for The Legal Intelligencer is about blogging for lawyers.

In the post, I quote Brian Solis, the principal of FutureWorks in Silicon Valley, Gil Marquez, law firm administrator for Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock & Dodig [http://www.FeldmanShepherd.com] and Joshua Fruchter, a former attorney, president of eLawMarketing [http://www.elawmarketing.com/] and author of the blog http://www.lawyercasting.com/.

I'll be writing about using JD Supra and Martindale-Hubbell Connected as social media tools next. Please feel free to send me your thoughts and experiences if you have something you'd like to share.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Great Web Opportunity for Attorneys in Need of CLE Credit

Posted by Katie Noonan

ThePRLawyer wanted to share the following Web site with its legal community readers. The Intellectual Property Colloquium site is a great way for lawyers to get convenient, high-quality, totally free CLE credit.

Each each month they post an hour-long conversation about an important patent, copyright, or technology topic. The format varies, but typically the show is built around one or several conversations between Doug Lichtman, law professor at UCLA, and relevant guests.

Lawyers in New York, California, Texas, Illinois, and Washington can qualify for CLE credit if they listen to the show. Additional states to follow!

Thanks to Doug Lichtman for sharing this resource with us!

Please Vote - It's Probably Time - Peter Furia

Please vote for my cousin Peter Furia. His viral video is a Top 10 Finalist for the "It's Probably Time" Contest presented by CareerBuilder.com - http://hellotxt.com/l/vlOX

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Twitizens Tweet to Turn a Profit

Posted by Katie Noonan

Amanda blogged earlier this week about sponsored conversations in the blogosphere, or, the practice of reputable bloggers being paid to promote a product or company on their blog.

Today on The Wall Street Journal blog Digits, Elizabeth Holmes raised the issue of sponsored Twitter tweets, basically, the same practice- just now it's taking place in the Twitosphere, too.

Melanie Notkin, the entrepreneur of SavvyAuntie.com, who has a following of 7,000 on Twitter, recently partnered with Disney to promote the anniversary release of Pinocchio. Notkin said she was in full control of what she tweeted and how many times she tweeted to promote the movie re-release.

I strongly second what Sean Corcoran of Forrester Research and others say about the need for sponsored conversations to be radically transparent. Part of the appeal of Twitter for me and many other average users, is that it enables us to have genuine conversations with thought leaders. Personally, I think some of the appeal of Twitter is lost when that paid, promotional tweet slips in.

Delivering Good News

Newsweek's Daniel Stone says that it's "Time to Sell the Silver Lining." He says, "Is the glut of bad news getting you down? Not me. I've tapped into the growing number of outlets that produce nothing but positive stories?and I'm never going back." Check it out at http://www.newsweek.com/id/190658?from=rss

Blogger iGoogle Gadget

So - I just found a Blogger iGoogle gadget that allows you to post to your blog directly from iGoogle. This is my first post using the gadget and so far, I really like it. This will certainly make it much easier for me to share links and articles that I think will interest our readers. The two things I have noticed that I don't like are that it doesn't pull up the existing list of labels which can make labels messy and inconsistent and there's no spell checker.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Controversial Sponsored Conversations on Blogs

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Steve Rubel, SVP, Director of Insights for Edelman Digital, is an industry leader in the PR and marketing field. Recently, he wrote on his blog, Micropersuasion, about an attention-grabbing debate over “sponsored conversations” on blogs and a brief conducted by Forrester Research.

“Sponsored conversations” are when a blogger is paid to post about a product or company. Both he and the Forrester study predict these controversial posts will soon become more widespread across the blogosphere.

Steve notes that this is not a new practice, highlighting the link between sponsored blog posts and advertorials in magazines or radio sponsorships and DJ endorsements. The controversy lies within posts where bloggers write about personal experiences with a product in turn for compensation. The difference with blogs is that they grant the principal the power to be author, editor and publisher all in one.

According to Steve’s post, the Forrester Research brief offers recommendations for ethical practices when paying bloggers. They include “mandate disclosure, ensure freedom of authenticity, partner with relevant blogs, don't talk and walk away.” In addition, Steve offers another ethical way to get around sticky situations. He suggests writing and submitting “your own content as a sponsored post. Have the blogger run the copy but with an advertorial label. This has worked in magazines for years.”

I thought this was an interesting discussion that affects professionals in PR, Marketing and bloggers alike. To read more about Steve’s thoughts and links to the Forrester brief, please click here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession Seminar

Female attorneys in the Philadelphia area should clear their calendars on March 31, for the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession 2009 seminar, "Plugging the Leaky Pipeline: Stopping Attrition," in which key female members of the legal industry will share their insights and experience on how to survive and thrive in the field.

Click here for more information, or to complete a registration form visit the Pennsylvania Bar Association Web site's online calendar of events.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why did I just become a fan of Coca Cola?

Posted by Katie Noonan

Love those holiday season polar bears? Turn your nose up at a can of Pepsi? Well, now you can show your love of Coca Cola products by becoming a Facebook fan of the Coca Cola page.

My enthusiasm and excitement over what could be with the new and improved Facebook fan pages has now subsided leading me to wonder, what’s the point of it all? That’s right, what existentialists ask of life, I am asking of a Facebook fan page-cause for concern about my own depth, but I digress.

Facebook fan pages allow organizations to have direct conversations with consumers, but that’s nothing new. Twitter has provided consumers with that service since its inception. Currently on the Coke page, there are discussions about favorite ad campaigns and products, fans have uploaded photos and videos, and the new stream feature allows people to comment on Coke in real time. It’s cool, sure, but beyond that, I’m not sure how far brands will be able to take Facebook pages in its current form.

Once people have visited the page and decided to become a fan, there needs to be something extraordinary that keeps them coming back. Videos and photos are neat to look at once or twice, but in order for fan pages to be worthwhile, they need to go beyond that direct contact with consumers that Twitter already provides, and provide users with something more.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

National Law Journal and Legal Times to Merge


Leading Legal Publications to Offer Combined Print/Online Reporting and Analysis From the Nation’s Capital and Six Bureaus Across the Country

NEW YORK (March 16, 2009) – Incisive Media, a global leader in specialized business news and information, today announced plans to merge two of the nation’s most respected legal publications, The National Law Journal and Legal Times. The combined organization, which will operate under The National Law Journal brand, will offer print and online national legal news and analysis from an award-winning team of journalists in seven bureaus around the country. The new publication will continue to deliver insider coverage of Washington, D.C. news, commentary and legal analysis to readers within the Beltway and across the country, including front-page news from the capital and a weekly Washington section. The first print edition of the expanded National Law Journal will be available in May.

Current National Law Journal readers will gain expanded coverage of the Supreme Court, Capitol Hill, federal regulatory agencies, and the Justice Department, with articles that help attorneys and law firms identify key policy decision-makers and client issues, as the government remakes regulations in the wake of the economic downturn.

The audience of Legal Times will receive enhanced coverage of national law firms, the business of law, courts, litigation and in-house counsel. New features will help the region’s lawyers manage their practices and firms, with access to the NLJ’s signature features and surveys, including the annual NLJ 250 rankings.

In conjunction with the merger, the NLJ Web site will be redesigned, with daily updates on legal news from across the nation, as well as special DC pages that will include the popular BLT Blog of Legal Times. RSS and Twitter feeds, e-mail newsletters, data and searchable archives will also be available online.

The newspaper and Web site will feature expanded jobs listings, with career options in Washington and around the country.

David Brown, editor and publisher of Legal Times, will serve as editor in chief of the new National Law Journal. NLJ publisher Stephen Lincoln will continue in that role. The NLJ will also continue to feature award-winning reporting from chief Washington correspondent Marcia Coyle, who has appeared on a regular basis as a legal and Supreme Court analyst for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and from Tony Mauro, one of the nation’s most respected Supreme Court reporters.

Founded in 1978, The National Law Journal has the largest paid circulation of any weekly publication serving the legal community. Legal Times has been breaking news on Washington’s law and lobbying firms, interest groups, courthouses, and federal government since 1978, with award-winning coverage of Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Justice Department, and key regulatory agencies.

Incisive Media is a leading global provider of specialized business news and information, in print, in person and online. The company’s principal markets include commercial real estate, financial services, legal services, marketing services and risk management. Incisive Media’s market-leading brands include Accountancy Age, Computing, Investment Week, Legal Week, Post, Real Estate Forum and The American Lawyer. For more information, visit www.incisivemedia.com.

# # #

The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, NLJ 250 and Real Estate Forum are registered trademarks of Incisive Media US Properties, LLC.

Contact: Lee Feldman, Peters & Feldman for Incisive MediaPhone: (203) 341-8922 E-mail: Lee.Feldman@incisivemedia.com

Monday, March 16, 2009

Conversations about Social Media

Posted by Amanda Walsh

A recent post by Ian Lurie, at ConversationMarketing.com, has sparked an interesting conversation about social media with his blog post, “Anti-Social Media.” Barry Hurd at 123Media, posted a rebuttal with some good points and helpful links to clarify. I wanted to comment on a few of their opinions and offer some of my own for ThePRLawyer audience readers.

Ian’s comments were:

1. The phrase is ridiculous. Have you ever heard of ‘anti-social media’?
2. Social media is not something new. It’s been around since one of our apish ancestors hooted to the rest of the tribe about a saber tooth tiger.
3. You are not Barack Obama. If you’re expecting to reach millions of people overnight, it ain’t gonna happen.

Barry responded with the following, “when your audience properly understands all of the variations and ramifications, social media is something different: something new.” I completely agree. To effectively use social media, it is key to fully understand its ins and outs. I think it is imperative for PR professionals to educate themselves about social media before blindly issuing press releases to Web sites without a clear objective.

Barry also notes that cavemen did not have the ability to relay information internationally with the click of a mouse. Technology has made it easy to relay information instantaneously across many platforms to followers or connections all over the world. So, it is new. Innovations in the Web 2.0 age have transformed the way we communicate – much different from the way our “apish ancestors” did.

Many platforms such as Plaxo, Twitter, and Facebook can be linked together, allowing the sender to post the same message with the click of a button.

Lastly, Barack Obama did not have success overnight. His social media campaign was carefully focused, planned and executed by a whole team of professionals. Effective social media campaigns take time. Listening to what others are saying, engaging in the conversation and building a network, are all part of the PR process, not just a quick way to blindly push a message.

I have engaged with other PR professionals both in Spain and in the United States thanks to social media. On top of that, I’m able to stay up to date with industry articles, blogs and international news. The other day on Twitter, I found out breaking news before it was posted on CNN or the BBC!

In conclusion, I couldn’t agree more with Barry when he points out that says, “the very nature of social media is to create, educate, and provide quality information.”

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Twitter Reactions to Social Media for Lawyers

There has been lots of action on Twitter regarding my articles on To Friend or Not to Friend: Social Media for Lawyers. I used http://search.twitter.com to determine what others are saying about the article. This is a great way to gauge audience reaction - a great tool for public relations practitioners.

Here are the most recent tweets:

datadirt: Twitter in the court: http://bit.ly/48eqhN (expand ) "To friend or Not to Friend – Social Media for Lawyers" #140 #judges #tweet #their #lunch
about 1 hour ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

karasmamedia: To Friend or Not to Friend: Social Media for Lawyers http://snipr.com/diz9s (expand )
about 16 hours ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

karasmamedia: To Friend or Not to Friend: Social Media for Lawyers http://snipr.com/diz9s (expand )
1 day ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

traus: reading: Social Media for Lawyers http://sn.im/drvmm Part 1 (of a series - up #13)
1 day ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

millennialprof: Fantastic 6-part series on social media for lawyers http://tinyurl.com/dnb8ut (expand ) via @Rex7
1 day ago from twhirl · Reply · View Tweet

dougcornelius: Left a comment on To friend or Not to Friend -- Social Media for Lawyers Part 4: Twitter http://hellotxt.com/l/y9FI by @ginarubel
2 days ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

GinaRubel: To friend or Not to Friend -- Social Media for Lawyers Part 4: Twitter http://hellotxt.com/l/y9FI
2 days ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

GinaRubel: To friend or Not to Friend -- Social Media for Lawyers Part 4: Twitter http://hellotxt.com/l/y9FI
2 days ago from HelloTxt · Reply · View Tweet

karasmamedia: To Friend or Not to Friend: Social Media for Lawyers http://snipr.com/diz9s (expand )
2 days ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

ScottAllen: @snasta As a matter of fact one of my colleagues has been working on this: http://is.gd/mWq4 (expand ) - Social Media for Lawyers
4 days ago from TweetDeck · Reply · View Tweet · Show ConversationHide Conversation

snasta: @ScottAllen Scott have you seen any curriculum for Social Media for Lawyers?
4 days ago from web · Reply · View Tweet · Show ConversationHide Conversation

JohnMavridis: Small Firm Business - Social Media for Lawyers: Should You Get Linked to LinkedIn? http://post.ly/7M5
4 days ago from Posterous · Reply · View Tweet

NewhouseCounsel: Thinking that LinkedIn for lawyers - don't use it like facebook - "Social Media for Lawyers" ( http://tinyurl.com/b3z2gx (expand ) )
4 days ago from twitthat · Reply · View Tweet

constructionlaw: The Legal Intelligencer Blog: To friend or Not to Friend – Social Media for Lawyers Part 3: Facebook: http://bit.ly/AanA6 (expand )
5 days ago from TweetALink · Reply · View Tweet

PIbuzz: Only 10 minutes a day for SN, the author claims! Huh! Social Media for Lawyers: Should You Get Linked to LinkedIn?" http://is.gd/mjdl (expand )
5 days ago from TweetDeck · Reply · View Tweet
shaunjamison: RT @Rex7 Social Media for Lawyers: Should You Get Linked to LinkedIn? - http://bit.ly/37yKh (expand )
6 days ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

mimojito: Social Media for Lawyers: Should You Get Linked to LinkedIn? http://bitly.com/10ivyV #socialmedia #lawyers #linkedin
7 days ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

Rex7: Social Media for Lawyers: Should You Get Linked to LinkedIn? - http://bit.ly/37yKh (expand )
7 days ago from TweetDeck · Reply · View Tweet

BeverlyMacy: Reading RT @socialhelp Social Media News: Social Media for Lawyers: Should You Get Linked to LinkedIn? http://tinyurl.com/dexp3r (expand )
7 days ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

socialhelp: Social Media News: Social Media for Lawyers: Should You Get Linked to LinkedIn? http://tinyurl.com/dexp3r (expand )
7 days ago from twitterfeed · Reply · View Tweet

benderde: Reading: "To Friend or Not to Friend: Social Media for Lawyers": http://tinyurl.com/abyu2c (expand ) #legal #pr #policy
7 days ago from TweetDeck · Reply · View Tweet

Carl_Ingalls: RT @_samjones To Friend or Not to Friend: Social Media for Lawyers http://bit.ly/we2kq (expand ) - (also quite relevant for other professions)
7 days ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

manobyte: To Friend or Not to Friend: Social Media for Lawyers....http://tinyurl.com/abyu2c (expand )
7 days ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

socialmediameme: Social Media for Lawyers: Should You Get Linked to LinkedIn?: If you are going to engage in social media, set as.. http://tinyurl.com/dn68fh (expand )
7 days ago from twitterfeed · Reply · View Tweet

webguild: Social Media for Lawyers: Should You Get Linked to LinkedIn?: If you are going to engage in social media, set as.. http://tinyurl.com/dexp3r (expand )
7 days ago from twitterfeed · Reply · View Tweet

Friday, March 13, 2009

To friend or Not to Friend – Social Media for Lawyers Part 4: Twitter for Lawyers

Check out Part 4 of Gina Rubel's weekly series on To Friend or Not To Friend: Social Media for Lawyers published on The Legal Intelligencer Blog. This week’s topic: Twitter for Lawyers.

Here is a brief excerpt from the article:

Twitter is one of the fastest growing social networks on the Web. Recent statistics show that there are more that six million Twitter users and in the average day, there are more than 225 million tweets. In fact, Twitter turned down a $ 500 million buyout offer from Facebook even though their current business model is not income generating and VCs already have $55 million invested.

Visit the Legal Intelligencer's blog to read the full post, or click here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Justinian Society and Philadelphia Bar Association to Host Reception with Italian-American Members of the Media

The Justinian Society of Italian-American Lawyer in partnership with the Philadelphia Bar Association Bar-News Media Committee will host an “Italian-American Media Night” on April 22, 2009. The cocktail party and Italian food sample, along with the media meet and greet will take place from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Mayor’s Reception Room of City Hall in Philadelphia.

Confirmed members of the media who will be in attendance include:

Special guest, Lorraine Ranalli, will be on hand to sign copies of her latest book, Gravy Wars. Ranalli is best known as a Philadelphia radio and TV personality and writer. When she's not cooking up fodder for broadcast or print, she's in the kitchen cooking up family favorites. Such was the case when the idea for Gravy Wars came to fruition.

For more details, click here.

Changes to Facebook Fan Pages

Posted by Katie Noonan

Facebook has recently modified its fan pages to more closely mirror profile pages, creating a real opportunity for Web 2.0 savvy businesses and communicators. The opportunity is clear, but how to best leverage it, a little less so.

We're hoping that you'll check out Furia Rubel's Facebook page, and let us know what you think. This way we can use our page as a case study and share what we learn with ThePRLawyer readers.

Thanks for your help in this social media experiment!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Simplicity is Key

Posted by Amanda Walsh

A recent post on “The Future Buzz,” by Adam Singer, was about simplicity and staying focused. I like the “less is more” theory, especially when it is applied to public relations, marketing and Web design. I am sure many professionals would agree that they can easily drown in “information overload” on the Internet or the idea of being overcome with many messages through the Internet. Adam presents some interesting problems that can be solved by staying focused and straightforward in your approach.

Here are some dos and don’ts that will keep things simple and help PR practitioners stay focused in their approach to online PR:

Don’t make your blog overly extravagant. When a blog has too many bells and whistles such as banners or RSS feeds, it can be hard for the viewer to concentrate on the actual message. Do organize all the extras on other pages in logical clusters. “Simplicity makes everything stand out,” Adam advises. I agree that some of those “extras” may be helpful or necessary, but you should organize your blog with simplicity an ease of reading in mind.

Don’t issue “lengthy media pitches and press releases full of fluff.” Do target your audience and know the types of stories or “beats” that bloggers and/or journalists cover. Media pitches with links will grab attention. Another great piece of advice is to provide your message within the body of an E-mail and to be honest and descriptive in the subject line of all E-mails.

Don’t overload your Web site with information. Do keep all information organized. Using simplicity in Web design can be difficult, but keep in mind the action you would like your visitors to take and where you want them to click and read. Use those goals as guidelines when designing your Web site.

To read more of Adam’s advice for simplifying your approaches to online communications, check out this link. To learn more about "information overload" check out this article by InformationEngineering.net.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Skittles Social Media Campaign Gone Awry

Posted by Katie Noonan

While some are heralding Skittles' new social media campaign as groundbreaking, innovative and even "amazing," according to eConsultancy.com blogger Chris Lake, the campaign leaves the company vulnerable to one of the biggest PR concerns in the Web 2.0 age: a loss of control over their message.

I do believe their new campaign is innovative and bold. Visit http://www.skittles.com/ and you'll be asked to enter your birthdate to proceed to their new Web site. One quickly sees why Skittles would require this information. The background of their site is search results showing all tweets about Skittles on Twitter. Herein lies the problem. Third parties become the vehicle for distributing Skittles' message. Some have seized the opportunity to plug their own blogs, comment on the social media phenomena, or simply spam the page with vulgar or irrelevant tweets. Very few individuals have engaged in conversation about the product, and no one is saying "Skittles are yummy, go buy a pack today."

The social media campaign has certainly started a conversation on the Internet, so if that was their ultimate goal, then they succeeded. However, if their goal was to convert this conversation to increased sales, I think they may have missed the mark. A large part of candy sales are driven by kids asking their parents to buy them a pack at the movies or in the grocery store, but that demographic is not on Twitter, nor are they old enough to visit other social media sites like Facebook and Flickr (sites to which the new Skittles' site also links).

The whole thing leaves me scratching my head. Are they trying to break into a new demographic? Boost sales among the 18-24 set, or professionals who have recently embraced social media sites like Facebook and Twitter? Garner attention and increase chatter on the Web about their product?

The campaign is bold and provactive, but that it will convert to an increase in sales remains unseen, and their main objective behind launching the campaign is even more of a question mark. While social media campaigns can and should be utilized in the Web 2.0 age, it's imperative that companies maintain ultimate control over their message. Otherwise the brand gets muddled and leaves consumers like me scratching my head, but not necessarily running out to buy a pack.

If Skittles had provided a tab on their Web site to link to Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, they would have gotten the best of both worlds- the opportunity to branch into a social media public relations while still maintaining control over their brand.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Web Sites Not Liable for Third Party User Content (for the most part)

Posted by Katie Noonan

Web sites are not responsible for user commentary, according to recent court rulings relating to Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, Ragan guest blogger, Bruce E.H. Johnson, said today in his blog Are you responsible for content generated by readers?

Here are a few highlights from Johnson's blog:

  • Web sites do still need to air on the side of caution to avoid potential libel suits. For example, companies may be help liable for comments made by their employees on their Web site, as employee comments do not fall under the category of third party content.
  • Online news outlets are protected from libel suits for comments posted by readers in response to articles.
  • Web site administrators need be careful when they edit user comments as that may make them more vulnerable to a libel suit.
  • According to Johnson, Web sites are also protected from user posts that violate intellectual property rights "provided that you follow the instructions set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)."

It would seem that the courts give Web sites a bit of leeway when it comes to holding them liable for third party content on their site. The PRLawyer would still recommend airing on the side of caution to avoid a PR headache or legal hassle.