Thursday, July 30, 2009

Social Media Engagement = Big Bucks? One Study Shares Findings

Posted by Amanda Walsh

This review of a study featured on TechCrunch.com piqued my interest. The article by Erick Schonfeld, entitled “The Most Engaged Brands On The Web,” discusses a study, ENGAGEMENT db, conducted by Charlene Li of Altimeter Group and Wetpaint on the top 100 brands by social media engagement.

The report was based on brands highlighted in BusinessWeek’s “Best Global Brands 2008.” Basically Li’s study ranks engagement on social media – blogs, Facebook, Twitter and so on – of 100 brands and discovered a “correlation between top financial performance and deep social media engagement.”

Companies were rated and given a number based on custom criteria for each particular type of social media. In the study number of channels engaged or “breadth” was considered as well as depth of engagement. Depth refers to the number of times an account was updated or how often feedback is given to users.

The study identifies four “engagement profiles” which are outlined below:

“Mavens” (Starbucks)

  • Engage in seven or more channels. Not only do they engage but they are deeply invested in many of the channels. Giving constant feedback to fans or followers.
  • Usually have dedicated teams specifically for social media.

“Butterflies” (American Express)

  • Engaged in seven or more channels but are not as actively engaged as the “mavens.”
  • Typically, these companies are stretched too thin, focusing on too many channels and not delving into any particular channel.

Selectives” (H&M)

  • Engaged in six or fewer channels but have high engagement scores meaning they have a strong presence in a few channels.
  • Interact with customers “when and where it matters most.”

“Wallflowers” (McDonalds)

  • Engaged in six or fewer channels and have below-average scores for engagement.
  • Testing very few channels. Normally cautious of risks in approach and unsure of the benefits of social media.

The study claims a correlation between social media engagement and revenue growth. I agree with the author, Erick Schonfeld, when he expresses doubt in this connection, but it does seem to be an interesting find. I also think the report may have lacked some details in terms of how each social media channel was engaged and how depth of engagement was measured.

Other things to consider about this study are the amount of money put into the PR and Marketing departments at each of these companies. Does more money equal higher engagement and therefore higher revenue growth? Also, are there specific teams of people dedicated to social media outreach and engagement?

The final list from the report of top brands includes:

  1. Starbucks (127)
  2. Dell (123)
  3. eBay (115)
  4. Google (105)
  5. Microsoft (103)
  6. Thomson Reuters (101)
  7. Nike (100)
  8. Amazon (88)
  9. SAP (86)
  10. Tie – Yahoo!/Intel (85)

I really enjoyed this article and study and think it brings up some great ideas and points to ponder for those big companies who are still reluctant to engage in social media.

To check out the study and read the case studies of the most influential and engaged brands, click here.

NBCPhiladelphia.com is Live!

Posted by Amanda Walsh

According to an email we received yesterday morning, NBCPhiladelphia.com is now a live Web site. We wanted to share some of the new features on the site with ThePRLawyer’s readers. NBC seems to have positioned the news site as a social media tool that combines news, entertainment and events going on in and around Philadelphia.

  • Philadelphians can share what’s happening in the city, report news, update and comment on NBC Philadelphia stories and/or use Twitter or Facebook to share it all. Essentially, it is a place where conversations can take place.
  • An outlet to share how a story makes you feel. Check in with the city’s mood by seeing how others feel about events or news happening right now. Sad, intrigued, bored or furious? Read the article and add your two cents.
  • Stay up-to-date on what events are happening in the city on the Features event postings page.
  • Find out where the best places to shop are, and where to find deals and sales. Insider scoop on where to spend your money!


I just spent a few minutes surfing the site. It’s pretty neat, especially the “mood” poll that is posted next to every article. Readers can vote on how an article made them feel. Right now the poll shows that Philadelphia is sad about Jim Johnson’s passing, but intrigued by Michael Jackson’s chef speaking out about the singer.


Check out the new site at NBCPhiladelphia.com.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Public Relations for Lawyers Tip of the Day: The Importance of Planning Tommorrow Today

Posted by Katie Noonan

Today's tip of the day comes from international productivity expert Neen James of Neen James Communications. James works with top law firms in Philadelphia and advises lawyers on ways to boost productivity to get more done each day. Her tips, while great for lawyers, can be applied universally to anyone looking to super-charge their productivity. Watch this clip below from a recent Lawline CLE for some of Neen's great tips.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Public Relations for Lawyers Tip of the Day

Posted by Katie Noonan

In this public relations tip of the day from a recent Lawline CLE, public relations expert Gina F. Rubel, Esq. provides attorneys with tips on how to effectively market themselves and their firms.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Philadelphia Business Journal Quotes Gina Rubel on Twitter for Lawyers

Philadelphia Business Journal's Jeff Blumenthal reported today on the use of Twitter for Lawyers.

Like our "image"? A bit small but it will do for 5:30 on a Friday.... at least Gina "said it's okay."

In fact, Gina Rubel, the CEO of Furia Rubel Communications, is quoted by Jeff regarding how lawyers can use social media for business development. Gina even provides a great example of how social media has led to a new public relations client for our firm.

You can read the article if you're a subscriber to The Philadelphia Business Journal at http://philadelphia.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/stories/2009/07/27/story1.html. And if you're not already a subscriber, what are you waiting for?!

Beware of Twitter Spam Sites

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Be careful what you wish for when it comes to getting followers on Twitter!

The staff here at Furia Rubel wants to warn our readers of some spamming Web sites that will high jack your Twitter account and send out spam messages to your followers. It’s even worse if you have the Twitter application on Facebook because then your Tweets are broadcast through you Facebook account as well.

The following Web sites have been identified and should be avoided:

Thousandfollowers (dot com), easyfollowers (dot com) and extrafollowers (dot com)

Furia Rubel CEO, Gina Rubel recently noticed some strange posts on a Facebook friend’s page. She read the fine print and commented:

“I don't like their Terms of Service. Check out #3 & #4:
3. You agree your account will be used to automatically tweet an update on your account for promotional purposes every 4 hours with the exception of VIP members.
4. You agree upon logging in you allow us tweet an update on your twitter for promotion.”

Gaining followers on Twitter is done through a combination of engagement with other users and time. If a site is offering quick and easy results and promising thousands of followers, beware!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

PR for Lawyers Tip of the Day

In a recent Lawline online CLE, ThePRLawyer provides tips and tactics for optimizing on trial publicity. Watch this clip to learn more--

Twitter-Sized Press Releases- The Future of PR on Twitter?

Posted by Amanda Walsh

This Mashable article by Jennifer Van Grove is about an interesting new feature connecting journalists, PR professionals, Twitter and the infamous press release.

“Are Media and PR Pros Ready to Embrace the Twitter-Sized Press Release” is about the Web site, Muck Rack which is a type of ‘tweet aggregator’ designed specifically for journalistic tweets. A tweet aggregator seems to be much like a blog aggregator such as Bloglines that I have written about in past posts. An aggregator provides a place where you can subscribe to many different journalists and follow them from one Web site.

PR partner, PepsiCo and Muck Rack just announced they are going to offer one line press releases “up to 130 characters long that can include links to other media and press kits, at a rate of $1 per character with a $50 minimum.”

The advantages? As far as Van Grove and I can see, there are very few. Right now, if you or your company has many followers through your Twitter account, then it may not pay to use Muck Rack but instead use your own account to relay news and information. Also, my colleague Katie Noonan pointed out that if you can use sites like Bit.ly and TinyURL.com to create shortened URLs to link to full press releases on Twitter, then why would you want to limit yourself by using a 130-character release on Muck Rack? At least until the site has the traffic, and then maybe as a supplement to Twitter, but not as a substitute.

I do think this is an interesting concept however. A site for all journalists using Twitter seems like a good idea for one stop news sharing. But I reviewed some of the article comments and one user, “fourzerotwo” or Robert Bowling, Director of Communications / Community Manager for the video game development studio, Infinity Ward made an interesting point by saying PR practitioners should be encouraged to make more personal connections, not just put out information in yet another form. Another user “Population” said that right now Muck Rack doesn’t seem to have enough followers to offer any clout for PR professionals, but was tempted to follow Muck Rack just from the article.

With time, if more journalists sign on and follow Muck Rack however, it could become extremely useful. Also if PR practitioners only release specific news through the site, there could be a significant rise of people paying to send out small press releases.

I’ll be standing by and following Muck Rack myself to see where things lead!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Legal OnRamp for Social Media

Curious about LegalOnRamp's peer-to-peer network? Here's my latest blog at The Legal Intelligencer Online http://htxt.it/N1fI

Tips for Choosing a Twitter Handle

Posted By Amanda Walsh

123SocialMedia.com is a wonderful resource for communications professionals engaging in social media. Author Barry Hurd makes some good points for communicators trying to decide which user name to use for their social media accounts, particularly Twitter. Hurd writes, “professional communicators need to first ask “am I doing this for me personally, a project, or my company?”

Overall, I agree with Hurd when he suggests creating a FirstNameLastName Twitter handle. It is the best in terms of personal brand building. It also helps with Search Engine Optimization to increase recognition of your name on Google searches. It is a smart and easy way to promote your personal brand and name.

If you’re signing up for Twitter and want to focus on a current company project, connect the project name into the brand of the company. Consider if this project will have an individual presence separate from the company? If so, you may decide that this particular campaign or project needs its own Twitter handle. Perhaps research some keywords to describe the project and try to incorporate those into the account name.

If the Twitter account is being created on behalf of the company, choosing the company name or slogan may be options to consider. However, Hurd does warn that slogans may change with time. At the very least, registering the account will allow the company to have control over the brand.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Social Media Tip of the Day for Lawyers

Check out this link for a recent Lawline online CLE presented by Gina F. Rubel, The PRLawyer and Laura Powers of HG Marketing.

Gina and Laura offer great tips for lawyers who want to engage in social media.



Click here for more.

Reacting to Negative Bloggers

By Amanda Walsh

We here on ThePRLawyer blog have been focusing on encouraging our reading audience to sign up for and interact on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. There is another side to interacting in the social media realm – you and your clients need to be prepared for negative feedback or blog posts about your client or company.

This article from Ragan.com focused on giving tips for addressing negative posts by bloggers. Ragan.com is an online resource for communications professionals. The author of the article, Frank Strong, shares a PR experience he had at a software company that had launched a technology product. The buzz surrounding the product was great with a lot of positive reviews. One influential blogger who positioned himself as an IT critic wrote a scathing review of the product without approaching the company or even seeing the product itself. What were they to do?

Strong outlines some tips (below) that he and his colleagues took to respond to this blogger.

  • Is the blogger approachable?
  1. Strong and his team decided this particular blogger was not the type of person to be reasoned with.
  2. Instead focus on your company’s outward communication. For example, the team updated the company blog with pictures and case scenarios.
  • Target the sphere of influence
  1. Bloggers especially ones that cover particular beats interact with one another – often through this public forum by commenting on each other’s posts, etc.
  2. Strong and his team identified other influential IT bloggers and reached out to them for a fair evaluation of the product. Six briefings were set up, none of which were negative.
  • Engage additional analysts
  1. A Web cast was set up with another important industry analyst and the Web cast was posted on his blog as well as the company’s blog. This was used as another piece of visual support for the company’s goal of fighting negative publicity.
Little by little other positive reviews were written and posted which opposed the negative review by the one blogger. Soon his comments became less harmful to the company.

In the end, Strong and his team believed that the negative post added to the buzz and fueled discussions of the product. It persuaded others to take a closer look at the product. And according to Strong, “The product launch was one of the most successful in the company’s history.”

Friday, July 17, 2009

London Teen Gives Insight in Teen Media Usage

Posted by Amanda Walsh

This article in the NYTimes caught my attention and I wanted to share it with ThePRLawyer crowd. A fifteen-year-old Morgan Stanley intern working in London wrote a report about teenage media use today. The report titled “How Teenagers Consume Media,” written by Matthew Robson has caused quite a stir around the world and was originally covered in the UK newspaper, The Guardian.

The report is compiled of observations and experiences of being a teenager today and does not claim to be statistically based. Robson says teenagers are willing and excited to try new media but will not pay to use services. This is an interesting report as it is a first hand commentary from the sometimes mysterious teenage world. In general, I think this can be applied to teenagers across the world. However, I agree and disagree with some of his following points.

About Traditional Media (TV, Newspapers and Radio): According to Robson, teenagers that he knows in England do not read newspapers. Many would rather go on the Internet or watch TV because he says these outlets do a much better job of summarizing news. Web sites with free listening advertisements such as Last.fm are gaining popularity over radio. Online gaming or consoles such as the Nintendo Wii are also huge with his friends.

I feel that online news is the most popular news feed method, with TV coming in second and newspapers third. As a PR professional, I consult all of these outlets for my news and still enjoy reading the newspaper when I have time.

As far as Robson’s mention of gaming hobbies, I agree that gaming is popular with teenage boys – not just the UK but in the USA and most likely around the world. Speaking from personal experience, I wasn’t addicted to these types of games like some of my college guy friends.

I know that I have become a big fan of the Web site Pandora, which is (right now) a free music service that creates personalized playlists of music you love. After studying abroad in England two years ago, I was actually surprised at the amount of people I met that listen to the radio. I feel that there is a big difference in the English and American cultures when it comes to listening to the radio. Personally, the only time I listen to the radio is when I’m traveling in my car but many of my English friends are loyal fans of their radio shows.

About Twitter: Robson claims that “teenagers do not use Twitter.” Especially because tweeting from a cell phone would use ‘pay as you go’ credit that teens would rather use to text directly with friends.

I am a fan of Twitter but I can understand why many teenagers may not be hooked like I am. I use it specifically to learn more about public relations, marketing and communications social media tactics from professionals around the world. I think it is a great tool to connect, learn and exchange information. Perhaps teenagers do not have a specific purpose for using Twitter and are therefore less interested in the social media tool.

About Not Paying for Internet Services: Robson talks about how teens are reluctant to pay for Internet services. I think this claim can be applied to many demographic groups, not just the teenage crowd. Unless you absolutely love an online service and find it crucial to living or working, I believe many people are not inclined to pay for it. If one Web site begins to charge users, three more will probably be created offering the same services for free. The Internet is a free market where one can find MANY options for their needs.

Robson also notes that teens are spending money on “cinema, concerts and video game consoles.” Some responses from other teens in the UK can be found here and these teens claim that newspapers are still a valuable news resource and that free music Web sites are popular but CDs are still being bought. And overall they feel that the computer and Internet are still king for information, music and connecting with friends.

To read more about this story, check out these links: The Guardian article and the report in the NYTimes.com.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What Your Favorite Social Media Site Says about You

Posted by Amanda Walsh

There was some interesting social media research done recently by Anderson Analytics on “What Your Favorite Social Networking Web Site Says about You” found in a recent Adage.com article by Beth Snyder Bulik.

The study shows that 110 million Americans or 60% of the online population use social networks. The Anderson study implemented online in June surveyed 5,000 respondents and went in-depth with 1,250 users who have used a social network at least once in the last month.

The study divides general social-media users into four categories: business users, fun seekers, social-media mavens and late followers.

According to Tom Anderson, founder and managing partner of Anderson Analytics, a fundamental user group was found to be the “social-media mavens” because they typically have high incomes and decision-making power at companies. The “fun seekers” group is comprised of students who are transitioning into employees.

Out of four popular social media sites, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn, the study discovered some interesting facts:

Facebook has the most users totaling about 77 million. Facebookers tend to have the most average of interests. The topics of news, sports and travel resulted only slightly higher than the rest. Users are “more likely to be married (40%), white (80%) and retired (6%) and have the second-highest average income, at $61,000 and an average of 121 connections.”

Twitter users are most interested in pop culture and tend to use the social media service to promote their blogs or company Web sites in terms of entrepreneurial endeavors. Many users were part-time employees with an average income of $58,000 averaging 28 followers while following approximately 32 other Twitterers.

Twitterers reported that they were not super hooked on the site, however -- 43% said they could live without it. Whereas Facebook users were extremely loyal, 75% announced Facebook as their favorite site, and another 59% say they have increased their use of the site in the past six months.

MySpace users tend to be young and apparently not as loyal as Facebook or Twitter users. Their activity was reported as much less in the past six months. MySpace users tend to post about particular hobbies and pictures of family and friends. The report indicated this group of users had the lowest income of $44,000 and an average of 131 connections.

On LinkedIn 57% of users are male versus 43% female. Most users have joined for business or work connections. Their interests tend to be news, sports, politics and employment information. These users had the highest income of $89,000. Two random, yet interesting discoveries showed that LinkedIn users indicated interests in gambling and soap operas!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rubel and James Present Promotion and Productivity for Lawyers CLE Sponsored by Lawline.com

Posted by Katie Noonan

Gina F. Rubel, Esq., attorney and public relations expert and Neen James, international productivity expert recently presented “Promotion and Productivity for Lawyers,” an online CLE (continuing legal education course) sponsored by Lawline.com. The CLE can be accessed by clicking here.

From the courtroom to the conference table, attorneys are more strapped for time than ever. That’s why it is essential that attorneys and law firms develop the tools they need to be more productive in their work style, communications and public relations. The seminar teaches attorneys that by taking as little as fifteen minutes each day, they can increase their productivity as much as 30 percent; an increase that if implemented firm wide, could have a significant impact on the firm’s reputation and ability to grow.

In this course, viewers will learn how to determine their own productivity style to get more done in their day, proactively communicate with internal and external audiences and boost the firm’s overall productivity and its bottom line. This program is presented by the women who wrote the books on doing so. Public relations expert and attorney, Gina Rubel, and international productivity expert, Neen James, provide viewers with the tools they need to be more productive, proactive and efficient during their work day and in their communications. In this course, lawyers will learn:

  • How to identify and leverage your personal productivity style
  • How 15 minute investments can increase your productivity by 30%
  • How to identify your productive communications style
  • How to implement proactive strategies for everyday public relations
  • To understand the ethical implications of your legal promotions and networking
  • How to productivity develop and implement strategies for internal and external communications

all the while understanding the ramifications of the state legal codes, and how to apply the codes to communications, sales and public relations, what you can and cannot say, which rules govern multi-state practices and where to go for help.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Another Social Media Profile Site?!?

By Amanda Walsh

Now that I’m back in the office in Bucks County, Pa., at Furia Rubel Communications, I’m getting back into the groove of being constantly connected to computers and technology. I have been taking time to update all of my social media outlets and profiles to be up-to-date with my summer plans at home.

I came across this article from Barry Hurd on 123SocialMedia, which showcases his top three social media site suggestions for building professional profiles. He recommends LinkedIn, Google Profiles and Facebook. For some months now, Furia Rubel’s CEO, Gina Rubel has been writing the “Social Media for Lawyers” blog series on the Legal Intelligencer Blog and also highly recommends both Linkedin and Facebook. To read more check out Gina’s articles here.

I found Hurd’s article very informative as it brought to my attention a Google feature I am unfamiliar with - creating a Google profile. Some benefits of creating a profile with Google include:

  • Search Engine Optimization that will bring your profile up in web searches on Google.
  • A Friend Connect feature where people can ‘join’ your site and leave comments or interact with you or each other. Learn more about Friend Connect here.
  • An area to share links to a blog or other online credentials. You can even post your LinkedIn and Facebook pages on your Google profile which integrates the links all in one area.

The reason why a Google profile seems interesting to me is that it has the clout of the Google name behind it as well as the benefit of raising your level of Search Engine Optimization in Google. These are two benefits that I noticed right away. As of now, I’m not sure of too many other features that set it apart from other sites of this type. I just created my Google profile here and will be building and expanding on it in the near future – stay tuned.

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