Wednesday, December 23, 2009

U.S. Soldiers Die in Iraq of Suspicious Electrocution - Wife Wants Answers

I published an article on Huffington Post today about soldiers and civilians dying in Iraq of suspicious electrocutions. Please help spread the word about this article to everyone you see fit. Post it on Facebook, LinkedIn and Plaxo, Tweet it, Digg it, Bing it, Share it, Buzz it, etc. Help the world to know Adam and Janine’s story so we can help Adam’s family get answers and prevent these avoidable deaths from happening in the future.

U.S. Soldiers Die in Iraq of Suspicious Electrocution - Wife of Adam Hermanson Wants Answers

Gina Furia Rubel is a citizen journalist, attorney and publicist, a.k.a. The PR Lawyer
Posted: December 23, 2009 01:22 PM
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Social networking: Client, Facebook friend - or both?

In the Lawyers USA article, Social networking: Client, Facebook friend - or both?, Sylvia Hsieh, addresses the issues surrounding lawyers “friending” clients on Facebook. Hsieh provides prospective from Richard Vetstein, a real estate lawyer in Framingham, Mass., Traci Capistrant, a family law attorney at Capistrant & Wong in Minneapolis, Minn., David Barrett, a practicing litigator in Boston who also coaches lawyers on using social media, and me -- Gina Rubel, a former trial attorney and owner of Furia Rubel Communications.

I encourage you to read the article and pass it along to colleagues. One of the points made is that Facebook users should NOT have two profiles (one for personal use and one for professional use) under the Facebook terms of use. Many professionals have created more than one profile, but it is not necessary with the new privacy settings provided by Facebook.

Social media should play an important role in your public relations, reputation management, legal marketing and business development – but it does have to be managed and handled wisely.

Happy friending….

Monday, December 21, 2009

7 Ways Lawyers Can Capitalize on Media Coverage

Check out my latest post on The Legal Intelligencer Blog regarding 7 Ways Lawyers can Capitalize on Media Coverage. A must read for all legal marketers and attorneys alike. http://htxt.it/rnTi

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Google’s Wave of the Future

Posted by Katie Noonan

Google made waves last May when the company announced the launch of Google Wave a revolutionary new personal communication and collaboration tool that combines e-mail, instant messaging, wikis and even social networking. Google initially released the platform to developers and in September they extended a preview of Google Wave to 100,000 of its users (a Google account was all that was needed to receive an invite). Those users were each given 25 invites that they could then share with friends and colleagues.

According to Google, “Wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when.” What’s more, Google Wave occurs in real-time so participants can conduct conversations and make edits live.

If Google Wave takes off, it has the potential to be a great public relations tool. Multiple members of a firm can draft a press release or publicity plan in one Wave, communicate with clients, or record action items from a meeting. The opportunities that Google Wave could create are limitless.

Currently reviews from users suggest that Google Wave has a few bugs to work out, but that it is a streamlined, easy to use platform with potential. Google hasn’t announced when they will release Wave to the general public, but those interested in learning more about it can watch Google’s Dr. Wave intro here.

Law Firm Keeps Its Roots In Parsippany, N.J.

Here is more fantastic law firm news to share with our readers. Colleagues and clients of ours, the attorneys at Fein, Such, Kahn & Shepard, P.C., recently committed to an 11 year lease with S.K. Realty – remaining in their current Parsippany, New Jersey headquarters.

In the last few years the law firm has grown from 130 employees to over 252 and the need for more space is essential. During the course of 2009, the law firm toured numerous office spaces in Parsippany and its neighboring communities while also considering architects’ proposals to renovate the present space to accommodate the firm’s continued growth.

According to the firm’s managing shareholder, James E. Shepard, “A key factor in our decision to renew the lease was to maintain a law office that was convenient for our clients and employees to commute to.” He said, “We also need to provide more space, more appealing surroundings, and additional amenities for the convenience of our staff and clients.”

In order to meet their objectives, the firm has hired architect Chris Albretch who will handle extensive renovations. The renovations are expected to be completed during the summer of 2010.

More about Fein, Such, Kahn & Shepard, PC: The firm is located at 7 Century Drive, Suite 201, Parsippany, New Jersey. The firm is general practice law firm serving clients in New Jersey and New York. For more than 25 years the law firm has offered innovative solutions to business and individuals in the areas of business planning, civil litigation, creditor representation in the areas of foreclosure, bankruptcy and collections, elder law, family law, personal injury, tax, and trusts and estates. For more information, go to www.feinsuch.com.

U.S. Army Leading The Way In Social Media

Posted by Amanda Walsh

In past blog posts, I’ve written about the great strides the United States Army has taken to include social media in its public relations outreach. The Army continues to be a thought leader in blogging and social media despite its conservative reputation.

According to a Ragan.com article by Arik C. Hanson called, “Social media lessons from an unlikely source: the Army,” the military branch has 61 bloggers on board writing about their experiences. Most of the bloggers are soldiers who give firsthand insight into their daily lives. The Army has encouraged them to write about the good as well as the bad.

Blogging and other online forums connect soldiers with people who can ask questions. Now prospective soldiers can connect with those who are already serving and gain insight into their military lifestyle. Social media has become a valuable networking and outreach tool for recruiters who in the past only had the opportunity to meet with prospects face to face in a recruiting center. Now through the ease of the Internet, connections are being made. According to Hanson’s article, some of the Army’s projects include the GoArmy.com Web site, Ask a Soldier forum, blog posts from real soldiers and videos on YouTube.

Some helpful points to take away from the Army’s hard work:

1. Power in Numbers.
The various authors and points of view that are being accounted for on the Army’s blog give readers a well-rounded view of experiences that soldiers deal with everyday. Consider featuring various writers on a company blog to show different perspectives. Also, responsibility for writing will not just fall on one employee. The PR Lawyer, for example, features many of Furia Rubel’s employees from different backgrounds and experience levels, each with their own perspective.

2. “Humanize” the story.
Yes, the main purpose of the Army is to support and protect the United States of America, but its bloggers are not writing about just that part of the job. The human stories of homecomings and community functions also keep readers interested and engaged.

The same is true for your company blogs. By only focusing on the company products and services, readers can quickly become disinterested. Instead, spotlight how your organization will work to better the lives of your clients.

3. Visuals, visuals, visuals!
The Army has many impressive photos that facilitate telling their stories. Often times a photo or video can say much more than a blog post or piece of writing could ever do. Hanson notes, “the Army’s blog uses photos liberally to tell the Army story you may not always hear—time with families, community involvement and life on the road.”

For your corporate blog or Web site remember the appeal of a good photo or an interesting news clip. Make use of multimedia and Web sites such as Picasa and YouTube. They can be invaluable tools to tell the story of your company.

To sum up, I think it is interesting how the Army has embraced social media to help bring soldiers closer to their families, share information, answer questions and dispel myths. I have many friends in the Army who are deployed in Afghanistan right now and we manage to keep in touch through Facebook despite the great distance between us.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Congrats On Your Board Appointments

Congratulations to two of our clients and colleagues, Sheila Jacobs and Rhonda Hill Wilson, Esq., who have been appointed to Philadelphia-area boards!

Sheila Jacobs, Certified Financial Planner™, a personal finance expert and CEO of Life & Money Consulting of Bucks County, Pa., has been appointed treasurer of Urban Promise in Camden, N.J. As the treasurer of the non-profit organization, she chairs the board’s finance committee. Urban Promise helps to equips Camden’s children and young adults with the skills they need to succeed in Camden and beyond. To learn more, visit www.urbanpromiseusa.org.

Rhonda Hill Wilson, Philadelphia personal injury and nursing home negligence attorney, was recently appointed to serve on the governing board of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA). The 11-member board of regional business leaders is appointed by the Governor, the state legislature, the Mayor of Philadelphia, and the large counties surrounding the Port. To learn more, visit www.philaport.com.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Retailers Look to Social Media for Holiday Marketing Than Ever Before

Posted by Katie Noonan

According to a recent article from Advertising Age, the 2009 holiday season has led more retailers than ever before to use social media in their marketing campaigns. In fact, more than half of retailers surveyed in a study conducted by BDO Seidman said they would use social media networks to market their products this season up from less than five percent in 2007. Of the retailers utilizing social media networks, 76% reported that they are using Facebook, 50% are using Twitter, 14% are using MySpace and 14% are using YouTube.

It’s not hard to see why retailers are looking to social media this year. In a comScore weekly holiday survey conducted December 4-7, 2009, twenty-eight percent of those who had started their holiday shopping reported that social media influenced their purchases. Thirteen percent of those surveyed reported that consumer product reviews (either positive or negative) most influenced their purchases, while 11% said that expert reviews of products influenced their decision. Interestingly, 7% of respondents said that they had followed a Facebook fan page to benefit from promotional offers or deals from retailers, and 6% said they were influenced by a Facebook friend’s status update that referred to a particular product.

With retailers looking to get the most bang for their advertising bucks this holiday season, social media campaigns can be an inexpensive and effective way to reach target audiences. In order to be successful though, retail social media campaigns need to be creative, offer some sort of incentive to join (after all, what shopper doesn’t love a holiday coupon or discount?), and responsive to consumers. For those looking for an example of brands with effective holiday social media campaigns, check out Best Buy’s and H&M’s Facebook pages.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Changes Coming to Facebook

An Open Letter from Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg

by Mark Zuckerberg Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 9:23pm

It has been a great year for making the world more open and connected. Thanks to your help, more than 350 million people around the world are using Facebook to share their lives online.To make this possible, we have focused on giving you the tools you need to share and control your information. Starting with the very first version of Facebook five years ago, we've built tools that help you control what you share with which individuals and groups of people. Our work to improve privacy continues today.Facebook's current privacy model revolves around "networks" — communities for your school, your company or your region. This worked well when Facebook was mostly used by students, since it made sense that a student might want to share content with their fellow students.Over time people also asked us to add networks for companies and regions as well. Today we even have networks for some entire countries, like India and China.However, as Facebook has grown, some of these regional networks now have millions of members and we've concluded that this is no longer the best way for you to control your privacy. Almost 50 percent of all Facebook users are members of regional networks, so this is an important issue for us. If we can build a better system, then more than 100 million people will have even more control of their information.The plan we've come up with is to remove regional networks completely and create a simpler model for privacy control where you can set content to be available to only your friends, friends of your friends, or everyone.We're adding something that many of you have asked for — the ability to control who sees each individual piece of content you create or upload. In addition, we'll also be fulfilling a request made by many of you to make the privacy settings page simpler by combining some settings. If you want to read more about this, we began discussing this plan back in July.Since this update will remove regional networks and create some new settings, in the next couple of weeks we'll ask you to review and update your privacy settings. You'll see a message that will explain the changes and take you to a page where you can update your settings. When you're finished, we'll show you a confirmation page so you can make sure you chose the right settings for you. As always, once you're done you'll still be able to change your settings whenever you want.We've worked hard to build controls that we think will be better for you, but we also understand that everyone's needs are different. We'll suggest settings for you based on your current level of privacy, but the best way for you to find the right settings is to read through all your options and customize them for yourself. I encourage you to do this and consider who you're sharing with online.Thanks for being a part of making Facebook what it is today, and for helping to make the world more open and connected.Mark Zuckerberg

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