Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rick Klau Shares How to Add a "Best of" Page to Blogger

Posted by Katie Noonan

Friend of The PR Lawyer, Rick Klau of Google, had a great blog post today on how to add a "Best of" tab to your Blogger blog.

Including a "Best of" tab is a great idea if you have specific blog posts you want to showcase. Think of it as a 30 second elevator pitch- it gives people an idea of who you are and what you're about and, if done right, convinces them that to take the time to get to know you more.

For more information and directions on how to add the "Best of" tab to your blog, check out Rick's full post.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Justinian Society of Philadelphia to Celebrate 75th Anniversary

The Justinian Society of Philadelphia will host a 75th Anniversary celebration on Sunday, April 11, 2010 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at The Atrium at the Curtis Center, 601 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. The event is open to all. The celebration will include an afternoon of traditional Italian cuisine and spirits by Cescaphe, Strolling Mandolins, the Vivace String Quartet and A Cappella Pops. A special 75th Anniversary video produced by Law Journal Television will be debuted.

The Society will also present two monetary donations: one to The Justinian Foundation and one on behalf of the Foundation to Philadelphia VIP. Both donations are a tribute to the late former Justinian Chancellor, Nicholas J. Lisi, Esq.

Tickets are $100 per person including complimentary valet parking. Sponsorships are available. The attire is casual festive.

Founded in 1935, The Justinian Society of Philadelphia is a legal organization comprised of attorneys, judges and law students of Italian-ancestry. Located in Philadelphia, the Society's members celebrate generations of involvement within the legal community.

To learn more about support opportunities and tickets call (215) 545-0706, e-mail Justinian@justinian.org or go to http://www.justinain.org/.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Goodwill Web 2.0 Style

Posted by Katie Noonan

Did you know that every 30 seconds a child dies of malaria?

Follow any of the United Nations Special Envoy for Malaria's 2010 Social Media Envoys on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, and you'll learn simlarly sobering statistics as well as how you can help with intervention and aid efforts to reduce malaria-caused deaths in Africa.

According to the UN, "the Social Media Envoys have agreed to take one social action, such as a tweet on Twitter or wall post on Facebook, in support of malaria control each month for 12 consecutive months." The goal of the campaign is to provide insecticide-treated bed nets to Africans living in malaria-ridden regions.

Social Media Envoys were selected by the Special Envoy based upon the "influence, size and engagement of their Social Web and broadcast audiences."

World Malaria Day is on April 25, 2010. Click here for more information, or follow these 2010 Social Media Envoys to learn what you can do to help:

Client Congrats: Philadelphia CPA Terry Silver of Citrin Cooperman Earns Prestigious Industry Credential

Every now and then The PR Lawyer shares special news and accomplishments about our clients and friends. This week The PR Lawyer would like to give Philadelphia CPA and Certified Valuation Analyst, Terry Silver, of the accounting, tax and business consulting firm Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP a little pat on the back!

Silver has earned the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) credential in recognition of his extensive financial forensic accounting expertise. The CFF designation compliments Silver’s business valuation and accountant certifications.

Silver is a Citrin Cooperman partner with more than 33 years of experience as an accountant and auditor and he focuses his practice on business valuation and financial forensic services, expert testimony and matrimonial actions. Silver also has an extensive background in business and individual tax matters. What is really impressive, is that the AICPA’s CFF designation is only granted to members in good standing who possess significant business experience in the area of financial forensics and have completed a minimum of 75 hours of focused continuing education. According to the AICPA, the CFF credential combines specialized financial forensic accounting expertise with the core knowledge and skills that make CPAs among the most sought-after business advisers.

“Financial forensic accounting affects many aspects of our clients’ businesses and lives, with applications ranging from computer forensics and economic damages to family law and business valuations,” said Silver. “As an accountant and auditor devoting a significant portion of my practice to financial forensics, I am pleased that the AICPA has developed this credential and am honored to have earned this certification.”

In addition to providing a variety of individuals and privately held businesses with financial forensic accounting services, Silver has a strong audit, accounting and business consulting background in diverse industries including manufacturing, construction contracting and medical practices. He was a partner in the Philadelphia firm of Yampolsky, Mandeloff, Silver & Ryan prior to its merger with Citrin Cooperman in 2007. He is a member of the AICPA, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts. Silver holds a bachelor of arts from LaSalle University.

“Terry’s CFF designation is a reflection of the admirable expertise and dedication he brings to every facet of his practice,” stated Philadelphia Citrin Cooperman managing partner, Mark Carrow. “His CFF credential is also indicative of the depth of resources we offer to our clients in providing a full range of accounting, tax, consulting, business valuation and financial forensic services to clients throughout the Philadelphia region.”

Citrin Cooperman was co-founded in 1979 by Philadelphia native, Joel Cooperman and his colleague Niles Citrin, both fledgling accountants and entrepreneurs at the time. Today, the top 31 mid-size firm provides full-service accounting, tax and consulting solutions to businesses of all sizes. Citrin Cooperman specializes in helping entrepreneurs reach their business goals and prides itself on providing individualized attention, high quality services and proactive solutions at competitive rates. The firm has grown from an $18 million firm in 2000 to a more than an $82 million practice in 2009 and has been able to recruit and retain top talent. Recently ranked among the best places to work by Accounting Today, a leading industry magazine, Citrin Cooperman has offices in Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. For more information, go to http://www.citrincooperman.com/.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Confessions from a Social Networker: How Twitter Shaped My #LMA10 Experience

I was not an early adopter of Twitter. In fact, I was a skeptic. I remember how excited my colleague Laura Fitton (better known as @Pistachio with more than 50,000 followers) was about the platform several years ago and by the time she wrote the book Twitter for Dummies, I had just created a profile @ginarubel.


Then, over the course of the two years, I learned as much as I could about Twitter, how it compliments public relations and marketing efforts, and how it integrates with other social media platforms.

This past week, I had the pleasure to present at and attend the 2010 Legal Marketing Association’s (#LMA10) annual conference in Denver. (Note:  #LMA10 is the Twitter hashtag we used to create conversation and a transcript of the event.)

Before traveling to Denver, I connected online with LMA colleagues – many of whom I had never met in person but have followed, re-tweeted, become social media friends with, and interviewed for my blog on The Legal Intelligencer. I followed the Twitterstreme through #LMA10 and learned who was meeting where and when. There was a formal Tweet-up planned at Bubba Gump’s, there were meetings, dinners and events.

Within hours of arriving and throughout the week, I had the opportunity to connect with legal marketing and social media experts across the country. I met great people and built new relationships with Heather Morse Milligan (The Legal Watercooler blogger) who shares a great perspective from the LMA conference, Adrian Lurssen (better known as JDTwitt) and  Aviva Cuyler from JD Supra (which if you are an attorney and not on JD Supra, check out my previous blog Social Media for Lawyers Part 7: JD Supra).

I spent time with my peer Jayne Navarre who I met once when she came to speak in Philadelphia. And I spent time connecting and building lasting memories with Rebecca Wissler, Lindsay Griffiths, Laura Gutierrez, Nancy Myrland, Lance Godard, Gail Lamarche, Lydia Bednerik, and Tim Corcoran (who I had met when he presented at a Philadelphia Bar Association Leaders’ Retreat).

A number of us went to dinner at Roija and had a fantastic time learning about one another’s businesses, families, and lives – not to mention that it was one of the best meals I have ever had (if you ever go there, ask for Neil the server – he was fantastic). And on top of it all, I found out about Roija through Justin Bresler @jbresler, the VP of Marketing for Denver’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, who I was connected to via Twitter by Paul Bencivengo @scullyano who I know and follow from the Bucks County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. So did you get all that? I posted a question on Twitter asking for recommendations to great restaurants in Denver. Paul sent me a tweet introducing me to Justin. I connected with Justin and he sent me an extensive list of great restaurants. I chose Roija and the rest is history. Another benefit of social networking. 

During the pre-conference I also had the pleasure and privilege to participate in the new program Just JDs: Business Development Strategies for Lawyers. I was invited to present by the Just JD organizer, Ross Fishman, CEO of Fishman Marketing, who I also met through social networking several years ago and have since done business with. As the CEO of Furia Rubel Public Relations and Marketing, I presented The Ethics of Public Relations and Marketing for Lawyers with John Hellerman, Partner and Co-Founder, Hellerman Baretz Communications. The full-day intensive also included fantastic business development, marketing, competitive intelligence and Web 2.0 programs by some of the best in the business including: James A. Durham, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer, McGuireWoods LLP (and author of The Essential Little Book of Great Lawyering), Deborah Knupp, Partner of Akina Corporation, Alvidas A. Jasin, Director of Business Development of Thompson Hine LLP and Richard P. Klau, Business Product Manager, Blogger, Google. Another confession, I have since connected with all of the presenters on LinkedIn with the intention of keeping in touch.

Overall, the Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference was better than any conference I have ever attended because I was able to connect in so many ways with colleagues and friends – all because of social media.

A special congratulations to the conference organizers: Despina Kartson and David Freeman – they did a fantastic job!

And the biggest confession of all is that I really enjoyed tweeting from all of the programs I attended. I hope that many others will benefit from the thought leadership by checking out #LMA10 on Twitter.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Importance of Creating a Social Media Policy

Posted by Katie Noonan

There seems to be a lot of buzz this week about corporate social media policy and how to effectively engage in social media without jeopardizing your company’s reputation or its bottom line. On Wednesday Reuters released their social media policy which prevents their journalists from breaking news on Twitter, essentially prohibiting them from scooping their employer. In the Public Relations Society of America’s March issue of Public Relations Tactics, Alice Grey Harrison, APR, offers some good advice on how to implement social media policies for employees.

At this point there’s little debate as to whether companies should be engaging in social media. Social media is a gamble for sure, but one that has paid off for many. The new debate has become how to manage your company’s social media presence to avoid gaffes, negative publicity or loss of control over your message and brand.

According to a report released on Feb. 3 by Manpower, an employment services firm, only one-fifth of companies have a formal social media policy for employees who use social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. To avoid confusion companies should absolutely implement social media policies, but it’s important that they consider a few things before doing so.

Harrison encourages companies to sit back and think about their company’s culture prior to developing their social media policy. I agree. If your organization has an informal, relaxed or otherwise progressive culture then your social media policy should reflect that. Likewise, if your company has a professional, formal or conservative culture then you’ll want to develop a social media policy in keeping with that atmosphere. Either way consistency is key.

Providing clear guidelines to employees is also key. Harrison outlines the two different schools of thought on this. Essentially, there’s the “unified front” approach where the company designates one department to head all social media communications and oversight. This approach works best for companies that are reluctant about engaging in Web 2.0 or those that tend to be more conservative in their message and brand.

If your company decides to go this route then you’ll want to communicate that to employees. Make sure that your policy stipulates that only designated employees are permitted to use social media on behalf of the organization.

There’s also the “all-in” approach, which I happen to prefer. Essentially, this strategy allows anyone in the organization to blog, tweet, etc. on its behalf. There are certainly risks to this strategy, but as an employee of a company that takes this approach I think it works for a lot of reasons.

First, it indicates to your employees that their input is valuable and that you trust and respect their opinion enough to permit them to speak on your company’s behalf. Everyone appreciates that kind of validation.

Second, it pushes the envelope in terms of your brand. By allowing anyone and everyone in the company to engage in social media you may discover some untapped talent that lies outside of your communications department. It also generates fresh content and ideas, which is essential for a successful social media campaign.

Whenever you’re venturing into a new realm there are risks. If your company decides to takes this approach, Harrison suggests, and I agree, that offering training sessions and setting certain guidelines in your social media policy is a good idea. You want to give employees that level of freedom without leaving your company vulnerable to a public relations snafu or worse, a lawsuit. One way to do this is to outline in your social media policy what is off limits for employees to discuss via social media and encourage them to ask if they’re not sure. Another way is to encourage employees to put disclaimers on their blogs or Facebook profiles that their views are not necessarily those of the company. Harrison suggests putting proposed disclaimer language in the social media policy.

The biggest take away should be that whatever your feelings are on social media and how you want your company to engage in it you need to communicate that to your employees. It will save you countless headaches and position the company to capitalize on the benefits of social media sites.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Congratulations are in Order for Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel LLP

We would like to congratulate Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel LLP, a Philadelphia intellectual property law firm, for welcoming veteran trademark attorney Michael J. Leonard to its firm. Mr. Leonard will join the firm this month, as a partner and head of the Trademark and Copyright department. He will concentrate his practice in providing strategic establishment and protection of U.S. and international trademarks for a variety of clients. Mr. Leonard comes from Pepper Hamilton where he was a partner with the firm’s Intellectual Property Group.

“As part of our firm’s ongoing development, we have focused on enhancing our trademark department by adding a top-tier practitioner with significant national and international experience,” said Martin G. Belisario, Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel partner. “Michael has practiced intellectual property law extensively. His global experience meshes well with our firm’s goals and existing clients”.

Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel enjoys a vibrant domestic practice and a strong and growing international practice, which includes numerous clients throughout the world in industries that cover all areas of intellectual property. The firm handles all facets of trademark practice, including disputes, selection of new marks, U.S. and international trademark strategy licensing, as well as domain name and Internet issues.

“Though I have had a wonderful experience with Pepper Hamilton, joining Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel presents a unique opportunity to build an international trademark practice in a boutique setting,” said Mr. Leonard. “The firm’s boutique setting, combined with its cadre of experienced trademark attorneys, provides the ideal environment to respond to clients’ needs with highly individualized attention and creative solutions.” Mr. Leonard has represented clients in publishing, computer software and technology, entertainment and sports, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, chemicals, telecommunications and the food and beverage industry.

Members of the firm’s trademark department are looking forward to working with Mr. Leonard in further developing the practice. “We are delighted that Michael will be lending his talents here,” stated Laura A. Genovese, Senior Counsel.

Again, congratulations to the Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel firm for adding such a talented individual to its team! To learn more about the firm, visit http://www.panitchlaw.com/.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

So Sayeth Biz Stone - Twitter Accounts Grow 1,500%

Biz Stone  (@Biz), the co-founder of Twitter, shared some updates today. Here's what he had to say:

In the early days of Twitter, I used to send out short updates just to keep everyone in the loop since so much was happening. It's been a while, but you signed up for short, monthly updates from Twitter so we thought it was time to start sharing more information. We've had quite a year. If you haven't visited in a while, we'd like to invite you to come have a look at http://twitter.com -- we've been busy!

Growing Up

In the course of a year, registered Twitter accounts have grown more than 1,500% and our team has grown 500%. Recently, we hired our 140th employee! His name is Aaron and he's an engineer focused on building internal tools to help promote productivity, communication, and support within our company. We celebrated with a little dance party.

Features of Note

Some features of note that we released over the course of a year include the ability to create lists, quickly spread information with a retweet button, and an easier way to activate your mobile phone to work with Twitter over SMS. We also built a new mobile web site that looks and works much better on smart phones.

Feeling Inspired

By working together during critical times when others needed help, sharing important information that otherwise might not make the news, and inventing new and interesting ways to use Twitter, you've shown us that Twitter is more than a triumph of technology -- it is a triumph of humanity. Projects like Fledgling and Hope140 were inspired by you.

Chirp!

While there may only be 140 full-time employees working at the Twitter offices, there are thousands of dedicated platform developers who have now created more than 70,000 registered Twitter applications creating variety and utility for all of us. We'll be gathering this spring at Chirp, our first ever official Twitter developer conference.

Why Blogging Should be a Priority in Your Social Media Strategy

Kevin O'Keefe wrote a good post today about the use of blogs by lawyers in their overall social media outreach. The point that Kevin makes is that blogs are a constant presence (if updated regularly) that can demonstrate the a full story of an individual's thought leadership, unlike efforts on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

As with Facebook, blogs allow you to post video, images and links. Like LinkedIn, you can point colleagues to your blog to have them understand more about your specialties. And like Twitter, you can make a concise point on a blog. However, you also have the opportunity on a blog to elaborate on the methodology behind your reasoning.

The most important point, I believe, is that the blogger owns their content and "Web real estate" on their own blog. A social media platform may decrease in popularity or simply fall out of the spotlight, but a blog has true staying power if created strategically and effectively maintained.

Read Kevin's full post at Real Lawyers Have Blogs.

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