Thursday, September 30, 2010

Have You Checked Out The #NewTwitter?

Posted by Amanda Walsh
The Internet has been all a-buzz with the latest news on the new Twitter look and layout.  I finally noticed a button on the top of my Twitter landing page this morning that invited me to check out the #NewTwitter. I was met with a pleasant surprise! Twitter has had a complete makeover!


I noticed right away that the new interface is more interactive and streamline. Now, the news stream is located on the left hand side of the screen, which frees up room on the right for featuring your number of followers, number of people who follow you, and trending topics for searching.


The change I like the best is when you click on a fellow user’s tweet, their profile and a few of their recent tweets pop up to the right. You are able to read their profile on the right while continuing to monitor your news feed on the left.


New partnerships with YouTube, Flickr, and Vimeo make it even easier to see embedded photos and videos on the right-hand side of the screen.

So far, so good, Twitter!  I like the new layout and right now on my personal account, I still have the option to toggle back and forth between the old layout and new layout.  The Furia Rubel corporate account does not have the option to review the new Twitter yet, but I’m sure as the weeks go on Twitter will continue to roll out the new features for all users.

To read more check out Twitter.com/newtwitter or follow the hashtag, #NewTwitter on Twitter.com

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Communicating Effectively With Web Designers

Posted by Amanda Walsh and Laura Powers

Our Vice President of Marketing, Laura Powers weighs in on the Mashable.com article, “How to: Communicate Needs & Expectations to Web Designers.” 


There are some relevant points that are outlined in the article, but Laura notes that one thing the article overlooks is the strategy behind developing pieces that need to be designed. Below, she adds her tips for communicating with the designer during the creative process.

One of the most critical parts of communicating needs and expectations with a designer is strategic planning. By developing a company’s communications plan that identifies target audiences and outlines key messages (among other things) before engaging a designer, professional designers will be better equipped to begin the creative process.

A large piece of design development is evoking emotion with visual elements. When developing a brand, creating print collateral or extending an online presence, a company’s strategic communications plan will guide the design of the materials by identifying how the company wants to be perceived in the marketplace and influence its audiences. In this way, the planning process becomes a foundational cornerstone of working effectively with a designer.

To read the Mashable article, check it out
here

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Press Release Lives On – Even In Web 2.0 World

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Contrary to what some have been saying, the press release is not dead! A recent article featured on the Search Engine Watch.com blog reaffirms the important role of this public relations tool and defends optimized press release usage within the public relations industry.

We have written a little about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in past posts, but I’d like to bring some readers up to speed on what exactly SEO is. According to Wikipedia, SEO “is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a Web page in search engines via the "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results.”

“There are a variety of reasons why the Furia Rubel team utilizes the press release. The PR tool helps us to ensure that we have all accurate and relevant information from our clients, compiled it in one place with details and contacts. In this way, press releases are an invaluable resource when directly pitching media representatives because everything is clear, concise and together in one space. Also, with each release we write, our team specifically incorporates SEO language to increase online visibility for our clients,” said Leah Ludwig, Senior Account Manager at Furia Rubel.

The Search Engine Watch.com blog offers some interesting information from a 2010 PRweek/PR Newswire Media Survey, “Journalists use a variety of tools during the course of research for a story. Ninety-five percent use Google/search engines, 93 percent use the company web site, 47 percent use Wikipedia, 36 percent use the web site of a commercial newswire, 34 percent use the company blog, 33 percent use social networks, 32 percent use general blogs, and 19 percent use LexisNexis/Factiva.”

If journalists are using Google to research, an effective way for public relations professionals to get their news out there is through an optimized press release. A new challenge has presented itself however, because press releases are competing with news media for top search results. This does not mean that the press release is dead, just that it is important for SEO experts to stay abreast of the changing SEO terms and results.


(photo credit: webdesigngeek.info)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

LinkedIn & Outlook Partnership Contributes To Ease Of Networking

Posted by Amanda Walsh

I learned that earlier this year LinkedIn partnered with Microsoft Outlook. I wanted to share the exciting news with our readers because some people may not have heard about it, I certainly hadn't!
 
Microsoft Outlook is a popular email program that many businesses use to communicate internally, schedule meetings, store contacts and much more. LinkedIn is an online professional social-networking site where you can find and connect with colleagues, classmates or any professional contact who you have met throughout your career. Many people are using LinkedIn as a networking/job search tool or a forum to ask questions and receive expert feedback.

Professionals can now use this tool to connect the two programs and grow their networks even further. To read more about how you can download and install the Outlook Social Connector, check out this The LinkedIn Blog entry.
(Photo credit: http://www.itnewsafrica.com/?p=5256)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

BarCamp Doylestown Recap

Posted by Amanda Walsh


On Monday, I participated in the first BarCamp Doylestown at the Moose Lodge in Doylestown Borough. Like some of the other participants, I had never heard of a BarCamp conference, but was pleasantly surprised by what I experienced.


The theme of the BarCamp (Un)conference was "Emerging Social Business" and the discussion and topics were all audience-driven. The whole idea behind a BarCamp (Un)conference is that the attendees decide what they want to discuss/hear and vote for popular topics.


The organizers made sure to let everyone know pre-event that the mood of the evening was casual. They also encouraged attendees to move around and pop into other discussions. So, if you found yourself in a boring discussion, you had the option to get up and move on to another discussion group. What a concept!  


The planning committee also did a wonderful job of getting the word out using social media. A Twitter hashtag (#barcamp18901) was set up and I had been following the conversation for a few weeks prior to attending.  In addition, the BarCamp Doylestown website was kept up-to-date and was extremely informative. 


Before going, I had already familiarized myself with the topic choices on the website. When I entered the venue, I received some red dot stickers to vote for topics. The night was a whirlwind of activity from there.  


There were three rounds of discussions with five choices for a topic in each round. Later, after mingling with some entrepreneurs, social media experts, and computer engineers, the topics for the evening were announced.


I sat in on three and a half discussions.  They were Customer (or Client) Relationship Management (CRM) and the Customer of the Future, Corporate Blogging/Enterprise 2.0, and Thought Leadership. I say three and a half because I listened to two in the second round.


The evening was informative and fun. I was happy to have the opportunity to network with some forward-thinking people in the Bucks County area. 


Check out Bucks Happening's website for another BarCamp experience recap and some great photos. Another post-event recap is posted on the BarCamp Doylestown website here. Lastly, there is a neat Wiki page that is worth checking out.


Thank you to all the organizers and sponsors! I look forward to the next BarCamp Doylestown!


(Logo credit: BarCamp Doylestown)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Technola 2010 Pro Bono Celebration Blog Challenge

Posted by Amanda Walsh


Kate Bladow over at Technola.la posed a challenge to bloggers everywhere last week; to post one blog post between October 24 and October 30 in honor of the 2010 National Pro Bono Celebration. The week- long celebration is sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. Last year, the celebration was a success but as Bladow notes, "only a few bloggers published posts to recognize the lawyers and paralegals who provide free legal services to those who can't afford to pay."

To participate, write a post about what pro bono means to you. You don't need to be a lawyer, but lawyers are certainly encouraged to participate. You could be a client, for example, who received pro bono services or you could comment on what you admire about a legal colleague for their dedication to pro bono work. The options are endless! Bladow does a wonderful job of giving some ideas to help get you started. Check out her challenge here.

We'll also be participating over here at ThePRLawyer!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Call for Blawg 100 Amici Top Law Blog Nominations

Posted by Amanda Walsh


Are you a frequent PR Lawyer blog reader? Do you find the entries that we post are helpful and relevant for you and your business?

The American Bar Association Journal & Blawg 100 Amici are looking for nominations of the best legal blogs on the Internet to compile a top 100 best legal blogs (or blawgs).

These should be the blogs that you visit regularly and think lawyers and other legal professionals should be checking out too!

The criteria:
  • Nominated blogs should be updated (at least) weekly
  • ABA Journal Editors will have the final say, so highest number of votes will not determine the top 100 list
To submit your vote, check out the ABA Journal website here. Votes are due no later than October 1, 2010.

Thank you for all your support!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gina Rubel To Be Awarded With The Lisa A. Richette Outstanding Woman In Law Award


Please join us in congratulating Gina Rubel, CEO/President of Furia Rubel Communications, who will be honored by The Justinian Society on October 4, 2010 with the Lisa A. Richette Outstanding Woman in Law Award. The Honorable Dan Onorato will present the keynote. We'll be there and hope many of our friends can join us. To learn more information or to register, please go to the Justinian Society website.

Congratulations, Gina!

Google Instant Provides New Search Capabilities


Posted by Amanda Walsh

Google has finally debuted their new search feature, Google Instant. According to the website, “Google Instant is a new search enhancement that shows results as you type.” The company also shared the following “Did you know?” facts about Google Instant:

* Before Google Instant, the typical searcher took more than 9 seconds to enter a search term, and we saw many examples of searches that took 30-90 seconds to type.
* Using Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.
* If everyone uses Google Instant globally, we estimate this will save more than 3.5 billion seconds a day. That’s 11 hours saved every second.
* 15 new technologies contribute to Google Instant functionality.

Google Instant only works if you are signed into a Google account. This may be a part of an effort to encourage more people to sign up for Google Accounts. The Instant feature can be turned off if you find it bothersome - simply adjust your settings via the Google.com/preferences page. For now, the Instant search is only available in the USA. To read more about this check out the article, “Google Instant - 10 Things Marketing Teams Need to Know.”

The Google Instant unveiling comes after a week of tantalizing “doodles” or logos on the Google landing page that kept everyone wondering what the big surprise would be.

On September 7, the company made public a fun, kinetic-like “doodle” or logo on the landing page. Dozens of boisterous balls formed the Google logo but scattered when the user brought their mouse arrow near. Check out a video here. The very next day, another doodle was put up on Google.com that featured a colorless Google logo. When a user began to type in their search query, the letters in the Google doodle would be filled-in with a different color after each keystroke. Read more about that here.

In my opinion, Google did a great job growing buzz around the unveiling of Google Instant. Everyone took notice of the changing logos and the people at Google posted tweets to build curiosity even more. What do you think about Google Instant and the build up to the unveiling of the new feature?

The more important question that has the blogosphere humming is, how do you think Google Instant will effect Search Engine Optimization? I'm curious to see more statistics and numbers as website analytics show the effects this new feature. Stay tuned!

(photo credit: devicemag.com)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Where Oh, Where Could You Be? A Closer Look At Location-Based Social Networking


Posted by Amanda Walsh

It happened to me the other night. It was just an innocent tweet combined with a Foursquare location in New York City. I didn’t realize until hours later that my friend had tagged me in a location without my knowledge. My first reaction was shock, “Wow! I had no idea.” My second thought was, “what if I didn’t want anyone to know where I was?” and my final thought was, “now I understand why everyone is concerned about privacy issues and location-based social media.”

As social media advances, location-based programs have become more and more popular while continuing to draw criticism. Back in April, I wrote a blog educating ThePRLawyer readers about Foursquare. Foursquare is a location-based social media platform that users access on their cell phones at any given time to post their location to their friends, on Twitter or on Facebook.

According to a New York Times article, “Technology Aside, Most People Still Decline to Be Located,” Foursquare “has close to three million users, most of them in cities.” However looking at the United States as a whole, Forrester Research reported “only 4 percent of Americans have tried location-based services, and 1 percent use them weekly.” The small number of users seems to indicate that sharing location hasn’t caught on with the masses outside of metropolitan cities.

This could all change however. Recently, Facebook introduced the feature, “Places.” With 500 million users, Facebook’s location-sharing feature has definite potential. The Fresh Ideas blog by Burrelles Luce brings up some interesting questions about “Places” that I wanted to share. First, do you think Places is a privacy risk or another way to connect with people? Second, how, if at all, do you plan to incorporate Places in your public relations or marketing outreach?

As this technology grows, businesses will continue their efforts to harness “checking- in” as a marketing tool. We are bound to see more changes in opinion.

(photo credit: Facebook.com)

Friday, September 03, 2010

New Google Features Help PR Pros Keep Up With Growing Trends


Posted by Amanda Walsh

The Furia Rubel team wants to share some news about interesting search tools from Google with ThePRLawyer audience.

Google Realtime search allows you to look for results in Google as they are happening. The search compiles results from Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, and websites to give you real time content that is live and continuously updated. The user can also specify the location of where the news is coming from. For example, the keyword “Obama” can be narrowed down to view only the keywords produced from a specific city or state. Many times you can find breaking news before major news outlets have the opportunity to release them. This is a great marketing tool for any brand or business that wants to stay on top of breaking news or crisis communications.

Another feature from Google is the new YouTube Channel, the Google beat, which brings updates of the latest weekly trends in Google searches within the U.S. The video, formatted in a news-style way give a rundown of the latest search trends. For example, this week “Hurricane Earl” and “Paris Hilton” were two huge search terms.

These two new features from the search giant raise some interesting food for thought - Is Google trying to compete with Twitter in the department of trending topics? The popular micro-blogging service presents real-time updates of news from around the world and can be narrowed down by keyword.

It seems lately that Google is moving in the Twitter-based, newsfeed direction with their recent feature rollouts. The Google beat, YouTube channel, also brought to my attention other tools that Google offers such as Google Trends, Hot Trends, and Google Insights for Search. The Year-end Zeitgeist feature is the most interesting to me because it provides a snapshot of the year in search trends. All of these provide the user the ability to check out what is hot right now or what have been the top search trends over an entire year.

As technology and features from Google continue to grow, we continue to build archives of our culture. With an archive reaching back to 2001, anyone can see the gaining and declining trends of that year.

Again, searching trends and these new features from Google can be very useful for professionals in the marketing and public relations industry to keep an eye on the changing trends across the country.

(Photo credit: Google.com)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Upcoming Economic Forum for Small Business Owners

On Wednesday, September 22, 2010, Gina Rubel, Esq., President/CEO of Furia Rubel Communications, will speak at the Small Business Solutions Center of Delaware County Community College’s “Your Business and the Economy 2011” economic forum. Rubel will address “Marketing and PR on a Shoestring Budget: How to Manage the New Economy.” The event will be hosted from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Terrazza in Newtown Square, Pa.

Brad Segall of KYW Newsradio will moderate the program. Other participants include: Rob Wonderling, President of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, who will talk about “Next Gen Job Creation for the Greater Philadelphia Region;” Kim Huggins, President of K HR Solutions, who will speak about “Bridging Generation Gaps and Understanding the Impact on Your Business;” James Revels, CPA, MST and Partner with Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLC in Philadelphia, who will explain how to “Be Prepared: Small Businesses and the New Tax Code Changes;” and Andrew Miller, Chief Lending Officer for Beneficial Savings Bank, who will explain “Borrowing Money to Grow Your Business.”

Beneficial Bank of Philadelphia and the Widener University Small Business Development Center will co-sponsor the event. A full lunch will be served and admission is $10. To attend or learn more about this event, call the Small Business Solutions Center’s Danielle Cipolloni at 610-723-1229.

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