Monday, December 19, 2011

Twitter and Facebook Changes In Time for the Holidays - Avvo Blog Post

Just when you thought you “got it” – Twitter and Facebook have announced major changes to their platforms.

To read more of Gina's blog post on, click here.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Twitter Jargon You Need To Know

Posted by Amanda Walsh

The other day we received a client question about how to retweet with a comment using the third-party application, Hootsuite. After helping the client with the inquiry, I began thinking about some abbreviations on Twitter that I only recently learned about and wanted to share some resources with The PR Lawyer readership.

Some of the most useful abbreviations on Twitter include:

• MT: Modified tweet. This means the tweet is a paraphrase of a tweet originally written by someone else.

• RT: Retweet. The tweet was forwarded by another user.

• DM: Direct message. A direct-message is a message only you and the person who sent it can read. Important to note: To DM someone all you need to type is D username message.

• PRT: Partial retweet. The tweet you're looking at is the truncated version of someone else's tweet.

• HT:  Hat tip. This is a way of sharing a link, but also thanking the Twitter user who originally shared it. You can also use “via” and include the other person’s Twitter handle.

• CC: Carbon-copy. Works the same way as email.

• IMHO: In my humble opinion.

• OH: Overheard.

• IRL: In real life

• FWIW: For what it's worth.

• QOTD: Quote of the day

• BTW: By the way

• AFAIK: As far as I know

• TY: Thank you

• YW: You're welcome

Read more on Business Insider here:

Some other helpful resources for those who use Hootsuite or prefer

photo credit:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giving Thanks All Year Long

Posted by Gina F. Rubel, Esq.

I received about 15 e-cards and two print cards saying thank you and wishing me and the Furia Rubel team a Happy Thanksgiving. All of this started me thinking – what is the corporate Thanksgiving all about? When you say thank you to your clients and customers and others that you do business or communicate with, do you really mean it or are you trying to beat the holiday rush with your message to stand out. Are you letting them know what you are thankful for? And do you say thank you all along the corporate trail?

Of the 15 e-cards I received this week, very few were personalized and many said “Thank You and by the way, check out our website…..” Is that how we say thank you today? I am a full believer in electronic messages – but the “thanks” are lost when they’re followed with a marketing message.

Of the two printed cards I received, one included a personal message starting with “Dear …”, including a handwritten message and a John Hancock. Of course, that card was my favorite. The other was a stock, unbranded, mass-printed card which include my name on the outside of the envelope. Without being too specific, thank you, Joanne for your lovely personalized note and branded Thanksgiving card. Your card stood out.

There are so many opportunities in the business cycle to give thanks. Here are just a few key touch points when you can thank your clients, customers and other target audiences professionally and with integrity:

- Immediately following the first meeting or correspondence
- When a prospect becomes a client
- After an in-person meeting
- When someone responds to a request in a timely manner
- At the end of each client matter or project
- When someone refers you business, connects you with another or sends you a testimonial
- When you’ve closed a piece of business that was referred, thank the referrer again
- Randomly throughout the year – just because

I’m sure there are many more times in the business cycle that we can say thank you. Feel free to add to this list by leaving a comment.

And yes, THANK YOU, for reading our blog. We enjoy sharing thoughts and information with those who are interested and truly appreciate the time you take to read and respond to us.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Raising A Few Eyebrows: Law Firms Deal With Gray Area In Employee Social Media Conduct

Posted by Amanda Walsh

There were a few giggles going around the office when this article, The Tweet that Roared: Lawyers and Law Firms Navigate Social Media Landmines, hit our inboxes recently. The story did bring to light an important question regarding law firm social media policies and lawyers' personal social media use outside of the office.

A recent social media firestorm began over a tweet from law firm Kramer Levein Naftalis & Frankel litigation associate Jill Filipovic. Returning from a recent trip, Filipovic tweeted a photo of a note left by the TSA in her luggage. The security tag had “GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL” written on one side and Filipovic explained, “Guess they discovered a ‘personal item’ in my bag. Wow.”

Needless to say, the tweet about a vibrator, spread through social networks like wildfire. The TSA responded and reprimanded the agent. In the meantime, Filipovic was doing her best to forget about the incident while worrying about losing her job. Fortunately for her though, her employer Kramer Levein Naftalis & Frankel had a policy in place and stood by Filipovic, responding that to their knowledge, “policies have not been violated.”

However, the article author Sara Randazzo, notes that this incident raises a good question, “Should a lawyer at a large law firm ever tweet about vibrators, or anything else of such a personal nature, even when doing so doesn’t grab widespread attention?” Law firms are contending with issues like these more and more since many attorneys are active on sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Furia Rubel strongly encourages law firms to put a social media policy in place in order to proactively face any issues that could arise from employee engagement on social media. Typically, social media policies prohibit online discussion of firm business or clients, however personal sharing crosses into a gray area. More and more, law firms are grappling with lawyers’ social media conduct outside the office that may not directly violate the policy, but could raise a few eyebrows.

Some lawyers have been reprimanded for racy comments online, while others have been able to strike a good balance between personal and business use of social networks. According to New York lawyer, and Sullivan & Cromwell corporate partner, Frank Aquila, “The key from my perspective is that lawyers should not be tweeting or saying anything in social media or blogs that they wouldn't otherwise be saying or writing in any other environment."

We couldn't agree with him more. This is also a rule of thumb that we at Furia Rubel try to emphasize when advising clients: what goes online stays online for an infinite amount of time; so if you have to second guess posting a tweet or comment, then you know it probably isn't a good idea!

To read more,

photo credit:

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Join Gina Rubel at "GENerate Performance! The Impact of a Multigenerational Workforce on Business Today" Event on 11/15

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011, Gina F. Rubel, Esq. will participate in “GENerate Performance! The Impact of a Multigenerational Workforce on Business Today” at the Independence Visitor Center in Philadelphia from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., sponsored by the Philadelphia Human Resource Planning Society. Other participants include moderator Kim Huggins, President of K HR Solutions; Dina A. Galeotafiore, Senior V.P., Human Resources for NBCUniversal, Inc.; Jason Conrad, HR Business Partner, IMS Consulting Group and Marty Lutz, V.P.; Sales for Endo Pharmaceutical. To learn more about the event or to register: GENerate Performance.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Google+ Business Pages Now Live

Posted by Amanda Walsh

The long awaited Google+ Business Page functionality is now available for companies. We wasted no time and have gotten Furia Rubel’s Page up and running. Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments below. 

The HubSpot Blog gives 5 easy steps to setting up your business page.

1. Visit the website or click the icon at the bottom right-hand side of your Google+ profile.
2. Create a public profile by picking a category and following the set-up wizard steps. 

 3. Promote the page using the "Spread the Word" button at the bottom right-hand side of the Page.

4. Post photos, videos, comments and share news and events with your circles.

Google+ is already working on transfer of account and multi-admin capabilities as well as page analytics according to Dennis Troper, member of the Google+ team. So far, it seems user-friendly and easy to set up a Company Page, although I had some difficulty adding people into the Furia Rubel Page Circles. Apparently, you can only add profiles to Page Circles for those who have already added your page to their Circles. I referenced this article on Google+ Help that was useful.

Are you planning on using Google+ Business Pages for your company?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Value Of A Facebook "Like"

Posted by Amanda Walsh

A frequently asked question we get here at Furia Rubel is, “what is the value of a Like on Facebook?” So, I did some research on the benefits of a brand being “Liked” on Facebook and the benefits of “Liking “content that is shared on the social network.

The most recent article I found is on and examines a report from ExactTarget called “The Meaning of Like.” Author Kyle Lacy shares some interesting statistics from the report.

The first statistic Lacy points out is that only 42 percent of active Facebook users feel that marketers should take a Facebook “Like” to equal brand loyalty. Another finding was 52 percent click a Facebook “Like” button on another site. As Lacey notes, this is why all brands should incorporate onto their sites the easy-to-use Facebook tools for sharing. Lastly, consumers typically see a "Like" of a page on Facebook as a way of bookmarking content and sharing information with friends—not a form of consent for marketing. This is a clear change in thinking in relation to permission based marketing. Users don’t view a “Like” as permission to receive information from the brand on Facebook which is different from email marketing when users opt-in to receive an e-newsletter.

A note posted on the Facebook + Media page, called “The Value of a Liker” shared that the average “Liker” has 2.4x the amount of friends than that of a typical Facebook user. These “Likers” also click on 5.3x more links to external sites. As publishers work to identify the best ways to reach a younger, “always on” audience, the note revealed some interesting tips to raise engagement and traffic to your Facebook page.

Some ways to reach this constantly-connected audience are to:

• Create a social plug-in for your website so when users “Like” a news story or article on your website, the plug-in publishes to their personal profile and shares with their network of friends.
• Put the “Like” button in a visually-appealing place on your website
• Emotional and provocative status updates and stories from a Facebook page increase “on-Page engagement by 1.3-3x”)

Facebook + Media page also notes that publishers like ABC News, Gawker and have reported results and commented that “people on their sites are more engaged and stay longer when their real identity and real friends are driving the experience through social plug-ins.” To read more, go to: Facebook + Media.

photo courtesy of

Monday, October 31, 2011

“The Role Of Lawyers In The Media: The Editors' Perspective”

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Join Gina F. Rubel, Esq. and the Bar-News Media Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 for “The Role of Lawyers in the Media: The Editors' Perspective” panel at noon at the Philadelphia Bar Association.Panel experts include Craig Ey, Editor, Philadelphia Business Journal; Hank Grezlak, Editor-in-Chief, The Legal Intelligencer; Karen Araiza, Managing Editor, NBC10; and Gar Joseph, City Editor, The Daily News and Sarah Blazucki, Editor, Philadelphia Gay News. Gina Rubel will serve as a moderator.

Panelists will share their experiences and challenges reporting on law-related issues and provide insight into how attorneys can become better resources to the news media. The program will also include discussion about local news coverage of legal issues and its intersection with the practice of law. Lunch is available for $8.00 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association and $9.50 for non-members. To register, visit:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Helpful SEO Website Resources

Photo courtesy of
Posted by Amanda Walsh

To follow a recent post about SERPs and Eye Tracking Research, I thought I would share some go-to resources for the latest news in the SEO arena. Furia Rubel's Vice President of Marketing, Laura Powers, helped to pull the list together. These are some of the websites that we visit frequently to learn more about Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and other best practices, news and trends. 

Search Engine Watch
Some interesting links on Search Engine Watch are: Most U.S. Moms on Facebook, But May Be a Tough Crowd for Marketers [Study] and Google Opens Dynamic Search Ads Program

SEOmoz Blog
This post includes a video: How Big is Your Long Tail? – Whiteboard Friday 

ClickZ Search Section
A few resources on ClickZ are: Google+ and +1  and Just Because They Liked You, Doesn't Mean They'll Convert 

Media Post’s Search Marketing Daily
This article on Media Post discusses industry news regarding Google+ and Microsoft's Bing: Why Google Has To 'Get' Platforms: It's The Future Of Search

Website Magazine SEO / SEM Resources

Search Engine Land

Did we miss an important resource? Feel free to leave a comment below with the URL for additional SEO / SEM news outlets. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Planning An Event On A Budget

Guest Post by Kara Sarvey

Planning an extravagant event on an unlimited budget is both a fun and simple task, however, planning a business-related event on a strict budget may present more challenges. Business events are intended to allow employees to socialize, reinforce existing relationships between the business and clients, and foster new relationships for future business. The following tips can be utilized by a company or a person organizing an event on a limited budget.

  • Plan ahead. Plan the event six months ahead in order to lock in prices and find deals in advance. Waiting until the last minute does not leave any time for negotiation.

  • Decide on the budget, and stick to it. This is very important if this is a business event and not your money to spend freely. Make sure to consider all the various expenditures, projected expenses and miscellaneous items such as tips and taxes.

  • Find a partner. If you are hosting something such as a client appreciation event, think of a few local businesses that could use the exposure and work together. Find coffee shops, salons, and restaurants willing to donate gift certificates for their place of business to use as gifts or door prizes at the event.

  • Get ready to bargain! Work on your negotiating skills because as long as you’re willing to ask, you can get discounts and deals on many aspects of a big event. Will the caterer lower their price if you use paper goods instead of renting their china? Can you supply the alcohol for the bar? It can’t hurt to ask any of those questions or ask for a better rate.

  • Become friendly with a local caterer. If you would like food at your event, and events in the future, set up meetings with a few caterers. Catering companies are likely to give discounts to companies that hold a lot of events and will need their services in the future. Create a relationship with the catering companies and use one or two exclusively.

  • Save a tree, time and money with paperless invitations. Today, everyone has an e-mail address so there’s no need to waste the paper or money on sending out invitations for informal events. E-vite has free e-card invitations for everything from birthdays to fundraisers and professional events. E-vite will even remind invitees of the event the day before.

  • Save money on food and drinks. Instead of a full sit-down dinner, perhaps have a cocktail party with appetizers and light desserts. At the bar, the event coordinators can save money by limiting the drink options to beer, wine and a signature cocktail.

  • Utilize the wonders of (free!) social networking. If the event is open to the public, tweet the details to your followers, and send out reminders the day before and the day of the event. Update your status on profiles such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Create an event page on Facebook and cross-post it on the company’s Facebook page. The event organizer can also encourage others to update their own Facebook pages with information about the event. Before beginning any social media outreach, be sure to check your company’s social media policy for appropriate guidelines.

Businesses that frequently host events can easily combine the promotion of their events with their marketing and public relations tactics. Social media simplifies that process because while promoting the company on a platform, it can also be a forum to post events the company is hosting. By employing these simple tips, a seminar, client appreciation event or business luncheon can be an affordable and stress-free event that will benefit your company.

This post was written by Kara Sarvey, a graduate from West Chester University with a B.A. in Communications Studies. Sarvey is currently interning with the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce events department while searching for her next full-time opportunity. Kara can be reached at or via her LinkedIn profile here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

HARO Will Get New Features In Paid Subscriptions

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Yesterday afternoon I listened in on a Help a Reporter Out (HARO) webinar about some new features offered through paid subscriptions that Vocus will be offering. The webinar hosted by Peter Shankman, the founder of HARO,  focused on explaining the upcoming changes to the email service. HARO is a free email service that  sends e-blasts of journalist inquiries out to experts who are signed up to receive them. Many PR professionals utilize the service on behalf of their clients.

HARO will be offering paid subscriptions at three tier levels – $19, $49 and $149 – with a variety of new features including:
  • Search by using keywords – instead of getting the entire list of HARO queries, you can focus in on only the keywords you want to see.
  • Build a profile – Journalists can see your profile (or a client’s profile) with a list of areas of expertise and topics you (or your client) can speak to that may be newsworthy.
  • Search the entire database of journalists’ queries – research past queries from a journalist to see what their beat is and what they like to cover.
  • Headstart – Paid versions will receive queries before the entire free “Master” list so those who subscribe to a paid version get extra time to craft a pitch and send it in to the query. 
  • Agencies can get unlimited alerts and profiles through the Premium. They suggest setting up profiles for every client.
To learn more check out or follow the hashtags #vocus or #HARO on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Breaking: PA Supreme Court To Tweet Rulings

I just heard that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is going to tweet its rulings. Check out the details provided by the Associated Press for The Legal Intelligencer. The handle to follow is!/SupremeCtofPA

I find this very interesting considering I just presented at the Philadelphia Bar Association Bench Bar Conference on Social Media and Litigation. One of the recommendations I made is that every law firm and judiciary should adopt a social media policy. I was told that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is looking into just that -- and I was happy to hear it.

In August, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced that they will allow the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) to cover oral arguments. In a press release, Chief Justice Castille said, "My colleagues and I are pleased to open our courtroom to PCN’s statewide audience so they can see how our court operates and follow arguments in cases affecting every citizen of Pennsylvania."

How the times have changed.

Gina Rubel To Serve As Judge At Own It Ventures Fall Conference & Expo

On Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 at the Hyatt Morristown, N. J., Own It Ventures presents their Fall Conference and Expo, where small business owners will have the opportunity to pitch investors, the media and retail buyers. Entrepreneurs can come together and get one-on-one advice and learn from expert speakers. Furia Rubel’s CEO Gina Rubel will be one of the judges in the competition.

Judges will select the top five companies ready to enter the Sharkette Tank where they will pitch to a room of angel investors. New investors, buyers representing QVC, TeleBrands - As Seen On TV, Basil Bandwagon, Clinton Business Products and media reps including Natural Awakenings have been added to The Sharkette Tank.

In the past, products have been selected at previous conferences by Whole Foods Market and QVC. Attendees have been featured on NJNEWS12, Fox News 5, Liz Hamburg, WOR Radio, Steve Adubato’s Cable News Show, New Jersey Monthly Magazine and more.

Own It Ventures is a community-based, business ecosystem created by two women entrepreneurs for women entrepreneurs and business owners. The Own It Ventures Community addresses major challenges women face specifically, access to capital funding, the media, retail buyers, customers and a strong innovative network.

To register for the conference, check out the website at The blog has many helpful resources to prepare for the conference:
Photo credit:

Monday, October 17, 2011

LinkedIn Allows Users To Update Company Status Pages

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Steve Olenski, writer at, recently shared news about LinkedIn’s recent updates to its Company pages. Admin users of Company pages will now be able to post status updates! This is a huge change for marketers and will create more opportunities to connect with a wider audience on the professional social media platform. Now it is important for marketers and communications professionals to integrate all platforms – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to ensure the best way to reach an audience.

Olenski makes a great point, “Your followers will have the option to Like, Share or Comment on your status update and in turn, this "engagement" will also be seen by all of your followers' respective networks, providing your company and your brand with a whole new and expanded audience.”

Some important points to note:
• Share status updates with your Company's Followers, via your Company Page Overview tab. To turn this feature on, you must first designate an admin or admins responsible for managing the company page.
• There will certainly be a rise in interaction on the Company page especially in terms of likes, comments and shares. LinkedIn has provided analytics tools to determine benchmarks with interaction on LinkedIn.
• There will be a 500 character limit (including spaces).
• LinkedIn reserves the right to review Company pages that post excessively.

LinkedIn’s video to announce the update:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Eye Tracking SERPs

Posted by Amanda Walsh

When I came across this article, Eye-Tracking Google SERPs - 5 Tales of Pizza, on the website SEOmoz this morning, I shared it with the Furia Rubel team. “SERPs” stands for search engine results pages. There has been a plethora of research done on the way a user’s eyes track over the page. The F-shaped pattern describes the shape that a user’s eyes make while they navigate a webpage. The first two hits that come up on a SERP are typically the most popular and the eye is drawn across the link and description and later skims the page in an F shape.

Laura Powers, Furia Rubel’s Vice President of Marketing, provided me with additional notes and resources regarding eye tracking online. All of the articles got me thinking more about this area of integrated communications.

This post should serve as a resource on how to write Web content based on the F-shaped pattern of viewers eyes on a website. A great post dating back to 2006 gives some great tips for writing Web copy that caters to this F-pattern. Many of the points are still relevant today.

• Users won't read your text thoroughly in a word-by-word way. Who has the time or attention span anymore? Rarely will a prospective client or customer read every single word on an entire webpage. also notes that users spend 4.4 seconds for every extra 100 words on a page.

• The most important information must be in the first two paragraphs.With emphasis being on the first paragraph. As public relations professionals we’re used to writing succinctly to get our point across. This is vital especially when crafting Web copy because there is a small window of time to capture someone’s attention.

• Start subheads, paragraphs, and bullet points with information-carrying words. Visitors will notice these words while skimming down the left side of the page in the last part of the F-pattern.

In terms of Web design there are similar must do’s when catering to the F-pattern:
• Navigation at the top of the page works best – not vertical navigation
• Ad placement (for publishing sites or consumer / retail sites) works best in the upper right
• Small paragraphs encourage reading and headlines will draw the eyes first, so they should be descriptive, accurate and short

Some resources to learn more include:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Using Facebook Productively

Guest Post by Neen James

Following my recent article on how to use LinkedIn more productively, I thought this week we can focus on Facebook.

I see it all the time; my clients complain about it, has it happened to you? On a daily basis, highly intelligent adults find themselves wasting valuable time (our most precious resource) glued to their computer, accepting friend requests, instant messaging, updating status, checking out photos, commenting on things they usually wouldn’t spend time on… how do I know all this? I too was initially sucked into Facebook (FB)!

Facebook is a brilliant online social media tool that can help you reconnect with colleagues and associates, deepen existing relationships, share resources and manage your communications. Facebook can make you more productive however you need to apply these strategies to avoid the productivity trap:

Determine purpose – can you articulate why you have a FB account? Do you want to update people on your firm’s pro bono work?  Do you want to share interesting articles or blogs you have read? Do you want to look cool to your teenagers? Do you want to reconnect in a cheaper, faster, more efficient way? Whatever your reason, be clear about what you want to use it for.

Go on a Facebook diet – just like you allocate a certain number of meals or calories per day, limit your time on FB. You might determine that 60 minutes per day will work for you (30 in the morning and 30 at night). I spend no more than 15 minutes in the morning and then occasionally I will check it at night. My business requires significant travel so I also enjoy FB when I am waiting at airports. Determine how many minutes per day you will invest.

Use Positive Language – always ensure your status updates, items posted and photos are all positive. If you don’t want grandma seeing those photos – don’t post them!

We don’t care what you ate for dinner – stop providing status updates on what you just ate – your ‘friends’ don’t care. Use the status updates to share a bit of yourself, your opportunities, your client’s successes - that is productive. What you ate for dinner… not productive.

Repost great stories and ideas – share resources, recommended articles, photos, posts, and blog entries of your colleagues, clients and friends. It helps them and adds value to your page. Gina Rubel from Furia Rubel is very good at this – she is one of the best using Facebook (

Turn off sounds and online status – change your settings to remove all bells, whistles, chimes when messages come into your FB page. Also change your online status if you don’t want people instant messaging you when they can see you are online.

Clear inbox regularly – just like you read your email inbox daily, clear your FB inbox too.

Make friend suggestions – if you see someone new to FB or you connect with someone new, take a few minutes to make friend suggestions to help them expand their FB friends list too.

Comment on status updates – encourage and support other users, their posts and share them with your groups. Michael Port recently suggested a great referral program for small business using Facebook ( )

Create groups – allocate ‘friends’ to groups and categories to target your communications and resource sharing.

Facebook is a great tool for personal and professional use. It is initially addictive but you can put yourself on a FB diet and boost your productivity today.

Neen James, MBA CSP, is an International Productivity Expert: by looking at how attorneys spend their time and energy – and where they focus their attention – Neen helps them rocket-charge their productivity and performance.  A dynamic speaker and author, Neen demonstrates how boosting your productivity can help you achieve amazing results. With her unique voice (Aussie accent), sense of fun and common-sense, Neen delivers a powerful lesson in productivity. Find out more and subscribe to Neen’s monthly e-zine at

Friday, October 07, 2011

Google+ Prepares For Business Profiles

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Advertising Age recently published an article about the emergence of business profiles on Google+. Companies the world over questioned when they could join Google+ after the social networking platform rolled out nearly three months ago.

Rupal Parekh notes that at Ad Age’s Digital West 2011 conference, Christian Oestlien, group product manager for social advertising at Google, announced that business profiles for Google+ are close to making a debut. Originally, Oestlien urged businesses to refrain from creating profiles on the platform but those he did not heed his advice were removed from Google+ in the early roll-out stages.

Due to Google putting the brakes on business profiles, Parekh notes that ‘digital squatters’ have already taken up real estate on Google+ using brand names like Starbucks, Kraft or Burger King. Only two companies so far have received a green light in setting up company profiles with a beta testing caveat – Ford and General Motors.

Another article, “Your Google+ Strategy Calculator,” by David Berkowitz highlights some challenges that marketers will face with the advent of Google+ brand pages. He notes the increased interaction between SEO managers and community managers working internally to capitalize on posts. The departments will need to work in tandem to effectively utilize Google+. There needs to be a balance however, so that the focus on posts and updates is not solely on building +1’s, but also takes into account the essence of building a community and creating relationships.

Berkowitz also notes the importance of Circles on Google+ and how marketers will need to strategically use this feature to personalize outreach with clients. As Google+ continues to develop, Berkowitz also encourages agencies and users to find out what exactly a +1 means for your business and community.

Are you planning on setting up a business profile on Google+? Let us know your Google+ feedback in the comments below.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Gina Rubel To Present At Bench-Bar Annual Conference In Atlantic City, N.J.

Posted by Amanda Walsh

On Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, Gina F. Rubel will moderate a Bench-Bar Annual Conference Program, “Social Media and Litigation: Wrangling the Wild West” from 11 a.m. to noon at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City. The CLE panelists include Carolyn M. Chopko with Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock & Dodig LLP, Wesley R. Payne IV and Sean R. Sullivan with Curtin & Heefner LLP. To learn more, go to Bench-Bar. To register, check out Philadelphia Bar Association.

Follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #BenchBar11 or tweeting to @PhilaBar.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Facebook Announces Timeline

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Facebook recently announced a new feature on users' profiles called Timeline. They describe it as “a collection of all the top photos, posts and apps that help tell your story.”

Timeline will put all of your activity and updates into one place on your Facebook profile. At first, I thought it was a neat idea to be able to chronicle your life with photos and status updates. You can go back to any year of your life and fill in your timeline with events that you may not have documented. Then, I thought about the early adopters of Facebook, like myself, who joined the platform way back when it was only open to college students.

Facebook also announced the ability to integrate apps into a Timeline. The apps allow users to see what music their friends are listening to via Spotify, or what TV show they are watching via Netflix.

With recruiters and HR managers using social media platforms like Facebook to peek into prospective job candidates’ lives, many users scramble to hide status updates or bury old photos. I wonder how Timeline will impact job seekers, or even professionals in the workplace.

Maybe some people prefer to leave photos and status updates in the past. I’m anxious to see how Facebook will handle the privacy matters surrounding this new feature. One user commented on the announcement that the change could create a spike in identity theft and that it seems to be reminiscent of the book, A Brave New World.

All of these updates will have implications for how users interact on the platform. What do you think? More importantly, will this have implications for companies who use Facebook in a business capacity?

Timeline won’t be available for a few weeks, but users can sign up for it here:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How To Use LinkedIn Productively

Guest post by Neen James

For those of you who have been following the brilliant blogs by public relations expert and author of Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers, Gina Rubel, you will know that social media is a huge asset to attorneys. 

Following her great advice, I thought you might enjoy some productivity tips on how to use these tools.  This week we will focus on one of my favourites, LinkedIn. It is predominately a professional site that is used primarily for business connections unlike other sites that are more informal including Facebook and

If you want to increase your network, boost your productivity and develop your book of business you can achieve this by getting familiar with LinkedIn (LI) and using this in your everyday interactions with colleagues and clients.

Set it up – if you are not already on LI, log onto and create a free account. Take the time to create a profile for others to view then you are all set up. This is like your online resume.

Spend 15 minutes per day – when you initially set up your account, dedicate 15 minutes per day for 2 weeks to get your profile established, learn the different functionality of the site and invite others to be connected to you.

Expand your network – you can easily build an online ‘rolodex’ by inviting people you want to be connected to can help increase your network. This invitation is emailed to them and they can accept your request. 

Use Outlook – LI has the ability to search your outlook contacts against those people in LI, use this facility to quickly build your connections. 

Reach out – LI is a fantastic tool to reach out to previous firms or business connections you have enjoyed working with. 

Use the search facility – if you want to find out if someone is already a user simply use the search function on your home page, type in their name and the system will advise you if they are linked. If so, you can send them an invitation to join your network. 

Ask others to introduce you – LI gives you the ability to see your connection’s network so if there is someone you have wanted to meet, you can ask your direct connection to make an introduction for you. 

Connect others – Many people frequently ask me to make introductions to people in my network and I am happy to make a ‘warm’ introduction for them. LI is an easy way to do this.

Break the ice – LI is an easy way to find out information about someone before you contact them and also gives you conversation topics when you do connect. You might notice they serve on a Board you are interested in or studied at a school you also attended. You can find common ground in some profiles. 

Showcase your connections – LI shows the people and companies you are associated with and helps other see who you have done business with.

Review history – LI is an informative research tool if you want to investigate someone’s history of work or college related activities. i.e. Alumni or Boards of Directors they serve on.

Announce news – provide information of case wins, publish press releases and share your good news with your network using LI. 

Up to date – most people are more likely to keep their LI profile up to date when they change roles or firms (however they may not send you their new email or company information) – LI is up often more up to date.

Research tool – use LI to pose a question to selected people in your network for research. I use this frequently and people take the time to respond as it appears as an email in their inbox and allows them to provide a quick response.

Dinner dates – if you are going to be in a city on business you can notify people in your network and reconnect with them for a coffee or meal. 

Increased web presence – although you and your firm may already have a website, LI provides another opportunity for people to access information about you and also increases your search in Google. 

Invest – LI allows you to grow your connections before you need them. If you find yourself looking for a new opportunity or client; having an established network allows you to reach out to them when you need it. 

Introduce yourself – occasionally you may see someone you have wanted to connect with that is connected to someone in your network. You might like to reach out to that person directly via LI and ask them to be connected to you. 

LinkedIn is a great business tool. It requires an investment of your time to establish it and maintain it but once you begin using it you will find it can greatly increase your opportunities for connections, new business and building stronger relationships – so log on now!

Neen James, MBA, is an International Productivity Expert: by looking at how attorneys they spend their time and energy – and where they focus their attention – Neen helps them rocket-charge their productivity and performance.  A dynamic speaker and author, Neen demonstrates how boosting your productivity can help you achieve amazing results. With her unique voice (Aussie accent), sense of fun and common-sense, Neen delivers a powerful lesson in productivity. Find out more and subscribe to Neen’s monthly e-zine at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How To Productively Manage Your Email Filing

Guest Post by Neen James

courtesy of
Every minute… every hour… your inbox grows! Despite you best endeavors; no matter how many times you check your blackberry or iPhone … it keeps on coming!

Email is an essential part of our daily communications with other attorneys in the firm, paralegals, support staff and our clients. To increase your productivity and avoid wasting billable hours, try these quick strategies for email filing and avoid the guilt factor of a huge inbox!

Set up folders to file important information – establish a folder for every case, client or project you are working on. Once you have read or actioned the email, determine where it should be filed so you can quickly access it in future.

Color code your incoming email – learn how to change the color of incoming email so you can look at your screen and quickly identify important emails. You can allocate a color for your managing partners, supervisor, clients, staff and colleagues so you know which emails to action first.

Establish rules for incoming email – there are options in email software to manage all incoming emails. If you receive spam, set up a rule for the incoming email address to automatically be sent to your deleted items.  You can set up rules for newsletters you subscribe to and automatically file in a folder to read later. This helps you manage your inbox to prevent a feeling of overload from the number of emails you receive each day.

Read and delete – if you do not require the email for future reference, once actioned – delete it.  Don’t allow emails to stay on your inbox screen – it will only make you feel like you have more work than necessary. Be disciplined and file in a folder or delete.

Regularly clean out email – you use a lot of firm server space with email, each month empty your deleted items.  By doing this regularly it will help manage your email.

Spend 15 minutes – invest 15 minutes every week to filing your actioned or reference email. Completing this important task each week will ensure your inbox will only list those emails requiring your action.

Email filing is an important part of our daily workload - don’t let it get out of hand. Choose to boost your productivity by allocating time to reduce your inbox and feel a sense of achievement once it is completed.

Neen James, MBA CSP, is the President/CEO of Neen James Communications, LLC. An international productivity expert and native born Aussie, Neen delivers engaging keynotes that have educated, and entertained audiences with real-world strategies that apply in all roles, whether at work or in life. Neen also provides one-on-one consulting and mentoring to women on a variety of business issues and topics. To find out more about Neen, visit her at

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Using LinkedIn To Build Professional Relationships - The Legal Intelligencer Blog

Below is Gina Rubel's latest blog post for The Legal Intelligencer blog.

Where do you stand on LinkedIn usage?

"I have a personal LinkedIn account and ...
a. I actively update and manage."
b. it is managed for me by marketing."
c. I rarely use it."
d. I don't remember my login."

Or, e. "I do not have a personal LinkedIn account."

The majority of lawyers that I've polled have a LinkedIn account and rarely use it, or they do not have a personal LinkedIn account. For those of you who answered the question with letter A, kudos to you. For those of you who answered with letters B, C, D or E, it's time to get with the program.

To read more of the blog, visit The Legal Intelligencer blog.

Getting Press For Your Small Business Event By NAWBO

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Tuesday’s NAWBO event at the Merion Cricket Club in Haverford brought together women small business owners, public relations professionals and local media professionals from around the Philadelphia-area region. The event titled “How to Get Press for Your Small Business” was very informative with media professionals from radio, newspapers, magazines and TV were in attendance.

The two-part program, moderated by Jennifer Sherlock of Jenna Communications, featured panelists:
Craig Ey, Philadelphia Business Journal - Editor
Jeanine Clingenpeel, SmartCEO magazine – Editor
Debbie Goetz, Debbie Goetz Media Connections, LLC - Public Relations & Media Relations Consultants
Nydia Han, 6abc Action News Consumer Reporter/Anchor
• Autumn Marisa, Host for Tango Traffic
• Brad Segall, Suburban Bureau Chief at KYW Newsradio 1060
Karen Hepp, Anchor and Reporter - FOX 29 News

Some of the most important and useful takeaways were:

Craig Ey shared that the Philadelphia Business Journal reporters often get swamped by email and it’s refreshing to get a pitch via telephone. A great way to be quoted in the paper is to find a trending news topic and tie your expertise into the story. The best time to send a press release for an event is one week in advance.

Debbie Goetz notes that it’s important to find a pitch angle or hook to tie in current events or local ties for the media. The news must answer the question, why should I care?

Jeanine Clingenpeel encouraged small business owners to provide content to SmartCEO out of the “Spirit of Giving” meaning that the information in an article should be a useful resource to the readers. Experts should give back of their knowledge and share information that will resonate with the audience. Articles should be written to display thought leadership and the writers need to know the magazine’s niche audience. She encouraged the event attendees to read the magazine and know the audience it serves.

Brad Segall loves unusual, quirky and bizarre stories for the radio. He talked about the morning drive prime time on the radio and how it’s a popular time for news because motorists listen to KYW on their commute to work. Key stories that catch his eye are the ones that can help make a change or how to do something in a better way. At some point, when you pitch him a story, he is going to get you or your client on the phone to gauge how well you come across.

Autumn Marisa discussed putting a personal touch on an email to her, but remembering to keep it concise and to the point. She suggested following her on Twitter. Many don’t realize that Tango Traffic is a 24-hour traffic channel and Autumn shared that during a 4-hour show, the hosts need things to talk about.

Nydia Han encouraged people who want to pitch the media to “think outside the box.” She said it’s really important to have the expert be available when pitching a story. If someone makes themselves available at last minute when they are needed, the media is more likely to call them the next time an “expert opportunity” pops up. She gave tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your news is timely and different.
  • Make sure it has a wide appeal for the audience
  • Could be a solution to a problem
  • “News you can use” – should teach people
  • Must have visual appeal for TV, provide a wow factor

Emotional news that will make people angry or feel good can help to determine if the story will interest the media. She also said that senior citizens and pets are always good visual topics.

Lastly, Karen Hepp noted that experts on the news need to be good at TV – speak in short sound bites, know their material and be confident. She emphasized the need to personalize a pitch to an individual reporter.

All in all, the event was very successful and helped to give some good tips on media pitching and the best ways to get the attention of the media. To get started, do some intial earn a reporter’s beat or discover who the publication caters to and begin to cultivate a personal relationship.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

How To Communicate With Influence And Without Email

Guest Post by Neen James

Recently while chatting to one of my biotech clients about productive prospecting he asked ‘if my potential prospects are limiting their access to email how can I reach them?’

What a great question!

I was secretly delighted to hear some people are limiting their access to email (but that is a topic for another blog)!

Here are strategies you can communicate with influence without using email as your primary tool … each of these will take you no more than 15 minutes (now that’s productive!). We are all responsible for practice development and if you want to grow your book of business for the firm try a few of these ideas.

Invite them to a tele-coffee – phone (leave a voicemail if you must) inviting them to a tele-coffee! What is a tele-coffee you ask? You make a coffee and they make a coffee and you talk on the telephone … for no more than 15 minutes! I do tele-cocktails on Friday (love those!)

Send a hand written note – no one does this anymore and because we have so much electronic communication they will appreciate a ‘personal touch’.

Send a magazine subscription – for usually less than $20 you could include a note: ‘I know you don’t have time to read all your emails but thought you might have a few minutes to enjoy a magazine… would like a chance to connect and share with your what our firm could do for you’.

Send a postcard – hand write a message on the back… same idea as the hand written note but it stands out in people’s mail each day.  I like to send Aussie postcards with scenes and phrases that make people smile (it helps I am Australian). What is memorable about you and your firm that could also be shown on a post card?

Send a parcel – everyone loves presents!  It could contain a recommended book, journal or sample of your product. Include a note suggesting you get together by phone to chat about the book/journal/sample.   I once sent a jar of peanut butter and jelly to the director of very large cable company with a note ‘I know you don’t have time for lunch but maybe a quick PBJ sandwich?’ (I don’t even eat PBJ – that is definitely an American institution… I found out that was his favorite sandwich). That jar led to many fabulous opportunities, great relationships and a very profitable client.

Send a LinkedIn request – OK so this one does appear in their inbox… however… people take notice of invitations to connect and often take a moment to read your bio.

Invite them to a networking event – phone and offer to host them, introduce them to others they would benefit from knowing and connect at the same time – very productive!

Text them – no… you don’t have to be up on the latest text talk (e.g. LOL, BRR) however you can quickly and easily ask if they have time tomorrow to chat by phone. Not many people use text wisely for connecting, it is personal, quick and usually gets a response.

Search social media profiles – you can direct message on Twitter or send a Facebook message.  These are alternative communication strategies and will appeal to different clients.

Create a video – create a 30 second invitation to connect with you (you can do this on your iPad using iMovie … or the camera in your laptop), upload to YouTube and send a link inviting them to coffee (these videos can also be texted). OK I admit this is another email… however you have to admit it is a creative one!  Note: You might want to also make sure this is OK according to your firm’s social media policy.
Your prospects and current clients do want to hear from you – you just need to get clever, cut through the clutter, be creative and do this more productively – now it only takes 15 minutes – which strategy will you try first?

Neen James, MBA CSP, is the President/CEO of Neen James Communications, LLC. An international productivity expert and native born Aussie, Neen delivers engaging keynotes that have educated, and entertained audiences with real-world strategies that apply in all roles, whether at work or in life. Neen also provides one-on-one consulting and mentoring to women on a variety of business issues and topics. To find out more about Neen, visit her at

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Facebook Announces Changes To Sharing Options

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Facebook has rolled out some new sharing options this week— users can now tag where they are and who they’re with, as well as manage sharing settings from the status updates box.  The most interesting change is that users can change who sees a status update, photo or profile information at the time of sharing or afterwards.  Apparently, Facebook has made the privacy settings page more simplified.

Many are saying the changes to the social networking platform were done to set the platform up as a more viable competitor with Google + and its more flexible sharing options.
Other interesting changes include:

  • Users don’t need to be friends with someone to tag them in a post. 
  • Users have the option to veto a photo tag if they enable “Profile Review” option under “How Tags Work.” Users always have the control if tagged by a stranger.  (SCREEN CAPTURE)
  • From any computer, users can tag themselves at any location around the world.  Facebook’s mobile app, however, utilizes the phone’s GPS to claim any check-in deals offered by businesses. 

To see more screen captures of the changes photos, check out this article

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Justinian Society To Host Michael Perino Author Of The Hellhound of Wall Street

Author Michael Perino will serve as a special guest to The Justinian Society of Philadelphia on October 24, 2011 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at The Union League of Philadelphia. He will present his latest book, The Hellhound of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora’s Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance. 

Perino’s book has been described as a “page-turning history” (Business Week) and “crackerjack legal drama” (Publishers Weekly). Bloomberg and the Library Journal both named The Hellhound of Wall Street to their best books of 2010 lists. The Economist says that it “deftly sets the drama of the Senate hearings within the wider cultural and political ferment” and “is potent testimony to the way in which one person can help crystallize the interpretation of an event.” The book has also been favorably reviewed by, among others, Reuters (“Perino plots Pecora’s improbable rise to stardom like a Hollywood screenwriter”) and Concurring Opinions (Perino writes with “spellbinding elegance”). The Financial Times calls it a “superb story” of “a hero, a villain and a million victims.”

Michael Perino is currently the Dean George W. Matheson Professor of Law at St. John’s University School of Law in New York. A former Wall Street litigator, Perino has testified in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives and has consulted with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  He is frequently quoted in the media on securities and corporate matters. He has appeared on NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Marketplace, on Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, and on CNBC.

Perino has presented his book at the National Archives in Washington, Stanford Law School, George Washington Law School, the New York Court of Appeals, the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute and the New York Athletic Club to name a few.  

Perino received his LL.M. degree from Columbia Law School, where he was valedictorian, a James Kent Scholar, and the recipient of the Walter Gellhorn Prize for outstanding proficiency in legal studies. He received his J.D. from Boston College Law School, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. 

Tickets for this program are $65 per person for members and $80 for non-members. Checks are payable to The Justinian Society of Philadelphia and should be mailed to 1205 Locust Street, Suite 100, Philadelphia, Pa 19107. For more information, call 215.545.0706 or e-mail

About The Justinian Society: Founded in 1935, the Justinian Society 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. For more information, go to

Friday, August 26, 2011

Social Media's Role Before And After A Natural Disaster

Posted by Amanda Walsh

Some of us on the East Coast are still reeling from the earthquake that struck in Virginia on Tuesday afternoon. The 5.9 magnitude quake was felt as far north as Maine, as far west as Michigan and as far south as Georgia. Thousands of people immediately took to social media to confirm fears that yes, in fact, the earth did move and everyone wasn't dreaming. According to Facebook, more than 3 million people in the U.S. used the term “earthquake” in their status updates. This animation shows the spread of earthquake-related tweets throughout the Eastern seaboard as they occurred after the earthquake. 

We’ve seen it before – the power of social media in organizing people, from the Egyptian uprisings to the U.K. riots. Social media has changed the way we all react in a crisis situation, particularly a natural disaster. Facebook and Twitter prove to be valuable tools to assist with preparation before or recovery after a devastating event. In fact, this news release from The American Red Cross says more and more Americans are using social media to learn about disasters, seek help and share information. The release states that "nearly a fourth (24 percent) of the general population and a third (31 percent) of the online population would use social media to let loved ones know they are safe."

Currently, the East Coast is scrambling to prepare for Hurricane Irene and this Mashable article HOW TO: Prepare for Disasters Using Social Media can be of use to many in the region. Another site that I’ve been seeing all over the place is  In this preparedness website, run through the Department of Homeland Security, a breakdown is given of various types of hazards and how to prepare. Of course, sometimes, there can never be enough preparation. There are also examples of people around the world using social media after a devastating disaster.

After the tsunami in Japan, millions flocked to social media for breaking news and updates. In this article from PBS, journalist Dorian Benkoil notes the change in reporting a disaster story today from what it was like in the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan. Not only is social media widely used, but our technology in general has evolved exponentially. “The morning I learned of the quake, I had a TV connected to digital cable, an iPad, a Blackberry and a web-connected computer in my living room,” wrote Benkoil. People on the ground in Japan were able to give constant reports of the sights and sounds via Facebook and Twitter. The author put it well when he wrote: “The media and communication technology of course do not change the scope of the disaster but do change the way we are able to experience and share it.”

This article from Fast Company discusses social media’s role in the wake of the tornado that ripped through America’s heartland in May killing 89 people in and around Joplin, Missouri. Immediately, families, friends and fellow Americans from throughout the country took to social media to express concern and support, identify those lost, or assure others of their safety. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube videos all archived the destruction as well as identified missing people and helped reunite family and friends.

As we hunker down on the East Coast for the impending approach of Hurricane Irene, I encourage everyone to check out some of the resources above on how to prepare for a natural disaster. Also, be sure to check out updates on social media and news sites regarding areas affected by the storm. Even if the power goes out, there’s always a smartphone… as long as you charged it first!

photos courtesy of &