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