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.