Friday, February 24, 2012

Pinterest and Copyright Issues – Tips to Follow

Posted by Leah Ludwig

I recently read an informative and thought-provoking article about “Avoiding Copyright Pitfalls on Pinterest.” Based on the fact that Pinterest seems to be the “it” social media site these days and that many of our readers, including myself, are very active on the site, I thought a synopsis of the tips shared in this article would be helpful for us all.

So as not to leave anyone out, if you are not familiar with Pinterest, you should be. You can get up to speed by reading one of The PR Lawyer’s recent posts, Pinterest: The Visual Phenomenon Of The Internet

Now, back to the enlightening thoughts and tips shared by Saving for Someday blogger Sara, who happens to be a lawyer focusing on online content creation and protection. She spells out some simple, yet easily overlooked, ways to avoid copyright issues on Pinterest. First, as always, Sara cautions all Pinterest users to take time to read the site’s Terms and Conditions. These can be found under Privacy, Copyright and Terms on the site.

Sara’s Tips

- Pin the original source: It’s always a good practice to take an extra moment to verify the source of what you choose to re-pin to make sure that you are repinning something that belongs to the originating site.

- Never copy an image from Pinterest on your own blog: Enough said.

- Don’t perpetuate the wrong owner: Make sure to accurately attribute any images that you may be using in your blog – it is not only frustrating for your reader, but even more so for the original owner.

- Watermark your images: This may take away from overall look of your image and may be a bit challenging for the average blogger, but since Pinterest does not crop images your watermark will remain and you will always receive credit as the original image owner.

Many sites are now adding a Pinterest “Pin it” button on their website to ensure that their information is being shared accurately and efficiently via Pinterest users. However, if you are really concerned about your images and copyrights being infringed upon, Pinterest just released code to keep images from being “pinned” on a site at all. 

I hope these copyright tips and tactics make you think twice about pinning that great recipe or re-pinning that amazing infographic to your Pinterest profile the next time you hop on the ever-so-popular social media site.

Photo courtesy of:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How is Your Brand Going to Utilize the New Facebook Timeline for Business?

Posted by Amanda Walsh

If you haven’t heard, according to AdAge, Facebook is going to be rolling out its Timeline layout for brands this month! While we don’t have a clear idea of what Timeline for brands will look like just yet, we know that the “look-and-feel” will be consistent with Timeline for personal profiles, but not a “carbon copy.” For example, the tabs and apps that are used on brand Facebook pages may be replaced with boxes or places for interactive apps on the Timeline version.

Ken of Inkling Media, wrote a blog post today that I thought would ring true with some of our readers. The post titled, “Small Business Tip Tuesday: 9 Ways to Prepare for Facebook’s Timeline for Business Pages” shared some points to think about in advance of Timeline coming to your brand’s page.

This may seem like a “no-brainer” but if you haven’t accepted Timeline on your personal profile, accept it. By doing so, you will have a chance to familiarize yourself with the layout and functionality that Timeline has to offer. Then, begin thinking of ways to use the layout for your business.

Those of us who have switched over to Timeline know that it’s visual-centric. Therefore it’s likely that brand Timeline pages will be based heavily on visuals as well. Timeline features a large cover photo and a profile photo that should be catchy and appealing. Videos can also make your page more attractive, as well as interactive with your audiences. With that said, now is the time to also consider incorporating videos onto a branded YouTube page and cross-populating them onto the new Facebook Timeline layout.

Timeline is just that, a chronological timeline of the user’s, or in this case, company’s history. For those companies that have 100+ years under their belt, marketers will want to put some serious thought into creative ways to convey a long-standing history through the new Timeline format. Other things to consider include posting old photos or researching important events in their corporate history, then making sure that they are included in some way on the brand’s Timeline.

Despite the change in layout, the underlying purpose for your business to be on Facebook is to establish thought leadership and share articles, news and compelling information. This still holds true, even with a new Facebook layout.

The last point that Ken mentions in his post is that companies should explore and enjoy the new Timeline layout. It’s going to roll-out to everyone eventually, therefore perhaps you make the choice now to make it easier on yourself and your brand by switching to the new format now, rather than a playing catch-up with your brand’s very public social networking site later.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How to Sink or Swim with Your Next Facebook Promotion

Posted by Leah Ludwig

As more businesses and organizations begin to utilize Facebook and its offerings for contests and sweepstakes, more promotion-focused issues seem to be coming to light. Furia Rubel’s Gina Rubel recently shared an interesting post with me from the Socially Aware Blog on the topic of using Facebook for promotional purposes, “Warning Signs: Promotions Using Facebook’s ‘Like’ Feature.”

Here’s the CliffsNotes version of this post: when considering conducting a promotional offering via Facebook for your company or organization it is important to do your homework, make sure your program is legally compliant and follows Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

How to Sink

More specifically, and according to the post, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (NAD), an industry forum for resolving disputes among advertisers, addressed an advertiser’s use of the “like” feature on Facebook in connection with an online promotion. The example given discussed Coastal Contacts, Inc. and its giveaway of a free pair of glasses to each person who “liked” its Facebook page. Coastal Contacts’ competitor, 1-800 Contacts, Inc., challenged the promotion, alleging that the company failed to adequately disclose the offer’s material terms and that the “likes” that Coastal Contacts received were not legitimate – and the company’s use and promotion of such “likes” on the Facebook platform and in press releases were therefore fraudulent. 1-800 Contacts urged NAD to recommend that Coastal Contacts remove and stop promoting the “likes” that it received via the allegedly misleading promotion in order to remedy its “unfair social gain.” In the end, NAD agreed with 1-800 Contacts that Coastal Contacts had failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose the terms of its free offer; however, NAD did not agree that such failure rendered the resulting “likes” invalid. Therefore, NAD declined to recommend that Coastal Contacts remove or stop promoting those “likes.”

The moral of the story is to make sure that your promotional program is legally compliant and, as a company offering these programs, be familiar with Facebook Promotion Guidelines – as the guidelines really set limits on a promotion sponsor’s use of Facebook’s “like” feature.

How to Swim

Want to know how to swim with your next Facebook promotion program? Here are some key take-aways from successful Facebook promotional programs and the businesses behind them:

1. Contiki Vacations’ “Get on the Bus” Promotion – Provide impressive incentives, make it interactive and fun, utilize votes and not “likes,” and create an experience.
2. Maybelline’s “Show Us Your Red Lips” – Make it easy to enter, sometimes the incentive isn’t about the prize, but about showing off in front of peers.
3. Coca-Cola’s “The Recycling King” – Utilize location-based Facebook promotions and Facebook Places.
4.’s “The Funniest Classified Ad on Blocket” – Know your audience, the use of humor – when appropriate – can be very enticing and appealing.

So, here’s to your next Facebook promotional offering. I hope it’s a great success.

Photo courtesy of:

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Re-Branding Penn State - Parts 1, 2, & 3 - It's Your Call with Lynn Doyle

Gina F. Rubel, Esq. recently served as a branding and crisis communications expert on the TV show, “It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle.”

The discussion was focused on the re-branding of Penn State University and what the university needs to do to rebuild their reputation. Other panelists included Garry Cobb, host of Sportsradio 94 WIP and former NFL player; Cory Bank, Ph.D., Sports Psychologist at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine; and Kevin Scholla, Sports Anchor at CBS.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

A Brand In Crisis - Learning From Susan G. Komen For The Cure & Planned Parenthood

Posted by Amanda Walsh

The recent crisis communications situation involving Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood has a lot of people talking, particularly in the public relations industry. The need for a proactive crisis communications strategy and plan has become more relevant as we watch this situation play out in the media and through social media. Susan G. Komen for the Cure may just become the poster child for what NOT to do in a crisis situation. Check out The Accidental Rebranding of Komen for the Cure from the for an insightful commentary on this topic.
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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

In-House Counsel Speaks – Tips From "A Client Roundtable"

Posted by Laura Powers

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a Delaware Valley Law Firm Marketing Group event, “A Client Roundtable.” The panel was moderated by James Allison, General Counsel at Murray Devine, a financial advisory firm with an office in Philadelphia. Participating on the panel were Steve Winnie, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Counsel for CampusDoor, a technology-based education finance company; Angela Jones, Counsel at Comcast Interactive Media; and Natalie Abbott, Senior Employment Counsel for North America at Saint-Gobain Corporation, the world’s largest building materials company.

Thanks to Stacy Clark, Esq. and Mary Beth Pratt for putting together this great panel.

The panel discussed how to successfully market to, and build relationships with, in-house counsel. There were some terrific, specific tips provided, such as:

  • When selecting outside counsel, competence, cost and responsiveness are three key concerns as well as the ability to provide blended rates and/or creative fee arrangements.

  • Outside counsel should think of themselves as a business partner to the company and work on building a relationship over time.

  • Understanding the client's industry is key. Demonstrating this understanding will be a real differentiator in your marketing and outreach efforts.

  • Don’t underestimate associates. Many cases can be successfully staffed by well-trained associates who are attentive and cost-conscious.

  • After an engagement is complete, one of the ways that outside counsel can stay top-of-mind is with brief post-engagement follow-ups. This could involve a 30-minute meeting to discuss performance overall and ways to serve the client in the future or a quick e-mail sharing a relevant article of interest.

  • On invoices, let the client know if you've adjusted your fees or found other ways to save them money. They want to know this information for reporting and appreciate it.

For more information on upcoming events, visit