Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Furia Rubel Ranked #1 in The Legal Intelligencer's "Best of" Survey – Second Consecutive Year

For the second consecutive year, Furia Rubel has been named a top marketing and public relations agency serving the legal industry by readers of The Legal Intelligencer. Furia Rubel ranked #1 in the publication’s “Best of 2012” survey, which asks readers to cast their votes for the best providers of products and services to Pennsylvania’s legal community.

To achieve the “gold” ranking in The Legal Intelligencer is a true honor and we owe our gratitude to our clients. On behalf of the staff at Furia Rubel, we deeply appreciate this tremendous vote of confidence. 

For more information, please read the press release.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Newsweek Ceases Print Publication – Going All-Digital

Media icon Newsweek has decided to cease printing and convert to an all-digital format. Its last edition will be on Dec. 31, 2012.

Founded 80 years-ago, Newsweek was once one of the nation's top-selling news weekly publications. However, it has seen a significant drop in audience – 51 percent since 2007 – and a resulting decline in advertising revenue.

Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise though. The Internet, blogs, social media and mobile technology have fundamentally changed the way that we secure, consume, publish and interact with news, opinion and analysis.

Personally, I hope that Newsweek remains an influential source of news and analysis. In today’s communication environment, we need the insight and professionalism that legacy media like Newsweek provide. For more, read the full Philadelphia Inquirer article.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Overview of Recent Updates to YouTube Analytics

Posted by Leah Ludwig

Following a recent PR Lawyer blog post about Google and YouTube from our very own Jonathan Morein, I stumbled across this interesting article, “YouTube's analytics additions could reveal user engagement better.” I felt that it was only fair to share some of the YouTube analytics insights with our PR Lawyer readers – as we are all trying to educate ourselves on the best kept secrets of social media measurement.

First of all, do you even know that you can analyze the success of your YouTube videos? By simply logging in to your YouTube account and going to your account settings, you can access your YouTube analytics by finding “Analytics” in the horizontal toolbar of your screen. You can then choose the time frame for which you want to review analytics and can see Views and Engagement reports on your videos’ Demographics, Playback locations, Traffic sources, Audience retention and more.

The ZDNet.com article by Rachel King that I previously mentioned details that there have been several upgrades added to YouTube’s analytics capabilities. They include a “Time Watched” metric, which identifies the estimated number of minutes a video is watched over a given amount of time as well as the ability to compare metrics. Users can now compare trends and patterns across different metrics. Producers of YouTube content can identify the value of a video by comparing time spent watching with estimated earnings.

As part of YouTube’s Engagement reports, Annotations are among the most used features to drive audience engagement. Users are now able to utilize the beta version of Annotations reports to view data on the performance of their video annotations, with insights on viewer click and close rates.

When engaging in the Views reports that YouTube provides, the user has the option to utilize a date slider. This new feature is available so that the user can easily adjust the date range of the data that they are reviewing and can see how videos perform across different time periods from seven- and 30-day totals to weekly and monthly totals. These rolling totals help to smooth the trends so that the user can see overall growth without some of the distracting spikes and dips. To view a full list of YouTube analytics improvements, visit the official YouTube Creators blog.

YouTube analytics and its recent upgrades can certainly provide helpful resources to you or your company in relation to your next video content marketing campaign. Feel free to check them out and put these tools to good use when measuring the success of your next production or campaign.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Personal Branding – You Are What They Google

Laura Powers of the Simpsons(tm)
OK, I’ll admit it. I’ve got Google Alerts set up for my name. I also like to Google my name from time to time, just to see what comes up.

Think I’m weird? An ego-surfer? Maybe, but there is a reason why I monitor my name on Google. You see, I’m not just interested in how I see myself – I want to know how you see me.

In today’s hyper-connected world, you are what you can Google – or rather what others can Google about you. Increasingly those without an online presence are viewed as out-of-step at best and suspicious at worst. Consider these statistics:

  • 79% of recruiters screen applicants using information available online
  • 86% of hiring managers rejected someone based on information they found online
  • 7 out of 10 of people who are online check other people’s profiles
Typically, when someone does a casual search, they will only read what appears on page one. Most won’t even bother to scroll down to the bottom, so it’s the first five or six links that matter the most. Therefore, owning that digital real estate, or at least a significant part of it, is important to your credibility.

That’s not a big deal if you have a relatively uncommon name like mine. However, what if you have a more popular name, like Laura Powers?

Just who is Laura Powers?

  • The musician heard on albums like “Legends of the Goddess?”
  • The teenage girl who lives next door to Bart on the Simpsons?
  • A custom jeweler from Atlanta?
  • Vice president of marketing at Furia Rubel Communications?
Obviously, she’s our VP of marketing. If you know anything about her, it’s not hard to distinguish her from the others. But, what happens if her name drops out of the top five? Her credibility could suffer or she could be missed altogether.

To increase your chances of appearing in the top five, try these tactics:

Blog: Creating a blog can help you to be seen faster. Google’s algorithms like blogs and,
so long as you update the content regularly, you’ve got a good chance of being seen. Make sure your bio and profile information are up-to-date so that you put your best foot forward when someone clicks through.

Engage in social media:
It’s rare to find a person who does not have at least one social media profile on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. Make sure you post regularly and that your profile information is complete and presents you in a professional manner. Also, don’t ignore Google+. Connecting your social media profiles to Google+ will help them to appear closer to the top in a Google search. Google likes Google – go figure.

Integrate keywords into your blog and social media:
By using keywords specific to your profession, you will score higher when someone searches for your areas of expertise (e.g., marketing), it will help to differentiate you from someone else with the same name (e.g., Laura Powers the jeweler from Atlanta).

Use a content manager: If lack of time is keeping you from engaging in social media, then consider using a content manager to organize your posts. A content manager is simply a computer program that allows publishing, editing and modifying of content on a website. A blog coupled with an RSS feed can serve as a content manager. Other programs like Hootsuite let you set up and distribute media messages at predetermined times. It’s all about using the technology to be more efficient. 

Photos: Don’t underestimate the value of a professional photo, especially in the online environment. Your social media profile photos will often appear in your Google search, so make sure they’re good ones. Ask yourself, could I show my profile photo to my mother? If not, upgrade it now and be sure to use your name in its title. IMG.001 doesn’t cut it.

Video: YouTube has become the second most powerful search engine and Google indexes YouTube videos instantly. In fact, Google owns YouTube, so creating, personalizing and optimizing a YouTube channel will help you to rank higher in a search. Here are a few things to remember: Include your name in the title, check the visibility box, check the email location box and most importantly, choose three to five relevant keywords, separated by quote marks. 

Post on your company’s website: Having your profile connected to other high ranking websites will help to increase your search engine visibility. So, if it’s appropriate, post your bio and photo on your company’s website and blog on your company’s blog.

Get quoted in articles, press releases or on popular blogs: Being mentioned in a relevant article will help your name to rank higher in a search. This can also apply to press releases, if they are optimized with appropriate keywords or appear on a popular website. Is your company’s website popular and well optimized? If there is an opportunity, ask your PR department to issue a press release that mentions your name.

Submit for professional awards: Prestigious awards carry value for your name, especially if the organization posts the winners on their website or in a press release.

Wikipedia: Few of us have the chops to have a Wikipedia page or appear in a Wikipedia article. That said Wikipedia articles appear in over 96% of Google subject matter searches, so being cited in a Wikipedia page will increase your visibility.

There are other ways to increase your visibility on Google, but this should give you plenty to work on. If you’re fighting for that coveted Google space, then you’ll want to start using these tactics on a consistent basis. You never know who is watching.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Collegiality, Fairness and Majesty: A Portrait Unveiling of Judge William J. Mazzola

Last night, I had the honor to present opening remarks at the portrait unveiling of the Honorable William J. Mazzola. He has served as a Court of Common Pleas Judge in the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania for 31 years. My late father, Richard. F. Furia, Esq., presented the opening remarks at the Judge’s swearing-in in 1981 when I was just a pre-teen.

While I won’t repeat my speech, there are a few things that struck me as important to share with our blog readers. First is the importance of the judiciary in America.

Having served as a law clerk for several years, I got to witness first-hand the dedication, desire, determination and impartiality it takes to sit effectively on the bench. The ability to weigh facts and evidence, follow the letter of the law, take nothing personally, ignore public opinion and preside over a fair trial in order to effectuate justice is daunting. Yet, last night, every person who spoke about Judge Mazzola said that this is exactly what he has done for 31 years. He was serenaded, as you will, by President Judge Pamela Pryor Dembe and Judges C. Darnell Jones, Eugene E.J. Maier, Benjamin Lerner and Marlene Lachman. His praises were further sung by The Justinian Society Chancellor, Annette Ferrara, Philadelphia Councilman Dennis O’Brien, and attorneys Michael E. Wallace and Jay Gotleib. Everyone commented about the Judge’s sense of fairness, and ability to command a room, take charge and get things done. We all agreed that Judge Mazzola has served our legal community well throughout the years so it was our honor to present a visual legacy of His Honor to the Court.

Another truth that was reinforced for me last night is the collegiality of the bench and bar in Philadelphia. While Philadelphia is considered a large metropolitan city, our legal community is quite small. We’re all just one degree of separation away from the other. Last night, the Judge and his adoring family were surrounded by attorneys and judges with whom they have worked and socialized for more than three decades. Attorneys, paralegal and secretaries from Stack & Gallagher, where the judge worked in his early days in the office next to my father, were there in numbers. Former A.D.A.s who worked with the Judge came to celebrate his accomplishments. And of note, more than 20 judges attended the portrait unveiling to wish their colleague well.

Finally, as I walked the long, column-adorned corridors of City Hall on my way to the ceremonial court room on the sixth floor, I was reminded of the majesty and spender of the century-old home of Philadelphia’s government and judiciary. City Hall is the nation’s largest municipal building (larger than the U.S. Capitol). It is situated in the exact geographical center of William Penn's original 1682 plans for the city. The building is a unique architectural and sculptural triumph including more than 700 rooms and 250 architectural relief’s and freestanding sculptures, including its most famous 37-foot bronze statue of William Penn which stands atop the clock tower. Like Judge Mazzola with his father, Donato, I too walked the corridors hand-in-hand with my father as a young girl. Dad spoke of the majesty of the building and the hard-work of the people within it. He taught me to have a love of the law and respect for those who administer it. And he always told me that everything in life comes full circle – and so it did at Judge Mazzola’s portrait unveiling.
I concluded my remarks with the words of my father, delivered 31 years ago:

“Let us acknowledge our legacy – if we will this living canvas – as a monument reflecting the fondest hopes of his pioneer ancestors – who begins anew his life this time – certainly among colleagues who will encourage, support and respect his fortitude.”

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Proofreading Your Content: The Area to be Nit-Picky

Posted by Rose Strong

Have you ever read an article or book and found that one glaringly wrong typo and wonder how no one caught the glaring error? We’ve all read signs in store windows and thought the person who wrote it should go back to high school English class and review sentence structure. Many of these typos have made it into emails or on Facebook for some good belly laughs.

- Gun Shop
- Prince Harry

Fresh eyes are so important in writing professionally. Regardless of what your business is or who you’re writing for, if it isn’t well-written on your website, blog post or printed materials or even your Twitter feed and Facebook status, you could be losing potential business.

Mangle a sentence or misspell a few words, forget a comma or two and you immediately send the message that your business does haphazard work.

This past May, I started with Furia Rubel in the capacity of office administrator. With an office staff of five, this position is more than just keeping an appointment calendar, answering the phone and filing. It offers a variety of tasks, one of which is proofreading.

For the past nine years, I’ve been writing professionally as a part-time freelancer, mostly for a local weekly newspaper here in Bucks County. Let me say one thing, there is a world of difference between being the writer and being the proofreader.

As a writer, I do my research, put words on the screen, review a few times and send them off to an editor. Regarding proofreading, you’d think that it’s basically about checking for misspellings and making sure sentences make sense. Oh no! That’s only part of the job.

For the last five months, I’ve had a crash course in proofreading and I’m still learning. And the job of course, is about making sure things are spelled right, but don’t forget about extra spaces, over-used quotation marks and the Oxford comma.

And then of course there’s style. In Furia Rubel’s case, that’s the AP Stylebook for most things, but there are those odd questions we ask one another, “Is it health care or healthcare?” “Does nonprofit have a hyphen?” “Is board of directors capitalized?” “Should that have a comma or semi-colon?” “Shouldn’t that word be pluralized?” “Is third-world-country a politically correct term?” And the list goes on, every day. The AP Stylebook is our go-to source for these kinds of questions.

It sounds nit-picky, (yes, there is a hyphen in that) but it all comes down to doing great work, making sense and sharing a cohesive and well-thought-out message with our audience.

- Cost of Not Proofreading
- Grammar Girl

Thursday, October 04, 2012

LinkedIn Skills Endorsements for Lawyers

If you use LinkedIn, then you are probably familiar with the Recommendation function. It’s the one where you can write up a glowing report about someone with whom you have worked or vice versa. The idea, of course, is that your positive opinion of them enhances their credibility.

Well, LinkedIn has introduced a new feature called Endorsements. With just one click, you can now endorse your connections for a skill they have listed on their profile or recommend one they have not added. The upshot is that now when you look at a connection’s profile, you not only see the skills he or she claims to possess, you see what others agree are the skills that he or she actually has.

Here’s how it works:

On the top of your connections’ profiles, you will now see a box titled recommended endorsements. You just click the ones with which you agree.

Or, if you scroll down to the new Skills and Expertise section, you can see which skills were endorsed and by whom. The skill that has been endorsed by the most people appears at the top of the list with the rest appearing in descending order of popularity.

The great thing about this feature is that it creates an easy way to scan for a specific skill set. It’s also faster to create than writing a recommendation. After all, it can take some time and forethought to write up a good one.

My own experience as a PR person tells me that you’re going to want to keep asking colleagues for written recommendations as well as endorsements. Endorsements focus on skills while recommendations focus on your qualities as a co-worker or strategic partner - they should be complimentary.

Also, you’re going to want to give some thought to the skills that you want endorsed. You need to manage how you are perceived and act accordingly. While you can’t control which skills people choose to endorse, you can let your connections know which ones you want featured. Or, at the very least, check your endorsements periodically to make sure that the picture being painted of you reflects your best talents.

For more on One Click Endorsements, check out Dave Berger’s write-up  on the LinkedIn Blog.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Advice from Arianna Huffington and Other Lady Leaders – PA Conference for Women 2012

I had the pleasure to attend the Pennsylvania Conference for Women (www.PAConferenceForWomen.org) in Philadelphia. There were a lot of great nuggets to digest and wonderful women to meet. Here are some of the highlights:

Poet, mother, professor and national and international lecturer on black culture and literature,
Sonia Sanchez, was one of the highlights of my day. She started her presentation by singing to the audience. This woman of tiny stature filled the room with abundance, reflection and joy. Some of the things she said that inspired me were:

•Never give up on love.

•A long walk of “herstory” and of history is worth putting all else aside.

•Listen to the lessons taught of your elders – they can be earth shattering.

Cheryl Strayed (@CherylStrayed) is the author of the critically acclaimed novel “Torch,” and memoir “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” chosen by Oprah Winfrey as the inaugural title for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0. Her stories and essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Allure, The Rumpus, The Missouri Review, The Sun, The Best American Essays and elsewhere.

•We all have to bare the unbearable.

•We all seek the spiritual journey and learn that it lives within us - we just have to find it.

•You can't set out to write a best seller, you just have to set out to write your best.

Lisa Beth Weber, Gloria Feldt and Gina Rubel

Gloria Feldt (@gloriafeldt ) is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, world changer and expert in women’s relationship with power and leadership. Her latest book, “No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power,” reveals how women can reach parity from the boardroom to the bedroom for good—our own and society’s. I attended her breakout session with my friend, an artist, singer-songwriter and creative thinker, LisaBeth Weber (@lisabethweber), who knows Gloria well. Gloria’s program was all about how women can think about, redefine and embrace power. Here are some of the points she made:

•The word power comes from the Greek root "possibility" - ask yourself, what do I have the power to......... (do, say, be, affect, etc.)?

•Women dance with power - we sometimes crave it and sometimes don't - we have less intention and desire for power as a whole than men. In fact, women lose $500,000 to $1 million in our lifetimes because we fail to value our services and negotiate effectively as a whole – this needs to change.

•Women need to redefine power from "power over" to "power to" in order to embrace and seek power. Then, define our boundaries, speak up, set our intentions and make change.

•The resources women need to be successful once we embrace power are courage, strength, confidence and the ability to acknowledge our powers.

•Power Tools: know our history, define our terms, use what we have, embrace controversy, carpe the chaos, wear the shirt, take action, employ every medium, tell our story.

•Women can lead and live without limits.

•Power unused is power useless.

•If you want your voice heard as women, write op-eds – we cannot be heard if we don't speak up. She referenced the OpEd Project (www.theopedproject.org) and encouraged all women to check out the website and get involved.

•It is harder to change a culture than it is to change a law.

The second and diverse breakout session was moderated by Bonnie St. John (@bonniestjohn), a television and radio personality, mother, business owner, amputee who became the first African-American to win Olympic or Paralympic medals in ski racing, and the author of six books. The others were: Alba Martinez, a Puerto Rican powerhouse who has served as the CEO of the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS), and now serves as a principal in Vanguard’s Retail Investor Group; Judith von Seldeneck, a Texas-born woman, and CEO of Diversified Search, a founder of the Forum of Executive Women and former executive assistant to Vice President Walter F. Mondale; and Cindy Gallop (@cindygallop), an Asian Brit and founder of www.ifwerantheworld.com personifies energy, power and raw-honesty. She opened saying, “I like to blow shit up.” I could have listened to these women for hours. Their diversity of ethnicity, experience, counsel and accents added to their great perspective and excellent advice. They said:

•Overconfidence and under-confidence are equally as damaging if not properly managed.

•Learn to leverage your network and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.

•Women leaders need to take a stand on things like integrity - stand up for what you believe in and be accountable.

•Be proud to be a woman! Wear bright colors not men's suits. Stand out in the room.

•Top-down structures, who wins, status and how one matters are the traditional models of male-driven businesses. Instead, business structures need to be redefined around how women lead and manage – we have the potential to create a better business world.

•The old world order is dying and new world order is taking over. Millennials have nothing to lose.

•Biggest mistake I've ever made is not firing someone fast enough (in all contexts).

Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) was one of the day’s keynote speakers. She was both authentic and entertaining. I first met Arianna at a Philadelphia Bar Association luncheon several years ago and had the pleasure to see her again at the PA Women’s Conference. She is the president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of thirteen books. Originally from Greece, she shared the story that she moved to the United States to get away from a love relationship that was not going to end in marriage – which was the start of her journey to become one of TIME magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people.

•If you think you are too small to be effective, you have not spent the night in bed with a mosquito.

•If Lehman Brothers was Lehman Brothers and Sisters perhaps they would still be around.

•Sleep your way to the top – literally.

•Women need to define success in a way that honors us - it's not the male definition of climbing the ladder.

•All people imagine the possibility of tragedy and failure but negative fantasies are unnecessary and draining.

•Biggest fear for women is fear of failure but failure is a steppingstone to success.

Cindy Gallop (@cindygallop) also presented a breakout on How to Redesign Your Work to Fit Your Life. She has a background in brand building, marketing and advertising, Cindy has a reputation as a highly compelling and inspirational speaker. She is a passionate advocate for women in business and agrees with Madeleine Albright’s sentiment that, “There is a special place reserved in hell for women who do not help other women.” Here is what she had to say:

•Tweet with the hashtag #changetheratio when women are unrepresented. We need to create the change we want in the world.

•If you articulate it, you can make it happen.

•Those people who say it can't be done should get out of the way of people doing it!

•Well-behaved women rarely make history! You have to buck the system.

•There is a formula for business success: hire only the best, provide them with a clear vision, let them succeed, demonstrate your appreciation and share the success.

•When it comes to setting up businesses, everyone defaults to the corporate norm instead of being innovative. Don't do business the same as everyone else. Collaborative competition means status quo. Set yourself apart.

•Identify what you love doing then focus on it under the conditions within which you love doing it.

•If you want to predict the future you must invent it.

•A business plan can be anything you want it to be as long as it says how you are going to make money.