Monday, April 29, 2013

Remember Faces, but Not Names? You're Not Alone

 By Rose Strong

I have never felt completely comfortable in social situations. Be the event for business or pleasure I’m not always at ease, although you’d never know it. I can move around a room and make conversation with everyone and seemingly enjoy the occasion. All the while, my brain is spinning about what to say next, if what I said last was appropriate and witty or if I’m making a total fool of myself.

I can keep my distress so under wraps that I am able to introduce myself to those I don’t know. Then, I immediately forget their name. I can meet someone and only minutes later when introducing them to my coworker, partner or friend -- whoosh…………..the name has flown out of my brain and I’m left feeling completely embarrassed.

For years, I’ve heard and even made use of the cliché myself, “I’m great with faces; I just don’t remember names.”

As I am getting ready for two local events where I’ll be representing my company, it has occurred to me that perhaps I need to do a bit of research on how one can recall someone’s name after meeting them.

The all-time big tip you find doing this research is: repeat, repeat, repeat. I knew this from talking with others and reading it in books and magazines like this article from Forbes that suggested you do repetition of the name of the person you’ve just met both internally and vocally.

One thing Gina Rubel, our CEO, recommended is to immediately add the person’s name to your cell phone notes or even text yourself. One thing she also does when she’s going to an association function, is to review her contacts and make sure they all have photos attached to their vcards in Outlook. That way, the photos of people she’s previously met are on her cell phone when she attends the networking function. She also creates subfolders in Outlook for all of those similarly-situated contacts. That way, she can go straight to that list on her iPhone and scan 100 names as opposed to 3,000.

In looking for additional ways to improve my recall of names, I began to wonder why so many of us have such difficulty with this task. I found some great suggestions, and reasons we don’t remember names.

One thing I can say is that I’m happy I’m not in this boat all alone. It seems when we are introducing ourselves or someone tells us their name, we are often internally preoccupied with how we are handling the social activity or how we may be coming across to others making our auditory perception not as tuned in to the goings-on around us. The article by Kris Hallbom, co-director of the NLP Institute of California explains this more succinctly and gives some great tips on how to recall names.

Hallbom reveals one tip I hadn’t thought or heard of before: the use of touch and imagining using your finger to write the person’s name. Making the actual movements helps to embed their name into your head for better recall.

A tremendously interesting story on the BBC’s website  brought this all into perspective and there’s some scientific evidence as to why so many of us have an easier time recognizing a face, but not recall a name.

So, here’s a brief list to help recall names:

•    Repeat – Repeat the person’s name aloud several times in the course of the initial meeting and internally later.

•    Pay attention – Yes I know, this sounds like a no-brainer, but as mentioned before, we’re often so concerned with how we may come across that we aren’t concentrating on what the other person is saying.

•    Associate – This can be a bit tricky, but use something that will remind you of the person, such as a color or pattern they’re wearing. For example: teal Theresa, leopard Linda or navy blue Drew. If you’re a history buff or celebrity watcher, sometimes associating with those who may share first names of a historical character or celeb is helpful.

This is only a short list, but this blog from  has a dozen more ways to help recall names.

And if you’re looking for a way to fake it till you make it, this article by Gretchen Rubin, and author of the Happiness Project, gives you six ways to do just that.

Do you have any special methods for recalling names? If so, share it with me in the comments, I can use all the help I can get!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Maximizing Talk Shows and Roundtables: Philadelphia Media Panel May 16, 2013

Philadelphia Bar Association Bar-News Media Committee - Media Panel Discussion
Co-sponsored by the Philadelphia Public Relations Association (PPRA) and Delaware Valley Law Firm Marketing Group (DVLFMG)


Rachel Cieri
Managing Editor, SmartCEO Magazine

Lynn Doyle
Host/Executive Producer of "It's Your Call with Lynn Doyle" on The Comcast Network

Hank Grezlak
Associate Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, The Legal Intelligencer

Wally Kennedy
News Anchor, KYW Newsradio

Moderated by:
Gina Furia Rubel, Esq.
Chair, Bar-News Media Committee (Moderator)
President/CEO, Furia Rubel Marketing and Public Relations

Other panelists to be announced.

Join award-winning Philadelphia region broadcasting and print trailblazers who will discuss the unique challenges of producing and hosting talk shows and roundtables on legal topics. Our all-star panel will share their experiences and challenges reporting on law-related issues, while providing attendees with insights on how they may become better resources and/or interview subjects.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

12:00 PM

Philadelphia Bar Association
1101 Market Street
11th Floor Conference Center
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Registration Info: 
Lunch is available for $8.00 for members of the Philadelphia Bar Association and PPRA.
Cancellations require 24 hour notice to receive a refund.

Mobile Website Design and Development: Font Treatment and Readability

By Laura Powers

Responsive, mobile and dynamic are some of the terms used when discussing the development of websites to be viewed on screens smaller than a traditional desktop screen. Whichever term you use for your company's small-screen optimized website (and method you use to achieve the creation of it), in the end, it all boils down to user experience. You must ask yourself, "Are users being quickly served the relevant information on our mobile site that they are looking for? Are they able to read and navigate the site easily?"

One critical element in the design and development of a mobile site is the treatment of the text to ensure "readability" on small screens. Size, contrast, spacing and placement should all be critically considered during the planning phase when determining how information will be restructured for display. This article from, describes the importance of mobile typography and shows some great (mostly consumer website) examples.

We'll be posting more information on design and development considerations for small screen mobile sites in future posts.

In the meantime, how does your site measure up?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Text, Call, Tweet or Google – How to Communicate After Disaster Strikes

By Rose Strong

In light of the recent tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon, we have learned there are different ways to get in contact with family and friends during disasters besides just calling. Although not all these methods are guaranteed to help you connect with your loved ones, technology since September 11th, 2001 has moved forward swiftly and an entire social media infrastructure was born. Our use of both technology and social media in our everyday lives has brought with it, a speedy way to connect in times of crisis.

I try not to be a Doomsday predictor, but I’d be a fool to think this was the last we’d see acts of terror on our home shores whether set by an angry energy from our own country or by extremist foreign forces.

Here are several links explaining how best to try and contact loved ones in the event of an emergency:
  • The Red Cross has a Safe and Well tool and with a few simple clicks and some information you can find out about a family member or let your family and friends know you’re okay.
  • Just as the bombings were becoming breaking news, Google put out its Person Finder which is similar to the Red Cross’s site.
  • Christina Bonnington’s article on explains how to directly contact folks in the midst of disasters and explains that texting is a much better way to contact than calling, especially in the wake of the cell phone shut-down in the middle of the catastrophe in Boston.
Like many others, my heart goes out to the people of the city of Boston and my wish is for them to begin the process of healing and soon feel a sense of peace.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stock Image Use for Marketing and Social Media

By Liz Jenei

I’ve had a lot of experience with purchasing stock images, and for those who haven’t, rights and regulations may not even come to mind when you are in need of an image (photograph, vector image or illustration) on your website, blog, social media post or for an advertisement.
In this post, I will share with you some key terms to know regarding stock photos—what they mean and how to avoid a law suit.

Royalty Free (FR) Images
A royalty free image is one that you can use as many times as you want, for as long as you want under the company in which it is licensed. For example, if you knew you were going to be running a couple of ads using the same tree with different clients—you could license a Royalty Free image of a tree to your company and use it on  any client you wish, because the work being produced for all of the clients is done through your company. When using this route, it’s most cost-efficient to start a Royalty Free image folder on your company server so you can use those images whenever you need to for any client at no additional cost. If you are working with a client that wants to hold the rights to the image, then you will have to license the image to that client specifically and can only use the image for that client’s ads. You should also save a copy of the email indicating that the image is royalty free in the event that an intellectual property dispute arises in the future.
A few great stock photography houses from which you can lease Royalty Free images are:,

Rights Managed (RM) Images
A Rights Managed image is one which you essentially rent for a certain amount of time. When you license a Rights Managed image through a stock image company such as Getty, or Corbis, you will be prompted with questions such as: How long will the image be visible? What type of ad will it be (email, website, direct mail piece)?  If the image is used on a website – will the image be on the homepage of the website? For how long will the image be visible? If the image is running in a magazine, what is the circulation of that magazine? What states or countries will the ad be running in?  All of these answers will factor into the price of the image and if it can even be licensed. When an image is up for rights renewal, you can then negotiate a new license, extending your rights to use the image or you can decide to discontinue using the image.

Rights Managed images also have the option of paying for exclusivity, which means only the company in which the image is licensed to has the rights to use the image during that license. Also with Rights Managed images, there is the option to buy an image out completely, owning exclusive rights forever on that image. There are two great options when rebranding a company, especially so a competitor doesn’t use the same image on their website or in an advertisement—and it may be less expensive to purchase an image as opposed to producing stock imagery – but that is not always the case.

Where Rights Managed and Royalty Free Image Use Gets Tricky
When it comes to Royalty Free images—a good rule of thumb is any still life images (i.e.—no people or places) are good to purchase and use without worrying about liability issues as long as you purchase from a stock photography company, then license and use the image properly.  Most images from stock houses are coded, and all day they have computer software scanning the Internet for illegal use of their images.

Where you do have to be particularly cautious, especially when using Royalty Free images, is any image with models or places in the photo.  If the image has either, it is imperative that you ensure that the image you purchased has a signed model release form, which means the model has both agreed to be in that photo, and that he has signed his rights in the image to the stock house where it is for sale. If the image does not have signed model release information available on the site after some research, reach out to the company before purchasing and ask if they have one on file. This is especially important if you are using a photograph of a celebrity.  The only instance where you can get away with not having a signed model release is if the shot is only of a body part (i.e., a foot or a hand) or if there is crowd of people, especially if the shot is from the back and no faces are able to be identified. 

This rule also goes for locations. If you want to use an image of the Big Ben Clock Tower, you might have to get special clearances – reaching out to the image provider can generally give you the correct information when it comes to landmarks or cities. If it’s a cityscape, including a bunch of identifiable buildings, you are covered, but if it is a shot of one identifiable building, it is always best to double check with the image provider. Checking clearances is also important when using a picture of a house. It is important to obtain a signed property release form from the owner before using an image of someone’s property because if you use it without getting that proper paperwork, chances are that there could be a lawsuit.Just because an image is on a stock photo website does not mean it has a signed property or model release form, so making a quick phone call or shooting an email to customer service before using either a person or a place can end up saving you from a lawsuit or fine.

Have you checked your image rights lately?

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Punctuation – Does it Really Matter?

by Rose Strong

Although I won’t claim to be a punctuation expert, something I heard on the BBC World News not too long ago made me spin around in my kitchen, almost spilling my morning coffee. The district of Devon  has voted to do away with the apostrophe in its street-name signs, claiming that they were confusing.

First, my perception of the people of England (after one season of Downton Abbey, of course) is they are seemingly bound by tradition and the proper use of punctuation would be no exception. 
When I get puzzled about where to place a semi colon or how to use parenthesis, I check my Little Brown Handbook, copyright, 1983 or seek information online, as things have changed a bit over the years on the punctuation front. This article explains some very interesting amendments  to how the roles of certain marks in writing have evolved.

Bewilderment wracked at my foggy, morning brain for just a moment during the broadcast until I heard the journalist interview a professional proofreader. She said she shudders at the thought of the town being ‘apostrophe-less.’ That gave me a bit more faith in my view of the United Kingdom and their adherence to convention as a country.

Then I thought what it would be like to go through life without these small dots, dashes, specks and combinations thereof on a page. These symbols that we learned of as youngsters in school are part of the backbone of communication. When I read them on a page, I don’t consciously say to myself at the end of a sentence: STOP, but I know that’s what a period means. It’s like blinking or breathing; you just do it without thinking, but if you can’t do it, it is clearly evident and noticeable.

The following are a few examples of business or street signs with apostrophes, placed incorrectly. What do you think?

  • Terrace parking and sheriffs van’s only. It should be: Terrace parking and sheriff's vans only.
  • Max say’s you must be 48 inches tall to ride alone. Better written as: Max says: You must be 48 inches tall to ride alone.
  • Come in for health and beauty at it’s best. Correctly stated: Come in for health and beauty at its best.
  • Fine assorted tea’s. This would be better as: Fine, assorted teas.
  • You’re holiday is in safe hands. Written Correctly: Your holiday is in safe hands.

What would be more confusing than reading through a sentence without the comma to tell you to pause for just the slightest second? How could one express on the page, emotion of any kind without an exclamation point or the ellipsis?  Of course it would be sheer bedlam for the cast of a play to try and act out their scenes without even a hint of these marks in the script. Punctuation expresses meaning and putting the dots, dashes and slashes in the wrong place can change an entire sentence as this small article about National Punctuation Day  that occurs every September 24, explains.

From author of the bestselling guide, Eats Shoots & Leaves and Eats Shoots & Leaves, Illustrated Edition, Lynne Truss, comes The Girl’s like Spaghetti , a follow up guide for children about the lowly apostrophe. Well, this is one book I’m putting on my Amazon Wishlist as I’m sure I could learn a thing or two. Maybe the district of Devon should get it too. Punctuation, when used effectively , gives us the ability to set a tone in a story, communicate effectively and wage a crusade against confusion caused by the apostrophe.

Do you have any favorite punctuation blunders? I’d love to hear them.