Copyright Protection in Today’s Times

July 22nd, 2015

Although the Internet has changed the world and the countless ways we can communicate, copyright laws have not really changed. You may be a creator whose work has been altered or reproduced without your permission (“copyright infringement”). Or, if you would like to share small portions of someone else’s creation, you may not understand when you can (“fair use”).

“While copyright laws have basically  remained the same, the challenge is trying to enforce the laws. Fortunately, the Internet offers us many services and resources that protect and inform us,” explains Andrew L. Goldstein, Attorney at Law, Freeborn & Peters, LLP. agoldstein@freeborn.com

Here are a few of the many issues we should be aware of.

Photography. “For example, you can register photos with a photographic copy infringement service such as Pixsy, an automated copyright infringement software. Pixsy searches the Internet for your photos that have been used without permission. Large stock photo houses also provide copyright infringement services. It finds videos, images and photos that are available to use.

Social Media and Photos. Whether posting a photo or video on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or other social media, it helps if you protect it with a copyright symbol. If it’s a photo it might help if you post low resolution images. Instagram, for example, encourages you to protect your copyright to avoid infringement.

E-books. “E-book copyright issues are similar to classic copyright infringement issues. For example, if you are writing, producing or reading an E-book, Kindle books do have copyright protection.

News Aggregation and Deep Linking.

You probably receive emails from news aggregators or head to their sites. They offer information and articles from several sources (theirs and others) usually with a general common theme (e.g., public relations, home maintenance, etc). If you are introducing them to the site itself, then use a general link.  “Deep linking” could be a violation of the terms of use on a particular website.

“Gotcha” Responds to Misleading Consumers.  The Federal Trade Commission has responded to misleading marketing of products or services. Whether you’re a blogger, Internet marketer, or promote via other media, full disclosure is required. Full disclosure requirements and guidelines include endorsements and testimonials that have been paid for. And, if it applies, disclosure includes “native advertising” that is presented as objective editorial content. The first case that the FTC brought under its revised Endorsement and Testimonial Guidelines was against a video game company and its PR agency. The agency posted positive reviews of its client’s games under various account names.  Because the posts did not disclose the poster’s relationship to the video game company, both the video game company and the PR agency were held to have violated the FTC’s guidelines. In another case, the FTC recently investigated the Ann Taylor company when bloggers failed to disclose that they received gifts from Ann Taylor. However, because Ann Taylor had a policy in place requiring bloggers to disclose any consideration provided by the company and it cooperated with the FTC’s investigation, the FTC did not bring an enforcement action against Ann Taylor.

Copyright protection does apply in today’s times, and you will find more information in a previous discussion with Andrew L. Goldstein at “Whose Words Are They: Quotes, Copyrights & Testimonials,” http://sallychapralis.com/blog/?p=712

 

 

 

 

 

“Feeling stuck? Try something that doesn’t ‘make sense’ for a change.”

June 24th, 2015

Entrepreneurs’ block? Time for a career change?  Writers’ block?  Weak executive presence? Or, phobias that affect your behavior?

“We think we’re naturally logical and should know how to respond to these challenges,” explains Mark R. Hurwich, MBA, Concentrated Coaching, LLC. “People have passions to pursue or realize they need to open a new chapter in their lives. But internal struggles get in the way and block progress. Because it makes no sense when we get stuck that way, we respond by trying the same ‘rational’ things over and over – forcing ourselves to try to do what we know we ought to and have enough skills for.”

“However, trying to act in that rational way itself makes no sense! Humans aren’t designed to be rational 100% of the time…and when we can’t be, different strategies are needed.”

Mark offers alternative strategies, insights, success stories, FAQs and experience that can lead to a dramatic difference at http://concentratedcoaching.net. Here are a few of his suggestions for getting unstuck.

  •  “Acknowledge your emotions.” Mark reminds us that our behavior will not always be logical and is affected by our emotions, which we must acknowledge, identify and address. Thus, when we’re “feeling stuck,” there are emotions behind the scenes, especially fear. Coming to terms with them can be liberating and help us see and act on rewarding possibilities and opportunities
  • “Explore the solution, not just the problem. When we’re stuck, we tend to dwell in that space of problem and failure, and recreate more negative energy. We can change that by looking at what it will be like when we have the outcomes we want.”
  • “Remind yourself of your gifts. When we get stuck in a problem state, we feel incompetent. That feeds our fear and saps our energy for change. Reminding yourself of the special talents you bring can be an antidote for that—especially when you have a trusted friend of partner to help you,” Mark adds. For example, you might say, “People appreciate my creativity, my team spirit or my leadership skills.” That can build confidence so you can represent yourself in a way that supports a new working relationship, whether as an entrepreneur or working for another organization. “As my clients recall their gifts, they often say, ‘I needed this useful lesson and helpful reminder’.”
  • “Experience the journey with self-compassion and playfulness. People who are too hard on themselves delay the process and their potential. If you have been in this position – feeling stuck and more confused – try to step back, relax and accept yourself. That’s when the magic happens.”
  • “Put yourself in the future you want, and then interview yourself from that perspective.” Think of it as a time machine taking you into your future. When you imagine the experience you want, it helps you achieve it or a version of it in reality. Do it by actually putting yourself in the future – not looking at the future from the present. The former eases our fears because most of our brain can’t distinguish imagining from the actual experience. The latter tends to focus us on how-to’s that aren’t relevant yet and only build fear. When our fear circuits are active, it’s hard to be creative.”
  • “Talk to your parts.” Mark reminds us that “we’re not monolithic and each of us has different parts and personalities. It’s like an internal family system – sometimes in a civil war. [See the movie Inside Out if you want a current, fun example!] So, moderate the conversation between your two opposing parts, identify pros and cons, and you will soon understand the different perspectives and find common ground that helps you feel unstuck.”

As you consider Mark’s suggestions, you might also appreciate his Warm Up Exercise:

http://www.concentratedcoaching.net/resources.html.

 

 

 

 

Workplace Relationships – Professional You and Personal You

June 2nd, 2015

When you’re at work, you’re at work…one of a team trying to achieve your employer’s and organization’s goals. This is your professional side.

But, things get complicated when you’re only a few feet away from your colleagues. You hear their personal and professional conversations, and they hear yours; you want to discuss something personal or they do; or maybe you’re “attracted” to another employee, which could present problems. Now it’s getting personal, and how do you handle that?

 ”You have to understand the boundaries between personal and professional relationships and conversations at the workplace. It’s important to allow your personality into your workplace to a certain extent. This enables you to be more fully engaged in your work while ensuring that you’re perceived as a genuine person. But the idea is to   find a happy medium – a small fraction of your personal side complementing the more relevant, important dimension that’s professional,” says Karen Field Bolek, writer, editor and author.

Her book, How to Apologize to Your Woman…so that she won’t use it against you in the futurewww.thebolekianperspective.com —  covers gender-based communication skills in personal relationships, but many of the suggestions and techniques also apply to workplace and impersonal situations. Karen’s career experience, on-site and as a consultant, has provided many insights on the challenges of drawing boundaries at the workplace.

“If a colleague starts a personal conversation about something not related to work and it seems to be going on for too long, simply say, ‘I need to get some work done now. Let’s discuss this at break, or lunch or after work.’  Never have personal discussions through email or social media. They’re not as private as you might think.”

Your employer may have given employees the company’s professional code of conduct as well as work and other information that it considers personal or inappropriate in a workplace. Yes, of course, you will meet co-workers who become personal friends. However, while at work, treat each other as colleagues.

“Besides your employer’s standards, you will learn more about your own boundaries (personal and professional), what’s driving you, and whether your expectations are realistic.”

Personal/professional boundaries include sexual harassment from a boss or colleague. “Be respectful,” Karen advises, “but decline inappropriate suggestions. “

Then, as you explore and consider how others see you and how you see yourself, you will better appreciate feedback from team players and your boss.  Even when it’s not what you imagined or when it’s negative, their opinions and observations can be very constructive and thought-provoking.

“As we progress through the different stages of our lives,” Karen adds, “we encounter ‘critical points of growth.’ These are challenges that must be faced squarely and worked through in order to succeed according to your own definition of success. Unless your job is performed in isolation, learning to converse with others appropriately and to draw boundaries where needed comprises critical points of growth for your career. If you realize you have a problem in this area, take the opportunity to re-open your mind and re-align with your purpose.”

“Moreover, each workplace has a unique culture and specific personalities and expectations. Thus, if your conversational challenge is affecting your job performance, then I suggest you initiate a dialog with your manager or a mentor about how best to grow through your particular situation.”

You’re always learning more about the professional you and personal you as you create positive workplace relationships that can lead to new and rewarding possibilities.

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Conversational Footnotes:

Volunteering — Rewards & New Opportunities

April 28th, 2015

Volunteering for a nonprofit organization offers many benefits: supporting a nonprofit’s mission, discovering a personal passion, meeting new people who share your interests, increasing your professional skills, or finding a new job.

One of the ways we choose our volunteer experiences is by first using a nonprofit’s services for specific needs, which reflects Jill Minetz’s experience with Tuesday’s Child Chicago, a nonprofit that helps families address children’s behavioral challenges and concerns through individualized training for both parents and children. tuesdayschildchicago.org

“I was referred to Tuesday’s Child more than 30 years ago, when my first child was just three years old, “Jill explains. “Our daughter and I had a terrific relationship until we had a second child. Given the fact that my eldest daughter no longer received my full attention, critical behavioral issues developed. I needed professional help to learn how to address my behavior…as well as my daughter’s…and chose Tuesday’s Child because it works with parents and children simultaneously.”

When their family’s issues settled down – offering new insights and approaches – Jill saw that other parents, who had also benefited from the nonprofit’s services, decided to volunteer in its Parents Training Parents program. After going through the training, she has been volunteering for 32 years.

Jill offers advice about volunteering. “Know yourself. Why do you want to volunteer for a particular nonprofit? What type of commitment can you handle…one or more times per week, just for special fundraisers, or something else? What are your goals and interests, and do they complement the nonprofit’s?

The following resources can help you find mutually rewarding volunteer experiences and new opportunities.

Why Volunteer? 

https://www.energizeinc.com/art/why-volunteer

How to Choose a Volunteer Experience

 Does Volunteering Lead to a Job?

 

 

 

Customer Service and Public Relations — They Go Together

March 23rd, 2015

It really doesn’t make any difference whether your job title relates to customer service or public relations. If you communicate with a customer, or a customer is trying to communicate with you, then this is the bottom line.

Whatever our formal titles, whether we’re new to a job or very experienced pros, whether we’re selling, serving or buying, the need for responsive, positive customer service is always there and part of your personal and organization’s public relations and marketing goals.

The following 1st Person PR blog posts present different perspectives and insights into customer service and offer direction for mutually rewarding experiences.

What are your customer service stories?

Getting Ready to Negotiate with Others? Start by Negotiating with Yourself!

February 16th, 2015

Whether we’re negotiating with managers, parents, colleagues or friends to find a mutually rewarding agreement or relationship “…the biggest obstacle is actually ourselves – our natural tendency to react in ways that do not serve our true interests….But this obstacle can also become our biggest opportunity.”

In his latest book, Getting to Yes with Yourself and Other Worthy Opponents, author William Ury explains “that if we learn to understand ourselves first, we lay the groundwork for understanding and influencing others.”  http://www.williamury.com/

Ury introduces “Six Challenging Steps” that may at times seem like common sense…common sense that is uncommonly applied.” Ury’s experience includes 3 ½ decades of working as a mediator with people and organizations from all walks of life. The Six Challenging Steps offer specific, in-depth information on how to negotiate with yourself (“Inner Yes Method”) and how this approach will lead to rewarding outcomes for yourself and the “other side.” Here’s an introduction, and there’s a detailed chapter on each in his book.

 “1. Put Yourself in Your Shoes. Understand your worthiest opponent, yourself.”  Don’t prematurely judge yourself. Listen to and explore your underlying needs, which will influence your negotiation strategy.

“2. Develop Your Inner BATNA. Almost all of us find it difficult not to blame others with whom we come into conflict. The challenge is to do the opposite and to take responsibility for your life and relationships. More specifically, it is to develop your inner BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement), to make a commitment to yourself to take care of your needs independently of what the other does or does not do.”

“3. Reframe Your Picture. …The challenge is to change how you see your life, creating your own independent and sufficient source of contentment. It is to see life as being on your side even when it seems unfriendly.”

“4. Stay in the Zone. … The challenge is to stay in the present moment, the only place where you have the power to experience true satisfaction as well as to change the situation for the better.”

“5. Respect Them Even If. … It is tempting to meet rejection with rejection, personal attack with personal attack, exclusion with exclusion. The challenge is to surprise others with respect and inclusion even if they are difficult.”

“6. Give and Receive. It is all too easy, especially when resources seem scarce, to fall into the win-lose trap and to focus on meeting only your needs. The final challenge is to change the game to a win-win approach by giving first instead of taking.”

 Ury also discusses The Three Wins: A Win Within, A Win With Others, and A Win for the Whole. “As I have personally experienced,” Ury says, “getting to yes with yourself is not just the most challenging, but the most rewarding negotiation of all.”

3D Printing and First Person Public Relations

January 6th, 2015

If you’re interested in exploring the potential of 3D printing for PR purposes or new creative opportunities, check out your public library and its hands-on resources.

For example, the Skokie Public Library’s BOOMBox venue offers tools and inspiration reflecting the overall STEAM theme: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. BOOMBox changes its sub-theme (Fabrication) every few months, and the current one covers 3D Printing, Computer Aided Design, Robotics and Computer Programming.

Library staff helps you produce, via on-site mini 3D printers, the creative or PR expression you want. Tools include 3D Printers, 3D Doodlers, Arduinos, EggBots, Makey Makeys, Vinyl Cutter, WaterColorBot. Mikael Jacobsen, the library’s Learning Experiences Manager, also illustrated how an EggBot can draw your name on a little ball that could be used for professional purposes. You can decide what other small or bigger things you and the robots can create in colorful designs…including a 3D print of your face. Library classes for adults and kids help us learn more to discover and achieve our goals, inclinations and potential.

The current Fabrication also features several activities:
• 2D Design. Word Wall Art Decal with Inkscape and the Cameo Vinyl Cutter (design a personalized vinyl wall quote). Or, cut out business logos to put on cars, laptops or other things.
• 3D Design. 3D Headphone Wrap with Tinkercad.
• Code to Make. LED Paper Circuits. Use a basic circuit to light up drawings and paper designs.

For more information and resources, check out:

► Skokie Public Library’s STEAM Kit resources. http://encore.skokielibrary.info/iii/encore/search?lang=eng&target=STEAM+KIT

► Skokie Public Library’s BOOMBox: http://skokielibrary.info/services/computers-technology/boombox/

►Association of 3D Printing: http://associationof3dprinting.com/

►3DPrint.com, News Organization: http://3dprint.com/

►3ders.org, 3D Printing and Printing News: http://www.3ders.org/

Isn’t it time to visit your public library and explore the possibilities to 3D your First Person Public Relations?

P.S. For more background information and resources on 3D Printing:
• Arduinos: http://www.arduino.cc/
• 3D Printers: http://www.up3dusa.com/#!mini/c14nt
• Eggbot: http://egg-bot.com/
• Watercolorbot: http://watercolorbot.com/
• 3Doodler: http://the3doodler.com/

Holidays, New Year, New Job, Your Personality?!

December 1st, 2014

After getting together with family and friends during the holidays, many people start looking for new jobs in the new year. As you chat with others, including professional colleagues, encourage their feedback on your personality type. It could make a big difference as you explore rewarding job possibilities.

Two books offer incredible information and insights into personalities and complementary jobs that would make a great fit and careers you might not have known about or considered.

►50 Best Jobs for Your Personality, 3rd edition, by Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D. As the book explains, you will find “nearly 270 Job Descriptions for 6 Personality Types, 130+ Best Jobs Lists, Including Jobs with the Best Pay, Fastest Growth, and Most Openings. Personality types include Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, or Conventional. Best jobs are organized by earnings, growth, education level, and more.”

►Do What You Are, 5th edition, by Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron and Kelly Tieger. This book helps you “Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type.” You will learn more about “how you process information, make decisions, and interact with the world around you – and discover the career that is right for you.”

If you’re not sure about your personality type and potential, these books offer incredible information and focus. If you know your type but don’t fully appreciate the opportunities waiting for you, they will help you discover a new you in a new year.

If you want to share your personality/job search experience, we would be delighted to feature you in First Person Public Relations!

Letter from a Veteran – November 12, 1944

November 11th, 2014

Seventy years ago, one of the first women to serve in the military observed Veteran’s Day. She reflects on this and other experiences in her letters home. Mollie’s War is a memoir that features letters Mollie wrote to her sister, Beck, while stationed in Europe. “It describes the life of a WAC enlistee who would serve in England when it came under attack, France weeks aftger the invasion, and Germany after VE Day.”

“Here is my mother’s letter on the first Veteran’s Day in newly liberated Paris,” says Cyndee Schaffer, author of Mollie’s War, The Letters of a World War II WAC in Europe. www.mollieswar.wordparess; www.mollieswar.com

Mollie Weinstein Schaffer, Cyndee’s mother, was one of the 150,000 women who served in the Women’s Army Corps (IWAC) during the Second World War. Of those, about 8,000 served in the European Theater of Operations.

 

Letter from Mollie from newly liberated Paris

Here are a few paragraphs from Mollie’s letter home.

Paris, France, 12 Nov.1944.

“Dear Beck,

…Must tell you about the Armistice Day Parade here in Paris. I still recall the ones we used to go to—you, Jackie & myself—but this was really the “cat’s meow.” It started about 6 AM—maybe not actually but there were gendarmes (or draculas as we call them with their all-enveloping capes) & G.I.’s, too, directing crowds that early, lining up the streets near the Arc de Triomphe, along with the great numbers of people who probably ran back to get sandwiches & hustled back to regain choice spots from where they would have an advantageous view of the celebration. And, Beck, I think the parading or celebrating was still going on this morning.

Florence (another WAC) & myself left the office at 10:30 AM & we made a “bee line” for Champs Elysees (one of the main streets in Paris that runs into the Arc de Triomphe). Honestly the people were packed like sardines (trite but true). Florence & I were standing on tip toes but couldn’t see very much. All of a sudden I felt my feet leave the ground & I had a most wonderful view of marching soldiers. I turned around as I felt myself being put gently back to earth—it was the captain! I thanked him & both Florence & I laughed. We walked farther on & we decided to stand back near the buildings away from the crowds along the streets. We did have a better view. We saw Churchill go by in a car but weren’t quite sure. However, when we heard the people shouting “Vive Churchill,” that confined it. Besides I had said to Florence “I know we have a long range view of the parade, but no one but Churchill’s cheeks are puffed out like that!”

The one minute’s silence at 11 AM brought to mind the folks back home—wonder when we’ll be coming home. I know, Beck, it won’t be too soon. …” You can read the full letter from Paris here: Mollie_Letter_Home_Veterans_Day.

 

Letter to Mollie from Joe

“ ‘My mama wore combat boots’. When you are the daughter of a WWII WAC, that statement resonates with you,” Cyndee says. “Yes, my mother wore combat boots and that brought a legacy with it. The one outstanding quality throughout my mother’s letters and the letters that were sent to her was the fact that everyone wrote such beautiful ones. Here is probably the most touching letter. the one from Joe. I tried to find him when I was writing the book but I could not.” Here’s just a few of his thoughts.

“Salmunster, Germany

Sept 5th 1945

“My darling sweetheart – no that’s too informal, Dear Sergeant Molly – no that’s too G.I., Dear Friend – nope too cold, I know… Hi Callahan!

“You see, I told you I’d drop you a line (or should I say a note because good l’il WACs stay away from those bad boys with “lines”?) I finally caught a ride home but it was the next morning after the dance about 10:00. I spent the night in the transit barracks in Frankfurt. It was much too cold and dark to try those 60 kilometers home. I got home in time for dinner so I didn’t miss much time hitch-hiking on the road.

“I wanted to tell you though—thanks, honey I had a swell time. I only hope I didn’t scare you too much with all that chatter. Actually, I’m not such a talkative fellow as I may have seemed. But you can’t really understand what being at that dance meant to me. Honestly it was the first American dance I’ve been to since I came overseas twenty months ago. I was as happy as a lark and I guess I showed it a little more than somewhat?” …

“…Be a good girl. Work hard but most of all, stay as sweet and as kind as you are.

“Yours always.

Joe”

You can read the full letter from Joe here: Joe_Letter_to_Mollie_World_War_II.

Seventy years may have passed, but let’s always remember our veterans.

Rookie or Seasoned Pro – Time to Change

October 7th, 2014

I’m not a “rookie” (not young enough), but despite my professional experience, I regularly feel like a “newbie” in today’s ever-changing techie world. So, when I read Rex W. Huppke’s  I Just Work Here column on how to “Keep your edge with ‘rookie smarts’,” I identified.  Maybe you do, too?!

Read it for yourself — http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/careers/ct-biz-1006-work-advice-huppke-20141007-column.html — and here are some highlights.

“Your cluelessness may be giving you a competitive advantage. …That sounds silly, but consider the benefits of confusion. It prompts you to work harder to make sense of things. It forces you to ask questions, to always seek a foothold of understanding.”

“Consider,” Huppke suggests, “ this excerpt from Liz Wiseman’s upcoming book, Rookie Smarts.  … While experience provides a distinct advantage in a stable field – like the realms of bridge building, ballet, or concert piano performance – it can actually impede progress in an unstable or rapidly evolving arena. When the world is changing quickly, experience can actually become a curse, trapping us in old ways of doing and knowing, while inexperience can be a blessing, freeing us to improvise and adapt quickly to changing circumstances.”

If you’re looking for a competitive edge (college grad or seasoned pro), your ability to quickly adapt and a “rookie mindset” are definitely advantages and keys to ongoing success. (Notice that this blog post is shorter than I usually write?!)

If you would like to share your 1st Person PR rookie experience, I’m listening?