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Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Online Marketing Legalities

Next month at our March Luncheon, we will be focusing on Online Marketing: Legal Pitfalls and Best Practices.  We’ve snagged a great guest speaker and to gear up for this great event, we’re asking the top five questions that get asked over and over again when it comes to avoiding legal issues with digital content.

The Issue

The exponential rise in popularity of social networking websites and other social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and individual blogs, is due in large part to their viral nature. Social networking sites are essentially self-promoting, in that users spread the word for the sites. The more quickly social networking sites grow, the more quickly they spread. The viral quality of social media makes it an appealing way for businesses to market products and services, and marketers have long recognized and tapped the potential of social media outlets. Many advertisers have conducted consumer promotions involving social media to generate attention to and participation in their promotions, thereby maximizing brand exposure. Incorporating social media into a marketing campaign is not, however, without legal risks. Companies utilizing the power of social media must be cognizant of the relevant legal issues in order to protect themselves from liability risks.

Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

1. Is all of your online marketing content truthful and substantiated?
If not, you could find yourself sued for false advertising.

2. Are you using native advertising and using social media influencers?
If so, you better be making proper disclosures.

3. Do you and your clients have a robust online privacy statement to protect consumer data you are collecting?
If not, you’re going to want one.

4. Did your marketing department get permission to use that photograph they pulled from Twitter?
If not, you might be infringing somebody’s copyright.

5. Celebrity images for endorsements? Non-celebrities on your website?
If you didn’t get their permission, you may be violating their rights.

We’ll cover all of these topics and more next month at the luncheon.  Tickets are selling fast so be sure to get yours today!  



Get to Know Heather Dunn. Our December Volunteer of the Month!

member-spotlight-graphic-02Where did you grow up?  

“A little bit of East Texas, South Carolina, a dose of northern Alabama, and ended up graduating high school from Plano, Texas.  Lived in Spain in college. But Austin has always been home to me.”

What is your volunteer role? 

“I’m on two committees… the Membership and Events team where I find local coffee shops to host our monthly Marketing Mornings the first Wednesday of each month, and where I am helping find great locations for upcoming happy hours. And, I am also on the Tech team where I manage the social media for a week each month on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. It’s been great!”

What is your day job?

“I’m currently looking for my next role, but I was previously the Digital Marketing Manager for an e-commerce startup within a large worldwide filtration company; I do project management, sales enablement, digital marketing, communications, content marketing, channel partner marketing and product marketing. I love working with data to support the creative!”

Why did you join the AMA?

“I joined to meet local marketers and friends, to find out what other people do every day in their own marketing roles and what’s going on in the industry, and to get involved in the volunteer committees so I could do things outside of my normal job responsibilities.”

What (or who) is your favorite marketing blog or thought leader?

“I read a lot of them! But I always pay attention to the AMA posts of course, and Mashable, Hubspot, Moz… And Medium always introduces me to interesting stories and news that I may not have found otherwise. And I like Lean In.”

What is the one thing you’ve been inspired by lately?

“I’m inspired by the people that love their jobs… But, I admire and am inspired by the dedication of the volunteers and fosters at Austin Pets Alive, where I am also a volunteer and foster. They spend so many hours each week  caring for the animals, walking, training, and loving them one on one, bringing them into their homes for short get-aways to give them breaks from the kennel craziness to document the great positive sides of the critters that people can’t see in a crazy shelter environment, and doing thousands of loads of laundry to help keep the animals comfortable and warm.

Describe yourself in one word: 


Connect with Heather

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Get to know AJ West!member-spotlight-graphic-02

AJ has been actively involved in the Technology Committee as a graphic designer, social media manager, and most recently, our newest blog manager.   We sat down with her last month to get to know more about her.

Where did you grow up?

“I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and spent summers in the City with my mother.  I will always call Chicago home!”

What is your volunteer role?

“Currently, I provide graphic design and social media management services and recently have taken on the role of the Austin Chapter’s Blog Manager.”

What is your day job?

“I work as a Senior Marketing Coordinator for a full-service architectural and engineering firm, CP&Y, Inc. where I focus on branding, communications, and proposal creation for a variety of public sector projects.”

Why did you join the AMA?

“I find that the AMA brings talent and skill sets from all over the world of marketing.  It helps me to keep current on trends and technology that I can bring back to CP&Y to help move my company forward.”

What (or who) is your favorite marketing blog or thought leader?

“It’s hard to nail down just one.  Here are some of my favorite follows:

  • Richard Branson (Virgin) – His brand advocacy and philosophy of leadership is really inspiring.
  • Pete Cashmore ( – Pete has an ambitious nature that is contagious.  I admire all that he has accomplished already!
  • Bill Gates (Microsoft) – I have a great respect for someone who gives the way he and his wife do.  It takes a lot to stay grounded when you are that high up!”

What is the one thing you’ve been inspired by lately?

“My work and my peers.  CP&Y is an amazing company to work for and the people in this firm are the hardest workers I’ve met yet!  Every day I have new challenges that push my boundaries and that is exciting for me.”

Describe yourself in one word:  



AJ currently serves as a Senior Marketing Coordinator for CP&Y, Inc., a full-service architectural and engineering firm celebrating 36 years in business.  Her main focus for the firm is branding and communications.  In this role, AJ facilitates messaging for a number of corporate channels as well as graphic design services for external and internal clients.  AJ also works with her talented marketing team to develop and design high-quality project proposals for public sector pursuits across all service groups within the firm.

Connect with AJ



Get to Know Katie Stewart! Member Spotlight for Our October Volunteer of the Month!

Get to Know Katie Stewart! 

We’ve been so busy with AMA events and the holiday season that we are getting caught up on our amazing member volunteers.  Read more about this Chicago native and media agency director that we are showcasing for our monthly Austin AMA Member Spotlight.

Where do you call home?

“I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved to Austin from Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood three years ago.”

What is your volunteer role for the Austin AMA?

“I help with luncheon event logistics as part of the Programming Committee.”

What is your day job?

“I am the Account Service Director at KSM South Media Agency.”

Why are you a part of the Austin AMA?

“I joined the AMA to connect with like-minded Marketers throughout the Austin area and beyond.” 

What (or who) is your favorite marketing blog or thought leader?

“As a media research geek, I have a hard time selecting just one. I read MediaPost, AdWeek, Marketing News and updates from the 4A’s religiously. I am also slightly obsessed with eMarketer’s daily newsletter.  Their charts are super easy to digest and provide at least one great nugget of learning each day.”

What is the one thing you’ve been inspired by lately?

“I am inspired by the constant evolution and intertwining of technology and media.  This industry never slows down. It keeps me motivated and energized.” 

Describe yourself in one word: 


Connect with Katie! 

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Special thanks to Mama Fu’s for donating gifts given to our VOMs.  Interested in volunteering for Austin AMA? Email: to get started.

Have a story?  E-mail your submission to AJ West.