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This article was prepared for the April 28, 2004

issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Between The Lines

How does an organization or company get media coverage? The answer to this $64,000 question was sliced, diced, and fried to a crisp in "How to Get Your Picture in the Paper," a workshop at last January’s Community Works, an evening forum for nonprofits held at Princeton University. Panelists Frank Wojciechowski of the Packet, Ida Furente of the Times, and Barbara Fox of U.S. 1 gave tips, strategies, and a few cold hard warnings to publicity people.

In the audience were six members of the Junior League of Greater Princeton. Uppermost in their minds was their Designer Showhouse, a bi-annual event for which designers remake a Princeton area home.

The panelists were kind but the bottom line was this: you can call, E-mail, cajole, wine (and whine), dine, and woo, but at the end of a PR person’s day (and an editor’s day), it often comes down to the luck of the draw as to how much coverage an event will garner.

We considered coverage of the showhouse in a couple of ways – as a Best Bet, Jamie Saxon’s column of news you can use in the rest of your life outside the office; or as a "U.S.1 Crashes a Party," our once-in-a-blue-moon coverage of parties. But we had done our party thing for the League in 2002, so when we received an attractive invitation with a hand-written note by Stacy Ducharme, the chair of the PR committee, we sent Saxon to the opening on Saturday, April 17.

As Saxon ate and drank and talked her way through the gala opening, our residential real estate issue was just gearing up. Days later, just as Saxon was poised with fingers on the keyboard, the boss said, "Make it a cover story."

What might have been a 500-word glimpse into a home that the League literally rescued – the Princeton Theological Seminary’s Hodge House hadn’t been renovated in 40 years, with no money for the upgrade it needed – became a 2,500-word story.

Our thanks go to the 90 real estate agents who submitted more than 150 listings of homes for sale or rent. We organized them by price range and location: houses for sale start on page 14, and houses for rent on page 55. And if you are looking for guidance on how to choose or renovate your next home, Princeton resident Toby Israel tells how to apply Design Psychology. See page 51.

On the cover: The showhouse, clockwise from upper right: sitting room, Gretchen Christie Interiors, Pennington; living room, Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design, Long Valley; sitting room, Judie Nemeth, Lawrenceville; porch, Tuscan Hills, Princeton. Center, sculpture by Robert Cannon, Princeton.

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A listing for Pennington Point West was incorrectly named in the April 21 commercial real estate section. It is not part of Pennington Plaza, new construction. Pennington Point East and West have 4,625 feet available at $19 net, divisible to 528 square feet, which would cost $836. Also, a 390-square-foot property at 501 Plainsboro Road, has a gross rent of $400. Both are being leased by Al Toto of Commercial Property Network (609-921-8844).

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