E-Learning Tactics For Pharmas

Courtesy Still Counts

Library Provides Travel Companions

Corporate Angels

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Bart Jackson and others were prepared for the

June 6, 2001

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

E-Commerce & the ‘Net: Still Useful Tools

If we pulled one harsh moral from the embers of last

year’s wild and ruinous market flux, it is that the computer is no

magic money machine. Operating a business takes more than tapping

keys, and orders scrolled across a screen do not instant profits make.

But before tossing out this infant with last year’s starkly chilling

bath water, we may want to take another look at this business tool

with more reasonable expectations.

For those ever on the prowl for cutting edge, yet realistic,

innovations

from any source, the Mercer Chapter of the New Jersey Association

of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO) offers its monthly marketing

roundtable.

Susan Guarneri, president of website development company E-Biz

Magic, speaks on "Using Technology to Market Your Business

Effectively"

on Monday, June 11, at 8 a.m. at the law offices of Schragger &

Schragger.

Cost: $10. Call 609-882-4586.

"You don’t even need a website to make the computer work as an

effective business tool," Guarneri. "Basic E-mail can vastly

sharpen your marketing focus." Thus was Guarneri herself lured

into high tech aids when she moved to New Jersey eight years ago and

set her John Hopkins master’s degree in career counseling to work

by starting up Resume Magic.

The Internet is an ideal place for what Guarneri terms field testing.

A bit of browsing will turn up a host of free classifieds with E-mail

links, which may target specific audiences or be totally random. She

suggests you take your current newspaper ads and try them out —

each with a different wording or style. Then study the feedback from

the links and adjust your other media ads appropriately. This is a

way to test market at no cost. In addition, E-mail provides an

excellent

path to customer satisfaction and understanding. Market surveys, which

entail just a few clicks, often glean a higher return rate than

snail-mail

surveys. Customer complaints can be handled within the day and

relationships

maintained via periodic, updated newsletters.

And of course sales orders can be taken using E-mail alone. "Many

people say `I will advertise with the computer, even with a fancy

website, but I don’t want to deal in E-commerce.’ That’s just slamming

a door in your face," says Guarneri. "Why not maximize

profits?"

Unfortunately, too frequently, the business website stands as a

grudgingly

built adjunct whose necessity is taken strictly on faith and whose

potential remains shrouded in mystery. The president of Acme Widgets

marches into the resident techie’s office, "Johnson, we’ve got

to have a website. Build us one — by Tuesday." Exit president,

and all corporate input.

Such are the scenes that make Guarneri tear her hair. "It is a

myth," she says, "that if you build it, they will come."

Management must envision its website as necessarily the collaborative

effort of marketing, sales, production, technology, and all aspects

of the company. And if it is to be more than a company brochure, it

must be well thought out. Guarneri lists several priorities.

Grab the customer’s attention. Display your product’s

benefits, not its features. "Your website," says Guarneri,

"exists to solve customer problems. You’ve got to connect with

customers’ needs — their pain." Don’t boast about your vacuum

cleaner’s three nozzles. Instead, tell them how the special one will

clean their drapes, saving them dry cleaning costs, reducing

allergies,

and making them look better to nosy visiting in-laws.

Stay current. No shopkeeper sets up one display window

and leaves it unchanged until it gathers dust. So must a website be

ever ongoing. It should be a creative blend of constants, such as

your logo, and updates, such as graphics and photos. In addition,

try to combine your updated website with a crisp newsletter and other

information for both new and potential customers. Use one medium to

advertise the other. Mention changes not just in price and product,

but in services. (It may even spur you on to making some long-needed

changes.)

Speak the customer’s language. "Too many websites

can be too easily mistaken for annual reports," says Guarneri.

Dense language and strings of statistics with photos of blandly

smiling

corporate officers mean naught to the guy examining your new vacuum

or the lady seeking her best bet in a chain saw. A back page full

of fun factoids or a photo lay-out depicting how your product is made

may make nice additions to round out the presentation. But up front,

give the customer a solution he needs.

Focus on your target market. With a little thought and

help from your technical supporters, your website can pre-qualify

buyers, and at the same time selectively test new markets. Your

website

costs valuable staff time. What is its advertising clout for both

E-commerce and indirect sales? Are the time and technology worth it?

Close information gaps. Does your site have directions

from all points to your office — with a nice little map? This

is where total input, both from staff and from surveyed customers,

becomes important.

Finally, be patient. "Just whip up a website and in

three days — gush — the orders begin just flooding in."

Don’t believe it. Like every other aspect of your business,

establishing

the sharp and careful website takes time. And while the message zings

instantly across the globe, the response ambles back at the same pace

as all your other publicity efforts. "You are planting seeds,"

says Guarneri. "Some will sprout swiftly, others will take a long

time to harvest."

In the end, business takes what it has always taken: labor,

patience, brains, and sweat. The old tools, and now the new high tech

ones, have not replaced the basics. If anything, they will pile higher

your load. But they are designed to increase your profit, by

increasing

your horizon. And the better you can master them, the better they,

and you, will do just that.

— Bart Jackson

Top Of Page
E-Learning Tactics For Pharmas

Leveraging the Internet for Executive Learning" will

be the topic for a workshop led by Steven Peskin, president

of Lenox Drive-based Nelson Managed Solutions. Peskin speaks at an

E-learning conference staged by the Institute for International

Research

on Monday and Tuesday, June 11 and 12, at the Princeton Marriott.

Cost: $1,695 for the conference starting at noon on Monday, or $1,995

with the workshop set for 8 a.m. Monday. Steep discounts for federal

government employees are available. Call 800-345-8016, extension 3705.

Debra Newton of Newton Interactive, a digital media firm on

Pennington Road that serves the healthcare and pharmaceutical

industries,

will be among the exhibitors at the conference. The conference is

for those who must implement and execute E-learning programs in

pharmaceutical

and biotechnology companies. E-learning programs are needed for

these departments: human resources, organizational development, R&D,

sales, regulatory affairs, and project management, among others. The

workshops would also be useful for consultants, software vendors,

and contract research organizations (CROs) who serve the E-learning

industry.

Rebecca Fuller Hyde, a content consultant for EduNeering Inc.

on Campus Drive, will be among the speakers. Also presenting will

be Vida Roshan, director of E-learning at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals’

worldwide E-business division. Tracy Tinker of Dupont

Pharmaceuticals

will talk about lessons learned at Dupont’s distance education

program.

Chand Sishta, quality assurance manager at Bristol-Myers Squibb,

will discuss how to implement E-learning.

Top Of Page
Courtesy Still Counts

Business etiquette is a form of communication, says

consultant Maureen Saunders. "No matter how technically

brilliant you are, if your etiquette skills are lacking, you can kill

a sale, destroy a relationship, and never enjoy professional success.

If you don’t think that rude behavior doesn’t affect morale,

productivity,

customer service, or profitability, think again."

Saunders will give a workshop on "Etiquette: the overlooked

business

tool" for Meeting Professionals International on Wednesday, June

13, at 5:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Meadowlands. Cost: $50. Call

Marcie

Horowitz at 732-536-5135. The group has also scheduled a golf

outing

at Forsgate on Monday, June 18, at 11:30 a.m. Cost: $150.

Protocol is paramount in the military, so it makes sense to learn

protocol and etiquette from someone who has been a military wife.

Saunders, a 1977 graduate of Cedar Crest College in Allentown, married

a West Pointer and has had plenty of opportunities to learn etiquette

on Army posts around the world. She has also earned certificates from

the Protocol School of Washington and the Josephson Institute of

Ethics

in California, worked for the federal government as an English as

a Second Language instructor, and has been a corporate trainer for

five years. Her Martinsville-based firm, Standard Bearers Consulting,

focuses on business ethics, professional etiquette, and customer

service

training (732-537-9550, www.standardbearersconsulting.com).

Among her clients have been Marriott International, Prudential,

Nordstrom’s,

AT&T, Rutgers, Seton Hall, and NeighborCare Institutional Pharmacy.

"Everything we do and say (and don’t do and don’t say) sends a

message," says Saunders. "Your conduct influences others’

perceptions of your ability, integrity, values, dependability, and

more. And because most people don’t distinguish between an individual

and the company she works for, business etiquette skills often affect

a particular company’s sales and reputation."

"Many times American executives are offensive, and they don’t

even know it. Unless Americans re-learn some of the `kinder, gentler’

behaviors of previous generations, we will be handicapping ourselves

in an increasingly global economy. Civility is often an overlooked

business tool."

Incivility can actually affect a company’s finances, according to

researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and

St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Collaborating on a five-year

research project, they found that unmannerly behavior in the workplace

can contribute to stress-related illness such as depression or high

blood pressure, Saunders says.

"Beyond the financial bottom line is the recognition that, in

every organization, norms for mutual respect are absolutely

necessary,"

she says. In today’s workforce, representing all colors, genders,

religions, and political persuasions, "it is essential to

acknowledge

a code of polite conduct.

Some of her client firms are offering crash courses in decorum to

their key employees. Among the worst offenses:

"*"profanity

"*"verbal tics (hmmmm, like, ya know, thing-ies in the

vocabularly)

"*"inhospitality

"*"hostile body language

"*"bad attitudes

"*"bad table manners

For instance, Saunders quotes a Business Week article telling

of a consulting company that lost a $30 million contract after an

executive, when lunching with the client, licked his knife.

What to do if someone energetically insists on giving you their

business

card, even when you don’t want it? "They are being rude, if they

don’t wait for some sign or body language, that would encourage them

to give their card," Saunders says. "If they insist on

hoisting

it on to you, just drop it in a pocket and throw it away later."

Her worst example of business card etiquette, a true story:

"A well-groomed, middle-aged man shook a woman’s hand

enthusiastically

and requested one of her business cards. Flattered, she opened her

card case and slid a crisp sliver of paper (Crane’s best, watermarked,

highest rag content, beautifully engraved), into his waiting palm.

Without hesitation this debonair gent puts the professional card into

his mouth and loosens some food particles that had become wedged

between

his teeth. He nodded at her endearingly and walked off into the

crowd."

Top Of Page
Library Provides Travel Companions

For business and pleasure travelers the Princeton Public

Library offers a "Book a Trip" service. Begun in the youth

services department, this service has been expanded to all ages and

requires a minimum of week’s notice. Call 609-924-8211 or go to

www.princetonlibrary.org.

Just fill out a Book a Trip form — providing information not only

about the destination, but also about your interests, favorite

authors,

and the type of materials you would like to bring. Seven days later,

pick up the special "Book a Trip" bag with a custom-picked

selection. The books might be anything from off-beat or specialized

travel books to historical novels or detective stories about a

particular

location.

"We want to point out that in addition to Fodor’s and Frommer’s,

we also feature more unusual titles, everything from guides for

vegetarians

to tours of Jewish history in Venice," says Terez Lerner

of the technical services department. Some of her recommendations

are "Haunted Inns of the Southeast" by Sheila Turnage;

"Blues

Traveling: The Holy Sites of Delta Blues," by Steve Cheseborough;

and "Earth-Friendly Inns and Environmental Travel Northeast"

by Dennis Dahlin.

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

A Capital Health System nurse Susan Bell will spend a

week’s vacation this summer providing medical support for her husband,

Pemberton School District athletic director Fran Bell, and over 150

other cyclists as they pedal 500 miles from Trenton (Ontario) to

Trenton

(New Jersey) to raise money and awareness for Anchor House, the

Trenton

home for runaway and troubled teens.

As one of three nurses serving on the support team for the ride, Bell,

of Capital Health System’s Education Resource Center, will monitor

the health of riders at one of three scheduled stops set at 25-mile

intervals along each day’s 80 mile route.

This year’s ride, which begins July 7 and ends Saturday, July 14,

with a ceremony at Quakerbridge Mall, marks Anchor House’s 23rd

anniversary.

The many-faceted safe haven provides temporary shelter and assists

in solving problems faced by runaways and their families. Services

include group counseling, medical attention, and education about drug

use prevention. Anchor House also operates an outreach program for

area students, as well as the Anchorage, a transitional program for

homeless youths ages 16 to 21. For information on the ride or

sponsoring

a cyclist call 609-278-9495.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the New

Jersey Race for the Cure have awarded Cancer Care of New Jersey

a grant to support its Breast Cancer Education and Support Program

for 2001. This award will enable Cancer Care to provide breast cancer

outreach and education to under-served individuals at particular risk

for delayed diagnosis of breast cancer. It will also provide education

and support services to those with a breast cancer diagnosis, and

their families. The services provided by this grant will focus on

the greater Trenton area.

William M. Mercer employees recently spent a day

volunteering

at the Mercer County Wildlife Center as part of the company’s

Community

Connections program. They repaired cages and animal perches, and

worked

on painting floors and constructing paths. Last year Mercer volunteers

built a flight cage for three rehabilitated birds that are in the

center’s educational programs.

The Mercer County Wildlife Center, located in Titusville, has been

treating, rehabilitating, and providing surrogate parenting for small

mammals and birds since the 1980s.

New Jersey Children’s Trust Fund has awarded $729,403

in grants to a number of child abuse prevention and family support

groups. The Children’s Trust Fund is based in the Department of Human

Services and co-sponsored by the Child Life Protection Commission

and the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Area grant recipients include HomeFront of Lawrenceville, which will

receive $41,900; Isles of Trenton, which will receive $46,080; Family

& Children’s Services of Central New Jersey, which will receive

$44,000;

and the Princeton Center for Leadership Training, which will receive

$26, 453.


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