NJ CPAs Convene

The Internet Spurs Legal Debates

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring were prepared for the May

22, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

How to Grab Ink for Your Business

Tracie Ecclesine Ivie knows a thing or two about

what gets into the newspaper — and why. A third generation


her grandfather owned a weekly newspaper in Maryland. Her parents,

both journalists, met in the NBC newsroom. Ivie herself, who has taken

journalism courses at Cornell, New York University, and the New


has experience as a writer, an editor, and a corporate writer.

On Wednesday, May 29, at 7:30 a.m. Ivie speaks on "How to Connect

with the Media Through Your Writing" at a roundtable discussion

sponsored by the Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce. The roundtable is

on many facets of connectivity, including connecting with clients

on the Internet and in face-to-face encounters, and connecting with

big business. Cost: $20. Call 908-735-5955.

Ivie began her writing career in the corporate world, and then went

out on her own, freelancing for a number of publications, including

Working Woman and Popular Photography. She is the co-author of Country

Inns of America, a popular guide that was the first to send writers

and photographers to sample and evaluate inns, and its sequel, Country

Inns of America Cookbook.

Going from the quaintly retro to technology that was then cutting

edge, Ivie next became contributing editor to Video magazine, writing

about the media at the time when television was in turmoil over the

introduction of VCRs into households. From magazines, she moved on

to newspapers, working for the Hunterdon County Democrat as a writer

and an editor and then editing the Hunterdon Observer. A year and

a half ago, seeking more flexible hours and planning to write a book,

she went out on her own again, working as a freelancer for a number

of New Jersey newspapers.

Ivie’s insider information is a boon to businesses trying to get their

names in print. And, she says, this exposure is a goal for which every

company should strive.

"You know how they say a picture is worth 1,000 words?" she

asks. "Well, an article is worth 25 ads. And it’s free!" She

knows this is true because when she was a writer she would frequently

get calls from people about whom she had written. "They would

say `The phone never stopped ringing.’ Or `The event was sold


A feature article, she says, can launch a new business.

Okay, how does a company snag a feature? Partly, Ivie admits, it’s

luck. As an example, she says she was once desperate for a Valentine’s

Day feature. Casting about for ideas, she studied her newspaper’s

events calendar and saw that a husband and wife team were set to sing

at a local event. She called them, and uncovered a love story full

of human interest angles. The singers never expected a feature


and it was just by chance that they got one. That’s the lucky part.

But the story illustrates an even more important point. Had the event

at which the couple was singing not been listed in the paper, she

never would have found them.

Always list every event in every community newspaper, trade paper,

and association newsletter, says Ivie. That is one way to get a


name out. Others include:

Know how stories get into a newspaper. Editors get story

ideas from press releases, items on Internet sites, phone calls,


reports, invitations, and, says Ivie, conversations overheard in the

check-out line. The last can be hard to arrange, but the others are

easily mastered.

Send press releases for routine news. If a company is

introducing a new product — its fifth in as many months —

send the news via a press release. Only call an editor, Ivie counsels,

if the news is huge.

Call at a convenient time. Editors on deadline are reputed

to be a cranky lot. Never, but never, arrive unannounced in a newsroom

to tell one that your company is about to add its 13th vice president

or unveil its 14th variety of ketchup. When calling, be aware of


A good way to find out a particular newspaper’s deadline is to call

the paper’s receptionist and ask. Another way is to find out what

day a weekly paper hits the newsstands, and then count back a day

or two. With dailies, Ivie says a good time to call is in the morning,

after reporters have settled in, but before they become too crazy.

In any and every case, it is important to ask if the editor or


is busy and if it would be convenient for him to speak with you for

a few minutes.

Target your communication. Study each publication in which

you would like to see your company’s name. Soon enough, says Ivie,

you’ll see an item, slap your head, and say "`That article could

have been about my company.’" That ah-ha moment means you have

found the section in which items about your company are most likely

to run. Check to see who wrote the article or who edited the section,

and address your faxes, E-mails, or phone calls to him.

Have something to say. Ivie speaks of four essential


— imagination, interesting ideas, and information. These


she has found, add up to ink. To get some of that ink have something

to say, and find an irresistible way to say it — in other words,

an angle. A company anniversary may be ho-hum, but if the anniversary

makes it the oldest dairy or printing company in the state, or if

the owner is the fifth generation to milk the cows or run the presses,

you have a story that is harder to turn down.

Related to the angle is the hook. Editors like hooks. An example could

be National Dairy Week or the anniversary of the invention of the

printing press. If your company’s big event coincides with such a

date, you have a better chance of interesting an editor. Do your


and find out.

Find a charity tie-in. This should not be entirely


says Ivie, but putting your business to work for a good cause can

get press attention. Donating a portion of proceeds to a health


or working alongside your employees in a community betterment project

can get press attention. "Editors are cynical and overworked,"

says Ivie, "but under it, they can’t resist helping."

Miss no opportunity. Send announcements of every office

opening, staff promotion, new product, charity event, interesting

fact about an employee (made the Olympic wrestling team, swam across

the Delaware in three minutes, got another patent), anniversary, blood

drive, concert on company grounds, and better-than-expected quarterly

results. And, Ivie stresses, send all of the above to every single

publication that might possibly be interested.

Remember, ink is valuable.

The real secret, perhaps, is that newspapers and trade publications

need you as much as you need them. They have all those pages to fill,

after all. In that vein, pounce on holidays and on almost any day

in the summer. Big business events tend to dry up at those times,

and the news item the editor tossed in the trash in September may

just be perceived as a great treasure in the days surrounding Memorial

Day or the dog days of August.

Top Of Page
NJ CPAs Convene

The ninth annual New Jersey Society of Certified Public

Accountants holds its annual convention Wednesday and Thursday, May

29 and 30 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus. Cost:

$35 for one day, $50 for both days. Call 973-226-4494 or register

at www.njscpa.org.

The first session, at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, May 29, is an economic

overview by Larry Wachtel of Prudential Securities. Wachtel,

a much quoted market analyst, speaks on the latest economic


and key trends.

Following Wachtel’s talk, concurrent sessions look at "The Five

Steps in Developing a Successful Asset Allocation Program,"


Recovery: Key Considerations to Ensure Survival," and "Putting

Websites to Work in Your Small & Mid-Size CPA Practices." Speakers

include Gerard Papetti of U.S. Financial Services in Fairfield;

Robert Herman and Arthur Nathan of Solution Strategies

in Cranford; Laurence Zuckerman of Accountants World in


New York; and Rocco Labella of Ferro, Labella & Zucker in


Afternoon sessions include "Putting the Internet to Work for


"Excel Data Analysis & Financial Reporting Features,"


Every CPA Should Know About Business Insurance," and "The

Paperless Audit: A View of the Future." Speakers include


Bodner of Creative Solutions in Dexter, Minnesota; George


of PC Ed in Cranford; Louis Beckerman of Beckerman & Company

in Colonia; and Brett Wier of CCH Tax Compliance.

On Thursday, May 30, at 8 a.m. Dana (Rick) Richardson

of Richardson Media & Technologies in New Canaan, Connecticut, speaks

on "Technology Overview: An Update on Emerging Trends." His

talks centers on his vision of both the near and longer-term future

as it relates to technologies important to the accounting profession.

Topics include a review of last year’s predictions, current trends

in hardware, software, and communications, and emerging technologies

that will help bring these trends to reality.

Top Of Page
The Internet Spurs Legal Debates

The Internet has brought up-to-the-second radar weather

forecasts, up-to-date movie listings for ‘burgs big enough to support

only a two-screen theater, Instant Messages from grandma, lots of

porn (rumor has it), and in-depth research on everything from starting

an avocado farm to manufacturing a cutting-edge zipper. It has also

brought legal conundrums and a host of privacy concerns.

On Wednesday, May 29, beginning at 8 a.m., at the Frist Campus Center,

the Princeton University Program in Law and Public Affairs presents

an all-day conference on "The Future of Internet Regulation: Open

Access, Private Rights, and Public Values." Speakers include


Allard, a partner in Latham & Watkins; Jack Balkin, a


of law at Yale; Viet Dinh, assistant attorney general, office

of legal policy, United States Justice Department; Christopher

Eisgruber, director, program in law and politics, Princeton


and many more. Cost: Free for Princeton University students, faculty,

and staff; $100 for alumni; and $300 for all others. Call


Topics are arranged in four areas of interest:

The architecture of the Internet. The pioneers who


the Internet intended to create an end-to-end network: unlike the

telephone network, the crucial information and computing applications

would be located on machines of users rather than in the machines

and assets of a centralized carrier. Moreover, the Internet’s core

protocols and basic standards were all open and non-proprietary. No

single firm could own the Internet or manage its destiny.

The Internet thus provided a platform where any developer could


new products or services — including the world wide web itself

or, more recently, Napster — without asking permission of a



As the Internet moved from a government-sponsored creation to a


vehicle, however, the Internet has developed in ways that threaten

its commitment to a pure end-to-end architecture. Whether and how

government will regulate the Internet’s architecture presents a



Fair use and the Internet. Almost everybody agrees that

intellectual property law should preserve and foster a healthy


domain." This concern with the public domain limits the control

that artists and inventors can exercise over their creative works.

Traditionally, the "fair use" principle has balanced authors’

rights and the public domain by allowing the public to reproduce


material but only for certain purposes.

The Internet age has forced lawyers, regulators, and publishers to

confront new issues about the meaning and application of fair use.

On the one hand, the Internet lowers the cost of distributing


and hence presents an opportunity for dramatic expansion of the public

domain. On the other hand, the Internet age has also inspired


and legal restrictions that would constitute unprecedented


on opportunities for fair use.

Filtering and content regulation. Children using the


can find a treasure trove of information for school reports and a

wide array of child-friendly entertainment sites. They can also call

up violent and pornographic images of almost every imaginable kind.

These possibilities pose a problem for parents, schools, libraries,

and government regulators: to what extent is it desirable — or

even possible — to protect children from the harms of the Internet

while preserving their access to its benefits?

And to what extent is it possible to restrict the freedom of children

on the Internet without restricting the freedom of adults?

Privacy, surveillance, and the Internet. In the heady,

early days of the Internet, some users fancied it a uniquely private

medium of communication. A celebrated New Yorker cartoon, for example,

depicted a canine who confided to a friend that he loved the net


he could pretend to be a person: "on the Internet, nobody knows

you’re a dog!"

Internet users soon came to realize, however, that much of their


information was easily observable. Web sites collected data and used

"cookies" to track people’s browsing habits; Internet service

providers had the capacity to record the communications that flowed

through their networks; and some employers monitored their employees’

E-mail traffic.

On the other hand, while ordinary communications and web traffic are

easily observed, encryption technologies have made it possible for

people to send coded messages not readable by any unintended


— including law enforcement officers acting with a valid warrant.

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