Growth Company Showcase

Client Presentations: Stand Up and Sell

Corporate Angels

Corrections or additions?

This article by Bart Jackson was prepared for the

October 3, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights

reserved.

New Interactive Publishing Forum Takes Root

We just don’t do it the same way anymore, states the

New York Times Survey. Within one short year, the majority of computer

use has shifted from net "surfing" to selective information

seeking. The public is booting up not to play with a new toy, but

to ply a familiar tool. For the interactive publishers this means

a shock and a switch to a new access style.

To solve this, and the myriad other traumas to which online publishers

constantly fall heir, Mark Feffer has launched The Trenton Forum

for Interactive Publishers. Feffer founded Tramp Steamer, a web

publisher

company, in l997 and early on saw the lack of any professional

association

for those trying to publish in the whirlwind pace of the net.

"There

are real problems and very real solutions," he says, "that

need to be shared in an open experience like the Trenton Forum."

Since this past June, www.TrentonForum.org has recorded the netswift

progress of Feffer’s brainchild, which is holding its first open

seminar

on Thursday, October 4, at 3 p.m. at Thomas Edison State College.

Speakers include Ellen Cannon, editor of Bloomberg Custom

Publishing;

Thomas Baker, founder of WSJ Interactive; and Darrell Delamaide,

manager of America Online’s Personal Finance Channel. Cost: $35. Call

609-394-1325.

Initially rooting his Interactive Publishers group in Trenton has

provided a host of mutual benefits for the Forum and the city.

Feffer’s

first move was to contact friend John Thurber, vice president of

public

affairs for Thomas Edison State College. With 8,100 students mostly

involved in technology-based, distant learning courses, it was a

natural.

But in addition, the college has strong financial links with the New

Jersey Public Library Association and, of course, its own ample

buildings

to house large seminars.

Thurber, seeing the Forum as a boon, quickly teamed up with Tramp

Steamer as co-organizer, noting that "the Internet has grown

beyond

all expectations and the Trenton Forum will serve to bring together

some of the top experts in the online field."

By August, the Trenton Forum had lined up the city as a sponsor.

Enthusiastic,

Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer stated "It is an exciting opportunity

for Trenton to host this important forum. We are a city situated in

an excellent location, surrounded by numerous high tech publishing

companies."

"Well, my own reason for building the Forum within Trenton,"

says Feffer, "is that Trenton needs it and it’s a good way to

serve my community." He also agrees with the mayor, the locale

is surprisingly central. Such publishers as Weblications, Factiva,

Vertical Net, Peterson Publications, Tramp Steamer, and Bloomberg

Custom Publishers, all sit within a 45-minute drive of the city.

Scores

more cluster within the Garden State. And even for sponsoring company

Flywire, which designs its websites in Portsmouth, New Hampshire,

the several hour drive seems not too far.

In fact, with this sudden flurry of online publishing,

the definition of client, consultant and publisher have become rather

blurred. The traditional print vision of a publishing house as a

labyrinthian

chamber filled with grumbling editors, each scowling over pages

destined

for an exact slot on some bookshelf or page of print no longer fits.

Feffer is quick to point out that interactive publishing encompasses

not just editors and writers and folks starting up webzines, but

designers,

those updating financial sites with stock reviews, corporate sites

addressing stockholders and clients, and even E-commerce firms, which

put forth extensive product reviews. This is the range of

professionals

the Trenton Forum targets.

"Even the oldest online publishing veteran feels a bit like a

pioneer slogging amidst the uncharted," laughs Feffer. And as

pioneers go, Feffer came ashore quite early. Barely two decades ago,

Knight-Rider, Dow Jones and a few other firms began to establish

websites

and view the net as a true publishing medium. By then he was already

aware.

Growing up outside Boston, Feffer moved into town to gain a film and

broadcasting degree from Boston University in l982. His first job

was with ABC News in New York as a video tape editor. "`This is

a good start, son,’" he was assured. "`But if you really want

to be a journalist, you’ll go get some print experience. That’s the

future for real journalists.’" So off Feffer trekked to

Northwestern

University and by 1984, he returned east as a writer for Dow Jones

first News Retrieval Service.

"While writing business and finance, then developing projects,

I really began to see the power of this new medium," recalls

Feffer.

In the early ’90s, he left Dow Jones to start his own company, United

Multimedia, online publishing firm, with partner Ronnie Fielding.

Then in l997, as the entire interactive technology surged forward,

he began Tramp Steamer Media, where he and his six employees publish

for Merrill Lynch, Fortune, Charles Schwab, and other clients.

Interactive publishing’s primary problem, as Feffer sees it, is a

surprising lack of concern about the actual content on the web page.

Board members will pore for hours over the upcoming annual report

just to soothe the savage stockholder. Yet these same folks give their

firm’s website a quick click and casually respond "My, those

graphics

look great." Three major, common oversights, Feffer says, flaw

most websites.

Lack of initial planning. Exactly what do you seek from

your website? Do you want to primarily enhance your firm’s image and

attract clients? Do you want above all to tout your product? Would

setting yourself up as an information source within your field be

a good approach? What are your competitors doing?

Improper Updating. If you see your website as a static

tool spieling the same old sales spiel, merely to a newer audience,

your readers will steadily drift away. On the other hand, if you

change

essential data too frequently, readers get confused, unsure about

your site and product.

Poor Writing. "What most designers fail to

realize,"

says Feffer, "is that the web is primarily text driven. People

come seeking information, which they find mostly in words." A

good site is assembled by not only writers, but also by editors

reviewing

and trimming each piece. Feffer feels that writing for the web is

in many ways tougher than print. Rather than cozying into a wing

chair,

your reader sits uncomfortably in front of an oscillating screen.

Odds are he seeks only a few points of information. "Your writing

is just hanging out there," he says, "and you’d better grab

your reader’s attention with a brisk, Associated-Press style of

reporting,

or he’s on to somewhere else.

The Trenton Forum for Interactive Publishers hopes to have its

schedule of upcoming seminars in place by mid-October. With the second

gathering beginning in January, they hope to cover such topics as

where does the Internet fit into marketing? Why do site visitors stay

and stray? Case studies are also planned to highlight not only

successes,

but failures.

"So far," says Feffer, "we have had an astounding

response.

We never expected interest to grow so large." On the other hand,

who would have expected online publishing to become an important part

of all our lives so rapidly?

— Bart Jackson

Top Of Page
Growth Company Showcase

Analysts, fund managers, brokers, investment bankers,

and other investment professionals are invited to the New Jersey

Growth

Company Showcase. Presented by the New Jersey Technology Council and

Sills Capital Markets Group, the showcase is set for Friday, October

5, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza in Secaucus. CEOs and CFOs

begin making formal presentations at 10 a.m. Cost: $100. Call

856-787-9700.

Four of the 12 companies represented are from Princeton:

InsureHiTech.com Inc. , 100 Village Boulevard, Suite 200,

Princeton 08540. Richard A. Maloy Jr., president and CEO.

609-987-0221;

fax, 609-987-0490. Home page: www.insurehitech.com

Insurance Revolution Inc., part of InsureHiTech.com, is a full service

E-insurance commercial property and casualty broker licensed in 48

states. With 49 employees, it offers business insurance to the IT,

environmental, biotech, and VC industries.

Medarex (MEDX), 707 State Road, Princeton Gateway,

Suite 206, Princeton 08540. Donald L. Drakeman, president.

609-430-2880;

fax, 609-430-2850. Home page: www.medarex.com

This biopharmaceutical does therapeutic product manufacturing,

particularly

human and monoclonal antibodies. It has 18 employees in Princeton,

plus 60 workers at its 37,000-square foot operations laboratory and

office in Annandale.

Princeton eCom Corporation, 650 College Road East,

Princeton 08540. Curt Welling, CEO. 609-606-3000; fax, 609-606-3297.

Home page: www.princetonecom.com

With the distinction of being the first company to present a bill

on the Internet, this company does remote banking and processing of

electronic payments for bank clients.

Songbird Hearing Inc., 5 Cedar Brook Drive, Cedar

Brook Corporate Center, Cranbury 08512. Fred Fritz, president and

CEO. 609-409-4500; fax, 609-409-4510. Home page:

www.songbirdhearing.com.

This spinoff from the Sarnoff Corporation develops new hearing aid

technology, including disposable hearing aids.

Also participating are a photonic technology firm in Eatontown

(Alphion Corporation), a service company for network service providers

in Edison (Aplion Networks), a web-enabled time clock system in

Parsippany

(CyberShift Inc.), a Piscataway-based biopharmaceutical (Enzon Inc.),

a mobile broadband access company in Bedminster (Flarion Technologies

Inc.), a Parsippany provider of wireless services to banks (Incurrent

Solutions), a networking service company in Somerset (Lumeta

Corporation),

and a Flanders-based system for semiconductor device manufacturers.

"This will offer analysts and brokers a close look at the future

Wall Street stars," says Maxine Ballen, NJTC president.

Top Of Page
Client Presentations: Stand Up and Sell

Speech consultant Kathleen Achorn is a fan of

the television show West Wing. "I will absolutely kill to see

the show," she says. "I have left my husband flat in the

middle

of dinner. I tell him `for the next hour, I’m married to Martin

Sheen.’"

It’s not that Achorn finds Sheen devastatingly attractive. Not

necessarily.

As a consultant who teaches executives how to make successful

presentations,

she is drawn to the way Sheen and his co-stars prepare to give

speeches,

speak to the press, and win over legislative opponents. "It’s

how they train the president, how they prep CJ (the pretend

president’s

press secretary) to understand where they will meet objections,"

says Achorn.

Achorn speaks on "Getting a Yes: Tips on Making a Successful

Client

Presentation" at a meeting of the Mercer chapter of NJAWBO on

Tuesday, October 9, at 5 p.m. at the Trenton Country Club. Cost: $40.

Call 609-924-7965.

Starting out in teaching, Achorn, a 1965 graduate of Misericordia

College, switched to public relations, first for a local hospital,

and then for Xerox Learning Systems. "It was always the same set

of skills," she says. "It was all communications." In

1985, after 15 years with Xerox, she felt pressure to move into

management.

Preferring to keep on working with clients, she started her own

consulting

business. Communications Strategy, based in Fairfield, Connecticut,

teaches presentation skills in seminars and through one-on-one

coaching.

"Middle and senior managers," says Achorn, "need to make

presentations to the executive committee, to investors on Wall Street,

to international clients. They need to sell a new IT system, or

explain

their engineering to a non-engineering client." Career success

depends on making these presentations well. To do so, managers need

to:

Assess the situation. "Most clients say `I don’t know

what to say,’" Achorn reports. "That is not the issue. The

issue is what does the audience need to hear. The first job is to

assess the situation, and the code word is `politics.’"

Who asked you to speak? This person, or entity, is your first

audience,

says Achorn. You need to understand what it is that you are supposed

to accomplish. Ask questions. Do research. Clarify the objectives

your presentation is to meet.

Look at the audience. Will the audience be three people,

or 300? The style, the tone of voice, and even the vocabulary that

works in a small group will not be right for a large gathering. Beyond

size, it is important to look at the culture of the audience. "In

large corporations, the culture may be to stand still behind a

lectern,"

says Achorn. "That is what is expected." In a conservative

industry, presentations most often should be delivered while wearing

a dark suit. In start-ups, she says, clothing is less important.

There,

the energy of the delivery may be the key element.

Be clear and brief. "Talk to people," says Achorn.

The style of spoken language needs to be different from that of

written

language. It should be natural, to the point, and free of jargon.

"Every discipline has its jargon," she says. "They talk

about `mission’ or `robust training.’ After a while, that is just

baloney. When you want to move someone, you have to get away from

jargon."

Set a tone. Achorn points to Rudolph Guiliani as a master

at making presentations. "He doesn’t pontificate," she

observes.

"He’s in working mode, in a baseball cap. Even in a suit, he has

his sleeves rolled up."

Plan and prepare. When someone is especially skilled at

making presentations, Achorn says onlookers often believe "`she’s

a natural.’" But, she says, "the people who look most natural

are the ones who prepare the most." In her opinion, Clinton was

a gifted speaker, but he was also a well-prepared speaker who wrote

his own speeches.

Executives in all industries would do well to emulate the

thoroughness

with which the former president prepared to speak. Upward career

progress

could depend on it. "Face time is so valuable any more," says

Achorn. "When you stand to speak, your career stands with

you."

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce has set up

a Disaster Fund for Children of New Jersey to provide immediate

resources

to children and their families affected by the events of September

11. Chairman Brian Maher, CEO of Maher Terminals, announced that an

initial gift of $100,000 has come from Prudential Financial

employees and matching funds from the Prudential Foundation.

Spouses and children of Mercer County residents who died in

the September 11 terror attacks are eligible for free tuition at

Mercer

County Community College. The offer of a free education applies

not only to children who are now ready for college, but to all of

the victims’ children.

Nycomed Amersham Imaging and Amersham Pharmacia

Biotech

have established a Manhattan Disaster Fund to provide support to the

local communities in which Amersham employees work. The company has

facilities in Piscataway, Princeton, Lawrenceville, South Plainfield,

and Livingston.

Amersham will contribute $500,000 to the fund, which will offer

financial

assistance to individuals and local communities adjacent to the

companies’

sites in New Jersey. The company says it intends to work with local

townships, communities, and other relief organizations.

Organization representing persons who suffered bereavement or personal

injury as a result of the September 11 attack may request

consideration

for a grant by calling 609-514-6443.

The pastoral services department of St. Francis Hospital

is sponsoring a six-week bereavement support group for those grieving

the loss of a loved one, and those who care about friends who are

grieving. The lecture series will be held every Wednesday from October

10 to November 14 in the chapel conference room at 601 Hamilton Avenue

in Trenton. Call 609-599-5090.

SueAnne Herrera and Stacy Glaydura, partners in Reflexions

& Complexions , a Hamilton beauty salon, plan to hold an all day

"haircut-a-thon" on Sunday, October 28 from 11 a.m. through

7 p.m. to benefit the Red Cross. The salon will offer discount hair

cuts on that day — $10 for men and $20 for women. Herrera, a

native

New Yorker, says her entire staff of 11 will be on hand to help out.

Stephanie Dunn, principal of A Personal Life Coach , a

Hunterdon company, is offering 30-minute coaching sessions for $20,

which will be donated to the Red Cross. The offer is good from October

1 until November 1.

Holistic Life Center of Hightstown is offering grief

counseling

to survivors and to victims’ family members on a sliding-fee basis.

Call 609-448-7727.

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants

has announced that accountants in the state will offer pro bono

services

and temporary office space to individuals and businesses affected

by the events of September 11. Call 973-226-4494 ext. 246 or visit

www.njscpa.org/recovery.

The Tournament Players Club at Jasna Polana is holding

a commemorative event on Monday, November 5. The event, open to

members

and their guests, will raise money for "organizations in the

forefront

of the recovery effort" through guest green fees, silent auction,

and contributions.

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency is

offering borrowers affected by the events of September 11 relief

options,

including suspending or reducing mortgage payments for a period of

time or establishing longer payback plans.

Foreclosure proceedings will not be initiated against any affected

borrowers for at least 90 days. After the 90 days, all foreclosures

will be reviewed by the agency. Families can call 866-NJCRISIS or

from www.state.nj.us.

Greater Mercer TMA is offering free assistance to

commuters

who have been relocated to New Jersey in the aftermath of the events

of September 11. In addition to rideshare assistance, carpool and

vanpool formation, the TMA will work with employers to set up

shuttles,

corporate vanpools, and alternate work schedules.

Arrangements already have been made for additional shuttle service

from the area’s train stations to local Merrill Lynch facilities.

Call 609-452-1491 or visit www.gmtma.org.

The New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commission

has set up a toll-free hot line to help businesses whose offices were

destroyed or damaged and companies whose business has fallen off as

a result of the events of September 11. Call 800-643-6090 from 7 a.m.

through 7 p.m., or visit www.newjerseycommerce.org/njhelps.


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