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This column was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on May 19, 1999.
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Television PR: War of Images
One of the best things about our job is finding new
dimensions to people we thought we knew but never really knew. Everybody
around here knows of John Popper, for example, the Princeton High
School graduate who — with three other PHS alumni — formed
the highly successful rock and roll band, Blues Traveler.
Now, as writer Elaine Strauss has discovered, Popper (or his public
relations person or ghostwriter) has a quirky sense of humor and a
muscular writing style. We thought all he could do was play the harmonica
and holler. See page 34 for Strauss’s story of the rocker’s reunion
with his high school bandleader and the unusual concert that will
While Strauss was running with the rockers, Barbara Fox was surfing
with the legal crowd. Now we don’t know what you might think of lawyers,
and we won’t tell you our opinion without checking with an attorney
first, but we can safely (we hope) report the general public view
of the legal profession. A story in the May 13 New York Times, commenting
on the dubious legal presentations in the Abner Louima police brutality
case, may have stated it best:
"No one, of course, is surprised by anything lawyers do. The public
expects even less of lawyers than of journalists [our emphasis!].
In a Gallup/CNN/USA poll last October, only 14 percent of Americans
gave lawyers high marks for honesty and ethical standards, which ranked
them below every other category except insurance salesmen, advertising
practitioners, and car salesmen."
For Fox, though, touring more than a dozen websites posted by Princeton
area law firms was a refreshing experience. As her story beginning
on page 12 notes, lawyers on the web can be helpful (offering free
use of an extensive database on a particular subject), honest (one
of them even posted information about a judgment that went against
his cause), whimsical (how about a picture of a Russian doll to represent
an investment fund in the Soviet Union?), and imaginative (one has
a two-minute video, with music, introducing the firm).
Just as the World Wide Web helps level the playing field for small
companies in many other industries, it can also help on the legal
field. Some small firms are using their websites very effectively
as a marketing tool.
Those Princeton-based law firms that lag behind, Fox reports, may
not realize what they are missing — in convenience, for one thing,
when all their information is accessible. Others have put up websites
that they know need to be improved. They just wanted to start early
on their learning curve. At this stage of the legal web game, anything
is enough. But several years hence, clients, legal peers, and even
the court system will expect more.
The May 5 cover story on Jane Rodney and the Breast
Cancer Resource Center helped show many readers the special energy
that Rodney brings to that program. The story also had not only a
personal impact, but also a financial one. Within 48 hours after it
was published (May 5), the center received 10 new registrants for
the breast cancer workshop, many new clients, and a $45,000 anonymous
corporate donation toward the Race for the Cure.
Please note, nevertheless, that the date and location for the Race
for the Cure has changed; it will be held on Sunday, October 3, at
Bristol-Myers Squibb on Route 206. Call 609-497-2126 to volunteer.
Senior Advisory Counsel, featured in the May 5 issue, is Paul B. Macchia.
He is assistant general counsel and director of the estate planning
division of the NSAC.
as CVD on the NYSE, not Nasdaq. After the merger, the new organization
will continue to be traded on the NYSE under a symbol which has yet
to be determined.
Covance spokesman Paul Surdez noted that "while Quintiles has
similar revenue as the proposed Covance PAREXEL organization, only
about $700 million is in the drug development services (or CRO) sector.
The proposed Covance PAREXEL organization will continue to be 100
percent invested in drug development services (i.e. $1.3 billion)."
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— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.