Tag Archives: Princetoninfo.com

Silence and Scooplets: Eileen and Barbara


“Stories Still Matter: In Print and Online” was the theme of the Princeton Chamber’s Business before Business breakfast networking meeting this morning.  Richard K. Rein, founding editor of  U.S. 1 Newspaper, shared stories that only dig-deeper news people would know. His speech was informative, entertaining and well-delivered.

As a Speech Coach, I was especially taken by his smart opening which was void of verbiage.  Yes, Rein opened with silence, four seconds worth (as the audience later learned).  He created the “verbal white space”™  that level-sets audience attention and highlights opening remarks.  Silence is often scary for societies that talk a lot.I noticed one or two people in the audience getting antsy after 2 seconds of quiet, but saw the other 90 people in the audience palpably poised to listen and patiently await the stories that would soon unfold.

Starting a speech with silence makes perfect sense.  It can feel risky and uncomfortable at first, but the positive impact is quite rewarding. Silence is to speech, what margins are to writing.  The ability to be present without words in speaking and in life, can be a strong differentiator.

eileen and rich
Eileen Sinett  with Rich Rein

Rein pointed out that his four seconds of silence equals the four seconds needed to read a Tweet of optimal length, 100 characters. Other statistics show that our focused attention is just 8 seconds, one second less than that of a goldfish. We want instant gratification and can google just about anything and be instantly satisfied.  

In this digital age, we have become great multi-taskers and short-cut communicators.

However, I’m not sure that these gains offset our low tolerance for silence or our reduced listening attention.

— Eileen N. Sinett, Speaking that Connects

Narratives can change opinions, said Rein, citing the late John Henderson (a former reporter who built his real estate business on the lyrical descriptions of his listings) and Jerry Fennelly, who issues real estate analytics in story form. Long form narratives can also clarify the thinking of the writer (as well as the of the reader) and help establish credibility for both writer and subject.

me rich michele
Barbara Fox with Richard K. Rein and freelancer Michele Alperin

Then it was story time:  Rein told of almost-missed stories about Colin Carpi, lawyer Bruce Afran,  and Muhammed Ali (as written by himself and fellow Princetonian sports writer Frank Deford) and he related a bit of gossip about Larry L. King. (Based on observing Ted Kennedy at a party, King vowed to do everything he could to keep that Kennedy from being president.)

In a lively Q&A Irv Urken asked about the value of print in a digital world: Brandishing the articles he used in his speech, he said, “you don’t have to worry about your batteries going down.” He also cited “the science of touch” and suggested that some presentations and pictures “require a bigger screen.” That print media has a limited space means that somebody must edit it to fit the space, and when editors get to do more than just run a spell check, readers read more carefully. Then Rein gave a shout out to Urken’s offspring who have media careers — one works for Newsweek and Street, the other for Yahoo.


Former reporter Vickie Hurley-Schubert (now with Creative Marketing Alliance) asked which was his favorite story. Hard to pick, but Rein cited one early in his career, for New Jersey Monthly, on the scandal surrounding Circle of Friends.

I liked his answer about whether the media has a liberal bias: “When you spend time with people, you begin to assimilate their values. Media does have an ego, but it also bends over backwards to present other points of view.”

So — down with ‘scooplets,’ which, as Rein explained, are what Jill Abramson calls the focus on quick content that spawned $1.9 billion in free publicity to the Trump campaign.

Up with narrative journalism. Long live the long form stories in the likes of U.S. 1 and Princeton Echo.

But I still get good info from Twitter.

— Barbara Fox 


Sly grin: Reporters as deliverers?

lisbon delivery boy
In Lisbon, Portugal, a delivery boy is featured on the monument for  newspaper magnate Eduardo Coelho

I couldn’t help but smile when I saw that Boston Globe reporters, frustrated by delivery problems, volunteered to get out and actually deliver Sunday’s paper themselves. Article here, courtesy of my Twitter feed. In 1986, for my first week at U.S. 1, everyone on the staff (plus the freelancers) loaded up with papers and headed out from Mapleton Road to their delivery routes.

As Rich Rein used to say . . . “When you deliver, you get to know your readers.” Our deliverers are also paid to be reporters — to note when companies come and go. Even when we moved “up” to Roszel Road, cheerful willingness to pitch in on delivery was a condition of employment.

I couldn’t help but be sad when I realized that the Globe fired 600 people who worked for its former delivery service. Yes they hired 600 more  but the previous workers were surely living on the margins, some struggling to learn a new language in a new country. You don’t work midnight to eight, putting miles and miles on your car or your feet, unless you really need the money.

Then I remembered how gratifying it was for those of us who wrote the paper to actually deliver a paper that is warmly welcomed by its readers.  In virtually all the buildings, I would be greeted by — “Oh good, U.S. 1 is here, thank you!”

Globe reporters got thanked too.

boston globe photo
from this Tweet https://twitter.com/HappitoBurrito/status/683497867626049536/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw




Capstone for a Career, Strategy for the Next One


Jane Tervooren has had multi-layered careers,  chronicled  in U.S. 1, most recently in a December 10 cover story by Diccon Hyatt. Tervooren’s departure from one fulfilling job to invest in an exciting new company was occasioned by a health event. As Hyatt describes, “surviving cancer is what led her to put a capstone on an 18-year career.”

Being diagnosed with a fatal disease, no matter what the outcome, inspires change.

Tervooren’s advice is appropriate for the New Year: “it’s never too late to re-invent yourself. Don’t settle if you’re unhappy in a relationship or a job. have the guts to make a change. If you are stuck, it’s because you feel stuck. People have options.

What Your Parents Did — It Sometimes Matters

Clara Lippert Glenn, the female CEO of one of Forrestal Village’s prestigious firms, The Oxford Princeton Programme (TOPP), was interviewed for the Corner Office column of the New York Times on Sunday. TOPP, a global training resource for energy professionals.  After founding the Princeton Energy Group in 1992, she merged it with an Oxford-based firm, and now runs more than 200 public courses around the world.

She was profiled by Anna Cunningham in U.S. 1 Newspaper in June.  “Lippert Glenn, a liberal arts language major, has parlayed her love of other cultures into a long, successful career in learning and development for energy professionals all over the world . . . Today the one-time languages major may have forgotten much of her French, allowed her Russian to get rusty and let her Spanish slide, but she is fluent in the international terminology of energy power… “

The New York Times interview revealed that her husband’s death, when he was 56 and she was 48, changed her views on work-life balance. “. . . a well-adjusted, well-rounded employee, in the end, is going to stay with you longer and produce better work. It’s not worth it to push people to where they’re putting in 12-hour days. And I’m going to force you to take your vacation, and I don’t want to get e-mails from you while you’re on vacation.”

However, the NYT did not indicate how this language arts major got into the energy industry, starting as a trader, in the first place.  That’s because U.S. 1 reporters are required to ask “What did your parents do?” Answer:  her father had various positions in the oil refining sector, including starting a company that manufactured additives for use in refineries’ catalytic conversion units.

My conclusions: Rarely does the apple fall a big distance from the tree. And  — talent will out, no matter what your major!

Buttons: World’s Smallest Antiques

Buttons like these will be on display at the New Jersey State Button Show and Sale on Saturday, May 11, 9 to 4 p.m. at the Union Firehouse in Titusville. Here is the article in U.S. 1 Newspaper. It’s fun to see all the different kinds of buttons — and you might just find some you “have to have.”

One of the categories for this show is enamel buttons, as on the left. Below, a card of buttons that are are actually in the shape of what they depict: bird, rooster, crab, bear, elephant, flower, thimble, etc.

The NJSBS show is held twice a year for New Jersey and tri-state button enthusiasts who enjoy the artwork and history of buttons, including their manufacture and design. “Our shows attract quilters, crafters, antique collectors, reenactors, and those seeking special buttons to wear,” says Lillian Buirkle, president of the 71-year-old organization.

The fire hall is at 1396 River Road (Route 29), at the intersection of Route 29 and Park Lake Avenue in Titusville, opposite the Delaware River and D&R; Canal State Park (within easy access to the canal park), a half mile north of Washington Crossing State Park in Hopewell Township, and some five miles south of Lambertville and New Hope, PA. Admission is $2 for adults at the door, free for juniors to age 17. Also that day is the New Jersey History fair across the road in the Washington Crossing State Park. 

Johnson Frazier, a button historian and dealer, will present a 1:30 p.m. program, “Banners on Buttons,” showcasing buttons that display ribbons and flags in their designs, some as early as the 18th century, along with a brief history about the buttons pictured. Throughout the day there will be a variety of activities, including the judging of button trays entered into competition, an educational display of buttons worn on gloves, and a button raffle.
The fall show will be Saturday, September 7, at the same location. Contact Lillian Buirkle, (732-691-1776), email: buttonlady@optonline.netor visit http://newjerseystatebuttonsociety.org/