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Halloween 2014: There's no escaping the holiday's creep
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Halloween 2014: There’s no escaping the holiday’s creep

OK, even for a lover of seasonal biz stories, Halloween stories the first week in September are a bit of a stretch. Or rather, they were.  But this year, Halloween’s orange-and-black is the new … Labor Day story, apparently. If you don’t find an angle and jump on it soon, you might be playing catch-up with […]

Quicktips: From pampering people and pets to scams and surcharges
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Quicktips: From pampering people and pets to scams and surcharges

Another raft of ideas jotted on scrap paper or e-mailed to myself are in danger of sailing off into the horizon, so welcome to another installment of Quicktips, the place we salvage viable story pegs at risk of becoming forgotten flotsom. Hotel fees. In our increasing a la carte economy, hotel fees are the latest […]

Soldiers with Rocket Launcher
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Helping readers make business sense of global turmoil

The growing drumbeat of global strife and spate of recent air disasters is casting a gloomier pall over economies worldwide, many of which already are mired in tepid recoveries in jobs and financial markets. The escalating stream of bad news is becoming difficult to overlook even in locales seemingly unrelated to the military conflicts in […]

Drowsy Drivers sign and truck
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Beyond crash headlines: Why does trucker pay still reward maximum miles?

It’s always surprising how little the trucking industry is covered by the financial press, considering just about all of the material goods used by consumers and businesses has been on a truck at one time or another; the supply chain is an integral part of any business. Usually we only hear about trucking following tragic […]

Campers seeking posh digs drive a boom in the business of 'glamping'
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Campers seeking posh digs drive a boom in the business of ‘glamping’

You know that phenomenon when a certain word or phrase suddenly starts cropping up everywhere you turn?  Sometimes such a buzz can mean that a topic is ripe for a business or financial feature, and for me lately the term has been “glamping.” The trend of luxury camping is not new but for some reason […]

Curbing Cars Micki Maynard
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Forbes publishes ‘Curbing Cars’, an EBook by Micki Maynard

The most recent Forbes EBook is by Micheline Maynard, Reynolds Visiting Professor of Business Journalism at the Cronkite School at Arizona State University and a Forbes contributor. ‘Curbing Cars: America’s Independence From the Auto Industry,’ is the sixth book in Forbes’ EBook series.  Distributed by Vook for $6.99, the book looks at one of the […]

Charisse Jones USAToday
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USA Today’s Charisse Jones on tackling business travel writing

When USA Today’s Business Travel Correspondent Charisse Jones moved onto the travel beat about 4 years ago, she didn’t know what to expect. She had spent her entire career as a hard news reporter at the Los Angeles Times, covering issues on social justice and even had her share of L.A. riots coverage which won […]

Missing Malaysian Plane Woman with message written on heart
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As jetliner mystery deepens, offer answers to consumer, worker concerns

While sometimes it’s distasteful to pounce on disasters and tragedies as a source of story ideas, when an occurrence dominates headlines for 10 days and counting, like the Malaysia Airlines mystery has, it’s probably time to look for business angles that might be on your audience members’ minds. The riveting story of the missing jetliner […]

February is for News Lovers
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Valentine’s Day marketing: Beyond candy and flowers

Take Valentine’s Day – traditionally the purview of retail writers covering the annual uptick for jewelry stores, candy factories and florists.   (And if you are taking the traditional tack, be sure to check out the U.S. Census Bureau’s new Facts for Features tip sheet on V Day; it offers stats on retailers, marriage, dating services […]