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How is social media changing conventional cause-marketing tactics?
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How is social media changing conventional cause-marketing tactics?

What do Scotch tape, chewing gum, golf balls and Kentucky Fried Chicken have in common?  Well, at least around October, they are among the myriad products whose packaging blooms pink. For nearly 30 years, October has been designated by activists as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM); here’s a primer on how it all got […]

Holiday hiring stories are coming very early this year
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Holiday hiring stories are coming very early this year

Yikes!  I had hoped to hold off till a little bit closer to, well, at least Halloween before tackling the holiday hiring scene.  But with word this last week of summer about the upsized holiday plans of corporations like UPS and Kohl’s, that reindeer has left the stable and your audience will be wondering where […]

Tipping can be arbitrary and in some cases discriminatory.
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Tipping campaign from Marriott spotlights low-paid hospitality industry

From the “seemed like a good idea at the time” department:  Marriott International’s launch this week of a campaign to encourage the tipping of hotel housekeepers landed like a lead balloon, and has a number of angles that business writers can localize to take advantage of the buzz. Marriott on Monday said it has partnered […]

Scotch whisky plays a key role in Scotland's independence vote
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Scotch whisky plays a key role in Scotland’s independence vote

For business writers, enlightening readers about the local ramifications of global events is interesting and rewarding.  And this week,  with all eyes on Scotland, you might take a few moments to show your audience how happenings across the pond might ripple back toward them. Scotland, a member of the United Kingdom, is allowing citizens to […]

Alibaba orange shopping bags. The company has almost single-handedly turned China into the world’s second-largest e-commerce market. Photo: Bloomberg
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Alibaba’s mega-IPO highlights evolving e-commerce scene

Talk about “party like it’s 1999.”   The upcoming IPO from e-commerce giant Alibaba is going to smash records for initial public offerings at an already sold-out $21.1 billion, according to Reuters, and it brings back memories of the good old days when stock buyers were clamoring for shares of other Internet sellers like Amazon, eBay, […]

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 […]

Joan Rivers photo in hands of a fan
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Joan Rivers’ passing spotlights surgical clinics, memorabilia sales

You know you’re a business writer when word of someone’s death spurs you to thinking about the economic impact of that permanent farewell.   The thought flitted across my mind the other day on word that comedienne Joan Rivers had died at age 81, and apparently I was not alone.  An Examiner.com story says “Ghoulish? Joan […]

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 […]

Huge Atlantic City Casino Shuts Down NPR
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As large-market casinos fold ‘em, how are local casinos holding up?

When the first slot machines hit Michigan a couple of decades ago in a small tribal casino, the notion of spinning the wheels was enough of an unheard-of novelty that my mother and I drove two and a half  hours to the central part of the state, for the pleasure of pumping our dimes and quarters into […]