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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 […]

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon with reporters
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Know your place as a business journalist

When I was young, I was covering the historic Texaco-Pennzoil trial in Houston. At one point, James Kinnear, the president of Texaco sought me out and we had a great conversation. He left me his card and wrote his private telephone number on it (this was pre-cell phone days). I felt important. “Never forget where […]

CDC database for Vessel Sanitation Program
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Quicktip stories: Home-prices to cruise ship inspection details

Time flies on news-heavy weeks and the “ones that got away” pile of good stories to localize is growing at an annoying clip.  (Among the missed opportunities, to my chagrin, was this Ragan’s PR Daily piece on tacky MLK Day marketing if you want to add it to next year’s tickler file.)  So before the following are added […]

Truckers stuck in snow
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Quicktip: Is winter’s deep freeze leading to empty fuel tanks, other shortages?

Zooming along at a slippery 30 mph this morning, I tuned into a satellite radio trucker channel; an open-line program drew callers from around the United States reporting on problems big rigs were facing. My ears pricked up when one driver listed a string of truck stops in Illinois and Indiana that were out of […]

CNN extreme weather photos
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From plumbers to bird-seed sellers, who gains when sub-zero temps hit?

It’ll take something pretty amazing to compete for headlines with the extreme weather outbreak ongoing this week across much of the United States.  When people are trying to make it through the daily commute and  other activities despite zero-degree temperatures, another half-foot of snow and other manifestations of Mother Nature, they won’t be in the […]

Motorola wearable scanner
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Package up a feature on trends in the delivery service industry

As parcels filled with holiday goods and gifts begin winging their way ’round the globe, the package delivery industry gets its moment in the spotlight. Even as Americans forego first-class mail in favor of electronic greeting cards and missives, the allure of e-commerce keeps delivery vans hopping.  There was that intriguing news the other day – […]

Truckers and sleep apnea: Pending law should be easy to localize
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Truckers and sleep apnea: Pending law should be easy to localize

When you think about it, pretty much everything in our homes or offices was on a truck at some point, so it always surprises me that a trucking beat isn’t a greater part of transportation coverage by most business desks.  About 1.6 million Americans make a livings as a heavy- or tractor-trailer truck operator, according […]

How to cover a plane crash: What you need to know in a hurry
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How to cover a plane crash: What you need to know in a hurry

The word comes over a police scanner, or in a flash on Twitter, or in a cable news headline: an aircraft has gone down. It is every traveler’s worst night mare, and it can be one for reporters, as well. Today, the word came that an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 had crashed at San Francisco’s […]