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Prisoners as consumers: Behind bars is some big business
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Prisoners as consumers: Behind bars is some big business

By on Jul 24, 2014

We write a lot about consumer demographics, from college students to young parents to Baby Boomers – but there’s one cohort of spenders that tends to get overlooked even though it comprises a pretty significant market:  Prisoners. NBCNews recently ran a very interesting piece, “Prison inmates offer captive market for gadget makers,” that was rich [...]

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The basics of guerrilla journalism
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The basics of guerrilla journalism

Our calling is inhabited by three kinds of news organizations. Let’s use the Sergio Leone scale: • The Good are ones that practice serious, aggressive journalism, value business news, encourage constant learning by journalists and believe their readers are smart people. At one time, these were called “destination newspapers.” • The Bad are those with [...]

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Weird Al Yankovic takes on business lingo in latest video

Wrapping up a series of eight videos in eight days, Weird Al Yankovic parodies business language. With a tune that sounds very much like Crosby, Stills & Nash’s “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” the song – “Mission Statement” features Yankovic harmonizing with himself on lyrics full of corporate jargon. As he sings, an artist illustrates the [...]

The world of fandom – Comi-Cons – is ripe for financial stories
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The world of fandom – Comi-Cons – is ripe for financial stories

What’s a multi-billion industry that draws celebrities, corporate exhibitors and hundreds of thousands of free-spending enthusiasts to events in multiple venues nationwide? No, not talking about NASCAR, the NFL or the beauty pageant circuit.  The movement I’m thinking of is the world of fandom – comic cons (comic conventions)  cosplay (costumed role playing) and related [...]

Microsoft layoff news prompts a look at job cuts
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Microsoft layoff news prompts a look at job cuts

Word last week that Microsoft will be jettisoning 18,000 workers raises the specter of mass layoffs, a frequent occurrence several years ago but one we haven’t heard much about lately. A few industries stand out in terms of recent job cut numbers, according to the outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas; the firm’s monthly jobs [...]

Hack to flacks: PR advice from a cranky journalist
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Hack to flacks: PR advice from a cranky journalist

Some of you will go directly into public relations or “public affairs” (I always wanted to be in public affairs, but that’s another story). Others are journalists who will leave mid-career for the “dark side” of PR. The latter used to be a sure shot — journalists had the best contacts, writing skills, etc. That’s [...]

Do $7 billion deals like Citigroup’s really help consumers?
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Do $7 billion deals like Citigroup’s really help consumers?

This week’s announcement of a federal government settlement with another major mortgage lender is reviving buzz about the mortgage messes that contributed to the economic meltdown, and might be something you’ll want to use a springboard to consumer stories about the home loan market. The U.S. Department of Justice agreed to end its civil investigations [...]

Tracking Tribal Cash and Influence to Washington: Self-guided training
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Tracking Tribal Cash and Influence to Washington: Self-guided training

This training was originally held during the Native American Journalists Association’s (NAJA) annual conference in Santa Clara, Calif., July 10, 2014. In Washington, money helps make just about every decision — every law that is passed, every regulation revised and every new or discarded agency policy. From issues unique to Native Americans, such as tribal [...]

What new finger-food trends are replacing cupcakes .. or are they?
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What new finger-food trends are replacing cupcakes .. or are they?

The headline-making saga of the Crumbs Bake Shop company – the cupcake chain that closed all of its stores only to receive a last-minute reprieve from an investor group – suggests a few ideas for localizing food-related business stories. The potential survival of the Crumbs chain is good news for its investors and workers, bad [...]

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