BuzzLine: Recall Crisis Challenge

fruitYesterday it was announced that more stores have been affected by a nation-wide listeria fruit recall. These stores include Costco, Kroger, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Ralphs, and Food 4 Less. The fruits being recalled include peaches, nectarines, plums, and pluots that were packaged at Wawona Packing Co. in Cutler, CA.

The CNN article in regards to the recall says that listeria was found on two nectarines and one peach and it is unclear how the fruits were exposed.

Aside from wanting to spread the word about the possible listeria outbreak and help consumers be informed, this also provided us with today’s BuzzLine challenge.

If you were advisor to Brent Smittcamp, president of the packing company that tested positive for listeria, what would your six-word PR action plan be?

Your answers may look something like:

  • Inform, Investigate, Update, Address, Improve, Repeat
  • Tell the truth, Make amends, Overcome
  • Clean up, brush off, move on

Give us your six-word PR crisis action plan in the comments below. Your PR expertise could earn you a $5 Starbucks gift card (and who knows – maybe even some business from Mr.…

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BuzzLine: Hottest Month of the Year

coolDon’t try this “stay-cool” trick at home- it leads to cuts, bruises, and even chipped teeth!

It’s the hottest month of the year and people are coming up with some pretty strange ways of cooling off. With a large tarp, some environmentally friendly soap and endless buckets of water in hand, professional stunt group SuperTramp created a DIY slip-n-slide. What’s so dangerous about that you ask? Instead of a plastic pool at the end of the slide, these stunt performers slid off a 50-foot cliff and into the lake below.

The video, which took two days to film, shows members sliding off in slow motion in perfect form in everything from a cannonball to a back flop. The performers explained hitting the water felt like “when people take a box of fireworks and throw it at your back.” Other ways these stunt performers have tried to stay cool include creating the world’s most dangerous rope swing, tricycle racing and testing out hover boards in the water.

Although these options might be taking it to the extreme, I think we can all agree it’s time to come up with some easy…

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BuzzLine: What’s Your Utopia?

utopiaUtopia – an imagined world where everything is perfect. It may be impossible to achieve, but it sure is thrilling to think about a society where relaxing is a day job, chocolate doesn’t make you fat and everybody is happy. Well, maybe that’s just my version of Utopia, but that’s exactly the point. Everyone imagines a different way to achieve the “perfect society.”

This fall, Fox is debuting a new reality TV show, Utopia, where ordinary people will spend a year creating a community together based on their perceptions of a perfect society. With characters ranging from the most religious to strict atheists, to partiers and scholars, it seems like a recipe for total chaos. But I can’t say it doesn’t sound intriguing.

Since we won’t know the fate of their so-called “Utopian” society for at least a year, we want to know, in exactly six words, what is your version of a perfect world?

For me, it’s:

  • Utopia: Netflix, wine, beaches and sunshine.


  • Society full of puppies and pizzas

Leave the six-word description of your Utopia and you could be the lucky winner of a $5…

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BuzzLine: Dear, Teenage Self

Dear, Teenage Timberlake: xoxo

Our teen years: that awkward phase between being treated as a child and gaining responsibilities like an adult. Not to mention all the fun of puberty, your first date and those “fashion-forward” clothes you still can’t believe you actually wore. Thankfully we can all relax knowing those years are far behind us…or are they?

A big thanks goes to MySpace this month for bringing back all those dreaded pictures we thought were lost forever. In an attempt to increase user logins and the website’s relevancy, MySpace e-mailed users one or two pictures from their old profiles to remind them of the good ol’ days…and by good, I mean embarrassing.

So in response to MySpace’s newest user engagement outreach, we want to know, in exactly six words, what would you tell your teenage self if you had the chance?

For example:

  • Relax – college will be here soon
  • Stop posting all your pictures online
  • Sigh… Mom really does know best

Leave your six words of advice in the comment section below for the chance to win a $5 Starbucks gift card.…

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BuzzLine: Why are you really watching the World Cup?

Thanks to DC office intern Melissa Mowery for today’s BuzzLine post.


usaEvery four years the United States experiences a strange phenomenon –Americans seemingly become soccer enthusiasts overnight. Although online trends show an increased interest in soccer among Americans this year thanks to the World Cup, the overall data suggests many of us are more interested in telling our friends on social media how interested we are, than actually following the games.

But Facebook isn’t just providing a platform for us to boast about our soccer knowledge, it’s actually creating content relevant to the World Cup. It recently generated “The Ref,” a Facebook page that closely follows all the matches and provides colorful commentary while allowing its followers a social space to talk about everything related to the World Cup. The Ref’s sassy attitude and quick wit has garnered 409,000 “likes” and solid online engagement. And for those of us who do actually follow soccer on a regular basis, Facebook is providing curated content from the #WorldCup hashtag to tell us all about the latest news, scores and statistics.

So, whether you truly have a passion for the sport, or you’re…

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BuzzLine: Thank You, Dads

Thanks to Shalee Hanson for contributing this week’s BuzzLine.


I remember when my dad taught me to ride my bike without training wheels. We don’t even need to go into how many times I fell before I finally picked it up, but every time I did my dad came over, untangled me from my bike, and told me to get back on and try again.

He’s always been like that. Try again, don’t quit, be respectful, work hard, be smart, be safe, be kind —these are a few of the things that my dad taught me as I grew up. He also taught me the important things like how to golf, the best way to build a snow fort and the most effective ways to irritate my mom and sister.

This weekend is the weekend that America celebrates all those father figures, which brings us to today’s BuzzLine. We want to hear the six words that you would use to describe your dad. Your answers may look something like:

  • Funny, Smart, Kind, Jokester, Old, Clever
  • The Man. The Myth. The Legend.
  • My dad gave Danny Tanner competition. (Full House reference.)

But Wait, There’s More!

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BuzzLine: Deck the Halls with Lots of Sprinkles

DoughnutsThe first Friday in June is to doughnut makers what the fourth Thursday in November is to turkey farmers.

It’s National Doughnut Day, Friends!

A “holey holiday,” says Doreen Christensen at the Sun Sentinel.

Big bakers like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts are celebrating by offering free doughnuts. In fact, if you play your cards right, Time says you could snag half a dozen free if you really want to.

Nothing against free doughnuts, but does National Doughnut Day deserve more?

In six words, give us your best “National Doughnut Day” celebration idea. Maybe:

  • Illuminate “doughnut tree” at Rockefeller Center
  • Run 10 miles first Saturday in June
  • Organize a doughnut hunt at office

Leave your six-word idea in the comments below. If we like your idea best, we might try it next year! And we’ll certainly send you a Starbucks gift card next week.

Dig in, and Happy Doughnut Day.

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BuzzLine: Channeling Your Pre-Teen Nostalgia

> on May 29, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland.

Do you know what stichomythia means? How about the origin of the word feuilleton? Can you even pronounce them?

These are the final words Sriram Hathwar, 14, and Ansun Sunjoe, 13, spelled correctly at this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee to become the first co-champions since 1962. After six rounds of eliminations, the young men had essentially used up every word the competition organizers had available, resulting in a tie.

Their prize? An even split of $30,000. That’s a lot of money for two kids who don’t even have their learner’s permits.

Today’s BuzzLine question is a walk down memory lane to your pre-teen years. In SIX-WORDS, what would your 13 year old self spend $15,000 on?


  • Chunky Doc Martens. Rip-away pants.
  • Save it for college, of course.
  • Meeting my pop idol, Ricky Martin!

Leave your best six-word answer in the comment area, and you could be the winner of a Starbucks gift card. It may not be $15k, but it’s enough for a latte or two!



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BuzzLine: Six-Word Summer Plan

summerSummer starts officially June 21.

Unofficially, it starts at 5:00 p.m. today.

Many are hitting the highways for quick getaways this holiday weekend. AAA predicts 36.1 million Americans will journey 50 miles from home, a 1.5 percent increase over last year.

Others are hitting the neighborhood swimming pools. No running!

Those of you playing this week’s BuzzLine are going to answer a simple question with a SIX-WORD answer.

What do you want to do this summer?


  • Keep tomato plants alive and producing.
  • Rollick and frolic in summer sun.
  • Mock snow shovel’s lonely garage existence.

Just leave your six-word summer plan in the comments below.

If we think your summer sounds best, the ice-cold Frappuccino is on us. We’ll announce the winner next week and send a Starbucks gift card.

Have a great summer, friends. Can’t wait to hear what you’re going to do.

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BuzzLine: What’s Your Favorite Guilty TV Pleasure?


As the old adage goes, “April showers bring May flowers.” May also brings its fair share of season finales from our favorite television shows.

No spoilers here, but this year’s crop of season finales brought us a farewell to Christina Yang (Sandra Oh) on “Grey’s Anatomy.” After five seasons, Mitch and Cam (Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet) finally tied the knot on “Modern Family.” And of course, music competition lovers are gearing up for the finales of “The Voice” and “American Idol.”

But all isn’t rosy in season finale-land. “Glee” fell to a dramatic new low for its fifth season finale Tuesday night. The once-hugely popular TV musical dropped to just 1.9 million viewers and a 0.6 rating among adults 18-49. Could this be the end for the kids from Lima, Ohio?

This year’s season finales also will be the last for a few shows, like the underappreciated “Community.” And not too many TV viewers were crazy about Robin Williams’ “The Crazy Ones,” because it also got the boot.

For this week’s BuzzLine, in six words, give us your guilty TV pleasure. How about:…

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