BuzzLine: Sharks in the Media – Time for Change?

sharkWhat do you get when you add a splash of mystery, a good hook, and a tear-able villain that never sleeps? One of the longest running television events in history.

Unless you’ve been living in a bubble, you’ve either seen or heard about Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. It’s a full seven days dedicated to fueling American’s fascination of everything shark-related. The 27-year-old program delivers shows ranging from fiction “documentaries” to real-life footage of shark encounters and attracts a variety of people from curious children to thrill-seeking adults.

Shark Week isn’t the only event obsessing over our fish friends though. Recently “Sharknado 2: The Second One” aired on television and audiences around the globe watched as the U.S. experienced a fictional tornado filled with ravenous human-devouring sharks.

But why are we so consumed by these shark-themed programs? Is it the real-life threat lurking near our beaches, or the mystery of a species that has been characterized as a villain since the days of “Jaws”? Whatever it is, we love it and don’t want it to stop – but maybe it’s time for an update.

In lieu of Shark…

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Wedding Bells…and Dollar Signs



Summer is in full swing, and we all know what that really means — wedding season.

Yes, the wedding business is booming. A recent survey conducted by the showed that the average cost of a U.S. wedding has risen to more than $28,000 in 2014. Even attending weddings is getting expensive. American Express reports that the average American attendee will spend $592 per wedding in 2014, a 10 percent increase from the previous year.

Why are weddings becoming so expensive? Little things add up quickly, and everyone wants the best. In the age of viral social media, everyone wants their wedding to be noticed. For example, take  the couple who stood in front of an approaching tornado for the perfect shot or the recent trend of having celebrities “photobomb” your wedding pictures.

While the costs and stakes may be rising in the real world, it’s always fun to imagine the fairytale. For today’s #BuzzLine, we want to know – in only six words – on what would you spend an unlimited wedding budget.  Perhaps it’s …

  • Beyoncé singing me down the aisle
  • White…
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BuzzLine: Can your summer stress be cured by $15K?

buzzlineSummer is all about relaxing vacations, so what’s the source of our summer stress? For me, and many travelers, the epitome of summer stress is arriving at the airport to see the security line wrapped around and around without an end in sight.

It’s ironic really. You plan this lavish, luxurious vacation to a tropical paradise and your whole trip can be turned upside down by the dreaded TSA security line.

Thankfully, TSA isn’t blind to the dilemma and they’re willing to dole out a pretty penny, a total of $15,000 in cash prizes, to anyone with innovative plans to shorten wait times. According to TSA, their new online contest is “looking for the Next Generation Checkpoint Queue Design Model to apply a scientific and simulation modeling approach to meet the dynamic security screening environment.” Think you know how to fix the problem? You can enter your scientifically inclined ideas at their InnoCentive website.

In the meantime, while all of us travelers continue to suffer through the hair-tearing-out experience that is airport security, tell us your genius six-word plan to make travel less stressful. Our favorite ideas?

  • Coffee for everyone.…
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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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