BuzzLine: Brainstorm or Brain Fog?

BrainstormYou’ve sent out a meeting request, confirmed there’s time left in your budget, organized your notes and ideas and briefed your team. You’ve done all the right things to prepare for an active and productive brainstorming session but the whiteboard remains blank.

We all understand the importance of hosting a dynamic brainstorming session – it helps collect different viewpoints, builds a team mentality, and most importantly gets you out of your own head – but there’s always something holding back those million-dollar ideas.

So how do you open up the creative dam to let the idea river flow? Many people have chimed in to offer their tips on how to deal with dominators, encourage non-contributors, break the awkward silence, generate fresh ideas etc., but we want to hear your ideas because, hey, that’s the point of a brainstorm right?

Tell us in exactly six words your best tactic for organizing the most inspiring brainstorm session to date.

Not to dominate the conversation or anything, but for me, it’s:

-          Play and brainstorm with a puppy

-          Work outside – fresh air and ideas

-          Bring some pizza…everyone loves pizza


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BuzzLine: Name That Wine Club

Snooth_corks-in-a-glass.jpgRetailers have been using e-commerce to expand their footprint, and now Whole Foods is partnering with to launch the Wine Club by Whole Foods Market.

Hopefully their sommeliers will spend more time selecting the wine than they did coming up with the name.

Help them out by coming up with your own name for Whole Foods’ new wine club.

BONUS: this week, we won’t hold you to the six-word rule.

Here’s what we’ve got so far:

  • Whole Lotta Love, Whole Lotta Zin
  • All For Wine, All For Zen
  • The Sporting Cork by Whole Foods

We’re sure you can come up with something better, so let’s see it! Starbucks on us for the best response.


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BuzzLine: What Would You Do With an Extra Two Hours a Day?

Smart PhoneIt’s time for an intervention – put down that smartphone and listen up.

You – yes you – are spending, on average, 119 minutes a day staring at your phone. Whether you’re reading through email, texting, or even mindlessly scrolling through your Twitter feed, you’re probably spending more time with your phone than you realize. In fact most people spend more time on their phone than with their significant other.

This trend has gotten so out of control that we actually have apps that can tell us how long, and for what we are using our phones to do. You would be surprised how much time you actually spend playing Candy Crush or zoning out instead of checking those “urgent” work emails. Instead of enjoying precious time with family and friends, we’re really only halfway there, while our other half has its nose glued to a screen.

So. We are here to help. This is your wake up call to get smart about smartphones. Tell us in six words what you would rather spend those two hours a day doing, and do it!

For me, it’s:

Enjoy happy…

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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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