Monthly Archives: August 2011

Labor Day Look Ahead: Sparking Conversation

What does Labor Day  mean to your audience? In Pennsylvania, it means you don't have to pay for a fishing license:  Fish for free on Labor Day. In Cleveland, it means the Air Show.

Around the nation, as we approach this Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 5) columnists will point to stagnating wages for the average worker, as this Roanoke writer did in 2006: There's not much to celebrate on Labor Day –

Ideas for prompts for your site, Facebook page and Twitter feed that will spur reader engagement (short url's included to make sharing easier):

*Ask for nominees for the oldest worker. Five years ago, a nonprofit identified what it said was the oldest worker in each state, including  Louise Carpenter, 91, in Pennsylvania –

*Ask what bosses are doing for the day — or what they should do for workers. Ernst & Young, with 140,000 employees around the globe, is giving its US workers an extra day off as a Labor Day celebration (in addition to the usual three-day break). The company announced this with a tweet:

*Are gas prices leading families to alter plans for a road trip? Gas prices are up over a year ago but down about 3% in the last month: Daily Fuel Gauge Report–national, state and local average prices from the AAA

*History: do readers know what worker conditions were like 120 years ago, when the holiday started?Federal Department of Labor has this history of the holiday: The History of Labor Day

Ask workers if they or their families are better off, the same, or worse than they were five years ago.Is there a family in your area with three generations of union members? Four generations? Five?

*Politics of Labor Day range from national (Obama To Attend Labor Day Festivities In Detroit to very local. In Wasau, WI, the fight is over a move by parade organizers to bar Republican office holders from marching in the town's parade. The mayor threatened to withhold city funds and now Republicans are invited, too | Wausau Daily Herald |

Is there a parade in your area: ask readers if they plan to march or attend the parade? Do they have a favorite part of the celebration?

What works for you? How have you sparked a conversation with readers about Labor Day?


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Back to School (College Edition): Tips for Local Coverage

About 3 million students are just starting college in their freshman year. A quick back-to-school guide with some local experts adding quotes to this information will help these students and their families. A bonus: the students stay connected to you, a connection that will be important when they want information from home.

Themes, suggested prompts for your site, Facebook and Twitter, and resources. (Short url's included to simplify any tweets or other sharing.)

The Tech
Does your college student know how to search for information on the internet?  College Students Are Bad at Google
Recent college students: What is the one tech tip you wish you knew as a freshman?

How much do you plan to spend each semester on books?
Two free apps for your phone or iPad to keep textbook costs as low as possible:
Amazon Student

Dartmouth has suggestions about making effective use of study time: Where To Study / How To Study
Oklahoma U student paper compiled these tips: | Freshman study habits emphasized
How many hours a week do you think the typical college student spends studying? How many hours a week do you plan to spend studying?

The Room
What is the one essential item to have in a dorm room?
50 Cheap Ways to Decorate a Dorm Room | Apartment Therapy Los Angeles
Students: send us a photo of your room — before and after you are moved in.

From the hurricane zone:
A parting gift:  don't forget the "Hurricane Survivor" t-shirts:
What one item from home should a college student have as a reminder?

The NYTimes offers discounted subscriptions to college students. Does your publication? The New York Times  – Students Page
One more prompt: Ask students for a photo on campus reading your website or publication.

Have an example to share? Send it along:


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