Feature Stories With Heart

Feature stories have heart. Feature stories have warmth. Most of all, feature stories force a writer / reporter to evaluate the human side of a community – beyond the facts, beyond the opinions – to find the spirit of the story.

I have always favored feature stories (or soft news) as a writer because it gives me the chance to get to know people on a higher level than straight news reporting (hard news) does. Beyond that, it also forces me to work as a reporter with feelings – yes, some reporters have actual feelings.

For the past few weeks, I've evaluated a variety of types of college feature stories in preparation for a workshop I'm presenting at the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Advisers National College Media Convention. After sifting through stacks and stacks of archives of papers, I've come to the conclusion that college newspapers are much more active to seek out the feature elements than mainstream, professional newspapers.

My students (and former students) from The Montage, have compiled heartwarming stories of life and death, fun and frolics, and service and sacrifice. Here are a few examples:

"A Day in the Life of Mary Davis:" As a regular series, my students write personality profiles, covering students, faculty, staff, locals, etc. This particular story highlights an 86-year old student still eager to learn.

"Turning Lead into Gold:" This profile provides an in-depth look at a faculty member's passions.

"Inauguration Road:" Following a road trip to the White House for Barack Obama's engagement, two of my students compiled a piece about a 1st person account of the journey itself.

"What's Brewing in St. Louis:" Beer is a priority for many college students. Recognizing this, my students compiled an in-depth centerspread on St. Louis. Louis' beer culture, including a list of "things" to do with beer.

"The Vertical Expression of a Horizontal Desire:" Fun and frolics come in all shapes and sizes as detailed in this feature about the art of tango music.

This list of stories (found at http://www.meramecmontage.com ) includes a variety of subjects, topics, and angles. Primarily, though, these stories offer readers something "different," something soft – a much-needed break from the heart-wrenching news of reductions, murders, and swine flu statistics. Even more so, they offer reporters (whether student or professional) a chance to explore more than just the facts but rather the fun-loving spirit of life.

I could spend all day listing compelling, heart-warming and entertaining features that have been written by both students and professionals, but I'd rather open my eyes and seek the next big story that could possibly touch someone else's life and in return, touch mine.

3PL Logistics Solutions for Better Warehousing and Distribution

What is 3PL Logistics?

The term 3PL stands for third party logistics. It is a process that refers to the outsourcing of supply chain functions and logistics functions to a third-party provider. When one engages in a product manufacturing business, the process of shipping logistics becomes vital. There are many businesses that have ties with contract warehousing, commercial carriers, government postal services and various airlines to get their products shipped from the manufacturing facility all the way to the end customer. However, when the product is ready to ship, the 3PL logistics collect the package and conveniently deliver it to the end customer. The total shipping costs is billed by the service carrier to the business handling department. The third party logistics specializes in transportation and shipping, in turn saving the overall costs of the business and their need to invest in trucks, planes or employees to transport the goods or packages.

In brief, 3PL is a platform in logistics that manages and outsources goods of one company to another company. In the international business market, companies offering third-party logistics have gained a lot of popularity. They are becoming dominant in the field of supply chain management. The support and services that is provided by a third-party company normally include consolidation services, freight, delivery of freight and warehousing and distribution. 3PL services offer logistics solutions to domestic as well as international transactions.

Warehousing

Contract warehousing or also widely known as warehousing and distribution is another method that conveniently outsources to third party logistics. This facility is useful for those businesses that want to efficiently devote their time and efforts to other important priorities like sales, manufacturing and designing of the products. Basically, a third-party warehousing service reduces the number of employees needed and also the amount of space needed for a business to function smoothly.

Advantages of 3PL Logistics

The main advantage of 3PL system is the transportation of goods and products along the supply chain. This logistics includes the proper shipping of items along with handling of paperwork that is related with the shipments.

Another advantage is the concept of third-party outsourcing. When a company hires another logistics organization to manage the shipping and distribution part of the business, the company saves its costs on many aspects. It also improves the quality of the products that are designed and manufactured. Most of the companies believe that 3PL service providers offer quality supply chain services instead of running some functions internally.

3PL logistics system brings many other advantages like less manpower and fewer business headaches. Having a self-business and being an owner of a company, one needs to do everything possible to ensure the profit margin remains intact and profitable. Third-party logistics definitely scrutinizes every problem and provides a solution to everyone’s needs.

Be True To Your Finances

Money will never be enough. Whether you earn $100 or more there will always be room for more and more needs and wants in your life. Currently I earn twice as much as I used to earn two Years ago but my expenses are also twice as much. If you do not watch out on the trend you take with your needs and your income, you will get frustrated and think the problem is with money yet you are the one causing the problem.

I prayed for wisdom on how to spend wisely to avoid pitfalls and I got help. I have not reached the peak but so far I am very happy with the way I manage my finances. At this point in time I will give you tips on how to manage your needs and wants in regards to money and avoid going overboard. The secret is to live within your means and this is how

1. Write down your daily needs and wants that you spend on and divide the needs and wants into three categories; Daily, Weekly and Monthly

2. Beside each category write down the needs and wants and how much you spend on them. Be honest with yourself do not underestimate or overestimate, you have to be on point. If you over/under estimate you will not make it. Prices do not change within a short period of time so you will have to go to a grocery shop or supermarket to get the exact price of the commodity you buy daily, weekly or monthly.

3. Find totals for each category, for example, your daily category must be multiplied by thirty for you to know how much you spend in a month and the weekly budget by four. Add up your totals and see how much you spend.

4. If your budget exceeds what you earn, then you have to review your needs and wants and be disciplined enough to reduce your wants at this moment and check whether your needs may also be overboard. If you find that your needs are expensive, then you should find a place where the same needs can be bought less expensive, for example; instead of buying tomatoes or other raw vegetables and fruits from a supermarket try getting them from a local vendor. If the house you are staying in is eating up your money move to a descent less expensive apartment.

5. Stick to this budget and consult it regularly, go back and check whether you are on track or off track. Try this for just a month and you will see a very big positive difference and you will even manage to save money.

Developing A Strong Trademark And Copyright Strategies Can Be Vital To A Business

A company’s trademarks, whether in the company’s name, or likeness, or in that of its products, are crucial to protecting the goodwill generated through its investment in people and capital. It is significant to its brand, as it helps identify and protect the integrity of a brand, and ensures that the company distinguishes itself from its competitors. The trademark also readily informs the consumer that the goods or services are of a certain quality or standard. The goodwill derived from a strong trademark can improve business by giving the consumer a positive impression about the product and doing business with the company itself.

Trademark rights arise from actual use of a name, logo or symbol in the marketplace. There are several actions that a company can take in order to protect its trademark portfolio, namely its registered trademarks, service marks, unregistered trademarks, domain names and corresponding copyrights.

A first suggestion is to develop a strategy to determine which marks are important, and how, where and when the trademark rights are to be asserted. This action includes determining which legal jurisdictions are important from a business and marketing perspective. Once a trademark attorney has conducted the necessary trademark searches and cleared a proposed mark, it is advisable to rapidly file for a federal trademark registration. The timing of an application for registration is also critical because typically the first to file takes priority over subsequent filings in respect of identical or similar marks. Once the proposed mark is registered, it is important to note the registration date and the renewal date in order to ensure continuous protection of the mark.

Another action relates to trademark usage. In managing a trademark portfolio, it is important to ensure that rights do not lapse due to non-use of the mark. Depending on the relevant jurisdiction, the ownership rights to a mark may lapse if the mark has not been used for a period of three to five years. It is important to implement programs based on a competent attorney’s advice to ensure continued use, or at least a seasonal or rotational use of marks to prevent cancellation or revocation of them. It is also advisable to ensure correct usage of the marks because they can lose their distinctiveness and value if they become eroded.

A recommended strategy to maximize the value of a trademark portfolio is to be vigilant and to take swift action to prevent infringement or deal with it accordingly when it is detected. The owner of a trademark portfolio must be prepared to take action to preserve rights by employing both defensive and offensive strategies. Defensive strategies, including marking the products with TM, SM and ® symbols can help reduce legal fees and establish legal damages through fair warning to would-be infringers. Defensive tactics also include conducting consistent surveillance of the market place and the competitors’ activities, and educating the consumer on how to identify genuine products as well as alerting them of infringing products.

Numerous offensive strategies are advisable as well. For instance, a company can appeal or oppose the registration of marks that are identical or confusingly similar to its own marks. It is also advisable to issue cease and desist letters, or publish warnings when infringement is detected.

In taking these actions, it is advisable to seek the best legal consultation regarding the management of the trademark portfolio, itself, as well as determining the instances and nature of potential infringement. Leading trademark counsel are also effective advocates that can provide advice and counsel on how to deal with infringement, through amicable resolution or an enforcement action if necessary.

Therefore, choosing the best law firm that is qualified to provide sound legal advice on trademark and copyrights related matters is a critical issue for any business venture. Good advice can mean a strong brand in the marketplace that serves to protect capital investment and deter infringement by competitors. The alternative is erosion of goodwill with customers, and easy infringement. The latter may mean loss a fortune in human and financial.