Ghostwriting trade magazine columns
High Visibility in Your Trade
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The client wants to position himself as an authority in the industry he is selling to. What better way than a recurring column in a leading trade journal to that industry?

My job is to riff on a subject that is relevant to the industry using the information provided by the client combined with my own interviewing and research.

The client gets the exposure, the trade publication gets good editorial content expertly written, and the readers get solid info with a few jokes thrown in for good measure. Everybody wins!
Sample Column

PalletRepairs and International Treaties


By<Ken Lacey>
It’sa small world out there, but it’s full of big time regulations. Who would havethought that your little ol’ pallet plant would have so many entities lookingover your shoulder and making sure you are paying enough taxes, keeping youremployees safe, being a good steward of the environment, and on and on.

Oneof the many agencies, principalities and powers that have something to sayabout the pallets you produce is the IPPC, the International Plant ProtectionConvention. This is the global body behind the “wheat seal” that must appear onany pallet bound for places beyond our borders. It’s the result of a treatythat seeks to prevent accidental transport of harmful bugs and diseases in woodproducts that could contaminate native forests. Any pallet or other woodproduct bearing this stamp certifies that it has been sterilized by heat orfumigation and is sanctioned by the IPPC for international transport.

Blah,Blah, Blah. Already half of you have flipped the page because your facilitydoesn’t do heat treating and your customers aren’t asking for it. But beforeany more of you turn that page, I think you ought to know about the IPPC evenif you don’t heat treat your pallets because not knowing could get you into trouble. If you repair someone else’s stamped pallet and send it back into servicewith the old stamp intact, you are looking for trouble.

Anytime a stamped pallet gets any of its wood replaced during repair, or if youbuild a new pallet using cores that bear the stamp on any members, you areobliged to remove the old stamp. Even if you have no plans to re-treat therepaired pallet, the old stamp must be obliterated. It must not be allowed backin the pool with a stamp that proclaims the pallet is certified phytosanitarywhen it is not. That would be like driving around in your car using yourbrother-in-law’s license tag. Heaven help you if you ever get pulled over…

It’seasy enough to remove the stamp, so this is one regulation that’s not too hardto comply with. You simply cover them over with paint.

Whenstamps first started showing up in the pallet population, recyclers most oftenremoved them with a few bursts of black spray paint that they got at thehardware store. As more pallets began to turn up needing stamp removal, mycompany responded by offering a masking product that more closely matched thecolor of the pallet so the stamp could be covered up in a more professionalfashion. Pallets may be ugly, but they don’t have to go out of your plantlooking sloppy as well.

Anotheradvantage of using a product like Pallet Mask for recyclers that areheat-treating is they can apply the new stamp right over the old one in theplace where inspectors are most accustomed to finding it.
Mostof these stamps are applied with ink and a rubber stamp, but there are a fewguys out there putting theirs on with a branding iron. Painting over these won’ttotally obscure the embossed image, but according to Tom Searles of theAmerican Lumber Standards Committee, Inc. (a domestic agency that deals withIPPC compliance issues), it is considered sufficiently removed if it is coveredover with paint or Pallet Mask.
 
Ghostwriting trade magazine columns
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Ghostwriting trade magazine columns

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