Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

This case study about Kellogg’s 2013 Target special summer promotion highlights how this cereal giant made vintage designs work. The dangers are many – will consumers think it’s old packaging and old cereal? Will a redesign be effective and reinvigorate consumer interest? Or will it just look old.

The answers are in this case study, which Editor Linda Casey of Package Design called beautifully written. I think the story, “Modern, Vintage, Hip,” also highlights the benefits of team work.

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Looking for humor and a revelation? In this travel essay about Moroccan cooking classes, I reveal the truth about travel: It’s not what you do on a trip but what you learn.

This package on cooking classes included two short sidebars on others who have taken cooking classes in the United States and nationally, and recipes.



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As a freelance writer, I tackle challenging topics for business-to-business magazines, making even the toughest issue interesting and informative.

For this article, I talked to top executives to get their take on how they decide what kind of training to offer, electronic, in person, team building, leadership training among an amazing array of options. Take a look at the article in Training Magazine‘s November issue.

I’ve been writing for business-to-business magazines for nearly a decade, covering everything from creating a pizza empire to credit unions. So if you’re looking for a writer who loves to research new topics, uncover the unusual and decode the tough side of business issues, you’ve found her.

As a former newspaper reporter, I know how to hit the deadline, fact check and deliver professional copy that won’t need any heavy editing. But if you do edit, I won’t squawk. I’m not a diva; I’m just a good reporter and writer who makes an editor’s job a little easier.

Here’s what Sarah Redohl, an editor at the Columbia Business Times, said about me:

“When I assign something to Dianna I know it will get done on time, and there won’t be extensive edits or fact-checks that don’t fare well. Furthermore, she will not cower in the face of a challenging story. Instead she does whatever is needed to get the story done and frequently digs up additional dirt in the process.”

So if you’re looking for someone to write top-notch articles, blog posts or case studies, contact me at or 573.424.5749.

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Katharina Hoffman of Hoffman Commercial Landscaping and other women in the landscaping business are finding new, burgeoning business opportunities with the help of the Women Business Enterprise (WBE) certificate. It’s a lot of paperwork, but Hoffman says she’s found it is also the ticket to a different kind of landscaping work, work for cities, counties and other governmental agencies.

This Landscape Management article outlines what a WBE is, how to get it and how it can help a woman-owned business thrive.

Here’s a link to the article, I want my WBE.


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Every day, real estate apps such as Zillow, Trulia and grow in popularity. So are these new tools replacing real estate agents? Turns out they’re not and instead are making the home buying process even better for both buyers and agents.

In this article, Agent App, I outline what apps every agent — and buyer — should have on their smart phone or laptop when they enter the market.


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As a freelance writer, I love writing about historic homes and even more, I love making new discoveries. Combine the two and you’ve got this article about the historic home at 121 West Boulevard in Columbia, Missouri.

For years, newspaper and magazine articles have proclaimed this house was built by Arch McHarg from oaks on the lot. And each update of changes in ownership repeated that information. But when I started to do the research, I found that information couldn’t actually be proved. I researched the records for the property and found that Arch and his wife Blanche didn’t own the house or the lot until 1935, long after the log cabin had been built in 1911, making the possibility that Arch had brandished an ax to build the log cabin unlikely. However, the records indicate the McHargs were responsible for transforming the humble log cabin into the present stone and wood siding cottage.

I also learned that while Herb and Betty Brown owned the house for decades, prior to their ownership, a fellow journalist lived there, Nadine Coleman, and she’s the origins of the gardens the Browns kept so immaculate and fresh.

Interested in reading more? Click on this link: The Hansel and Gretel House, often called the fairy-tale cottage or the Gingerbread house is surrounded by gardens, making it a cozy sight. But inside the house is a log cabin, making it a touch stone to Columbia’s pioneer past. This article was published in Missouri Life magazine.

Have you written any articles that disproved any often repeated facts? Are there any historic homes that you know harbor hidden history? I’d love to hear your take on updating history.



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One of my favorite kinds of business articles to write is the how-to piece. Here’s one I did recently for Landscape Management.

The Ins and Outs of Houzz — Firms in the green industry are finding ways to use Houzz, an up and coming online platform that links homeowners and professionals. Founded in 2009, in 2013, it boasted 12 million unique viewers, 89 percent of whom are homeowners with an average home value of $450,000. This Landscape Management article outlines how to Houzz.

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