Working With Good Research

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My colleagues Mark McNeely and Alice Chapman, along with an incredible MP&F team, have just completed a clean sweep of national awards honoring their work for the statewide “Red White and Food” campaign to allow the sale of wine in Tennessee retail food stores. Not only did they win “Best of Show” at the local Parthenon Awards last spring, they’ve just completed the trifecta of national awards – the SABRE Award, the Silver Anvil Award and the PRWeek Public Affairs Campaign of the Year award. For a Nashville public relations firm to claim all of these awards in one year … Read More

MP&F wins PRWeek’s Public Affairs Campaign of the Year for Red White and Food Campaign

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  We are excited to share that MP&F took home yet another national honor for the Red White and Food campaign at the PRWeek Awards in New York City last Thursday. In the article below, PRWeek explains why MP&F’s and the Red White and Food Coalition’s work won the 2016 Public Affairs Campaign award: ‘Where’s the wine?’ That message, uttered by shoppers in Tennessee grocery stores, was the rallying cry of MP&F Public Relations’ campaign to allow wine sales in the state’s grocery establishments. The process was harder than it sounds. Although state legislators passed a measure that would allow … Read More

Tested. Tried. True. Business advice from Mark McNeely

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Back in 2011, my friend Gini Dietrich asked me and several of our marketing and PR colleagues nationally to write one-pagers for a book she was working on titled “Dear CEO: Letters to the C-Suite from Experts on Vision, Culture, Community, and Integration.” The advice was to help organizations make it through the Great Recession. My one-pager was in the Community section. In total, there are 32. There was a recent instance that made me want to pull it out for a quick read. In reviewing this more than five years later, I don’t feel that I would change a … Read More

Reflections on Being a Diversity Fellow at MP&F

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MP&F was thrilled to work with Bryan Byrdlong during his time as MP&F’s first diversity fellow. Bryan spent six months at MP&F, and the following blog shares highlights from his experience. Click here to learn more about our diversity fellowship program, or visit to apply. The deadline for our 2016 fellowship is April 1, 2016. Fellowship 1: community of interest, activity, feeling or experience 2: the state of being a fellow or associate To say that my time as MP&F’s first diversity fellow has been invaluable both personally and professionally would be an understatement. It is difficult to summarize a six-month … Read More

12th Awards: Mike Pigott wins for Community Cheerleader

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12th & Broad recently honored recipients of The 12th Awards during a reception at Rosewall in Nashville. The awards are designed to honor Nashville’s most innovative, creative and community-minded individuals and organizations of the year. MP&F founding partner, the late Mike Pigott was posthumously honored for his work in the community. Here is a short letter of appreciation written by his wife, Sharon. 12th Awards: Mike Pigott wins for Community Cheerleader posthumously The Tennessean February 3, 2016 Mike Pigott loved Nashville and he loved journalism. From the first day he arrived in this town some 40 years ago, he made … Read More

2015 in Review

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Happy New Year. May 2016 be productive and rewarding. Before it gets too far gone, though, I want to talk about 2015, a year like none I have ever experienced in my 28 years of PR agency work. 2015 was wrenching, heartbreaking and heartwarming. Our partner Mike Pigott’s untimely passing in June was a historic low for our company. We lost not only a great practitioner, but a great person. There is not a day that has gone by since June 29 that I have not wanted to ask his advice or opinion on something related to our company, our … Read More

The Boss: Katy Varney, McNeely Pigott & Fox

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Katy Varney’s roots in Tennessee and Nashville political circles run deep. She took time off in college to work on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign, a stint that got her a job offer straight out of school from Ned McWherter. She served on McWherter’s staff when he was governor and most recently worked with Megan Barry on her successful mayoral campaign. Those ties put Varney in a unique and powerful position. She’s a close adviser to Barry and also a partner in Nashville’s second-largest public relations firm, McNeely Pigott & Fox. In her spare time, you’ll likely find Varney baking. Read the Nashville Business Journal’s … Read More

Four steps to create ads that drive action

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Marketing trends come and go, but successful ad campaigns play by some age-old rules. How can you create ads that drive action? Below are four key points to keep in mind during the creative process. Don’t lose sight of your goal. This may sound like a basic concept, but we’ve all been in that conference room when a brainstorm gets lost down a rabbit hole. Whether you want to increase sales or drive traffic, state your goal early on, and for every idea, consider whether the end justifies your means. We recommend sticking with the KISS principle – Keep It … Read More

The Story of Perry Wallace Continues To Blaze Trails

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This time a year ago, MP&F partner Andrew Maraniss was waiting on pins and needles for his first book, “Strong Inside,” to be published. Now, he’s receiving phone calls from Ethel Kennedy and having his book mentioned along with those written by the likes of Alex Haley, Pat Conroy and John Lewis, which to say the least is a true honor for him and an incredible point of pride for everyone at MP&F. How he managed to write this book – over seven years of nights and weekends – without ever letting it affect his work as a partner in … Read More

Mentoring Accelerates Career Success

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As a friend and former longtime client of MP&F, I was always impressed with the company culture. There is an ingrained sense of service to the community, a desire for personal and professional growth, which is encouraged, and a great camaraderie among all levels. Part of that culture stems from its two complementary mentoring programs, one of which I now spearhead on a volunteer basis. There is a “formal” program for all entry level employees, known as staff associates, and an “informal” one available to everyone. Formal Program for Staff Associates: During the first week or two at the firm, … Read More