How To Network With the Best of Them

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By Erin Clements At MP&F’s fall retreat, networking was a big topic of conversation. This can be an intimidating topic for rising young professionals, but it’s an important skill to have for your own development and for the success of your company. Following our retreat discussion and pulling past advice on the subject, here are my top five tips for networking like a pro, no matter your age or experience level: 1. Make a good first impression. Did you know a person forms an initial opinion of another within the first five seconds of meeting? Dress professionally, hold yourself confidently, …

Get in the Game: College Football Championship Is a Twitter Opportunity Not To Be Fumbled

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By Dan Schlacter We are days away from a historic Twitter opportunity: the College Football Playoff championship game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oregon Ducks on Monday, January 12, at 8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN. You might not like the Bucs or the Ducks, and you might not like football. But, if you have a Twitter account, you might still care about the game. According to TV Media Insights, ESPN’s telecast of the first College Football Playoff game between Oregon and Florida State University totaled 2.56 million tweets by 799,000 unique authors, and was seen by 10.13 million …

Pro Bono Service Is an Important Part of our Company’s Culture

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By Mike Pigott One of my first memories after joining Mark McNeely in this company in 1988 was the fact that he was donating a significant amount of the company’s time to Our Kids, a Junior League-sponsored program that addresses child sexual abuse. Many years later, the dedication to pro bono service initiated by Mark in the late 1980s is still flourishing at McNeely Pigott & Fox. The company currently has teams of employees assigned to serve 26 clients free of charge. Over the course of this year to date, we have performed more than 2,300 hours of service, with …

Where’s the Wine?

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Secrets of a Seven-Year PR Campaign Uncorked By Alice Chapman When Tennessee voters overwhelmingly approved the sale of wine in retail food stores in 78 municipalities last month, they ended a seven-year quest to change outdated liquor laws, and made our state the 37th in the nation to give consumers an opportunity to buy wine where they shop for food. MP&F was fortunate to work with the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association (TGCSA) and retailers across the state for the entire effort, and helped bring to life the 30,000-plus-member Red White and Food coalition. The campaign, which began in 2007, spanned the tenures of two …

Hard To Beat a Great Retreat

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By Katy Varney Mark McNeely likes to tell the story that one of the conditions of my joining MP&F in 1993 was that we would have an annual off-site company retreat. There was no way to predict back then what would evolve into years of company tradition and lore. Mention retreat to any MP&Fer, past or present, and you are sure to get a huge smile and likely several stories that will have you wishing you were there. That first year, when the company was just six years old, 13 of us spent two days at Adams-Edgeworth Inn in Monteagle, Tenn. …

The Next Health Care Trend: Consumer Engagement

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By Dan Schlacter I recently attended Modern Healthcare’s Mobile Health Summit: Connecting Providers, Payers and Patients. As the conversation began, it quickly became clear that health care conversations – especially those about consumer-facing trends like mobile health – must include professional communicators. According to the panel, the manner in which health care is delivered has traditionally been driven by the industry itself. However, with the proliferation of mobile health products – like e-scribing, remote monitoring and health care apps – consumers are beginning to influence how care is delivered by adopting those mobile health tools they find to be convenient. …

Why Negative Reviews Are Actually a Good Thing for Retailers

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Nobody likes to hear negative things about their company online, but the fact is that when people have negative experiences, they want to talk about it. And with so much activity happening online, especially in retail, there are lots of places for this feedback to show up. Your gut instinct might be to delete anything negative. Don’t. Negative feedback isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and companies shouldn’t rush to cover it up. Here are several ways to see the positive in negative reviews. 1. Right a wrong for your customer in front of other customers. Let’s face it – even …

Celebrating Decades in Downtown Nashville

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A version of this post also appeared in The Tennessean. By David Fox Congratulations to the Downtown Partnership as it celebrates its 20th anniversary. As a partner in a company that has operated in downtown Nashville since 1987, I can say that it has made a difference for our city to have an organization like the DP totally focused on making our downtown as functional and user-friendly as possible. As my partner Mark McNeely, who’s on the board of the DP, likes to say, “If you want to make a difference in this city, being downtown is a big advantage.” …

Add visuals to your social media feeds to increase engagement

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If, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, then doesn’t it make sense to plan visuals for your social media stream? I can see a marked increase in engagement in my own blogs and Facebook posts when I use a photo or share a graphic. Often, the visual makes the first impression and draws the reader into the written story. It’s no coincidence that some of the fastest-growing social media tools (Pinterest and Instagram, for example) are based on visuals. For a great real-world example of how cultural institutions are building their presences on social media, check out this New York Times …

Tips for successful blogging … from MP&F’s successful bloggers

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MP&F’s Sarah de Jong recently wrote about how MP&F is Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk by advising clients on blogging best practices, and hosting a number of personal blogs ourselves. That entry ginned up some great feedback on the various blogging tips it included, so we’ve taken it a bit further and transformed some of those tips into the infographic below. Look down the right-hand column of this page to subscribe to blog updates. Have we missed any of your favorite blogging tips?