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Author Archives: Contributing Columnist

BOOK BIZ — Heartbreak and heroics inside a flooded hospital

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Did she or didn’t she? That’s the big question in Sheri Fink’s much-lauded work of nonfiction, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. The “Memorial” in the title is the now renamed Ochsner Baptist, located in New Orleans. Nearly ten years ago, after the levees failed following Hurricane Katrina, Baptist, like much of the city, began ...

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TODD SMITH — SEO tips to help PR content rank highly with Google’s latest update

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Google’s latest algorithm rollout, which began last week, continues the search giant’s commitment to rewarding high-quality, user-focused content with higher rankings. Here are three easy tips for optimizing your PR content for better results from Entrepreneur: 1. Go long – many PR pros got used to writing short content because news release services provided a surcharge if copy ran over ...

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JEFFREY GITOMER — Show me the value, or I’ll show you the door

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How do you make a sales presentation? No I don’t mean warm up, probe, present, over come objections, close. I mean what’s the big picture of your sales presentation? What’s the content of your sales presentation? And most important how are you certain that you engage your prospect in your presentation? What makes your sales presentation different AND compelling. CONSIDER ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Gov. Bryant serious about public contracting reforms

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Gov. Phil Bryant continues to take seriously the reform of public contracting in Mississippi.    Last November, Bryant, responding to the contract scandal that erupted from the arrest of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps, established a special task force to conduct a comprehensive review of the Mississippi Department of Corrections’ (MDOC) contracting and procurement processes.     In December, the five-member task ...

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DAVID DALLAS — Mississippi goes cray-cray for Gray

Robert Gray of Jackson, Miss., who won the Democratic primary for governor, stands outside the governor's office at the state Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. Gray, a long distance truck driver, was a surprise winner, having spent virtually no money on advertisement and doing a limited amount of campaigning. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

This past Tuesday, Robert Gray, an unmarried truck-driver, whose own mother had no idea he was even running for public office, won the Democratic primary for governor. Since winning, Gray’s been called a Republican plant, a stooge for the “Legalize Cannabis” Initiative 48 crowd, and been accused of not being serious about his candidacy. Gray did not even vote in ...

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PEYTON SMITH — Managing heat-related risk

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I f there is one thing that we can all agree on about Mississippi in the summertime, it is that it’s hot. No matter how hard we try or what we do, the heat isn’t going anywhere and we can’t seem to cool off. From a risk management and  insurance standpoint, the hot conditions of the summer can lead to ...

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JOSH MABUS — Mississippi’s golden opportunity: Beer

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Lately I’ve found myself looking to a new group of Mississippians for creative inspiration — a group that so seamlessly mixes food, engineering and art. They’re entrepreneurs and innovators. Of course I’m talking about Mississippi’s growing population of beer brewers. For the longest time, when I thought about breweries, I thought about the sterile big-brand breweries in Milwaukee and St. ...

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BOOK BIZ — Revisiting the life story of a civil rights pioneer

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Reading Anne Moody’s searing autobiography of her time growing up in Wilkinson County, I was struck again and again by her bravery. I’d read the book before, years ago, but felt drawn to it again recently, and found it just as powerful now as ever. Born in poverty and raised by a mother who worked multiple jobs to put food ...

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DAVID DALLAS — Our flag and states’ rights at the Neshoba Country Fair

Ronald Reagan spoke at the Neshoba County Fair in 1980 as he was running for his first term of President of the United States.

In the final months of his first successful presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan gave his most enduring speech right here in Mississippi at the Neshoba County Fair. More important even than his famous “Tear down this wall” speech. According to Republicans like Condoleezza Rice and George Shutlz, the better known “wall” speech was pure rhetoric that did little to end the ...

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