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TODD SMITH — Local news surges as a hungry public seeks the latest on the Coronavirus

Local news is seeing an increase in audience as people seek the latest information on the Coronavirus crisis. In a new report, Nielsen says that news viewing in the top 25 markets was up 6.9% for the week of March 9, compared to the week of Feb. 3. Different age groups showed different levels of increase. People 25 to 54, the ...

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TODD SMITH — How to keep the public informed during the Coronavirus crisis

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced the world into a new normal! This crisis – like all major crises that grip society – greatly impacts business, industries, organizations and communities of all sizes. While the circumstances surrounding a crisis vary greatly, there are general best practices PR professionals should be prepared to deploy, according to the Public Relations Society of ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — Image is everything, even in Mississippi

When I taught a college Communication course a couple of years ago I would begin the first class of the semester with having students interview each other and then introduce the person they interviewed to the rest of the class. Then, without giving them any information about myself except what they could see in front of them I would give ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — Customers are judging every aspect of every transaction

Once upon a time, I did some research about customer transactions for a company that had an office where customers could come in, sign up for new accounts, make payments on existing accounts and otherwise transact business. My task was to learn more about why customers were coming to the facility to transact business when they could just as easily, ...

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Pine Belt PRAM recognizes best in PR

The region’s best public relations professionals were recently honored for their achievements by the Pine Belt Chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM). The awards, bestowed annually at Pine Belt PRAM’s Chapter Awards Banquet, recognize outstanding work in the field of public relations and celebrate select individuals for their contributions to the profession. “Public relations practitioners work tirelessly ...

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TODD SMITH — Twitter to begin labeling misinformation

Twitter is experimenting with adding brightly colored labels directly beneath lies and misinformation posted by politicians and other public figures, according to a leaked demo of new features shared with NBC News. Twitter confirmed that the leaked demo, which was accessible on a publicly available site, is one possible iteration of a new policy to target misinformation. The social media ...

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Belhaven University announces new degree in digital media

Belhaven University is now offering a degree in the fast-growing field of digital media. From apps to games, news, social networking, and even software, digital media blends technology and content that is seen, watched, and read every day. “Belhaven’s Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media will help students prepare for an increasingly-digital world,” said Bill Moak, Belhaven University’s Chair and ...

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Mitchell named new vice president of marketing and communications

Millsaps College announced that Annie Schott Mitchell, current vice president of marketing and communications at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., has been named to the newly created position of vice president of marketing and communications. In this role, Mitchell will be responsible for Millsaps’ brand stewardship, marketing and communication strategy, social media management, public and media relations, editorial content and ...

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Jase Payne joins The Focus Group

The Focus Group, a strategic marketing, advertising and PR firm with offices in Biloxi and Jackson, announced the addition of Jase Payne as Business Development & Public Relations Strategist. The firm has recently made strategic moves to strengthen its focus on results-driven marketing Jase joins the team to help expand overall business development efforts while serving as the lead in ...

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TODD SMITH — The Force is with Star Wars cross promotion

The new Star Wars movie – “The Rise of Skywalker” – is more than a month away from hitting theaters, but the cross-promotion force is already with us! Numerous brands are jumping on the galactic battle faster than you can shake a lightsaber! Recently, Halmark launched a new holiday spot with 180LA, in which a daughter surprises her parents on Halloween ...

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