By Tom Hayden

President Obama speaks at Amazon's Chattanooga Fulfillment Center earlier this week.

President Obama speaks at Amazon’s Chattanooga Fulfillment Center earlier this week.

As a former professional political communicator, I’ve managed and staffed my fair share of events with elected officials, with big titles such as mayor, representative, senator, governor and even president. One thing that always becomes clear at these types of events is the difference between those staffers who are there to get their personal photo op and those who are there to get the job done. While it is easy to get your head turned among so much excitement, I’ve always held the most respect for those who are more willing to forgo the personal glory in order make sure the event is successful. I was reminded of this again as colleague Sam Kennedy and I helped client Amazon prepare for a presidential event at its Chattanooga Fulfillment Center this week.

Instead of strategizing about ways in which we could be close to the president, Sam and I spent our drive down from Nashville discussing ways to ensure our client’s needs and message didn’t get lost. Once on-site, we set about getting our tasks done, from working with national and local media to helping with staging and working with a wonderful team of Amazon volunteers who played key roles in the event.

With an event of this magnitude, we were interacting with varied interests from the White House, Amazon and the media; but Sam and I kept our focus.

While I wish I had a photo of us smiling with the president, I am more proud of the photo at the top of this post showing a successful event that clearly kept our client front and center. After all, one of MP&F’s mottos is to fulfill our promise to do great work for our clients.


MP&F’s Top 25 PR Questions

December 18, 2012

McNeely Pigott & Fox is celebrating 25 years in business during 2012, and one of the ways we’re celebrating is by answering the 25 questions we are most often asked about our business.

Question 18: How does MP&F create client teams?

By Diane Hargrove


“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”


Some of my proudest moments as a public relations professional are those I share with my co-workers: hearing how a client program improves the life and future of a young person, seeing the work we’ve done have an impact on the city in which we live or the future health of an individual, celebrating MP&F’s first national Silver Anvil award, or winning new business after hours spent preparing a response to a request for proposal.

MP&F is built around teamwork. We couldn’t achieve the great things we do for our clients without all of us working together. 

MP&F staff 2012

When you hire MP&F, we create the right team for the job, whether it’s one person or 60.

With 65 people with different skills and experience levels, we can put together the right team with the right skills for the right client. Our size also allows us the ability to devote extra resources on behalf of a client when needed.

For example, when we coordinated the John Templeton Foundation’s Spirit on the Square  event this summer, MP&F was able to send 20 people to the site to help coordinate every aspect of the event, from the live entertainment to booth setup, giveaways and logistics.


A partial main stage crowd shot from the Spirit on the Square event in Winchester, Tenn.

While we all have gained very specific skills in specialized areas for our clients, the company makes a conscious effort to ensure everyone is a well-rounded public relations professional. Again, it’s another one of the strengths that we bring to bear on behalf of our clients every day.

We work hard to make sure we have the right team for our clients. And we work hard to remind ourselves that, as a team, we can accomplish anything.