Buzzing About

Alison Mehrman

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All the buzz: August 2016

Posted by Alison Mehrman on Aug 31, 2016 2:16:15 PM

Somehow, summer is already coming to a close. It seems as if back-to-school campaigns and pumpkin spice latte advertisements have been popping up everywhere the past few weeks (even in Alabama, where sipping on a PSL in 90 degree weather just doesn’t seem quite right). But even though summer is winding down, business has been ramping up. Client events, new work and personal milestones have kept us buzzing in and out of the office at lightening speed. Check out what we’ve been up to lately.



All of our event planning this summer culminated in one especially exciting weekend August 26-28. The second annual Reel Hope Classic fishing tournament kicked off with a Captain’s meeting and pre-party on Friday, August 26 before fishermen and junior anglers took to the seas on Saturday. The tournament raised more than $30,000 for pediatric cancer patients at Children’s of Alabama, and we were pleased to be part of this great event. And while our involvement was on the PR side, Taylor and I even got up the nerve to hold some prized fish on the podium.

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At the same time, JJPR also had a presence at Mobile’s first Startup Weekend event, which ran from Friday to Sunday. Powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, Startup Weekend is a business pitch competition and educational experience for entrepreneurs that is hosted all over the world. We were excited to get involved with this great event and will be providing 10 hours of pro-bono public relations and event management services to the winning team, Conference Cash.



From dragon boat races to nonprofit fundraisers and business pitch competitions, we’ve done a little bit of everything this summer. Check out our Event Planning Workbook to learn about some of our best practices and event planning strategies.  

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It’s safe to say we’ve been blessed to work with some fabulous clients, old and new. And new clients have been streaming in from a variety of sectors recently. While we can’t reveal too much just yet, we can say that we’ve been hard at work crafting new branding concepts and campaign ideas that we can’t wait to unveil!

In the meantime, one of our exciting recent projects for existing client Fuse Project has been the branding of the organization’s new nonprofit co-working space, Fuse Factory, slated to open in fall 2016. From naming the space and designing the logo to brainstorming ideas for the interior, we’ve had a lot of fun bringing Fuse Factory to life.




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Babies & Weddings & Shows, Oh My! 

Amidst all the excitement of event planning and new work, it’s also been a very special month for the team. Kelsey and her husband Andrew celebrated the birth of their first baby, Everett Grant, on August 1, and we were lucky to be among the first to meet their new bundle of joy when they got home. Welcome baby Everett!



Less than two weeks later, I flew up north for my wedding. I married my new husband, Tyler, on August 12 at Aldrich Mansion in Warwick, Rhode Island, and have been on cloud nine ever since! Our honeymoon to Italy has been postponed to the fall (hopefully!), but we enjoyed a “mini-moon” in New York the day after the wedding, where we got to see Wicked on Broadway and explore the city. The magic didn’t stop when I returned to work—the lovely ladies of JJPR decorated my desk and bought me beautiful flowers, and one of our amazing clients, Innovation PortAL, was also kind enough to bring flowers and a card. Thank you everyone!

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Speaking of marriage, both Jennifer and Leigh celebrated wedding anniversaries recently. Somehow, Jennifer’s been married over twice as long as Leigh, though both are as happy as newlyweds! Meanwhile, Sarah has been hard at work rehearsing for her next theater performance in Chickasaw Civic Theatre’s upcoming rendition of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Creative maven by day, theater star by night—we are always impressed with her talent!


Keep up with us in next month’s All the Buzz!


Topics: event planning, PR agency, JJPR agency, eventPR

All the Buzz: July 2016

Posted by Alison Mehrman on Jul 6, 2016 1:00:00 PM

There’s nothing quite like summer in Alabama—the intense heat, the fun community events, the God-send that is a refreshing glass of ice-cold sweet tea. And while the weather is heating up, so is business. Of course, we’ve paused for family vacations and Fourth of July celebrations, but our clients have kept us busier than ever. See what we’ve been buzzing about lately.


Events have been the talk of the JJPR office this summer. We’ve been busy planning them, promoting them, and even writing down our best practices to share with you. See our new Event Planning Workbook to learn our tried-and-true techniques for executing seamless events.

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On June 11, our client, Fuse Project, held one of the most anticipated events in Mobile—the third annual Dragon Boat Festival. More than 1,500 paddlers and as many as 10,000 spectators joined together at the USS ALABAMA Battleship for the race, raising more than $215,000 to benefit children in Mobile and Baldwin counties. We were thrilled to be part of this special event and are already excited for 2017. Paddles up!

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And onto the next one! Another of our clients, Children’s of Alabama, will be hosting its second annual Reel Hope Classic fishing tournament on August 26-27, benefiting pediatric cancer patients. Right now, we’re getting the word out on Reel Hope and celebrating the success of Children’s last event, the June 11 Children’s Cup Regatta, which raised over $20,000 for patient care.

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Amidst the excitement of event planning, we’ve also been hard at work on a host of other branding and PR projects. From launching new campaigns and designing new websites to spreading the word about our fabulous clients’ recent successes, agency life is never dull!

We’re especially excited about the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance’s (BCEDA) newest campaign, Business Where You Beach. BCEDA and local partners launched the new campaign aimed at bringing business to Baldwin County in a May 23 press conference at Jack Edwards National Airport.

We’ve been working on a lot of aspects of this campaign, but we’re most excited to show off the new Business Where You Beach website. Simplicity was key in the design concept—after all, Baldwin County’s beautiful beaches and business advantages speak for themselves. Check it out!

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Speaking of new websites, our design wizard Sarah (as she’s come to be called around the office), also recently whipped up a website redesign for Safe Harbor, a housing community in Bayou La Batre. We’re loving the nautical theme and easy navigability.

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With as much work as we’ve been accomplishing, we’ve been happy to have a helping hand in the JJPR office this summer. We recently welcomed intern Taylor Lewis to the team, and she’s been by our side for lunch outings, press conferences and client meetings as she learns all about public relations. Taylor is a recent graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi who is eager to learn and up for any challenge we throw her way—welcome Taylor!



Of course, we wouldn’t be able to talk about office life lately without mentioning the latest installment of Boston meets ‘Bama. I’ve now been in the office for just over four months, and while the culture shock of moving from northern Massachusetts to deep south Alabama has definitely mellowed, the differences in speech and frames of reference still cause us to pause and laugh every once in a while. In fact, we’ve been keeping a list, so I hope y’all are ready:

  • Mullet Toss: To Gulf Coasters, it’s the signature event of the local Flora-Bama bar and restaurant where participants “throw a dead mullet over the state line of Florida and Alabama to see who gets the farthest.” Duh. Well, to a newbie from Boston with no fishing experience, my first visual was of mullet-hairstyle wigs being thrown in some sort of bizarre contest.          mullet_toss.jpg
  • Decatur: While making a media list one day, I innocently asked if anyone knew of any good contacts in “Deck-ah-tour.” I thought I was being Southern by giving the city a French-sounding flair, but the native Alabamans in the office weren’t having it. The “Deck-ah-tour/Dee-kait-er” debacle is ongoing.
  • Putt Putt: Um, what…? You mean mini-golf, right? 


  • Elastic: Wrapping up client brochures one afternoon, I asked if someone could hand me an elastic. I was answered with blank stares. Apparently, “elastic” is not synonymous with “rubber band” in Alabama. Upon further research, we discovered it’s actually more of a Canadian thing, but either way my northern roots were showing.

And there you have it. We get a little silly laughing about rubber bands and fish hurling contests in the JJPR office every so often, but it keeps things interesting.



Despite all the fun going on in the office, it’s always nice to take time to relax and recharge with family. The Jenkins family vacationed to Jamaica in June, and we were totally jealous of Jennifer’s Caribbean glow when she got back.



Meanwhile, Leigh and her husband, Fred, recently enjoyed a kid-free trip to New York City, where Fred was part of the inaugural class of Emerging Leaders for the International Downtown Association. They are currently in the mountains of North Carolina with their two boys celebrating Fourth of July week by hiking, climbing waterfalls and enjoying the cooler temperatures and lower humidity.

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Kelsey and her husband, Andrew, also recharged with a family beach trip to Orange Beach, while Sarah enjoyed a birthday weekend trip to Birmingham to see “Wicked.”

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As for me, I’m shipping up to Boston next week.

Stay tuned for next month’s Buzzing About! (Hint: weddings, babies, and more exciting client projects are all on the horizon).


From Boston to ‘Bama: Working in the South is Wicked Awesome, Y’all

Posted by Alison Mehrman on Mar 23, 2016 12:00:00 PM




Starting a new job is always an adjustment, but when a Yankee starts working in the Deep South, each day is an adventure. Born and raised just outside of Boston, I recently relocated to the Gulf Coast, and JJPR was kind enough to take in this northerner as their new public relations account coordinator. 

I’ve found the field of public relations to be the same anywhere—making media lists, writing content for clients and strategizing the best avenues for exposure. But in these first couple of weeks on the job, I’ve definitely noticed differences between office life in Alabama and Massachusetts.


The Lingo

That presentation isn’t “wicked good,” but it’s “real nice, y’all.” 

Language is one of the biggest distinctions between my coworkers and me. I’m sure they’ve wondered what “wicked” is all about, or why I sometimes don’t pronounce my “R’s.” At the same time, I’m enthralled listening to them talk about buying “john johns” for their children while pulling out their “billfolds.” (Boston translation: “overalls” and “wallets”).

I’ve also had to learn how to pronounce local cities like “Bayou La Batre” correctly.

Side note: I can now better appreciate when people new to Massachusetts don’t know how to say towns like “Peabody” and “Gloucester.”




Chick-Fil-A is to the South what Dunkins is to the Northeast: You can always count on one being nearby, and it helps get you through your workday.  Of course, trading my DD caramel swirl iced coffee for sweet tea and waffle fries hasn’t been easy on my waistline, but it’s sure been delicious.



Small Town vs. Big City  

In my Boston-area internships and jobs, our big-name clients were usually represented by disembodied voices in conference calls. In Daphne, Alabama, our clients are friends, neighbors, coworkers and community leaders. Everyone knows everyone else, and making connections is much easier.



Earlier this week, my friends in Massachusetts scraped snow and ice off their cars and journeyed to work bundled up in heavy overcoats and hats. Meanwhile, I thought it was a little chilly for Alabama and wore capris instead of a dress to the office. I still haven’t rivaled my coworkers’ awesome senses of style, but I’m inspired to go shopping now that I can trade winter boots for heels. 




I’ve finally escaped congested Boston streets and parking garages for wide-open spaces and farmland. My commute still takes me about an hour, but now it’s to go 58 miles instead of 13, and I don’t even have to bang any U-ies on my drive in. Now, “whatever all” you guys think, that’s pretty cool. 



Despite these differences, both Massachusetts and Alabama have been great to me. I’ve had wonderful jobs, coworkers, and bosses in each, and while I’ll always be a Boston girl at heart, I’m loving the Southern hospitality here at JJPR. 


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Topics: Alabama public relations, PR agency, JJPR agency, public relations