Harper to be roasted for MPAEF benefit

The state press association will roast one Mississippi's Third District Congressman during a benefit for its education foundation.

Rep. Gregg Harper will be the guest of honor for the Jan. 28 event at the Hilton Jackson. Proceeds from the roast are used to underwrite the scholarship and internship programs of the Mississippi Press Association Education Foundation.

Harper is serving his fourth term in Congress, having been elected first in 2008. The son of a former petroleum engineer and a mom who worked two days a week until she was 88 years old, A graduate of Mississippi College, Harper earned his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981. He practiced law for 27 years before running for Congress.

Harper is a former prosecuting attorney for the cities of Brandon and Richland. He also served on the Mississippi Oil and Gas Board. He and his wife Sidney reside in Pearl and have two children, Livingston and Maggie.

Roastmaster for the event will again be Sid Salter, director of Mississippi State University Office of Public Affairs and longtime syndicated columnist. Tickets are on sale now.

The 26th annual Roast will be held in conjunction with MPA’s annual Mid-Winter Conference. A reception will be held at 6 p.m.; dinner begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $80 each, or a table of eight is $600.

Click here to purchase tickets for the event.

Registration open for Mid-Winter Conference

Registration is now open for the Mid-Winter Conference, Jan. 28-30 at the Hilton Jackson.

The event will include the annual Celebrity Roast to benefit the MPA Education Foundation, the Better Newspaper Contest Advertising Division Awards Luncheon and a new Wine Pull Reception and Fundraiser.

Keynote presenter for the conference is noted sales and training consultant Mike Blinder of The Blinder Group, a leading speaker on marrying print and digital sales efforts. Blinder’s company trains advertising managers & sales people how to adapt to the ever-changing media landscape.

He will present two programs, a general session on “Stop Overthinking… Just Sell the Audience!” and an afternoon breakout on  “Being Your Best on Every Sales Call.”

The Wine Pull is a special event that is new to the Mid-Winter agenda and will take place during the Friday evening member reception. Special “numbered corks” will be sold that correspond with bottles of wine that are contributed by members and sponsors. This fun and unique event will benefit the MPA Foundation.

The honoree for the annual Celebrity Roast will be Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.). A resident of Pearl, Harper is serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives after being first elected to Congress in November of 2008.

The conference will culminate Saturday, Jan. 30, with the presentation of the 2015 Better Newspaper Contest Advertising Division Awards.

Click here for an agenda, to register or to reserve a hotel room.

MPS needs your rate updates

Newspaper members are reminded to send their rate updates for 2015 to Andrea Ross at MPS as soon as possible. Rate adjustments need to be entered into the MPS database soon so that we can quote accurate figures to clients for the coming year.

Time to renew your photo press credentials

MPA is offering photo ID badges for newspaper members for $12 each. The credit-card sized badges are laminated and include a photo of the staffer.

All cards issued bear the signature of MPA President Joel McNeece and are valid for two years through Dec. 31, 2017.

Click here for more information or to download the order form.

These special order badges do not replace the traditional MPA press cards that are mailed to each publisher in January. For more information, contact Member Services Manager Monica Gilmer.

Mail sampling can help build your circulation

An increase in calls and emails on sampling questions in recent weeks and months caused me to update this topic on the value of sending sample copies to nonsubscribers using your 10 percent in-county “sampling” entitlement.

The nonsubscriber rules in the Domestic Mail Manual are there to allow you to promote your newspaper to nonsubscribers and increase your mail delivery. Too many papers fail to use this tactic.

Print subscriptions now compete with our own websites, electronic subscriptions, and other free news and information sites. Some readers of free shoppers with news think that it’s the newspaper. It’s no exaggeration to say that we have to work much harder to increase circulation, or just stay even, in paid subscribers these days.

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Read the latest edition of Fourth Estate
The fall edition of Fourth Estate, MPA's quarterly newspaper, is available online. Printed copies were also mailed to all members. If you or your staff have news to share through the monthly eBulletin or Fourth Estate, let us know.


Emmerich Newspapers has closed The Rankin Record. Established in 1996, the Rankin County weekly published its final edition Thanksgiving week… Clarion-Ledger business reporter Clay Chandler has joined the staff of Gov. Phil Bryant as communications director… Shanderia Posey has been named editor of The Mississippi Link. She previously worked for The Clarion-Ledger and Hattiesburg American… Longtime correspondent Hugh Kellenberger has been named sports editor of The Clarion-Ledger. He succeeds David Bean who becomes digital editor for the state’s largest newspaper.


Dec. 10      Webinar – Using Alternative Story Formats
Dec. 11       Webinar – Using Social Media to Engage Your Audience
Dec. 24-25  Christmas. MPA office closed
Jan. 28        MPA-MPS-MPAEF board meetings, Hilton Jackson
Jan. 28        MPAEF Celebrity Roast, Hilton Jackson
Jan. 28-30   MPA Mid-Winter Conference, Hilton Jackson

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