• Meredith McNally

Music, Grandparents, Life & Death

Strange title for a post on a PR blog, I know, but read on and it will make more sense!

First, a little about me and how I made it to Hollywood. I recently returned to the U.S. after a 5 year stint living in Hong Kong. Prior to my Asia adventure I worked as a PR specialist in-agency, then as a consultant when my children were younger. My clients were primarily in the juvenile products, natural foods, and fitness worlds. I worked with Darlene as a consultant for many years, so joining the Hollywood team now feels like a natural fit.

Now, on to the topics of music, grandparents, life & death! (Yes, this post gets a little heavy.) As communications professionals I believe we do our best work, we tell better stories, when we personally connect to the organizations we represent.

Here are some personal stories about how I connect to my current clients.

I grew up in a musical household. From a young age I was taught that music is essential and I believe it. My father is a musician, one of my grandmothers attended Juilliard, I love to sing and play piano. When I learned the South Shore Conservatory (SSC) was a Hollywood client I jumped at the chance to join the account. I feel connected to the SSC mission of sharing the joy of music and enriching lives through the creative arts for people of all ages and abilities.

I was very close to my great grandmother, Millie, who lived to be 103. Millie was fiercely independent and stayed in her own home until she was 99. One night, she fell, broke her hip and was unable to get to the phone. She spent the night calling for help for hours before a neighbor heard her and called 911. It's tough to think about what that night must have been like for her. I work on the BLACK + DECKER Health (BDH) account, they offer health and wellness solutions that add an extra layer of protection in the home. One product in the BDH line is goVia medical alert devices. I feel connected to the BDH mission of helping seniors safely stay in their own homes as they age.

My grandfather Pat was only 58 when he passed away from a heart attack. He loved wearing silly plaid hats, telling jokes and he had recently returned home after spending a year living in Italy. He had a lot of life left to live. I wish we’d had more time together. I am working with Pulse4Pulse (P4P), a company that works with doctors to improve patient outcomes through early detection and advanced health screenings for cardiovascular disease. I feel connected to the P4P mission of helping people have a chance at living more life by taking charge of their health.

This summer I attended the Memorial Service of my last living grandparent, my “Mommom” Flo. She passed away at 91 after entering hospice. While in hospice, her last words to me were about love, family and music. She also told me how well she was being cared for, this brought great comfort. I am working with NVNA and Hospice and recently watched a TED Talk by B.J. Miller a hospice physician who talks about "What Really Matters at the End of Life?" This important question – what really matters - is answered by the staff and volunteers at NVNA every day. I feel connected to the NVNA and Hospice mission of comforting and caring for patients and their families as they move through the last stage of life with grace and dignity.

I am proud to be part of the Hollywood team telling the stories of these inspiring clients.

Merideth and her grandmother Flo

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Marketing as a whole is about telling an organization’s story in a manner that is going to resonate with target audiences. Here at Hollywood Agency, our team of journalist-led experts work with organi