Written by Smoak PR

Merline & Meacham, P.A. Receives Multiple Awards by Best Lawyers® for 2021

GREENVILLE – August 24, 2020 – Greenville based law firm, Merline & Meacham, P.A. is pleased to announce their inclusion in the 2021 U.S. News – Best Lawyers ® rankings. Over half of the firms’ ten attorneys were recognized in annual ranking.

The following were selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© for 2021: Robert E. August in the fields of Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law, Corporate Law, Litigation and Controversy – Tax, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Tax Law, and Trusts and Estates; Verne McGough Jr. selected in the fields of Tax Law and Trusts and Estates; Keith G. Meacham in Business Organizations (including LLCs and partnerships), Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law, Litigation – Trusts and Estates, Litigation and Controversy – Tax, Nonprofit/Charities Law, Tax Law, and Trusts and Estates; David A. Merline Jr. in the fields of Corporate Law, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Litigation – ERISA, Litigation – Trusts and Estates, Litigation and Controversy – Tax, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Nonprofit/Charities Law, Tax Law, and Trusts and Estates; Marie Monroe in the fields of Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law, Employee Benefit (ERISA) Law, Nonprofit/Charities Law, Trusts and Estates; and Douglas B. O’Neal in Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships), Closely Held Companies and Family Business Law, Corporate Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Tax Law, and Trusts and Estates.

In addition, David A. Merline Jr. was named the Best Lawyers ® 2021 Corporate Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Greenville, S.C while Keith Meacham received the Best Lawyers® 2021 Litigation and Controversy – Tax “Lawyer of the Year” award. Robert August was also recognized by Best Lawyers® as the 2021 Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships) “Lawyer of the Year” award winner. Finally, Andrew Merline received a 2021 Best Lawyers®: One to Watch recognition for Trusts and Estates.

 “We are thrilled to have members of our team recognized by Best Lawyers®. Receiving this honor is a special distinction that signals a unique combination of excellence and breadth of expertise,” says David A. Merline Jr. “We look forward to continuing to provide the highest quality legal work for the upstate for many years to come.”

About Merline and Meacham: Merline and Meacham is a Merline & Meacham, P.A. was founded in 1970 in Greenville, South Carolina. The firm’s practice concentrates on tax, estate planning, trusts and estates, corporate and business transactional law. For more information, please visit the Merline & Meacham website at https://www.merlineandmeacham.com

Written by Smoak PR

Spinx Launches Food Truck: The Cluk Truk

GREENVILLE, SC – August 10, 2020 – Greenville-based fuel and convenience retail company The Spinx Company, is delighted to announce the launch of its new state-of-the-art food truck, The Cluk Truk! This food truck will serve the same legendary chicken that is sold in Spinx convenience stores across the Upstate, allowing people to enjoy the popular offering in a new and exciting setting.

“We are so excited to offer a new and enjoyable way to serve the Upstate community,” says Stewart Spinks, Founder and Chairman of The Spinx Company. “This has been a long-time dream in the making, and we believe that it will provide a unique way to introduce our legendary fried chicken to even more people across the state.”

The following menu items will be featured via The Cluk Truk:

  • Chicken Tenders – original or spicy
  • Buffalo Chicken Snack Wrap
  • Chicken Tender Slider
  • Chicken Tender Sandwich
  • Cole Slaw
  • French Fries
  • Canned Sodas & Spinx Water

 The food truck will be available for booking beginning this Fall. Until then, it can be found at various Spinx locations across the Upstate only.

 To locate the food truck, the community is encouraged to keep a close eye on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @Spinxcluktruk, or visit https://www.myspinx.com/cluktruk/.

 ABOUT SPINX – Founded in 1972 in Greenville, S.C., The Spinx Company operates 84 convenience retail stores throughout South Carolina, and with approximately 1,400 employees, it is the largest privately-held retailer headquartered in the state. Spinx is committed to making life easier by fulfilling people’s everyday needs with fresh, on-the-go food, beverages and other convenience products delivered in a safe, clean and friendly environment. Through the Spinx Xtras Loyalty program and the Spinx mobile app, the company offers its loyal customers savings on fuel and special promotions.

Written by Smoak PR

Social Influencers 101

A common buzzword you may be familiar with is “influencer”. What exactly defines a social influencer? Is it the number of followers someone has, the brands represented or how “known” they are throughout the digital world? Believe it or not, social influencers are considered one of today’s strongest social media marketing tools. Through partnerships with influential accounts, brand awareness ultimately increases, and companies enter into a community built upon communication between brands, consumers, and market leaders.

Influencer marketing is a strategy used to promote products and services through partnerships with popular social media users who have a large, highly engaged audience. Companies and brands partner with users to build product and service credibility to drive sales and it is important to take advantage of social influencers within your target market. By collaborating with influencers, you will maximize your digital presence which will directly affect your brand awareness and sales. Check out a few reasons why you should take advantage of social influencer relationships and why it is so important in today’s digital world:

  1. Reach a larger audience – Partnerships with social influencers increase your brand awareness and broaden your audience. When influencers share product/service reviews and showcase your brand through blogs, social posts and stories, your brand audiences expand, and your following grows.
  2. Build brand trust – A strong influencer is one who has highly engaged followers. Engaged followers are those who trust an influencer’s opinion, listen to product reviews, and interact with the influencer’s stories and posts to learn more about your brand. When influencers share honest reviews of your product/service, engaged followers listen.
  3. Grow your following – Get in front of followers other than your own! We are always looking for other ways to increase account followers and this is a great way to do so. Engaged followers of influencers are more likely to follow your brand after seeing that they support you and would recommend your product/service to their platform.
  4. Increase traffic and sales – Over time an increase in account followers results in a return on investment in sales. As your brand gains traction on social media due to your collaboration with influencers, an increase in website traffic and sales is guaranteed so take advantage of these opportunities. It will pay off in the long run and benefit your company in a great way!
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Caldwell Constructors Awarded Building Contracts for Projects in Clemson and Greenville

GREENVILLE – July 13, 2020 – Caldwell Constructors is pleased to announce they have been recently awarded two exciting contracts with repeat clients including Gastroenterology Associates and Senior Action.

Clemson Endoscopy Center at Patrick Square will be the fourth project Caldwell Constructors will renovate for Gastroenterology Associates & Endoscopy Center in the Upstate. This project will include the construction of a 9,200 square foot medical office building and related site work at Patrick Square in Clemson. Caldwell Constructors will be working in unison with SHLTR Architects to complete this project.

Clemson Endoscopy Center at Patrick Square

Senior Action, an organization based out of Greenville, outgrew the space Caldwell Constructors renovated for them in 2006. The current project is a 33,000 square foot interior and façade renovation of the BI-LO shopping center located at E North Street and Howell Road in Greenville. The project consists of offices, fitness areas, an event hall, and entertainment functions such as music and visual arts. Caldwell Constructors will be working with architect Craig Gaulden Davis to complete this project.

Senior Action Building

“We are excited to continue working with these two wonderful clients,” says President of Caldwell Constructors, Gary Caldwell. “Each of these projects will bring a new and refreshing look to our client’s workspace, and we look forward to exceeding their expectations and delivering a space for them to be proud of.”

All projects complete by January 2021.

About Caldwell Constructors

Caldwell Constructors is a full-service construction company that focuses on building relationships and providing exceptional service to clients across the Upstate of South Carolina. Caldwell Constructors has extensive experience in commercial, industrial, institutional and medical market segments. Their approach to delivering projects with unwavering integrity, creative problem solving, and tireless work ethic has earned Caldwell Constructors an excellent reputation in the Upstate. For more information, please visit the Caldwell Constructors website at www.caldwellconstructors.com/.

Written by Smoak PR

CommunityWorks Opens Women’s Business Center and Hires Program Director

Greenville, SC | Monday, July 6, 2020 – CommunityWorks is proud to announce their selection by the Small Business Administration as one of two organizations in South Carolina to house a Women’s Business Center. The CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center will enable and empower women entrepreneurs and will be led by Program Director, Ana Parra, who will manage the programming and operations of the center.

Parra joins CommunityWorks from a local marketing agency and brings a background in community development, nonprofit leadership, and communications. A current board member of Public Education Partners and Speaking Down Barriers, and a graduate of Leadership Greenville, Parra’s passion for the community and professional experience lays a strong foundation for the center.

The CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center focuses on serving women, particularly minorities, who may be economically disadvantaged, and works to offer comprehensive training and counseling on a vast array of business-related topics. CommunityWorks, an SBA approved lender, has the mission to build opportunities for all through equitable lending, investing and financial education. This mission closely aligns with the goal of the new center to provide tailored services through advocacy, outreach, education and support to women entrepreneurs who are seeking to start or grow their own business.

“The CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center will serve to broaden the reach and scope of their current programming, and place a unique focus on supporting underserved and underrepresented women entrepreneurs,” said Greenville Chamber CEO, Carlos Phillips. “Their ability to expand their services in this way will ensure Upstate South Carolina’s women entrepreneurs will have greater access to capital and coaching to expand or start their small business. We at the Greenville Chamber see great value of such an effort.”

Tammie Hoy Hawkins, CEO of CommunityWorks, added, “We believe small businesses are the backbone of our community, and we look forward to serving more women entrepreneurs throughout South Carolina.”

The center will be operated out of CommunityWorks office at 100 W. Antrim Drive in Greenville. Those who are interested in learning more about the CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center can visit the webpage.

The Women’s Business Center is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services. All SBA-funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

About CommunityWorks

CommunityWorks was established in 2008 as a local housing trust fund through a partnership between the City of Greenville, United Way of Greenville County and Greenville County Redevelopment Authority. CommunityWorks’ mission is to build a brighter future for underserved families and communities through financial education, lending, and investing. In 2011 CommunityWorks was certified by U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) which operates a community loan fund that supports community economic development.

Since its inception, CW has generated over $221 million in local economic impact and has provided 33,900 hours of training and coaching, served 4,008 families, provided over $3.9 million loans to startups and existing small businesses, and deployed over $6.3 million in affordable housing and community loans that have created or preserved over 662 affordable housing units.

Written by Smoak PR

Spinx Announces Third Annual Clukapalooza Contest

Greenville, S.C. – Jun. 29th, 2020 – The Spinx Company, a Greenville-based fuel and convenience retail company, is excited to announce details regarding the upcoming third annual ClukaPalooza! The ClukaPalooza contest will begin on Monday, July 6th and will continue throughout the month of July until Friday, July 31st.

To enter the contest, contestants must simply keep their paid-for receipt and enter the transaction code listed on the receipt, at Spinx.com/ClukaPalooza. By visiting Spinx’s Facebook page, contestants will also have multiple chances to win free chicken coupons and an official ClukaPalooza t-shirt. Contestants may order from Spinx’s CSS kiosks, or purchase food from the hot food chute or the Fresh on-the-go food case. Spinx will also be offering specials on their fresh-fried chicken throughout the duration of the contest.

“We are thrilled to be hosting our third annual ClukaPalooza, not to mention kicking off the contest on National Fried Chicken Day” says Stewart Spinx, Founder and Chairman of The Spinx Company. “This is a great opportunity to engage with our loyal customers, as well as get folks ready for the exciting news that is yet come!”

Spinx is encouraging the community to stay tuned regarding an exciting special announcement set for late Summer 2020.

One contestant from both the Upstate and Charleston, who purchased fried chicken during ClukaPalooza, will win free fried chicken for an entire year. Winners will be announced during the first week of August.

ABOUT SPINX – Founded in 1972 in Greenville, S.C., The Spinx Company operates 82 convenience retail stores throughout South Carolina, and with approximately 1,400 employees, it is the largest privately-held retailer headquartered in the state. Spinx is committed to making life easier by fulfilling people’s everyday needs with fresh, on-the-go food, beverages and other convenience products delivered in a safe, clean and friendly environment. Through the Spinx Xtras Loyalty program and the Spinx mobile app, the company offers its loyal customers savings on fuel and special promotions.

For more information about Spinx or the Spinx Xtras program, visit the company’s website at www.spinx.com.

Written by Smoak PR

Smoak Public Relations Hires Digital Media Coordinator and Assistant Account Executive

Greenville, SC | June 18, 2020 – Smoak Public Relations is excited to announce the hiring of Ashtyn deBessonet as a Digital Media Coordinator and Megan Moore as an Assistant Account Executive.

DeBessonet will focus on digital media marketing and social media management.  Moore will focus on supporting a variety of client initiatives and social media.

DeBessonet attended Clemson University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree. “Ashtyn brings to our team and our clients her unmatched understanding of brand communications and content strategy,” said Katherine Smoak Davis. “We are impressed with her design and creativity abilities on every project she leads.”

Ashtyn DeBessonet

Moore attended The College of Charleston where she studied communications. “Megan’s interpersonal skills will help her build and maintain relationships with our clients,” said Katherine Smoak Davis, “Ashtyn and Megan are great additions to our team and we are excited for the contributions they will make at Smoak PR.”

Megan Moore

ABOUT SMOAK PUBLIC RELATIONS:

Smoak Public Relations deeply believes that all companies have untold stories. Drawing on over 25 years of professional experience, Smoak Public Relations focuses on cultivating relationships, creating memorable experiences, developing brands and telling stories that ultimately deliver measurable results. The Smoak PR team combines industry insight and best practices to transform client initiatives into actionable, impactful messages that influence and inform.

For more information about Smoak Public Relations, visit the company’s website at www.smoakpr.com.

Written by Smoak PR

The Importance of Media Relations When Building a Brand

Media Relations gives your brand depth and personality whether you are building your personal brand or one for business. Establishing and developing lasting relationships with those in the media landscape is critical to your brand’s success. These relationships will be helpful as you look to tell your story and ultimately increase your overall brand awareness throughout your community.

Below are a few tips on why building relationships with the media is critically important.

Happy storytelling!

1.       Work smarter, not harder – Utilizing the platforms that media outlets have access to like their social media pages, print publications, comprehensive email databases and more, allow you to share your message to a larger audience with great efficiency. By introducing yourself and your brand to local writers, reporters and influencers you are able to build relationships with those in the market who have the loudest voices, and therefore, the greatest impact.

2.       Establish yourself as a thought leader – After introducing yourself to local media outlets, as well as sharing your story, you will hopefully gain the opportunity to have your story published. Coverage in a local business magazine, or highlighting your expertise in the local major daily newspaper, establishes you as a thought leader among your peers, and within your industry. This is great for building a solid reputation and continuing to enhance your own brand moving forward.

3.       Challenge yourself – As PR professionals, it is our job to build relationships with local media in order to effectively tell the stories of our clients. We realize that you may not have the expertise to simply shoot an email to a reporter and ask for coverage. What you can do is pick up the publication that you wish to be featured in and read it! Look for who is writing the articles that most closely resonate to you and your brand and then do a bit of research for contact information. Once you find their email address, a simple email introduction and “pitch” can go a long way! Getting out of your comfort zone to build your brand is important, and challenging yourself to do research and ultimately start to build relationships with those who can tell your story, will be very helpful as you continue to grow.

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Intern Blog: What We Look Forward to Most During Our Time at Smoak PR

As rising juniors and seniors in college, we are ecstatic to intern with Smoak PR this summer.  Each of us have a strong interest in the communications sector, and we are eager to put all that we have learned in the classroom into practice, as well as gain invaluable knowledge that we will carry forever. The current set of circumstances under which we are living have proven to be unique and challenging. Conversely, it has provided us with a rare opportunity to generate new ideas and gain real-world experience, navigating working in an industry that thrives off of in-person communication and events. Looking ahead to this summer, here are a few things that each of us are looking forward to about interning at Smoak:

My name is Emily Gallman and I am a Winston-Salem, NC native. I am looking forward to getting true hands-on experience in the workforce. As a rising senior at Clemson University, my studies focus on Marketing and Brand Communications. While brand communications has given me a small glimpse into the advertising and public relations world, I truly believe that my experience this summer will far surpass the knowledge I can gain within the four walls of a classroom. Throughout the summer, my hopes are to develop and strengthen tools like writing, strategizing while deepening my creativity. I also want to explore career paths that incorporate event planning and social media management, so I am at the perfect place.  I am so excited to spend the next few months at Smoak PR and cannot wait to reflect on the skills I gain throughout the summer!

My name is Meg Einstein and I am studying Communication Studies and Advertising at the University of Alabama. I was born and raised in Greenville and plan on moving back after I graduate. During my time at Smoak PR, I am really looking forward to developing and sharpening skills such as writing, creative thinking, and developing relationships with people in and out of the office. There is only so much about PR that you can learn in a classroom, and I am excited to get some hands-on, real world experience in a field that is constantly evolving.

My name is Kate Childs and as a rising senior and Communications major, I am thrilled to spend my summer interning with Smoak PR. Greenville has become one of my favorite cities over the past three years during my time at Furman University. As a place that is rapidly expanding and growing, it serves as an ideal location for gaining hands-on experience in public relations. I am also a politics and international affairs major, therefore much of my passion lies in the overlap between public relations and politics. As such, I am looking forward to gaining experience working on political campaigns, and as a result refining my writing, branding, and rhetorical skills. Additionally, I am excited to gain experience working at a PR firm, learning about what a job in public relations entails on a daily basis, as well as getting to know everyone in the office. Finally, interpersonal relationships are deeply important to me, and an integral part of a career in public relations. I am so excited to form new relationships with co-workers, clients, and others and build on those relationships in years to come.

My name is Breya Moss and I am a Greenwood, SC native. I am currently studying Communications with a focus in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing at Coastal Carolina University. As a rising junior, I am looking forward to gaining real world experience in the PR field. I look forward to developing professional relationships and gaining hands-on experience during my time at Smoak PR. I am interested in pursuing career paths in social media management and community relations, so I am excited to dig deeper and learn more about how these sectors work together. During my time at Smoak PR, I hope to find my passion in the PR field and am excited to grow and learn more about all that comes with PR.\

This summer carries the potential for endless opportunities for growth and creativity. We are going to put all of our efforts into this internship and cannot wait to experience interning at Smoak PR!

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Written by Smoak PR

Caldwell Constructors Hires Three New Team Members

GREENVILLE, SC – June 2, 2020 – Caldwell Constructors is proud to announce the addition of Paul Avery, Richard Heath, and Zach Miles to their team. With over 50 years of combined experience, all three new employees will bring their knowledge and skillset to Caldwell Constructors while upholding the company’s core values of integrity, honesty, respect, service, and communication.

Paul previously worked in and around the construction industry for 18 years, most recently serving as the field manager for a local framing contractor. Paul joins Caldwell Constructors as a Foreman. Richard is serving as a Senior Estimator and joins Caldwell Constructors with over 35 years of construction experience as a carpenter, superintendent, project manager, business owner, and estimator. Richard currently serves as the National Director of the Professional Construction Estimators Association Upstate Chapter. Zach is serving as an Assistant Project Manager helping manage multiple projects. As a recent graduate from the Construction Science and Management department at Clemson University, he served as President of the National Association of Home Builders student chapter and earned his LEED GA certification.

“We are excited to welcome three very talented and experienced new members to the Caldwell Constructors family,” says President of Caldwell Constructors, Gary Caldwell. “They each provide a valuable set of skills and will be an exceptional addition to our team.”

About Caldwell Constructors

Caldwell Constructors is a full-service construction company that focuses on building relationships and providing exceptional service to clients across the Upstate of South Carolina. Caldwell Constructors has extensive experience in commercial, industrial, institutional and medical market segments. Their approach to delivering projects with unwavering integrity, creative problem solving, and tireless work ethic has earned Caldwell Constructors an excellent reputation in the Upstate. For more information, please visit the Caldwell Constructors website at www.caldwellconstructors.com/.

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