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  • Mary Ellen "Mel" Miller

Local PR Pro Writes Book on the Boone Dam Project: "Fill the Dam Thing Up!"

Updated: Sep 16, 2023



(JOHNSON CITY, Tenn.) - In her debut book, “Fill the Dam Thing Up!”, veteran

accredited public relations professional Mary Ellen Miller shares her insights and advice on how to build community and cohesion while facing an adversarial public. From her experience leading community relations for the international award-winning, $400 million Boone Dam infrastructure project, Miller offers tips and wisdom on how to:


  • Work with the media and stakeholders

  • Involve concerned lake residents coping with sudden change

  • Create a project communications plan in “real time”

  • Give back to the community through service projects

And much more.


Fill the Dam Thing Up! is the communications playbook for anyone involved in an infrastructure project. It is a short, concise account of the seven-year Boone Dam repair project, packed with practical advice and insights. This book is a must-read for community relations professionals, communicators, and major infrastructure project managers.


Miller shares humorous stories she learned on the project—everything from

construction workers chewing tobacco and serving bear meat for lunch, to learning that “dressing for success” on the job site meant wearing her pink hardhat and work boots. Miller learned to translate the technical, often accented language of this international project into communications that informed the public in Appalachia and beyond.


She has donated a copy of her book to both the Johnson City Public Library and the

Jonesborough Public Library.


“We appreciate this donation from a talented author with a well-known local story, now told from the communicator’s viewpoint,” said Julia Turpin, Johnson City Public Library director. Turpin said the book will be featured in the new “Local Interest Section” in the Buffalo Mountain Room of the library.


Miller will hold a public book signing at The Moon Coffee and Tea House, 325 E Main St. on Saturday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m.– noon. Books will be available for sale at the signing; paperbacks are also available on Amazon at this link. An audiobook is in production.


Miller can be reached via her website and on social media via her Linkt.ree.



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