The official blog of Nancy Marshall Communications
offering tips, techniques, and thoughts from Maine's PR Maven, Nancy Marshall


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Winning a Fake Award

Yesterday I received an email announcing that Nancy Marshall Communications had won an award. This is the email I received:


On behalf of the Small Business Institute for Excellence in Commerce, I wanted to let you know that Nancy Marshall Communications has been recognized as a 2013 Maine Excellence Award recipient. Our panel of industry executives and consultants oversees an annual survey commissioned by the SBIEC on various industries and determines which companies meet and exceed the industry benchmarks that have been set forth. Nancy Marshall Communications was one of those selected this year.

Further details on this selection can be viewed on our website including the press release that was produced for this occasion. To review the award and download the accompanying press release please visit and enter the Reference # PPFAC7 on the top right corner of the page. Or you could directly go to the page by clicking the link below.

*Our Media Division will be able to assist with any request for edits in the business name and/or industry specification to be reflected on the physical award as well as adding a personalized company description on the press release. They can be reached at

View your award and press release here.

(This is an award-only notification from the SBIEC but If you wish to not receive any further communication from me please reply to this email with the subject REMOVE.)

Margaret Trudle
SBIEC – Annual Survey Team


Now the first hint that this might be fake was that there was no comma after Nancy in “Dear Nancy.”  This might seem like a small detail to you, but legitimate award organizations pay attention to the little details.

So I Googled the name of the organization:    Small Business Institute for Excellence in Commerce, and came up with a series of posts about the fact that this is an “award for sale.”

I found this post from to be the most helpful:

“The truth: the scammers at the Small Business Commerce Association don’t have a clue about who you are. They don’t care what your business has achieved. Why? Because all they really do is buy old mailing lists and fish for suckers.

If you go to their website and enter your award code, you’ll discover what the scam is all about: claiming your award will cost you between $57 and $150 dollars. For that, you’ll get a badge for your website and a cheap plaque to hang on the wall. Got more money to throw away? They’ll produce a video for you, too — for a price, of course.

The award isn’t a badge of honor … it’s a sign of gullibility. Don’t feed their greed by falling for scams like this one.”

So I am happy to announce that Nancy Marshall Communications has won a fake award, and luckily I was able to rely on the ever-helpful world wide web to learn that it was indeed a fake.