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

 

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WGAN’s Mike Violette Gives the Inside Scoop on Social Media

WGAN Talk Host, Mike Violette

Politics are dicey in the world of public relations, so it’s probably a good thing that this week’s Monday Maine Maven, WGAN’s Mike Violette, would rather talk about himself and how his love of Maine and social media keeps him fresh.

Violette says, “Politics aside, I just try to listen to what people are talking about when I’m not behind the microphone. Whether it’s in Mardens or Hannaford, I make mental notes and who knows? It might just make it on the next day’s show.”

He adds that he is lucky that the management at WGAN, the Portland Radio Group and Saga Communications are supportive of his leanings, whether they’re political or not, and credits this for his transparency on social media. Mike says, “My job is to have an opinion on the WGAN Morning News, so I take that same approach with Facebook.”

For Violette, Facebook simply feels like an extension of what he has been doing for the past 30 years on radio. He says that even before social networking came about, he was already sharing his life with listeners each day. He says, “You have to connect with your listeners, and there is no better way to do that than to talk about the same things they do—your kids, your families, your dog.”

A recent example of that relationship comes from Mike’s family beagle, Hope. After 14 years his family had to make the difficult decision to say goodbye. His daughter, Jessica, had created a Facebook page for Hope, and when he mentioned on air what the family was going through he says, “The outpouring of support and love from people I had never met was amazing. Even though I had never met them, they had met me, my family and our dog because they’re loyal listeners, and I love them for it.”

Hope Violette aka “Hope the famous beagle”

The responses he receives on Facebook are generally positive, but he encourages the other side to voice their opinion because “it makes for a spirited debate.” He adds that, “No one gets whacked by me for having an opposing view, I encourage that!”

However, you might get whacked if you try to talk smack about fresh scallops and fresh Shipyard brews, two of the items Violette credits for his staying in Maine all these years, but he also says that “in February I could be convinced to move to Key West.” All joking aside, Mike says, “I’m a Mainer and I just love the state and the people.”

When he’s not on air, Violette is a movie fan listing the following as his top 5:

You can connect with Mike on Facebook, or by tuning into the WGAN Morning News weekdays from 5-9am on 560AM.

 

 

The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers’ Teen Parent School Program a Success

We’re proud to work with our client The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers in Waterville for so many reasons. This year, we were proud to spread the word about the success of their Teen Parent School Program, a program that has been helping young parents for more than 39 years. This spring the program graduated 7 teens, including 2 fathers.

Pictured from left to right: Graduates Brianna Bernier and Leah Broulliet along with Sharon Abrams, executive director of The Maine Children’s Home, graduate Kelsey Marcia and Jana Burgoyne, teacher of the Teen Parent School Program

Earlier this month, The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers awarded graduates Brianna Bernier, Leah Broulliet, and Kelsey Marcia with $1,000 scholarships at a Teen Parent School Program celebration luncheon at Joseph’s Fireside Steakhouse.

Next year our agency is looking forward to helping The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers celebrate the 40th anniversary of their Teen Parent School Program as they continue to help young parents in Maine succeed.

Click here to learn more about the Teen Parent School Program at The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers.

Jon James of 92Moose Talks Social Media and Radio

92Moose radio host/personality, Jon James

If you’re from the Augusta area, then you most likely have listened to 92Moose once or twice (or maybe a lot more), and you are undoubtedly familiar with long-time on-air personality, Jon James, this week’s Monday Maine Maven.

James has been a part of 92Moose’s daily line-up for more than 20 years, and currently is well-known as a third of the Moose Morning Show trio, Jon, Renee and Mac. Jon was born and raised in Maine and says that as he’s gotten older he’s only fallen in love with the state more, and he knows that Maine will always be home.

With so much experience, Jon says that the integration of social media into radio has been unbelievable, but also for the good. He says, “I like to think that these sites (Facebook and Twitter) broaden our fan base, but the best part of using them is the immediate feedback on just about everything we say and do.”

Being in touch with fans and listeners like never before is a definite advantage and Jon says he enjoys sharing not only what they do on the radio, but what goes on in his personal life adding, “I’ll friend anyone who will have me.” Why?  He figures that even if he doesn’t know you personally, that you have somehow formed a connection, and adds that “social media has made us more of a community with our listeners.”

James says that 92Moose has become a true multi-media company and that the Web is only slightly less important than radio. He says, “We all write articles for the website and use Facebook as a way to connect with people and drive them to the website for all of the latest information on contests, people, news and more.”

Jon James (L) with fellow Moose Morning Show hosts Renee Nelson (C) and Mac Dickson (R).

When James isn’t on the radio, he can be found hanging out with his grandson Evan or recording voiceovers. How does he juggle it all? Jon jokes, “Well, I’m a horrible juggler. That’s why I only do one thing at a time!” He says the biggest part of it all is patience and prioritizing. He says his family has always come first and he has been lucky to always find an easy balance between work and play.

Do you want to be a radio DJ? Jon says, “Be willing to move, and do it while you’re young! There are so many opportunities out there, but you have to look a little harder, and be computer savvy because so much is done digitally.”

To listen to Jon and the Moose Morning crew tune in weekdays to 92.3 FM 5:00am- 9:00am. Feel free to shoot Jon a friend request at facebook.com/jjamesvoiceovers or follow 92Moose on Twitter. Don’t forget to check out the latest contests from 92Moose here!

Zaarly: Bringing Local Storefronts Online

Founders of Zaarly (L-R) Ian Hunter, Bo Fishback, and Eric Koester. Koester departed in in February.

One of our recent Monday Maine Mavens, Jordan Weymouth Richards, discussed the importance and value of doing what you love each and every day. Zaarly’s three founders, Eric Koester, Bo Fishback and Ian Hunter feel the same way. The business was created in a single weekend two years ago and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.

When I first moved to New York City in 2008, the biggest question was, where do I live? How do I find a cheap (college student here) apartment in this expensive city? I met a few people who recommended Craigslist and I found my dream place—two-bedroom/two-bathroom with hardwood floors, granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, full dining and living room for a mere $1,650/month in a nice Harlem neighborhood and two blocks from the A train.

It seems like a dream, right? Well, for me it was, but when I recommended it to a friend last year it seemed deals were hard to find and scams were heavily abundant. Enter Zaarly—a site that brings e-commerce to a new level by allowing the seller to create a virtual storefront, complete with product descriptions, a profile picture and comments—the model is remarkably similar to a social media site for your business/services.

Your virtual storefront works like a social media site. Profile picture? Check. Comments? Check. Creativity is welcomed from a company that claims, “Rules for Work. We do not have these.”

Co-founder and CEO of Zaarly, Bo Fishback says, “Craigslist built a great first version of how to use the Web to make local economies work a little better. It’s coming on 20 years since Craigslist was started and it is unchanged at a time when technology is changing faster than it’s ever changed before—I just had a super simple idea about how to create a hyper-local marketplace.”

It all began at Startup Weekendin February 2011. Two of the founders, Bo Fishback and Eric Koester were inspired by personal pet peeves and/or inconveniences. The third founder, Ian Hunter, had been thinking of a similar idea, virtual garage sales—how can you create the sale without actually having to go to the sale? They pitched their idea and Ashton Kutcher just happened to be one of the judges that evening and loved it. He funded the project with $14 million.

All three guys quit their jobs, went all in, and in a mere two years they have grown their idea into a million-dollar brand, boasting 100,000 registered users, 200 cities, 30 employees, 15,000 unique monthly listings, and $6 million worth of posted transactions.

The idea is that they introduce you to local business people who are passionate about what they do—Zaarly helps you meet people within your community, and those relationships and core connections are the key to their business model. Their website tells you to reclaim your local economy, stating that buying local means investing in your community’s future.

On their blog, Fishback tells the story of how much he loves picnics and how happy he was with a fulfilled picnic request he posted on Zaarly. Bo and his wife, son and dog enjoyed a relaxing two hours provided by “a third-grade teacher during the day, but a picnic wizard by night (and weekends),” who made the experience the best picnic of his life. Former Zaarly Chief Operating Office Eric Koester tells a similar story about a bride who had a DJ cancel the day of her wedding. She posted on Zaarly and within a few hours she had a new DJ booked and the crisis was resolved.

In honor of Zaarly’s goal of bringing people and businesses together, their team page makes it easy for you to ‘meet’ them.

Fishback says, “We help people get paid to do what they love—it’s amazing when you talk to these sellers and they come up with amazing things. We’re just welcoming the sellers into this marketplace; we did not have to invent the world of trust and safety in peer to peer marketplaces—we just get to improve on it.”

An improvement to that system came in February when they decided to leave their peer-to-peer model and approach it from the merchant perspective. Storefronts were born, and similar to Etsy and Shopify, they allow businesses to successfully market their products to customers, receive orders and confirm details.

Fishback says this was a difficult decision, but necessary based on the metrics of their original marketplace. He says that being a startup comes with uncertainty from the market saying, “If you don’t know if there are any fish in the pond, or what kind of fish are there, why would you fish?” Their new model establishes the sellers and on average their sellers are making between $1,500 and $2,000 per month, with some reaching between $6,000 and $7,000 each month.

So how can Zaarly help your business? Here in Maine, we are lucky to have an abundance of ‘Mom and Pop’ stores that not only exist, but are doing exceedingly well. We also have a variety of downtown alliances and organizations that are all about promoting local businesses, farmer’s markets and more.

Zaarly helps connect these businesses and people, promoting local prosperity. They are currently represented in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Kansas City and Los Angeles, and are always looking to expand their markets.

Check out Zaarly and sign up for a free account today. If you’re looking for great ideas for your business then I suggest you follow their awesome founders on Twitter @ianhunter, @bowman, @erickoester.

 

Contributed by Erika Bush

NMC Participates in Unveiling of New Brand for America’s Newest City: Sanford

On Tuesday, May 7th, Nancy Marshall and Renée Black participated in the launch celebration for the new branding developed for America’s newest city, the city of Sanford, Maine.

Through a strategic process, NMC worked with the Economic Growth Council of Sanford, as well as residents and business leaders to develop a brand that would help fuel economic growth. Nancy and Renee are pictured below with the new Sanford logo on the side of one of Sanford’s fire trucks.

NMC Principal Nancy Marshall and NMC Account Executive Renée Black.

The artwork signifies forward movement, energy and the shape of the Mousam River that runs through the city. The tagline, “Explore. Create. Grow.” signifies the depth of natural, human, and historical resources available to explore in Sanford, as well as the opportunities that can be explored for the future. The word ‘Create’ signifies all that can be created through economic development, education, the arts and recreation. ‘Grow’ signifies the growth potential while living, working and playing in Sanford.

Sanford’s Director of Economic Development Jim Nimon and Commissioner of Economic and Community Development George Gervais are pictured below with Nancy, as they celebrated the successful launch of the new brand. Commissioner Gervais congratulated Sanford for taking the initiative to brand itself and said he will encourage other municipalities statewide to undergo the same process. He said that branding will help with the important process of marketing municipalities for economic growth.

NMC Principal Nancy Marshall with Sanford Director of Economic Development Jim Nimon and Commissioner of Economic and Community Development George Gervais.

The energy and sense of shared purpose was felt throughout the festive celebration, as nearly 100 residents, students, business leaders and municipal employees joined together to celebrate the new branding created for the city by NMC.
It was truly a great day!

Empowering Young Women at 18 Years Young

Founder of Girls Above Society, Lauren Galley

The quest for perfection is one that young people face each and every day. We all went through middle school and know about the pressures that come with growing into your own skin. This week’s Monday Maine Maven Lauren Galley, at 18 years young, has developed a successful career as a working model/actress, radio show host, blogger and, most importantly, a mentor for young women through the nonprofit she founded, Girls Above Society.

Girls Above Society provides mentorship and awareness surrounding the pressures girls face on a daily basis, and works to promote strong leadership skills. Lauren says she was inspired by her own experiences in middle school and high school to start the organization. She adds, “I want to empower girls to accept who they are—to be their best, be healthy, and have the confidence to go after their dreams!”

Lauren has pursued her dream as an actress and model. She grew up in theater with her mother working as a director, and transitioned into film beginning as an extra. Since then, she has been on ABC Family’s “The Lying Game,” and NBC’s “CHASE” as well as national commercials such as Fox Sports and Jarritos. Currently, she has two films in post-production, “Matt Mercury Movie” directed by Bill Hughes and “The Making of a Serial Killer” directed by Russell Miller.

An additional creative outlet for Lauren has been writing. After founding Girls Above Society, she realized that being present and available was important. She created Twitter and Facebook accounts, along with a blog. She adds, “Blogging is a new thing for me, but when I feel inspired I also feel the need to write. I focus on creating images with motivating quotes, since that’s what teens like and enjoy sharing.”

Girls Above Society is a nonprofit that focuses on empowering young women.

It is appropriate that Lauren would choose to focus on teenagers since that’s when she was inspired to create her nonprofit.  She says there was a lot of pressure to conform and she realized that she was incredibly lucky to have the support system she did, but she also realized that wasn’t true for everyone saying, “I would see so many girls and friends trying to live up to the unrealistic expectations created by the media—magazine covers, reality TV shows and celebrities.”

During that time, Galley had the opportunity to live in Waterford, Maine, and she says, “Having lived in the big city my whole life, I found it so beautiful and really loved the small town feeling. I found it surreal that everyone knows each other—there are literally no strangers!” That sense of community is something that has stayed with her even though she no longer calls Maine home.

The Maine experience impacted Lauren and she is currently partnering with Camp Waziyatah in Waterford, as a part of the Empower a Girl campaign. The camp is known as the location of Disney Channel’s hit reality camp series, “Bug Juice.” Waziyatah shares many of the same values as Girls Above Society—they teach kids to respect themselves with the hope that they will build a healthy image of themselves.

Galley’s mission in establishing self love is evident in her choice to be an ambassador for Free2Luv, hosting their Web segment, Free2BeYOU. Free2Luv’s motto is, “Take a stand to spread love and to end bullying.” In her Free2BeYOU segment, Lauren will be hosting Q&A sessions with tips for dealing with bullies and peer pressure, as well as hosting contests and giveaways to encourage participation. Galley says, “I hope to share, inspire and make a difference.”

To learn more about Lauren and how you can get involved, check out her website at http://www.girlsabovesociety.org/.

Using Google AdWords to Attract Customers to Your Business

Hi, Erika here!

You’re bored on a Friday night and looking for something to do when a friend suggests that you guys grab a bite to eat and go see a movie. You say, “Sure, but I want try something new.” You both agree on pizza, so you Google search local pizza place Augusta Maine and you get this:

Local businesses Whipper’s, College Carryout and Pizza Stone make up the top results of the search. Where would your business be?

Chances are, you’re going to pick one of the places on this page—and there is an even better chance that it will be one of the first three or four listings.

So, how do you make sure that your business is near the top?

A search engine marketing system, such as Google AdWords, certainly helps!

NMC Interactive Marketing Manager Matt Rideout has recently received his AdWords Certification through Google’s AdWords Certification Program. The certification required training in complex marketing systems along with multiple tests, and Rideout says, “The certification lets our customers know that we are fully taking advantage of everything the AdWords marketing channel has to offer. Ultimately, it shows our dedication to ensuring our clients receive the best online advertising possible from NMC.”

NMC Principal Nancy Marshall adds, “Matt’s Google AdWords Certification adds one more area of expertise we can offer to our clients that will help them connect their marketing messages with their target audiences.”

So how does Google AdWords work?

  • Keywords are the key to a successful campaign. Think like a potential customer—if they had never been to your business how might they find you?
    • Pizza place:  thin crust pizza Augusta Maine, pizza delivery Augusta Maine, pizza places in Augusta Maine open late, etc.
    • Gym:  gym open late in Augusta Maine, Augusta Maine gym with tanning, Augusta Maine trial gym membership, etc.
  • You decide how much you spend by setting a daily budget that is comfortable for you, and you can change it at any time—you are never locked into a contract.
  • You only pay for results (cost-per-click), which means that you never pay for your ad to be displayed, but only when someone actually clicks on your ad and is redirected to your site and/or landing page.
  • Relevance means more business—the more relevant your ads and keywords are to the demographic, the higher your Quality Score. The higher your Quality Score, the higher up your position will be on a Google search.

NMC Interactive Marketing Manager Matt Rideout, who recently received his Google AdWords Certification.

As mentioned earlier in this article, the higher your position on the search results page, the more likely you are to be chosen. The more people click on your ads, the lower your cost-per-click will be!

The team here at NMC sets up cost-per-click systems that allow us to measure return on investment (ROI) so that our customers know they are generating a profit with their campaigns.

Contact us today to see how the NMC team can help your business reach the coveted #1 search result spot with $100 in free AdWords advertising.

Google Yourself!

Nancy Marshall, principal of Nancy Marshall Communications

7 Ways to Make Yourself More Findable

If someone entered your name into Google, what would they find?  Or, if they can’t remember your name, but they remember what you do, and enter some descriptive key words, will they be able to find you?

It’s a good idea to Google yourself to see what comes up! (Make sure you log out of your own Google account so the results aren’t skewed.) There may be other people who have the same name as you.  If you create a personal branding strategy to make sure that all of your online information is up to date and filled with the keywords that describe you and what you do, people will be more likely to find you and not others.

Here are my 7 tips to make sure you are findable:

  • Be sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and filled with the keywords people might be using to find you.
  • Have you thought of creating a personal website?  Try to secure the URL for your own name, and then create a website all about you. This will definitely help you become more findable.
  • If you have a website for your business, or better yet, a personal website, make sure your biography is updated and also filled with the proper keywords.
  • If there have been stories in the media about you, then you will be more findable. Perhaps you’ve recently received an award or a promotion and you sent a news item to the newspaper. That kind of information will also come up in a Google search.
  • You can position yourself as an expert by pitching the media to do a story about your area of expertise. Or you can write an opinion column and submit it to the editorial page of your local newspaper. The more you can stand out from others by getting news coverage for your particular area of expertise, the better.
  • Speaking engagements are a great way for you to establish yourself as an expert and gain media coverage.  I speak at numerous chamber meetings and  annual meetings of professional organizations to get exposure with new audiences as well as attract television , radio and newspaper coverage.

Google now offers “Google Profiles.”  Here’s a link to mine: https://plus.google.com/115192809753549645135/posts. If you haven’t created a Google profile for yourself, now’s the time to do it.

The results that come up when you Google search Maine PR Maven, a term associated with the Nancy Marshall Communications brand.

All the inbound links that you generate to your website will help optimize your name so Google will be able to help people find you more easily.

KVYMCA Goes Social

KVYMCA CEO, Mark Yerrick

Organizations such as the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club are prominent within their communities for families and teens—promoting positive self-image and high self-esteem for young adults. The local Kennebec Valley YMCA has the same goals, and CEO Mark Yerrick says, “I am honored to be able to work with people dedicated to improving their community.”

Yerrick first joined the KVYMCA as a member in 1986, and his children learned to swim at the old location on Winthrop Street, next to the Augusta courthouse. By the 1990’s he was elected to the Board of Directors and served one three-year term, and it was only natural that he would apply for the CEO position when it became available in 2008.

Since beginning his role as the CEO in June of 2008, Mark says that social media has played an increasing role in the way the organization connects with their community. “We have to reach out to consumers in the way they want to be reached. The days of phone calls, direct mail and newspaper advertising are dwindling. Social media is quickly become the best resource for us,” he says.

Nonprofit organizations like the KVYMCA are limited when it comes to funding advertising campaigns, which is why social media is increasingly vital to their success. Yerrick says, “The volunteers on our marketing committee are a huge asset to us. They have worked on developing our online presence—we now use our Facebook page to announce special events, and to build our membership.”

The most influential marketing tool available to the KVYMCA comes from Olympian and Maine native, Julia Clukey. Last year, she developed Julia Clukey’s Camp for Girls, a two-week program that promotes healthy relationships between girls of all ages. Mark says, “Julia has been involved at every level—from training with other counselors, planning the curriculum, and assisting us with interviewing potential staff members. Her enthusiasm is exciting for all of us!” Last year, Clukey’s camp was incredibly successful bringing in more than 90 girls for that program alone and they are hoping for an even greater turnout this summer since Julia will be heading to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Mark Yerrick and Julia Clukey announce Julia Clukey’s Camp for Girls program last year.

The most challenging part of running a successful nonprofit organization like the KVYMCA is finding balance in the multiple hats each person has to wear every day. This is a challenge Mark has willingly accepted and credits an incredible team and Board of Directors for the success of their programs and facility. He says the key to success comes from the team as a whole stating, “You have to surround yourself with quality staff members that are experts in their fields. There is nothing more valuable than the professional men and women who give their time to assure that the KVYMCA is a quality organization for our community.”

To learn more about membership and to see how you can participate in their upcoming programs, please check out their website at http://www.kvymca.org/programs.php, or like them on Facebook today https://www.facebook.com/kvymca?fref=ts.

Strutting Their Stuff

Kennebec Valley Humane Society Executive Director, Hillary Roberts (image via KVHS Facebook page)

Community involvement is the key to success for any local nonprofit, and social media has played a major role in the continuing success of the Kennebec Valley Humane Society (KVHS). This week’s Monday Maine Maven and KVHS Executive Director Hillary Roberts says, “Educating the public on what we do and raising money toward our efforts is very important.”

Almost two years ago Roberts was featured on our blog and discussed how the social media movement was positively impacting their organization through donations of time, money and just about anything else they might need. Since that time social media, Facebook in particular, has only improved and with that so has the strategy KVHS uses to spread their message.

Currently, they have a team of seven people that handle the Facebook page and Roberts says, “We only have two rules: the posts must be positive and they must be accurate.” Their most popular posts are about their adoptable dogs, cats and other pets, and of course the happy-endings posts about past adoptions.

KVHS is currently accepting submissions for their annual Paws in the Park & Mutt Strut Art Contest. Winning submissions will be used as posters, t-shirts, and more to promote their Paws in the Park event.

Hillary says the power of Facebook for their organization is unbelievable stating, “It’s amazing to reach thousands of people to tell them about adoptable animals, or a special event we’re having through a single post. Even better? It’s free!” She adds, “We have even seen an increase in the distance people will travel to come and see a potential pet having seen them online first.”

This past Saturday, KVHS hosted a successful Strike Out Animal Abuse Bowl-a-thon at 1-7-10 in Augusta. On Saturday, May 18, 2013 they will be hosting their 20th Annual Paws in the Park & Mutt Strut—an all day family and pet-friendly event at Capitol Park. This year’s event will include the following activities:

  • Animal nutrition workshop with Dr. Judy Herman
  • The first annual KVHS Best in Show competition
  • Dog micro-chipping and nail trimming
  • Food vendors
  • K9 Police and Agility demonstrations
  • Raffles, contests, and more

Events like the Mutt Strut and Bowl-a-thon are essential to raising awareness to the various programs offered by the KVHS; such as their volunteer and foster programs, micro-chipping, animal nutrition and more.

Roberts has a lifelong love of animals and believes that regardless of how you find the next furry member of your family, the most important part of the decision should be based around research. She adds, “You have to consider your lifestyle and figure out what kind of pet will best fit that lifestyle, and if you do adopt, know that your new family member is grateful for the second chance!”

To learn more about the Mutt Strut check out the Facebook event page www.facebook.com/events/497132327019644/, or see their adoptable animals on the KVHS Facebook page, www.facebook.com/KennebecValleyHumaneSociety. To speak to Hillary directly, you may email her, director@pethavenlane.org.