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


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Society of American Travel Writers

“The Social Media Revolution”


Today is our Social Media Boot Camp at The Senator Inn in Augusta.

In preparing for this momentous occasion, I have been thinking about social media and how it has changed my life.

It was in November of 2007 that I attended a workshop presented by Shel Holtz, one of the pioneers of blogging. The workshop was part of the annual conference of the Society of American Travel Writers in Manchester, England.

Shel inspired me to start my blog at in order to post my thoughts and writings about the evolution of PR.

He inspired me to think about the ways that we, as marketers, can build communities of supporters for our brands through blogs and social networks. Thank you, Shel Holtz!

Continue reading ““The Social Media Revolution”” »

Monday Maine Maven: Hilary Nangle

Monday Maine MavenHappy Monday! Our Maine Maven this week is a true Maine expert, Hilary Nangle. Maine Travel Maven Hilary Nangle has kissed a codfish for SKI, cast a line for National Geographic Traveler, break-danced an Olympic downhill for VIA, bared her soul for Organic Spa, dished on lobster for Down East and Portland’s food scene for US Air and Maine Policy Review, savored truffles for Islands, slept around for Maine, stargazed at 44 below zero for Private Clubs, noodled byways for American Style and Global Traveler, scoped out Maine’s best for Yankee, explored Native American lands for the Boston Globe,  and learned to pronounce Passawassawamkeag while researching her three Moon guidebooks: Maine, Coastal Maine, and Acadia National Park. When not on the road or trail, she divides her year between the coast and the mountains, residing with her husband, photographer Tom Nangle, and two oversized dogs.

1.  You are the Maine Travel Maven.  How long have you been writing about travel in Maine and what made you decide to focus on Maine?

I’ve been writing about Maine for newspapers, magazines, and guidebooks for about 20 years. It came naturally, since I’ve lived in Maine since childhood, and I’ve always enjoyed introducing “from-aways” to what makes Maine so special. There’s a reason (actually, dozens—if not hundreds—of reasons) why Maine is on many a traveler’s bucket list and why it’s covered regularly in the media. It made sense to focus on Maine and market my specialty to editors.

Continue reading “Monday Maine Maven: Hilary Nangle” »

New York, New York

Yesterday I traveled to New York City for the annual holiday gathering of the Society of American Travel Writers. I haven’t been to Manhattan since March when we organized the Taste of Maine Media Marketplace for our client, the Maine Office of Tourism. There was a period in my life that I traveled to Manhattan on a montly basis and that got old fast. But now that I haven’t been into the city since March, it felt reallly great to be there for a quick 24 hour period. New York is energy. It is inspiration. It revitalizes me and inspires me. I suppose it’s because it’s such a mecca of media and business. It’s fast paced. I must say, I love New York.

That said, I was very happy to return to my beloved state of Maine.

Meeting an Internet Mogul, John Chow (Dot Com)

John ChowThis morning I met an internet mogul…..a guy who is making half a million dollars a year (or more) from his blog…….his name is John Chow and he grew up in a poverty-sticken town in China, then emigrated with his family to Canada, where he lived in a slum in Vancouver.

John Chow had an entrepreneurial gene, however, and he started as a teenager to figure out how to make money. Today he makes money on the internet, actually he makes lots of money on the internet, and he only spends about two hours a day doing it. He is not a blogger, but rather, he is an internet marketer who happens to have a blog.  I, on the other hand, have a blog that promotes my PR and marketing business  (which offers  internet marketing as well as website development.) Subtle difference, but still important.  If you look at John Chow’s blog, you will see that it is full of advertisements. He gets paid residuals from the advertisers on his blog based on his traffic. Continue reading “Meeting an Internet Mogul, John Chow (Dot Com)” »

Networked Blogs

Networked Blogs LogoI am a proud member of the Society of American Travel Writers ( because I have been doing PR for travel and tourism destinations throughout my career, which started back in the last century. I am not a travel writer, but I am a travel publicist, so I am an “Associate” member of this prestigious national organization.

SATW publishes a great newsletter called the SATW Traveler. There is a travel writer named Sandra Friend from Florida who writes a column on professional development and this month’s column is entitled “Build A Better Blog.”  She shared a tip about using the “Networked Blogs”  Application on Facebook in order to share your blog right on your Facebook page.  Since I’ve been writing this blog for several years, and separately maintaining several Facebook pages (for myself personally and for Nancy Marshall Communications), I think it makes a lot of sense to share my blog with my Facebook friends. But the thing I love about the Networked Blogs application is that I can easily see the blogs that my Facebook friends are writing, and see the blogs that they are reading as well!  If you are a blogger, or if you are interested in following the blogs that your friends are following, I encourage you to check out this app

Thanks, Sandra Friend!

Playing with my new toys

I’ve been away from my blog for over a week…shame on me. I do have an excuse, however. I’ve been playing with my new toys.

First of all, I ordered a new iPod. My old one was nice, but it was full and had no more hard drive space for me to download podcasts. My new one is the new pink Nano, with 8 Gigs of space for all my stuff. I’ve grown to really love listening to podcasts. My favorite is FIR, which stands for For Immediate Release, is all about PR and social media. The hosts are Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson. Continue reading “Playing with my new toys” »

Multimedia Information for News Media on Web sites

Everyone knows that the news media is now providing news and information in a variety of formats.  News journalists are being encouraged by their management to not only provide stories in print but to create blogs, podcasts, video clips in order to tell their stories.  Jane Wooldridge, travel editor at the Miami Herald, is one journlist who has been an early adapter in all things “new media.” Check out her blog.  I heard Jane speak on a panel at the meeting of the Society of American Travel Writers recently and she talked about how when she travels now, she not only takes her reporters’ pad but also her audio recorder, her still camera and her video camera. She writes stories, creates blog posts, records podcasts and shoots video segments for every story.

We’re doing the same. PR people cannot stay in the dark ages, and hope that good old fashioned press releases alone are going to produce measurable results. We are working to create information for the news media in a variety of formats. Check out our client page on my agency’s website where you can see the video ‘vignette’ we created for Maine Built Boats as well as the podcasts we have created for the Department of Economic and Community Development of the State of Maine. 

 We are also creating YouTube videos for clients such as Saunders Manufacturing, the company that markets Rhinoskin products. Sarah and Alyssa on my team produced this video and Anna did the voice over.  This was shot right in our own offices in Augusta.  Check it out on YouTube.

For several years now, we have created video news releases during the fall foliage season in Maine to show the progression of the colors as the leaves turn bright orange, red, and yellow during the fall months. We send these videos to meteorologists at local stations and the Weather Channel, and we have had great success. We’ve done the same for snowmobiling and skiing. A picture is worth a thousand words and a moving picture (video) is worth a million words.

There are so many new ways of communicating for publicists as well as journalists. I find it exciting and stimulating.

Social Media Thoughts while visiting the Samoset Resort in Maine

Fireplace in lobby of Samoset Resort in Rockport, MaineToday is another snowy day. We’ve had a great winter from the point of view of skiing but sometimes driving has been a challenge. I’m glad I have my Saab SUV with new snow treads.

On Monday I drove to the Samoset Resort in Rockport for a meeting with travel writer Melissa Harmon and Pat Eltman from the Maine Office of Tourism regarding an upcoming gathering of the Northeast Chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers.  We met with Eric Fredereksen who is the very professional and gracious Regional Director of Sales & Marketing. 

Every time I log on to my email, I’ve been adding connections on my LinkedIn account every day.  I enjoy looking at other people’s contacts and seeing the degrees of separation. One thing that bugs me is that I am listed as being from the Lewiston/Auburn area. I am from either Augusta or the western mountains of Maine depending on whether you’re considering my office of my home location. I emailed LinkedIn about their lack of accuracy in listing regions on their site. I have not yet heard back but I will let you know what they say when I hear.

Walter Briggs, owner of Briggs Advertising in Bath,  contacted me by I.M. this morning to thank me for giving him a recommendation on LinkedIn. This is important for credibility. I need to ask him to give me a recommendation back!

One of the funny things about Walter Briggs is that he has the same name as my own brother who lives in Bethany, Connecticut where we grew up.   Talk about funny coincidences! My brother Walter is a selectman in the town of Bethany.  At that time we were ‘summer people’ in Maine, spending summers at our cottage on Damariscotta Lake. Then in 1977 my parents and I moved to Maine. Walter stayed in Connecticut. My brother Don moved to Maine for a number of years but then he moved back to Connecticut too. Since I’m talking about Bethany and LinkedIn, I always think about the community I grew up in as an example of a tight-knit community.

My family had a huge network of friends around town. We were involved with the school, the town political committee, the 4-H, the church, the Pony Club, the swim team, and the Country Club. Back then, in the 60’s and 70’s, there were no ‘online communities’ but in Bethany, everyone knew everyone so we didn’t need an online community. Everyone also knew who was related to whom, who was friends with whom, what church everyone attended, what pets people had, and what political party people belonged to. 

Now, with online communities like LinkedIn, MySpace and FaceBook, you can actually see who your friends know and what they like to do. I’m not sure if it’s better than the kind of community I grew up in, it’s just different. And for marketing purposes, it’s invaluable to build your network in these online communities.There’s a term called Social Capital that is promoted by one of my clients, the Maine Community Foundation. I have a lot of this kind of capital because I know a lot of people, but I never knew that it had a name.

I also learned recently that having ‘social capital’ actually adds real ‘value’ to your life. I know that I feel enthusiastic and excited about knowing a lot of people all over the state of Maine, around country, and even the world and there is true value to having social capital. Adding links through LinkedIn adds to that social capital. I like doing it. As Martha Stewart would say, “it’s a good thing!”

I was just talking with Jen Boes who is one of my associates at Nancy Marshall Communications. I told her I think this blogging habit could become addictive. I guess it’s a good addiction and it’s cheaper and less fattening than some other substances I could be addicted to!

Shel Holtz on Social Media at Travel Writers’ Convention

I’m a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, known as SATW.  At the most recent annual convention of the organization, Shel Holtz gave a fascinating and inspirational presentation about social media. As marketers, we can no longer think that our clients simply need Web sites, instead, we need to take into consideration how they build online communities around their brands. He talked about blogs, podcasting, and wikis. His presentation is available online.

Shel talked about how important it is to have a social media presence for building a brand and a reputation. It helps your organization to build a community around your brand, which in turn helps your reputation.

The statistics are compelling. Shel Holtz said that 1.3 million blogs are posted every day; that’s 18 per second; 100,000 new blogs are created every day, that’s two per second. The blogosphere doubles every 236 days, and there are now more podcasts than global radio stations. There are 100 million MySpace profiles and 50 million Facebook profiles, as well as nine million LinkedIn profiles. These numbers have inevitably increased since September of 2007 when he gave his presentation. Thanks to Diana Rowe who recorded all these statistics in the February/March edition of the SATW Traveler newsletter which is made available to SATW members as part of their membership dues.

I’ve been listening to Shel’s podcasts for the past several months and I encourage you to check it out if you are interested in the social media universe.