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


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Kylie Keene: From Spokester to Tour Correspondent

Is this week’s Monday Maine Maven the next big name in entertainment media? Kylie Keene is well on her way!

You may recognize Kylie as the Young & Free Maine Spokester, an outreach program by Maine’s credit unions that allowed Keene to serve as the face and voice of the 18-25 year old crowd in Maine. In this role, Kylie helped that demographic make sense of banking and money through the use of videos and interviews, and attending events throughout the state.

Keene says, “I was so thrilled to be chosen as the Young & Free Maine Spokester. I was able to apply the skills I had learned in school, and build new ones throughout the year.”

These skills will come in handy as she embarks on a new journey as the Nabisco 1D VIP Tour Correspondent. For those of you that don’t know, 1D is short for One Direction…yes, the multi-million dollar recording artists, and every teenage girl’s dream.

How did Kylie get the gig? She says, “A friend shared the position with me on Facebook, saying I was the first person that came to mind when she read the job description. I read the details, and when I learned I could blog, make videos and share stories while enjoying live music and traveling the country, I knew I had to apply!”

In her new position, Kylie is responsible for connecting with fans and sharing the live concert experience with them, even if they can’t make it to a show—sharing stories from the concerts, delicious snack recipes, opportunities for fans to score tickets to concerts, and much more.

Keene adds, “There’s also a great mobile app fans can download that shares exclusive video content, and cool stuff like voicemails from One Direction and a cyber photo booth where fans can create images of themselves with the bands.”

This opportunity serves as a great stepping stone for Kylie in a career as a multimedia journalist. She developed an interest in the field after shadowing a reporter at a Portland news station in high school. Kylie says, “After seeing the fast-paced, ever-changing environments that journalists worked in, and the new people they met on stories each day, I knew I wanted to pursue a field that would offer the same opportunities.”

Who inspires Ms. Keene? While she admires the work of Ann Curry and Barbara Walters, she says, “I am most influenced and inspired by my peers who are currently working in the field; those I graduated with, or worked with as a news intern. I am so proud of my friends who continue to work hard as journalists, and I admire their talent and drive.”

If Kylie’s job sounds like a good fit for you, or someone you know, her advice is to “find mentors and learn from their expertise,” and “to surround yourself with individuals who inspire you, support you, and motivate you to become the best version of yourself.” She adds, “If you really want to do something, and you believe you can do it, then you will.”

To follow Kylie’s summer as the Nabisco 1D VIP Tour Correspondent you can check out her blog at,


Bright Lights, Big City, Bold Ambition

Assistant Designer for Ralph Lauren, Jordan Weymouth Richards

I’ve heard it said that if you can find something that you love to do, and find someone who is crazy enough to pay you to do it each and every day, then you will never work a day in your life. The implication is that work is a state of mind, and this week’s Monday Maine Maven Jordan Weymouth Richards lives in a New York state of mind.

Since leaving her hometown in Maine seven years ago, Richards has been pursuing her passion for fashion, and is currently working as an assistant designer for Ralph Lauren in New York City. Ironically, the path to Manhattan began when she was only seven years old and received a plastic Singer toy sewing machine. She says, “Of course, I was thrilled and went right to work with the intention of putting miles on that baby!” When it broke, her parents quickly realized that upgrading to a real machine was a necessity.

Jordan immediately put in hours creating dolls, clothes for all of her dolls, Halloween costumes and eventually reconstructing and redesigning her old clothes into custom creations. Without even realizing what was happening, she began crafting her future career. As she got older, she considered engineering because it would allow her to translate her childhood vision into a lasting career through the use of creativity and the logic of math and science.

Richards, with a handbag she designed for Lucky Brand.

However, her initial love for fashion and creation kept pulling her in a different direction. Jordan says, “I went to a Catholic elementary school, which meant uniforms and not much opportunity to express myself through my clothing. When I got to high school styling my daily outfits was exciting and fun! It was like playing with a fresh canvas each day and that truly appealed to my creative side.” The fusion of engineering a product with her passion and curiosity for fashion made fashion design the only option.

Four years of sleepless nights, one semester in London, an internship with Kevin Christiana, a bag design picked up by Lucky Brand Jeans, a feature on CBS New York, and an outstanding thesis presentation resulted in Jordan landing an interview and job offer from Ralph Lauren before she even graduated. She loves what she does and credits Ralph for refining her style saying, “My attention to details—the trim, buttons and the fabrication—has sharpened. I used to look at design in a broader sense of shapes and silhouettes, but the little things can truly make a garment special.”

A wedding dress Jordan designed for her cousin Kasie.

When she isn’t working at Ralph Lauren, Jordan can be found in her Brooklyn apartment booking work of her own. Her work has been featured in two fashion shows, one in New York at Webster Hall in 2010 and one in Maine for Maine’s Fashion Night Out in 2010. Richards has always worn her own couture apparel since she was in high school, but recently, she has been building a clientele that keeps her busy. She designed her cousin’s wedding gown in 2011 and is currently working on a 3-in-1 wedding dress for a New York City client.

Where does this designer find her inspiration? Richards says that she definitely looks at social media sites such as Pinterest, Etsy, and a number of blogs and Tumblr accounts to see what’s out there. She says, “I want to be original and that means I have to know what’s out there. You never know where you will find inspiration. You might see a sleeve on a Tumblr post that sparks the idea for an entire dress.” She adds that access to so many images helps designers understand construction and inspires creativity beyond what can be learned from a textbook.

Jordan credits her Maine roots to the other sources in which she finds inspiration—architecture and nature—saying, “I grew up surrounded by acres of woods and there is so much beauty in the striation of a broken rock, or in the texture of bark on a tree. These little details help me come up with color stories, silhouettes, seaming, fabrication and more.”

Jordan and her brother, Griffin, on a recent family visit in NYC.

While Richards loves New York City, she also loves to get away from the faster-paced life and relax with her family and enjoy the peace that is Maine. She finds it funny that even after almost a decade in the city, she still occasionally gets asked “you’re not from around here are you?” because she takes pride in the fact there will always be a bit of Maine left in the now-New York girl.

The vibe and energy that the city feeds Jordan is the same energy that she hopes to translate into her work. Richards says, “I am dedicated to becoming a designer of not just clothing, but of lifestyles. The impact fashion has on our society and the world we live in is fascinating, and I want to be a part of that.”

Richards will be launching an Etsy shop in the summer of 2013, where she will be selling couture accessories and pieces. For more information or to reach out to Jordan, you can add her on Facebook, check out her website, or follow her on Pinterest

Bases Loaded and Going for the Grand Slam

Maine Maven, Jessica Chahanovich

The Love Gun is just one of the many aliases of this week’s Monday Maine Maven, Jessica Chahanovich. Categorizing just what she does is hard to do because…well, she does just about everything. Chahanovich is the social media guru behind the upcoming dating app, FriendFlirt; works for Fenway Park (possible new public address announcer); writes for the Yawkey Way Report; works as a nanny; co-hosts a radio show; and writes for multiple blogs on dating advice and baseball.

How does she juggle it all? Jessica credits her grandmother saying, “She has Alzheimer’s, and she told me to make sure that I do everything I want to do while I still have the ability to enjoy it all. I took her advice literally and it inspires me each day to keep trying as many fun and new things as possible.”

Chahanovich has many interests, but her major passion is the major leagues. Her love of the Red Sox is prominent on her Twitter page, where she often receives and shares exclusive news and sneak peeks with her followers. Jessica broke every teenage girl’s heart when Justin Bieber recently started following her posts. Her response, “I think it’s pretty hilarious—the kid must really like baseball. I have no idea how he would have stumbled upon me otherwise, unless he’s looking for a new online dating site!”

Jessica’s alter ego, The Love Gun.

One of Jessica’s latest venture has been working as The Love Gun for the upcoming online dating app, FriendFlirt. Chahanovich says, “It’s going to take the creepiness and anonymous feeling out of online dating. It makes it real by using your current social media accounts to find people you might know, or should know, to go on dates with—no outside sites and memberships.” She adds that the first 10,000 people that sign up will receive a free membership.

As the designated Love Gun, she is responsible for their social media posts and blog. Man Candy Monday, Foxy Lady Friday and a weekly post with relationship advice and dating tips are the weekly features. Jessica is also hosting a podcast show with the Big Sauce Radio Show team. The show will include online dating horror stories from fans and weekly competitions for Best 6 Pack, Best Pedicure and more.

Jessica at her home away from home, Fenway Park.

When she’s not blogging for FriendFlirt, Chahanovich is blogging about her love of baseball. Her latest topic has been about the audition process she is going through to become a public address announcer for Fenway Park, where she already works as a quality control team member. She is currently a finalist, and waiting to see if she makes it to the next round of auditions in Fort Meyers, Florida to announce a spring training game.

Chahanovich’s love for baseball has also landed her a gig writing for the Yawkey Way Report. On their blog, she contributes her thoughts on baseball news related to the Red Sox and their players. Her wit and sense of humor shine through and you almost feel like you’re sitting at a bar, discussing the latest over a burger and beer.

While Jessica isn’t quite sure what she loves the most, she hopes that her sentiment will inspire others to pursue their own happiness. She says, “I love to share my passion with people who don’t have it, or better yet, simply haven’t discovered it yet.”

To keep up with Jessica you may follow her on Twitter @RedSoxChach, like FriendFlirt’s Facebook page, read the FriendFlirt blog, read her Red Sox blog, or check her out on the Yawkey Way Report.

Tips for Successful Blogging

Thanks to Kevin Gove, one of my long-time account executives at Nancy Marshall Communications, for providing this article with tips for successful blogging. Kevin’s article will be featured in our bi-weekly e-newsletter, “The NMC Report,” coming out today. If you haven’t already, please go to our website at and sign up to receive The NMC Report, which is packed with useful (and free!) information about the intersection PR and social media. Continue reading “Tips for Successful Blogging” »

E-newsletters versus Blogs for new business and relationship building

We publish a monthly e-newsletter called The NMC Report that focuses on the intersection between public relations and the Web. Since my agency was founded in 1991 purely as a public relations firm, and has grown from there into a full-service Web site development, Marketing Communications and Internet Marketing agency, we use our e-newsletter to share our knowledge and expertise with our readers. Continue reading “E-newsletters versus Blogs for new business and relationship building” »

How the World of PR Has Changed In the New Century (for the better!)

Many of you know that my agency is handling the PR and Web site for Saddleback Maine where they are currently building the largest glade in the East. It’ll be called Casablanca, not after the famous movie but after a ‘streamer fly’ which is famous for catching trophy trout in the Rangeley Lakes Region. All the trail names at Saddleback are fly fishing-related.


So last week Icalled Scott Thistle, who is regional editor at the Lewiston Sun Journal, and in a previous life a ski patroller at Sugarloaf. I invited him and his buddy/photographer Russ Dillingham to head up to Saddleback and do a story about “A Day In a Life of a Glade Cutter.”  Not only did they go and create a two-page feature that appeared in the newspaper on Sunday November 15, but they also did a video that appeared on their Web site, called “The Sawyers of Casablanca Movie.” Continue reading “How the World of PR Has Changed In the New Century (for the better!)” »

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.

First Blog Entry

Over the past 25 years, I’ve had the privilege of doing PR in Maine for a wide variety of clients and organizations. It’s been a great experience, despite the many ups and downs of a sometimes stressful career. I’m starting this blog now in order to share what I’ve learned with others who are trying to communicate their messages. Communications methods have changed, however many things have stayed the same. Even though I used an electric Smith Corona typewriter when I started my first job in Maine public broadcasting, I still had to know what my message was and what audience I was targeting. When I got a new electric typewriter with an erase key, I was on the top of the world! It wasn’t until the late 1980s that I started working with a PC, and we started using the fax machine to get press releases to the media. But I still had to know my messages and my target audiences. So here’s my thought for today. There are three things to think about when planning a communications strategy.

  1. What is the key message and the peripheral messages you are trying to communicate?
  2. What tools are you going to use to get the message out?
  3. Who is your target audience and what tools will work best for that particular audience?

Check back here regularly. I am going to continue to ponder these questions and others as I continue building my career as Maine’s PR Maven. Please chime in with your comments, too. It will be fun to hear what you are thinking about communicating in today’s 24/7 world.