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

 

PLEASE NOTE: This blog has been discontinued.
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Maine PR Agency

Protecting Your Privacy and Embracing Facebook Graph Search

There is a lot of confusion surrounding Facebook’s Graph Search, particularly when it comes to privacy. Let us clear that up for you.

Facebook sure has come a long way from its inception almost 10 years ago. A universal theme throughout its existence has been how to maintain one’s privacy, while remaining social.

Many people were already worried about privacy settings and how to control access to their private information—enter Graph Search which makes it even easier for people to search your Facebook activity, and is steadily becoming available to all U.S. Facebook users.

How do you keep your privacy? Up in the right hand corner of your Facebook screen, you will find a padlock. When you click on it, you will be given some choices:

Who can see my stuff?

Who can contact me?

How do I stop someone from bothering me?

When you click on the arrows beside any of these, you will see a variety of options that will allow you to decide everything from who can see any of your future posts (public, friends, friends except acquaintances, or only me), to which messages end up in your inbox, and who can send you friend requests.

Hopefully you already have your profile on lock, but if not, now is the perfect time to explore these settings. Facebook makes it remarkably easy to filter who sees what, labeling people as close friends, friends, or acquaintances, or putting them into another custom list. You have complete control over each custom list’s unique privacy settings.

For example, if you have a vendor list, you can post things that pertain to inventory needs or supplies, and make it visible to only the people on your vendors list. Or, you can create a VIP list, and offer inside scoops to anyone on that custom list.

Facebook lists are a great way to decide the visibility of your posts. By putting people into lists you are able to still make the same Facebook posts, but they will only be visible by the people on the list you choose to share it with.

If you go into your friends and scroll over the bar next to their name, you will be given the option of customizing what you see from them, and labeling them so that you can limit what they see from you.

For example, only the people I label as close friends see every post I make, or every photo I upload to Facebook. Just about everyone else is labeled as an acquaintance, and they will only see posts that I label as visible to “all friends,” which mainly consist of shared articles or my professional posts.

So what does this mean for Graph Search?

Graph Search does not share everything with everyone—it will only share what you allow it to share. So, if you have a post or a photo’s visibility set to:

Only Me; no one else will find it

Friends; only friends (excluding anyone labeled as an acquaintance) will see it in their Graph Search results

Friends Except Acquaintances; only your few and closest friends will be able to find it via Graph Search

Public; it is visible to anyone and everyone on Facebook using Graph Search

If you’re worried about your privacy on Facebook, then you may want to explore these settings.

Graph Search may be scary for some personal profiles—just ask Tom Scott, who created a Tumblr for embarrassing finds via the search engine. However, for businesses that use it correctly, it levels the playing field between small, local businesses and corporate machines.

Business owners and marketers alike are already talking about the ways they plan to use the search to better identify their target audiences (searching what they like, where they go and who they know), recruit new employees, build stronger communities, and acquire new customers.

If you’re a local business, encourage people to check-in or share via Facebook that they love your french toast – encourage them to leave reviews, and post your special offers and discounts on your Facebook page. All of these things will increase the likelihood of your business showing up in Graph Search, leading to you being discovered by more people.

As for personal profiles, it may be time to reevaluate your privacy settings, clean house and limit your past posts.

Em Robertson Makes her Mark with Mprint

Owner and Designer of Mprint, Em Robertson
Modeling the Mprint Honolulu Transit Pendant

New York City, Boston, California, Canada and Presque Isle are some of the places this week’s Monday Maine Maven has called home. Em Robertson is the owner and designer of Mprint jewelry, a Maine-based accessories company.

Robertson says her love for the world of design and fashion was cultivated at a young age. She says, “My mother was a retail fashion buyer and would tell me about her buying trips in New York City. That really opened the doors to the business side of the fashion industry to me.”

The Presque Isle native says that she is “extremely proud” that she grew up a country girl adding, “I think it is one of the main reasons I am so driven and hard-working. Yes, it is really far up north, freezing, and it isn’t filled with endless things to do, but it is a great community that is full of hard-working and supportive people.”

Em’s parents wanted their children to experience different cultures, so Em and her family would travel four to five times a year—trips that she credits for her development of “the travel itch” at a very young age.

However, when it came to making a career choice for herself, Em wasn’t quite sure that fashion was the perfect fit. She stayed local, attending the University of Maine at Orono to study business marketing. During her junior year, she interned in New York City with Macy’s corporate marketing division and she says, “It confirmed the idea that I wanted to continue my education in fashion.”

After graduating, Em spent her summer applying to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and moved to Los Angeles. She says, “I felt like it was a place I needed to conquer. Being involved in such a creative culture and community of talented people made the transition much easier.”

Robertson says, “I had a lot of learning experiences in Hollywood,” but ultimately, she decided to move back to Maine to launch her jewelry collection.

Just a sampling of the jewelry you can find at www.mprintjewelry.com

The launch of Mprint has been incredibly successful on local, national and international levels, with her jewelry being featured in online stores, magazines and various noteworthy fashion blogs. One of her necklaces even made an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America worn by correspondent Rachel Smith.

The success of the launch is credited to Em’s strong public relations background and the use of social media. She says, “I wrote everyone I knew to start spreading the word and tried to get as much information and product to top editors, stylists and boutique owners to build awareness of the brand.” She adds, “I think Facebook creates an unreal buzz for designers—people can express to their peers what they like, and it opens doors for other people to like the product. The accessibility to this kind of online marketing for a start-up company like Mprint is beyond beneficial.”

According to Em, social media, Instagram in particular, is a great tool for inspiration, too. Em says, “I definitely draw inspiration for my collection pieces by immersing myself in social media sites, but my go-to is Instagram. Maybe it’s because I’m a creative person, but I just feel like seeing an image speaks so much louder than words.” Other sources that inspire are local consignment shops, family heirlooms, street style and nature.

Em Robertson says that social media serves as a vital part of her branding strategy for Mprint.

What’s next for Mprint? Em says, “I’m constantly thinking about ways to expand Mprint, and to grow as a socially responsible brand.” This is why they will be introducing a new hair accessories collaboration in their Fall ’13 collection with a design-driven nonprofit social enterprise that supports women-owned businesses in Rwanda.

You will also find them at one of the world’s largest and most vibrant marketplace tradeshows, AccessoriesTheShow, in New York City next month.

To learn more about Em and Mprint you may check out her website, www.mprintjewelry.com, like them on Facebook, facebook.com/Mprintjewelry or follow @Mprintjewelry on Twitter.

Public Relations: It’s a Mindset, Not a One-Time Activity

Nancy Marshall, CEO of Nancy Marshall Communications

Three Tips to Generate PR on an Ongoing Basis

I frequently talk with clients who say that they want to do “a little bit of PR.” When I hear that, I sometimes have to bite my tongue so as not to say “there’s no such thing as a little bit of PR.”

Public relations is a mindset. It’s something you need to be thinking about all the time. Well, maybe you don’t need to think about it as much as I do, because I really do think about it all the time (just ask my husband).  But  if you are always thinking about your relationship with the public, and your targeted publics in particular, then you are more likely to experience success with building your brand.

Here are three tips that will help you think like a PR professional:

1. Share helpful information with your targeted publics

Leverage social media—post on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter on how to accomplish something in your field of work.

Give a speech to the local Rotary explaining the latest trends in your industry.

Host an informational workshop for your clients and friends at a local community center in your area of business.

2. Watch the news of the day to see how you might be able to offer expertise.

Recently there was a train crash and oil explosion in Lac Megantic, Quebec, right over the border from Maine. Anyone with experience in how trains work, or the way oil is prone to burn uncontrollably, could speak with authority to the news about this tragedy. Or an expert in psychotherapy could talk about how you should talk to your children about tragic events.  Figuring out ways to adapt a national news story and leverage it for your own PR is called “newsjacking,” and it’s an amazingly effective public relations technique.

3. Look for opportunities to share the news of your business.

Have you hired a new employee?  Send out a press release with his or her head shot. Have you taken on a new client or customer? That’s a good reason for a press release, as well. How about an award or a published article? That’s newsworthy. A new invention, patent, or trademark? Yes, that’s also a reason to reach out to the news media. 

 

A little bit of PR will do just that:  get you a little bit of PR. But if you are always thinking about how to get your news out there to your targeted audiences and raise your profile with the public, then you are more likely to benefit from increased awareness in the marketplace.

Your Website is the Centerpiece of Your Marketing Program

When you are setting a table for a formal dinner party, you place something beautiful in the center of the table like candles, flowers or a bowl of colorful fruit. This centerpiece ties everything on the table together.

This infographic comes from our good friends at the Caliber Group in Arizona. Both our agencies are members of the Alliance of Marketing Communications Agencies. Thanks to the Caliber Group for sharing! www.calibergroup.com

Your website is the centerpiece of your marketing program. It helps you connect with your targeted audiences and ties all of your marketing efforts together. It contains all the information about your product, service, place, organization or brand that people need in order to connect with you or do business with you. Visitors come to your site to get more information, to evaluate your products and services and to assess your brand. By looking at your site, they decide whether they want to connect with your brand….or not.

Your website is the focal point of your brand, and the foundation of your marketing program. Every aspect of your marketing should point back to your website, including press releases, ads, business cards, brochures, flyers, rack cards, banners, direct mail and social media.

Nancy Marshall, principal of Nancy Marshall Communications

When people go to your website, they will immediately get a sense of your brand. If your website looks amateurish, people will think your business is amateurish.  If it is beautiful and full of useful information that draws people in and keeps them there for a while, then your website will build your brand and convey an image of professionalism.

It’s important to be sure that the centerpiece on your table and the centerpiece of your marketing program are consistent with the image you want to convey to your guests, whether they are coming for dinner at your home or coming to learn more about your organization online.

How To Connect Your YouTube and Google+ Pages

You can link your Google+ page to your business’s YouTube channel to gain advanced channel management features. You will be able to let multiple people manage your YouTube channel, as well as manage multiple YouTube channels from a single login. No more sharing passwords to personal Google accounts, or setting up fake Google accounts just for YouTube!

Here are instructions for linking Google+ to YouTube. You must already have a Google+ page set up for your business, and the Gmail login you use to access YouTube must be an administrator of the Google+ page.

1.) In YouTube, under account settings, click the “advanced” link

2.) Click the blue button that says “Connect with a Google+ page”

3.) You will be presented with a few options for what you can connect your YouTube channel to. Select your YouTube channel from the list and click next. Follow the additional instructions and your YouTube channel will be linked to your Google+ page.

4.) Now any of your Google+ page managers will be able to manage your YouTube account. When they log in to YouTube, they can use the “switch account” feature to select the Google+ page and the connected YouTube channel.

Contributed by Matthew Rideout, NMC Interactive Marketing Manager

 

Sam Shain and the Scolded Dogs’ New Album Keeps You Dancing

Sam Shain, front man of Sam Shain and the Scolded Dogs

In a recent webinar, the host suggested a modified version of the Pareto principle was applicable to social media, saying that 80% of your content development should be personal items that make you relatable to your audience and that sliding in the sales and marketing pitches in the remaining 20% is the key to social media success.

If that’s the case, then this week’s Monday Maine Maven, Sam Shain of Sam Shain and the Scolded Dogs, is doing social media very well!

Shain grew up in Hallowell and credits its “charm and strong community” for keeping him here. Sam also adds, “I’ve been going downtown to listen to music since I was a little kid—Hallowell has an outstanding scene for such a small city!”

If you’ve been downtown yourself, then you have most likely popped into the Liberal Cup, Higher Grounds, The Wharf, Hoxter’s, Easy Street Lounge or one of the many other venues that host live music on a regular basis. The scene has come a long way since Sam first started booking gigs. He says, “I used to make events for gigs, but I rarely use that feature anymore.”

Why not? Facebook.

Shain says, “My Facebook page is a great outlet when it comes to getting the word out and posting my schedule.” Another thing Shain does on his Facebook page is connect with his fans (over 1,000 of them) by asking them questions, and getting their feedback on his show and music. He says, “More activity equals more awareness, so I try to keep it light in my posts and have fun.”

Sam Shain during an interview at WBLM discussing the band’s latest album, A Song We Know.

So, what’s next for Sam Shain and the Scolded Dogs? They are working their way into the Portland music scene and are currently pushing their latest album, A Song We Know. It is currently on sale at all of their shows and Musicians First Choice in Augusta, and will soon be available on iTunes and in Bull Moose.

Shain says, “With any luck, we’ll have a 2014 release to follow up on the success of A Song We Know. In the meantime, we are going to keep gigging it up and keep all of the awesome people that come to our shows dancing.”

To learn more about Sam Shain and the band, like their Facebook page at facebook.com/samshainmusic.

Hallowell Homecoming Extravaganza

NMC client and local filmmaker Chris Walters celebrated his recent meetings with Hollywood producers by hosting a Hallowell Homecoming Extravaganza on Sunday, June 2 at Maple Hill Farm.

The event featured a screening of his film Jim Jones Juice, and music by The Band Apollo, Loc Da American Bulldog, and Sam Shain and the Scolded Dogs along with works from local artists. Hallowell Mayor Charlotte M. Warren introduced the event, which was sponsored by RE/MAX Capital Chris Vallee Associates.

The Band Apollo were one of the many performers at Chris Walters’ (right) Hallowell Homecoming.

Walters begins filming the sequel, Dave’s Intervention, this summer in Maine. To learn more about Chris Walters Productions please visit their website, www.chriswaltersproductions.com.

The Value of a Strategic Marketing Communications Plan

Marketing can be expensive, especially if you have no idea where it’s taking you or what you are getting in return for your investment.

I’ve seen way too many companies and organizations flying by the seat of their pants when it comes to their marketing. They tend to do the same things they’ve always done, like advertise in the Yellow Pages or sponsor the local Little League team, in the hopes that these things will get them the results they’re after.

You’ve heard the definition of insanity, right?  It’s doing the same thing over and over again expecting to get a different result. Does your company’s marketing program fit this definition? I hope not.

When it comes to nailing down specific, measurable goals that will direct a marketing effort, most organizations don’t even know what kind of results they want. Just hoping to create more business is not specific enough. For the past 14 years, my agency has been developing strategic marketing communications plans, branded The Marshall Plan™, to help our clients develop attainable marketing goals and the tools needed to successfully achieve them. Over the years, we have developed plans for many different industry sectors, including non-profit, information technology, banking, government, legal, tourism, academia, economic development, and more.

We’ve witnessed some amazing results with these plans for numerous reasons, namely:

  • The three-month process brings together the key stakeholders of an organization (management team, board of directors, front-line staff people) to work together with NMC to carefully define their goals, determine their realistic marketing budget and decide what resources can be allocated to achieving the goals. For many organizations, having an outside agency impose this process is exactly what they need to make crucial decisions that will guide the organization into the future.
  • The process starts with a three-hour Discovery Meeting during which the NMC team guides stakeholders through a thoughtful discussion about goals, strategy, tactics and resources.
  • Having goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely is just plain SMART.  The Marshall Plan™ process includes SMART goal setting.
  • The process also includes a thorough competitive analysis, SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), and analysis of what has and has not worked in the past.
  • A detailed list of tactics (social media, website restructuring, media relations, marketing, advertising, public outreach, sales, and more) designed to reach specific goals is created and vetted by the group during a mid-term review meeting.
  • During the final four to six weeks of the process, NMC finalizes the tactics based on feedback received at the mid-term meeting and develops a timeline, budget, measurement dashboards and a variety of marketing tools such as media lists, press release templates, and stakeholder contact lists that will enable our client to hit the ground running when it comes to implementation.
  • The final meeting is a time to review the plan, celebrate the accomplishments and make some big decisions about next steps. Every plan is designed so it can be either implemented by NMC, the organization itself, or another agency.

 

Nancy Marshall, principal of Nancy Marshall Communications

The Marshall Plan™ ensures your marketing dollars will be well invested rather than just spent. It serves as a highly detailed road map toward successful growth for any business or nonprofit.  In the 14 years we’ve been creating Marshall Plans™, we have seen organizations totally embrace the process and the opportunity to improve their marketing and communications.

It is extremely rewarding for me as an agency owner to work with a client on one of these plans which, if fully utilized, offer guaranteed success in helping an organization grow and prosper.

Puppy Play Date

They say that dogs have a calming effect, and are great for your health. This means we were the healthiest office in town when NMC Account Executive, Whitney Moreau’s puppy, Libby, stopped by for a visit recently.

Libby, the newest member of the NMC family.

Whitney says, “Having Libby is what I imagine having a new baby is like—I feel like I haven’t slept since I picked her up! Good thing she’s so adorable and sweet…most of the time.” Lucky for us, Libby was pretty tired and dozed off moments after this picture was taken.

The NMC staff wishes you a happy and relaxing weekend.

Boston Strong

We were so touched by the singing of the national anthem at the Bruins gameon Wednesday night when the iconic René Rancourt started to sing “Oh say, can you see,” then let the crowd take over. It was obvious then and now how we, as a nation, feel that we are all in this together.

The events that are unfolding today are surreal, and our hearts go out to all of our friends, family and those we have not yet met, as we hunt down the criminals who have taken this proud city down.

My family’s roots are in Boston….my father was born in Malden and my mother was born in Newton, and everyone on the NMC team has friends and family members there as well.

So we join together in hope that the forces of good will rise above the forces of evil.