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

 

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Helpful Social Media Policy from Chris Brogan and Julien Smith in their book, The Impact Equation

I spend a lot of time driving my car back and forth to work and to client meetings, usually all around the beautiful state of Maine. As a matter of fact, I put in about 25,000 to 30,000 miles a year. I am so thankful that I discovered Audible, which is an online service that allows me to purchase books that I download to my phone then listen to on the Bluetooth in my car.

The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan and Julien SmithRecently I listened to “The Impact Equation,” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. It was so good, that I plan to listen to it again soon. The authors themselves read their own words. I heard Chris speak in person last year in Portland, and listening to him read his book was like having him sitting next to me in my car, giving me invaluable advice on strengthening business relationships.

The thing I found most helpful was the advice on establishing a social media policy for your business. You may know that at Nancy Marshall Communications, we write strategic marketing plans, which we call The Marshall Plans®, and we include tips on building relationships through social media. This policy will be a helpful addition to our plans.

  1. When commenting, please use appropriate language, the kind of language you would use in front of your kids. Please refrain from curse words.
  2. We welcome on-topic comments.
  3. If you have a negative opinion of our company or any of our people, please feel free to connect with us via our “contact us” page so we can follow up with your comments or concerns.
  4. We welcome your suggestions. We really do want to address your concerns.

Internal Policy for employees:

  1. If there are curse words in a social media post, edit those out, but leave the rest of the comment.
  2. If they are talking about our company or a competitor’s company, do not delete, even if it’s praising a competitor’s company.
  3. Do your best to follow up with anyone who has a complaint, even if you believe they are in the wrong.
  4. Pass on any praise to the appropriate person.
  5. Handling comments or criticism is important to growing the human element of our company.

Thanks Chris and Julien! I am a huge proponent of building your brand by building and strengthening the network around you as a person and around your company. Your book makes a case for this kind of brand-building through relationship building.

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.

Trek Across Maine 2013

With friends, family members and employees participating in the Trek Across Maine this weekend, we are saddened by the tragic accident this morning. We wish everyone a safe ride on the remainder of the Trek.

United We Tweet

NMC Account Assistant, Erika Bush

“Maine Olympian Joan Benoit Samuelson is running in today’s Boston Marathon, marking the 30th anniversary of her record-breaking win in 1983…” plays on the local radio station on my drive into work.

Marathon Monday!

I joked with my Mom on the ride in about Maine and Massachusetts having their own holiday, and later in the office explained why Patriot’s Day is a big deal—reminiscing on the reenactments of the Battles of Lexington and Concord that I attended as a kid each April vacation.

Being the huge fan of social media that I am, I kept dibs on the marathon via Twitter most of the day and I was happy to hear that Samuelson had finished the marathon within 30 minutes of her original pace—newsworthy, I thought. However, we all know how the day ended.

The marathon bombings in Boston on Monday marked the first incident of their kind in the new age of social media and exemplified the crucial role social media plays in a time of crisis.

Breaking news and support were expressed using the #BostonMarathon and #PrayForBoston hash-tags.

Twitter stole the show, breaking the news to me when a single Tweet, “Explosion at the finish line rocks the Boston Marathon,” appeared in my stream. Then on Facebook, our local news affiliate posted a similar status update as a developing story.

Within minutes a hashtag had been created, #bostonmarathon, for people to track the latest updates, and reporters began using it as a way to rebuke false stories and to give the public news as it happened. Within 30 minutes, support began pouring in from around the country and world using #prayforboston.

In the midst of the chaos PR professionals and various CEOs suggested that any prescheduled Tweets be canceled, and that the focus should be on the victims and their families. No more business for the remainder of the day.

Former Bostonians and other influencers reached out with messages of support.

Meanwhile, Google simultaneously launched Google Person Finder for the Boston Marathon while the Red Cross promoted their Safe and Well site to help reunite and connect family members to marathon participants.

Newscasters everywhere began to ask people to not call each other, but rather to text, update a Facebook status or even Tweet their loved ones to let them know they were OK. Law enforcement also embraced social media, asking for people to send any and all images they had from the finish line via text, Facebook and Tweet as a way to gather evidence.

Within a few hours Twitter began to fill with nods to random acts of kindness. Bostonians were offering meals to runners and opening their homes to strangers, and humanity was shown through posts using the #bostonhelp hashtag. Restaurants offered free meals and hotels offered free stays—Brooklyn Academy of Music displayed their love for Boston, projecting a Martin Luther King quote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that,” on the side of a campus building.

Looking for a place to crash? Hungry? #bostonhelp is a great resource.

This support continued well into Tuesday when the Chicago Tribune posted an advertisement bringing the two cities together; various states also showed their support by creating banners and images to convey a united front of love and support for the Boston community.

Even the longstanding rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees ceased to exist when the Yankees announced via Twitter that they had put up a sign on their stadium stating, “United We Stand,” with the Yankees and Red Sox emblem on either side. They continued to honor Boston on Tuesday night with a moment of silence, and by playing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” at the end of the third, a treasured tradition at Fenway Park.

While the whole story is still unknown, and many of the details are still developing, the message is clear—social media connects us all. Twitter was a shining star in light of Monday’s horrific events, and three hashtags were able to provide information and support to a city and country in need.

Contributed by Erika Bush

 

 

All of us at Nancy Marshall Communications are profoundly saddened by tragedy that took place on Monday. Our hearts go out to the families of those whose lives were lost, as well as those whose bodies were maimed and injured. We are in awe of the way city officials, residents and visitors came together to support one another, especially emergency and medical personnel. As much as an event like this is unimaginably horrible, it also brings out the best of our collective humanity in its aftermath. May this kind of senseless violence and tragedy never happen again.

—Nancy Marshall, Principal, Nancy Marshall Communications

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.

WinterKids: Inspiring Active and Healthy Lifestyles Through Outdoor Activities

WinterKids Executive Director, Julie Mulkern

I’ve seen these ads on Pinterest and Facebook that start something like, “when I was a kid…,” and lately I’ve started to relate with these posts, and it makes me think, “wait, when did I become a grown up?” While I accept the reality of my fate, this week’s Monday Maine Maven, Julie Mulkern of WinterKids, believes that all children should still enjoy these experiences—experiences that develop active and healthy lifestyles.

Mulkern says, “Our message is simple, but so important: get outside, get active, be healthy and have fun!” WinterKids is a nonprofit that offers programs to Maine families, schools and communities to encourage outdoor winter activity. Their programs include snowshoeing, dog sledding, downhill skiing, snowboarding and more.

WinterKids outreach efforts have been more than successful says Mulkern stating, “Our school programs are serving a record 4,300 children pre-K through seventh grade this year alone.” This growth is a result of a multi-faceted, ongoing media campaign. Combine that effort with 15,000 e-newsletter recipients, PSAs on major television networks, and a growing presence on Facebook, and you have an unstoppable force in WinterKids.

Seth Wescott (center) and WinterKids staff at their annual License to Chill fundraiser last year.

Don’t let the name fool you; while they focus on winter outdoor exercise, they are becoming increasingly active in the warmer months of the year. Mulkern declares, “Our staff works year-round to ensure that we are developing the very best programs for Maine. We are partnering with like-minded organizations in spring and summer to keep up the momentum.”

Their Facebook page has created a new way to connect WinterKids’ variety of programs to Maine families. They host contests, giveaways, and promotions to engage their fans. Another draw for their fans is their official spokesperson, Olympian and Maine native Seth Wescott.

Julie describes Seth as the ultimate winter kid saying, “Seth is from Maine and he really values what we do.” A part of Seth’s role is promoting the organization through PSAs and by representing them at school visits throughout the state. Last winter he met more than 2,000 kids. The lucky students had the honor of trying on his Olympic gold medals. Mulkern says it’s an unforgettable experience adding, “They get to hear firsthand just how important, fun and life changing outdoor winter activity can be, and we are incredibly lucky to have Seth on our team.”

To learn more about the WinterKids programs, please visit their website www.winterkids.org or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/winterkids. They will also be hosting a Downhill Derby this weekend and you are all encouraged to stop on by and be a WinterKid!

Lunch and Learn

The staff at NMC believes in continuously learning new skills that enable us to provide quality services to our clients. We also believe in having fun throughout the process! This week’s Friday Fab Foto is a result of what we like to call “Lunch and Learn,” or an opportunity for the entire team to get together, learn something new and have some fun.

Our latest Lunch and Learn was all about project management and establishing clear communication and roles for team members when working with clients. A part of the lesson included building a tower using newspaper, straws and tape, and this was the result…

NMC Interactive Manager, Matthew Rideout, acts as a human tower during a Lunch and Learn session earlier this week.

We sure had fun, and we hope you have lots of fun this weekend!

Big Solutions for Every Business in Maine

President of CORE Solutions, Heather Veilleux.

What do New York, Maine and Ohio have in common? President of CORE Solutions and this week’s Maine Maven, Heather Veilleux, has called all of them home. While she has enjoyed each of them, Heather says, “The truth is, my plan was to move back to Maine all along.”

Veilleux adds that although it was hard to make the decision to move back to Augusta from New York City,  it was also a very exciting opportunity. She says, “Maine has more space to grow and more ways to be unique.”

Maine also has, by far, a much slower and steadier pace. While living in New York, Heather was working three jobs as a real estate agent at Bold New York by day, and a waitress at LongHorn Steakhouse in New Jersey and Marseille in New York City by night, and the occasional weekend gig through Total Entertainment! Not to mention that she was also juggling classes at Berkeley College and remotely creating her own start-up business. How did she do it? Veilleux says, “I realized that I simply didn’t have the time to go to class, so I began taking online classes. Ultimately, this allowed me to start and run a business that would eventually be located in Maine.”

Heather on a trip to Africa last year with the Flying Kites Global. Former Maine Maven, Ashley Underwood was also on this trip.

We hate to get political, but it’s hard to ignore that Heather’s life became consumed with politics shortly after she moved back to Maine last fall. Her fiancé (then boyfriend), Matthew Pouliot, announced that he would be running for office. “Little did I know what a great ride we were in for,” she says, and it would become a great inspiration for her re-evaluation of her business, Heels to Healing.

Through designing and planning advertisements and social media outreach during the campaign, Veilleux realized that there was an opportunity to help small businesses in the area using the same tactics. Heels to Healing was originally created to raise money through events for other nonprofits, but she realized that this model was making her business into a small United Way.

“I felt that rebranding and creating a for-profit business with a strong social mission was a better way to run a business and help my community,” says Veilleux about the change. With a new outlook and the creation of CORE Solutions, her goal is to help other businesses and organizations by offering services that they may not be able to have without hiring a full-time employee and/or hiring multiple companies. CORE Solutions offers high value for a low cost in assisting with event planning, fundraising, marketing and more.

CORE Solutions is an Augusta-based company offering quality business solutions that are designed to fit every budget.

CORE Solution’s signature event is the semi-annual Maine’s Fashion Night Out (MFNO). Originally created as a starting point for Heels to Healing, the event incorporates all of Heather’s favorite things: fashion, music, dance and central Maine! That’s right, it’s located right here in Augusta. Veilleux says, “I feel that central Maine is deprived when it comes to big events, especially in fashion. I live in Augusta and grew up in Hallowell, and I want to be a part of its growth.”

The mission of MFNO is to bring together the community, to promote local business and nonprofit organizations, and to network. They are currently looking for sponsors and volunteers—check out out www.MainesFNO.com for more information on how you can get involved and/or purchase your ticket for their upcoming event at the Armory.

To contact Heather, you may follow her on Twitter @coremaine, like her page on Facebook www.facebook.com/coremaine, or email her heather@coremaine.com.

Friday Fab Foto Contest Winner: Mary Howes

This week’s Friday Fab Foto comes from Mary Howes. She says, “I took this picture a couple of years ago at the old granite quarry in North Jay. I love this place and recommend that everyone take a hike to this spot.”

The quarry at North Jay White Granite Park.

I just might have to take her up on that!

To check out the beautiful scene for yourself, bundle up and visit North Jay White Granite Park today.

Do YOU have a great picture of Maine you want to share?

Submit your picture today by uploading it to the NMC Facebook page or emailing it to ebush@marshallpr.com.