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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Nancy Marshall Maine PR

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.

NMC Senior Account Coordinator Rose Whitehouse Retires

This week’s Friday Fab Foto is bittersweet for the staff at NMC—after 11 years, NMC Senior Account Coordinator Rose Whitehouse is retiring today.

She stole the scene from day one, and quickly became recognized as the most fashionable person in the office. Her Death by Chocolate dessert is legendary, along with her passion for the NMC brand.

NMC Senior Account Coordinator Rose Whitehouse (center), with Nancy Marshall (left) and Charlene Williams (right), retires today after 11 years with the company.

During a staff meeting yesterday she confessed that being one of our lead proofreaders was by far her favorite part of the job because she took pride in the ability to ensure that clients were receiving the best product possible. Rose also noted that working with the agency helped keep her trendy, emphasizing a dinner party where she impressed everyone with her knowledge of QR codes.

The office certainly will not be the same without her, but we wish her the best of luck as she prepares for her next endeavor—full-time Grammy to her (soon-to-be-three) beautiful grandchildren!

 

Using Social Media Channels to Help Journalists Do Their Jobs

NMC Account Executive Kevin Gove

The go-to methods for providing journalists with story ideas or story sources have changed with the times. First, there was the phone. Then, e-mail arrived and made a journalist’s inbox forever cluttered. And now, with the ability of media to Tweet or post a call for ideas or sources that can instantly be seen by thousands of eyeballs, social media channels are becoming effective and helpful avenues for reaching out to help journalists do their jobs.

Using social media to pitch stories isn’t a trend. Pitching is personal, and knowing how a media contact prefers to receive a pitch should be your first objective. But, for those who want to test the story-sharing power of Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn here are some tips for pitching media through social channels.

Pitch to Those Who Want Pitches: It’s best to e-mail or call a media contact to find out if it’s OK to pitch them through social media. Some people say in their Twitter profile or LinkedIn profile that they welcome or don’t welcome pitches. You may be surprised at how many are OK with it. Use Twitter search to find people who are “writing a column,” “writing a story” or “need sources.” And, Like the Facebook pages of local and national TV news stations, newspapers, magazines and news websites to see their “We want to hear your story” posts and other calls for story ideas or sources.

Tell How the Story Will Benefit the Audience: Even with an abbreviated pitch, it’s important to share how the story will touch its audience. If you have an idea that will save people money, improve their health, or bring about world peace, say exactly that and not something like, “Hey, I have an awesome story idea for you.” Use numbers and statistics to get your point across quickly and effectively.

Provide a Link to More (Helpful) Information: It’s important to be detailed in a social pitch, especially if adding a link improves your pitch. If your pitch is about a person, provide a link to a full bio or a video that demonstrates what makes them story-worthy. Giving a link to the homepage of a business website or to a 127-page report someone co-authored isn’t helpful or enticing.

Don’t Forget to Follow Up: If your response to a call for a story idea or a source doesn’t get answered right away, follow up with a direct message, or make a phone call. The worst pitch is the one that ends without any conversation (written or verbal) with the media contact. Most people appreciate some kind of follow-up, and it’s beneficial even if all you find out is that the person is on vacation or just really busy.

A Twitter search for “writing a story” will show you results similar to these.

Take a closer look at your media contacts on social channels to find out you are missing opportunities to share stories and get media coverage for clients.

 
By Kevin Gove, Account Executive

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.

 

 

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!

Lunder-Dineen Sponsors Successful Theater of War Production

On Monday night NMC’s Renée Black and Erika Bush traveled to Orono to support our client Lunder-Dineen Health Education Alliance of Maine.

Lunder-Dineen sponsored a performance of Theater of War, produced by Outside the Wire. The performance used a dramatic reading of Sophocles’ Ajax as a way to spark conversation among the audience in a panel discussion about the psychological impact of war on veterans, their families and communities.

The Lunder-Dineen team hosted a successful Theater of War production on Monday evening at The University of Maine at Orono.

The performance featured David Strathairn (Lincoln; The Bourne UltimatumGood Night, and Good Luck) who expressed, “From the beginning, we knew we had something special. Anyone who has ever been in the room can testify to that.”

Other actors included Erik Moody, Dustin Tucker, Patricia Buckley and Rob Cameron. The panel discussion was facilitated by retired Brigadier General Loree Sutton.

To learn more about Lunder-Dineen and about programs they’re bringing to a community near you, please visit www.mainehealtheducation.org.

 

 

Lunder-Dineen Health Education Alliance of Maine in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital is a nonprofit organization that provides high-quality, CME/CE-certified, evidence-based health education to the citizens of Maine using needs assessments, innovative learning methodologies and expert faculty from within and outside of Maine. www.mainehealtheducation.org

Summit Natural Gas of Maine Hosts Successful Job Fair

On Wednesday, our client Summit Natural Gas of Maine hosted a job fair at the Senator Inn & Spa in Augusta.

The goal was to fill over 40 job openings in their new Augusta office, and the turnout was incredible! More than 400 people showed up, resumes in hand, to meet with recruiters. The media was also present and the success was captured by The Kennebec JournalThe Morning Sentinel and WGME 13.

Hundreds of people turned out for the Summit Natural Gas of Maine job fair earlier this week at The Senator Inn & Spa in Augusta.

Director of business development, Mike Duguay, was on site to meet with candidates and to further discuss the company’s $350 million investment in the Kennebec Valley project. The project will generate 400 heavy construction jobs and more than $100 million in work for local plumbing, electrical and heating professionals over the next five years.

Keep your eyes open for upcoming job fairs conducted by the contractors to fill the heavy construction opportunities in the near future.

Spring has Sprung!

Happy Spring!

With temperatures reaching the 50’s today and the sun shining, it feels like it’s almost time to break out the shorts and flip-flops. Last weekend, Maine celebrated Maine Maple Sunday, and NMC’s Erika Bush shares two of her pictures from her family’s visit to Goranson’s Farm in Dresden. She says, “It was a lot of fun. We loved visiting Hubble, a calf born on Christmas Eve. As you can see, he really liked my Mom!”

Maine Maple Sunday at Goranson’s Farm in Dresden.

How did you celebrate Maine Maple Sunday?