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

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.

The Lunder Collection: A Gift of Art to Colby College

On Tuesday, I had the privilege of previewing the Lunder Collection at the Colby Museum of Art. The space is awe inspiring. I am so proud of my alma mater for having a museum of this significance right on the campus, which is already a beautiful place. This museum makes it even more beautiful and appealing to students, families, visitors and Maine people.

The Lunder Collection makes its public debut Saturday, June 13, 2013 and will be on display through June 8, 2014.

The addition of this collection to the Colby College Museum of Art in July 2013, represents the largest selection of the Lunder Collection since the announcement of the promised gift in 2007. Widely acknowledged as one of the most important holdings of American art ever assembled by private collectors, the Lunder Collection comprises more than 500 objects including works by Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe, and James McNeill Whistler.

The debut of the collection will be open to the public on Sunday, July 14, 2013 from noon to 5 p.m.

 

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.

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, http://nabisco1dvip.tumblr.com/.

 

Blogger with a Knack for Content Development and Innovative Marketing

Alex Steed of Bourbon. Portland. Beer. Politics.
Image courtesy of Zack Bowen, Knack-Factory

A recent study by Vocus shows that bloggers rank highly with consumers for trust, popularity, and influence, and this week’s Monday Maine Maven is a blogger who has gained popularity in Maine for his quips, anecdotal humor and overall blunt approach to even the most controversial topics. Alex Steed is the man behind the Bangor Daily News Bourbon. Portland. Beer. Politics. blog, where no topic is off-limits.

In a recent post, Steed took on the new Portland slogan, which sparked a Facebook frenzy of opinions and rants. You know it’s going to be great when he starts with a note: My bosses get bummed out if I don’t warn you when my posts contain swears, so there’s your warning.

In the article he states:

Speaking of Las Vegas, stop bringing up the Vegas slogan as an example of an awesome slogan….You know what else happens in Vegas and stays in Vegas more than anywhere else in the country? Suicide. Their rate is double the average, and that’s something that a snappy slogan just can’t solve because, again, slogans, good or bad, don’t really mean anything.”

Does Alex worry about scaring people off? No.  In fact, he embraces it saying, “A long time ago, because television shows were only shown on networks, the shows took fewer risks because they had to retain a large audience—as channels increased in number, shows were able to take more risks because they were reliant on a base of fewer viewers. For this reason, one of today’s most lauded television shows is about a meth kingpin who boils people in baths of acid.”

“Sometimes the posts write themselves in the forms of discussions or arguments. Then I go and write a sort of idealized version of my take on the argument, while trying as much as possible to illustrate the other side or sides.”
Image courtesy of his wife, Jaime Steed

No, Alex does not plan on using this method on anyone who disagrees with his opinions, but he has realized that he doesn’t have to appeal to everyone, and that understanding his audience and readers, and developing content that appeals to them, is the key to the success of his blog and business.

Steed says that what does worry him most is “do people see me as consistent, or willing to take risks, or bold, or thoughtful? I work hard, reading everything over and over to make sure that even the most questionable assertions can be backed up with facts. That way the only thing someone can disagree on is the point of view, and not with the content itself.”

Content is incredibly valuable and Alex says, “These days folks are expected to write for free—I think it’s important not to accept this. Good content creators bring traffic, and traffic equates to increased usage, or advertisers, or whatever the bottom line is for whoever is hosting the blogger.”

For Steed, it all began with curiosity. He says, “I was very excited about the prospect of seeing the world and I knew that I had a voice.” He encourages young writers to “Be open to being influenced and inspired—take in input at a significantly higher rate than you put out words, content or whatever you are creating. Live your life; read everything; watch everything; and learn how to listen, absorb and process.”

Alex adds that success comes from taking risks, and that “you have to be a consumer of content that is greater than what you are creating.”

” I love living in Maine, and I also love my peers in the creative community here. There is a lot of good work being done in Maine.”
Image courtesy of Zack Bowen, Knack-Factory

So what influences Alex’s work? Here’s his top 5 list:

Might & Main—“They do great work and are very cool without being pretentious. In a few short years, they have built an empire. Their impact on me and the work I do has been substantial.”

Change.org—“They’ve built a way of compounding digital influence and amplifying collective voices.”

The Feast—“I admire them because they’re working toward continuing conversations about how we approach business, culture and activism in a compelling way.”

Love + Radio—“It’s decidedly one of the most riveting and entertaining podcast series being produced today.”

POCKET BRUNCH—“They are blowing up the way we think of food, socializing, parties and everything in between…and they’re locals!”

To check out Alex’s work for yourself, you can read his latest posts at Bourbon. Portland. Beer. Politics. Like what you see? Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out his podcast here.

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.

Almost Home Rescue: Where Volunteers Make A Difference

Almost Home Rescue Director/President, Bonnie Martinolich with her three dogs at home.

Just about everyone in the NMC office has a pet that they brag about, posting pictures on their office walls, desks and more! As animal lovers, we can appreciate the work of nonprofit organizations such as Almost Home Rescue and this week’s Monday Maine Maven, Bonnie Martinolich.

Martinolich serves as the director and president of Almost Home Rescue (AHR). AHR is unique in that they are a nonprofit corporation, made up entirely of volunteers without a single paid staff member. A part of her work includes managing their Facebook page and she says, “We only have one very basic rule: we never post negative stories about cruelty and neglect.”

In a world filled with violence and negative images surrounding animal cruelty, it is important to AHR that they emphasize the passion of volunteers for positive outcomes and as Bonnie adds, “We want parents to feel comfortable with having their children view our Facebook page, and for people to understand the good that comes from volunteers and adopters working with AHR.”

On June 15, 2013, hundreds of people showed up for Amy Buxton’s Underdog Jog. Almost Home Rescue was a benefactor of the race and volunteered as course marshals.

The passion of volunteers displayed on their social media sites is what brings in most of their new volunteers. Bonnie says, “They are a friend who had a friend who adopted an AHR dog, or is a foster parent, and they want to do the same.”

With mobile accessibility to online sites increasing daily, it is only natural that they would look there first when they begin a search for new four-legged family members. This is why sites like Facebook, Petfinder and AHR’s website are essential for AHR.

Another key element to the success of AHR is volunteers. The rescue organization doesn’t have a shelter of their own; they simply transport dogs to foster families and partner rescue organizations, so visibility of their program is critical.  Bonnie adds, “Our foster program is the heart of what we do, and allows us to continue our rescue effort.”

This past weekend, they were one of the benefactors of the Underdog Jog, a fundraiser 5K held in memory of their late volunteer, Amy Buxton.  AHR not only had multiple volunteers that donated their time as course marshals, but they also brought their rescue van, full of adoptable dogs to the race, mingling with the crowd and talking about what they do within the community.

AHR relies on volunteers to raise awareness of their program.

To join their community of animal lovers you can contact them by emailing, info_ahr@yahoo.com, or donate on their website, www.almosthomerescue.net.

 

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.