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


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Social Media Marketing

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.

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

A Nightfly With A Rock ‘N Roll Soul

Frank FM Assistant Program Director and On-Air Personality, Leif Erickson

If you’re a fan of classic hits and live practically anywhere in the state of Maine, then you are probably familiar with 107.5 Frank FM.  As a member of Frank Nation, then you are also familiar with Assistant Program Director/Music Director/Afternoon Drive Host Leif Erickson.

Yes, he really does wear that many hats on a weekly basis—and that doesn’t even include the additional work he does for Snocountry Mountain Reports, and his recent official announcement of Leif Erickson Voiceover Services.

As a native of Massachusetts and Boston University graduate, Erickson was hired as a radio ski reporter for Snocountry Mountain Reports in Lebanon, New Hampshire after graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism. He soon made his way onto the air with Classic Rock station Q106 in Claremont, and after a few years he was recruited by a start-up station called Frank FM.

After eight years, Erickson says he can’t imagine living anywhere else. He credits the broad audience as the best and most challenging part of his job saying, “We’re a local station to not only Portland, but to Lewiston, Augusta, Bridgton, Sanford, South Paris, Farmington and well into New Hampshire! I enjoy bringing people together under that umbrella—Frank Nation—one big community, even if they do know I’m physically in the ‘big city’ of Portland.”

Social media has made Leif’s job a little easier, and he frequently uses it to test new material with listeners. He adds, “If I have some wise-crack on a relevant topic, I may test it out on my own Facebook page to see what kind of reaction I get. If the feedback is positive then I’ll repurpose it for my show later.”

Leif Erickson hits the slopes at Sunday River last winter.

Facebook is an incredible tool when it comes to connecting with listeners for Erickson. Even though he has a radio-specific fan page, listeners frequently find his personal Facebook page as well, and he always accepts their friend requests. He jokes, “I do have a brief disclaimer on my personal page that says:  Hey, this is me off the clock, don’t complain to my boss! I’m not above sharing a slice of life behind the scenes if I think my listeners might find it interesting.”

For Erickson, Facebook is also a way to learn more about his listeners, and he often uses it as a way to learn what they like, where they hang out, and what they want to hear—“This is a business that is all about connecting with the listener, is it not,” he asks.

That question is answered by the way he delivers content. Leif says, “Our listeners would rather I paint a picture of an odd individual’s antics on Monument Square that I’m witnessing from the studio window than whatever Lindsay Lohan’s in court for this week.”

When Leif isn’t juggling his work, he can frequently be found on the Portland Peninsula. He says, “I enjoy a bite and a brew at the Thirsty Pig, or Shay’s for dinner and drinks, but my favorite haunt is Slainte. It’s always full of interesting people, good brews on tap and kick- (enter expletive here)-bartending staff, and a diverse slate of music and culture just about every night of the week.”

To listen to Leif Erickson’s show, be sure to tune in to 107.5 Frank FM Monday through Friday 2pm to 7pm, or on Sundays 6am to noon. You can also check out his Facebook Fan Page at

We asked Leif to share five songs that describe him—click on the links below to find out what he picked! Did any of your favorite songs make the list?

Donald Fagen “The Nightfly”

Grand Funk Railroad “Rock and Roll Soul”

James Taylor “Country Road”

Todd Rundgren “There Are No Words”

Yes “Yours Is No Disgrace”

Great Opportunities to Learn about Email Marketing and Social Media from Constant Contact


Lisa Madore and Greg Glynn

NMC is proud to be a “business partner” with Constant Contact, the company that makes it easy to send out e-newsletters like this one.  Last week we presented an event at the Black Bear Inn in Orono with Constant Contact. I took this photo of Greg Glynn, one of the account executives from the NMC staff, along with Lisa Madore from Valley Distributors which is a member of our client, the Maine Beer and Wine Distributors Association.

If you go to the Constant Contact website at, and click on the “Learning Center” tab, you will find an incredible library of free resources to help you improve your marketing program. I am simply amazed at the wealth of materials they offer.


There’s a step-by-step guide to generating great e-newsletters that you can download for free called “Content is King: A How-To Guide for Writing Valuable Email Communications.”   Here are some of the tips they share taken from their how to guide, which I am summarizing in the bullets to follow with my own experiences in marketing and communications: Continue reading “Great Opportunities to Learn about Email Marketing and Social Media from Constant Contact” »

Linkedin Q and A provides interesting opportunity for entrepreneurs

I’ve been using LinkedIn for several months now to increase my social network.  As a matter of fact, if you’re reading this blog and you’re not part of my network, I invite you to ‘link‘ with me. Just go to LinkedIn, create an identity for yourself, then invite me to join your network. It’s amazing to see who is connected to whom, and how many people we are connected to, in so many facets of our lives. We are connected to people through our home towns, through our schools, through our kids’ schools, through our clients, our professions and our past jobs. Continue reading “Linkedin Q and A provides interesting opportunity for entrepreneurs” »