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


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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!

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


Terrible Typos

Hello, Erika here!

My friend Grace and I were talking about ideas for work the other night and she started laughing as she told me about some of the typos she had seen in emails and documents she had received. We joked about auto correct and the fact that there are sites solely dedicated to people’s “clumsy thumbsies” as Ellen DeGeneres would say.

How many times have you accidentally texted someone something you didn’t mean to? I haven’t been involved in some of the incredibly embarrassing incidents above, but I have accidentally texted “I kiss you” instead of ‘I miss you.” I also told my sister once that “the dogs are dead” when I definitely meant, “the dogs are fed.” Typos happen, but how can you prevent them from making their way into your business?

I decided to share some common typos that frequently go unnoticed and include five fail-proof proofreading tricks—ways to make sure you don’t end up with a grammatical blunder on your hands.

If you work in public service then you are most likely already aware of the common missing “l” in many documents and emails, resulting in some “pubic” disasters. I have a friend that used to work for the New York Housing Authority and this was a commonly overlooked error in their office.

The simple misuse of your vs. you’re, or missing a comma can make a huge difference. If I say, “Let’s eat Julia,” it means something completely different than when I say, “Let’s eat, Julia.” People notice when grammatical errors are made. The other day at a meeting, I overheard a woman say, “Me and Kyle are planning…” and out of nowhere, the gentleman sitting next to me mumbles, “Kyle and I.”

My final example is not capitalizing when we should. When Time Magazine featured an article on Steve Jobs and Apple, they simply referred to him as “steve jobs.” A simple AP styling rule that I found myself rusty on was when to capitalize someone’s job title. When the title comes before the name, it is capitalized, but when it comes after their name, it is in lower case.

So how can you make sure you don’t make these simple grammatical errors? Here are my five tips.

  1. Read aloud
  2. Read backwards
  3. Take a break and re-read
  4. Use a second pair of eyes
  5. Always re-read before sending or posting

My friend Grace Zinnel and me in New York City

Grammar is complicated and AP guidelines are always changing because of the tools available to us. For example the term the Web now requires “web” to be capitalized because it encompasses and summarizes an entity, but a website is still lowercase because it is a smaller part of the Web.

I would recommend that you subscribe to the online AP Style Book or use the AP cheat sheet provided by Scribd. The cheat sheet isn’t as thorough as the complete style book, but it still provides the basics you need. If you really want to work on becoming an expert proofer you should subscribe to online mailing lists. Our proofing Queen, Dianne, swears by and Grammar Girl, which both provide daily emails on various writing techniques, tools and tips.

When I first started at NMC, it had been a while since I had actually written in AP form. I had done it thousands of times in college, but working for different organizations with their own rules and ways of doing things had definitely formed some bad habits. I decided to get back to the basics and made it my mission to write better. I’m not perfect and Dianne can attest to my typos and grammatical errors, but using the right tools has helped me get better and now we joke that it’s only a matter of time before I get a document back without any red ink!

I hope that this week’s witty wisdom helps you, no matter what your skill level when it comes to writing and editing. After all, it never hurts to keep learning new skills and developing new good habits.

How the World of PR Has Changed In the New Century (for the better!)

Many of you know that my agency is handling the PR and Web site for Saddleback Maine where they are currently building the largest glade in the East. It’ll be called Casablanca, not after the famous movie but after a ‘streamer fly’ which is famous for catching trophy trout in the Rangeley Lakes Region. All the trail names at Saddleback are fly fishing-related.


So last week Icalled Scott Thistle, who is regional editor at the Lewiston Sun Journal, and in a previous life a ski patroller at Sugarloaf. I invited him and his buddy/photographer Russ Dillingham to head up to Saddleback and do a story about “A Day In a Life of a Glade Cutter.”  Not only did they go and create a two-page feature that appeared in the newspaper on Sunday November 15, but they also did a video that appeared on their Web site, called “The Sawyers of Casablanca Movie.” Continue reading “How the World of PR Has Changed In the New Century (for the better!)” »