Doing PR Like a Method Actor, with Nancy Marshall

Episode 105:

Nancy Marshall has been doing PR since the early 1980s. She founded her agency, Marshall Communications, in 1991 serving tourism and especially outdoor recreation clients. Since then, her agency has grown significantly and now her and her team handle the state of Maine Office of Tourism and state of Maine Department of Agriculture, as well as the Orvis Company. Nancy’s passion is around personal branding and she works with individuals to leverage their personal brand. Nancy recently launched her own podcast, the PR Maven – so check that out right after you listen to this one!

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Nancy about all things PR. We discuss how Nancy gets into the trenches with her clients to find out what they are all about. We also talk about digging in on data and analytics-how to look at the right numbers to understand where your visitors are coming from and why. Hers is a breadth of knowledge that doesn’t come along every day, so this is a great conversation.


  • How personal brand can impact the present as well as your legacy
  • Why building relationships online and offline is so important
  • Becoming a trusted resource in good times and during crises
  • The importance of data and analytics for the best PR bang for your buck
  • How co-opetition can give you boots on the ground where your clients need them
  • How to learn from your raving fans to help define the brand story


Being connected in real life with your media contacts is so important. Nancy says for her, “That has been where the magic happens – when I’ve been able to spend time with my media contacts in some shared activity. It builds trust and a genuine relationship.”

Digital relationships are good, but there is something about meeting and connecting with people in real life that helps deepen those bonds, so you are friends – and also that your destination will be top of mind, because of that outdoor adventure you shared, or the great meal at a memorable restaurant. With a relationship built on trust, when a crisis occurs, people are more likely to trust what you are saying.


Measurement is crucial. What do you measure and why does it matter? Nancy shared, “When we’re starting a new engagement with a client, we actually have a discovery meeting where we discuss what the goals are and what the metrics should be. We decide collaboratively what to measure.”

With tools like Google Analytics and others at our fingertips, there’s no excuse for not knowing the data.


Episode Transcript