AUGUSTA — If there’s a chance to network, Nancy Marshall seizes it. And if there’s a challenge, she’s up for it.

For instance, to win a contract working with Northern Outdoors, she told company officials that if they hired her namesake firm, she would become a licensed Maine Guide, and she did.

More recently, Marshall, 54, has been doing work with BikeMaine and has committed to participating in next year’s week-long ride, a longer ride than the Trek Across Maine, which she did for several years.

“I do these things because I feel to do PR it’s really important to immerse yourself,” Marshall said in a recent interview in her office on Western Avenue in Augusta.

For her continuing success in growing Nancy Marshall Communications from its inception in 1991 to today, where she employs a dozen people and provides marketing and communications services for clients in the areas of tourism, education and health care, she is to receive the President’s Award from the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce at the awards banquet Jan. 23 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Currently CEO of her firm, she specializes in personal branding strategies. “I help people uncover what their personal brand is and help design a way to promote it on social media,” she said.

She offers strategic marketing plans under the trademark of “The Marshall Plans,” laying out a road map for the next one to three years for a firm and providing ways to measure success.

“One of the keys to success is simple perseverance and tenacity,” she said.

Marshall has witnessed big changes in the public relations field. Formerly most information about businesses and organizations came through the media, but now those same businesses and organizations can reach targeted audiences directly through the Internet and social media.

“I think social media was invented for me,” she said. “It’s social and I am social.”

Marshall said she’s found great opportunities through social media, but says she also wants that face-to-face connection.

Marshall is a graduate of Colby College and of Thomas College. She began her communications career at Channel 10 WCBB in 1983, moved on to Sugarloaf in 1984 and then started her own public relations firm in 1991.

Her firm held the marketing contract for 20 years with the Maine Office of Tourism and has contracts with a number of clients, including Maine Beer & Wine Distributors Association, Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers, MaineGeneral and numerous others.

She’s a familiar figure to members of the Kennebec Valley Chamber as well.

“I’ve done a lot of training and workshops for Chamber members and businesses in the area,” she said.

Chamber member Delta Ambulance contracted with Nancy Marshall Communications and learned how to promote its accomplishments to the public.

“Working with her has been interesting,” said Bill McKenna, Delta’s director of community relations. “Tim Beals and I have been with Delta for 30 years, and they’re finding things that we should be telling people. It’s a different viewpoint. I think they’re in touch with the world.”

The firm redesigned Delta Ambulance’s website so it works on mobile devices, worked on its Facebook presence, updated literature and provided customer service training for the ambulance crews.

“It’s great to have somebody to bounce something off of,” McKenna said.

Delta Ambulance, which has bases in Augusta and Waterville, has 150 employees and provides 911 service to 17 communities.

“We work hard to stay on the leading edge of technology and medical quality,” McKenna said. Delta Ambulance received the Chamber’s President’s Award in 2010.

Nancy Marshall works outside Maine as well. She has written a book, “PR Works,” that comes out in January and will be sold through

“I give workshops across the country for ad agencies who want to get into PR,” she said. Her book tells small businesses how to do their own public relations.

She writes blogs and trademarked herself as The PR Maven.

Marshall and her firm have received a number of awards from Maine Public Relations Council, and in 2011 she received the Edward L. Bernays award, the highest individual honor awarded by the Maine Public Relations Council. She also belongs to the Society of American Travel Writers and has promoted stories about Maine.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams