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Fluent supports MSB with an annual communications strategy, ongoing PR support, and media buying

Founded in rural Maine in 1869 and a leader in customer experience and community, Machias Savings Bank has nearly $2.3 billion in assets, 300 employees, and 15 branches from Portland to Caribou. Machias works to expand its impact beyond products and services through community donations and employee volunteerism.

Fluent supports Machias Savings Bank with public relations/ communications services and serves as the bank’s Agency of Record for ad campaign strategy and media buying. Our media buying team builds an annual multi-media strategy and plan that leverages their budget and creative assets across traditional and digital media. TV, radio, print, programmatic display, streaming TV, Facebook, LinkedIn and Spotify make this a truly diverse and flexible campaign. A true brand awareness campaign, the Bank of Yes! message has been visible in the southern Maine market since early 2021. 


More recently, we repurposed their owned video content into TV and radio spots, digital and print ads that feature “Strong Partnerships” with well-known Maine businesses including Luke’s Lobster, Aroma Joe’s, Camp Modin and Coastal Women’s Health. 

Machias Campaign Ad

In 2023, the bank wanted to focus on continuing the success of this program and broaden its reach to include more senior leadership team stakeholders and business bankers in the Bangor, Brewer, Ellsworth and Rockland markets.

Working with the bank’s internal marketing team, we identified objectives for the year including: interviews or placements related to lending capacity via stories about newsworthy Maine business projects; authored content on select topics in mainstream or trade media; and securing executive opportunities for speaking engagements with relevant organizations.

Our approach was multi-pronged but was rooted in educating the client and spokespeople on the benefits of thought leadership visibility for the bank’s brand.


First, each spokesperson participated in a thought leadership and media training session with fluent and our journalist partner, whose involvement provided greater benefit to the attendees


Second, each spokesperson also conducted a 1:1 thought leadership strategy session with fluent to fully develop at least one topic of expertise to fuel our thought leadership program.


Third, the group identified a “media wish list” to guide our implementation efforts, including opportunities with target media outlets, trade publications, and speaking engagements.

We worked with each of these individuals to refine topics, consider appropriate target media outlets for each opportunity, and draft authored content or refine media pitches for interview opportunities. Structuring our engagement in this manner also allowed us to plan in advance and be cognizant of spacing out opportunities for ongoing visibility throughout the year.

We successfully checked off each of the items on our media wishlist through opportunities that supported our original objectives:

CEO Larry Barker was featured in a January Mainebiz article to reinforce the Bank’s position of strength moving into the year ahead.

Secured at least a dozen feature stories, “how to” articles, new hire announcements, or other mentions in Mainebiz over the course of the year. 

Secured a 4-page spread featuring MSB in a “Supporting Member Spotlight” in Logger’s Voice, the quarterly print publication of Professional Logging Contractors of the Northeast.

Larry was also interviewed for an article about ongoing bank turmoil to assuage any concerns and rebuild confidence in Maine banks.

Additionally, the bank participated in a sponsored content campaign with the Portland Press Herald for ongoing visibility throughout the year.

Media Coverage

Maine business leaders reflect on the 'best advice' they received

How to prep for a growth meeting with your business banker

Maine banks, believers in safety first, may face bumpy ride

Machias Savings matches previous gift to MDI Hospital

Machias Savings names next COO and expands cash management

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