MACIAS PR – Why We Deliver Better Results

                               

MACIAS PR was founded in 2009 by a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. Journalists and marketing peers consistently rank MACIAS PR as one of the best PR Agencies based on our results.

Over the years, MACIAS PR has launched publicity, media and branding campaigns for companies from all industries. We’ve worked with boot-strapped startups as well as established international brands, securing publicity with the most influential news publications. We have client case studies in several industries, detailing these campaigns.

Our clients always work with an experienced media strategist. We don’t pawn you off to a junior account executive. And as a boutique PR firm, our communications process is streamlined, while our execution is hyper-focused.

PR Awards – Earned by MACIAS PR

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the Strategic PR Firm of the Year from 2017-2021. As part of the selection process, marketing and PR professionals reviewed media campaigns promoted by our agency.

Finance Monthly also named MACIAS PR the 2015-2017 Financial PR Firm of the Year. And in 2021, City & State Magazine named our founder, Mark Macias, a Top 50 Political PR Power player in New York.

MACIAS PR has run B2B and B2C media and branding campaigns in healthcare, tech startups, financial services, asset management, nonprofits and service sector industries. We’ve secured big stories in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, People Magazine, CNN and others. (Here’s a closer look at our Annual Report ). We have case studies for all of these industries, backing up our consistent track record.

Message Mark at the bottom of this screen (green button on the right) if you would like to schedule a call. You can also get a free PR estimate by clicking here.

Paid Sponsored Posts – Are they worth it?

There’s a digital marketing trend taking place that involves sponsored posts.

More brands are buying sponsored stories or posts with targeted news outlets, like Men’s Health, hoping to give the allusion that the media is writing about them.

On the surface, the intent is to fool consumers into believing the publication is endorsing your product or service with a favorable story. But does it work?

First off, a sponsored post, also known as a promoted post or promoted story is essentially an advertisement. There is no independent journalist writing the story from an objective perspective. Instead, the company approves the story copy and message.

But how good is a story – sponsored or not – if no one sees it?

Sponsored Posts are not Discoverable

If you dig deeper with sponsored posts, you will see they don’t appear anywhere near the pages where consumers browse. Sponsored posts are published in different news sections that are usually not discoverable. In simple terms, the story is not on the home page, or news sections where consumers are exploring and reading. Sponsored stories are buried with other unread content.

Yes, sponsored posts are discoverable by Google, but think about it: If a consumer is Googling your product or service, they already know about your brand. What good is a sponsored post if it’s buried in a section that consumers don’t see?

Compare this in contrast to earned media where the story does appear on the home page and is very visible to consumers. A news feature written by a journalist is  placed in a high-traffic section that consumers will see. It also doesn’t come with a transparency clause that tells consumers you paid for the placement.

Most news publications clearly state that the content is sponsored – like the above sponsored post with Men’s Health demonstrates.

How do Sponsored Posts compare to Earned Media?

But probably the strongest argument against buying sponsored posts boils down to budget – and how well it works for you. All sponsored posts are removed when an advertising budget ends. That doesn’t happen with earned media. Real news stories stay up – long after your PR campaign ends. The dollar cost average decreases over time, making your PR campaign more affordable than any sponsored post.

Digital trends come and go. Content marketing is not new and these sponsored posts will continue to grow in saturation as newsrooms shrink in size. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely your brand will grow with this trend, especially after your advertising budget ends and you have nothing left to show for it.

That’s right – when your content marketing budget is over – say goodbye to those stories and any marketing budget you placed to get them.

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the 2017 and 2018 Strategic PR Firm of the Year. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the Financial PR Firm of the Year. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He’s also a contributor with CNBC and author of the books, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media and the Tao of PR.

Forbes Analysis – Do Press Releases Lead to Media Coverage?

By Mark Macias

If you do any research on the different PR newswires, it’s very easy to believe that their distribution lists will lead to media coverage. Unfortunately, it’s a bit misleading.

These days, Google is picking up fewer of these press releases. Even more challenging, many news publications are now burying their press releases on their websites.

I recently wrote a story for Forbes – Do press releases lead to media coverage? You can read my article here to get a deeper assessment on when press releases are most effective. If you’re short on time, you can get some quick advice by reading on.

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Forbes Article – 3 Tactics for Standing out from Noise

It’s never easy standing out from the noise in a cluttered space, but if you’re going to survive as a startup, you have to figure out this formula fast. Otherwise, your business, product or new technology might never have a chance to catch on with the masses.

I elaborated on this approach in an article I wrote for Forbes, called –Three Tactics For Standing Out From The Startup Noise. You can click on that link to read but here is abridged version if you’re short on time.

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Communications Crisis: How to Release Bad News

It’s the perennial crisis communications question: how do you control negative news once it’s out? And when you know more bad news is coming, how do you release it?

The end-game strategy of crisis communications is to get your business out of the news as quickly as possible. You don’t want a story to linger, or new developments to unfold because it keeps your story in the news cycle.

News is always about advancing a story. During my time as Executive Producer with NBC, we would frequently see a story in the morning’s New York Post or Daily News – and try to figure out how to advance it. No one wants to read old news. It’s why the phrase is a cliche.

Every day new information unfolds about your scandal, the more heavily favored your story is to remain in the news.

How do you Release Bad News?

If your business is in the headlines with negative news – and more bad news is still buried away – make sure you get it out as quickly as possible. All of it.

You don’t want a drip, drip, drip because it gives reporters new elements to advance their story. Every new release of more negative information gives your story another element to gain traction.

The challenge with managing negative news is you must provide a solution that demonstrates why the problem won’t happen again. Without that element, the story is still unresolved. The public also wants to know why this bad incident won’t happen again.

And it’s more than just issuing an apology. Many politicians wrongly believe an apology will lead to forgiveness with voters. Yes – Americans are very forgiving, but they don’t won’t support a hypocrite. Yet, another reason to reinforce why this pattern for negative behavior won’t return.

MACIAS PR has run crisis campaigns for politicians, nonprofits and financial organizations. If you’re facing a difficult situation and need private consultation, feel free to email us and we’ll coordinate a time to speak.

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the 2017 and 2018 Strategic PR Firm of the Year. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the Financial PR Firm of the Year. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He’s also a frequent contributor with CNBC and author of the books, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media and the Tao of PR.

Can AI work with PR? Forbes Editorial

A few years ago, a friend and co-founder of  a major retail startup asked me a question over dinner: Why can’t AI be used in PR?

He explained how AI was helping his startup sell products by predicting which products would be best sellers. If AI could help sell shoes and clothes, why couldn’t it work to sell news stories?

That conversation inspired a recent article I wrote for Forbes: Artificial Intelligence in PR: Is it Science Fiction. You can read that story here but if you’re short on time, here are the quick takeaways.

There’s not enough Big Data in PR to Use AI

You need billions of data points for AI to learn, grow and predict over time. But more importantly, you need quality data. If AI uses incomplete or unreliable data, it will never be able to learn and develop.

PR is nowhere near gathering this kind of big data for news coverage. But even if we did have big data on news generation, it wouldn’t have the critical thinking and creative mindset to create new enterprise stories from scratch. More important, this data would likely be outdated every 24 hours, meaning billions of new data points would need to be created from scratch every day.

Journalism is an Art – AI is Science

Micro journalism is one of the reasons why viewers can turn on the local news and see many stations starting with the same two or three news stories. But as the newscasts continue, that’s when micro journalism becomes more apparent.

News selection will begin to mimic its editors over time, and as editors change, so will the news selection. If AI pushed stories in the media, the ideas would all be the same since it’s trying to generate coverage that is most likely to be covered. If it’s that obvious, the story will already be in the news by the time AI suggested it.

Best PR Campaigns Leverage Critical Thinking and Creativity

AI doesn’t have the critical thinking or creativity to create enterprise news angles from scratch. And based on my experience inside the newsrooms, I don’t see that developing in my lifetime. Another reason why I don’t see AI running PR campaigns is that it is difficult to conceptualize abstract ideas into a news story. Even the most experienced publicists have difficulty consistently placing stories across different sectors and media outlets. This craft gets even harder once you start factoring in the different editorial anglings of the local, national and trade mediums.

So if you hear new buzz about AI entering PR, put up your critical thinking and ask the solid questions that machine learning has yet to think of.

About MACIAS PR

MACIAS PR was founded in 2009 by Mark Macias – a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. The top tech and healthcare PR firm uses strategies that stem from this background inside the media.

How to Apologize When the Media is Listening – Analysis in Forbes

Here’s an article that applies to everyone. That’s right – it doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur, leader, follower or even a kid. At some point, you will need to apologize.

But what happens when the apology is amplified by the media?

I recently wrote an article for Forbes answering that question. I break down three tips to help anyone make sure their apology goes the right way. You can read my Forbes article here. If you’re short on time, here’s a shorter version of the key points.

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PR Blueprint for Launching Successful Publicity Campaigns

Every business owner wants to know how to get journalists to write a story on their business. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula that reveals how a story gets on the news or in the newspapers, but there are guidelines that can increase your chances for coverage.

As Executive Producer with NBC in New York, I approved story ideas from reporters, publicists and producers. Sometimes, stories were approved but later killed for various reasons.

Other times, I killed a story because it lacked visuals or had outdated information. The approval process in news is subjective, just like any other profession involving creativity, opinions and experiences. So if you get a bite from the media, move fast and don’t delay.

So how do you get journalists to cover your business? You can increase your chances for coverage by identifying what is different, new or unique about your business. It sounds simple but a lot of people forget that news is based on the root “new.” They pitch stories but forget about timeliness. If you don’t have that “new” component, your story is at a disadvantage.

You can figure out what is new about your business by asking some simple questions: Is your business contributing to the local community in a unique way we might not expect? Are you about to accomplish a feat where others have failed? What is different between you and competitors?

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Why the Best PR Firms Look Beyond Press Releases

The best PR firms don’t focus their efforts on press releases. They focus their creative energies around the editorial angle.

Yes, press releases are great for content marketing, and they can help communicate a tight, controlled message. But it’s unlikely they will lead to media coverage.

The most successful media campaigns will always include a proactive media outreach. And there is no cutting in line. This approach centers around manually researching and pitching reporters, journalists, producers and editors that are targeted.

MACIAS PR consistently secures coverage for our clients because this approach is at the center of our strategy. Pitching directly to media is especially important for smaller businesses, including startups.

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Which PR Newswires have the Best Reach

Don’t fall for the spam that promises media coverage with a press release. It doesn’t work like that with the PR newswires. Press releases won’t get you on the news or TV, regardless of how much you pay for distribution.

No reporter is going to the PR newswires looking for story ideas. However, there is a role for press releases with content marketing and SEO.

Entrepreneurs frequently ask me which PR newswires are the best.

Technically, the major PR distribution companies all use the same technology so in theory, there shouldn’t be an advantage with one company over another. (I know this because we researched it).

If that’s the case, why do some press releases get more traction?

Search engines are tricky, and Google never reveals its algorithm. However, Google openly admits it places a priority on good content. If a press release is written well, and has a news peg, your chances for online exposure grow dramatically.

Writing Style and Quality Content Play Pivotal Role in Exposure

Press releases can get more exposure when the writing style is solid and not filled with grammatical errors. This includes style errors that are flagged with the PR distribution companies. If you don’t take those guidelines seriously from the beginning, it doesn’t matter who publishes your press release. It won’t get traction.

For example, a press release can’t be in first person, and quotes should be in the AP style. A poorly written press release will get buried with the search engines.

It also helps if you organically share the press release with editors. In the case with our PR agency, we always push the press release to targeted editors. This not only increases our potential for media coverage, but it introduces our story directly to the writers.

Here’s another look at when press releases can help your brand.

Get Announcement On The Record

When clients have big announcements, like a spike in users or a new partnership, press releases can get it on the record. Every time our PR agency wins an award, we put together a press release. And it’s led to new business. 

A few years ago, I worked with a digital health client that was weeks away from receiving full recognition from the CDC for their virtual diabetes prevention program. We prepared a press release in advance so the company would be ready for the announcement. 

Today, if you research this company online you will read how it was the first CDC virtual provider recognized for the diabetes prevention program. That exposure wouldn’t have been possible without a press release.

About Mark Macias

Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with NBC, Senior Producer with CBS, and frequent contributor to Forbes, CNBC and Entrepreneur. City & State Magazine named him to their PR Power 50 list in New York. He founded MACIAS PR in 2009. The agency has led B2B and B2C media campaigns for brands across healthcare, tech, politics and nonprofits.

How to Quantify and Measure the Value of PR

A successful PR campaign isn’t as straightforward as an advertising campaign, but contrary to what many people believe, you can measure the ROI of a PR campaign. Public relations isn’t as analytics-driven as advertising, but you can still value its effectiveness.

Here are four ways to measure the success of your PR campaign:

Media Placements

Not all media outlets are created equal, so you don’t want to count the sheer number of placements. The Wall Street Journal is way more valuable than the Arcadia Newspaper.

However, don’t assume the biggest is always the best. If you’re pushing a story in a targeted neighborhood, like say Arcadia, you will want to target the community outlet. It’s more likely to drive sales than any story in the WSJ. Similar Web is a great source for measuring reach if you want to gauge overall  reach.

Brand Exposure

If you’re thinking about buying an expensive product or service, most consumers will do their homework and look for reviews. Positive online reviews in the media are one of the most effective tools for sales. 

My PR agency ran the digital campaign for the nutrition program, Lifesum. In 2020, the editor of PR Mag called Lifesum her favorite app for staying in shape. That’s an endorsement you can’t buy. It was instant brand exposure lined with credibility.

Consumer surveys conducted by my PR firm have found Millennials and Gen Z are swayed by positive reviews more than older generations. So if you’re selling to them, focus that PR outreach on reviews to enhance your ROI.

Web Analytics

Every entrepreneur should identify the primary sources behind their sales traffic. But with PR, it’s not always as easy to identify the traffic without a hyperlink. 

Many news organizations are getting stingier with their backlinks, and the traffic is not always directly linked to the news story. 

One of my team’s strategic approaches is to create content that supplements the story and embed it on your website. If the news organization is not able to include the additional information, you will have more success getting a back link to the supplemental material.

Search Engine Rankings

Google doesn’t reveal much about its search algorithm, but it’s clear that quality content and news articles play a large role in deciding what gets on the front page. If the Washington Post, CNN, CNBC and local TV are all writing about your brand, Google spyders will likely recognize the attention and give your website a higher emphasis with search rankings.

In 2018, Google named our client – Noom – one of the top searches for weight loss and diet programs. The publicity from our media campaign had a direct link with that increased seach traffic.

You might not immediately measure SEO with your PR campaign, but over time, you will see an improvement with traffic from search engines.

About Mark Macias

Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with NBC, Senior Producer with CBS, and frequent contributor to Forbes, CNBC and Entrepreneur. City & State Magazine named him to their PR Power 50 list in New York. MACIAS PR has led B2B and B2C media campaigns for brands across healthcare, tech, politics and nonprofits.