Art of Small Talk – How PR Helps with People Skills

By Mark Macias

PR helps build your business, but on a personal level, it can also make you a better communicator and sales person.

A few years ago, I worked with the founder of a hedge fund who wasn’t the best communicator with the media. He made a lot of mistakes when speaking with reporters.

But after a few months, I noticed his delivery got better. He also confided in me that his sales pitches got better. Our media training helped him learn how to better communicate with investors.

You can read more about media training here, but here are 5 Ways PR can help you communicate better in person. I originally wrote this editorial for Entrepreneur Magazine. Here’s a shortened version of that article, highlighting how PR skills can help with in-person social events.

The best publicists listen and interact

When you’re networking, be conscious of your words and how you use them. Drive the conversation with open-ended questions that lead to your intended destination. Learn how to grab information by guiding conversations, as opposed to talking to others.

Make eye contact

It’s amazing how many people don’t make eye contact during conversations. It’s like they are afraid of emotionally connecting are hiding something.

If you have difficulty making eye contact with others, practice in the mirror. A sociology professor from college demonstrated this to my class, and it works.

Dress the part

Be conscious of what your clothes says to others. Roughly 80 percent of what we say comes from the visual.

If you’re trying to sell yourself as a creative type, you better not show up wearing a 1970s outfit – unless it’s a statement piece.

Be conscious of what you choose to wear that morning. I met some business professionals who looked like they stepped out of a 1970s Kmart catalog. I don’t want them advising me on creativity.

Yes, this sounds shallow, but perception is reality—and your clothes influence that reality.

It’s not about me. It’s about you. 

In publicity, I always tell my clients the media works on their own time frame. Likewise, they don’t care about you personally. (Don’t take it personally). Reporters care about their readers and viewers and you’re conduit to the end.

It’s no different when you’re socializing at a mixer or networking event. Most people care about themselves. If you’re kind and listen to others, and add bring new thoughts to the conversation, people will want to listen.

It’s not earth shattering information but when you observe others at social events, you’ll see it isn’t common sense for a lot of people.

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the 2017-2020 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.

Are You a Good Candidate for PR? Entrepreneur Analysis

Not every business is a good candidate for PR. And if you reach out to the PR firm at the wrong time, there’s a good chance that they won’t tell you that you’re wasting money on PR.

Big shocker, especially since I own a PR firm but it’s the honest truth.

I recently wrote a story for Entrepreneur Magazine that detailed which types of businesses are wasting their money on PR. You can read that editorial here.

But if you’re short on time, here’s an abridged version of the advice I shared with their readers.

What’s Your Expertise

Accountants, lawyers, physicians – and similar professions with an in-depth level of expertise, are great PR clients. These are the types of experts the media gravitates to, and places on their programs.

If you have an insider knowledge that relates to the larger market, reporters will be interested in hearing your insight. It’s the job of your PR agency to identify that expertise.

Does your Data Reveal any Trends

Data is another great way to position your story with the media. However, not all data is treated equally. Your data must be relevant and reveal new insight on the larger picture. Personally, I like to look for data that demonstrates a societal impact.

Don’t let any publicist deceive you into believing that your data alone will lead to coverage. I also elaborate on this topic in my Entrepreneur article.

What’s Your Story

This is critical because the media tells stories at the root. Yes, reporters can discuss new information but the stories that gain traction with the larger media outlets will be centered around a story.

Story tellers are critical to PR. At the root, MACIAS PR is built on story telling. Our founder was an Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. TV peers nominated him for Emmys. He also produced an Off-Broadway play that told the story of Elvis Presley.

We know how to tell stories. If you need help telling your story, we’d love to talk to you.

Biggest Content Marketing Mistakes

By Mark Macias

Content marketing is critical to search engines. If you’re doing it wrong, you don’t exist to consumers since they won’t see you on searches.

Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of emails from companies and brands, asking if they can publish their content on MACIAS PR. I suspect they see our great SEO and appearance on the first page of Google, so they want to join our party.

That is not effective content marketing for both the brand and the . Here’s an email I received recently from a publicist:

“Hey there,

My name is Elle, PR staff of a respectable company that is starting up. We want to provide information-giving, inspiring and topical articles about business and finance space; I’m well-versed in how to write without putting your readers’ to sleep : )Mind if I send the post your way for review? And you could let me know if you think it’s a good fit for your site We’re happy to write and tailor it according to your liking with unlimited revisions.

Hoping for your positive response.”

Don’t let other companies or brands leverage your blog. Unless you’re a huge company, like Starbucks, your blog should be devoted solely to your brand. Don’t create clutter or confusion to your readers.

Here’s some quick thought-leadership advice on your content marketing campaign. I see clients and potential clients fall for this short-term fix all the time.

Be a Thought Leader in your Industry

If you want to be a leader in any industry, be the leader. Promote your thoughts and ideas, not the competition.

If you do it right, you will get on the first page of the search engines, which is more valuable than any ad. If we got our website on the first page of Google for “best healthcare pr firms” or “top tech pr firms”, we can also do it in your industry.

Finance Monthly and ACQ5 5 – an international industry award – named Macias PR the 2017-2020 Strategic PR Firm of the Year, and PR Firm of the Year – USA. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with CNBC, Forbes and Entrepreneur, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.

Behind the Scenes of PR Agency – What PR is Really Like

It’s not always pretty in PR but like the caption says, we get it done. MACIAS PR is scrappy in our approach, and the end result is pure beauty for our clients.

But don’t take our word for it. Let us show you a few of the media placements we have placed for our clients over the last 2 weeks.

Local TV Media Placements

MACIAS PR has already secured 4 TV segments for our digital health client during the month of February. The TV segments aired in Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Dallas and Houston. Three of those four markets are top 20 media markets.

So how did we do it?

We came up with conversation topics to get our client on the news. In early February, everyone was talking about the Super Bowl. So we created a campaign around the two quarterbacks playing in the game.

Our agency came up with a creative way to measure the nutrition stats of the two quarterbacks to see how it would impact their game. Here’s a look at how the segment ran in Kansas City.


It’s important to reach your audience where they are engaged. In the case of Kansas City and Tampa, their fans were engaged with the big game.


How to Apologize When the Media is Listening – Forbes Advice

By Mark Macias

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. Continue reading “How to Apologize When the Media is Listening – Forbes Advice”

Do Contacts Lead to Media Placements?

By Mark Macias

Business owners and entrepreneurs frequently make assumptions with me. They tell me, “you must know a lot of people in the media.”

And yes, I do know journalists, reporters and producers across the US. But honestly, those connections don’t lead to media placements. Yes, sometimes these former colleagues can assist but the friendship never directly leads to a media placement. 

So what does? Stories that are newsworthy.

In business, who you know helps, but when it comes to the media, the rules of the game change.

Want to hear more? Watch the video that goes more in-depth.