The Advantages of Working with Outside PR Agencies

By Mark Macias

You can learn a lot from the people you surround yourself with, and it’s an even bigger factor in business. This is one of the biggest advantages of working with an outside PR agency. They can apply best practices to your media campaign.

We’ve worked with a lot big brands: Noom, Lifesum, Columbia University Medical Center, Plenty of Fish, Deloitte, MicroStrategy, Mastercard and others. Now, we can say we’ve worked with the 2nd fastest growing technology company in Europe, according to the Financial Times.

I typically don’t discuss our clients publicly, but I’m super proud to share some of the lessons I have learned from this CEO. He accomplished growth that only one other company achieved at a faster rate in 2021. Everyone can learn from his mind and approach.

MACIAS PR recently ran a targeted thought leadership campaign, sharing his insight with reporters and entrepreneurial publications. Here’s a closer look at what he said, in his own words.

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Always Fresh PR Podcast – Best PR Tactics for Standing Out from the Startup Noise

By Mark Macias

Here’s a closer look at our new Always Fresh PR podcast. This episode looks at 3 Tactics you can take to stand out in a crowded space.

If you’re looking for free PR advice, please follow our podcast on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts. You can find your favorite podcast channel by clicking here.

In this podcast, I share strategies I learned from producing and promoting my Off Broadway play in 2018. The tactics apply to any startup.

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 agency has been named the Best Strategic PR Firm and Best Financial PR Firm by both journalists and marketing peers. The top tech and healthcare PR firm uses strategies that stem from this background inside the media.

Does Performance based PR work? MACIAS PR Forbes Analysis

By Mark Macias

Every once in a while, I’ll get a request from a potential client asking if my PR agency would work off a performance-based structure. 

It happened again recently and inspired this thought leadership article I wrote for Forbes.

In theory, a performance-based model sounds like a great idea. The client doesn’t pay for anything unless the PR agency succeeds. Of course, as most entrepreneurs learn, if any deal is too one-sided, you lose money.

I don’t think many entrepreneurs really understand the depth, strategy and resources required to run a successful media campaign that leads to earned media — and I’m not talking about a press release. I’m talking about a bonafide news story or feature in a publication that you read.

You can read my analysis in Forbes here. If you’re short on time, here’s an abridged version of my thoughts on performance based PR.

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MACIAS PR Launches Podcast on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcast

By Mark Macias

Want some free PR strategy and advice for your business or brand? I’m sharing my thoughts, insight and strategy with our new podcast #alwaysfreshpr.

If you subscribe to my podcast, you will hear new approaches and advice on branding, PR and digital marketing. Click here to find your favorite channel. We are on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcast and Stitcher.

With every podcast, I’m sharing personal stories that I experience with clients, reporters and observe with the media. I won’t share common sense observations. I’m hoping every podcast will enlighten your entrepreneurial or creative pursuit in business with new ideas, tactics and approaches.

Here’s a look at some of the recent podcast topics:

Artificial Intelligence in PR: Is it Science Fiction?

How to approach reporters based on their experience

3 Tactics for Standing out from the Startup Noise

These podcasts range in length from 4 to 8 minutes, so if you’re like me, you can listen to an entire podcast episode in only one workout.

Thank you for following!

Mark

My Forbes Advice: How to Approach Journalists Based on their Experience

By Mark Macias

Before I introduce my clients to a reporter, I always try to research the journalist’s background to get a better idea of their experience. It reveals more insight for my communication style with them.

I recently wrote an editorial for Forbes: How To Approach Reporters Based On Their Experience. It outlines how to approach these different reporters based on their experience. Here’s a condensed version of that thought leadership that was published by Forbes.

Helping a Local Story Go National Leveraging Affiliate Feeds

By Mark Macias

There are advantages to working with a media insider. Or in the case with MACIAS PR, it’s like having an Executive Producer in your corner.

During my time with NBC and CBS, I approved ideas from publicists, reporters and producers – where I believe we had a special formula for approving stories. I always pushed our reporters and producers to sell creative, timely, enterprise angles. We didn’t want to just communicate information to viewers but produced stories that would inspire viewers and readers to interact.

Today, MACIAS PR takes the same approach with our campaigns. We don’t push information, but look for strong, enterprise story angles. I’m always pushing our team to identify elements that will get consumers talking about our story at the dinner table or cocktail party. It’s rooted in our DNA.

But there’s another little-known tactic that MACIAS PR takes with our campaigns. It’s an approach that only those inside the TV medium would know. We leverage affiliate feeds.

Communications Crisis: Release Flood of Bad News or Drip, Drip, Drip?

By Mark Macias

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.

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

By Mark Macias

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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How PR Works Behind the Scenes, Impacting Media Coverage

By Mark Macias

Managing expectations in business is a critical component to keeping clients happy, and it’s no different with PR. If a client expects 1 or 2 media placements a month and you get 5 inquiries, they will be ecstatic. But if they expect 10 placements and you secure only 5, it’s going to be a difficult conversation.

I had that difficult conversation today with a new health tech client. 

Our media outreach started 2 weeks and 3 days ago. During this time, we secured two interview opportunities for their CEO (one takes place tomorrow), two requests for editorials from healthcare trades, a reporter asking to try out their platform, and 7 inquiries from other outlets, asking for more details on how their solution works. 

I don’t share this to brag. I’m writing this because I didn’t manage the client’s expectations.

Despite media inquiries from – Forbes, Fierce Healthcare, Pharmashots, Popular Science, Pharmacy Times, StrictlyVC.com, Dot.LA and editorial requests from HR.com and Benefits Pro – the client told me at the end of our call today, “we need to reassess because we have a lot of wins and losses.

Losses? 

“What are these losses?” It’s less than 3 weeks and we have a long list of reporters asking for elements.

Media Placements Rarely Happen Overnight

I’ll stick with more examples from this campaign because it has lessons for any case study. This startup spent time debating the actual public announcement of their launch.

“Should we launch on a Thursday or 4 days later?”

I’m a straight-shooter. It doesn’t matter whether the announcement is released on a Thursday or a Monday because the strategy is a longer-term play. And that’s not reading tea leaves. I made that recommendation based on 13 years of running this PR agency, and my time as an Executive Producer and Senior Producer in New York. 

If you’re trying to sell a story to the larger and more influential media publications, it will take time to assess the value of the story. Writers need to sell the story to their editors, and get approval. Producers need to pitch their Executive Producers. And even when the story is approved, the editorial calendar plays a role on scheduling. A story is rarely published in 24 hours, and that includes online news outlets.

You Need an Angle – Not an Announcement

Unless you’re Facebook announcing a name change, or Apple releasing a new product, an announcement rarely gets coverage. If you’re a big brand, timely announcements matter. But if you’re a startup or smaller brand, you need to identify an angle to sell the story.

It’s a little harder to give guidance on finding the right angle because news is nuanced. Each story is personalized based on the elements. But I can tell you what an “angle” isn’t. 

An angle isn’t a history lesson or information on a problem. It’s bringing a problem to light, or putting history into context with an idea that is relevant today.

If you’re trying to get publicity for an announcement, you have to identify the angle first and position your announcement into that story.

Targeted Media is Good; Broad Media is Better

A lot of potential clients tell me why they want to only target one specific trade publication or medium. And I get it. On the surface, if clients are in a specific industry, you want to reach them via the trades they read.

But that approach shouldn’t disqualify alternative or broader outlets.

For example, years ago, our firm ran a few media campaigns for hedge funds and private equity firms. Most of these CEOs only wanted to reach the hedge fund trades. 

In one situation, we secured an interview with the business editor of the New York Post. Unfortunately, the CEO turned down the request because he said it wasn’t a publication he wanted. To paraphrase, “my clients don’t read that tabloid.”

I’ve been inside newsrooms with NBC, CBS and American Journal, as well as regional TV newsrooms in Arizona and Florida. Those writers and producers aren’t reading the weekly hedge fund newsletter. They’re reading the daily newspapers in each region.

Yes, producers with CNBC and Bloomberg do read the FT and NY Times, but in that morning meeting when they are all pitching ideas, they aren’t reading those in-depth publications. They’re flipping through the tabloids or skimming the news on their phones. But if you get a story in one of those publications they’re skimming, you’re just pitched another reporter without knowing it.

The takeaway? Don’t limit your exposure out of the gate. Your potential clients do watch CNN and read their community papers – in addition to the trades.

If you narrow your targeted audience too much, you are tying the hands of your publicist. And if your publicist’s hands are tied, any story or campaign will be at a disadvantage on day 1 and day 17.

ABOUT MACIAS PR

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. City & State Magazine named him a PR Political Power Player in 2021.