Are you Wasting your Money on PR? Here’s how to Find Out

Are you a good candidate for PR, or are you wasting your money? I just had a conversation with a potential client and laid out which types of businesses have an advantage with media coverage, and which are better suited for ads.

Getting media coverage is not a crap shoot. If your campaign has the right elements, you can get media coverage with the right narrative and targeted outlet. Here are a few elements that make for the strongest campaigns.

Compelling Data or Research

Data for the sake of data is not valuable. Any data or research must provide context for a news story, and it must be credible and provide insight on an emerging trend. The ideal data should alert the reader to something they do not already know. Ask yourself – is this common sense? If it is, it’s not a story. I’m able to filter through lots of bad story ideas with clients by asking them that one question.

And you don’t need to be a health tech or fintech startup to leverage this approach. It’s very likely your firm has research to support your business decisions. If you’re a realtor or investor, you might have this internal research that guides your decision-making process.

Legitimate News Updates

Over the last few years, I’ve worked with a member of Congress and the former UN Executive Secretary on Climate. These politicians were the best clients to position for news coverage because they could add color and commentary to stories in the news. But you don’t need to be a member of Congress to possess this type of knowledge. Accountants, lawyers, physicians – or anyone with a high level of expertise – can also leverage their industry insight for thought leadership. The media gravitates towards this kind of expertise, especially if the topic is timely.

I wrote an article for Entrepreneur Magazine that elaborates on other elements that will give your campaign an edge. The article is straight forward: Are you wasting your money on PR?

Message me if you need some guidance.

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 New York.

Case Study – Branding Campaign for RX Brand in Provider Space

Rising prescription costs are at the forefront of the healthcare debate. Despite this timely news issue, one digital health company had trouble standing out even though it provided a unique value proposition that lowered prescription costs.

This case study looks at how MACIAS PR helped elevate the WellRx brand by placing targeted consumer stories across TV, print and influential online news publications. You can also read a Linkedin testimonial from the company executive who worked with our agency throughout our 3+ year relationship.

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How to Identify the Best PR Agency for your Business

What is the best PR agency for your organization?

There are objective measures to help you identify the best firm for your business – and it has nothing to do with a firm’s size, revenue, industry or makeup. Here are three questions to help your selection process.

Do you want national media coverage?

With today’s technology, you don’t need to be in any specific city because you can reach reporters from anywhere. However, there are advantages to being on East Coast time.

A publicist on the East Coast has more time to develop angles from overnight developments. It’s not as easy on the West Coast since most publicists are asleep when reporter assignments are handed out (5 am PST). Factor in deadlines, and you can see why people on the West Coast have less than three hours to pitch national news organizations.

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Client Case Study – Media Campaign for Nonprofit Organization

Client Case Study for Nonprofit Organization: MACIAS PR helps Regional Nonprofit Expand into National Brand as Free Tech Training Program 

Client Overview:

NPower is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bridging the digital divide and providing technology training and workforce development opportunities to underserved communities. MACIAS PR launched our PR partnership with NPower in 2016. At the time, the nonprofit organization was primarily a regional organization with programs in New York City, Baltimore and New Jersey. Over the next 7 years, MACIAS PR launched new regional media campaigns as the nonprofit expanded into Los Angeles, Detroit, San Antonio, Houston, Dayton, Raleigh, and St. Louis.

Expansion Media Strategy:

MACIAS PR played a pivotal role in supporting NPower’s expansion efforts through strategic media outreach and targeted public relations campaigns. By leveraging our extensive network of media contacts and expertise in storytelling, MACIAS PR secured widespread coverage for NPower across all new markets. We secured this media coverage in both large media markets like Houston and Dallas, as well as smaller markets, like Dayton and Raleigh, which required a different, more customized approach.

  • Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston:
    • Features in The Dallas Morning News, San Antonio Express-News, Houston Chronicle, and local television stations highlighted NPower’s programs and impact on underserved communities in Texas.
    • Interviews on TV stations and newspaper coverage provided NPower with valuable exposure and engagement opportunities within the Texas market.
  • Dayton and Raleigh:
    • Coverage in The Dayton Daily News, The News & Observer, and local TV stations showcased NPower’s efforts to address workforce development challenges in Ohio and North Carolina.
    • Feature stories on regional television networks underscored NPower’s commitment to empowering individuals through technology training and job placement programs.
  • St. Louis:
    • Features in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Business Journal, and local TV stations spotlighted NPower’s initiatives to support economic growth and opportunity in Missouri.
    • Television appearances on local news channels amplified NPower’s message and reach within the St. Louis community.
  • Detroit:
    • Television appearances on local news channels in Detroit amplified NPower’s message and reach within the community.

Results and Impact:

MACIAS PR had a direct impact on the successful expansion of NPower into new media markets. Our media coverage drove awareness for their free tech training program, increased student enrollment in the program and helped ignite new strategic partnerships within the business community. Media coverage secured by MACIAS PR helped raise awareness of NPower’s mission, attract program participants and partners, and drive engagement with local stakeholders.

2023 Media Coverage

At MACIAS PR, we always say you are only as good as your last media campaign. If you click on this link, you can see the most recent annual media coverage MACIAS PR secured for NPower in 2023. It also expands on new PSA and marketing initiatives led by our agency. 

ABOUT MACIAS PR

Mark Macias founded his agency in 2009 after a long journalism career at both the local and national levels. As Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York, Macias approved all story ideas and scripts from reporters and producers in the Special Projects unit. The unit encompassed features, medical, health, consumer and tech beats. Macias is a contributor with Entrepreneur and Forbes, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice. City & State Magazine named him a top Political PR Player in New York in 2024. MACIAS PR was also named the 2017-2020 Strategic PR Firm of the Year, and PR Firm of the Year by Finance Monthly Magazine. 

For more information, please click here to schedule a strategy call with Mark.

Marketing Case Study for B2C Service Sector

MACIAS PR led the PR and marketing campaign for Provident Loan Society – an alternative lending organization based in New York. We leveraged the media, social media and content to grow their consumer brand with consumers.

Over the course of our 5-year partnership, MACIAS PR helped grow their customer base with college students, business owners, immigrants and consumers with no credit. Our targeted media campaigns in Spanish and Mandarin also introduced their services to new immigrants who had no credit and were prime customers.

Their former CEO and CMO of Provident Loan Society both credit MACIAS PR with increasing their revenue and growing their customer base. You can read their testimonials on Linkedin.

Earned Media Exposure

MACIAS PR led the entire media campaign from conception to execution. Our team identified stories of interest, gathered the elements, pitched targeted reporters and news outlets, and coordinated the interviews.

Our media approach led to stories with: CNN, New York Post, ABC 7, FOX5, NY 1, PIX 11, Metro New York, Investors Business Daily, Crain’s Business Magazine, Univision, Inc., Entrepreneur Magazine and others. Here’s a closer look at some of that media coverage.

Digital Marketing, Social Media and Content Creation

In January 2017, Provident Loan Society expanded our scope of work and asked us to take over their content and digital marketing with the goal of increasing their organic web traffic. Our strategy was focused on creating engaging content around trending topics.

We saw immediate traction following our execution, growing their traffic year-over-year from 2017 to 2019. The increased web traffic began showing up in the first month.

You can review the entire case study by clicking here. Or if you’d like to schedule a call to discuss more, click here.

ABOUT MACIAS PR

Our 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 Power Player in New York in 2024 and 2022, while 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.Posted in Client Case StudiesUncategorizedTagged best pr agencies consumer brands nycbest pr agencies for consumer facing brandsbest pr agencies nyc consumer productsbest tech pr agenciesmacias pr

Client Case Study – Compliance Service Sector Industry

Many PR campaigns require a component of compliance, including campaigns for elected officials, healthcare and financial. MACIAS PR has run media campaigns in those regulated industries. We’ve also launched media campaigns for one of the country’s largest compliance firms. Blue River Partners is based in Dallas with offices across the country. The firm approached us with help introducing their firm to fund managers via the media. It was a very targeted B2B need.

MACIAS PR worked closely with the partners to identify stories of interest. We identified thought leadership angles that helped grow their brand via the media. The Wall Street Journal, International Business Times, New York Post, Fox Business and others are just a few of the business media that covered their company.

In addition to the media coverage, MACIAS PR also organized a hedge fund and private equity forum in New York that brought together fund managers from the alternative space. We organized the event, generated publicity and helped track the attendees for future business leads.

The founding partner of the firm spoke on the panel about emerging trends he is seeing in the alternative industry. The forum was covered by the hedge fund trade publication – All About Alpha.

You can see more of our work for this compliance firm by clicking here.

ABOUT MACIAS PR

Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the 2017-2020 Strategic PR Firm of the Year, and PR Firm of the Year. This was the third year in a row that Finance Monthly recognized our firm. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He’s a PR contributor with Entrepreneur and Forbes, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice. City & State Magazine named him a 2024 top Political PR Player in New York.

Client Case Study – Private Equity Firm Commercial Real Estate

MACIAS PR launched a media, branding and crowd funding campaign for a private equity firm that needed help raising capital for their commercial real estate projects.

The PE firm had specific goals. They needed help funding their real estate projects in Arizona, Long Island and Ohio, and they wanted to target accredited investors. Equally important, the PR firm didn’t have a CMO or marketing team. MACIAS PR worked closely with their CEO to conceptualize story lines, identify media outlets and markets, and pitch reporters.

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Did a Reporter Make a Mistake with your Story? How to Fix it.

What happens when the media makes a mistake with your message? Or worse, customer backlash ignites following the news? Wendy’s is a great example of how to quickly get the record straight before that incorrect messaging starts gathering momentum. 

To summarize, Wendy’s announced on yesterday’s earnings call that they were going to add digital menus that could change prices with demand. Earnings calls are usually messaged around analysts and investors, so the idea that the fast food chain found new ways to increase profits was probably perceived as a friendly audience. But I don’t think their internal comms team adequately debated how their customers would react to the news.

It only takes one reporter to coin a popular phrase for a story to go viral. And that’s what happened here. A reporter compared the surge pricing to Uber and the backlash was underway. It’s now trending on Linkedin. Yahoo has the story on their front page. And any customer, like myself who loves Wendy’s, is probably questioning that loyalty at dinner time if higher prices are sneaking into my bill.

What did Wendy’s do right?

They quickly addressed the miscommunication and said no one ever discussed raising prices during dinner. As a long time journalist with NBC and CBS, I suspect the raising prices message was likely inferred- if not outright stated to specific reporters. Reporters don’t make up quotes, especially if the message describes a menu that will change prices based on demand. I suspect Wendy’s executives quickly recognized the customer backlash and had a change of mind.

And that’s ok. If you realize a policy or pricing change wasn’t perceived as expected, it’s okay to change it and communicate it to the media. Just change it before the story goes viral. In the case with Wendy’s, the overall message should have been more clear. You can’t assume a message will be correctly interpreted with reporters. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. If you’re discussing a critical component of your business model, be clear about it. Don’t mince words.

There are still some outlets writing about this surge pricing today. The mixed messaging won’t end overnight even if Wendy’s adapted to the message overnight. Lesson for you: if the media gets your story wrong or the message is misconstrued, be quick to address it. Don’t wait for it to go viral.

ABOUT MACIAS PR

Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the 2017-2020 Strategic PR Firm of the Year, and PR Firm of the Year. This was the third year in a row that Finance Monthly recognized our firm. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He’s a PR contributor with Entrepreneur and Forbes, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice. City & State Magazine named him a 2024 top Political PR Player in New York.

Client Case Study – Campaign for Asset Management Startup

MACIAS PR launched a branding and publicity campaign for a family-owned asset management firm. At the time, the financial firm had no messaging in place, no marketing infrastructure and the company’s CEO had no experience dealing with the media. We had to build this brand from scratch while also building credibility around the founder.

Money management is a very crowded space with funds managing in the billions typically garnering all of the media coverage. As a startup fund, we had many obstacles to overcome with this media campaign. Despite the challenges, MACIAS PR secured media coverage for the client in the WSJ, FT, Barron’s, Yahoo Finance, US News, Kiplingers and more.

Our Media Strategy and Approach

Our team identified news angles and thought-provoking editorials that positioned the CEO as a Wall Street guru who wasn’t afraid to speak the truth. One of our larger media campaigns – Confessions from a Financial Advisor – told investors what they should look for when hiring a financial advisor. The story was covered by CNBC TV, CNBC online, Fox Business, Yahoo Finance, NBC Nightly Business Report and others.

Our strategy also integrated the news cycle into our campaign where we pitched our client as the expert on the timely topic. This approach led to multiple stories and segments with the WSJ, Barrons, International Business Times, Fox Business, Reuters and others. You can see these media stories on the following pages by clicking on this link to the case study.

ABOUT MACIAS PR

Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the 2017-2020 Strategic PR Firm of the Year, and PR Firm of the Year. This was the third year in a row that Finance Monthly recognized our firm. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He’s a PR contributor with Entrepreneur and Forbes, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice. City & State Magazine named him a 2024 top Political PR Player in New York.

Client Case Study – Burke Rehabilitation Hospital

Burke Rehabilitation Hospital is one of the country’s oldest rehabilitation centers, located in Westchester County outside of New York City. Despite its pristine reputation, getting coverage for hospitals like Burke outside of New York City has historically been difficult. I saw this first-hand during my time as Executive Producer with NBC when I approved story ideas from our health and medical producers and reporters.

Few producers want to travel more than an hour away for a story when they can just as easily interview a physician or medical expert who is only 20 minutes away. This journalism approach makes it harder for health care organizations located outside of NYC to get media coverage. And in today’s world where budgets are getting squeezed, time and travel becomes an even bigger obstacle.

Media Coverage for Rehabilitation Hospital

MACIAS PR led the media campaign for Burke Hospital and our enterprise approach led to prominent media coverage. ABC, Fox, Channel 11, Metro New York and the Wall Street Journal are a few of those media outlets. Our strategy identified angles that were unique for Burke, in essence, forcing journalists to interview the health leaders at Burke.

Our media strategy focused on their internal research, clinical trials and unconventional stories. One successful campaign revolved around a video game developed by Burke researchers to help patients recover from strokes. MACIAS PR also brought new clients to their health club by framing it as an exclusive gym for people over the age of 40.

You can see a more detailed account of our media coverage by clicking here. If you’d like to hear how MACIAS PR can help your organization, you can get a PR estimate by clicking here. Or we can schedule a call.

ABOUT MACIAS PR

Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the 2017-2020 Strategic PR Firm of the Year, and PR Firm of the Year. This was the third year in a row that Finance Monthly recognized our firm. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He’s a PR contributor with Entrepreneur and Forbes, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice. City & State Magazine named him a 2024 top Political PR Player in New York.