Selecting the right PR agency can have a long-term positive or adverse impact on your business, so it’s important to do your due diligence. The wrong media strategy can easily set your organization back by 6 months to a year. And here’s how.
The news cycle always puts an emphasis on “new.” If your agency spends 6 months drowning in a narrative that doesn’t get traction, you lost that timely element. This will put your next agency at a disadvantage.
We experienced this with a campaign we ran for a wearable device. The client’s previous PR agency failed to get them coverage at CES. This made our campaign’s more difficult since every reporter asked what was new from the previous year. Despite the obstacles, MACIAS PR still succeeded in getting them on the NBC Today Show, as well with others. (Click here to see that case study)
So how do you identify the best publicist for your business? Here are some common mistakes I’ve seen over the years as both an Executive Producer with NBC and owner of an agency.
Bigger is not Always Better
Throwing bodies at problems doesn’t work in corporate America, and it doesn’t work in PR, especially if you’re a smaller paying client. I saw this first-hand when I consulted global PR firms after leaving CBS. When a large paying client wasn’t getting media traction, the bigger agencies tried to throw more people at the problem. It didn’t work because the approach and strategy were off and the bodies didn’t have the insight to adapt to the problem. The smaller paying clients got an even bigger shaft. Budget always plays a role. It’s simple math.
Experience Influences Strategy
An experienced communications strategist is more than a publicist. They should be a sound advisor who provides a broader societal view when it comes to messaging — someone who understands where the news is headed and how to position your brand into that cycle. It helps if they have a strong intuition for what makes for a good story. Intuition takes you far with earned media since journalism revolves around human behavior. A great publicist can read tea leaves and see where the wind is going; And it’s not pseudoscience. It’s behavioral science.
Marketing is Not Media
Many CEOs, CMOs and entrepreneurs have a unique perspective based on their day-to-day experiences and exposures, but those stories frequently don’t come out because they’re framed as a marketing message. An experienced publicist will dig deeper and reframe that marketing message into a news story. Marketing is selling. News is timely and contains an angle that adds insight to the current situation. The best publicists will distinguish and pivot between the two.
As you research the best PR agency for your organization, take time to reflect on your own needs. Global companies like Pfizer or Walmart have different degrees of messaging and will require a larger perspective. But if you’re a smaller organization, consider the alternative. Do you really want to be competing for resources allotted to the big accounts? Your business might get more attention with a boutique agency, especially if it’s led by someone with experience.
If you’d like to hear a strategy for your business, message us and 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 is also a PR contributor with Entrepreneur, CNBC and Forbes. City & State Magazine named him to their 2024 Political PR Power List in New York.