Crisis Communications – Is your brand about to Blow Up?

I recently wrote an editorial for Forbes on crisis communications. How do you know when a PR crisis is brewing?

Many brands might believe a communications crisis pops up out of nowhere, but usually there were warning signs along the way that could have slowed or prevented the crisis. The warning signs were likely just ignored or not seen.

Here are three warning signs to watch out for. I went more in-depth in the Forbes article if you want to learn more, but here’s a summary.

Customers Complain about the Same Issue

The easier it is for journalists to find voices for their investigative story, the worse for your brand. An angry customer is always motivated — and that’s the best personality for TV. Keep your pulse on the customer. If you begin hearing similar complaints, get to the root of the problem — and fix it — before they go to the media.

Disgruntled employees will work against you

Former and current employees can be even more dangerous to any unfolding crisis because they have insider perspectives on what others aren’t seeing. They add color and commentary to any work situation, and reporters will be more receptive with their insider credos.

If the company is going down, and employees are on the ship, there might not be much you can do to control their desire to speak with reporters. But if you’re fair and honest with employees, you’ll at least lower their incentive to bash your brand in the media.

Media runs in packs — fix it fast.

A full-blown crisis will hit your brand from every area — and with the media, it’s the same situation. When TV reporters and newspaper and online writers all leave voicemail messages about the same issue, you’re in a fire.

How Important are Media Contacts? Media Insider Perspective

By Mark Macias

With my media experience in TV at both the local and national levels, you’d think I would want to tell business owners that media contacts are our selling point. It’s true, I do have reporter friends and former colleagues across the US. 

But here’s the honest word: media relationships are only part of the story. Strategy always beats connections.

You can be best friends with the Executive Producer at Good Morning America. (Ironically, I am friends with the Executive Producer of GMA. We both were producers at Inside Edition and American Journal at the same time). But guess what – if I don’t have a good idea, he’s not going to return my call. This is where strategy comes into play. 

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CEO Strategies – Selling your Story to Reporters

Here’s a closer look at CEO strategies when you’re selling your story to reporters.

I’ve worked with a lot of CEOs and founders over the years. One mistake I frequently see CEOs make has nothing to do with what they say – but what they don’t say.

With any reporter interview, it’s your job to sell your company or service. If you don’t tell a reporter what is great about your product, they’ll never know.

You might assume reporters already know your business won a prestigious industry award, or learned about your innovations. It’s possible, but do you want to leave your selling point to chance?

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10 Factors the Best PR Firms Should Possess

There are several rules that MACIAS PR applies to every campaign we launch. I can’t elaborate on every critical factor but I will elaborate on the one rule from our playbook that delivers results.

News editorial. Our editorial strategy comes straight from the newsroom. As an Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS, I had a close-up leadership role in determining news placements. Our team – regardless of role – always applies these principals to our strategy and execution.

Here’s a closer look at the Top 10 Reasons why your business will get better results by turning to MACIAS PR. This list isn’t a sales pitch. If you read closely, you’ll see it’s an objective approach, just like the news media requires.

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How Much Does PR Cost?

It’s a common question every business owner wants to know. How much does PR cost.

There are many factors that determine how much a public relations campaign will cost. Is the campaign difficult? How many resources will be needed to pitch reporters? How much time is needed to explain the story to reporters. In a way, the PR industry is no different than the accounting industry. The complexity and resources needed determine the cost.

MACIAS PR has created an online tool to help you get a PR estimate quickly. You don’t need to spend hours on the phone, explaining your product. If you’re curious about the cost of PR, just answer a few questions by clicking here.

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Forbes Advice – Approaching 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.

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Top Tech and Healthcare PR Agency, MACIAS PR, Releases Q3 Media Report

The top tech and healthcare PR agency — MACIAS PR — has released its Q3 media report, detailing the media coverage it secured for clients from July to September 2020.

In the third quarter, MACIAS PR secured national news stories, several local TV segments and online features that reached some of the biggest news organizations across the globe, including the New York Times, Politico, The Independent, The Hill, San Francisco Chronicle, and the UK Daily Express

In September, MACIAS PR secured a front page story with the New York Times that featured an artist and political activist who is using his art to empower voters. The international newspapers, The Independent and the Daily Express in the UK, also ran several features on the activist who secretly recorded President-elect Trump during a meeting with civil rights leaders in January 2017.

MACIAS PR also secured several TV segments for its digital health and nonprofit clients on NJ TV, Fox 2 Detroit, CBS Baltimore and NBC 4 Washington.

Mark Macias, the founder of the firm, says all of these media placements came during COVID when traditional news stories were harder to place. 

“Much of the media is hyper focused on the upcoming elections and COVID, yet we were able to find creative ways to help our clients stand out,” said Macias. “This media exposure is even more influential for our clients where consumers are constantly searching for updates. This is a captivated consumer during COVID, so news is even more powerful.”

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Can Artificial Intelligence work with PR? Forbes Editorial

By Mark Macias

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 – Not a 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.

The best PR combines critical thinking, creativity and intuition.

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.

 

MACIAS PR Celebrates 11 Years of Growth in Public Relations & Marketing

Over the years, MACIAS PR has grown from a small cubicle with no clients into an award-winning strategic PR and digital marketing firm that works with clients across the healthcare, finance, tech and the nonprofit sectors. It’s also won numerous awards and accolades from both journalists and industry peers.

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the 2017, 2018 and 2019 “Strategic PR Firm of the Year,” honoring it with the ACQ5 Global Awards. The award is based on the firm’s media and marketing strategy. In 2017 and 2016, journalists with Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the “Financial PR Firm of the Year” based on the firm’s media strategy, deliverables, expertise and innovation in PR. In 2015, Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the “PR Consultant Firm of the Year.”

The History of MACIAS PR

MACIAS PR was founded on June 1st, 2009 by Mark Macias, a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He founded the firm during the Great Recession when many businesses were failing.

Since then, the agency’s clients have appeared in the biggest news publications in the world, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Good Morning America, The Daily Mail in the UK, The Financial Times and USA Today. MACIAS PR has also secured media placements in other languages, including Spanish, Korean, Portuguese and Russian news publications.

Today, Macias is a frequent contributor with Forbes, giving readers advice on business, strategy and messaging. You can read some of his thought leadership here. Macias is also a popular PR and branding expert with major media publications, including CNBCthe Washington Post and entertainment publications.

The Editorial and Strategy Behind MACIAS PR

At MACIAS PR, every client works directly with the founder of the firm. Macias says it’s like having an Executive Producer on your team, Identifying the best news angles for your business.

“The owner of every business always treat his clients and customers better than any sales guy,” said Macias. “It’s no different with MACIAS PR. We put our clients’ goals first and out-think the competition when it comes to strategy and execution. Our competitive streak shows when it comes to selling stories to the media. We fight for stories and don’t give up.”

Macias predicts his firm will continue to grow but will never lose the personal touch that makes every client personal.

“MACIAS PR is not quite a teenager, and that’s a good thing” said Macias. “We’re not lazy or worried about how we look, like most teens. We just want to make our clients proud. This PR firm will grow based on our media deliverables but our personal interaction with clients and reporters will never change.”

If you’d like a customized strategy, feel free to message Mark here, or get a free PR estimate by clicking here.

Forbes Editorial – 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 recently wrote an editorial for Forbes –Three Tactics For Standing Out From The Startup Noise. You can click on that link to read but here is abridged version of that article if you’re struggling to stand out as a startup.

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