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 – 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.

How Generative AI will Disrupt PR and Media

OpenAI just took another huge leap in content creation with the ability to create videos from text prompts. This is going to dramatically and quickly disrupt the world for content creators, publicists and journalists –  but not in the way you might suspect.

A few years ago, I wrote an article for Forbes that predicted AI wouldn’t replace PR. Generative AI will definitely streamline content creation and steal jobs from creators, but there isn’t enough quality data for AI to create an actual media strategy from scratch. Without quality data, AI doesn’t have the information to create a timely strategy. In the case with news, most data would become outdated with each passing news cycle.

Machine learning is great for analyzing data and predicting behaviors on the macro level, but creating a business or media strategy for most industries requires an intimate knowledge of processes, history, trends and emerging technologies that can expand market share. Machine learning needs that valuable component that is missing in PR and news.

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Important News Elements for Media Coverage

How far will you go for love? Would you peel an orange for your spouse or girlfriend if she asked you for an orange? The Wall Street Journal explores that question today and it provides several PR lessons for brands trying to get media coverage.

I’m rarely a fan of tying news stories to monthly awareness campaigns because those marketing calendars rarely align with editorial calendars. But Valentine’s Day is one of those holiday exceptions. If your service or product has a connection to love, it can be rocket fuel when tied to Valentine’s Day.

I’ll go on a limb now and predict this WSJ story will go viral by the end of the week. Here’s why:

*The story is unique.
*It provides fun conversation.
*You likely haven’t heard this story before.
*It’s tied to love, and Valentine’s Day is Wednesday.

Emerging Trend with Influential News Organizations

This article supports an emerging trend I am seeing with the influential news organizations, including the NY Times, Washington Post and WSJ. Their reporters are integrating TikTok and Instagram elements to support their stories. In many cases, the social media content isn’t even timely but the content gives the reporter the timely element needed to sell it to his/her editors. Adding social media content to your pitch can help with the reporter’s sell to his editors.

One more important observation.

Editors and Reporters are Measured by their Story Reach

When I was a new Executive Producer with NBC in New York, I knew I had one year to prove my value or I would be pushed out the door. Today, a reporter’s reach is evaluated just as much as his editors.

Here’s proof. A few years ago I worked with Rep. Norma Torres and we got her editorial placed in the Washington Post. The opinion editor emailed me a few days later and asked if I could encourage her to share her editorial on Twitter. He was candid, “I’m not seeing traction with her story.”

And that brings up the final point. If your idea doesn’t have broad appeal or potential for virality, your campaign is at another disadvantage. Find ways to implement or sell that virality in your story.

If you apply these approaches to your next publicity, you will have a better chance for coverage. If you need help finding timely elements or angles, reach out to us here and we can schedule a strategy call. #alwaysfreshpr

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.

Power of Enterprise Media Campaigns – Analysis

The news cycle is important when getting media coverage for your brand, but there’s another publicity approach that is frequently overlooked by entrepreneurs and even experienced publicists.

Enterprise story angles are one of the best campaign strategies for earned media coverage. These types of stories do not typically follow the news cycle, so their shelf life extends beyond the day. And unlike news angles that expire when the news cycle is over, enterprise angles can spread from print to TV to online news publications over time. 

This advantage is especially valuable when resources are scarce for pitching reporters and media outlets. This approach essentially gives each media campaign more time to scale. And from a personal perspective, it is a lot less stressful on you since you’re not chasing another person’s deadline. 

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The Value of Characters with Every Media Campaign

You can’t tell a captivating story without great characters, and this WSJ article is proof. If your media campaign isn’t catching on with reporters, perhaps you’re missing that crucial element.

You might have the best product or service but if you can’t demonstrate how it works, your story sell gets a lot harder. And this challenge is compounded when your product promotes an invisible service that consumers can’t see.

Let’s look at this WSJ article for context. The story line is simple: lab grown diamonds are becoming more affordable. That makes for a great headline but a story must go deeper.

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How to Leverage Current News Cycle for Publicity

Are you a nutritionist or health brand looking for more exposure? The WSJ has a great story today that will help any lifestyle or health brand leverage the news cycle for coverage.

Even if your brand is not listed in this article, a story like this provides new opportunities to position a nutritionist, dietitian and weight loss brand into the news cycle. Sure, most consumers know ultra processed foods can lead to obesity, weight gain and other health conditions. But the real PR insight from a story like this comes from calling out popular food brands and providing detailed insight on what is wrong or right with the food. The WSJ reporter did a great job of doing this. (That’s what got my attention. I saw my son’s favorite Ritz crackers in the photo).

So how do you sell your health brand to reporters, producers or editors with a story like this?

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MACIAS PR – Why We Deliver Better Results

                      

MACIAS PR was founded in 2009 by a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. Journalists and marketing peers consistently rank MACIAS PR as one of the best PR Agencies based on our results. City & State Magazine named Mark Macias to their 2024 Political PR Power List in New York.

Over the years, MACIAS PR has launched publicity, media and branding campaigns for companies from all industries. We’ve worked with boot-strapped startups as well as established brands, securing publicity with the most influential news publications.

Prominent clients include: Noom, WellRX, Meru Health, Lifesum, Columbia University Medical Center, Plenty of Fish, Kilo Health, Burke Hospital, Former UN Executive Secretary on Climate Patricia Espinosa, and members of Congress. Our media campaigns helped these brands raise tens of millions of dollars with investors, while improving their name recognition with customers. We have client case studies, detailing these campaigns.

At MACIAS PR, our clients always work with an experienced media strategist. And as a boutique PR consulting firm, our communications process is streamlined, while our execution is hyper-focused.

PR Awards – Earned by MACIAS PR

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the Strategic PR Firm of the Year from 2017-2021. As part of the selection process, marketing and PR professionals reviewed media campaigns promoted by our agency.

Finance Monthly also named MACIAS PR the 2015-2017 Financial PR Firm of the Year. City & State Magazine named our founder, Mark Macias, a Top Political PR Power player in New York.

MACIAS PR has run B2B and B2C media and branding campaigns in healthcare, tech startups, financial services, asset management, nonprofits and service sector industries. We’ve secured big stories in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, People Magazine, CNN and others. (Here’s a closer look at our Annual Report ).

Message Mark at the bottom of this screen (green button on the right) if you would like to schedule a call. You can also get a free PR estimate by clicking here.

PR vs Advertising – White Paper Cost Comparison Analysis

Which is a better marketing spend: PR or advertising?

A few years ago, MACIAS PR published a cost comparison analysis that took a quantitative look at the cost of earned media versus paid media.

The research specifically looked at the promotional cost of media exposure for an event that helped veterans, and the cost of earned media for a mobile app launch.

We’ve embedded that white paper at the bottom of this post, but if you’re short on time, here are some of the key findings from our research.

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Can AI work with PR? Forbes Editorial

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 – AI is 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.

Best PR Campaigns Leverage Critical Thinking and Creativity

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.