Why PR is Like Coffee

By: Mark Macias

By Mark Macias

Public relations is like coffee, but it should never be confused for a quick hit like cocaine. I got that crazy thought this morning as I was pouring a cup of coffee.

Coffee – much like public relations – is needed to give your day a boost. Without coffee, you are not as quick on your feet and it’s harder to get through your day. Every growing business needs public relations just like you need your coffee. A healthy dose of PR, like your cup of Joe, gives your business a jolt and if it’s an effective publicity campaign, it makes your workload easier.

Entrepreneurs and business owners should never view PR like a drug that delivers a quick hit to your bottom line. You risk a huge crash if you take this myopic approach.

PR is not medicine. It’s more like a vitamin. We take vitamins in the morning to stay healthy, strong and vital. We turn to medicine when we need a remedy or when our health is failing. All public relations campaigns will be more successful if they are launched while a company has a healthy headwind.

“Give Me a Quick Hit”

I speak with a lot entrepreneurs and I hear a consistent theme from our conversations: They want to see an overnight correlation between publicity and sales. It is possible to directly increase sales from public relations, but an overnight correlation is an unstable foundation, especially for any fledgling operation.

Bill Gates grasped this concept in the early days of Microsoft. He’s been quoted multiple times, saying “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”

Another reason why you don’t want to view public relations as medicine is because it gets harder to influence the public when you face negative news. I frequently get unsolicited calls from businesses or nonprofits, asking for advice on how to improve their image following a negative news story. That’s not a publicity campaign. That is a crisis campaign and they begin with different approaches and strategies.

So the next time you’re looking for creative ways to make your work flow more productive, maybe you should grab a cup of Joe and see what it inspires for your next PR campaign.

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If you like what you read, you can also hear some of these topics from Mark Macias in our #alwaysfreshPR podcast. Listen to us on your favorite channel by clicking here.

Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with WNBC and Senior Producer with WCBS. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity.

How Media Mergers are Changing the PR Landscape – Forbes Analysis

By Mark Macias

It seems like there is new speculation everyday when it comes to media mergers. If you’re looking to get your brand in front of these media outlets, you really have to pay attention because it does impact the way publicists sell stories.

I recently wrote a story for Forbes on this topic, which you can read here. If you’re short on time, I’ll give you a quick summary.

This new alignment of media conglomerates has a huge impact on the overall news industry and the way publicists sell stories to reporters.

Back in 2003, I was Executive Producer with NBC at the time of the Telemundo acquisition. Many of my Hispanic colleagues said the new acquisition would create a stronger news force for our community.

We would have the power of NBC behind us — they said — giving us more journalists to pursue stories in our community. Sadly, I predicted it wouldnt work like that and today we can see the results. Emails for the Telemundo news department have been converted to nbcuni.com addresses. And the news desks in New York for NBC and Telemundo are combined into one desk. 

News organizations need to turn a profit. And the larger organizations that have shareholders are even more beholden to the bottom line. Many business owners tell me why the media has a responsibility to do certain stories. And many times, I agree.

But capitalism ranks higher than journalism based on my media experience. If the news story doesn’t generate an audience, it’s unlikely to move forward. 

This is one of the strategies behind our agency. We look for that commercial angle before we pitch any reporter.

If you want to learn more, you can read my Forbes article that gives you more background on this topic. I elaborate on what publicists need to do to stand out in this new world.

And if you’re short on time, you can catch many of our blogs and articles on our podcast, Always Fresh PR. You can listen on your favorite channel by clicking here. If you were subscribed, you could have listened to this story while commuting or doing errands on the go. It’s like me speaking directly in your ears by clicking here.

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.

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.

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 international brands, securing publicity with the most influential news publications. We have client case studies in several industries, detailing these campaigns.

Our clients always work with an experienced media strategist. We don’t pawn you off to a junior account executive. And as a boutique PR 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. And in 2021, City & State Magazine named our founder, Mark Macias, a Top 50 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 ). We have case studies for all of these industries, backing up our consistent track record.

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.

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.

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.

Continue reading “Forbes Analysis – Do Press Releases Lead to Media Coverage?”

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.

Forbes Analysis – Emerging Customer Behavior Trends

Forbes recently reached out to me and 14 other entrepreneurs, asking for some insight on 2021 customer behavior trends. What are the big trends we anticipate this year?

There were some interesting predictions in the article, which you can read here. If you’re short on time, I’ll break down the trends that I think are most valuable in this article. I’ll start with my advice that I offered Forbes.

Continue reading “Forbes Analysis – Emerging Customer Behavior Trends”

Biggest Content Marketing Mistakes

By Mark Macias

Content marketing is critical to search engines. If you’re doing it wrong, you don’t exist to consumers since they won’t see you on searches.

Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of emails from companies and brands, asking if they can publish their content on MACIAS PR. I suspect they see our great SEO and appearance on the first page of Google, so they want to join our party.

That is not effective content marketing for both the brand and your SEO. Don’t let other companies or brands leverage your blog.

Unless you’re a huge company, like Starbucks, your blog should be devoted solely to your brand. Don’t create clutter or confusion to your readers.

Continue reading “Biggest Content Marketing Mistakes”

Forbes – How to Measure the ROI of PR

By Mark Macias

Business owners always ask me how can they measure the ROI of PR. The question inspired a recent thought leadership article I wrote for Forbes, which you can read here.

Contrary to what many business owners and entrepreneurs think, you can measure an effective PR campaign. Here are 5 approaches that I broke down in my Forbes article. You can read that article if you’d like to hear more in-depth on these approaches.

Continue reading “Forbes – How to Measure the ROI of PR”

Branding Fundamentals Critical to PR

By Mark Macias

Forbes recently ran an article,  “16 Branding Fundamentals New Businesses Should Remember.” As part of their research, their editors reached out to me asking what branding advice I have for their readers.

I didn’t want to give the obvious, so I thought about my own clients and mistakes I’ve seen them make over the years. Here’s what I told Forbes.

“The CEO is a crucial component for any successful branding campaign. Think Jobs, Musk, Zuckerberg—you know their companies. I’ve worked with a lot of brands that don’t like to use their CEO in the media and I don’t understand it. Any CEO must be receptive to speaking with the media, discussing business trends and thought leadership with reporters. The best publicists know how to leverage the CEO.”

Leverage Your CEO with Branding

A few years, our agency worked with a digital health brand that didn’t want to give us access to their CEO. I understand the CEO is likely busy, but the corporate gate-keepers actually made our job more difficult. How could we identify trends or position the brand as a leader if we weren’t given access to any of this insight?

I tried to share my concerns with their marketing team but they assured me the CEO didn’t want to speak with the media. Making this even more frustrating, their biggest competitor was leveraging their CEO for an IPO.

Don’t make that mistake. If you’re CEO, leverage that title and experience for media coverage. I understand if the CEO is shy, but the top sales guy needs to be over-exposed with the media.

Here’s more tips from other peers if you’d like to review that Forbes article 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. Our founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He’s also a PR contributor with CNBC and Forbes, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.