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.

Continue reading “Case Study – Branding Campaign for RX Brand in Provider Space”

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.

Continue reading “How to Identify the Best PR Agency for your Business”

How the Wrong Media Strategy can Hurt your Business

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.

Continue reading “How the Wrong Media Strategy can Hurt your Business”

How will Newsroom Layoffs Impact PR?

Stories about newsroom layoffs used to be relegated to trade publications, but these journalism job cuts are now becoming part of the news. If you thought it was hard to place a story with the media before – suit up: it’s going to get even harder.

This new economic landscape is going to require different skills to navigate shrinking newsrooms. Many of the producers and writers you might have relied on in the past might be gone. It’s one of the reasons why I always say media contacts are not a strategy; they are an assist. Journalists know their editorial acumen is under the microscope and all ideas will be scrutinized more in that morning news meeting. No one wants to pitch a story that is half-baked or not ready for coverage.

So how can you adapt to the changing media landscape?

Ensure your story package is complete. Don’t add unnecessary resources or time to a reporter’s job. Make it easy on them. Get that character lined up before you pitch and don’t force the reporter to think about how to frame the story. You might not get additional time for follow-up questions if the reporter is juggling 5 stories at once. The bar to coverage will be lifted and niche stories will be the first to get rejected.

Media Coverage Will Shift Towards Harder News in 2024

I’m also predicting the media will take a shift towards hard news in 2024. With upcoming elections at both the local and national levels, newsrooms will want to run more timely and hard-hitting angles that don’t give any hint of opinion. Soft news stories are the first to get rejected when resources are tight. If your client doesn’t have a hard news angle, look deeper and ask more questions.

Continue reading “How will Newsroom Layoffs Impact PR?”

City & State Magazine Names Mark Macias to PR Power List

USA, January 22, 2024 — The award-winning PR agency, MACIAS PR, has announced that City & State Magazine has named its founder Mark Macias to their 2024 Political PR Power List.

City & State Magazine is a premier multimedia news organization that covers New York local and state politics and policy. Every year, the publication recognizes and ranks the top PR agencies and publicists based on the firm’s size, reputation, clients and impact on the New York state political sphere.

In the words from their article, “What unites them is that they all are consummate PR pros.”

Macias is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He founded the agency in 2009 after a successful journalism career at the local and national levels. 

“There are many larger PR agencies on this list, but that’s not who we aim to be,” said Macias. “We have no desire to become the biggest agency with the largest client roster. We just want to be the best PR agency, develop long-term relationships with our clients and deliver consistent results with the media.”

MACIAS PR has led media and branding campaigns for clients across tech, politics, health and nonprofit industries. But places a larger emphasis on health care. Noom, Meru Health, Lifesum, WellRx, Columbia University Medical Center, Burke Hospital and Kilo Health are just a few of their more prominent health tech clients.

Continue reading “City & State Magazine Names Mark Macias to PR Power List”

Client Case Study – Member of Congress

MACIAS PR has led media campaigns for Congressional challengers across Washington, Illinois, Arizona, California, Maryland and New York. We’ve also worked with members of Congress, including Rep. Norma Torres (CA-35) of Los Angeles.

The media campaign for Rep. Torres required a different approach for media coverage. Our goal was to position the Congresswoman into the news cycle as an influential Latina. I worked closely with the Congresswoman to identify positive stories that would soften and strengthen her image among potential voters. Our agency had to adhere to strict federal election guidelines and work separately from her District offices.

Our Media Strategy and Approach 

MACIAS PR focused this entire media campaign around programming and editorial. Media campaigns focused around politicians are frequently more challenging since journalists understand how most candidates are pushing an agenda. We overcame this political challenge by identifying features that distinguished the unique personal experiences of the Congresswoman. MACIAS PR also leveraged her deep understanding of policy for timely news angles that positioned her as a thought leader.

One of those editorials appeared in the Washington Post where Rep. Torres shared political insight on how the Guatemalan election had a direct impact on Americans. This article was shared with the Congressional delegation who accompanied House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Norma Torres on their visit to Central America.

This strategy led to prominent news articles, soft features and news segments with local and national TV, local and national radio, newspapers, online news sites and magazines. One influential feature appeared in People Magazine, which profiled her upbringing as an immigrant from Guatemala.

You can see some of those stories by clicking on the case study below. Click here if you’d like to discuss a media strategy for your organization or upcoming campaign. You can also get a PR estimate 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 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.

Case Study – Noom Media & Branding Campaign

Back in 2016, the weight loss program Noom had little national name recognition despite being popular with consumers. However, the media tide shifted when MACIAS PR took over their publicity after their previous PR agency failed to deliver.

This case study delves into how MACIAS PR successfully elevated Noom’s presence in the media as a digital health coach.

From the start, our team faced challenges, including the need to differentiate Noom in a crowded weight loss market. Mark Macias, the founder, devised a comprehensive strategy outlining the stories to be told and the media outlets to target.

Within the first month of collaboration, MACIAS PR secured a story with CBS News, highlighting how Noom’s mobile app helped pre-diabetics and diabetics manage their conditions. Over the next three years, this success was followed by hundreds of stories appearing on various major platforms, including NBC Today Show, People Magazine, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, CNBC, PIX 11 in NYC, CNN, Fortune, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur, New York Post, and more.

MACIAS PR also helped expand Noom’s reach with Spanish consumers by placing stories with Telemundo and Univision.

B2B and B2C Media Campaign

Besides the B2C focus, Noom also had a B2B service targeting HR and providers. MACIAS PR developed a tailored B2B strategy that secured features in outlets like MobiHealthNews, The American Journal of Managed Care, Fierce Biotech, FW Pharma, Med City News, among others. All of these stories emphasized how Noom as an employee benefit was saving the companies money from a health care spend perspective.

Measurable Results from Media and Branding Campaign

In 2018 and 2019, Google named Noom one of the top-trending diet terms in their annual “Year in Search Report.” This increased search exposure was a direct result of our media coverage.

Fast Company Magazine also recognized Noom as one of the Interbrand Breakthrough Brands in 2017. Most notable, Noom did not have a Chief Marketing Officer during the entire time we worked together. Our media and branding strategy came from our time working directly with the founders.

Media Exposure Helps with Fundraising

Our media campaign also helped support Noom’s fundraising goals. MACIAS PR conceptualized angles that resonated with reporters and investors, showcasing the digital health company as a top disruptor in health tech.

Despite the challenges of obtaining media coverage for investment rounds, MACIAS PR successfully navigated and ensured Noom received extensive and positive exposure. Our PR team secured media coverage for Noom’s $58 million investment round with outlets like TechCrunch, Fortune, Entrepreneur, and AlleyWatch in 2019.

Media Trained Founders and Spokespeople

Throughout the partnership, Mark Macias media trained the C-suite for all media interviews.

For a more detailed case study, please reach out to us. We can share a more in-depth case study that reveals even more successes from our 3+ year relationship with Noom. You can also get a PR estimate by clicking here.

ABOUT MACIAS PR

Finance Monthly and ACQ5 5 – an international industry award – 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 and Forbes, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.

Thought Leadership in Forbes – What Houdini Teaches us about Selling

One of the most exciting parts of my work is learning from experienced entrepreneurs and CEOs from all walks of life. The proximity to these entrepreneurs has given me a unique opportunity to observe thought leadership up close.

I recently wrote an article in Forbes – What the Great Houdini can Teach Us about Selling. The entire story was inspired by a CEO who was a magician before his career in finance took off. He always shared stories with me on how magic is related to business. We need to captivate the buyer and never reveal our industry secrets, he would say.

I turned that thought leadership into thought leadership for Forbes. Here’s an abridged version of that article.

Continue reading “Thought Leadership in Forbes – What Houdini Teaches us about Selling”

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.

Continue reading “The Value of Characters with Every Media Campaign”