How PR and SEO Work Together

By Mark Macias

Just when you thought your SEO strategy was in place, Google changes the rules again. It now places a larger role in how PR and SEO work together. The latest algorithm, nicknamed “Hummingbird,” impacted roughly 90 percent of all search engine traffic in 2014, according to industry reports.

Google will never reveal its search algorithm but one thing Hummingbird does reinforce is the growing importance of PR and its influence on SEO.

Unlike the past, where keywords were used to find topics with search engines, Google now places a higher emphasis on content that delivers valuable information. That means articles that explain your expertise, or talk about your business will tell Google that your business deserves a higher location in the world of search.

PR and SEO Work Together

Public Relations is primarily about getting your stories told in the media, and this is one of the most crucial components Google uses to determine how high a website should be listed. It scours the web and looks to see what kinds of news organizations or bloggers are talking about your business. If it sees a high correlation of conversation on your topic, aka blogger and media content, it will assume that you have more value to the public.

That’s when your website is pushed higher.

How Media Stories Improve your Search Ranking

Google is now taking a closer look at content and determining which content is answering consumer questions.

For example, if you own a business and want to know the return on investment from PR, you might ask Google: “What is the ROI of PR?”or “PR ROI” if you’re short on time.

Google search is influenced by many factors, including location, but if you type those phrases into Google, you should see on the first page of Google, a link to MaciasPR. That page leads readers to content that explains the ROI of Public Relations.

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Macias PR was named the 2015 top “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. The firm was founded by Mark Macias – a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. Macias is a weekly contributor with CNBC.com and author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media, which has been featured in the NY Times, Fox Business, NY Post and others. Macias PR has run media campaigns for tech startups, financial groups, service providers, nonprofits and politicians.

Media Strategy – Insider POV

Hockey & PR Strategies

By Mark Macias

A great hockey strategy is similar to a great media strategy, and it most aptly applies to a phrase made famous by Wayne Gretzky.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

Wayne Gretzky outperformed others by always understanding where the hockey puck was going before it was even hit. This intuition and feel for the puck gave him an advantage because he didn’t need to pivot. The puck pivoted to him.

It’s a similar strategy and approach that also applies to publicity campaigns.

During my time as an Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York, I would always hear a familiar phrase in the morning news meeting.

“That’s old news.”

No reporter or TV producer wants to pitch a story that is old news, which is why when you are conceptualizing a media strategy, you should look first to the trajectory of the news cycle. What is the news covering now, or even better yet – what will they cover tomorrow?

You can always look to today’s news for guidance, but the exceptional media strategist will always be thinking of tomorrow because he knows tomorrow’s story will actually be read today.

Think about that for that a moment……..

Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with WNBC, Senior Producer with WCBS and Special Projects Producer with NBC. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias now consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity. You can read more on his firm at MaciasPR.

How to Lose Twitter Followers

By: Mark Macias

Imagine the pain of learning you lost 3200 Twitter followers overnight. It was a painful reality for a popular morning TV personality in Phoenix.

Tara Hitchcock was the morning show anchor for Good Morning Arizona in Phoenix a few years ago. The TV industry is a transient field, so I didn’t read too much into her departure when I heard the news until I read this in an article:

“She has started up a new Twitter account -@taratv- in place of her old one, which is owned by Channel 3.”

Tara spent her TV career in Phoenix, promoting that Twitter handle, but she lost control of it because she didn’t own the handle.

Own Your Twitter Handle

Tara Hitchcock is unfortunately not alone.

I have many close friends in the TV business and many of them associate their Twitter accounts with their current employer. It’s great to drink the Kool-Aid and drop ABC or CBS in your handle, but what happens when you switch employers. These reporters and anchors are harming their ability to brand themselves by giving away their influential Twitter power to the networks.

This doesn’t just apply to TV personalities.

There are many companies that will create a Twitter or Facebook account for any small businesses and for free. They even will help grow your fan base for a small fee, but when you read the fine print, you will see that you don’t own the Facebook page or the Twitter handle.

You don’t need to be a calculus major to see what will happen when  you take your business to another social media provider: you will lose your account.

So before you go identifying your entire brand with one employer, or even one industry on Twitter and Facebook, think of what could happen if four years down the road, you decide to take a different path.

Use a Facebook and Twitter name that you can take with you. I’m glad I did that during my time with NBC and CBS, which is why you can follow me on Twitter/MarkMacias or on Facebook.com/maciaspr.

Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with WNBC, Senior Producer with WCBS and Special Projects Producer with NBC. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias now consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity. You can read more on his firm at MaciasPR.

Why the Media Says No

By: Mark Macias

How do the news producers and newspaper editors decide what to print and broadcast on TV? Conspiracy theorists love this question because it gives them a chance to point out how most national news organizations always cover the same stories.

Yes – that happens, but is it a coincidence or has the media been indoctrinated to all chase the same news stories?

Here’s an insider view on the media from someone who spent time as an Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York — the places where these conspiracies all allegedly begin.

Every news outlet wants to run enterprise and original stories, but the open secret inside every newsroom is most editors, news managers and producers are afraid of failure.

That’s right – they’re afraid of pitching a bad story idea that no one will like.

If the public doesn’t buy, read or watch their stories, those reporters and reporters who pitched the story know they will lose credibility in the newsroom.

And once a journalist loses credibility, he has an uphill battle, especially in competitive New York newsrooms where the flavor of the month usually melts before the end of the day.

How to Improve Your Chances for News Coverage

If you want a story written about your business, you need to cite a reason why people will want to watch. You need to explain why the newspaper readers will benefit from your story.

You can improve your chances for coverage by understanding how viewers and readers think. And in just in case you’re wondering, how do viewers and readers think?

Pretty much just like you and me. That’s why I still believe the best journalists and story tellers understand themselves first. The more you understand human behavior, the better you are at driving news coverage for your business.

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 now consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity. You can read more on his firm at MaciasPR.

Finding the Narrative – Narrow the Story

Macias PR Tip 23

by Mark Macias

Anyone who has ever played catch with a dog knows that he can only catch one ball at a time. There’s a lesson in the above photo that also applies to public relations.

During my time as an Executive Producer with NBC in New York, publicists always pitched me stories that contained several angles. I’m sure some of the more experienced publicists thought they had a better chance for coverage by giving all of their ideas at once. With the more inexperienced publicists, it just sounded like an unorganized and poorly thought-out pitch.

Narrow Down Your Pitch for More Success

You will have more success with media placements if you focus your story down to one angle before you reach out to reporters.

Look at it like this: the average taped segment on local TV is roughly 70 to 80 seconds. That’s not a lot of time to tell a story to viewers once you include a character and expert. Likewise, most influential bloggers and online news sites are also dropping their story length to 600 words.

That’s not enough time or space to include a narrative with multiple story lines.

So remember the next time you are trying to get media placements – make sure you are focusing the pitch down to one message. If you try to tell more than one story at a time, the message will get lost. And if the message gets lost, you end up losing your chance at publicity.

 

How to Reach Hispanic Consumers

By Mark Macias

The mainstream media, politicians and advertisers are catching onto what most Latinos knew 20+ years ago. Hispanics are a huge consumer market and if you can tap into their families, you will have a growing business.

The CMO of Coca-Cola recently told an influential crowd of advertising executives that Hispanics are a key part of Coke’s growth strategy through 2020.

We kind of all know that, but what the CEO of Nielson – David Calhoun – said was even more intriguing: He predicted Hispanics would be the biggest source of growth for all US companies. He then challenged all business owners to spend 65% of their time “figuring out this Hispanic opportunity.”

Hispanic Market Pizza Post

The Growing Hispanic Consumer Population

When I was an Executive Producer with NBC, I co-founded the NBC/Telemundo Hispanic Forum, which brought Latino journalists from the English and Spanish news divisions together for networking and mentoring sessions.

You would think with my media experience and culture, I would have thought of targeting Hispanics when it came to finding new business.

But guess what: I learned the hard way like many entrepreneurs.

It took meetings with three different clients (who are not Hispanic) before I realized I was missing out on reaching a key growth opportunity. They all wanted to know how they could market to my culture via the media.

Spanish Media Outlets

After the light went on in my head, I pitched my law firm client to CNN en Español.

Roughly 5-minutes later, I heard back from a CNN producer, saying she loved my story. That segment ended up running on the program, Dinero, which airs at 8pm on CNN en Español.

For nearly 4-minutes, my client was an expert on legal issues in prime time.

So what does this mean to you?

If you speak Spanish, start pitching the Spanish media because they need experts for their news stories too. Lawyers, accountants, financial consultants, nutritionists, doctors– they’re easy to find anywhere, but Spanish journalists need to look harder to find their equivalents for their audience.

I don’t speak for all Hispanics, but I can tell you everyone in my family spends a lot of money to make sure we stay healthy and young looking. My vain family is a marketer’s dream. Loreal wants to reach my sisters. Banana Republic wants to reach my Dad.

That’s why I’m now looking in the mirror and going after potential clients who are just like me. If you want to reach more consumers like me, give us a shout. We’ll show you what we delivered for other clients in the Spanish market.

Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias now consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity. You can read more on his firm at MaciasPR.

Mark Cuban: “Startups Should Never Hire a PR Firm”

By Mark Macias

A friend just forwarded me a Business Insider article where Mark Cuban – the brash owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of the reality TV show Shark Tank – discussed PR for startups and advised that they “Never hire a PR Firm.”

In his business book, How to Win at the Sport of Business, Cuban also elaborated on why many companies shouldn’t hire PR firms.

I sent Mark Cuban an email after reading his book – and he actually responded. Rather than elaborating, take a look at my email to him and how he responded. It will change your view on PR firms for startups.

Continue reading “Mark Cuban: “Startups Should Never Hire a PR Firm””

Market a Fund to Investors

By Mark Macias

Public relations can raise the profile of your firm. Unfortunately, the financial industry is one of the last sectors to embrace PR.

MACIAS PR has led many media campaigns for hedge funds, private equity firms, money managers and financial service providers. Our team secured media coverage for our clients with CNBC, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s Magazine and others.

This track record is partially why industry peers named MACIAS PR the 2017 Strategic PR Firm of the Year. And in 2015 and 2016, Finance Monthly named us the Financial PR Firm of the Year.

A recent white paper, How to Market your Fund under the New SEC Rules, found less than 5 percent of SEC registered hedge funds are taking advantage of PR.

The white paper found fewer than one in 20 SEC registered funds had a website, putting them out of reach of new investors. The research also discovered roughly 80 percent of the funds in Connecticut didn’t even have an email address for  investors to contact.

The white paper was published by MACIAS PR and can be downloaded by clicking here.

How to Market a Fund to Investors

Before the SEC lifted the restrictions on marketing, most funds had not developed a website, fearing it would give the impression of skirting the old SEC prohibition on advertising.

Those funds are now at a huge disadvantage since they are entering a modern world where an online presence is crucial to marketing any service.

Marketing a fund with the media is drastically different than marketing a product to the public. Every fund needs credibility before the media will even consider putting a portfolio manager on TV or quoting him as a financial expert. This is why he says it’s so crucial for all funds to establish credibility now with a strong online presence.

Here is an except from the white paper How to Market your Fund under the New SEC Rules:

Establish Credibility before any Media Outreach

Credibility matters in life, but it especially matters for journalists, says Macias who was a journalist for NBC, CBS and King World Productions. Whenever a portfolio manager is pitched as an expert to the media, journalists will quietly and overtly measure his expertise, integrity and experience in the financial industry. If a reporter doesn’t see an online presence on your fund, credibility questions will be raised, Macias says. Here are a few credibility questions you should be able to address and answer before your fund pursues media placements.

Develop a Content Marketing Plan

Your team of analysts already has a wealth of research that could be turned into white papers, blogs, articles or editorials that could be marketed on the web. This is known as “content marketing.” Content marketing is one of the most effective methods for reaching new investors because it provides a real value to consumers. When promoted on the web, content marketing platforms, like nRelate or Outbrain, can help your original content reach even more targeted business readers on influential blogs and news websites.

Research Financial PR and Financial Marketing Firms

Unlike ad campaigns that stop when your campaign ends, media campaigns keep working for your fund long after a PR campaign is over. The cost for a PR campaign effectively diminishes overtime, since news organizations rarely bring down their stories.

Another benefit to a financial PR campaign is a boost to your search engine ranking. If your PR team can convince a news organization to post a link to your website on their news site, other search engines will suddenly view your fund as more valuable, boosting its ranking to a higher position. Here are a few questions to help you determine which PR firm is the best fit for your hedge fund.

Develop an Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing campaigns can be a targeted way to share your investor newsletters with potential investors. When written in a concise way, a fund’s newsletter can be shared with your clients’ sphere of influence, especially when it contains social media links embedded in the newsletter. The key to launching a successful email campaign is to deliver original content that educates readers on your fund.

Macias PR was named the 2017 Strategic PR Firm of the Year and 2016 and 2015 top PR Firm of the Year – USA by Finance Monthly. 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 CNBC, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.

UnGoogle Yourself – Push Negative News off the Web

By Mark Macias

It’s easy to Google yourself, but it’s much harder to UnGoogle yourself.

What can you do when the search engines start information that is unflattering – or worse – not true? Is it possible to get it removed?

A few years ago, I was approached by an established financial consultant who discovered Google was leading people to a false article that falsely accused him of ethical violations. These types of allegations can destroy any person’s business but in the financial industry, it can close your practice overnight.

For months, the financial consultant hired an attorney who tried unsuccessfully to get the article pulled down.

Then, he reached out to MaciasPR.

UnGoogle Yourself

This form of crisis communications will only grow in the future as more bloggers and news organizations post articles on the Internet. It will also become more rampant as younger and more inexperienced journalists are hired by the larger news organizations.

If you find a negative news story appearing on the web, there are several steps you can take to get the material removed from the Internet.

Contrary to the popular saying, “the Internet is written in ink,” it is possible to change the story if you apply some proven crisis communications strategies. Here are some of the strategies I learned during my career as an Investigative Producer with NBC, CBS and American Journal that will help you in these situations.

Understand the Difference between Libelous, Slander and Opinion

If a blogger writes that you smell, you can’t take legal action to bring down a story, but if he writes a factually inaccurate article that accuses you of wrongdoing and harms your business, you do have a legal right to bring down story. And you don’t always need an attorney for this. Sometimes a strongly worded letter that outlines the bullet points from above is enough to get the publisher’s attention.

You need to complain to the people who control the money. Your letter to these power brokers needs to state why this article is inaccurate and most important, how the article has financially harmed your business. If you can’t show any financial duress from the article, you won’t succeed in the court of law or with the publisher.

Go after the Power Brokers

When a negative story is published, most people, like the financial consultant, contact the writer to complain, but that’s like complaining to the sales clerk when the cashier gives you the wrong change.

We were able to get that negative story pulled down on the financial consultant because we went after the power brokers – the parent company of the company and explained how their story was inaccurate. No publisher will pull down a negative story that is accurate, but if you can prove that the story in inaccurate or libelous, you will succeed in getting it corrected.

Push the Article off the first Google Page with New Content.

Another strategy you can take to bury a negative article is through new content. That means write more content on that same topic that will ultimately lower the ranking of the negative news story. If the article is false and inaccurate, don’t be afraid to fight back. Just make sure you’re not picking a fight over someone’s opinion because luckily the First Amendment still protects us from that. Want to learn more? Click here to watch a TV news story where Mark Macias gives CBS in Phoenix advice on how to UnGoogle yourself.

Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with WNBC, Senior Producer with WCBS and Special Projects Producer with NBC. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias now consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity. You can read more on his firm at MaciasPR.

 

Friends in High Places (Media)

By Mark Macias

Everyone wants to help a friend and members of the media are no different.

If you’re cozy with certain journalists, you might get a call returned faster or your story idea forwarded to the right person.

I spent over a decade working side-by-side with journalists at NBC and CBS, but you don’t need to be inside the media to curry favor. You can also develop relationships by seeking outside interests.

Look for Networking Opportunites

First off, you need to be genuine about what I’m going to say. Journalists are smart and can read through a fake quickly so if this is not something you’re interested in, don’t show up for the sake of meeting media people. However, if you do love these types of networking events, they can easily work to your advantage.

Affinity organizations like the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, National Association of Asian Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists provide many personal opportunities to network with journalists.

Those summer conferences allow journalists to socialize and network together while their nighttime events are filled with booze and parties. You don’t need to hold a press card to attend one of these conferences. If you pay the fees, you are welcomed inside.

Many cities also have their own local media mixers.

When I worked for a TV station in Phoenix, I belonged to an organization called the Arizona Latino Media Association or ALMA. The group frequently held social events at bars and restaurants where Hispanic journalists and PR executives mingled. Mediabistro also hosts networking events where journalists hang out together.

Just don’t be fake with your agenda. If you are there to network with people – or even to sell your business – be transparent because no one wants to hang out with the guy who is holding a secret. And don’t forget, these professionals are paid to uncover secrets, so you won’t last very long if you take that approach.

Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with WNBC, Senior Producer with WCBS and Special Projects Producer with NBC. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias now consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity. You can read more on his firm at MaciasPR.