Best PR Firms – Characteristics of Great Publicists

By Mark Macias

How do you identify a the best PR firms and the publicists that define it? Media strategy, approach, curiosity, experience, the ability to execute, creativity and energy all play a crucial role when it comes to successfully leading a media campaign. It really does make a difference when it comes to securing stories with the media and I’m not just saying that as a PR guy. I’m also saying it as a former journalist.
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The Growing Influence of PR

By Mark Macias

I read a story this week in a PR trade publication that said PR agencies are dying because they are not adapting with the times. The article explained how PR agencies are still pushing press releases to newsrooms and relying on stunts to get the media’s attention when they don’t work anymore.

I agree, press releases won’t get you on the radar of reporters – no matter which press release distribution network you use. And stunts rarely work when it comes to getting TV segments in the news or articles in the newspapers. During my time with CBS and NBC in New York, publicists bombarded me with press releases, promoting their stunts. We never ran stories on those topics.

And if you don’t believe me, ask yourself: when was the last time you saw the Wall Street Journal or the CBS Evening News cover a stunt in their publication or newscast? They write about stories of substance, like healthcare advancements or financial trends that contain a news peg.

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The DNA of a Top Publicist

The DNA of a Publicist(2)By Mark Macias

Every great athlete has a DNA that gives him an edge regardless of sport. Basketball needs a tall genetic code, football prefers weight and bulk, etc.

It’s no different with publicity. During my time with NBC and CBS, I saw a certain kind of DNA excel in journalism. He was driven, adaptable, curious, secular and even gregarious. While public relations is a different industry, the genetic code is similar.

Just like the above Facebook post demonstrates, if you’re looking for the best publicist, you want to find a person who is agile, fast and impulsive like the grasshopper. News moves quickly and a great publicist understands how to adapt to that changing environment.

But at the same time, a great PR firm also must show perseverance and strength because great media placements don’t happen overnight. A successful media campaign takes time and a lot of lobbying. It also takes a specific kind of creative intelligence to frame a story in a way that the media will find intriguing.

Keep those traits in mind as you look for the “Best PR Firm”. Bigger is not always better. The elephant alone is weak if he relies solely on his powerful weight. The grasshopper is an easy kill unless he keeps moving. But when combined, the two make for a powerful force especially in the world of public relations. And that’s advice that applies to publicity for every industry – tech, financial, service sector – you name it.

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.