The Future of Branding in Digital World – Forbes Analysis

By Mark Macias

It might seem hard to believe but the future of brands will not look anything like it does today. Yes, we will continue to have names like Coke, Netflix and Starbucks but their upstart competitors will have a huge advantage when it comes to the world of digital competition.

I wrote about this recently in Forbes, which you can read here. If you’re short on time, I’ll give you a faster read.

Unlike the 1990s and earlier, it took years to build a brand. But today, search engines like Google are dominating the branding space. You no longer need to remember brands. Instead, we just turn to Google, ask our question, and then the brand that Google chooses pops up.

Outside of the consumer market, brands are already beginning to exist less, and if you don’t believe me, look at your own personal journey. When was the last time you were searching for a restaurant in a new neighborhood?

You probably searched for “best restaurants near me” on your phone — and Google brought them to you. You didn’t have to remember the name of a restaurant chain; a search engine replaced your memory with an option. Those expensive commercials on TV were likely replaced with the restaurants listed on your phone.

The good news is this new digital world is leveling the playing field for upstart brands. But the key to this successful brand strategy is to create a campaign around the right words.

As I wrote in Forbes: It’s not enough for people to search for the name of your restaurant on their phones. You want to position your product or service with search terms that new customers will use to find your product. 

Click here to read more of my thought leadership in Forbes.

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.

Media Training – Common Mistakes with Reporters

Speaking with reporters requires a much different approach and style than holding a conversation with your friends. Your friends will be more generous with your time, allowing you to meander from thought-to-thought.

But it doesn’t work like that with the media. You need to be concise and tight on messaging. If you veer off from the story line, most reporters will tune out. And if you’re speaking with a TV producer or reporter, it’s even more paramount to stick to the script.

During my time as a producer for NBC and CBS, I had to listen and log many interviews that went off track. The subject veered to a different topic, taking double the amount of time as I listened to it in person and on tape. As I became more experienced, I brought the interview subject back to the story. But in today’s world of journalism – where reporters are younger and younger – you might not get the chance to get guidance from the producer.

I wrote a story for Forbes last year, outlining the 5 biggest mistakes I saw leaders make during media interviews. You can read that story here, but if you’re short on time, here’s an outline of the tips.

Don’t Start the interview Chronologically

It’s our nature to want to tell a story from the beginning, but this approach doesn’t work with reporters. It’s critical to get to the story point quickly during any interview. 

It might not be in our nature to start a story with the end-result, but this approach will keep the interview more focused. If a reporter knows within the first two minutes where the story is going, he’s more likely to follow it.

Reporters want to understand quickly what the story is – or they will get lost. If you start the story chronologically – and it’s a long story – every additional minute of talking is another potential minute at risk of losing the story. 

Focus on the Sell

It’s critical to communicate to reporters why their readers will care about your story, product, concept, idea – or whatever you’re selling. You don’t have to be overt with your sell, but the story sell must be expressed somewhere in the interview.

All reporters are writing for their readers. And that means they need a payoff for their readers. If you don’t communicate the payoff in the interview – also known as the sell – the reporter won’t have a story.

Add Insight to the story

Reporters don’t write about information; they write about angles. The news angle is all about how you frame the story and support it. As a CEO, you have industry knowledge reporters want to hear. Facts and figures are not part of that knowledge.

A common mistake from many CEOs and CTOs is to jump into the facts or data without providing insight or color on what it means. Don’t diminish your expertise or knowledge by quoting industry stats or data points. Instead, tell the reporter what they suggest or reveal.

Take Time to Breathe

Many business leaders know they have a few minutes to tell the story to reporter so they try to compress a 30 minute thought into 10 minutes of run-on sentences. 

I have a general rule that I tell clients. Don’t speak for more than 2 minutes without checking in with the reporter. Ask if he’s following along. Of course, it’s a general rule so there are exceptions. When you’re speaking with an industry reporter who wants to take a deep dive, then the old rule of checking in doesn’t always apply.

Don’t talk about Yourself

Unless you’re getting interviewed for a profile story, stay away from situations where you talk about yourself. Sure, you can provide insight on what you’re hearing from the industry. Or you can give your opinions on the latest trends you’re seeing. But those situations are different from blatantly talking about yourself. 

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.

Does Performance based PR work? Forbes Analysis: pros and cons

By Mark Macias

Every once in a while, I’ll get a request from a potential client asking if my PR agency would work off a performance-based structure. 

It happened again recently and inspired this thought leadership I wrote for Forbes.

In theory, a performance-based model sounds like a great idea. The client doesn’t pay for anything unless the PR agency succeeds. Of course, as most entrepreneurs learn, if any deal is too one-sided, you lose money.

I don’t think many entrepreneurs really understand the depth, strategy and resources required to run a successful media campaign that leads to earned media — and I’m not talking about a press release. I’m talking about a bonafide news story or feature in a publication that you read.

You can read my analysis in Forbes here. If you’re short on time, here’s an abridged version of my thoughts on performance based PR.

Continue reading “Does Performance based PR work? Forbes Analysis: pros and cons”

Entrepreneur Editorial – How the Pandemic is Shaping PR

Entrepreneur Magazine just published my editorial that takes a deeper look at how the pandemic is shaping PR.

You can click on this link to read more on the story, but if you’re short on time, here’s a quick synopsis to help with your future publicity campaigns.

This thought leadership was inspired after I read a post in a private Facebook group with reporters and publicists where we exchange ideas. Someone asked if PR was dead.

PR has definitely evolved since I entered this industry after my career with NBC and CBS. But this last year has accelerated even more changes in PR.

It’s even harder today to navigate the media landscape. A lot of journalists lost their jobs because of COVID. In addition, the competition for eyeballs is getting tougher as more online news sites pop up. And we can’t dismiss the consumer market, which is getting more fragmented.

All of these headwinds make a targeted media and communications strategy even more critical.

Here’s a closer look at why I wrote that why experienced strategic thinkers will become even more valued, and more scarce in the coming years.

Continue reading “Entrepreneur Editorial – How the Pandemic is Shaping PR”

Forbes Analysis – Customer Behavior Trends for 2021

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 – Customer Behavior Trends for 2021”

How Important are Media Contacts? Media Insider Perspective

By Mark Macias

With my media experience in TV at both the local and national levels, you’d think I would want to tell business owners that media contacts are our selling point. It’s true, I do have reporter friends and former colleagues across the US. 

But here’s the honest word: media relationships are only part of the story. Strategy always beats connections.

You can be best friends with the Executive Producer at Good Morning America. (Ironically, I am friends with the Executive Producer of GMA. We both were producers at Inside Edition and American Journal at the same time). But guess what – if I don’t have a good idea, he’s not going to return my call. This is where strategy comes into play. 

Continue reading “How Important are Media Contacts? Media Insider Perspective”

How Much Does PR Cost?

It’s a common question every business owner wants to know. How much does PR cost.

There are many factors that determine how much a public relations campaign will cost. Is the campaign difficult? How many resources will be needed to pitch reporters? How much time is needed to explain the story to reporters. In a way, the PR industry is no different than the accounting industry. The complexity and resources needed determine the cost.

MACIAS PR has created an online tool to help you get a PR estimate quickly. You don’t need to spend hours on the phone, explaining your product. If you’re curious about the cost of PR, just answer a few questions by clicking here.

Continue reading “How Much Does PR Cost?”

MACIAS PR Celebrates 11 Years of Growth in Public Relations & Marketing

Over the years, MACIAS PR has grown from a small cubicle with no clients into an award-winning strategic PR and digital marketing firm that works with clients across the healthcare, finance, tech and the nonprofit sectors. It’s also won numerous awards and accolades from both journalists and industry peers.

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the 2017, 2018 and 2019 “Strategic PR Firm of the Year,” honoring it with the ACQ5 Global Awards. The award is based on the firm’s media and marketing strategy. In 2017 and 2016, journalists with Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the “Financial PR Firm of the Year” based on the firm’s media strategy, deliverables, expertise and innovation in PR. In 2015, Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the “PR Consultant Firm of the Year.”

The History of MACIAS PR

MACIAS PR was founded on June 1st, 2009 by Mark Macias, a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He founded the firm during the Great Recession when many businesses were failing.

Since then, the agency’s clients have appeared in the biggest news publications in the world, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Good Morning America, The Daily Mail in the UK, The Financial Times and USA Today. MACIAS PR has also secured media placements in other languages, including Spanish, Korean, Portuguese and Russian news publications.

Today, Macias is a frequent contributor with Forbes, giving readers advice on business, strategy and messaging. You can read some of his thought leadership here. Macias is also a popular PR and branding expert with major media publications, including CNBCthe Washington Post and entertainment publications.

The Editorial and Strategy Behind MACIAS PR

At MACIAS PR, every client works directly with the founder of the firm. Macias says it’s like having an Executive Producer on your team, Identifying the best news angles for your business.

“The owner of every business always treat his clients and customers better than any sales guy,” said Macias. “It’s no different with MACIAS PR. We put our clients’ goals first and out-think the competition when it comes to strategy and execution. Our competitive streak shows when it comes to selling stories to the media. We fight for stories and don’t give up.”

Macias predicts his firm will continue to grow but will never lose the personal touch that makes every client personal.

“MACIAS PR is not quite a teenager, and that’s a good thing” said Macias. “We’re not lazy or worried about how we look, like most teens. We just want to make our clients proud. This PR firm will grow based on our media deliverables but our personal interaction with clients and reporters will never change.”

If you’d like a customized strategy, feel free to message Mark here, or get a free PR estimate by clicking here.

5 Mistakes Leaders Make with Reporters – Forbes Analysis

By Mark Macias

I recently wrote a story for Forbes, outlining 5 mistakes I frequently see leaders make with reporters. CEOs are traditionally articulate and great with the gift of gab, but when it comes to their interaction with the media, I’ve frequently observed many of the leaders make the same mistake.

It’s a shame because it’s not easy getting interviews with reporters. PR firms have to work very hard to land the pre-interview, and you typically only get one shot. Over the summer, our team secured a 20-minute phone interview with a FOX News anchor. I worked with the CEO closely, gave him a briefing document and was on the call, trying to keep it focused. Still, at the end of the phone call, the anchor told the CEO point-blank: I don’t know what this story is now.

Here is an abridged version of the article I wrote for Forbes. You can read it more in-depth by clicking here. Continue reading “5 Mistakes Leaders Make with Reporters – Forbes Analysis”

Thought Leadership in Forbes – What Houdini Teaches us about Selling

By Mark Macias

One of the most exciting parts of my work is getting to learn from experienced entrepreneurs and CEOs from all walks of life, and from different industries. It’s given me a unique opportunity to observe thought-leadership up close. This entrepreneurial experience also gives your company an advantage because it helps us craft successful media campaigns that are designed to drive new business.

We don’t push stories for the sake of pushing stories. MACIAS PR identifies story angles that will continually push your product or service in front of the right desired customer.

I recently wrote an article in Forbes – What the Great Houdini can Teach Us about Selling.

I tell readers in this article if you want to learn how to get publicity for your business, put away those MBA case studies and read up on Houdini. Throughout my time working with entrepreneurs, startups and CEOs, I’ve seen how Houdini can teach us all about getting our brand out there.

Here’s an abridged version of what I wrote in that Forbes article.

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