Why Story Angle Matters with the Media

By Mark Macias

The two photos might look similar at quick glance. It’s the Brooklyn Bridge with people on the street. It’s shot on the same day.

When it comes to the media, the position of the angle makes the difference between success and failure. The best PR firms understand the nuances and viewpoint that can change with subtlety.

MACIAS PR continually digs for the unique angle that best positions the client in the news. We don’t just run with our first big idea, nor do we “spray and pray” for media placements.

Each media campaign and story pitch is methodical and debated.

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MACIAS PR on CNBC – Giving Crisis PR Advice

By Mark Macias

A reporter with CNBC called me last week on how I would manage the Papa John’s crisis.  (You can read story here).

I answered some of the reporter’s questions in writing – and not all of my answers were used. I think there is more insight that can help any company trying to prevent or manage a crisis.

Here’s a look at the other questions this reporter asked, along with my answers.

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Clients in the Media – MACIAS PR Accountability Report


By Mark Macias

Memorial Day is right around the corner, but MACIAS PR is not in vacation mode. We are still securing media placements for our clients with magazines, newspapers and TV.

The week leading up to Memorial Day Weekend is notoriously difficult when it comes to securing media placements. I can say from experience, TV newsrooms are understaffed as reporters, producers and photographers request vacation days to maximize the long holiday weekend.

Despite that obstacle, MACIAS PR secured two TV segments for clients in Baltimore and Philadelphia. We also secured a story with the largest newspaper in Houston. And our clients are in two national magazines. You can see those placements in the above photo.

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How Videos Lead to Media Exposure

By Mark Macias

I spoke with a potential client from a family office yesterday and he asked me about videos. Do I think they are helpful? How do we leverage videos for more exposure? How can videos help his brand?

Google doesn’t reveal much about its search algorithms, but it does admit websites with videos get higher priority with their search engine. So how do you leverage videos into content that other news sites will pick up?

MACIAS PR frequently organizes panels and events for our clients in finance, healthcare and tech. In the video below, you can see a hedge fund panel that MACIAS PR hosted for fund managers and service providers. But others who didn’t attend that hedge fund forum also got to see and hear this panel after a hedge fund site published these videos.

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Press Conferences – How to Prepare for the Media

By Mark Macias

Earlier this week, President-elect Donald Trump gave his first press conference since the election. It was a big event for journalists since many news organizations haven’t been able to directly ask him questions regarding investigative stories they were pursuing.

During my time with NBC and CBS, I covered many press conferences from politicians, CEOs and celebrities. Now, as the owner of this PR firm, I have also organized and coached many executives on how to deal with the media.

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Find Investors with Financial PR – SEC Regulation A Rules

By Mark Macias

How valuable is a press release when it comes to moving the market? Try $30 million dollars. That’s how much a 28-year-old Ukrainian hacker generated by hacking into PR Newswire, Marketwired and BusinessWire last month.

According to the FBI, the hacker stole 150,000 unpublished press releases and traded on the information before it hit the news.

What does this mean to you as a firm or company trying to reach investors?

Use Financial PR to Find Investors

Press releases – when done effectively – can influence the market. A recent study by Engleberg and Parsons revealed that trading volume increased by 75 percent after a stock appeared in the news. Another 70 percent of investors said they reallocated their portfolio after reading a story on the news, according to Cogent Research.

This ability to influence investors will only grow larger as more companies actively go after investors following the recent SEC Regulation A changes.

I’m constantly meeting with fund managers and business owners who are trying to attract investments to their fund or company. Most of these people seek investments through the traditional route: via networking at investor conferences and investment forums. But as the SEC Regulation A changes become more accepted and smaller companies begin seeking more funding through mini IPOs, the pool of quality investors via friends and family will get smaller and become less effective.

At the same time, the ability to reach targeted investors via the financial media will continue to remain the most influential medium for introducing your fund or business to investors. The job of securing media placements will get harder for financial PR firms, which is why even more so – you will want to make sure you do your due diligence on your financial PR firm before signing up.

Did we mention that Macias PR was named the 2015 top “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly based on our expertise, media deliverables and innovation in PR?

 

How to Stay on Message with the Media

By Mark Macias

Politicians are notorious for not answering the question. Journalists ask the yes or no question, and they scramble to another topic instead of staying on the message. Here’s how it came across recently when an MSNBC reporter asked candidate Scott Walker a simple yes or no answer.

KASIE HUNT: Do you think that birthright citizenship should be ended?

SCOTT WALKER: Well, like I said, Harry Reid said it’s not right for this country — I think that’s something we should, yeah, absolutely, going forward-

HUNT: We should end birthright citizenship?

WALKER: Yeah, to me it’s about enforcing the laws in this country. And I’ve been very clear, I think you enforce the laws, and I think it’s important to send a message that we’re going to enforce the laws, no matter how people come here we’re going to enforce the laws in this country.

HUNT: And you should deport the children of people who are illegal immigrants?

WALKER: I didn’t say that — I said you have to enforce the law, which to me is focusing on E-Verify.

The Importance of Staying on Message

I work with many tech startup entrepreneurs who are typically less media savvy. Their delivery frequently works to their advantage because they are authentic, but this isn’t politics. If you’re trying to promote your business or service through the media and you have a reporter listening to you, it’s important to stay on message and to continually sell your services.

Don’t learn the hard way. A video client recently told me that she was interviewed by NPR, which is a national news organization that reaches influential and educated listeners. She told me a reporter spent two different days on the phone with her but she wasn’t mentioned in the story. She asked me what she could have done differently.

I wasn’t listening to that interview, but if a reporter calls you twice – he or she is rooting for you. They want you to give them the context or sound that they need for their story. Journalists are inherently self-interested, which isn’t a negative stereotype in this situation. When it comes to writing their story, they need to be self-interested or every other person will influence the direction of their message.

Media Advice for Interviews

This is why it’s so important to stay on message during an interview with the media. You have little time to persuade this journalist that you belong in his story, so measure that time well. Don’t spend 15-minutes giving background on facts if the reporter didn’t ask for that. Facts don’t sell the story. Context sells your story. Perspective brings commentary and color to any story. Reporters want color and context because color brings a story alive and context makes it relevant.

Remember that the next time you get a chance to sell your tech or business story to the media. Stay on message, the clock is ticking.

Macias PR was named the 2015 “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.

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.