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.

Case Study on Mobile App PR

By Mark Macias

It’s difficult for all mobile app developers to stand out – unless you have the media behind you.

Our passionate team is proud to say our new mobile app, Blush No More, is the fastest growing communications app on the app stores, according to statistics from Mobincube.

And that growth came without any advertisements. Our entire user acquisition campaign was driven by organic news coverage with the tech, national and international media led by Macias PR.

The Daily Mail in the UK called Blush No More the “ultimate dinner party app – able to feed you a conversation starter at just the right time.”

Yahoo News said the “App ‘Blush No More’ Helps Keep the Conversation Rolling.’”

Channel 11 in New York City aired a 4-minute story on the mobile app, saying it suggests “perfect ice breakers to keep the conversation going.”

Channel 11 also tracked down a Blush No More user and asked him what he thought of theapp. Here’s what Iwan Lubberts from Holland told their reporter on TV:

“It really makes you feel like a local. If you look up the lines, they are pretty American. It’s helping me out to understand American people and how to deal with American people in language,” Lubberts said.

That Channel 11 video on Blush No More went viral within hours and was picked up by AOL, spreading the word around the world. Since then, other news publications have run stories on how this is a genius idea that everyone can use.

Yahoo China, AOL News, Yahoo News, GQ Italy and Metro Global newspapers all wrote glowing, positive stories about Blush No More and how it can help consumers.

LovethatMag – a popular US online publication that covers the latest trends, wrote this review: “If you’re someone that tends to find yourself not knowing what to say amidst an awkward silence, then new app ‘Blush No More’ could be your one stop shop for ice breakers, and a whole lot more.”

That is publicity and endorsements that no ad can buy.

How the Media Drives App Downloads

Blush No More has seen exponential growth in downloads following this international and online media exposure. The percentage of downloads has grown more than 1300 percent following just 3 days of media exposure. It maintained that momentum throughout July and August 2015, becoming the fastest growing mobile communications app, according to its publisher, Mobincube.

So the next time you’re looking at your app analytics, wrinkling  your forehead, wondering what can you do to make your tech startup stand out – take the initiative and reach out to Macias PR. If the green box at the bottom of your screen shows we are online, ask for Mark and I’ll give you a media strategy after learning more about your app.

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.

PR for Start-ups

By Mark Macias

The number of start-ups launching in 2015 will continue to grow as the economy expands, which means publicity for your start-up will get more difficult.

If you’re trying to get your start-up on the news, you first need to identify a strong narrative. I’ve written other articles that give guidelines on how to identify and find the story angle needed for coverage, which you can read in Consistent Coverage. I recommend you read those articles before submitting your story to reporters so you can increase your chances for coverage.

Now that you have identified the story angle, here are some websites geared towards start-ups. You still need to reach out to the reporters, but it will help with your initial media research. Links to the websites and their company mission (in their own words from their site) are below:

TechCrunch

www.TechCrunch.com/

“TechCrunch is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news. Founded in June 2005, TechCrunch and its network of websites now reach over 12 million unique visitors and draw more than 37 million page views per month. The TechCrunch community includes more than 2 million friends and followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and other social media.”

Mashable

www.mashable.com/submit/

“Founded in 2005, Mashable is the top source for news in social and digital media, technology and web culture. With more than 40 million monthly pageviews, Mashable is the most prolific news site reporting breaking web news, providing analysis of trends, reviewing new websites and services, and offering social media resources and guides. Mashable’s audience includes early adopters, social media enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, influencers, brands and corporations, marketing, PR and advertising agencies, Web 2.0 aficionados and technology journalists. Mashable is also popular with bloggers as well as Twitter and Facebook users — an increasingly influential demographic.”

StartupBooster

www.startupbooster.com/submit-site/

“This blog is dedicated to helping young entrepreneurs learn the basic techniques necessary to succeed with their online ventures, share their experiences with others and promote their new startups.”

KillerStartups

http://www.killerstartups.com/submit-startup/

“KillerStartups is dedicated to sharing more than just the hottest new startups. We want to share the stories of the PEOPLE behind the successful companies and their advice for other internet entrepreneurs. Want to share your story with our readers and promote your website?
Fill out our online submission form and tell us about what you’ve got goin’ on.”

StartupWizz

http://www.startupwizz.com/submit-a-startup/

“It was founded in 2009 as a place for entrepreneurs and investors to stay informed about startups on the web. Our goal is to find some of the most disruptive, niche and interesting startups that our peers and investors want to know about.”

Squidoo

http://www.squidoo.com/sumbit-startup

“StartUpLift helps promising startups get featured and receive insightful feedback. People come to the site to learn about new startups and to engage in stimulating conversation. There is no charge simply to feature your startup. However, in the spirit of keeping feedback ecosystem alive, StartUpLift does ask that you provide feedback to at least one of the startups featured on our site before submitting yours.”

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.