Affiliate Marketing PR Campaigns – Why One Size does not Fit All

By Mark Macias

The owner of an affiliate service emailed me recently, asking about a PR starter kit for her clients. Her intentions were in the right place with her email.

“I’m looking for a very inexpensive package to offer my (affiliates), a sort of starter kit to help kick-start their marketing campaign. Most of them have no clue what to do,” she wrote.

Hiring a publicist is not like buying a shirt. There is no universal “starter kit” that will work for every business, especially if your business involves retail.

For each campaign to be successful, you need to identify the story and what makes it unique. If you are selling t-shirts to teenagers, that is a different publicity campaign than a men’s store selling expensive suits to professionals. And to underscore that statement, it’s also a different publicity campaign than one that reaches professional women.

PR Advice for Affiliate Marketing Campaigns

In the case with the owner of that affiliate marketing company, she would be more successful if she were to give her clients a compass that teaches them the most important questions to answer before you launch a PR campaign.

Every campaign that MACIAS PR begins with a strategy around critical thinking. We don’t just jump into a story. We debate and discuss why specific reporters or media outlets will be interested in our angle. And that all takes place before we even start calling reporters.

Finance Monthly and ACQ5 5 – an international industry award – named Macias PR the 2017 Strategic PR Firm of the Year, and PR Firm of the Year – USA. This was the third year in a row that Finance Monthly recognized our firm. 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.

The Cat and Mouse Strategy – It applies to PR

This is an excerpt from “The Tao of PR” by Mark Macias.

Why does the cat always catch the mouse? When you think of how agile and quick a mouse can be, he should always outmaneuver the cat. Yet, nearly 100 percent of the time, the cat will catch the mouse.

That’s not just a fun question. It’s actually a way of thinking that applies to PR and business.

First off, I’m not an expert on mice or cats. I have never owned a cat and I hate mice. But as a person who lives in Manhattan, and every New Yorker will tell you – “if you have mice, get a cat and the problem will go away.” There’s a reason why everyone says that and I believe the strategy also applies to public relations and business.

The Cat and Mouse PR Approach

A cat traditionally studies its prey before it attacks. It tries to understand the mouse’s movements and agility in advance. It is also more patient. The cat takes his time approaching the mouse, waiting for the right moment to pounce while the mouse is preoccupied with the ground.

In the world of public relations, you should study and understand the journalists you want to pitch because you only get one chance.

If you fire off that story idea before it is completely developed, you risk losing an opportunity for coverage. Many clients want to see results quickly, and as a business owner, I understand. I want to see a high rate of return as well on my investments. But if the execution of the strategy is rushed and sloppy, you risk losing out on solid media placements.

As for the mouse, I will never understand why he continually gets caught. He is faster and more agile and should be able to run circles around the puffy paw.

I’ve watched mice move on the streets of Manhattan. Trust me, I couldn’t catch one in my house but I guarantee you I can catch a cat anywhere. The mice gets caught because he is afraid.

No Fear in PR

A creative media strategy requires confidence in an idea and strength with the execution. You can’t be afraid of creative ideas when pitching reporters. Sure, I’ve come up with some crazy publicity stunts and not all of them worked. But a good majority did. If I were afraid of failure, I would have missed out on the home runs. The same applies to your business. You can’t be afraid like that little mouse.

Finally, the mouse fails because he doesn’t think. If you have observed any mouse in a kitchen after turning on the light, you’ll see they don’t react to change well. Their bodies scramble without direction. It’s like they are immobilized by the sudden change in environment.

If you’re trying to succeed with media placements, you really do need to think like a cat but move like a mouse. If an idea doesn’t seem to be catching on, listen to the feedback of reporters. Are you missing an element with your idea? Does the reporter need more evidence to support the story? Be nimble and respond to their questions. Be like the mouse – fast, agile and quick to respond. Be like the cat – strategic on your approach, measuring the situation before attacking

In the cartoon, Tom & Jerry, the mouse always won because he out- thought the big, slow cat. Of course, that is the land of fiction, but since the Tom & Jerry narrative was created by a real person, I can now understand why little Jerry won every time the two battled wits.

Finance Monthly and ACQ5 5 – an international industry award – named Macias PR the 2017 and 2018 Strategic PR Firm of the Year, and PR Firm of the Year – USA. This was the third year in a row that Finance Monthly recognized our firm.

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.

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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Future of PR – Revolves around Reputations and Search Engines

By Mark Macias

One of our nonprofit clients went to a Google marketing conference and shared with me some of the best takeaways he heard. One of the boldest statements came from a Google executive who told the crowd that in the future, there will be no brands.

It seems hard to believe that brands won’t matter in the future, but it makes sense. Yes, household names, like McDonalds, Starbucks and Netflix will continue to be in our subconscious. However, among smaller brands – especially in the B2B sector – will become more susceptible to branding from Google. Let me break it down further. Continue reading “Future of PR – Revolves around Reputations and Search Engines”

Client TV Segment on the NYC Morning Show

By Mark Macias

Potential clients are ambitious when it comes to publicity. They frequently tell me they want their products to reach the biggest audience on TV.

You can’t blame them. Bigger is usually better, right? Actually, that’s not always the case.

You want to place your product where your consumers and clients are located. It sounds simplistic enough, but it’s over-looked as a strategy when it comes to PR. Your PR strategy should align with your goals – first.

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How Thought Leadership Can Build your Brand as a Leader

By Marta Majstorovic

Thought leadership can be an effective method for positioning your brand as a leader in tech and healthcare. More likely than not, you have some level of expertise in your industry. Thought leadership communicates that expertise to the outside world, growing your brand in the process.

MACIAS PR helped secure a targeted thought leadership editorial for a nonprofit client in last week’s St. Louis Post Dispatch. The editorial spoke directly to readers on how our nonprofit partner is helping the community. It also provided an unfiltered story on their services.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch is the fifth largest newspaper in the Midwest, and is the 26th largest newspaper in the country. On a daily basis, the newspaper reaches more than a quarter of a million readers – in print alone.

Many nonprofits struggle to raise money, and this is an area where thought-leadership can help with your brand. Corporations are frequently wary of attaching their brand to nonprofits that haven’t proven themselves in the community. Thought-leadership reinforces how the media recognizes your business as a credible leader.

This thought leadership placement in the St. Louis Post Dispatch also helped raise the profile of their services in the community. And the corporate partner, Boeing, received public credit for investing in the community with this nonprofit.


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Nonprofit PR – Media Placement in the Community

By Mark Macias

PR is more than just driving new business. It can also be used to promote your name in the community and it doesn’t matter if you’re a small nonprofit, or a large corporation.

Our nonprofit client recently received a $30,000 donation from AT&T. If you’re a corporation giving money to the community, ideally, you want others to know about it.

And that was part of our job. Here’s how MACIAS PR helped spread the word with the media.

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Best PR Firms – Who would you hire for PR? Batman or Robin

By Mark Macias

Let’s have a little fun with our imagination. If you had to hire Batman or Robin to run your PR campaign, who would you choose?

Most people might say, Batman. He’s bigger and physically stronger. Batman’s reputation goes back to the 1940s – well before Robin was even born. And of course, Batman has that cool Bat Cave with all those luxuries that give him direct access to Gotham’s leaders.

Of course in business, you pay for all of those gadgets. If you wanted to hire Batman, your retainer fee will partially go to fund that Bat Cave, even if you never visit it.

Poor Robin. He tries so hard to fight the bad guys and win your trust. He’s physically smaller than Batman, so he knows he must work harder. Deep inside, if he is going to win any battle, he know he will need to out-think – not out-muscle Batman.

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Nonprofit PR – Client on News 12 New Jersey

By Mark Macias

Nonprofit PR will raise the profile of your organization when it is executed correctly.

Our nonprofit client held an event in New Jersey yesterday that introduced their services to veterans. It was all part of Veterans Day and our goal to honor our veterans. An Assemblywoman and the Mayor of Jersey City both showed up at the event.

The 30-second VO introduced our nonprofit client to the community. If you watch the video, you’ll hear an overview directly from the anchor’s mouth on what this organization does.

“It provides free IT training, certification and job placement assistance to young adults in underserved communities and military veterans. More than 80 percent of their graduates are employed full-time.”

It was essentially a commercial in the newscast.

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Questions to Ask a PR Firm – Former Journalist and PR Expert Explain

By Mark Macias

The 2018 budget is approved. RFPs are issued. Now it’s time to find the best PR firms to raise the profile of your businesss.

During my time as Executive Producer with NBC in New York, publicists pitched me constantly, trying to get their clients on the news. Some would try calling me at odd hours, while others would email story ideas. The higher level publicists would invite me out for drinks or social events.

Now, as the owner of a NYC public relations firm, I see the other side, and it’s not pretty.

Most business owners and marketing executives frequently ask me the same questions as they try to search for the best PR firms. In my experience, they are asking the wrong questions.

Here are some of the questions I would want my publicist to ask if I was trying to hire a top PR firm.

Continue reading “Questions to Ask a PR Firm – Former Journalist and PR Expert Explain”