Getting Media Traction – Adapting the PR Strategy

By Mark Macias

What happens when you can’t get traction for a story, no matter how hard you pitch it? Or worse, when journalists tell you, “that’s not a story.”

When this happens, it is time to redefine the narrative. In journalism and PR, the story narrative is crucial to success. Without a strong narrative, there will never be a media placement.

During my years as a news producer with NBC and CBS, there were many times when I pursued a story only to discover that the story I thought I was pursuing was actually a different story. When this happened, we had two options – kill the story or salvage it.

As Executive Producer with WNBC, I oversaw a very large production budget that funded the Special Projects unit. At the time, GE owned NBC, so as every shareholder knows, GE was very big that you come under budget or you get fired.

There were many times when I approved a story idea and we invested money into the story, only to discover half-way through the story that it wasn’t there. This was when we had to put on our creative hats and think of a way to salvage the story.

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The Power of Local TV – Driving Targeted Leads and Exposure

Local TV is still by far one of the most targeted ways to get your story in front of consumers. It is especially effective when you want to sell a product or service to a community.

A recent report from Nielsen found consumers spend an average 4.3 billion minutes watching content on their laptop, tablet, phones and TV. And when it comes to consuming information on the community, those viewers turn to their local news.

MACIAS PR recently ran a campaign in Baltimore for a nonprofit that needed to raise awareness for their community programs. The nonprofit wanted people in the community to learn about their free tech work training programs that could help them launch a career in tech.

This TV segment, which you can see above, was far more effective than any 30-second commercial. The segment told the story through an actual student, which was much more persuasive and emotional than any canned commercial message.

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PR Newswire – Worth the Money?

By Mark Macias

Clients are always asking me what I think of press releases posted on the PR newswires.

“Why can’t we just write a press release and post it on PRWeb or PRNewsWires? It gets picked up by everyone.” They say.

It seems simple enough on the surface.

PRWeb writes on their home page, “Generate Buzz Online… Forever. Your news lives on the web forever, earning you new business time and time again.”

PRNewswire makes an even bolder claim on their website: “PR Newswire is the authoritative source of news and information for leading global media organizations…. We distribute to more than 200,000 media points and 8,000 websites, offering the most ways to reach your audience online and off.”

So will paid press releases on these PR newswire distribution outlets generate buzz for your business? It depends on what kind of buzz you are looking for and what the announcement is you will be posting.

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When are Press Releases worth the Money?

 

When are press releases worth the money? Paid press releases with the PR newswires can be an element of a larger media strategy, but if you are thinking of spending the few hundred dollars for the placement, make sure you ask yourself a few questions first to ensure you are pursuing the right strategy.

Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself before you invest the money.

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Helping a Local Story Go National – Insider Media Analysis

There are advantages to being a media insider. You better understand how to get a story on the news from an editorial perspective. It also gives you a behind-the-scenes look at how the operation works.

There’s a little-known used tactic that MACIAS PR applies to many of our TV campaigns. It’s an approach I learned during my time as a producer with local TV in Phoenix and Miami. There were many times when I had to find a day-of-air story on a moment’s notice. I frequently turned to the in-house feeds to find new ideas.

Every local TV station subscribes to affiliate feeds that deliver video and stories into their newsroom. Many of these stories are from other local markets – but if executed properly as a producer – you can frequently take a story from one market and run it in your own.

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How to Sell your Story to the Media – PR Advice

By Mark Macias

There are several critical elements that lead to earned media, but if I had to sum it down to one word, I’d say it’s “editorial.”

Earned media is not about advertising your services to reporters. Journalists aren’t there to listen to a sales pitch. Their job is to identify the news angle.

MACIAS PR works with clients in different industries – healthcare, technology, digital health, nonprofits, consumer services. Our team is constantly speaking with journalists, reporters, writers and producers about news stories, across journalism beats.

Even though our stories vary by industry, we never push promotional material to reporters. It’s a critical differentiator that separates MACIAS PR from other PR firms. We only sell the news story that positions our client in the center of it.

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Working with Creative People – Harvard Business Review Study

By Mark Macias

I’m going to open up to you.

When I was an Executive Producer at NBC and Senior Producer at CBS in New York, I wasn’t easy to manage. In fact, my News Director with NBC in Miami told me bluntly, “Mark, you’re not easy to manage.”

In hindsight, I wasn’t a “yes” producer. I was always looking for the next big story to tell. And when we debated stories in the morning meeting, I continued to sell it even after the story was rejected. That approach must have worked because NBC promoted me to one of youngest Executive Producers in New York.

Fast forward to today. I just read an article in the Harvard Business Review that can help your business when it comes to managing creative people. It’s titled, “What Stan Lee Knew About Managing Creative People.” The article will also help you get the most out of your PR firm.

How to get the most out of your PR Firms

The best PR firms hire creative people. These agencies want to hire publicists who won’t quit even when reporters say no. As the owner of this PR firm, I want to hire publicists and researchers who will challenge conventional thinking. This approach is helpful in PR because it helps us deliver more interesting stories, which is the landmark of quality journalism

MACIAS PR takes this same approach with our media strategy. We continue to search for creative enterprise angles that haven’t been told before. And we are relentless. Just today, a CBS reporter said he finally sold his bosses on our story. We’ve been working him for weeks now and it paid off.

But what does this have to do with your business?

If you want to hire a creative PR firm, let them do their jobs. Yes, you know your industry but hopefully you trust them enough, along with their strategy.

Let your PR firm run and challenge the status quo by coming up with the best enterprise angles for your business. You will help your PR firm by offering new ideas and keeping your publicists alert of new developments. At the same time, the best PR firms – like MACIAS PR – will continue to search for new ways to position you with the media.

According to HBR, creative people need to keep busy; they want credit; they’re always dreaming big; and they want money. It seems like common sense, but if the Harvard Business Review published a study on it, maybe more people need to be reminded of it.

Give credit to your PR team, even if it’s just internally. It will work wonders for your business down the road when no one is watching. And if they’re helping you sell more products and services, tell them.

If you want to hear unconventional stories and creative narratives, reach out to us. I’ll give you a customized strategy over the phone that I promise will make you say, “I didn’t think of that.” Just let us do our jobs. 🙂

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.

Business hacks for business owners – PR and Marketing tips

As an entrepreneur, you have to learn quickly what are your weaknesses and strengths. Sure, when you’re starting out, you have to do everything from billing to bookkeeping to the actual work. But as you scale, the workload needs to be delegated. You need some business hacks.

I speak with startups all the time who tell me they tried to get PR on their own. They tell me they listened to Mark Cuban who said it is easy to get PR and spent hours, days and even months trying to get a story on the news.

That money and time could have been better spent on growing their own business.

I don’t know accounting or bookkeeping, but my business needs that function. I could (and I have tried) to learn Quickbooks and even do my own taxes, but that wouldn’t be an efficient place to spend my time.

My expertise is the media. My business is PR. I’m better served by spending my time on what I know.

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The Best PR Firms leverage Vision, Creativity and Clarity

The most creative people are typically seen as eccentric or even chaotic with their approach to life. It’s great to approach life with that creative flair, but when it comes to successful PR campaigns, clarity is equally important.

The foundation for all creative work revolves around clarity. I’ve seen it in the media as an Executive Producer with NBC. I’ve observed it with actors as a playwright producing an Off-Broadway play. I’ve also seen at work how clarity is crucial for every PR campaign.

The best PR firms are clear, creative and focused

Clarity is a requirement when it comes to the foundation of our media campaigns. I always say in our office, “reporters might not like our story idea, but they will always know what our story is.”

During my time in the media, I used to get all kinds of pitches from publicists. Most of the time, I never knew what story they were pitching.

Their stories didn’t have focus or vision. The message wasn’t tight. I didn’t understand what the publicist was pitching.

This approach to PR is one of the advantages that MACIAS PR has over our peers. We will will never push a story angle that isn’t clear. We will also make sure that our angle is understand – from an editorial perspective.

If you’re having trouble getting traction with the media, email us and we’ll schedule a strategy session that will bring clarity to your media message.

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.

How To Get Your Product on ‘The Today Show’ – PR Analysis

The Today Show is PR opportunity every CEO and business owner asks for. Nearly every potential client says they want to be on the Today Show or Good Morning America when asked who is their ideal audience.

It’s not easy securing a placement with these morning show. The available segments are limited between hard news and commercials.

But MACIAS PR did it this week for our health tech client on The Today Show. We also secured a different segment for this client with NBC News.

So how did we do it? We leveraged a timely component with water cooler material.

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