Why You Can’t Sell Your Product too Early to Reporters

Entrepreneurs are usually born to sell, but that doesn’t always work in your favor when speaking with reporters. In fact, if you try to sell your product or service too early to a reporter, your story is more likely to get rejected.

Experienced reporters are trained to read between the lines. They know when someone is trying to sell them on a commercial versus pitching them an actual story. Selling a product is one of the fastest ways to get your story idea rejected. (I wrote an in-depth article on this for Entrepreneur Magazine if you’d like to hear more on that. You can read that article here).

Unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of smart and experienced entrepreneurs jump right into selling their product or services when speaking with reporters. It’s like they know their time is limited so they jump right into selling their product. Unless you’re speaking with a trade reporter writing for an industry-specific audience, stay away from the backstory. Reporters don’t want to hear how the logistics work; they want to hear what is the final result.

Even more important, they want to hear the actual story of the product or service.

Advice for Media Interviews

If you’re fortunate enough to speak with a reporter, focus the product or service around the story line. Don’t jump into why your product is the best or how it’s the future. (I’ve heard many entrepreneurs explain their new product like that). Instead, focus on the angle that will advance the story you want the reporter to tell. You want to sound like a contestant on Shark Tank. Not the product pitcher for a late night infomercial.

I go more in-depth on these approaches in my Entrepreneur article. Please follow me on Linkedin to get more of my articles on best approaches for PR. Or message me at the bottom of this page to schedule a call.

ABOUT MACIAS PR

MACIAS PR was founded in 2009 by Mark Macias – an Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. City & State Magazine named Macias one of the top 50 best PR pros in New York in 2022 and 2024. Finance Monthly also named MACIAS PR the 2017-2020 Strategic PR Firm of the Year, and PR Firm of the Year.

Why PR Is Essential for Startups and Small Businesses

For small businesses and startups, public relations (PR) is one of the most important tools to develop a reputation that drives sales.

PR helps with business development by elevating the brand of your company, shaping public opinion in a positive way and scaling your business message with the media. When you’ve got the right PR strategy in place, it will boost your business in a number of ways.

So what should you budget for public relations? And how can you start working towards getting the benefits it can offer your business? MACIAS PR created a calculator to help you identify the budget for your startup or established business. You can calculate the potential rate by clicking here, and get an answer back from our team.

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Cat and Mouse Strategy – How it applies to PR

Why does the cat always catch the mouse? When you think of how agile and quick a mouse can be, it should easily outmaneuver the cat. Yet, most 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’m allergic to cats and I hate mice. But as a person who lives in Brooklyn, and every New Yorker will tell you – “if you have mice, get a cat and the problem will go away.”

I got to thinking about that concept when watching of all things – Tom and Jerry – with my son. It got me thinking of the relationship between cat and mice, and the reporter and publicist. Here’s a closer look at what the classic cat and mouse game can teach us about media strategy.

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How to Launch a Publicity Campaign for a Startup

So you need help with publicity and want to try it yourself? There is nothing wrong with that. If you’re a startup, you might not have the budget or experience to put that plan in place. Here’s a blueprint to help with that initial launch. 

Of course, you will need to find these reporters and write a pitch that is targeted and concise. I wrote a story for Forbes on how find the best media outlets for your business. You can read that story by clicking here. Writing a pitch that is concise and tight is more of an art that I will save for a future blog.

For now, here’s a tangible guideline to get you started.

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Bad Behaviors to Avoid on TV Interviews – Media Advice

By Mark Macias

So you’ve been invited to speak on cable TV, or maybe your local TV station. Now what? How do you prepare for the interview so you make the biggest impression with your potential customers or clients?

Let’s assume for the sake of this article that you already have your messaging down. You know what to say and are prepared for the questions. You’ve got the basics down.

Now it’s time to fine tune the overall image. As a former Executive Producer with NBC, I didn’t pay attention to every segment and observe how the guests fared in their appearance. The newscast was moving too fast, and I didn’t get to always observe the nuances in real time.

But it’s different today. CNBC and CNN are always on in our office, and when an interesting expert or topic pops up, I pay attention. I’ve started to get annoyed with a lot of behaviors that don’t work well on TV. And as a result, I train my clients to avoid these behaviors when getting interviewed on live TV.

Here’s a closer look at those behaviors that don’t work on TV, despite the common perspective that it’s the right thing to do.

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Why PR is Like Coffee

By: Mark Macias

By Mark Macias

Public relations is like coffee, but it should never be confused for a quick hit like cocaine. I got that crazy thought this morning as I was pouring a cup of coffee.

Coffee – much like public relations – is needed to give your day a boost. Without coffee, you are not as quick on your feet and it’s harder to get through your day. Every growing business needs public relations just like you need your coffee. A healthy dose of PR, like your cup of Joe, gives your business a jolt and if it’s an effective publicity campaign, it makes your workload easier.

Entrepreneurs and business owners should never view PR like a drug that delivers a quick hit to your bottom line. You risk a huge crash if you take this myopic approach.

PR is not medicine. It’s more like a vitamin. We take vitamins in the morning to stay healthy, strong and vital. We turn to medicine when we need a remedy or when our health is failing. All public relations campaigns will be more successful if they are launched while a company has a healthy headwind.

“Give Me a Quick Hit”

I speak with a lot entrepreneurs and I hear a consistent theme from our conversations: They want to see an overnight correlation between publicity and sales. It is possible to directly increase sales from public relations, but an overnight correlation is an unstable foundation, especially for any fledgling operation.

Bill Gates grasped this concept in the early days of Microsoft. He’s been quoted multiple times, saying “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”

Another reason why you don’t want to view public relations as medicine is because it gets harder to influence the public when you face negative news. I frequently get unsolicited calls from businesses or nonprofits, asking for advice on how to improve their image following a negative news story. That’s not a publicity campaign. That is a crisis campaign and they begin with different approaches and strategies.

So the next time you’re looking for creative ways to make your work flow more productive, maybe you should grab a cup of Joe and see what it inspires for your next PR campaign.

Follow Always Fresh PR Podcast

If you like what you read, you can also hear some of these topics from Mark Macias in our #alwaysfreshPR podcast. Listen to us on your favorite channel by clicking here.

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 consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity.

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”

Can you sell a story in 30 Seconds?

By Mark Macias

Before I launched this PR firm in 2009, I lived inside morning news meetings at both the local and national level. It’s the place where stories are killed or made – in a matter of minutes.

At the Arizona Republic and the local TV station, Channel 3, we had to pitch story ideas in front of editors, producers and other reporters. In New York, I pitched stories for a nationally syndicated TV program, American Journal. I also approved story ideas as the Executive Producer for Special Projects with NBC.

I don’t want to bore you with my journalism background. (You can read more of my background on LinkedIn).

Here’s why that experience inside the newsroom matters: you only have seconds to pitch a story and that background is the center-point of MACIAS PR.

As the above video demonstrates, if you can’t identify the narrative, communicate the story and angle within 30 seconds, your PR firms in tech and healthcare won’t succeed.

Before anyone on our team pitches a reporter, we practice and perfect our pitch. To outsiders, that might seem a bit childish or even less productive. It’s not.

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Why Perspective Matters when it comes to PR and Media

The way you frame a story will always influence whether the media covers it. This is where perspective plays a role in how – or if – your story gets told.

Different stories need to be told through a different lense. For example, a CEO editorial must convey thought leadership from a perspective based on experience and insight. Likewise, a consumer brand trying to reach Millennials or women must connect with a perspective that their targeted customer understands. On the surface, it might sound simplistic, but execution and nuance run deeper than the the surface.

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MACIAS PR Celebrates 10 Years of Business

                

NEW YORK, June 3, 2019 (Newswire.com) – MACIAS PR is celebrating 10 years of business in June, growing from a boot-strapped agency into an award-winning full-service public relations firm.

Over the last ten years, MACIAS PR has led media and branding campaigns for clients in technology, healthcare/digital health, finance, politics and the nonprofit sectors. Their clients have ranged from boot-strapped startups with no messaging in place to established companies with international brand recognition.

MACIAS PR won its first industry award when Finance Monthly named it the PR Consultant Firm of the Year in 2015. The following year, Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the Financial PR Firm of the Year. In 2017 and 2018, marketing peers named MACIAS PR the Strategic PR Firm of the Year.

The founder, Mark Macias, started the firm after an extensive career with NBC, CBS, American Journal, KTVK and The Arizona Republic. He was Executive Producer with NBC, Senior Producer with CBS in New York, and Investigative Producer with the nationally syndicated TV program, American Journal. Macias started his journalism career with the Arizona Republic and KTVK-TV 3 in Phoenix. He’s also the author of the business book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media, and a contributor with CNBC.

“Potential clients and competitors always try to figure out how we succeed on such a large scale,” said Macias. “Journalism is at the root of our strategy. Our firm continues to dig deeper, searching for the best angles to position our clients in the news. We won’t promote fluff or engage in hyperbole. Instead, we look at the timely news cycle and find ways to position our clients in it.”

Macias credits that editorial approach with helping his firm secure prominent media placements with the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, New York Times, Bloomberg and others.

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