How to Fix your Online Brand

By Mark Macias

Over the years, many business owners and personalities have approached my firm for help, asking if we could alter history. They wanted to see if we could remove negative new stories or photos that no longer meshed with their brand.

Even as the owner of a PR firm, I frequently get spam from reputation management companies, promising they can remove negative stories on my business from the web. I want to break the news to them: unless you’re a hacker, it’s physically impossible to remove photos or news stories from another web server where the content is stored. (Unless of course, you get a court order, but that’s a strategy for another day).

If you look deeper into these reputation management firms, they aren’t actually promising to remove the article or image. They are taking a tactic that tries to push the story or image off the first page of search engines. Continue reading “How to Fix your Online Brand”

The Power of Storytelling in PR

By Mintsje De Witte

The best PR campaigns always begin with a great story idea. Media placements don’t begin with reporter contacts or even an email address. They start and end with a narrative that provides new information with a character that subconsciously promotes the company.

Before Macias PR launches any media campaign, we first think of the interesting angle or story. Our team doesn’t focus our energy on the product or service we are trying to get into the news. We think of the type of story that the media outlet will cover. Then we work backwards and try to uncover the relatable angle that allows us to position our clients into the story.

In the children’s book, The Little Engine that Could, the train keeps telling himself, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” That perseverance is needed to succeed in PR. You can’t quit when reporters say no thank you to your idea. But more important than that, you need to identify a story that is interesting.

Continue reading “The Power of Storytelling in PR”

How To Find Your PR Match

By Julia Martyn

No one ever said understanding PR is easy. In fact, many business owners don’t understand the subtle difference between advertising and PR.

In the book, The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, the authors drop many memorable one liners like: “Advertising cannot start a fire. It can only fan a fire after it has been started.” In their analogy, PR is the fire starter.

So how do CEOs or entrepreneurs go about setting fire to their business? The first step is to understand what PR is and if your business will benefit from the service.

Continue reading “How To Find Your PR Match”

Health Tech PR – Why Experience Matters

By Mark Macias

Medical and health reporters are typically the most experienced journalists in the newsroom. Their experience and understanding of medical studies runs deep and that will play a critical factor in the success of your health tech or healthcare media campaign.

You can’t approach these medical reporters with a story that is half-baked or full of fluff. You need to identify the research and understand it from a news editorial perspective before you even get on the phone with them. And when products aren’t yet peer reviewed, your publicist needs to identify unique story angles that can still position your brand on the news.

Why Experience Matters with Health Tech and Healthcare PR

During my time with NBC, I oversaw the medical and health units, approving the scripts and story ideas of reporters and producers in those units. Our three medical reporters all had post-graduate degrees from Ivy-League schools. Likewise, our medical producer had more than a decade of news experience in New York. These reporters and producers could see a bad medical story idea within the first three sentences.

This is why it is so important to make sure your publicist has experience when it comes to pitching your health tech or healthcare company. PR teams only get one shot with these medical reporters and if your publicist doesn’t present the story accurately or succinctly, reporters will be less likely to listen to their pitches in the future.

So as you begin vetting potential publicists to sell your health tech or healthcare ideas to the media, don’t assume a bubbly personality will get you on the news. It’s not youth or personality that persuades these experienced medical reporters. It’s a solid understanding of the news angle that succeeds with media placements.

Macias PR was named the 2016 “Financial PR Firm of the Year – USA” and the 2015 “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. We have launched and led media campaigns for clients in healthcare, finance, tech and the nonprofit sectors. The founder of Macias PR – 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.

Media Milestones for 3rd Quarter of 2016

By Mark Macias

Potential clients always tell me the PR industry is not transparent. They complain – and rightfully so – that PR firms over-promise, under-deliver and never provide details on what they are doing.

Macias PR believes in complete transparency, which is why we continue to announce our media placements via quarterly milestones. It’s a way to keep our firm accountable and to provide complete transparency for potential clients.

Hold Your PR Firm Accountable

In the third quarter of 2016, Macias PR secured publicity for our clients with the New York Post, Channel 11 in New York City, The Financial Times, US News and World Report, Sirius Radio, I-Heart Radio, Singapore News, Sports Illustrated, Time Out New York, The Daily Mail in the UK, The Sun in the UK, Fox Business, Kiplinger’s Wealth Magazine, TheStreet.com, Marketwatch, Value Walk, Fund Society Magazine, The Brooklyn Eagle and others.

We also grew in the second half of 2016 with new clients in health tech, finance and technology. In September, Macias PR will launch three local media campaigns in Miami and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida as well as in San Antonio, Texas for a nonprofit organization that helps veterans and military families with VA housing programs. That nonprofit, VAREP, has been a partner with Macias PR for more than 3 years, and we are proud to have helped it launch new local chapters in Hawaii, California, Arizona, Texas, Washington, DC and now Florida.

Macias PR Named “PR Firm of the Year”

August was also a big moment for Macias PR. The international finance publication, Finance Monthly, named Macias PR the top 2016 “Financial PR Firm of the Year – USA”.

Macias PR was the only public relations firm in the USA honored with this award, and it is the second year in a row that Finance Monthly recognized our firm with this award. Their team of researchers and journalists evaluated our PR performance based on media deliverables, expertise, client relations and innovation in PR.

If you’re looking for the top healthcare or tech PR firm with proven results, send us an email and we’ll chat.

Macias PR was named the 2016 “Financial PR Firm of the Year – USA” and the 2015 “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. We have launched and led media campaigns for clients in healthcare, finance, tech and the nonprofit sectors. The founder of Macias PR – 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.

 

Protecting Your Brand with the Media

By Mark Macias

Every business wants to stand out, but when it comes to the media, you need to be extremely careful with your brand during a communications crisis. If you are reckless with your message, you risk ruining your image.

Or worse, if the media finds a flaw in your story, you could face a potential crisis campaign with negative news on the web forever. I recently wrote a CNBC editorial on why presidential candidate, Donald Trump, put his brand in jeopardy with his latest campaign shuffle.

This isn’t intended to be a political story, but rather an objective analysis on why your messaging is crucial. You can read the full CNBC story by clicking here:

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/18/donald-trump-jumped-the-shark-with-his-latest-campaign-moves-commentary.html

Top 10 Healthcare PR Firms – The Back Story

By Mark Macias

Type in “top 10 healthcare pr firms,” “top 10 tech pr firms”, or any other “top 10 pr firms” derivative and you will see different websites that rank PR firms. The top-10 lists lead consumers and business owners to believe that PR firms are ranked by a legitimate source, but here’s the inside scoop.

These lists are paid placements. That’s right, PR firms pay to be on that list. I know because they emailed my PR firm and asked if we wanted to pay to be on their top-10 list.

My firm passed on this offer because we had already won the 2015 “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” award – and that was an authentic honor given by researchers and journalists with Finance Monthly. Not some made-up site that gives away awards based on money.

Top-10 PR Lists are Paid Placements

10BestPR is actually an incredibly smart idea. Consumers love to break down products and services by rankings, so why not assume they will do the same when researching their PR firms? Hopefully, most entrepreneurs and business owners will dig a little deeper than these top-10 PR lists.

Do your own homework. Ask the PR firm for a media strategy, ask to see their case studies and speak directly with the media strategist who will lead your PR campaign.

But even if you don’t have the time for that, please, please, please don’t fall for any top-10 PR website list. You’re smarter than that.

Macias PR was named the 2016 “Financial PR Firm of the Year – USA” and the 2015 “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. We have launched and led media campaigns for clients in healthcare, finance, tech and the nonprofit sectors. The founder of Macias PR – 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.

Due Diligence on your PR Firm

Research your PR Firms

By Mark Macias

You’ve decided to hire a PR firm. Make sure you do your due diligence.

Unfortunately, anyone can put up a shingle that says “PR FIRM” but that doesn’t mean the people inside weren’t selling shoes the previous week. This is why it’s so important for YOU to do your research and due diligence before hiring a PR firm.

During my time as Executive Producer with NBC in New York, publicists pitched me constantly, trying to get their clients on the news. Some tried calling me from blocked phone numbers, while others bombarded me with emails. I had a good view of how publicists worked, which were good, which ones had no clue and how they conceptualized stories.

Now, as the owner of a NYC public relations firm, I see the other side of publicity.

How to Identify the Best PR Firm

Potential clients frequently ask me the same questions – who do you know, are you a specialist in my industry, what connections do you have? Unfortunately, these questions are misleading for the potential client because they have nothing to do with media strategy.

I spent more than a decade in television news in New York – with two different networks – so you can safely assume I know a lot of journalists in print and television. And while business owners may think that will get their business on the news, here’s the truth is: it won’t. A successful media campaign requires a strong, timely narrative, it needs solid execution and timely components.

I’d also say a generalist is better than a specialist when it comes to PR because a generalist can better explain a complicated product or service without industry jargon. In today’s vastly changing world of journalism, there are fewer specialists and more generalists reporters. A great publicist will know how to explain products or complicated services on a broader, larger term.

Here are some questions that will help your due diligence the next time you are hiring a PR firm.

1) What is your strategy for placements?

Strategy is the most important component behind every media placement. Make sure you understand the media strategy proposed by the PR firm. Force them to give you specifics on the media execution.

2) How would you position my product or service?

This question reveals how well the PR firm understands your brand. Make the publicist or PR team elaborate on how they see your product or service. Don’t stress if it sounds like they don’t quickly grasp your product or service. This could actually work to your advantage since he or she will likely be asking questions other journalists may want to know. This understanding is one reason why I prefer generalists to specialists. Generalists must learn how to communicate the insider lingo or industry jargon to journalists who are not specialists. During my time in the media, specialists rarely could communicate a specialized product in a broader term that mattered to the majority of consumers.

3) Will I work with you or is someone else developing my media strategy?

Many of the large PR firms send their best sales person to get your business, but after they win your account, they send your work to an inexperienced college grad. How do I know this? Throughout my career at NBC and CBS, the VPs and SVPs would take me out for drinks, while their inexperienced “team members” would pitch me generic ideas. Make sure you know the person who is developing your strategy and representing your company to journalists.

4) What media have you secured for your clients?

Media placements are the calling card for PR and the more diverse the placements, the more talented the PR firm. My PR firm has secured prominent news stories for our clients with the New York Times, New York Post, Good Morning America, CNN en Español, Fox News, Cosmo, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur Magazine. And – these placements were for clients in different industries – tech, political, finance, nonprofits, etc. The more diverse a portfolio, the better understanding this PR firm has of media strategy. Also, don’t assume a specialist makes for a better publicist. I would want to hire a generalist over a specialist because their approach will likely be more creative based on their outside experience.

5) When can we see results based on your experiences?

This question allows you to see how confident the PR team is with your potential business. I’m not giving away my answers to this question, but you should ask it and feel comfortable with the answer.

6) What is your experience?

Experience matters in life, and it is equally important with PR. Many firms like to hire great sales people because they assume they can sell a story to the media. PR is not about sales. It’s about understanding what a reporter needs to get a story sold to his editor. It requires a strong narrative, timely component and assessment of the competition. Personally, I look for critical thinking skills when hiring my PR team members because I know that skill will be used more than a sales skill.

7) Why is your PR firm better than others?

Force the PR firm to sell itself. Yes – this might sound like it contradicts the previous question, but it allows you to see how confident the company or publicist is with their experience. Here’s a clue: listen for objective reasons on why their PR firm is the best. Don’t fall for “subjective” sales pitches, which are really nothing more than an opinion.

8) What if we don’t get along or I’m not happy with the results?

Relationships matter in business. Chemistry doesn’t work for everyone. Make sure the PR contacts allows you to switch publicists or team leaders if you don’t get along with the team leader or begin to lose faith in their media strategy.

Public relations is a cluttered space and unfortunately, anyone can call himself a publicist. This is why you must do your own due diligence to ensure you’re hiring the best PR firm for your business. BTW, Macias PR was named the 2015 top “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. And that recognition came from their journalists – not some PR team…. just saying…

Macias PR was named the 2016 “Financial PR Firm of the Year – USA” and the 2015 “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. We have launched and led media campaigns for clients in healthcare, finance, tech and the nonprofit sectors. The founder of Macias PR – 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.

Increase Holiday Sales with PR

top tech pr firms

By Mark Macias

Most Internet retailers will turn to online ads for their holiday promotions, but PR can in many ways be more cost effective and targeted than any online ad campaign. First off, Internet bots steal much of your ad budgets. (You can read another article I wrote on Internet bots by clicking here), while online news stories typically remain on a news site long after your PR campaign ends.

But here is an even bigger reason why PR can be very effective during the holiday seasons. The journalism bar for news coverage actually drops during the month of December, especially for tech startups searching for publicity.

During my time as an Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York, our news staff always dwindled in December as the staff went on vacation. However, news programming hours remained the same, so there were essentially fewer people doing the same amount of work. In print, this news staff shortage is even more pronounced in December because their ad page volume increases, which means more articles are needed to fill these additional pages. At the same time, their news staff shrinks with journalists taking their end-of-the-year vacations.

So how can you take advantage of the lowered journalism bar this holiday season?

Macias PR has published a holiday PR guidebook that can help business owners and entrepreneurs identify the holiday news peg that can get them on the news. The PR guidebook reveals five PR tactics that can increase your chances for coverage during the holiday season. You can download the free PR guidebook here.

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.

How PR Helps SEO Ranking

top tech pr firms nyc macias pr

By Mark Macias

All tech startups and entrepreneurs want to improve their website ranking because we know it leads to a rapid increase in business. Like most business owners, I get unsolicited emails from SEO companies every week, promising to improve my SEO ranking.

But before you enlist any SEO firm for help, let me give you some insight into how SEO works.

Years ago, tech SEO companies bought back-links and blasted out press releases to smaller news sites in hopes of improving website rankings. That strategy actually worked, until Google changed its search algorithm.

While Google does not publicly reveal the Panda algorithm, there is enough information out on the Google Panda patent that gives entrepreneurs guidance on what Google uses to assess a website’s rank. You might want to try these online strategies if you are trying to push your business website higher.

1) Create quality content. The latest Panda algorithm places a large emphasis on high quality content that is produced for the consumer – not for commercial purposes. In more simple terms, if you want consumers to find your business, create a blog that speaks directly to your customers, like this story. Many SEO firms write “commercial” content, using popular keywords that they hope will help push websites higher. Under Google Panda, this type of commercial content will rank lower than consumer content.

2) Backlinks and press releases aren’t as important. Potential PR clients frequently tell me they want press releases as part of their campaigns. Yes – press releases can help when the content is produced in a consumer manner, but a press release strictly for SEO purposes won’t move the SEO needle like it did a few years ago.

3) Get your brand or business mentioned on the web. SEO firms don’t get your story on the news, and that is what the Google Panda patent – which you can read here – is using to assess rank.  Specifically under Panda, Google is measuring buzz, online chatter and news stories to assess the value of your business.

Don’t worry if you’re confused. You are in luck. Getting our clients on the news, generating buzz and online chatter is exactly what Macias PR does for our clients.

It’s one of the 10-reasons why we were named the 2015 top “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. It’s also why we usually rank on the first page of Google when searching for top tech PR firms in NYC. Email us if you want to hear how our PR services can also raise your online profile.

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.