How Media Mergers are Changing the PR Landscape – Forbes Analysis

By Mark Macias

It seems like there is new speculation everyday when it comes to media mergers. If you’re looking to get your brand in front of these media outlets, you really have to pay attention because it does impact the way publicists sell stories.

I recently wrote a story for Forbes on this topic, which you can read here. If you’re short on time, I’ll give you a quick summary.

This new alignment of media conglomerates has a huge impact on the overall news industry and the way publicists sell stories to reporters.

Back in 2003, I was Executive Producer with NBC at the time of the Telemundo acquisition.  Many of my Hispanic colleagues said the new acquisition would create a stronger news force for our community.

We would have the power of NBC behind us — they said — giving us more journalists to pursue stories in our community. Sadly, I predicted it wouldnt work like that and today we can see the results. Emails for the Telemundo news department have been converted to nbcuni.com addresses. And the news desks in New York for NBC and Telemundo are combined into one desk. 

News organizations need to turn a profit. And the larger organizations that have shareholders are even more beholden to the bottom line. Many business owners tell me why the media has a responsibility to do certain stories. And many times, I agree.

But capitalism ranks higher than journalism based on my media experience. If the news story doesn’t generate an audience, it’s unlikely to move forward. 

This is one of the strategies behind our agency. We look for that commercial angle before we pitch any reporter.

If you want to learn more, you can read my Forbes article that gives you more background on this topic. I elaborate on what publicists need to do to stand out in this new world.

ABOUT MACIAS PR

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the 2017-2020 Strategic PR Firm of the Year. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the Financial PR Firm of the Year. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. City & State Magazine named him a PR Political Power Player in 2021.

Media Training – Common Mistakes with Reporters

Speaking with reporters requires a much different approach and style than holding a conversation with your friends. Your friends will be more generous with your time, allowing you to meander from thought-to-thought.

But it doesn’t work like that with the media. You need to be concise and tight on messaging. If you veer off from the story line, most reporters will tune out. And if you’re speaking with a TV producer or reporter, it’s even more paramount to stick to the script.

During my time as a producer for NBC and CBS, I had to listen and log many interviews that went off track. The subject veered to a different topic, taking double the amount of time as I listened to it in person and on tape. As I became more experienced, I brought the interview subject back to the story. But in today’s world of journalism – where reporters are younger and younger – you might not get the chance to get guidance from the producer.

I wrote a story for Forbes last year, outlining the 5 biggest mistakes I saw leaders make during media interviews. You can read that story here, but if you’re short on time, here’s an outline of the tips.

Don’t Start the interview Chronologically

It’s our nature to want to tell a story from the beginning, but this approach doesn’t work with reporters. It’s critical to get to the story point quickly during any interview. 

It might not be in our nature to start a story with the end-result, but this approach will keep the interview more focused. If a reporter knows within the first two minutes where the story is going, he’s more likely to follow it.

Reporters want to understand quickly what the story is – or they will get lost. If you start the story chronologically – and it’s a long story – every additional minute of talking is another potential minute at risk of losing the story. 

Focus on the Sell

It’s critical to communicate to reporters why their readers will care about your story, product, concept, idea – or whatever you’re selling. You don’t have to be overt with your sell, but the story sell must be expressed somewhere in the interview.

All reporters are writing for their readers. And that means they need a payoff for their readers. If you don’t communicate the payoff in the interview – also known as the sell – the reporter won’t have a story.

Add Insight to the story

Reporters don’t write about information; they write about angles. The news angle is all about how you frame the story and support it. As a CEO, you have industry knowledge reporters want to hear. Facts and figures are not part of that knowledge.

A common mistake from many CEOs and CTOs is to jump into the facts or data without providing insight or color on what it means. Don’t diminish your expertise or knowledge by quoting industry stats or data points. Instead, tell the reporter what they suggest or reveal.

Take Time to Breathe

Many business leaders know they have a few minutes to tell the story to reporter so they try to compress a 30 minute thought into 10 minutes of run-on sentences. 

I have a general rule that I tell clients. Don’t speak for more than 2 minutes without checking in with the reporter. Ask if he’s following along. Of course, it’s a general rule so there are exceptions. When you’re speaking with an industry reporter who wants to take a deep dive, then the old rule of checking in doesn’t always apply.

Don’t talk about Yourself

Unless you’re getting interviewed for a profile story, stay away from situations where you talk about yourself. Sure, you can provide insight on what you’re hearing from the industry. Or you can give your opinions on the latest trends you’re seeing. But those situations are different from blatantly talking about yourself. 

ABOUT MACIAS PR

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the 2017-2020 Strategic PR Firm of the Year. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the Financial PR Firm of the Year. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. City & State Magazine named him a PR Political Power Player in 2021.

Entrepreneur Editorial – How the Pandemic is Shaping PR

Entrepreneur Magazine just published my editorial that takes a deeper look at how the pandemic is shaping PR.

You can click on this link to read more on the story, but if you’re short on time, here’s a quick synopsis to help with your future publicity campaigns.

This thought leadership was inspired after I read a post in a private Facebook group with reporters and publicists where we exchange ideas. Someone asked if PR was dead.

PR has definitely evolved since I entered this industry after my career with NBC and CBS. But this last year has accelerated even more changes in PR.

It’s even harder today to navigate the media landscape. A lot of journalists lost their jobs because of COVID. In addition, the competition for eyeballs is getting tougher as more online news sites pop up. And we can’t dismiss the consumer market, which is getting more fragmented.

All of these headwinds make a targeted media and communications strategy even more critical.

Here’s a closer look at why I wrote that why experienced strategic thinkers will become even more valued, and more scarce in the coming years.

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How to Apologize When the Media is Listening – Forbes Advice

By Mark Macias

Here’s an article that applies to everyone. That’s right – it doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur, leader, follower or even a kid. At some point, you will need to apologize.

But what happens when the apology is amplified by the media?

I recently wrote an article for Forbes answering that question. I break down three tips to help anyone make sure their apology goes the right way. You can read my Forbes article here. If you’re short on time, here’s a shorter version of the key points. Continue reading “How to Apologize When the Media is Listening – Forbes Advice”

New Survey – What Motivates Consumers to Buy

The online survey was conducted July 15-16th, and involved more than 2,000 Americans who answered questions detailing the best approach to get them to buy new products.

A staggering 70 percent of survey participants said TV commercials no longer influence them to buy products. Roughly 45 percent said positive online consumer reviews and positive stories on the news influence them the most when it comes to buying a new product or service.

The CEO of MACIAS PR, Mark Macias, said his agency conducted the survey to gain better insight on where consumers are paying attention.

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Founder of MACIAS PR – Mark Macias – Named to the Forbes Business Council

​Forbes Business Council – an invitation-only organization for successful business leaders and entrepreneurs – has announced Mark Macias – founder of MACIAS PR – has been named to the Council.

Macias was vetted and selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of his experience as a journalist, author, entrepreneur and media strategist. The committee evaluates each member’s business track record and demonstrated industry leadership, as well as personal and professional achievements and honors.

“We are honored to welcome Mark Macias into the Forbes Business Council,” said Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, the collective that includes Forbes Business Council. “Our mission with Forbes Councils is to bring together proven leaders from every industry, creating a curated, social capital-driven network that helps every member grow professionally and make an even greater impact on the business world.”

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Why PR Agencies Must Connect the Dots with Every PR Campaign

The best PR firms connect the dots.

Most PR firms like to spray and pray, or blindly send “pitch blasts” to reporters. But these approaches to securing publicity for a client don’t work. Why? Because it’s essentially leaving it up to luck for reporters to write your story. 

It’s like using a shotgun to hit your target, instead of a sniper rifle. That’s why at MACIAS PR, we always uses the right weapon to hit our target.

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Why Strategy is more Important in PR than Media Contacts

By Mark Macias

Potential clients always assume that our media contacts lead to media placements. Just today, I met with a potential client who commented, “you must know a lot of people in the media.”

Yes, we do know a lot of people in the media. In fact, our PR firm is communicating, talking to, pitching and in general discussion with literally hundreds of reporters and producers a week. But guess what – our contacts didn’t lead to the media placements. Our strategy did.

Just like the above photo demonstrates, PR is a game that is won by strategy. You don’t win the game of chess by force or seduction. You win the game of chess through out-thinking, out-maneuvering and out-strategizing your opponent. It’s a critical factor behind the success of MACIAS PR.

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What is PR and How can it Help Your Business?

                       

What is PR? It’s a common question that many business owners might secretly wonder but few ask publicly. MACIAS PR learned this at a recent Tech Startup Trade Show that involved hundreds of tech entrepreneurs. Many of these budding entrepreneurs approached our booth, and asked us point-blank: What is PR and how does it work?

First off – a successful PR campaign will get your story on the news. It will tell your story in a way that motivates people to action. And, it will be memorable story. This is infinitely more valuable than any paid advertisement.

Many successful entrepreneurs, from Bill Gates to Richard Branson, have discussed the value of PR. Gates said “if I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” Branson has repeatedly said “a good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.”

Why is that? Because consumers remembers stories. We forgot advertisements. Your customers watch the news to become educated on current events and to learn. We walk out of the room when the commercials come on TV.

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Unconventional PR Tactics – VLOG

By Mark Macias

There are many unconventional PR tactics that can get your brand or product directly in front of consumers and they don’t involve the traditional media. One digital strategy approach that is frequently overlooked involves targeting editors who manage newsletter blasts for news organizations. These editors are frequently looking for content that is unique to their website. If your idea appeals to their targeted audience, you will have a better chance of securing publicity through this medium.

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