Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

By Mark Macias

All publicity is not good publicity – contrary to the popular myth. In fact, sometimes even good publicity is wasted when it’s published on the wrong avenue.

I recently had a conversation with a NYC hotel marketing director who was trying to attract business travelers to her downtown hotel. She told me about her recent media campaign that targeted “mommy bloggers.”

When I asked why she was targeting stay-at-home mothers when her targeted clients were business travelers, she repeated that popular PR saying – “all publicity is good publicity.”

It’s important that every media campaign target its audience or you risk wasting valuable money on publicity that doesn’t bring a return. Yes – that publicity with mommy bloggers helped the hotel with exposure it didn’t have, but it would have been more effective if they would have devoted those same resources to business or travel writers.

If you’re a tech startup, dig deep to identify your targeted audience. What news outlets are your customers or clients reading? If it’s a tech B2B, it’s even more important to target the publications and trade magazines to ensure your campaign is successfully helping with your new business outreach.

So the next time you get publicity for your business, take it a step further – ask yourself: did this reach my targeted audience? If it didn’t, you might as well have posted a big billboard on an alley that no one sees.

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.

Public Relations ROI – How to Measure an Effective PR Campaign

By Mark Macias

There are several traditional ways to measure the Public Relations ROI:

  • 1) number of media placements
  • 2) demographics and reader base for those media outlets
  • 3) increased credibility, which helps close sales;
  • 4) actual sales, which can be measured through links published in the news story 5) and SEO – since search engines now use news stories and blogger comments to measure the value of a website.

I hear the “how do you measure the ROI of PR” so frequently that our team put together a short white paper that goes more in-depth on it, which you can download here.

But there is another ROI of PR that is frequently overlooked. It’s more difficult to quantify but according to researchers out of Motista – a consumer intelligence analytics firm – it’s actually more persuasive and leads to higher revenue for brands.

PR Influences Emotional Motivators

Motista researchers discovered 10 actions or urges – called “emotional motivators” that drive consumers to make a purchase. They included: a desire to stand out from the crowd (or fit in), feel secure, succeed in life, freedom and others.

You might not realize it, but “emotional motivators” are also a subconscious factor in most news stories you read and if played correctly, they can add another ROI to your media campaign.

For example, if you are a financial advisor, you need to continually find new investors. If a prominent news story articulates how your firm outperformed the markets – and grew the assets of your clients, you are achieving an “emotional motivator.” Your news story told investors  they can achieve freedom, success and feel secure by going with your firm.

If you’re a tech startup in need of credibility, a story in Techcrunch can lend credibility to potential investors who might need an “emotional motivator” to buy into your product or service. Likewise, if you’re an online retail startup, like Jet.com, taking on a behemoth Amazon, your media campaign might leverage the “emotional motivator” that connects with consumers who want to be different. How so? By pushing news stories that support how the Jet.com online retail experience and model is different and better than Amazon.

ROI of PR – Big Data Analysis

This ROI might sound nebulous to the analytics driven CMO, but Motista actually used big data in identifying how “emotional motivators” lead to higher revenue. It cited a credit card company that used “emotional motivators” to connect with Millennials for a new credit card launch. New card sales grew by 40 percent and usage increased by 70 percent with those consumers.

Are you feeling an emotional connection to Motista?

As the owner of the top-rated PR firm, Macias PR, I want to pick up the phone and hear more about how their data can grow my business. According to their researchers, that action would classify me as a “fully connected” consumer because it inspired me to inspire others. That’s another component of PR; it pushes your brand into the conversation.

As a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York, I suspect that story I read on Motista was placed by a publicist. If so, Motista got a high ROI from that PR campaign. It not only raised the awareness of the brand to me – but it also raised the awareness of their brand to you. That’s the direct power of PR.

The VLOG below gives a little more insight on how to value an effective PR campaign.

Macias PR was named the 2015 and 2016 top PR Firm of the Year – USA by Finance Monthly. 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.

 

PR for Client Acquisition

What is the ROI of PR
What is the ROI of PR
By Mark Macias

 

What’s the secret sauce to PR? It’s one of the most popular questions I hear from tech startups and business owners who want to understand the process or formula for media placements.

 

That’s like asking a defense attorney, how do you get your clients out of jail, but for simplicity sake, every PR campaign must be unique and tailored to the client for it to succeed with media placements. There is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to getting a story placed with the Wall Street Journal, USA Today or CNBC.

 

Earlier this week, I spoke with the CMO of a private equity firm who asked me about the process of PR. After I explained how PR works, I turned the question back to her and asked about her firm’s “process” for finding new clients. She said it involved emails, press releases and conferences.

 

Let me compare those three processes – email, press releases and conferences – to PR, as a form of client acquisition.

 

Emails – An email marketing blast is only as good as its list, but what is your personal response to spam? Do you view it in a favorable light? My PR firm has sent out invites to hedge fund/private equity forums, using email services like Chimp Mail. We weren’t selling our services – only inviting people to a free forum that discussed emerging trends in alternative assets. Less than 3 percent of the respondants even opened their email from Chimp Mail. This approach didn’t even give us a chance to introduce the forum because spam filters kept the message out. When I asked that CMO about their ROI from email, she admitted, it didn’t perform too well. This marketing approach will become even less influential as cyber hackers attempt to penetrate more emails via spam.

 

Press Releases – The term Press releases are thrown around randomly in the world of business. For clarity, a press release is not a method for getting a story on the news – contrary to what most people believe. A press release is posted on a PR newswire and no journalist, reporter or producer will go to the PR newswires to look for a story idea. However, a press release can help you with SEO when it is written correctly with key SEO terms. Ask yourself, what is the purpose of my press release before you send it out. A press release can be especially effective for tech startups that need to establish an online presence or put a milestone on the record, but if you’re hoping it will lead to a story in the Wall Street Journal, it’s a waste of money.

 

Conferences/Networking – We all need to network and conferences provide intimate opportunities to meet potential business partners in a less threatening environment. I’m actually speaking on a panel this week at a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas. If 100 people hear me speak and I meet another 100 new people, I will consider it a succeess. But it’s hard to introduce your services on a larger scale at conferences. Even if you bring a large team to the conference, most of us can’t associate a face with a business card after 15. And with some conferences now costing upwards of $8k, that is money that could be invested in a multi-month PR campaign that better spreads your message.

 

PR – I’m partial because I own a PR firm, but I’ve seen how a story in the news can lead to new clients. Mobile apps are one of the best ways to quantify the value of a PR campaign. Earlier this summer, Macias PR launched a communications app, Blush No More, to help position our top-rated firm in the news. One story in the Daily Mail UK led to more than 900 downloads. That Daily Mail story led to interest by Channel 11 in NYC, which ran a TV story on our mobile app. Another 800 new app downloads followed that Channel 11 story. But you don’t need to be in the B2C space to take advantage of PR. Media campaigns can target trade publications, giving your business an opportunity to find new business. Next month, our B2B client will be in Wall Street Lawyer -a prominent B2B Reuters publication. That story will introduce this company to new potential clients that can use their services.

 

Online advertising is another new business approach and for tech startups it can be their first thought for publicity, but a recent Google report showed that roughly 50 percent of all online ad views are seen by robots. You know what that means? Advertisers are getting cheated from their ad buys because companies are paying for a certain number of page views and only half of those are legitimate. Keep in mind, the source of that report is Google – an online advertiser.

 

So the next time  your CMO wants to measure the ROI of the different marketing approaches, think about why we actively solicit news articles and actively avoid viewing ads.

 

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.