How Good Client Relations can Elevate any PR Campaign

By Mark Macias

No one wants to believe you’re a bad client, but in business let’s be honest: strong personalities exist and will frequently clash.

And that’s okay. Be who you are, but when it comes to managing PR and outsourced agencies, be aware of the image it projects.

In my early entrepreneurial years, I didn’t factor personality conflicts into my budgets. When clients asked how I determined cost, I was transparent. We look at the resources and time needed to succeed and the complexity of the campaign. That still holds true.

But during COVID, a new variable factored into the budget formula: client relations.

If you’re a publicist or agency, these observations will help you better vet clients. And if you’re a client looking to hire the best PR or marketing consultants, perhaps a personal reflection might help you forge better partnerships.

Observation One: You Think the Work is Easy

Over the summer, I was speaking with the founder of a B2C startup who graduated from Wharton and spent some time inside the media as an associate producer. She approached us about launching her publicity campaign after a mutual acquaintance told her about my experience. The initial consultation started great, but alarm bells rang early.

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Tech Publication Grit Daily Asks MACIAS PR for Advice for Startups

The popular tech publication, Grit Daily, recently turned to MACIAS PR for PR advice. Their editors said they wanted to help their readers, entrepreneurs and startups who were struggling to find the best PR agency for their business.

You can read that full Q&A here.

If you’re short on time, here are two questions that our founder, Mark Macias, answered about finding the best PR agency for your business.

What should you look for when hiring a publicist?

MARK MACIAS: I’ve found the best publicists have a deeper understanding of how the media works from the inside. They have an intuition that spots trends and news stories before others.

A great publicist also understands the nuances of the media – because messaging is always a subtle sell around news. Experienced editors and journalists can spot an advertisement within seconds of hearing a pitch, and if it remotely sounds like a commercial, they won’t run it. The best publicity campaigns are able to weave themselves into the news fabric or pop culture.

Intuition is another overlooked factor. Journalism is usually centered around human behavior. It’s about connecting the invisible dots around people to form a story. And that’s not reading tea leaves. Intuition is a component of behavioral science.

How much should a startup pay for PR?

MARK MACIAS: Prices and approaches vary by firm, but it helps to understand how the payment plan works. You can pay by the hour, by the media placement or under a retainer.

I’m a firm believer that nothing is free in life, so if a publicist claims you only pay if they make a placement, I’d ask a lot of questions. It costs time and money to generate organic (earned) media. And a press release does not fall under that definition. It takes time to write a successful pitch and find the right reporters, and resources to secure the story. If someone offers to do work for free, I would question their experience and PR understanding.

Paying a lawyer, consultant or publicist by the hour scares me. If a story isn’t catching on, it’s easy to add more time – and under this payment plan, hours add up quickly. Personally, I prefer retainers because the cost won’t fluctuate, even when unexpected issues arise. And if the firm or consultant is reputable or cares about your business, they will likely add extra hours to ensure they meet your expectations, regardless of what happens.

MACIAS PR has a free PR calculator to help you get a real idea of how much PR would cost for your business. Click here to go to that calculator.

How Much Does PR Cost – New Calculator Reveals Cost

No more guessing the cost how much PR costs. MACIAS PR has unveiled a calculator to help you figure out how much any campaign will cost.

Our calculator will give you a customized rate based on your time frame and publicity needs. It’s not a generic calculator where one size fits all. Because we all know – PR is never one size fits all.

Click here to get your free PR quote.

How does PR Typically Work

PR can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars a month, depending on the size and complexity of your campaign. When breaking down the cost of PR for your business, it’s important to consider both the short- and long-term goals. 

Do you want to attract new customers or increase visibility for your brand?

Short-term PR campaigns may involve paying for press releases distribution or pitching relevant newspapers, magazines, or online publications. Longer term strategies might include launching a social media marketing campaign, or creating content that is optimized for search engines.

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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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MACIAS PR – Why We Deliver Better Results

                               

MACIAS PR was founded in 2009 by a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. Journalists and marketing peers consistently rank MACIAS PR as one of the best PR Agencies based on our results.

Over the years, MACIAS PR has launched publicity, media and branding campaigns for companies from all industries. We’ve worked with boot-strapped startups as well as established international brands, securing publicity with the most influential news publications. We have client case studies in several industries, detailing these campaigns.

Our clients always work with an experienced media strategist. We don’t pawn you off to a junior account executive. And as a boutique PR firm, our communications process is streamlined, while our execution is hyper-focused.

PR Awards – Earned by MACIAS PR

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the Strategic PR Firm of the Year from 2017-2021. As part of the selection process, marketing and PR professionals reviewed media campaigns promoted by our agency.

Finance Monthly also named MACIAS PR the 2015-2017 Financial PR Firm of the Year. And in 2021, City & State Magazine named our founder, Mark Macias, a Top 50 Political PR Power player in New York.

MACIAS PR has run B2B and B2C media and branding campaigns in healthcare, tech startups, financial services, asset management, nonprofits and service sector industries. We’ve secured big stories in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, People Magazine, CNN and others. (Here’s a closer look at our Annual Report ). We have case studies for all of these industries, backing up our consistent track record.

Message Mark at the bottom of this screen (green button on the right) if you would like to schedule a call. You can also get a free PR estimate by clicking here.

Why Empathy Will Lead Every PR Campaign to Better Results

Empathy is a powerful word that leads to change. When you’ve experienced a setback first-hand, you will be more caring, kind and compassionate to others going through the same situation. This approach also works with PR.

If your PR team genuinely believes you care about them, they will work harder when you are not in the room. Your publicist might be getting a paycheck for his or her work, but money doesn’t motivate everyone when the doors are closed.

Click here to read an article that details how empathy helps your PR campaign. Or if you’re on the go, you can listen to the story as a podcast.

Our agency has more insightful episodes on PR, strategy and advice on your favorite podcast channel. Click here to subscribe to us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or Stitcher.

ABOUT MACIAS PR

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the 2017-2021 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.

How Digital Marketing and Branding Can Help Grow Your Business

According to a study by Harris Interactive, digital marketing is now the most effective way to grow a business. Their researchers looked at 156 businesses across eight industries and found that digital marketing contributed to a 66 percent increase in revenue and 68 percent increase in customer lifetime value.

And for good reason – digital marketing is effective, efficient, and affordable. The online footprint for every consumer and business has been steadily increasing over the last decade. You don’t need to be tech savvy to realize that consumers are watching more TV online and turning to the web for all their answers.

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How Public Relations can Help Develop New Business

There’s a popular question we frequently hear from business owners: How can PR grow my business, and how do I measure it?

I’ve written extensively on here and other outlets, like Forbes and Entrepreneur, on how to measure the ROI of PR. You can read those articles here.

A successful PR campaign must be targeted to the right audience for the best results. A PR campaign that is focused around business development should always target publications that your customers read.

This is one of the strategies that MACIAS PR takes with every campaign. We are driven by results that delivery metrics that your business needs.

One of the first questions we ask potential clients is – what is the purpose of this PR campaign? The answer will help us develop an effective strategy that gets your product or service in front of customers.

So how can PR help you close sales?

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Why Empathy Takes your PR Campaign Further with Better Results

Want to get the most out of your PR firm or publicist? Try showing a little empathy with your team and see how it leads to better results.

Most experienced entrepreneurs and sales leaders understand the value of empathy, but unfortunately – when it comes to outside vendors – it’s frequently forgotten. I’ve observed and experienced this inside and outside of the PR business. 

As a former Executive Producer with NBC, I always showed empathy with my producers and reporters because I genuinely felt their pain. I recognized when employees needed a break to recharge their mind and body, or when a family issue needed time outside of work. It might not have been financially aligned with the corporate spreadsheet but it always inspired more productivity and loyalty.

Plus, it was the right thing to do.

In this era of tight employment and waning worker loyalty, empathy needs to be on a higher level. You can’t fake it because workers will see through it in time. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to hiring an outside PR firm or publicist, we don’t get to experience empathy until after the contract is signed. Over the last decade of running this agency, I’ve seen how clients who value our work with a spreadsheet are typically the most difficult. They ignite more stress. In the worst situations, they believe they know more about the media than me and undermine every decision.

Here’s a closer look at some of the warning signs that suggest you might need to do an empathy check. And if you have empathy, trust me, the best pr firms will always want to work with you and usually at a lower price.

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Why Smaller Media is Important to Building Brands

Building a brand from scratch is never easy, but there are tactics and approaches you can take that will help scale your brand faster.

On the surface, most entrepreneurs naturally gravitate to large media outlets. They rightfully assume that getting coverage in a national publication will get their mission, services and products out there faster.

And while that is true, I’ve found there is often another overlooked group that many entrepreneurs purposely avoid.

I recently wrote an article for Entrepreneur, elaborating on why smaller media shouldn’t be overlooked. You can read that article by clicking here, but if you’re short on time, here’s an abridged version of the key points from my thought leadership.

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