Which PR Newswires have the Best Reach

Don’t fall for the spam that promises media coverage with a press release. It doesn’t work like that with the PR newswires. Press releases won’t get you on the news or TV, regardless of how much you pay for distribution.

No reporter is going to the PR newswires looking for story ideas. However, there is a role for press releases with content marketing and SEO.

Entrepreneurs frequently ask me which PR newswires are the best.

Technically, the major PR distribution companies all use the same technology so in theory, there shouldn’t be an advantage with one company over another. (I know this because we researched it).

If that’s the case, why do some press releases get more traction?

Search engines are tricky, and Google never reveals its algorithm. However, Google openly admits it places a priority on good content. If a press release is written well, and has a news peg, your chances for online exposure grow dramatically.

Writing Style and Quality Content Play Pivotal Role in Exposure

Press releases can get more exposure when the writing style is solid and not filled with grammatical errors. This includes style errors that are flagged with the PR distribution companies. If you don’t take those guidelines seriously from the beginning, it doesn’t matter who publishes your press release. It won’t get traction.

For example, a press release can’t be in first person, and quotes should be in the AP style. A poorly written press release will get buried with the search engines.

It also helps if you organically share the press release with editors. In the case with our PR agency, we always push the press release to targeted editors. This not only increases our potential for media coverage, but it introduces our story directly to the writers.

Here’s another look at when press releases can help your brand.

Get Announcement On The Record

When clients have big announcements, like a spike in users or a new partnership, press releases can get it on the record. Every time our PR agency wins an award, we put together a press release. And it’s led to new business. 

A few years ago, I worked with a digital health client that was weeks away from receiving full recognition from the CDC for their virtual diabetes prevention program. We prepared a press release in advance so the company would be ready for the announcement. 

Today, if you research this company online you will read how it was the first CDC virtual provider recognized for the diabetes prevention program. That exposure wouldn’t have been possible without a press release.

About Mark Macias

Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with NBC, Senior Producer with CBS, and frequent contributor to Forbes, CNBC and Entrepreneur. City & State Magazine named him to their PR Power 50 list in New York. He founded MACIAS PR in 2009. The agency has led B2B and B2C media campaigns for brands across healthcare, tech, politics and nonprofits.

Most Valuable Person Missing from the Boardroom

Surrounding yourself with smart advisors will make any entrepreneur better. But when it comes to the corporate boardroom, unfortunately, politics can push out the best.

Over the years, I’ve worked with entrepreneurs, CEOs, politicians and experienced marketers who wanted to elevate their brand with the media. Without any question, the leaders who shared the most information with their publicists got the best media coverage. 

For more than three years, my PR agency led the publicity strategy for the highly popular weight loss program, Noom. Back in 2016, few people had heard of this brand, but today, it’s one of the largest weight loss programs.

Growth Driven by Intention

When I first started working with Noom, the health tech company didn’t have a CMO to keep me away from their cofounders. As a result, I had full reign to gather information and learn about new updates. This open-door policy with the founders gave me unfiltered access to conversations that kept me in the loop and inspired new ideas.

This access led to publicity with all of the major publications, including Entrepreneur, CNBC, NBC Today Show, TechCrunch and Washington Post. In 2018, Google named Noom one of the top search terms in the health and fitness section.

I don’t share this to brag. I share this as an example of what can happen when you let your PR team or publicist run with unfiltered information. 

Believe it or not, there are many leaders who don’t like their outside publicist speaking directly with their CEO. I’m sure there are logical reasons for this: They don’t want to waste their CEO’s time, maybe the CEO wants a buffer with the publicist, or they want to keep internal information, well, internal. 

That’s understandable. But internal check-ins provide your publicist with unfiltered information that could inspire new media campaigns. News must be new and timely. The hardest media campaigns involve stagnant brands that don’t introduce new elements.

And if an internal crisis begins brewing, make sure your communications person has a seat at the table. And not just any seat, but the most pronounced seat. 

I always tell my team we sell the big picture but communicate the details. These details are the nuances that typically pique the interest of reporters. If your gatekeeper doesn’t communicate these nuances, you are less likely to succeed in the strategy of publicity.

About Mark Macias

Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with NBC, Senior Producer with CBS, and frequent contributor to Forbes, CNBC and Entrepreneur. City & State Magazine named him to their PR Power 50 list in New York. MACIAS PR has led B2B and B2C media campaigns for brands across healthcare, tech, politics and nonprofits.

Insider Look: What Journalists Look for when Writing Stories

Every business owner wants to know how to get journalists to write a story on their business. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula that reveals how a story gets on the news or in the newspapers, but there are guidelines that can increase your chances for coverage.

The approval process in news is extremely subjective, just like any other profession involving creativity, opinions and experiences. During my time as Executive Producer with NBC in New York, I approved story ideas from reporters, publicists and producers.

Sometimes, stories were approved but later killed for various reasons, while other times, I had to kill a story because it lacked visuals or was outdated.

So how do you get journalists to cover your business? Here’s a general rule of the approaches our firm continues to take with our campaigns. These tactics are derived from my time inside the media.

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AI Producing More Content – How it Impacts PR

A recent article predicted artificial intelligence will generate 90 percent of all online content by 2025. Another news article revealed editors with the popular CNET tech site have already used AI to produce news articles.

Back in 2020, I wrote an article for Forbes exploring this topic, titled “Artificial Intelligence in PR: Is it Science Fiction?” You can read the entire article by clicking on that link, but if you’re short on time, here was my prediction from 2020.

AI won’t succeed with PR because news happens too quickly. During my time running the PR campaign for the popular weight loss program, Noom, I learned how quality data helps AI. It helps the machine learn, grow and predict overtime. Machine learning can’t learn without quality data.

PR and journalism are nowhere near gathering this kind of big data for news coverage. But even if this big data on news generation was available, we would still need critical and creative thinking to launch enterprise PR campaigns.

A different article in January’s Atlantic Monthly supported this thought. The Atlantic Monthly article states it best:

“Even if ChatGPT can spit out a pretty good paragraph on AI, it can’t interview AI and labor experts, nor can it find historical documents, nor can it assess the quality of studies of technological change and employment.

It creates content out of what is already out there, with no authority, no understanding, no ability to correct itself, no way to identify genuinely new or interesting ideas. That implies that AI might make original journalism more valuable and investigative journalists more productive, while creating an enormous profusion of simpler content.

The key to that point? AI can’t interview people like a journalist and publicist can. AI can help publicists with their research but when it comes to creating campaigns from scratch, AI doesn’t create content from scratch. It only creates content from existing content.

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Best PR Quotes for your Business

by Mark Macias

I honestly believe MACIAS PR is an incubator for ideas. Our team is constantly writing, pitching, researching and brainstorming over new ideas. Along the way, popular quotes get thrown out.

A coordinator put together and framed some of the top quotes she heard in our office. Some of these quotes are insider jokes, but there are a few quotes that are tactical to our agency. Here’s a closer look at the top quotes that are aligned with our firm’s strategy, and how they can apply to your brand.

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PR Lessons for When Your Lose Your Temper

By Mark Macias

A US Congressman made national news back in 2014 after he was caught on camera threatening to throw a reporter over a balcony inside the US Capitol. 

There’s a great lesson on crisis communications and branding that you can take from this exchange. Always assume the camera is live.

I had first-hand experience with this Congressman before this situation was captured on TV. In 2010, I was his Communications Director and helped guide his campaign to victory. My time working closely with this politician gave me raw insight into his personality when the camera wasn’t rolling.

He didn’t have much experience dealing with reporters and it frequently showed during interviews. He made classic mistakes that many novice politicians and business owners make.

Here are some of the biggest mistakes many people make, and how you can avoid falling into their traps.

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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 – as a Council member.

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

“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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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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How to Create a PR Blueprint

Every business owner wants to know how to get journalists to write a story on their business. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula that reveals how a story gets on the news or in the newspapers, but there are guidelines that can increase your chances for coverage.

As Executive Producer with NBC in New York, I approved story ideas from reporters, publicists and producers. Sometimes, stories were approved but later killed for various reasons.

Other times, I killed a story because it lacked visuals or had outdated information. The approval process in news is subjective, just like any other profession involving creativity, opinions and experiences. So if you get a bite from the media, move fast and don’t delay.

So how do you get journalists to cover your business? You can increase your chances for coverage by identifying what is different, new or unique about your business. It sounds simple but a lot of people forget that news is based on the root “new.” They pitch stories but forget about timeliness. If you don’t have that “new” component, your story is at a disadvantage.

You can figure out what is new about your business by asking some simple questions: Is your business contributing to the local community in a unique way we might not expect? Are you about to accomplish a feat where others have failed? What is different between you and competitors?

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Preparing your PR Plan – Where do you begin?

The owner of an affiliate service emailed me recently, asking about a PR starter kit for her clients. Her intentions with her email were in the right place.

“I’m looking for a very inexpensive package to offer my (affiliates), a sort of starter kit to help kick-start their marketing campaign. Most of them have no clue what to do,” she wrote.

Hiring a publicist is not like buying a shirt. There is no universal “starter kit” that will work for every business, especially if your business involves retail.

For each campaign to be successful, you need to identify the story and what makes it unique. If you are selling t-shirts to teenagers, that is a different publicity campaign than a men’s store selling expensive suits to professionals. And to underscore that statement, it’s also a different publicity campaign than one that reaches professional women.

In the case with the owner of that affiliate marketing company, she would be more successful if she were to give her clients a compass that teaches them the most important questions to answer before you launch a PR campaign. Instead of giving them a one-size-fits all plan, she should empower her clients with the critical thinking needed to succeed with a PR campaign.

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