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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PR Strategies – Conventional vs Unconventional Pitches

The following is an excerpt from the business book, Tao of PR: Strategies to Win the PR War, by Mark Macias.

Chapter 2: Waging War

One size does not fit all when it comes to pitching a story idea to the media. In many cases, you will have more success by targeting the proper news medium and reporter through unconventional ways. Newspapers can be a microcosm for this analysis.

Let’s say you want to get publicity for a woman’s clothing designer.

Most publicists would probably take the conventional approach and pitch their story idea to the style section. They wouldn’t think of pitching their designer to the sports editors or reporters.

And in a similar fashion, most publicists would pitch a profile story on a high school football coach to the sports writers, rather than a religion writer.

Those methods are predictable and safe. But in many cases, you can identify overlooked reporters and pitch them with an unconventional approach.

Unconventional Story Pitches

Take the example of the profile story on the high school football coach. What if that high school coach had leadership rules that applied to business? What if that high school coach was extremely religious and based his coaching philosophy on Biblical principles? Suddenly, this story has a new angle that hasn’t been heard.

A story on a football coach with leadership principles could run in many sections of the local paper: sports, business or metro sections. Add in the faith element, and that coach suddenly becomes intriguing to the newspaper’s religious editors.

Likewise, in the case of the aspiring woman’s clothing designer, she becomes unique to the sports pages if her fashion is geared towards women. Sports writers are always pitched ideas on high school coaches. But they are rarely pitched angles around athletic fashion trends for women. 

Of course you should always concentrate your pitch on the desired audience. Your story idea or client will stand out if you can find that unconventional angle that others haven’t pursued. You should apply this same-targeted approach when choosing which news outlet to pitch.

Many people make the mistake of pitching to the largest pie rather than focusing on a news outlet that reaches their desired demographics. If your story involves a niche, focus your time and energy on pitching the news outlet that reaches those targeted viewers and readers.

And remember, there is nothing wrong with pitching a conventional story the conventional way. But if you find reporters are ignoring you, take a moment to review your story from a different angle. You might find unconventional is the new conventional.

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. Our founder is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. City & State Magazine named Mark Macias a Top 50 PR Political Power Player in 2021.

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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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 PR Is Essential for Startups and Small Businesses

For small businesses and startups, public relations (PR) is one of the most important tools to develop a reputation that drives sales.

PR helps with business development by elevating the brand of your company, shaping public opinion in a positive way and scaling your business message with the media. When you’ve got the right PR strategy in place, it will boost your business in a number of ways.

So what should you budget for public relations? And how can you start working towards getting the benefits it can offer your business? MACIAS PR created a calculator to help you identify the budget for your startup or established business. You can calculate the potential rate by clicking here, and get an answer back from our team.

How much should you budget for PR?

In the age of social media, where word of mouth is still the most influential marketing strategy, having a good PR strategy is crucial for startups and small businesses. By increasing awareness of their products or services, PR can help startups and small businesses achieve their target audience much faster.

Startups and small businesses face a unique challenge when it comes to PR. On one hand, they’re constantly innovating and trying to get their name out there. On the other hand, they don’t have the budget to invest in traditional PR methods like media relations or advertising. But that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from PR.

In fact, PR can be an essential tool for helping startups and small businesses reach new customers and grow their brand. Make sure to calculate the return on investment (ROI) before investing in PR, as there are a variety of ways to measure success. Here’s a blog from our team to help you identify and measure the ROI of PR.

By understanding the basics of PR and budgeting for it appropriately, you can maximize the impact of your PR campaign. Have more questions? Feel free to reach out to our team by clicking on the green message button on the bottom of your screen. Or you can contact us by clicking here.

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.

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 PR can Improve your SEO – Digital Marketing Strategies

By Mark Macias

Just when you thought your SEO strategy was solid, Google changes the rules. The new algorithm impacted 90 percent of search traffic.

Of course, we all know Google doesn’t reveal details on its algorithm but one thing Hummingbird does reinforce is the importance of content.

So why the algorithm change? Google has trained consumers to ask questions when searching for results, so it was only natural this latest search evolution would place a higher emphasis on how your search looks for answers. Unlike the earlier years of search, when keywords were used to find topics with search engines, Google now places a higher emphasis on content that delivers valuable information.

What does Hummingbird mean for your SEO marketing strategy?

It means if you are creating content for your company blog, you should pose questions in your copy, followed by the answer. Or even better yet, ask the question with an H2 tag and answer the question in the next sentence (like the last paragraph did).

Here is an example of how this new strategy can help your SEO better promote your content.

If you own a business, you know the importance of ROI and PR. But what is the ROI of public relations? (You can download our white paper on ROI of PR by clicking here). Under the new Hummingbird SEO, your future content should be asking questions, like in that example. In the past, ROI and PR, may have led to a decent search ranking, but under Hummingbird, Google is now taking a closer look at content and determining which content is answering the right questions.

There is another important item that the new Hummingbird reveals.

Content is King on the web and if you’re not creating new content, your business is at a strong disadvantage when it comes to search engines. Yes, your business can pull out ads and market itself on Facebook, but when those ads are done, you lose your exposure. However, if you create solid content in your industry and answer key questions for your customer base, the overall ROI of that content will be much better than a pure ad play.

Follow Always Fresh PR Podcast

If you like what you read, you can hear more PR and digital marketing insight from Mark Macias in our #alwaysfreshPR podcast. Listen to us on your favorite channel by clicking here.

Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias consults small and large businesses on publicity, crisis communications and digital strategy.

Why Credibility Matters with Every PR Campaign

By Mark Macias

Credibility matters in life, but it especially matters for journalists. Whenever you pitch a story to the media, the journalist is subconsciously measuring your integrity and experience. If the producer is going to invest time and energy on your story, he wants to make sure the idea has credence from the start so he’s not chasing false leads.

A lawyer pitching a story on corporate fraud or a teacher pitching a story on education reform will always have more credibility at the onset than a retired citizen who works part-time at the public library. The journalist will rightfully assume the lawyer and teacher have insider knowledge or expertise, which will lend credibility to the topic.

The credibility argument works for every story —not just scandals involving corporate fraud or education reform. If you are pitching a story on a jewelry designer, you need to establish that jeweler’s credibility. The reporter or producer listening to your idea is going to want to know what makes this jeweler qualified to speak about jewelry trends. Don’t assume the reporter will know why or how the person you are pitching is qualified to speak on the topic.

Do I have Enough Credibility for a Media Campaign?

So how do you determine whether you are credible enough to speak to the media? Here are a few questions to ask yourself when trying to establish credibility for your story.

*What makes you qualified to speak on this topic?

*How many years of experience have you spent in the industry?

*What part of your daily routine is spent reinforcing your expertise?

*What do you know as an insider that others would want to know?

You may possess a limited amount of expertise, but that shouldn’t stop you from continually trying to establish more credibility. Websites, op-ed articles, trade magazines can all lend credence to a person in search of credibility. Remember, the media needs experts for nearly every story because it lends credibility to their reporting. Even the salacious stories require insider knowledge.

So before you pitch your next idea, take a minute to make sure you have established credibility on the topic. Your news release should state why you are the person with insights into the topic. If you can communicate this expertise in the right tone, you will have a better chance of convincing a journalist to write about your business.

Follow our Always Fresh PR Podcast

If you like what you read, you can also hear more of these topics from Mark Macias in our #alwaysfreshPR podcast. Listen to us on your favorite channel by clicking here.

Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with WNBC and Senior Producer with WCBS. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias now consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity. You can read more on his firm at MaciasPR.

Why PR is Like Coffee

By: Mark Macias

By Mark Macias

Public relations is like coffee, but it should never be confused for a quick hit like cocaine. I got that crazy thought this morning as I was pouring a cup of coffee.

Coffee – much like public relations – is needed to give your day a boost. Without coffee, you are not as quick on your feet and it’s harder to get through your day. Every growing business needs public relations just like you need your coffee. A healthy dose of PR, like your cup of Joe, gives your business a jolt and if it’s an effective publicity campaign, it makes your workload easier.

Entrepreneurs and business owners should never view PR like a drug that delivers a quick hit to your bottom line. You risk a huge crash if you take this myopic approach.

PR is not medicine. It’s more like a vitamin. We take vitamins in the morning to stay healthy, strong and vital. We turn to medicine when we need a remedy or when our health is failing. All public relations campaigns will be more successful if they are launched while a company has a healthy headwind.

“Give Me a Quick Hit”

I speak with a lot entrepreneurs and I hear a consistent theme from our conversations: They want to see an overnight correlation between publicity and sales. It is possible to directly increase sales from public relations, but an overnight correlation is an unstable foundation, especially for any fledgling operation.

Bill Gates grasped this concept in the early days of Microsoft. He’s been quoted multiple times, saying “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”

Another reason why you don’t want to view public relations as medicine is because it gets harder to influence the public when you face negative news. I frequently get unsolicited calls from businesses or nonprofits, asking for advice on how to improve their image following a negative news story. That’s not a publicity campaign. That is a crisis campaign and they begin with different approaches and strategies.

So the next time you’re looking for creative ways to make your work flow more productive, maybe you should grab a cup of Joe and see what it inspires for your next PR campaign.

Follow Always Fresh PR Podcast

If you like what you read, you can also hear some of these topics from Mark Macias in our #alwaysfreshPR podcast. Listen to us on your favorite channel by clicking here.

Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with WNBC and Senior Producer with WCBS. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity.

Communications Crisis: Release Flood of Bad News or Drip, Drip, Drip?

By Mark Macias

It’s the perennial crisis communications question: how do you control negative news once it’s out? And when you know more bad news is coming, how do you release it?

The end-game strategy of crisis communications is to get your business out of the news as quickly as possible. You don’t want a story to linger, or new developments to unfold because it keeps your story in the news cycle.

News is always about advancing a story. During my time as Executive Producer with NBC, we would frequently see a story in the morning’s New York Post or Daily News – and try to figure out how to advance it. No one wants to read old news. It’s why the phrase is a cliche.

Every day new information unfolds about your scandal, the more heavily favored your story is to remain in the news.

How do you Release Bad News?

If your business is in the headlines with negative news – and more bad news is still buried away – make sure you get it out as quickly as possible. All of it.

You don’t want a drip, drip, drip because it gives reporters new elements to advance their story. Every new release of more negative information gives your story another element to gain traction.

The challenge with managing negative news is you must provide a solution that demonstrates why the problem won’t happen again. Without that element, the story is still unresolved. The public also wants to know why this bad incident won’t happen again.

And it’s more than just issuing an apology. Many politicians wrongly believe an apology will lead to forgiveness with voters. Yes – Americans are very forgiving, but they don’t won’t support a hypocrite. Yet, another reason to reinforce why this pattern for negative behavior won’t return.

MACIAS PR has run crisis campaigns for politicians, nonprofits and financial organizations. If you’re facing a difficult situation and need private consultation, feel free to email us and we’ll coordinate a time to speak.

Marketing peers named MACIAS PR the 2017 and 2018 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. He’s also a frequent contributor with CNBC and author of the books, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media and the Tao of PR.