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.