The Growing Influence of PR

By Mark Macias

I read a story this week in a PR trade publication that said PR agencies are dying because they are not adapting with the times. The article explained how PR agencies are still pushing press releases to newsrooms and relying on stunts to get the media’s attention when they don’t work anymore.

I agree, press releases won’t get you on the radar of reporters – no matter which press release distribution network you use. And stunts rarely work when it comes to getting TV segments in the news or articles in the newspapers. During my time with CBS and NBC in New York, publicists bombarded me with press releases, promoting their stunts. We never ran stories on those topics.

And if you don’t believe me, ask yourself: when was the last time you saw the Wall Street Journal or the CBS Evening News cover a stunt in their publication or newscast? They write about stories of substance, like healthcare advancements or financial trends that contain a news peg.

Media Advice – What Works with the Media

If you’re trying to get your healthcare service or tech gadget on the local TV news, or newspaper, don’t try to trick reporters into covering your story with a stunt. Producers and reporters have seen it all, especially in the largest media markets.

You need to identify a story angle that is news worthy. And the more influential the news outlet, the stronger the narrative.

Yes, it is true that newsroom budgets are shrinking from a dwindling ad market, but that wrongly assumes that consumers aren’t reading or watching the news. Consumers at every age are still consuming the news, but the platform and time of this viewing has changed. People are now reading the local newspaper online at work or on their phone while waiting for the train. They’re watching news videos on Facebook and on demand.

Based on my experience in PR and the media, I would say PR agencies are dying because we no longer need 20 people to run a media campaign. If you have a great editorial idea, you can succeed with a smaller team. That’s great for PR agencies like Macias PR and it’s bad for large PR firms that have been around for decades. Suddenly, they have to compete with smaller, more agile PR firms, like Macias PR, that can deliver more for less.

Macias PR was named the 2016 “Financial PR Firm of the Year – USA” and the 2015 “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. We have launched and led media campaigns for clients in healthcare, finance, tech and the nonprofit sectors. The founder of Macias PR – 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.