Value Working with Boutique PR Agencies

I read this confessional last night from a publicist who described the state of the public relations industry. It’s a candid look at how large PR agencies are lowering their standards and putting the dollar above relationships. The writer also lays out an argument for boutique PR agencies, and why they have a larger advantage.

To paraphrase the article, “There’s a lot of desperation. Not only to keep the lights on, but to keep people, to keep employees.

And what are the challenges? She writes, “[B2B tech brands] don’t often have stories. They’re unable to talk about themselves outside of product features and benefits. There’s zero or very little value based messaging. And too many PR firms will take them on as clients. The reason why they take on these clients is to keep the lights on.

The article got me thinking about MACIAS PR and the value we bring as a boutique PR agency.

Boutique PR Agencies vs Large PR Agencies

Fortunately, MACIAS PR doesn’t have to sell to keep the lights on. Even when times are tighter and the economy slows, we’re fortunate to work with a roster of clients who keep coming back for more.

We don’t sell services for the sake of paying the bills. Sure, I need to make sure my cute toddler has food and shelter, just like all parents. But I won’t compromise my firm’s values for a short term sale. 

How to Find the Best PR Agency

A popular tech news site asked me last summer to share thought leadership on what tech startups should look for when hiring a PR agency.

The editor, who is also a friend, told me he gets so many bad pitches from tech entrepreneurs who have no idea how to position a company. In some cases, he said these pitches are from publicists trying to keep the lights on.

You can read that story here, but if you’re short on time, here are some of the key highlights if your startup is considering making a move to hire a PR agency.

Who are the Best Publicists

A great publicist 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.

I go more in-depth on other topics in this article. For example: is it better to hire an East Coast, West Coast or local PR agency? Or, how much should a startup pay for PR?

You can get a quick quote on our website without talking to anyone. No sales pitch here. If you fill out this form, we’ll get back to you with a strategy and budget.


Our 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 Power Player in New York, while marketing peers named MACIAS PR the 2017-2020 Strategic PR Firm of the Year. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the Financial PR Firm of the Year.