Sep 05, 2018

The Dirty Little PR Secret

It really is THAT easy to get published.

When I started MC PR Agency in 2012 it was truly a public relations focused agency. We…wait…I (because there was no team in the beginning) worked feverishly to find opportunities, create content, write articles and develop PR strategies to get my clients published. And truth be told – it wasn’t difficult at all. Part of the success (and still today) is based on the more than 20 years I’ve spent in newsrooms across the country and my relationships with people in the media. What people who are not in the media probably don’t know is that we journalists are kind of like folks from a small town. Seriously. I grew up in Apopka, Florida. Have you heard of it? Maybe you’ve seen the signs as you’ve traveled in and around Orlando. Apopka was a small town where when you walked into Liggett’s (the local drug store that wasn’t just a drug store by the way, it was also the place I bought my ukulele to perform in the Dream Lake Elementary School ukulele band. Honestly! This place had everything!) you ran into everyone in town and you knew them by name. It’s as though Apopka represents the journalism community. Small and quaint. And if you don’t know the producer, editor, publisher, reporter or anchor – you know someone who worked in the same market with them. Developing a PR strategy meant developing the story, targeting the right media, markets and then figuring out who I knew in that market and leveraging that relationship. It worked! And actually it still does. Journalists are always looking for good content and I am fortunate to have a direct link.

Here’s the dirty little secret.

Fast-forward almost seven years later, and we (yes, I grew quickly and was able to build a team), like PR firms across the country, have had to change our approach to public relations. More and more media outlets are approaching content with a “pay to play” mentality. This means some of the content you are seeing and reading has been paid for. Don’t get me wrong – we do this for our clients from time to time, too! Sometimes media outlets will favor their paid advertisers and publish their stories pushing others off the page. As a public relations professional, I can appreciate this approach. As a journalist, to this day it blows my mind because we were always taught “news and sales operate separately.” But as budgets weren’t being met and advertisers were becoming scarce, this proved to be a successful tactic.

It happened to me.

For example, when MC PR & Marketing was the Agency of Record for the HGTV Smart Home 2013, built by our client Glenn Layton Homes, every media outlet in Northeast Florida and many others from around the state came to cover this showcase home built in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Except one. Why? Because we wouldn’t buy an ad. Buy an ad? This was a PR DREAM! Are you kidding me? HGTV was then and still is in the top 10 rankings for cable channels. Why would I need to buy an ad? We were getting PR opportunities weekly – print, television, radio, bloggers both nationally and internationally. Not to mention HGTV was running two different hour-long specials on this amazing home! But this local publication refused to cover the story because we didn’t buy an ad. Today, that mentality is becoming more prevalent than you might think.

Here’s the secret recipe.

We all know that a majority of people are getting their content on-line. People are “googling” what they’re looking for.

  • Publish your own content on your own website. It really is that simple. Push out your own articles through your social media channels to help you gain more exposure.
  • Develop content that effectively shares your key message and tells a story that captures your audience while also improving your SEO (This can be more difficult for some companies and that’s where we come in.)
  • Know what people want to know. If you’re listening to your consumers, prospects and followers you will likely know what they want to know more about. THAT becomes the basis for your content.

One last point, MC PR quickly evolved into MC PR & Marketing.

We knew that as the marketing world was constantly evolving that our business must too. Because, we know that even the strongest public relations campaigns need to be supported by strong marketing and advertising campaigns too.


  • Plain and simple, Maria and her team at MCPR Agency will make you look great!  For Glenn Layton Homes, it’s so important for the clean architectural design of our homes to be reflected as our brand and without a doubt that’s what MC PR & Marketing provides for us.  They keep us updated on current trends and ensures that our brand is consistent in all marketing efforts. Everything from our social media content, advertisements, press releases, brochures and of course our beautiful magazine has that same clean and elegant flow.  They’re so easy to work with, quick turnaround and they make your brand look good in the process.

    • Katrina Watkins, Sales and Marketing Broker
    • Glenn Layton Homes
  • MC PR & Marketing did an amazing job getting started on marketing my medical practice!  The staff is incredibly creative, attentive and detail oriented.  Their level of knowledge and customer service is second to none!  I always feel like I’m their most important client!  Their recent marketing campaign proved to be very successful for my practice and we received several leads – proven ROI!

    • Dr. Stratis Lagoutaris
    • Podiatry Associates of Florida
  • Maria Chrissovergis and team has helped Artisan Homes tremendously in all areas of our PR and marketing ventures. Along with aiding in design elements of our website, marketing collateral material and visual branding. MCPR has helped us in spreading the true meaning of Artisan Homes to The Florida Times Union, Amelia Island Chamber, and more to come in 2018.

    As one of Northeast Florida’s premier local home builders, we greatly appreciate the assistance and expertise from MC Public Relations and Marketing and look forward all future projects together.

    • Scott Dennis, President
    • Artisan Homes
  • I can say, 110% certainty, that Maria, Jennifer, Anastasia and the rest of the MCPR team are patient, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable.  Their guidance helped me take my online and social media marketing to the ‘next level’, and without their help, I can honestly say that I would have been lost.  Highly recommended!

    • Mike
    • Tampa
  • Recently I had a competing builder visit one of our models and he loved our magazine.  He asked how come they didn’t have something like this and I replied, because they don’t have MC PR & Marketing! Being a boutique custom home builder, it’s necessary to have a team that gives you every essential part of public relations and sometimes on a moment’s notice.  I can’t tell you the times I’ve sent a request late one day and find the beautiful results waiting in inbox the following morning.  This is the kind of quality service you can expect with MC PR & Marketing. You couldn’t ask for a better agency to partner with.  

    • Katrina Watkins, Sales and Marketing Broker
    • Glenn Layton Homes
  • …Our experience working with MC Public Relations & Marketing has been nothing short of phenomenal.  From discussing branding and marketing strategy, to sales training and event coordination, every element of our campaign was handled perfectly, so much so that after going “live” in April, we signed our first three clients before the end of the month. Maria and her team are an essential, integral part of our continued success (sometimes we forget she’s not an actual employee of Aria Homes!), and we are grateful for her keen eye, expertise, and unwavering commitment to our growth and success.

    • Irina Johnson, President
    • Aria Homes
  • As someone who has an extensive background in marketing and advertising, I am pretty selective when it comes to hiring an agency to represent my listings. MC Public Relations & Marketing is delivering incredible results. People continue to make references to my real estate listings and a lot of the buzz is being generated from my social media marketing which MC Public Relations & Marketing is handling. They have incredible sense of how to market, where to market and what to market. And the results show, this team is exceptional!

    • Maria Pappas
    • The Legends of Real Estate
  • I want to express my appreciation to you and your staff for the exceptional value you have added to YCC’s efforts to increase the community awareness of our services. Through your focused approach, our social media connections have increased multiple times from the volume they were at when we began working with your agency approximately eighteen months ago. This increase has directly produced donations and visits to our campus by interested members of our community. Thank you for your professionalism and for the commitment you demonstrate to helping YCC.

    • Greg Steele, President/CEO
    • Youth Crisis Center
  • …I’ve known Maria Chrissovergis for a number of years, and consider her to be the best of the best in Public Relations. Maria has worked directly for me as well as in consulting positions. She understands our industry and how to leverage media exposure in a purposeful way…

    • Glenn Layton, Managing Partner
    • Glenn Layton Homes &
      Builder of the HGTV Smart Home 2013
  • It has been a pleasure working with Maria and her marketing team over the past few years. The MC Public Relations & Marketing team of highly motivated and talented staff have created some of the most productive and successful digital and print media for our projects that I have experienced in years. I am most appreciative of the team’s complete understanding of the real estate business including, both the new homes and existing home sales and marketing. Maria and her team’s combined knowledge and experience in real estate public relations, marketing and sales puts them in a unique position as a PR and Marketing agency.

    We are thankful for their creative ideas and most of all for the success we have experienced on our projects. We look forward to a continuing relationship as we bring new projects to the market.

    • Timothy G. Shea, President
    • Shea Properties, Inc.

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