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Navigating the Digital PR Landscape with Ronald Magas

Written by:

Howard Tillerman is the Chief Marketing Officer for Step By Step Business and an award-winning marketing professional.

Navigating the Digital PR Landscape with Ronald Magas

In this insightful interview, Ronald Magas, the founder of Magas Media Consultants, shares his entrepreneurial journey from being a tax attorney to creating a PR company. He discusses the genesis of his business, the unique challenges of funding a digital venture, and the innovative ways he differentiates his services in the competitive market of public relations. Magas offers a rare glimpse into his daily life and his approach to staying relevant in a rapidly evolving media landscape and provides valuable advice for newcomers in the PR industry, making this a must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts alike.

Embarking on a Business Journey

SBS – Can you share the story of how your business journey began? What inspired you to start it?

Ronald – I was a tax attorney who generated work by speaking to accounting groups and getting clients referred to me. One day, a CPA walked up to me after a talk and told me they would “pay me if I would teach him to do this” — meaning IRS representation. That one conversation sprouted a training course, which is now a multi-million training platform with on-demand training, live webinars, an app, and almost 500 paid monthly members.

Choosing the Name

SBS – Choosing the right name for a business is crucial. How did you come up with the name for your brand, and what significance does it hold?

Ronald – I wanted a name that told the audience (accountants) what we did immediately, so Tax Rep made sense and was short and easy to remember.

Bootstrapping Success

SBS – Starting a business often requires capital. How did you fund your business initially, and did you explore any unique financing options?

Ronald – My business is completely digital, so other than spending on a website, I was able to bootstrap the business with no third-party financing necessary. It was just a lot of sweat equity developing the programming.

Community Over Commerce

SBS – How do you differentiate your products/services in your market?

Ronald – Our model is that we are a community, so the membership is all-inclusive, and we don’t upsell our members. We created an internal social network so the members can interact with each other, make friends, and meet colleagues. It makes the member experience that much richer and, from a business perspective, makes the membership more “sticky,” and, as a result, we have very low churn (under 5%).

A Day in the Life of a PR Entrepreneur

SBS – As an entrepreneur, what does a typical day look like for you?

Ronald – I get up early and create content while I am fresh, so 4:30–7:00am is my best time to get content creation done. From 8 to 12, I actually do law firm stuff (I still run a 25-person/$5 million law firm with my partner), and after lunch, I record the podcast, return calls, hold webinars, etc. I generally wrap up my day around 6pm and head home.

Adapting to the Media Evolution

SBS – How do you stay updated with the evolving media landscape to ensure your services remain relevant and effective?

Ronald – We follow news/industry trades, attend seminars, media conferences, and general back and forth daily with the media/social media.

Crisis Management

SBS – Can you describe a situation where your crisis management services significantly benefited a client? What were the key steps taken?

Ronald – We had a client whose local franchise office was involved with an underage sex scandal (unproven). Based on our advice to get out in front of the story before it can breathe, we minimize the damage. My client had a small press conference and answered all questions for an hour, one time, and moved on. The story died within a week, and I’m happy to say his business is thriving now. 

Customized Client Strategies

SBS – With the array of services offered, how do you prioritize or tailor these to meet the unique needs of different clients?

Ronald – Before we start with a client, we speak to them about their goals and needs, and then we decide the best route to take. Once we start and the account flourishes, we tweak our approach if needed based on the client’s needs.

Measuring PR Success

SBS – How do you measure the success or impact of the PR campaigns and other services you provide?

Ronald – The best measurement for any PR/branding campaign is how many media opportunities your client is getting and how many hits they are getting based on their budget.  The hope is that you build credibility and brand awareness for your client’s brand. Most think it’s about how much business your client retains. That does happen, but the main goal for a PR campaign is to expose your client’s brand to the masses and then help it grow and be seen as the go-to thought leader in their industry.

Time-Sensitive PR

SBS – How do you navigate the challenges that come with managing sensitive or time-critical PR issues?

Ronald – We work with clients long-term as, overall, that is a better route, but if it’s time-sensitive, we concentrate a certain amount of time in a shorter time frame based on their needs. We will assign one PR pro for a specific account that is shorter term.

Challenges for Newcomers in PR Consulting

SBS – What are some common challenges new entrants face in the PR consulting industry, and how can they overcome them?

Ronald – Obtaining and retaining clients. Learning NOT to annoy the media.

Reflecting on the Past

SBS – In retrospect, what would you have done differently when starting Magas Media Consultants?

Ronald – Not take on so much so fast. Hire staff quicker and learn to take time off.

Team Development

SBS – How do you ensure the continuous professional development of your team to uphold quality service delivery?

Ronald – I send my staff to PR/business seminars and conferences to learn about new up-and-coming trends in the industry. Also, I make sure they are always up on the news of the day and educated.

Building Networks

SBS – For someone looking to start a PR consultancy, what key relationships or networks would you advise they build to foster their business growth?

Ronald – Join chambers of commerce and networking groups, have your own meetings with biz leaders and political leaders, and set up lunches/breakfasts with a few potentials a month. Always look ahead. The client will stop eventually, no matter how long or well you have done.


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Navigating the Digital PR Landscape with Ronald Magas