Published on April 17, 2022, at 8:58 p.m.
by Schuyler Rosson.
Public relations powerhouse Allyn Magrino is the president and chief revenue officer of Magrino PR, an award-winning agency based in New York City. Magrino PR is renowned for its 360° approach to brand building, with services including corporate communications, media relations, event/press management, 90-day launch/relaunch, leadership and more.
For over 25 years, Magrino PR has led in the public relations industry, earning the title of Observer’s Best PR Firm in America for eight consecutive years. The agency specializes in the lifestyle sector while also maintaining divisions in hospitality, travel, real estate, spirits and more. Clients impressively include Martha Stewart, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Whispering Angel, Cuisinart, Christie’s International and many more top-performing brands, Magrino noted.
It comes as no surprise that 2021 was “Magrino’s best year ever,” with admirable client wins, including launching Blake Lively’s nonalcoholic Betty Buzz Mixer and unveiling long-term client Martha Stewart’s CBD Wellness Topicals.
It’s undoubted that public relations takes many shapes and forms, serving endless consumer sectors and dipping into many markets and verticals. Well-seasoned in innovative public relations tactics, Magrino PR has secured a status as an industry trailblazer. In the following Q&A, Allyn Magrino highlights her impressive career bringing brands’ visions to life and reveals tips for emerging public relations professionals.
How did you get your start in PR?
Magrino: I used to intern during college with my sister Susan (CEO of our company), who was in book publicity at Random House publishing. My first job in PR was working for a small firm in NYC representing the islands of the French West Indies (St. Barts, Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Martin), putting my French degree to use!
What does a typical day look like for you? Are there current or upcoming projects that you are focusing your time on?
Magrino: The best thing about my day is it is never typical, but I am constantly attached to my phone, a Zoom link or an in-person meeting, talking to clients, journalists, potential clients and colleagues. I spend a lot of time developing strategies with my teams to best serve our clients’ needs. I’m currently very focused on Omni Hotels & Resorts as it is a very big client (over 50 hotels) as well as many of our wine clients, and of course a big part of my job as chief revenue officer is working on new business and cultivating clients.
What differentiates Magrino from other PR agencies?
Magrino: People often refer to us as excelling at relationships, whether it be with clients or media or potential partner brands for our clients, which I think is the key to our success. We aren’t vendors to our clients, but partners, and we spend a lot of time not just executing against our scope for a client, but with them as people as well, getting to know them and cultivating our relationships. We really enjoy what we do, and a big part of it is because of the really interesting people we get to work with and taking the time to really discover them and how we can best serve them. We also hire the best and brightest in the industry, and we have senior-level involvement in every client at the agency, ensuring we not only deliver results, but also give our more junior employees access and hands-on training from our senior level.
After 25 years, Magrino remains amongst the top PR agencies in countless sectors. How has Magrino adapted to remain a top name in the industry?
Magrino: First and foremost, we’ve always done our job with skill and integrity and always keeping the best needs of our clients first and foremost, which is appreciated by both our clients and the media. We don’t do things “the way they’ve always been done” but always make sure we’re aware of developments in the various industries we serve, as well as in the PR/digital space as well.
The company’s mantra is “tell the story and keep on telling it.” How does Magrino strategically share its clients’ stories?
Magrino: When we’re putting together a press strategy for a client, it’s not a “one and done” effort, i.e., one press release to one list and that’s it — that does not work! We put together a detailed timeline, outlining best timing/media outlets against a calendar, and make sure everything drops strategically towards a build, e.g., a hotel opening or a product launch, and that after the big moment we continue to have opportunities to tell the story and keep it fresh for the media and consumers and achieving the most impactful coverage.
Can you share a few of your career highlights?
Magrino: I think my favorite project was the launch of the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. We launched against a lot of headwinds (coming out of the recession, lots of skepticism in the market/industry about the project) and turned it into the most successful launch ever of a Vegas property. Other favorite projects have been working with beauty icons Laura Mercier and Frederic Fekkai, the relaunch of Harper’s Bazaar, our work establishing Whispering Angel as the #1 Rosé Wine in the World and all the wonderful opportunities launching projects with Martha Stewart for 30 years.
During your career did you have any mentors or people who inspired you along the way?
Magrino: My parents are probably the #1 inspiration to me and my sister. They always focused on the value of a good education, reading books, being a good writer and expressing yourself effectively. They were also our biggest supporters when we started the business. Martha Stewart has also been a huge mentor and supporter of ours, and I very much value all she has taught me.
What are the key skills every that PR professional should practice?
Magrino: Number one above all is you MUST be a good writer and able to create an effective and succinct narrative. Typos and grammatical errors are inexcusable, especially in the age of spellcheck; precision is paramount. Being comfortable speaking to people in person and being able to present yourself with confidence is important, and something you’ll develop as you grow in your career.
Also be curious, know what questions to ask, and be able to anticipate and think strategically about the narrative of a story and how a pitch will play out, including possible negative angles that could come up and how you’ll address them. Choose one news outlet that you read every day so that you are always aware of a variety of topics, from world affairs to business to real estate.
What are the hot trends and topics in the PR/communications industry that PR professionals should be paying attention to?
Magrino: The world of journalism has been affected by consolidation and layoffs so, while there is still a huge demand for content and information, there are fewer magazines and news outlets and hence more competition for coverage. The opportunity for exposure in digital realms is growing. Understanding these many platforms will be necessary, from TikTok to NFTs.
Magrino’s full-service approach to public relations and brand building emphasizes the importance of versatile agency efforts. Market research, professional conduct and stellar writing skills are just a few of the skillsets necessary for public relations success.
From previous client activations, launches and media placements, Magrino touched on her career success and shared what it truly takes to be successful in one of the industry’s most competitive cities.