In my previous article, I reviewed how PR and media relations is so important to effectively marketing a medical practice. Only public relations can offer a physician the validation and credibility of being featured as a news story. Other forms of marketing focus on “selling” the service and particularly when it comes to healthcare, no one wants to be sold. Whereas PR reaches your target market by featuring you as a news story and establishes you as a trusted expert.
On its own, the media has a tendency to run with the “if it bleeds it leads” stories. That’s not only true in medicine but in all fields. It is up to physicians, hospitals and medical professionals to offer the media instructional, educational and (yes) entertaining stories; compelling anecdotal stories that offer options new approaches and also appeal to the emotions. That’s why a comprehensive, ongoing public relations outreach is so important. You need to let the media know your stories. You need to frame the story and the narrative so that it presents you in the best light possible and helps inform and educate the public.
People turn to experts in time of need. They look for those they can trust, and being featured in Time, USA Today, the Today Show, CNN or the Wall Street Journal, helps give the public that sense of trust. When it comes to medical PR and healthcare marketing, it’s not the physician or medical center who can buy the biggest ad or run the most commercials who wins; it’s those that can tell the most compelling and educational human-interest stories. Stories on the newest medical breakthroughs and the newest trends and studies attract media attention. Stories on restoring someone’s health or saving the life of a loved one touch a basic human chord.
To succeed in the media world, it’s important for physicians to learn know how to speak the media’s language. They need to learn how to establish themselves as the “go-to” doctor in their specialty, and to let the media know how to contact them when they need a quote about a medical issue. They also need to learn how to reach out to media outlets, establish themselves as an expert and pitch compelling medical stories. None of this was most likely taught in medical school, but as more physicians are learning, public relations is the most effective marketing and educational tool available. As I mentioned previously, the job is not to sell but to inform and educate.
Through the media you can inform, educate, reach your target market and establish yourself as an expert in your field. The bottom line is that when it comes to successfully marketing a medical practice, nothing compares with landing media coverage through a well thought out, effective, public relations campaign.
Copyright © Anthony Mora Communications 2013