PR: Healthcare’s #1 Educational Marketing Tool

Although most physicians and health care practitioners understand that a strong public relations outreach is the backbone of any effective medical marketing campaign, there are still those that misunderstand the process.   The thought of actively marketing still terrifies some in the medical field.  It is difficult for those to understand that an effective public relations or media relations campaign is not only an integral part of a successful practice it is the most effective educational tool available.

A PR campaign is not just about marketing, it’s also about informing and educating.  The media is how most of the public learns about medical breakthroughs and health-oriented stories.  Whether it be CNN, the New York Times, Time magazine, the Wall Street Journal or the Today Show, it is via the media that people learn about the latest in cardiovascular or diabetes treatments, the newest medical tests, or the most recent health-oriented breakthroughs.

Today, savvy hospitals and physicians view public relations as an integral component of their business strategy.  But many still have to come to terms with the process. It’s not enough to simply hire a public relations firm; it’s important to work with them, a change in attitude and outlook is required.  For example, when it comes to communicating, doctors are used to presenting scientific data to their peers. They are trained to think in terms of studies and statistics, whereas the public and media both understand and respond more favorably to anecdotal stories.

When speaking to the media, physicians have to effectively communicate.  They can’t talk solely using the jargon of their particular field, since this makes for a very insular form of communication. This not only applies to physicians and health professionals.  All business professionals can benefit from learning to speak the public’s language and honing their ability to communicate, but those in the medical field can perhaps benefit the most.

An intelligent, effective media campaign educates and informs the media and the public. Used effectively, P.R. can usher in new concepts and perspectives, and shape the ideas of a community and a nation.  To reach that end, physicians need to view themselves as educators. After all, we live in the information age and no profession, field or practice can avoid its effects. Professionals who understand the process and actively utilize the media to not only promote their practices but also to inform and educate are the ones who will succeed.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2010



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