I realize that if often looks as though the media exclusively features physicians from Manhattan or Beverly Hills when reporting on the latest advances in cosmetic or plastic surgery, but the truth is you don’t need to be on either coast to launch and implement an effective PR campaign for you and your practice.
To be honest, it can be beneficial to be based outside of those two media meccas. Los Angeles and New York are often seen as extensions of national media and can be as competitive. A physician based in Portland, Fort Worth or Phoenix has a much better chance of landing local media coverage than one in Beverly Hills or Manhattan. Add to that the fact that, if you have a good story and an effective pitch, national media is just as apt to cover your story as they are to cover a physician in the Big Apple and you could actually be ahead on the game when it comes to launching an impactful media relations campaign.
That’s good news considering that public relations is the only form of medical marketing that effectively builds trust and credibility. The message of safety, trust and expertise is best conveyed through media coverage. Being featured in print or featured on the radio or TV helps establish trust and credibility.
Making decisions about health care and medical treatments can be frightening for most patients and consumers. Though targeted public relations a sense of trust can be established; the newer and/or more sensitive the procedure, the greater the trust that needs to be established, which is why PR is particularly important in those arenas.
The trick is to create a compelling story and effective media pitch. Our mantra is that effective PR is effective storytelling. The media doesn’t want to be sold, it wants stories that readers, listeners and viewers can relate to. Your story doesn’t need to be trailblazing or be about the newest cutting edge procedure (although it you can tell a story like that, all the better). It simply needs to be interesting, credible and illustrate how it helps patients and improves lives.
Well, there are several ways to try and reach potential patients. There are advertising and direct marketing. The upsides are that those approaches allow you to control your content and design and delivery. The downside is the public is savvy enough to know that that is paid marketing and whereas it can reach a specific target market it doesn’t rate high when it comes to trust or credibility. Social media is another approach and a very important one, but it too is generally understood to be controlled content. It can be impactful, but again does not necessarily score high marks on the credibility scale. As with advertising, it’s often viewed as self-promotion.
No patient wants to feel that he or she is being “sold”. Patients want to see someone they trust, someone they feel is the best in their field. It is that validation and trust factor that comes with being featured in the media. That’s why PR is so important.
So, don’t make the mistake of thinking that public relations only benefits physicians based in media capitals. In our experience, nothing could be further from the truth. Any cosmetic or plastic surgeon can attract more patients, grow their practice and bold their brand by launching an effective PR campaign.
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