How do most people search for medical help or advice?

Many turn to the Internet.

But let’s take that a step further, where does a Google or online search lead people when they search for an expert of a health problem or symptom?

Generally, to links of articles, feature stories, or TV segments that cover that topic and the physicians who are featured in these news segments are those who are seen as the experts in their fields – the ones to turn to.  In effective the digital age makes traditional media coverage more important than ever. 

More than 70% of consumers search for health information online, according to Pew Research Center. They search for articles, interviews, TV segments.  The public generally finds its health and medical oriented information from the mainstream media, either directly from TV segments and/or articles in magazines or newspapers, or by searching the net for that information.

So, the most effective way to market your medical practice is through the media and the way to establish yourself in the media is through an effective public relations campaign.  Media coverage is the most effective form of medical marketing because it offers you and your practice validation, credibility and establishes you as an expert in your field.  building relationships and opening dialogues with new patients so your practice continues to grow instead of plateauing. 

When it comes to successfully launching a PR campaign for your orthopedic medical practice, the bottom line is developing good stories.  The media doesn’t want a hard sell, nor does it want a list of facts, information on a grand opening, a laundry list of services or procedures, or information on a physician’s training and education.  All of that information can be incorporated into a story, but that type of information in and of itself is not going to grab the media’s attention.

So, what will?  For a campaign to be successful, you need to stop looking at your practice from your perspective, and take a fresh look at it from the media’s perspective.  What about your expertise, your practice, your patients can interest the media and educate, inform the public?  That can all be used to develop compelling stories. 

Although there are a number of ways you can market your practice such as conducting seminars, focusing on elective procedures, hosting in-office events, volunteering at youth sports events, creating a blog with useable content, direct marketing, advertising, and developing a presence on appropriate social media platforms, only a strategic, targeted media relations campaign offers the credibility, validation and trust-factor of being featured in the news.   

And what about those online reviews?  It’s best to closely monitor online reviews to ensure accuracy about the details of the practice.  If there are negative reviews, it is best to respond quickly, encourage as many reviews as possible, avoid hostile or combative language and review what amends you can make to rectify the situation. Depending on the situation, consider having a private conversation before HIPAA-protected information is unwittingly exposed.  Track reviews with alerts and use the feedback to improve your practice.  

The media is constantly on the lookout for compelling health and medical-oriented stories.  Present yourself as a compelling expert who can both inform and educate, but never forget that the bottom line is making sure you develop stories with a strong narrative.  

A strong media relations outreach is the most effective form of marketing for an orthopedic practice.  You establish yourself not through ads or commercials, but through the media – you, in essence, are the news.  With that comes the validation and credibility of being presented as an expert in your field.  

And that is what patients are looking for.

Medical Marketing Blog | Savvy Healthcare PR