In my last article, I reviewed why physicians, more than those in other professions, can benefit from an effective media campaign. Unlike other forms of marketing, a medical oriented public relations campaign can inform, educate, place you in front of your target market and afford you the validation and credibility that no other form of marketing can offer. It is the most effective and efficient approach to building a practice, creating community awareness and establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
Although my previous article focused on garnering TV exposure for you and your practice, the following tips and suggestions are equally important whether you’re presenting your stories to TV, magazine, newspapers, radio outlets, or online blogs or publications.
But in order to successfully pitch the media you first need to understand the media’s needs. You need to know what type of stories they’re interested in, how to best pitch them those stories and how to effectively deliver once you’ve piqued the media’s interest. You want to pitch your stories appropriately. For example, you might have a great story about teens and new acne treatments, or new treatments for long term care patients, but if you pitch either of those stories to Rolling Stone, or Allure magazine, you will end up with a great story that goes nowhere.
Start by discovering what your strongest stories are and which media outlets would be most appropriate to present them to. In other words, make a list of your potential stories and match them to the appropriate media outlets.
Below are five tips on how to discover
1) Review any seasonal stories, or stories associated with particular holidays. The timing for pitching these stories is dictated by the calendar; you need to be aware of that and pitch in a timely fashion
2) Study the various media outlets and review which ones offer regular media coverage, such as regular health segments. Make a point to study they type of stories they cover and how they present them.
3) Study the programs that specifically cover medical and health-oriented stories.
4) Study the local and national talk shows and review how and when they introduce health-oriented topics. Most national talk shows target a female audience. Keep that in mind, when developing stories.
Having placed health and medical oriented stories in a number of media outlets from Time and USA Today to the Today Show and CNN, I can assure you that how you present your stories is every bit as important as the stories themselves. If you end up pitching the media incorrectly you can do yourself more harm than good.
Remember each media outlet has its own target audience and specific needs. Direct your pitch and your presentation to that audience. Present yourself as a resource and an educator. In your pitch mention why your story will be of interest to that specific market.
To reap the rewards of a successful PR campaign:
a) Develop a strong story,
b) Create a compelling presentation,
c) Pitch the appropriate media,
d) Present yourself as an expert
e) Meet the media’s needs
pr for physicians