You may not consider it as a major part of your promotional efforts, but using the right public relations in your marketing plan can be a great way to communicate your services to your community. Even more so, it can help you share who you and your team are – your passion for helping your community, your compassion for others and your dedication to the health and well-being of your patients.
Through community involvement and building relationships with your local media outlets, you can show your community why you’re the best choice for their skin care – and in many cases, it won’t cost you any extra money.
Think of public relations as an indirect way to promote your office. Rather than discussing your skin care services directly, it relies more on communicating the tone and feel of your office. For example, a feature story written by your doctor on skin health won’t have a direct “schedule an appointment today” call to action, as most media outlets would see that as more “advertorial” rather than editorial. But by establishing the doctor as a field expert, leader and compassionate person who cares about the health of others, you’re communicating what your office is about without that direct call to action.
Building relationships and communicating with your local media outlets isn’t very complicated either. In today’s digital world, most can be reached easily. And in addition to print materials, most have digital channels to share your content, whether it be their online news site or social media. To help set the right public relations in your marketing plan, here are a few tips when pitching to your media:
- Decide what type of information you want to share. Is it a news item best suited for a press release? Or more of a feature story? Or an event or fundraiser?
- If looking up your local newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, etc., look for “Contact Us” links or sections. Often, you can easily find some form of news/information submission, whether it’s an email address to contact or an online submission form.
- When you submit information or materials, it never hurts to follow up. It doesn’t have to be the same day or even the next, but perhaps follow up in a week if you haven’t heard anything back.
- Consider the time of week/day you send your materials as well. It’s a good idea to send materials early in the week and in the morning.
- Consider the timing of your material submission too. If it’s connected to an event or any other time-sensitive subject, think about how much lead time you’ll need. For example, if your sharing news about an event your holding, send it two to three weeks in advance to allow time for circulation. Don’t send too far in advance in this case though, like a month. This can cause your news or information to circulate too early and be forgotten by the time your event happens.
It’s important to maintain good relationships with your media contacts too. As you have public relation opportunities and events in the future, you’ll likely be reaching out to the same contacts again in the future, so it’s good to establish a strong working relationship that benefits both of you. Make public relations an ongoing part of your social media communication too. These are great channels to share news, events, feature stories, etc.
Need help with building the right public relations in your marketing plan? We’re always a phone call or click away to help. Schedule a consultation with one of our practice management experts today!