PR, or public relations, is how your health practice is perceived by the public. It is the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about your business. PR activities are designed to influence people to think positively about your business so you can build credibility and trust.
Your reputation is your biggest asset as it can distinguish you from competitors by making you stand out from the crowd. Reputation can make or break your health practice, so it’s important to recognise how vital a good reputation is for the survival and success of your business.
There are a variety of ways you can use savvy PR strategies to promote your practice. Here are our most savvy tips to ensure your next PR campaign gets results for your health practice.
- Try to connect with journalists or magazine editors through LinkedIn. If that isn’t possible, do some research to create your own list of contacts from the local newspaper or specialty magazines you would be interested to appear in.
- Before you issue a press release to a magazine or newspaper, be sure to do your research. Find out who the target audience is so you can determine whether it is an appropriate publication for your message.
- When writing articles, always use reader-friendly language and try to make sentences and paragraphs relatively short and punchy. If you need to use medical terminology or explain complex information, try to write it as simple as possible and include definitions if you can.
- When developing printed materials, try to avoid time sensitive information or including contact details that change regularly, otherwise the material may go out of date.
- If you hear a news story on the radio relating to your area of health expertise, phone the radio station and offer to be a volunteer spokesperson on the topic. When news stories break, radio stations often need to find information sources quickly, so it could be a case of you being in the right place at the right time.
- Before you issue a press release to a radio station or phone them about a public service announcement, be sure to do your research. You should only target radio stations/segments that have audiences who are likely to be interested in what you have to say.
- When speaking on a radio program it’s imperative to know your material inside out. Keep your answers succinct but don’t omit any important information. Be yourself and don’t be afraid to be entertaining, as listeners will ‘switch off’ if you are boring or sound monotone.
- Try to connect with radio hosts, radio program producers and journalists through LinkedIn. If that isn’t possible, do some research to create your own list of contacts at the local radio station.
- Ensure status updates are punchy and grab attention in a few words. Link to an external source or URL if you need to provide more information. Long status updates can lose readers and Facebook has set word limits you must stick to.
- Combine and link your social media business accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter. If you receive a question on Twitter, you could use it as a topic for a status update on Facebook. Consider integrating your blog feeds onto Facebook.
- Increase your chances of appearing at the top of search engine rankings by setting up a custom URL through your profile settings. Share this URL in your email signature and on your website, business cards and all marketing collateral.
- Synchronise your LinkedIn account with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram account, but remember that LinkedIn is a professional networking site so be sure the content is appropriate. Don’t forget to link to your blogs too.
Everyone who comes into contact with your health practice will have an opinion about it, including patients, stakeholders, the media, other businesses, industry bodies and the wider community. By being savvy with your PR promotions you can influence people to think positively about you and your health practice, so you can build credibility and trust.