physician practice

Three Ways to Build Community Relations

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Many might consider the most successful PR results to be showcased on a prime-time news show, featured in the Sunday paper, or heavily “liked” on social media.

Sure, those are all great, but a well-received appearance by your client out and about in the community can be just as effective at furthering their brand. 

Maybe it’s time to consider cueing up your community relations plan. 

What is community relations?

Community relations is when a healthcare company or physician practice takes an active role to build a sustainable relationship with its surrounding community. Listening to and taking stock in the interests of those around you positions you as a responsible corporate citizen—and that can have lasting benefits.  

Chief among these benefits could be a boost to your bottom line (patient volumes) by establishing yourself as the most trusted, “go-to” resource – or provider—in your specific field among local individuals, organizations, and fellow businesses.  

Another benefit of dedicated community relations is being able to offer your team the valuable opportunity to give back or pay it forward. Younger generations are becoming increasingly concerned with and driven by corporate social responsibility and showing that you are active in the community can be a plus in attracting new talent to your team. 

How do you design a community relations plan?

First of all, find out what is of interest or importance to your community, create an inventory of your inhouse expertise, and then figure out how to align the two. 

Three simple ways to share your company’s message while addressing the community’s needs include:

1.    Seeking out strategic speaking opportunities to educate about what you do and how your services contribute to the well-being or quality of life for those around you.  

2.    Show up and volunteer regularly (in person) at area events or with organizations that could use your help. Consider starting a monthly, quarterly, or annual employee community service outing or project. 

3.    Investigate others in the community to partner with or lend your name or services to via sponsorships targeting a certain demographic that you’d like to reach. 

Some examples of successful community relations efforts that MedVoicePR has coordinated on behalf of clients are:

  • Visiting seniors at local retirement communities and sharing tips from an orthopedic perspective on how to keep joints flexible and bones healthy so they can stay mobile and independent

  • Educating nurses and teachers by pediatric neurologists at area school districts on the most current concussion protocols for children and how to address ADHD symptoms or treat epilepsy/seizures in the classroom

  • Administering free flu shots on Veterans Day to the honorable men and women who have served our nation at a veteran’s nonprofitorganizationvia our on-demand, urgent mobile healthcare provider

Always remember that being a good neighbor to those around you just makes good sense.

 

Contact us at MedVoicePR to help you develop a custom and strategic community relations plan to fit your needs.

5 Marketing & PR Tips For Your Medical Practice

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By: Emily Schmitz, Founder, MedVoice PR

The medical landscape in Central Texas has become fiercely competitive.  Declining reimbursement, increasing regulations, a shift to value care, and a rise in healthcare consumerism has all turned the heat on physician practices.  And gone are the days where your patient base came from referring physicians alone. 

What can you do to stay competitive, while maintaining and even increasing your patient volumes? A comprehensive public relations and marketing strategy is a smart place to start. 

 Here are 5 tips for developing and maintaining effective communication efforts for your medical practice:

1)  Keep your physician and community outreach constant: Physician liaisons are a vital part of a practice’s communication efforts. It helps maintain an open line of communication between you and referring physicians so that your practice can retain and grow your patient referral base. Staying active in the community through speaking engagements and relevant sponsorships is a great way to elevate your practice’s brand awareness. 

2)  Add credibility with traditional media exposure: Traditional media exposure (TV, radio, and newspaper interviews) is still relevant! Patients love to see their doctors in the news. But what you do with those interviews afterthey air or go to print is what’s really important. Repurpose the interview links via your social media channels (promote on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, & YouTube) and make sure you optimize them with key words.  Being quoted in the media also adds a very important layer of credibility to your practice. It helps frame you as a ‘go-to’ expert in your field.  

3)  Build robust content marketing and proactively ‘serve it’ to your audiences:  Maintain fresh content on your website through blogs. This helps you create a resource library of educational content for potential patients. And it adds a new level of credibility for you when a visitor goes to your website and wants to learn more about a certain condition or treatment. If the content is nonexistent or outdated, you’re missing a prime opportunity.  And make sure that you optimize those blogs with relevant key words. Then promote that content through the right social media channels. 

4)  Maintain a strong social media presence: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are wonderful platforms to keep consistent information flowing to your patients. It’s also a great way for your patients to ‘share’ your information to their friends and followers. This organically opens the door to many more potential patients for you. And now that Facebook is a primary source for reviews, it’s a platform that you can’t afford to ignore. 

5)  Educate and attract with videos: Patients are researching their physicians and recommended treatments to learn more.With short videos, physicians are able to “meet” current or potential patients by communicating their passion for medicine or explaining a condition or procedure. While we all like to think shooting videos on our phones is a simple, inexpensive way to go, hiring a professional will take your videos much further. 

Maintaining public relations and marketing can be a full-time job. Investing in a public relations firm in Austin that specializes in medical and healthcare can make all the difference. Contact MedVoice PR, if you would like more information about communication strategies for your practice.