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 If the content is nonexistent or outdated, you’re missing a prime opportunity.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.
By: Emily Schmitz, Founder, MedVoice PR
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