We’ve been doing public relations and marketing for medical and healthcare companies for nearly 15 years. We’ve seen a lot of things done right… and unfortunately a lot of things done terribly wrong.
I don’t need to tell you that competition is fierce. So it’s important to have a solid, strategic approach when it comes to public relations for your healthcare brand.
Here are some of the most common mistakes we see:
1) MEDIA: ‘We need to get on the news’. It’s a statement we hear from clients ALL THE TIME. And while garnering media coverage is a large part of what we do at MedVoice PR, it’s only one piece of the pie. To be strategic and remain competitive, it’s important to consider other vital aspects of PR, such as your messaging, content marketing and thought leadership. By taking a step back and considering your goals with earned media, you’ll likely find additional r valuable opportunities to showcase your brand or company.
For those who do embark on earned media campaigns, here are some common mistakes we see around media relations:
No formal media training. Interviewees should be comfortable and confident during a media interview and that all starts with crafting the right messages that you want to convey. You’ll never hit your goals for earned media if you’re rambling (because you’re nervous) and missing the mark with your most important messages. You also need to know how to ‘pivot’ when asked an uncomfortable or unexpected question. We see so many ‘cringe-worthy’ interviews and so much of that can be avoided with the right kind of professional preparation.
Not targeting the right contacts within a media outlet. One of the most common complaints from journalists and writers -- receiving irrelevant pitches. You wouldn’t go to a grocery store to buy yoga pants, nor should you pitch a real estate writer about a new medical product your company is launching. Here are some important questions to ask yourself: Are you reaching out to the appropriate reporter or editor who covers medical or health? Have you done the research to see what kinds of stories he or she covers? Do you know what goes into crafting a solid press release or story pitch?
Not having the right ‘assets’ for a solid news story. Simply offering yourself up for an interview doesn’t cut it for most journalists. Yes, you definitely have important information to share, but you need to help create a well-rounded story that includes other aspects, such as an interesting or timely angle, a compelling patient testimonial, and visuals such as pictures, video, graphics or animation.
2) CONTENT MARKETING: ‘We haven’t written a blog or posted on our social media pages in a long time’. Blogs and social media are all part of content marketing. The best content marketing contains useful information to your audiences that also incorporates key words to increase your search engine optimization. Also, there’s nothing worse than seeing ‘stale’ content on a website or social media platform. You lose credibility with your potential end user. Sprinkling in fresh content in the form of interesting and relevant blogs, client testimonials or updates about your company or practice can go far.
3) VIDEO: Can’t you just shoot a video on your mobile device? Cell phone video has its place, but when you want to be taken seriously, especially with your website, it’s important to look at video content as a strategic investment to represent your brand. Videos can be used to tell important client or patient testimonials or as bios for your physicians or leadership team. You can read more about the value of video here.
4) WE’VE GOT IT HANDLED: We can do everything ‘in-house’. This is what ultimately brings clients to us. Some have tried doing all the above efforts on their own, only to find that their valiant efforts are going nowhere. That’s a lot to put on someone’s plate unless you have a full team. If your budget allows, hiring an outside healthcare PR agency can help you accomplish your goals and allow you and your team to do what you do best.
For more information about public relations for your healthcare or medical company, contact us here.