For a healthcare PR firm working with health and wellness companies, doctors and hospitals, universities, biotech and life science groups, and other industry segments, it can be difficult to make your client’s voices heard. So many companies today spend their time shouting and not listening, and this noise creates challenges for healthcare organizations and individuals with something to actually say.
FischTank PR counsels its clients to do things different. A healthcare PR firm strategy shouldn’t revolve around “getting your story out there,” but about understanding the opportunities you have to educate journalists, and thus their respective audiences, to convey information relevant to your core message. To that do, one must…
A Healthcare PR Firm should listen effectively
If you’re a healthcare PR firm or internal communications team and you aren’t monitoring traditional media and social media each and every day, you’re behind the eight ball. The difference between mass, national and top-tier media coverage can have nothing to do with your message or target, and everything to do with the timing for which you engage journalists. At times we may refer to this as “trendjacking,” and no, I’m not advocating for ambulance chasing tactics that seek to capitalize on negative news to promote one’s brand.
I’m referring to the practice of identifying when a health story breaks, and immediately making your spokesperson and organization available to speak with journalists as a resource. Perhaps you won’t get the opportunity to overly promote your brand, product or service(s), but you will create coverage as well as a meaningful relationship with a journalist. This firmly establishes thought leadership, and likely potential opportunities to do so again down the road.
Tip to start: use Twitter advanced search three times per day – 8am, 1pm and 5pm to seek out specific content (posts and links) from specific people (journalists or influencers) or places (regional? national?) to stay on top of breaking news.
Since you’re now listening instead of shouting, finding opportunities to inform and educate becomes so much easier. As referenced above, providing thought leadership based on your expertise is an ideal way to generate media coverage (and boost SEO/ORM results).
Begin by picking two to three topics relevant to your business that you feel passionate about. Start broad and drill down: Why did you start your company/organization? Who are you trying to support/help? What problem are you seeking to fix? What is unique to your business and its audience?
Once you’ve determined these core themes, develop messaging that is unique to you, and hopefully unique to the public. Then hire a healthcare PR firm or internal communications team and start reaching out to journalists. Use introductions – “Hi, my name is X of company Y, and our work in the Z industry is showing us a number of trends we think you and your readers should know about.”
Get it? Before you begin promoting how great your company is and why they should write about you, prove to them that your vantage point is informative and original, and that you’re prepared to be a resource for them down the road.
Tip to start: set a goal of emailing two journalists per week after reading their work, introducing yourself, and sharing why you agree/disagree/appreciate/etc. their content. Be sincere, non-promotional and non-confrontational.
Make your voice heard
Too often healthcare PR firms or internal comms teams don’t push their clients when the time is right. It’s always been our position at FischTank that if you hire us, we’re going to tell you how to participate in important discussions and elevate your brand voice. While you can’t pick every battle, just because something is controversial doesn’t mean it’s something you stay away from.
Yes, I realize this is easy to say but difficult to do, so start slow. Perhaps it’s not a good idea to lob insults at the President over healthcare policy, but rather pen an op-ed in your local newspaper bringing attention to the facts and matters you think are important to the community. As discussed earlier, focus on providing value and insight on a subject, think through carefully the delivery, and begin speaking out on issues you find important.
Everyone is rightfully concerned about metrics and engagement, and you’ll find that by taking a position and making your voice heard on meaningful issues, feedback will increase. This sharing, commenting, clicking – especially on social media – can further establish you as an industry thought leader, and once again, boost your SEO/ORM results.
Tip to start: Create a Medium profile for your CEO and begin writing quarterly op-eds on topics important to you, your business and its respective audience (customers, clients, patients, etc.)
A healthcare PR firm ready to chat when you are
It’s easy, right? FischTank is passionate about these subjects and love pushing our clients, so please shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss a PR program that may be a fit for your organization.