Use Local Media to Promote Your Practice
Why Promote Your Practice?
There is a lot of competition in the healthcare industry. This means that your practice is no different from any other business in that you need to promote it to attract customers. Because there is competition, customers need to be informed and convinced that your practice is the best choice. This can be done through local media.
What is Local Media?
Local media pertains to your local community, not popular TV shows. Local media is an important way to establish credibility and raise awareness in your community of your practice. According to media expert Tony Taglavore, who has 25 years of experience, there are many advantages of using local media.
Most people are intimidated by using the media because they do not understand what or how it works. People also often seen reporters and other media personalities being very critical of the person they interview. Therefore, most people worry that the reporter will focus on negative things. However, most local reporters are usually happy just to have a story to report so just call a local TV station or newspaper and ask to speak to the health reporter. The worst that could happen is that they say no.
Explain Medical Terms
Keep in mind that you must translate the medical terminology during the interview with the health reporter. Most people, including reporters, do not know the meaning of cataract or catamaran. This means that you will need to explain it in layman’s terms by using simple and concise words. Do not assume that they know the meaning of a medical term. Think of yourself as a language translator speaking a foreign language.
Shorter is Better
Keep in mind that while interviews may last a half hour, the final result will probably be only a few minutes. All media goes through multiple edits in order to make the story as concise and lean as possible. People are busy and they do not have time to listen to an optometrist explain the details of cataract surgery. Instead, they need a story that is short and to the point. Keep this in mind when answering all questions: what is it and why should I care?
Reporters are Not Patients
Media expert Tony Taglavore offers a friendly warning and reminder: reporters are not patients – don’t make them wait. Doctors are notoriously late and often make patients continually wait. One time Mr. Taglavore was invited to a doctor’s office to cover a story for local media. Mr. Tagloavore and his photographer had to wait 20 minutes outside before being called into wait another 20 minutes inside the doctor’s office. Once the doctor arrived he was annoyed and used a lot of medical terminology. Obviously, this is opposite of what should happen.
Tips for Inviting the Media
Be prepared by having everything ready to go. Media stories need a photograph, so have a patient ready to be interviewed and photographed (make sure they have already given written permission). Prepare some things to talk about and think about how you will answer potential questions. Keep in mind that reporters have deadlines and different projects to complete, so their time is also valuable. At the end of the interview, give the reporter your notes with terminology definitions. Finally, be helpful, flexible and cooperate.
A story in local media is free publicity. They are doing you a favor by stopping by to interview you. Therefore, be courteous and cooperative during the interview. Make sure to call, thank the reporter and offer to clarify anything. In addition to this, send a handwritten known and let them know how much you appreciated their help. If you really want to thank them, send a fruit or cookie basket to their office.
Never underestimate the power of the media. Local media stories are very influential in the community. If a news report reflects positively on your practice, it will encourage and motivate people to use your services. A patient in your waiting room is one less patient in your competitor’s waiting room. Help yourself by helping the reporter and photography smoothly cover your story. You can do this through being confident, explaining medical terminology, being concise, being on time and expressing gratitude.
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