Health care is a huge front page news topic these days. Just glance through your local and national newspapers and magazines, listen to the radio, watch TV, and take a look at the social media and blog posts to get an idea of how much concern there is.
This is a perfect time for you as health care providers to market your business and practice using the media. Learning to write press releases (PR) is a good first step to getting the word out about you. Well written and newsworthy press releases can be picked up by the print media as well as radio/TV outlets. To increase your chances of having this happen, here are a few tips.
- It has to be newsworthy. For local media, this might include your grand opening, expanding your services, adding new staff and providers, a change in hours, and launching a new website.
- If there is a health related news event in your community, how have you responded, or what can you offer that has an effect on the situation? A great example of this is a NPBO™ member who generated lots of news by offering a free clinic day.
- Just the facts. If your PR is full of fluff, it won't fly.
- Use a strong title and summary paragraph. You want to capture attention immediately. If it does not, chances are the PR will not be read.
- Capture the five "W's" - Who, What, When, Where and Why in the first sentence. Of course, you'll follow with supporting statements.
- Be concise and avoid spelling and/or grammar errors.
- Break it up. Most often reporters/editors skim press releases until they find something that catches their eye.
- Say it in Laymen’s Terms. Not everyone knows our medical lingo.
- Write in third person. It helps prevent your PR from sounding like a sales pitch.
- Keep it to less than one page. Often times, 500 words is the maximum.
Sending press releases on a regular basis is a good way to keep your practice in front of the media. Even if your PR is not picked up as a story, keeping your name in front of the reporters will help them remember you when they need a statement or opinion on a health care related event or incident in your community.
NPBO™ Action Steps:
- List 10 things that may be newsworthy in your business. These can be current or future events.
- List 10 things that you can make a newsworthy comment on.
- If your goal is your local radio and newspaper - read what they are writing/talking about and how.
- Make a list of the media folks in your area that you may want to contact.
- If and when something happens either nationally or locally, and you can respond in a newsworthy manner, do so ASAP. In reporting, time is of essence.
Ready to become a Nurse Practitioner business owner? Then I would like to invite you to claim your free instant access to the audio replay our popular teleseminar, “Getting Started in Your Own Practice”, when you visit NP Business.
Not only will you get access to over an hour of content that will assist you in getting started, but you’ll also be subscribed to Progress Notes:Business Tips for Entrepreneurial Clinicians.