By: Aimee Romero
Getting your practice in front of the public through the media is an invaluable opportunity. Many think of it as “free advertising,” but it shouldn’t just be perceived this way. The public knows that a practice cannot pay to be featured or quoted in a media outlet. It must be thought of as a credible source by the media, a non-biased third party. Thus receiving media coverage also establishes your practice as a trustworthy source by the public.
However trying to receive coverage is not easy. You can send out press releases about your company or you can try to pitch a story to a reporter that will include your practice, but you are rarely guaranteed editorial space in the paper or news broadcast. You are also in a sense competing against numerous other companies or practices that are all vying for coverage as well.
Below are a few tips to keep in mind when pitching the media:
- Journalists and producers get numerous pitches daily, so you must craft your pitch carefully to make sure it is unique, useful, newsworthy and will stand out.
- Determine which media outlet would be most interested in turning your pitch into a story by knowing your target audience and what publication they read or types of news they watch.
- Find the reporter or producer that covers the healthcare field in their outlet. Do the research so that you are contacting the right person right off the bat instead of jumping through hoops to find who the appropriate person is. One way of doing this is by going through recent news stories and determining what reporters are doing health stories.
- Attract the reporter by showing them that you follow their stories and take an interest in it. Provide them angles that you think they will appreciate based on their previous stories and on events and happenings in the healthcare field.
- Similar to making sure you contact the right person the first time, keep it short. Recognize how valuable their time is and that you would like them to do the story because it is in their best interest, not just yours.
- Stay on the reporter’s or producer’s top of mind or radar by keeping in touch. When they have a story and need a source that you or your practice would be a good fit for, then they may be more inclined to reach out to you.