Medical Marketing Using Public Relations
A great cost-effective way to promote your medical practice to a large part of your community is using a variety of public relations techniques. In fact, in some cases, these efforts may not cost you anything other than your time.
Getting free press from local news organizations can go a long way, but it can be tricky to get their attention to convince them to do a story about you. Below are some ideas on how you can use public relations to generate interest and exposure for your medical practice.
Ideas Using Public Relations To Market Your Medical Practice
1. Reach Out To Provide Expertise During Flu Season To A TV Station
The flu is a yearly health story that many new organizations cover, especially TV stations. Regardless if it is a severe or mild season, TV stations always run stories about the do’s and don’t of flu season. They generally enjoy talking to a doctor who can offer their expert medical tips about an upcoming flu season. Making one of your doctors available wearing a branded lab coat can put you in front of a large part of your community. Reach out to the news station and offer a very flexible schedule for them to send out a camera crew to speak with your doctor. Many TV stations and even some newspapers haver very tight timelines. You may get a phone call in the morning, wanting a reporter to speak with your doctor during lunch so it can make an evening broadcast or the next morning’s print.
2. Offer reduced cost Covid-19 testing for first responders
Offering to support parts of the community that keeps everyone safe is a great way to promote your business. Not only does it help build relationships with these prestigious institutions, but it will show your community that you are doing everything possible to keep everyone healthy. The COVID-19 pandemic is an example of a widely recognized news story that you can be a part of to help and promote your medical practice at the same time. The flu season is another time where you could offer free or reduced cost services to first responders to support them.
3. Blood drive with local blood bank
Blood banks around the county are always struggling to maintain the blood supply the community needs for emergencies. By promoting and running a blood drive for a local blood bank, you are again helping a great organization while promoting your own medical clinic. News organizations can be approached to help promote the event and may even send a reporter to cover it and donate blood themselves. Blood banks could surely use the extra assistance from your trained staff to help run the blood drive efficiently.
4. Write a guest column in a local newspaper
Local newspapers have their own stable of reporters, but these people are not medical experts. Offer to write a column about a health subject to submit it to a local newspaper. Newspapers are often open to receiving a column from a local doctor to talk about a public health topic. You can offer advice, tips, and symptoms to be aware of when talking about your health topic. Generally, you will not be allowed to advertise your clinic in your column overtly, but the newspaper will recognize who you are and where you work. Be mindful that you don’t write about a controversial topic unless you don’t mind angry letters or phone calls. Regardless of how right you are or how strongly you feel about something, avoid stirring up controversy for your business.
5. Conduct free health screenings at schools
Some schools may have no problem arranging for a health screenings for their students, but some simply can not afford it. Offer your services to provide a free health screening at a local school. Invite a reporter to come to cover it if you are screening for a common health issue. Bringing attention to it and focus on an underfunded school will go a long way to promoting your business and helping your community. While it will take time out of your day, also consider writing the results of any screening on a card with your phone number for a student to take home to their parents. This may encourage a follow-up call and additional business to your practice.
6. Set up a table at a community event
Many community events take place around your medical practice. Some are big, and some are small. Choose a few that are most likely to have your target audience and set up an informational table. This table should have brochures and be staffed with friendly and knowledgeable staff. They should be there and be available to answer any questions. Consider having a “sign up” form on your table so people can be kept up to date with the latest news from your clinic. If possible, offer free screenings to anyone who would like one. Write the results down on a notecard branded with your logo and contact information. This will allow them to follow up with you later if they want to use any of your services.
7. Provide medical support at a sports event
Large sporting events, like marathon, will often have a “medical tent” to treat athletes and spectators who become ill or injured during the event. Offer to help supply that “medical tent” with supplies and staff to help those with ailments during the day. Often, your support will be noted with a sign outside of the treatment area and often announced throughout the day by the event organizers. Having skilled medical staff on hand can literally be a lifesaver during some of these events.
8. Be an official “provider” of a local sports team
While a major professional sports team will likely have a regional health provider to be the official provider for their medical care, there are plenty of other opportunities in your area. Minor league sports teams need medical support, and if you are an official “team doctor” of that organization, you will have many free advertising opportunities. Granted, you will need to make yourself or a staff member available for games, and there will be days where your services are not required. Ideally, there should be no injuries during a game that require medical attention. Being the “team doctor” can be a great thing to advertise with your other medical marketing materials as well.
Public Relations requires a lot of “footwork,” so to speak to get results. You are going to get turned down a lot, and many times people may not even call you back. However, it only takes one good story or event to make it all worth it. Pursue any opportunity for you to be in the local news to promote your business. In many cases, you’ll also be helping the community. So, even if you don’t make the front page, you will still be doing some good.
8 Tips to Increase Open Rates For Medical Email Marketing
Step 1: You are not collecting Emails properly. For example, your patients should KNOW that you will be sending Emails. Many practices do not clearly inform the patients that they will be added to the monthly Emails. We recommend that you have clearly communicated with patients that you are adding them to monthly Emails, and if they can easily "opt out" if they like.
Step 2: Many clinics collect Emails on "free form" paper forms (like patient registration forms) - This introduces errors. It is very likely that front desk staff will manually re-enter the data into your EMR or Practice Management system. This is another big cause of high bounce rate.
Step 3: Subject line should be relevant but not sales oriented. Support your subject line — don’t reiterate it.
Step 4: Provide useful information for patients first, then include promotions. If you are only sending promotions, your open rate will steadily decrease.
Step 5: Use branding - If your patients see "similar" branded images, they are more likely to open the Emails.
Step 6: Provide a call to action. However, you should do it after the "offer", not immediately.
Step 7: Use lists - They allow you to target patients effectively. Medical practices who use lists are over 19% open rate. Medical practices who do not use lists are below 12% open rate. (Data from PatientGain campaigns from 2018 to 2019 - Millions of Emails sent during this time)
Step 8: Landing pages matter!!! Send users to a specific page - not a generic landing page. For example if your call to action is to redeem a Botox promotion, first make sure that you have a "Promotions" page, check to make sure that it loads fast!! and then check to see how it looks on mobile devices - 68 percentage of the Emails are read on mobile devices.
6 Key Pillars of Healthcare Medical Marketing for Physicians & Dentists. Used by the Top Clinics in USA and Canada.
Your patients start their journey to find your medical services in many ways. They may have immediate need for specific service, like a parent looking for a “pediatric urgent care near me” and over 78 percentage of the time they will go to Google and search. And majority of the time, this is done on a mobile cell phone device. You may have a client looking for specific MedSpa service like “Coolsculpting clinic near me” for non-invasive weight loss. There are millions of ways patients search and look for your services, every day, however, majority of the patients use online mediums like, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Yahoo, Bing etc to find a medical service provider. The following information applies to telemedicine physicians, dentists, surgeons, pediatrics, medical spas, pain management, functional medicine, primary & urgent care, cardiologists, podiatrists, addiction medicine, regenerative, wellness, therapy, OBGYN, integrative medicine, dentists, dermatologists, IVF & reproductive, pharma, bio-tech & many other medical practices.
6 Key Pillars of Healthcare Medical Marketing
Pillar No 1 - Patient Trust is the Foundation of Medical Marketing Success for Your Practice.
Provide excellent patient care and medical services to your target patients. Treat every patient like they are your first patient. Healthcare practices who focus on high customer/patient service have a solid foundation. From medical marketing perspective, Patient Trust starts from the moment they land on your website or read your online reviews.
Pillar No 2 - Medical Practice's Website.
Your website is the face of your practice. Your website can be an asset or a liability. Your website should look and perform better than your clinic's practice. Moreover your website should always build your brand.
Pillar No 3 - Medical Practice's Online Reputation.
Your online reputation – Number of 5 star reviews on Google is the most impactful strategy you can employ. Facebook, HealthGrades, Yelp and other sites are also important however Google Reviews ranking of 4.3 or higher with 100 or more reviews will make a huge impact on your business. We have seen the data and we are excited to help you achieve this.
Pillar No 4 - Medical Practice's Online SEO and Advertising.
SEO and Advertising. Having a nice website is a Step 1 – But if you are not improving the SEO on a monthly basis, you will be left behind. Advertising on Google and Facebook will further improve your patient acquisition. SEO is for your long term success and online advertising on Google, Facebook and Instagram can provide your healthcare practice with immediate patients and clients.
Pillar No 5 - Medical Practice's Social Media Strategy.
Social media strategy to engage with existing and potential patients. Key strategies include
1) Installing intelligent apps on your Facebook business page
2) Posting weekly on Facebook business page
3) Posting daily on your Google Posts.
4) Advertising on Social Media - Start with Facebook
Pillar No 6 - Medical Practice's Patient Communication Strategy.
Effective patient communication strategy. Here is a great starting list
1) HIPAA compliant communication from your website - Allow patients to contact you multiple ways and 24 x 7. This will improve your total patient count.
2) Medical Chatbot that works for your practice 24 hours a day, and stores information in a HIPAA compliant CRM database. Very effective app for engagement of potential and existing patients.
3) SMS-Texting from your website. Over 82 percentage of your patients visit your website from mobile devices. Allow your website visitors to send you texts/SMS from your website
4) EMR integration
5) Monthly Email marketing
6) Daily posts on Google Business Page
7) Weekly posts on Facebook
8) Monthly promotions offered
9) Conversion technology and techniques to build your content strategy on highest conversion keywords and subjects
SIX PILLARS OF HEALTHCARE MARKETING
This is the GOLD Solution From PatientGain
PatientGain.com is a proven healthcare marketing solution, includes apps, websites, SEO, HIPAA compliance and account management.
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The GOLD service from PatientGain is used by telemedicine physicians, dentists, surgeons, pediatrics, medical spas, pain management, functional medicine, primary & urgent care, cardiologists, podiatrists, addiction medicine, regenerative, wellness, therapy, OBGYN, integrative medicine, dentists, dermatologists, IVF & reproductive, pharma, bio-tech & many other medical practices.