Health Tech PR – Why Experience Matters

By Mark Macias

Medical and health reporters are typically the most experienced journalists in the newsroom. Their experience and understanding of medical studies runs deep and that will play a critical factor in the success of your health tech or healthcare media campaign.

You can’t approach these medical reporters with a story that is half-baked or full of fluff. You need to identify the research and understand it from a news editorial perspective before you even get on the phone with them. And when products aren’t yet peer reviewed, your publicist needs to identify unique story angles that can still position your brand on the news.

Why Experience Matters with Health Tech and Healthcare PR

During my time with NBC, I oversaw the medical and health units, approving the scripts and story ideas of reporters and producers in those units. Our three medical reporters all had post-graduate degrees from Ivy-League schools. Likewise, our medical producer had more than a decade of news experience in New York. These reporters and producers could see a bad medical story idea within the first three sentences.

This is why it is so important to make sure your publicist has experience when it comes to pitching your health tech or healthcare company. PR teams only get one shot with these medical reporters and if your publicist doesn’t present the story accurately or succinctly, reporters will be less likely to listen to their pitches in the future.

So as you begin vetting potential publicists to sell your health tech or healthcare ideas to the media, don’t assume a bubbly personality will get you on the news. It’s not youth or personality that persuades these experienced medical reporters. It’s a solid understanding of the news angle that succeeds with media placements.

Macias PR was named the 2016 “Financial PR Firm of the Year – USA” and the 2015 “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. We have launched and led media campaigns for clients in healthcare, finance, tech and the nonprofit sectors. The founder of Macias PR – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with CNBC, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.

Media Milestones for 3rd Quarter of 2016

By Mark Macias

Potential clients always tell me the PR industry is not transparent. They complain – and rightfully so – that PR firms over-promise, under-deliver and never provide details on what they are doing.

Macias PR believes in complete transparency, which is why we continue to announce our media placements via quarterly milestones. It’s a way to keep our firm accountable and to provide complete transparency for potential clients.

Hold Your PR Firm Accountable

In the third quarter of 2016, Macias PR secured publicity for our clients with the New York Post, Channel 11 in New York City, The Financial Times, US News and World Report, Sirius Radio, I-Heart Radio, Singapore News, Sports Illustrated, Time Out New York, The Daily Mail in the UK, The Sun in the UK, Fox Business, Kiplinger’s Wealth Magazine, TheStreet.com, Marketwatch, Value Walk, Fund Society Magazine, The Brooklyn Eagle and others.

We also grew in the second half of 2016 with new clients in health tech, finance and technology. In September, Macias PR will launch three local media campaigns in Miami and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida as well as in San Antonio, Texas for a nonprofit organization that helps veterans and military families with VA housing programs. That nonprofit, VAREP, has been a partner with Macias PR for more than 3 years, and we are proud to have helped it launch new local chapters in Hawaii, California, Arizona, Texas, Washington, DC and now Florida.

Macias PR Named “PR Firm of the Year”

August was also a big moment for Macias PR. The international finance publication, Finance Monthly, named Macias PR the top 2016 “Financial PR Firm of the Year – USA”.

Macias PR was the only public relations firm in the USA honored with this award, and it is the second year in a row that Finance Monthly recognized our firm with this award. Their team of researchers and journalists evaluated our PR performance based on media deliverables, expertise, client relations and innovation in PR.

If you’re looking for the top healthcare or tech PR firm with proven results, send us an email and we’ll chat.

Macias PR was named the 2016 “Financial PR Firm of the Year – USA” and the 2015 “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. We have launched and led media campaigns for clients in healthcare, finance, tech and the nonprofit sectors. The founder of Macias PR – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with CNBC, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.

 

Healthcare PR – The first 60 Days of your Campaign Launch

By Mark Macias

You will always perform better in team sports and business when you have a game plan in place. It’s no different with healthcare PR, especially when a media launch involves different messages from different departments.

In healthcare PR, a 60-day game plan becomes even more significant because it typically requires a better understanding of the research and/or data needed to launch the media campaign. If you’re getting close to launching a healthcare or healthtech media campaign, here are five items to line up before your official product or service launch with the media.

Your Healthcare PR Plan

  1. Data – If you’re using any data for your media campaign, make sure you acquire it before your campaign starts. Data can take days or weeks, and there is nothing worse than waiting to launch a PR campaign because the data isn’t available.
  2. Product Availability – This might sound like common sense, but make sure your product is available for the public during your media launch. If you plan on updating the product in the few weeks after the media campaign, consider promoting the more updated product version with the media and brand it as an advanced look at the upgraded product.
  3. Line up your Experts – Healthtech products and services require experts to explain how it impacts consumers’ lives. Make sure your expert speaking about your product or service is vetted and knowledgeable on the topic. Investors don’t count as experts. If you’re pitching a healthtech app, reporters don’t want to speak with your investor relations person. They will want to interview the person behind the technology.
  4. Source your Research – If you’re making healthcare claims, you better source your material because any solid reporter, including inexperienced reporters, will want to hear about the research behind the product or service.
  5. Identify Potential Clients or Customers for the Narrative – The best PR stories are told by others. If you can line up customers, patients or enterprises who use your product or service, your story will sound stronger (and less like an advertisement) when you pitch health, medical and tech reporters.

Macias PR was named the 2016 “Financial PR Firm of the Year – USA” and the 2015 “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. We have launched and led media campaigns for clients in healthcare, finance, tech and the nonprofit sectors. The founder of Macias PR – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with CNBC, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.

Healthcare PR – Pitching Medical Reporters

By Mark Macias

The bar for securing healthcare and health tech stories is much more difficult with local and national news outlets, which means your media strategy and editorial campaign need to be that much stronger from the start.

Generally speaking, healthcare and medical reporters are more educated and more suspicious of stories that aren’t backed by science or peer-reviewed studies. Yes, that is a very broad statement but during my time with NBC and CBS in New York (as an Executive Producer and Senior Producer respectively), as well as my journalism years in Phoenix and Miami – I repeatedly observed how medical and health reporters analyzed story ideas with more skepticism.

This difference in editorial style was even more pronounced in New York.

Healthcare PR in New York

During my time as Executive Producer with NBC, I oversaw the consumer, health and medical units, approving scripts and story ideas from producers and reporters. It was much harder to sell  medical reporters on news stories. Even when I – as their boss – wanted to pursue a medical story, I frequently had to sell the medical reporters on the substance or research behind the story.

These reporters were also more educated. The medical and health reporters with NBC all had post-graduate degrees that included an MD from Harvard, an MD from Yale and a PhD from Princeton. The medical reporters at CBS also had MD and experience in the hospital.

I’m sharing this information not to brag, but to help you see that if you want to run any media campaign targeting the health or medical reporters, you must make sure your media strategy is full of substance. Don’t think you can get away with fluff, or internal science that has little merit outside of your company.

Take the time to identify strong editorial angles that are backed with objective research. If you take these initial steps before you launch your healthcare or health tech PR campaign, you will have more success with your media placements.

Macias PR was named the 2016 “Financial PR Firm of the Year – USA” and the 2015 “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. We have launched and led media campaigns for clients in healthcare, finance, tech and the nonprofit sectors. The founder of Macias PR – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with CNBC, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.

Healthcare PR – Strategies to Get your Healthcare Organization on the News

By Mark Macias

How do you get your healthcare or healthtech business on the news?

If there were a news algorithm to that formula, trust me, the code would have been hacked and posted already. However, there are ways to increase your chances for coverage with the healthcare media by following a few strategies.

4 Strategies for Healthcare PR

  1. Don’t Use Medical Jargon – Poor communications is one of the biggest reasons most solid news stories are ignored by the media. The reporter or producer simply didn’t understand the story. This is usually because the healthcare journalist was lost during the definitions. If you are looking to hire a healthcare PR firm, make sure your potential PR partner doesn’t use medical jargon to communicate with reporters. Get a solid understanding in how your PR firm is pitching your healthcare services to the media because if outsiders don’t understand it, your media campaign will fail. Sure, a few healthcare reporters deep in medical jargon may understand the story with medical jargon, but in today’s media landscape, those people are rare. Always communicate complicated healthcare stories in simple ways that any general consumer reporters will understand.
  2. Alert the Media – Many healthcare organizations believe in press releases and the PR Newswires will thank you for it. Here’s my take on that. No healthcare reporter or producer is going to the PR Newswires to find a story idea. If you want the media to hear about your press release, you need to alert them to it. That means calling, or emailing them. Don’t wrongly assume an expensive press release will motivate the healthcare journalists to call you.
  3. Stay on Top of the Healthcare News Cycle – During my time as a Senior Producer with CBS in New York, I always tried to read JAMA and all the other trade journals. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to read every journal and frequently, I would miss solid, timely story ideas because I was never alerted to the news. If your industry has a solid report coming out in the trade journals, make sure you alert the healthcare writers to it. Email them the study and explain in a simple and easy to understand way – why this news impacts their readers.
  4. Relationships Matter – I always say that media contacts are not a media strategy. They are an assist. A good reporter contact will be more receptive, but that being said, a large portion of our media placements in healthcare, finance, tech and other industries were secured without ever meeting the reporter in person. But in healthcare, it is a little different. Relationships with journalists matter more with the healthcare media. Healthcare reporters frequently have to turn more enterprise stories than traditional news reporters and that requires a steady flow of ideas. Healthcare is usually a specialty so if you are in the know of healthcare trends, you will have an edge with these types of campaigns. This is why even when I don’t have a healthcare client to pitch, I always make sure our team continually communicates solid news ideas to the various healthcare and medical reporters. It also makes them more receptive to our pitches when we are pitching our own clients.

Macias PR was named the 2016 “Financial PR Firm of the Year – USA” and the 2015 “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. We have launched and led media campaigns for clients in healthcare, finance, tech and the nonprofit sectors. The founder of Macias PR – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with CNBC, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.

Healthcare PR – Is it better to work with a Specialist or a Generalist?

By Mark Macias

In the healthcare sector, is it better to work with an industry-related PR firm that specializes in healthcare, or will you get better results with a generalist PR firm that works with different types of industries?

You might think this is partial advice since Macias PR runs health tech and healthcare PR campaigns for clients in the B2B and B2C space, so let me first start with my healthcare experience in the media.

Healthcare PR – The View Inside the Media

As Executive Producer with WNBC in New York, I oversaw the healthcare, medical, features and consumer units. Publicists, reporters and producers all pitched me their healthcare related ideas. Likewise, I also approved all healthcare scripts and story ideas from reporters and producers. As a Senior Producer with CBS, I produced healthcare and medical stories – and pitched complicated healthcare stories in the morning news meeting.

When I used to read media pitches from publicists, I could always tell which publicists worked at a hospital and which worked at an agency. The publicists who worked inside the healthcare industry always used medical jargon. It was like they wanted to impress me with their medical expertise. Problem is – I didn’t get a medical or biology degree. I got a degree in journalism and political science, like many other journalists.

This is why – generally speaking – most generalist PR firms will have a better understanding in how to frame a medical story. They will also likely have an edge when it comes to explaining the complicated story to reporters and producers, regardless of the journalists’ background.

I’ve also seen it as the owner of a PR firm when I am speaking directly with reporters and producers about story ideas. Their time is valuable and they don’t want to waste valuable time trying to understand the healthcare payoff. They want me to explain the angle to them quickly, so they can decide whether it is a story their news organization will want to pursue.

Do I Hire a Generalist or Specialist with PR?

If you are debating between hiring a PR firm that specializes in healthcare PR or a generalized PR firm that works with different industries – take a look at what they have delivered for their other clients. If you see diverse stories in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today or CBS News, you might have a winner because it took a smart publicist to explain the complicated healthcare angle in an easy-to-understand way.

Macias PR was named the 2016 “Financial PR Firm of the Year – USA” and the 2015 “PR Consultant Firm of the Year – USA” by Finance Monthly. We have launched and led media campaigns for clients in healthcare, finance, tech and the nonprofit sectors. The founder of Macias PR – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with CNBC, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.