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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.