Healthcare PR – Do Press Releases work?

By Mark Macias

There is a belief in healthcare PR that press releases posted on the PR newswires can get your story on the news. Don’t be misled by those promises from your PR firm or the PR newswires that these news releases will lead to media coverage.

Healthcare reporters and producers are highly suspicious of any form of advertisements. They are typically the most educated and least susceptible to press releases that make bold claims. Every healthcare reporter knows press releases on the PR newswires are nothing more than advertising.

During my time as an Executive Producer with NBC, I oversaw the consumer, health and medical units. I approved the story ideas from producers and reporters, and I signed off on their scripts. It was much easier to get stories by the consumer unit than the medical unit.

In the case with NBC, I worked with an MD from Harvard, an MD from Yale and a PhD from Princeton. All three of these medical correspondents could identify BS stories a mile away. There is no chance in the world these medical and science reporters were going to the PR newswires to look for story ideas. They go to the medical journals first.

Press Releases Don’t Work with Healthcare PR

If you’re trying to get a healthcare or medical story on the news, don’t waste your time with press releases distributed by PR newswires. You will have more success by identifying the true news narrative and reaching out to the reporter or producer directly.

And do your homework before you pitch. If the medical or healthcare reporter is an MD, you should expect the bar to be higher. That means – no hype. Tell it like it is and your story will have more credence from the start.

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.