One of the best ways to attract new patients, and to remind patients of your practice (especially those who might not have been in for awhile), is for the Doctor to be included in and submit articles to local newspapers, magazines, local or cable TV and radio stations. These opportunities to increase visibility highlight the practice’s expertise and makes the practice more credible in the eyes of the public. To tap into the media, make your Doctor a familiar, reliable and available “expert” resource to your local writers and editors.
1. Introduction Letter
First, write a letter of introduction letting your local editors and reporters know that your Doctor(s) is available to help them at their request. Send the letter to all the editors and reporters (especially those who write on health issues) in your community. (Find their names on their company’s website or in your local newspapers or magazines. Check your patient base, who works in the media and has contacts?) Include a few bullet points on how your practice is unique and different and a business card so they can easily contact you. Submitting an article written by the Doctor on a current topic provides a good indication of the writing style of the Doctor, if you have a practice blog provide a link to showcase the subjects that the Doctor and practice are able to discuss.
2. Press Releases
Send a series of press releases that focus on “newsworthy” stories such as new associates, new technology, advancements in dentistry, prevention of sports-related dental injury, pediatric dentistry and any charitable work that our Doctor or practice does. (Check out www.press-release-writing.com and click on the samples link).
3. Look for Opportunity
Read your local newspapers and magazines and watch the local news. Look for community stories that have topics the practice can add value to. For example, if you see a story on junk food in the local schools, we can follow up with that writer or editor and “pitch” the idea of a new story that talks about how junk food impacts teen’s oral health. Or “pitch” a story on the elderly experiencing dry mouth,or how high school athletes can protect themselves by wearing a mouth guard, or the increase in bruxism and grinding in middle aged adults or the increase in oral cancer. You get the idea, there are many topics of interest to the community and your practice can be the go to resource.
Plan for Action
1. What are some stories your team thinks an editor or reporter might find interesting?
2. Who will spearhead your publicity drive?
3. With the media, it’s all about being available when they need you. Who within the practice is the best person to talk with the media?