Living in Nashville, we are surrounded by healthcare. After all, the city is known as the healthcare industry capital, boasting nearly 400 companies in operation and annual contributions of $38.8 billion and 250,000 jobs to the local economy. So it may come as no surprise that, as a Nashville PR firm, we know a thing or two about working with healthcare companies.
Here are four PR tactics for healthcare companies looking to breathe some life into their reputation.
1. Publish your knowledge in trade publications.
Whether you are a seasoned hospital executive or the creator of the newest revolutionary healthcare technology, you have valuable insights about your field. There are other industry professionals across the country and around the world who will be interested in what you have to say. Some of the best outlets to reach them are trade magazines and their corresponding websites. You may have heard of Becker’s Hospital Review, FierceHealthcare, Healthcare Informatics or MedCity News, just to name a few. There are many options for every healthcare focus. While these publications have very capable reporters spending their time covering the latest healthcare news, many also welcome contributed articles by industry leaders – innovators sharing their thoughts in their own words.
Start with your own inbox. If you subscribe to them, see if you can write for them. Also, talk with your peers to find out if any of them are contributing authors and get their recommendations on publications to target.
2. Meet reporters at industry conferences.
A little face time goes a long way. There are thousands of reporters writing about healthcare news and trends, and introducing them to you and your business is no easy task. One way to get noticed is to have a good old-fashioned conversation at the next industry conference you attend. Get a list of all registered attendees and review it for editors and reporters and their publications. Contact the ones you are interested in meeting and ask if they will have 10-15 minutes to chat with you during their stay. Grab coffee in the morning, a cocktail before dinner events or even just a quick handshake and hello at a designated spot between sessions. Your conversation may not make it into a news story, but building that relationship will prove to be even more valuable.
3. Apply for industry awards and speaking opportunities.
You know you’re the best at what you do, make sure the industry knows it too. Industry associations and publications often run annual awards programs, honoring the best and the brightest in healthcare. Research these awards and their deadlines, and apply for them every year. When you receive an award, make sure the right people know about it. Post the logo and/or name on your website and share a press release about your win with the local media. If you have an email list, send them a note about it and post it on your social media networks.
We discussed meeting reporters at industry conferences – make yourself even more visible by applying to speak at those conferences as well. Approximately nine months to a year before each conference, event organizers begin accepting topic ideas for information sessions. You may have completed a new round of compelling research or developed an innovative approach to patient care. If your company’s accomplishments would make a good case study, submit an application to share your story.
4. Be prepared to share your insights in a heartbeat.
It’s no secret, healthcare is a, well, shall we say “popular” topic of conversation these days. Each new development brings more opportunities for commentary in the news cycle. As an expert in your field, add your knowledge to the conversation. A Google news search of important healthcare topics will yield a long list of the latest headlines, and the reporters writing them. Contact those reporters and offer them your perspective on the matter. You may provide the right information for another article they plan to write on the topic.
While local media outlets will cover national news, they prefer to do so with some local flavor. For healthcare topics that are of great importance to the general public, reach out to your area newspaper or TV station to talk about what these topics mean for the local community. By doing so, yours is a name they will remember to call the next time they need an important healthcare perspective from their own backyard.
How have you promoted your healthcare business?