5 Ways to earn media coverage for businesses in highly regulated industries such as healthcare

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What To Know

  • We have always stayed close to the pulse and trends of the industries we serve, and we are able to either proactively pitch emerging trends to the journalists before they become hit the news, or be very quick in serving the reactive rapid response interview opportunities the journalists provide us and our clients.
  • Time is always critical, and the more we are able to serve the needs of the journalists in these quick turnaround rapid response stories, the more our clients become sought after in future interview opportunities.

If you are a hospital, clinic, media equipment, and health supplements business, you know that the challenging economic climate can dampen your journey forward. And yet, there are many regulatory frameworks to confine how and what you can communicate with the public, whether in marketing, advertising, or public relations (PR). How then, can you earn media mileage consistently while staying straight and narrow within these confines? Let us share our insights from decades of consulting for all these businesses.

We have served healthcare related industries for decades, including hospitals, clinics, medical equipment businesses, health supplements businesses, etc. We have found some of these approaches work.

1. Neutral ground

The healthcare field is an ever evolving field. New research always seem to supplant previous research, and what professional opinions presented as facts would quite often be replaced by newer and seemingly more accurate professional opinions. We need to understand that science is not concrete and definitive, but ever changing, and nothing should be seen as final and absolutely true. So as healthcare spokespersons, we need to ensure our clients not only stay within the regulatory guidelines for communication, but also within the confines of current science opinions and state these as such. There should never be exaggeration of what can be done or achieved, but merely possibilities and statistical or historical results. Staying neutral and centered is an important fundamental approach to earn trust from both the media and the community.

2. Branded spokespersons

Doctors are subject matter experts. And although not every doctor makes a good media spokesperson, most can be sufficiently ready to engage with media interviews with a good media training program, and some pre-interview briefings and even mock interviews. On top of these multimedia interviews (for TV, radio, or online video), doctors can be engaged to be writers too. We PR practitioners can help to steer the articles or commentaries, and edit them to fit editorial guidelines. We found this approach very effective in building up healthcare brands through public communication.

3. Big and small data

Data, facts, and research, will always be useful to the media in building up convincing interviews and stories. Serious healthcare businesses do have relevant data and facts, and these can be presented in anonymized ways and still be useful as aggregate data for the media. We have worked closely with clients to extract data and facts and help them strengthen their communication narratives, including the writing and distribution of case studies.

4. Proactive rapid response

One of the best ways to earn media coverage is to be ready for media interviews whenever the media needs commentators or analysts. We have always stayed close to the pulse and trends of the industries we serve, and we are able to either proactively pitch emerging trends to the journalists before they become hit the news, or be very quick in serving the reactive rapid response interview opportunities the journalists provide us and our clients. Time is always critical, and the more we are able to serve the needs of the journalists in these quick turnaround rapid response stories, the more our clients become sought after in future interview opportunities.

5. Be seen in public

Healthcare industries, such as hospitals, clinics, and health supplements, are very much consumer-facing businesses. We have observed that clients with an active community involvement tend to attract more organic and earned media mileage, as they have earned brand mindshare with the local communities. For example, businesses that have nonprofit involvement to benefit the communities, or have on-ground activation or educational events, tend to find more media opportunities coming forth.

All businesses have confines and challenges, but communication can be a powerful way to build community trust and media mileage, if done wisely and consistently. The healthcare industry is sophisticated and always evolving, and so keeping up quality and moderated communication to reach all stakeholders, is the smart way to build your brands.

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