Years ago, if your medical practice didn’t have a phone number listing in the yellow pages you weren’t really in the game. Afterall, how would prospective patients find you, call you, make an appointment? The game has changed and nowadays doctors need more marketing tools to compete. A website is a basic requirement. And for most, so is visibility on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram, to name a few. But with all those marketing channels turned on, how do doctors fill them with new content and stay on top of the Google search? It turns out that publicity for doctors, being quoted in the media as a thought leader and subject matter expert, is a BIG key for successful doctors and wellness experts. But how do doctors get journalists and reporters to call them for comments? Why are some doctors quoted in the news all the time and others not at all?
Publicity for doctors is a natural marriage. Journalists need to quote medical experts in their stories and doctors want to be quoted. Moreover, the opportunity for doctors to get publicity is vast. There are hundreds of articles written each day about health, fitness, beauty, nutrition and mental health and in each article at least one doctor (and usually 2 or 3) is quoted.
But how do doctors get journalist to call them?
We offer the following 5 tips for doctors seeking publicity
-Raise your hand and get in the game: Become known to reporters/journalists as a reliable resource. As journalists research and write their stories they need experts to quote. Doctors who get quoted a lot in the media are putting in the time responding to queries and pitching their credentials as a subject matter expert. Some doctors choose to do this on their own, others work with firms specializing in public relations for doctors.
-Provide interesting and quotable comments: When responding to a query from a journalist, doctors need to make their answers clear, concise, and approachable for consumers. And most importantly, there should never be any sales language in a media response. Journalists can’t use language like “we’re the best practice in the Northeast or we’ve done more procedures than anywhere in the US. That’s called advertising and has no place in public relations responses.
-Be responsive to media requests for commentary: It’s critical for doctors seeking publicity to respect the deadlines from journalists. That means responding to questions by the deadline requested by the journalist.
-Answer the specific questions from journalists for a consumer audience. While it may seem obvious, the real task in generating publicity is to help the journalist write their article. Towards this end it is key to answer the specific questions asked and all of them.
-Develop relationships with journalists: Here the tips are very basic; be polite, say thank you, send clear and grammatically correct responses, don’t be late, don’t be snarky, post, share and tag journalists when you post.