Congratulations! You’ve got a busy dermatology practice. You’ve worked hard for years to build awareness to grow your practice, to create a positive reputation, to hire other dermatologists as colleagues, and to consistently run a superb practice. You’ve got more than enough patients already. You’ve got a website, a blog and an SEO team working to keep you on top of Google search rankings. You’ve made all the right moves. With all this success and support, do you really need PR? Here’s why we think the answer is a resounding YES.

Public relations is a powerful tool in the “marketing toolbox” for dermatologists. Unlike paid advertising in which you pay for the exact words and message, PR offers an opportunity for you to humbly show off your expertise in your field. When a journalist reaches out for comments, and subsequently quotes you in their published article, it tells readers that you are a leader in your field. After all, with all the dermatologists to quote in their article they selected you. By responding to media requests for comments and regularly being quoted in the media you have the potential to reach all your key targets, including current and prospective patients, referring doctors and the general public.

Another unique advantage for PR for dermatologists is that the media pool that writes about skincare and skin health is vast. This means that the opportunities for being quoted in articles about all the issues and conditions for which patients come to them is also vast. That’s not true for every medical specialty.

What is Smart PR for Dermatologists?

So what exactly is smart PR for a dermatologist? How do you do it and what’s involved? We think there are 3 key things for dermatologists to keep in mind as they embark on a PR program.

First, almost all media requests are time sensitive. To be in the game you need to be responsive when the opportunities present themselves. When a reporter reaches out for comments, you need to prioritize responding in a timely manner. Moreover, you need to answer the specific questions asked and answer in full, quotable, sentences. It all sounds so obvious, but it needs to be reinforced. Be open to all media opportunities. Reporters who have good experiences with you will likely call upon you again for comments for other stories down the road.

Second, smart PR for dermatologists includes having and maintaining a strong online presence. Have a website and keep it up to date. Make sure that your website is optimized for keywords in Google search, keeping in mind that journalists use Google too. Make it easy for journalists to find you.

And third, find your PR lane and stay in it. This means building on your expertise and reputation as a thought leader in dermatology. Consider writing bylined (contributed) articles on topics related to your dermatology specialties. Seek out journalists at media outlets who write articles for which you could have been a resource and let them know you are available for commentary for upcoming stories.

There are hundreds of articles written each week about skin care and other skin health topics. Getting into the game and offering commentary for these articles will help build your reputation as a thought leader and improve your search rankings.