DIY Media Coverage

A switched-on public relations professional can really put your aesthetics practice on the map, but hiring the right team for the job costs time and money, and may not be right for every practice.

Plan B is to try being your own publicist to get your feet wet working with the new media – reporters, editors, bloggers, producers and more – and see how you do on your own.

Start by asking yourself some basic questions.

Why do you want media coverage? Some doctors enjoy speaking out via media, while others do it to elevate their profile to book more cases. Be honest as your motivation will be the best way to chart your course going forward.

Next, what kind of media do you covet? Print, online, radio, or TV? Local or national? To become a go-to media source, you need to be in the know about trends and cutting edge developments. Set Google alerts for key reality shows and pop culture news of interest to your target audience. Follow the relevant journals and FDA activity. Stay on top of the trends.

Reach out to some of the trade and consumer journalists you respect to introduce yourself. Let them know you are available as a source and try to get to meet them. When you read a reporter’s story on a subject that you are an expert on (even if you weren’t quoted), reach out and tell him or her what you liked about their work and ask them to keep you in mind for future stories. (Flattery will get you everywhere.)

There are other ways to reach journalists too. If you have a university affiliation, contact the public affairs office to keep them aware of your special expertise and willingness to talk to media. Notify the communications team about anything exciting happening in your specialty, such as a newly approved laser, stats from a major medical association, clinical trials or research you are involved with.

Strive to build an impressive media list by keeping all your newfound contacts updated. Media tend to move around from outlet to outlet frequently, so make it a point to vet your list every six months of so to stay current.

When a reporter reaches out, let your office staff know to put them through to you. Offer up your private email, cell phone and tell them that it’s ok to text you. During an interview, stay on topic. Do not pivot and start talking about yourself. Speak in plain language for consumer press and bloggers, but you can use more medical jargon with trade journos. It’s super important to be responsive and respect media deadlines, which are usually very tight.

After you do an interview send the reporter a follow-up email. If and when the piece comes out, send a note of recognition even if your quotes didn’t make the final cut. If you were included, consider sending flowers to let them know you appreciated the plug. Keep the relationship going by checking in now and then when you have a great story idea.

Finally, make sure you promote all of these media hits on your social media channels, blog and website. This will dramatically increase the number of eyes on the coverage, and will help solidify your place in journalists’ database of experts. The more they see your name, the more they want to interview you.

After about six months of pitching yourself, evaluate how things are going and decide if you need or want outside help through a PR agent.

Want to learn more about how to market your aesthetics practice or get your brand the right kind of attention? Reach out to us Anne@wendylewisco.com

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