Marketing of Medical Practice – All Physicians Need Public Relations

Consumers want the latest in automotive styling, the latest fashions from Paris and the cutting edge of technology. But patients are reluctant to embrace experimental medicine or advanced technology when it comes to improving their health or improving their bodies.

That’s why physicians at the cutting edge of their specialty need public relations. The message of safety, convenience and success must be conveyed because medical consumers are much more reluctant to be among the first to accept a new medical technique than buyers of automobiles, computers, furniture or fashion.

Of course, sick people want to be treated with the latest drugs, equipment or methods. They just don’t want to be the first! So, an innovative doctor who introduces new equipment or a new method of treatment needs the help of a public relations / marketing professional to be successful.

No one will agree to eye surgery without being satisfied that the procedure is absolutely safe. No woman will ever accept breast augmentation or vaginal rejuvenation without feeling absolutely comfortable with the practitioner. The more sensitive the procedure, the greater the need for public relations.

In my experience, a well thought out and executed PR / Marketing plan will overcome the reluctance of patients to embrace medical innovations. In my practice, this has certainly been the case.

While working with prominent physicians over the past few years, I have developed successful marketing campaigns for Plastic Surgery, LASIK Surgery, Dental Surgery, Liposuction, and BOTOX. One of the most effective ways is to have radio, TV, and sports figures get the surgery or treatment for free, and then testify about how well that new or new surgery is working. processing. I have also had sports, television and radio celebrities endorsed to help convince clients that it is safe and desirable to use the elective medical procedure.

One of my earliest medical clients, which serves as an insightful test case for the topic of this article, is the Windsor Laser Eye Institute (WLEI) founded by Dr Fouad Tayfour who is a household name in the market today. Detroit-Windsor.

But when WLEI became my client, Dr. Tayfour was not a household name in Southeast Michigan. The FDA had not yet approved laser eye surgery, so it was only available in Canada. Dr Tayfour, a pioneer in Canada and the United States, opened a clinic in Windsor across the river from Detroit. So, due to Windsor’s proximity to Detroit, Dr. Tayfour wanted to reach the greater Detroit metropolitan area.

Although there was interest in laser vision as a substitute for prescription glasses or contact lenses, initially there was no influx of traffic on the Ambassador Bridge to the clinic. People are very sensitive in their eyes and very hesitant to be among the first to adopt this revolutionary approach. What about side effects or complications down the road? How uncomfortable is the procedure? How long will the correction last? Will it damage my eyes? And to those concerns was added the fact that the procedure had not been approved by the FDA and was not covered by health insurance.

One of the first steps was to prepare a set of materials for a press kit explaining what the laser procedure was, what the benefits were, and the facts to overcome concerns about side effects, pain, discomfort, etc. The press kits have been distributed. television, radio and newspaper reporters, as well as sports personalities, talk show hosts and other celebrities in the Detroit market. Reports were filed and radio celebrities started talking about the new procedure from across the river. Dr Tayfour then performed the procedure for free to sports figures, celebrities and media figures, who then spread the word further. These well-known and respected celebrities have also issued endorsements for laser vision. As part of this campaign, I hosted a live broadcast of two laser vision surgeries, which really had a positive impact on the patients!

We created a buzz campaign and soon everyone was talking about laser vision and its beauty. Travel has become so frequent from Detroit to Windsor that when immigration officers in the booth asked, “Why are you coming to Canada” and heard “you have laser eye surgery on you,” they simply said. hailed by Dr Tayfour, then launched an intense television advertising campaign that cemented its status as a household word in the region. But the basis of this event was a targeted media campaign and selected supporters.

It wasn’t just a classic approach to media promotion and niche marketing where you tear up a page and cover the bullet points. The media coverage was particularly successful because I invested the time necessary to cultivate media contacts and build their trust. Now when they get a pitch from me the editor / reporter trusts me and knows the facts presented will be correct. If you don’t build the relationship and trust first, your carefully curated press kit landing on the editorial desk will end up in the trash within 20 seconds. PR isn’t about shine and glitter; it’s about relationships and trust.

As part of the media relations interview, I regularly attend major media events in New York where I have face-to-face meetings with reporters, editors, writers and producers of the media. best national magazines, newspapers and radio / TV programs. I have successfully featured media such as 20/20, Prime Time, CNN, People, Good Morning America, Newsweek, Time Magazine, Dateline NBC, The View, Oprah’s O magazine, Cosmopolitan, Fox News, Good Housekeeping, Newsweek for quote a few.

The same things that worked for Dr. Tayfour also worked for:

§ Michigan TLC Laser Eye Centers to host FOX and ABC TV coverage promote their new personalized LASIK procedure,

§ Dr. Joseph Berenhotz, director of the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute in Michigan, promoting a new vaginal laser treatment covered by the Detroit Free Press, NBC and ABC TV in Detroit, and an Indianapolis TV station

§ To promote plastic surgeon Dr Gregory Roche of Bloomfield, Michigan when he launched BOTOX in Michigan

§ Media coverage and publicity for Dr Fiander of the Farmington Laser Eye Clinic

§ For laser plastic surgeon Dr. Lawrence Castleman, I’ve published dozens of articles, hosted TV and radio media coverage, and gained media coverage for everything from ultrasound liposuction to BOTOX for sweating and hair transplants.

§ Targeted marketing for cosmetic surgeon Dr. Michael Gray when he started an endoscopic breast augmentation program in Michigan

§ And placed print articles and organized TV reports on dental implants and a tooth-friendly Easter basket for Dr. Timothy Kosinski, DDS

(Besides, I have never represented two LASIK surgeons or two plastic surgeons at the same time. My corporate and personal ethics do not allow me to represent clients who are in competition).

In addition to public relations and marketing campaigns aimed at television, radio, newspapers, trade and professional publications, Internet marketing is very effective. One of the first things I check when meeting new customers is if they have a website and if it is effective in marketing their product, service or message. Nine times out of ten, one of the first things we plan on is a content overhaul and overhaul to make the website the viable marketing tool it should be.

With that done, I then strategically place electronic press releases and ezine articles on the internet and employ strong, state-of-the-art search engine techniques and drive traffic to the client’s website. The increased traffic to the newly rejuvenated website will subsequently result in phone calls or email inquiries to the client’s medical office, which in turn will result in new traffic to the medical clinic.

Another technique essential to the promotion of professionals in the medical field is to establish the client as an expert in his field of specialty. The executive biography included in the press kit aims to promote the client’s expertise. I also make sure the client is listed as an expert in a valuable online expert service. Editors use this service when looking for experts in article development. Getting an interview in a feature story as an expert in the field is worth gold and it makes subscribers to this service, like my firm, a valuable ally of the media by providing them with exactly what they need … a expert.

A major strategy for establishing a health professional as an expert is to schedule television, radio and radio interviews. To do this, the client must be equipped to deal with the media, and most clients are not qualified to be interviewed. Therefore, while the client’s website is boosted and the press kit is being put together, I enroll the client with a reputable media coach.

Media training will give doctors, dentists and surgeons the skills to learn how to use the media, not only to get their message across, but to get people to try out the medical procedure or treatment plan. As a marketing expert, I can pitch a doctor’s story and line up a television or radio interview but the author will not be able to amaze listeners and capitalize on the interview without being trained by a media coach

Before investing in a PR firm, it is prudent to find a PR professional who knows their way in the newsroom and has a body of work with successful medical internships in all forms of media. When shopping for a public relations firm, consider the following:

o Does the company have a history of medical and health internships?

o Does the company have extensive media contact and ongoing relationships?

o Does the firm have a good reputation with journalists?

o Are the sample press kits from other medical clients professionally written?

At the end of the day, sign up with someone who can demonstrate the results you want. My clients have been featured by Good Morning America, CNN, ABC Nightly News, The New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Family Circle, Woman’s World to name a few – a few.

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