The medical industry involves many different parts and options – there’s big pharma, hospice, practitioners, and more. Here let’s look at public relations for physicians and other healthcare providers.
Family doctor didn’t have to worry in the past so much about public relations, it was more about keeping current with advances, doing a good job, and building a reasonable bedside manner. Over the last several years much has changed. As people – patients – turn more to the internet and social media, physicians too must jump on that wagon. Running a successful practice or clinic is so much more than putting out a shingle in the center of town.
Beyond the patients, there’s also working medical magic with insurance companies, government agencies, hospitals, drug companies, and other ancillary markets. Building alliances and affiliations can fill waiting rooms on a regular basis. But it’s still a lot about the quality of service and the ability for patients to pay their portion of the bill.
The big trick is getting the news out to others when you fit the perfect physician ideal. What can you and your staff do to make your work better known in the community and surrounding areas? It’s more than bumper stickers or metallic signs on all the vehicles driven by you, your family, and your staff.
Take a look at what your clinic can offer to the community as well as what is needed. Contact your local paper or radio station to see if there are events you can help sponsor or support such as a community emergency preparedness fair or groups you can talk with about their medical concerns – a women’s garden club might be interested in the signs and symptoms of breast cancer or what to be aware of when a hysterectomy could be necessary. Talking with the PTA about what to signs are common in child abuse could be another possibility. All of these introduce you to more members of the community and media.
For health-related events, offer to write an advice or information article – there are always people who need more help with issues such as heart attacks, strokes, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. Additionally, keep giveaway items related to these types of issues for such occasions.
When treating patients that face longer recovery efforts, institute something fun to celebrate the occasion of the completion of their treatment. One office uses a large gong and has the patient bang it with the wand when they are pronounced whole. It’s a quick, easy, cheap, and exhilarating way to acknowledge the effort that lasted months or weeks.
What ways can you think of that would work in your practice? If you have an idea, talk it over with your staff and give it a try. It could be just the way to introduce you to more people and let them get to know and trust you as well.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.