Health IT Marketing: How a PR Agency Builds an Audience
Sam Stern

Sam is the Founder and Chief Marketing Technologist at Modallic. Modallic specializes in brand development and marketing for Mobile Healthcare Technology (mHealth) firms. As a life-long entrepreneur, Sam directs the mHealth storytelling and mHealth agile marketing process unique to the Modallic approach.

Earning press both online and offline can add a huge boost to your health It marketing efforts. PR can increase the awareness of your firm and create interest about what you do. It adds credibility since it’s someone else talking about you.

PR is no accident. A skilled PR agency can help orchestrate press for your health IT firm using the following techniques:

1. They read dozens of business publications.  PR agencies understand what topics are newsworthy and which journalist writes about what topic.  Journalists are always under tight deadlines, have specific topics they cover, and are looking to inform their readers of the latest trends and explain their meaning.  PR agencies reach out to these journalists and present insights about your business.

2. Know how to focus on the needs of the journalist and not your agenda. Lots of businesses trying to do PR on their own get this wrong. No one is interested in your product.  Stick to the questions the journalist asks. Don’t obsess with getting your product covered.  This approach builds a relationship over time. More often than not, it ultimately gets you the coverage you’re looking for to help promote your business in the best light. 

3. Have a knack for putting your announcements in the context of a “news hook”.  PR agencies craft messages that are timely and relevant to what is happening in the industry or the world.

4. Tap small or regional publications.  Yes, you may want to be in The Wall Street Journal, but it is not likely to cover you until you have built great credibility.  Your best starting point is small, industry-oriented or regional publications.  They are a lot easier to approach and will likely be interested in breaking your story.

5. Are available to speak for you—even when you are busy.  Journalists on tight deadlines need sources to quote as fast as they can get them.  The first to respond usually get featured.

6. Honest.  Journalists have excellent “bullshit detectors”.  If you mislead them even once, not only will they never write about you in a positive way; they’re likely to tell their associates about their experience.  

7. Prepare you to be yourself, and express strong opinions.  PR agencies help to coach you on how to respond when the press knocks on your door. A strong opinion you can back up gets noticed. Hedging your bets  and being “politically correct” tends to get lost in the media noise.

Yes, you can tell your own story and earn press on your own.

But, keep these above techniques in mind when doing it yourself.

Or, if you’re too busy building your business, hire a PR pro to help you.

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photo credit: Reuver via photopin cc

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