Give them something to talk about: Make a list of the outstanding aspects of your hospital – A list that would help a reporter tell a good story. Hospitals – and businesses in general -get press because they are doing something newsworthy or they are perceived as the experts on a specific topic.
Target the right writers: Once you’ve figured out your story, search the web for local or regional journalists who have published or written articles related to the topics you want to see in print. The more targeted your list of writers, the more likely you’ll get a response. Try not to simply send a one size fits all press release to a giant list of journalists. In this sense, a quality list of pre-qualified writers is better than a mass list of general writers.
Think like a collaborator: Build a working relationship and figure out ways to help journalists – even if your efforts don’t pan out with immediate coverage. The more a writer gets to know you and your staff’s expertise, or gets to understand how that new piece of medical equipment can help your patients, the sooner the writer will work that angle into his or her next story. And when the time comes, you’ll get the call to gush about your hospital, your doctors, and the newest technology that only your healthcare system has!
Final Thought: With all press pitches, to get maximum impact, think about how your message will educate the publication’s readers above all!
Adapted from Entrepreneur Magazine (1/15)