3 Ways to Generate Positive Press for your Hospital (or your business)

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)  

How to Produce a Profitable Direct-Mail Campaign

1.  START WITH A LIST CLOSE TO HOME
Your list should be made up of current customers and those who are interested in your company. A mailer to these folks is 15X more Direct-mail-marketinglikely to get responses than if you mail to prospects who have never heard of you.

2.  PICK THE RIGHT FORMAT
There are many formats to choose from when planning a mailing. Over sized postcard, formal letter /envelope, etc. Finding the right one for your offer, niche, and budget is critical for a successful campaign.

3.  ASK THEM TO BUY
If you want people to buy from you, you have to ask them to BUY.  A clear call to action should tell your customers to place an order, when to do it, and how. Research shows that 65% of consumers make a purchase in response to a direct-mail ad.

4.  BENEFITS SELL
People buy benefits, not features. They buy whiter teeth, a slimmer waist, convenience… you get the idea. Make sure to pile on the benefits throughout your direct-mail piece.

5. TRACK YOUR MAIL
Tracking your direct-mail campaigns isn’t about the past. It’s about the future and understanding what worked and what didn’t work so you can refine future campaigns for higher ROIs.

6.  MAIL LIST HYGIENE
Run a merge purge on your mailing list to remove duplicate names and bad addresses. Keeping an up-to-date list can save you money by not sending mail to people who won’t receive it.

7.  TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Every industry has its season and mailing out at the right times will help put more money in your bank account. Learn how responses vary according to the time of year and experiment with small mailings to compare responses over time.

  *Adapted from The Direct Mail Solution by Craig Simpson and Dan S. Kennedy

The US Postal Service Finally Gets It

In an attempt to stay relevant to area retail businesses, the US Postal Service has created a service to help businesses target their audiences better, more efficiently. And believe it or not, it actually works! 

The new service is called “Every Door Direct Mail” and it allows you to select actual mail carrier routes to ensure your piece is delivered to every home in a specific area. (as opposed to the costly process of buying a mailing list from an outside vendor and possibly missing some important homes) 

Their website lets you pick mail routes by city, zip or even by neighborhood …as in blocks of homes at a time. Talk about no waste!  The site even allows you to identify the number of active households and businesses in a chosen area to help you estimate postage before you commit!

So you no longer pay $.44 per piece….try $.14 per piece …..meaning a mailing that goes to every mail box in the area costs $700 in postage ….not $2200.  Of course you still have to produce a mailer and have it printed  – by a company like 95 North for instance – but the process couldn’t be easier. 

The result is an efficient and affordable way to reach every customer in your target area.    Way to go Post Office dudes!    

 Demo it for yourself here

 Get a FREE kit here   

Build More Trust / Develop Better Relationships

Don’t overlook these crucial marketing ideas when it comes to developing better relationships with customers.

  • Contact every user who stops using your service and find out why.
  • Eagerly pay attention to people who mention you online and engage with them in a way that they prefer to be engaged.
  • Sponsor industry events and actually show up to meet attendees.
  • Write a thank you note every day, to someone who doesn’t expect one.
  • Build your permission email list by 1% every day.
  • Write a blog every day, not to sell, but to teach.
  • Create a newsletter for every journalist who covers your space, and deliver it every three weeks, even when you’re not asking for anything. Just to keep them in the loop. 
  • Connect people in your industry, because you enjoy it.
  • Host community meetings in your store.
  • Put a lemonade stand in front of your business and let the local kids donate the money to whatever charity they like.
  • Hand out free samples every chance you have.
  • Keep in touch with people who used to work with you and continue to help them get great gigs and new business, even years later.
  • Run classes for your customers.
  • Run classes for your competitors.(source: Seth Godin July 2012) 

5 Steps for a Successful On-Camera Interview

Many of our clients now use VIDEO interviews as part of their marketing message -on their websites, for their sales pitches, and even to promote their products and services on local and national news programs.  

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re asked to speak for your business:   

  1. Look the part. Thoughtfully consider your wardrobe choice. Avoid stripes, all black and bold prints, and don’t be afraid of makeup (this goes for men too!)
  2. Be deliberate. It is important to be aware of your hand placement and gestures, your posture (whether sitting or standing) and your eye contact with the camera and the interviewer.
  3. Speak your mind. Be honest and direct when conveying your message. Be mindful of articulation and rate of speech and don’t shy away from silence!
  4. Breathe. If you are nervous, take slow deep breaths before the interview begins. Also, remember to breathe during the interview itself!
  5. Practice makes perfect. The more you rehearse, the more natural you will look and feel. A mock interview session will enable you to speak your answers aloud and practice gestures and eye contact. If possible, record yourself and watch for areas of improvement.

The key to any successful interview is to relax, be comfortable, and make sure you are well-prepared before going on camera. (excerpt courtesy of Melissa Simas Tyler of O’Neill and Associates)