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Marketing to Make It

By: Melissa Kelz
Posted: January 28, 2010, from the November 2009 issue of
Medical brochure

Knowing your audience can help you create marketing materials that specifically target your ideal patient.

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Creating powerful offers at the grassroots level is another tactic that works. Practices should try to make it easy for people to experience their procedures and treatments. An excellent solution is to offer a free consultation. This provides a risk-free way to test the waters for potential patients. Offer discounts to patients who refer friends. And, as always, patients sharing excellent experiences build great word-of-mouth.

Use public relations

Public relations can be a very effective method to create positive awareness for your business. For the media component of your outreach, it’s best to be prepared when you contact journalists. Before you do anything, select a newsworthy topic. Stories on the popularity of Botox among middle-aged women have been done ad nauseam.

Once you have your topic, be prepared to speak to it in layman’s terms. Try to put yourself in the reporter’s shoes. Ask yourself, “What is significant about what I’m saying? Why would anyone care?” Keeping your talking points brief and simple is a winning strategy, and one that will help communicate your story more effectively. Treat the media as you would your patients; take advantage of the time you share by answering questions with patience and candor.

A phone call can be the best way to introduce yourself to a journalist or producer, and an initial e-mail is also a nice way to break the ice and gauge interest. Typically, the best time to call is in the morning, and you should follow up in writing after your conversation, being sure to include your contact information, title and credentials.

Keep in mind successful public relations may also require getting the outside help of a consultant, publicist or even a public relations firm, so be prepared to take your efforts to the next level.

Your patients matter