We touched on what’s newsworthy for getting local press mentions in another post so, in this one we’ll take a deeper dive into what is worthy of you issuing an official press release for your healthcare practice.
What’s a Press Release Again?
A press release is an official notice of communication from a medical or healthcare practice that’s intended to provide enough information for the press to write stories about the content, and for the public to understand and act.
Press releases are written in a style that is different from a blog post, newspaper article, or feature in a magazine. In fact, press releases have a formatting and styling that’s all their own.
Today, press releases often take on multiple styles, based on the industry.
PRWeb, a large online news distribution service, has a guide on how to write a press release but specifically, press releases are written in an objective tone without hype and they avoid directly addressing the reader with sentences that include “you,” “I,” and “we” because a press release is an announcement, not an advertisement.
So, what’s considered newsworthy then?
This is a rather subjective question, because one person’s news, is another person’s snooze.
At InboundMD, we tend to think length is a good rule of thumb to follow in determining what is press release worthy. For example, your news should require you to explain it in more than just a sentence or two.
If you can’t write several paragraphs (between 300 to 800 words total) on your announcement then it may not be news. At least not press release worthy news!
At first it may feel strange to toot your own horn. But if you don’t tell people about what you’re doing, how will they find out?
Getting over the sensation that promoting yourself feels weird and maybe a little disingenuous may take some time but if you start with common news topics you may find that it’s not as foreign a concept as you once thought.
Typical news angles for doctors, medical practices, and healthcare practitioners include:
Can you add a sentence or two of meat to each of these? I think a little more content here would give reader clearer picture.
- Patient milestones reached: “World’s best medical practice celebrates 10 year anniversary with over 10,000 patients treated by Dr. Awesome.”
- Community involvement / sponsorships: Volunteering for community clean-ups, hosting a blood drive, or sponsoring a fitness initiative for area children.
- New hires: Local newspapers and business journals regularly post announcements of newly hired employees, oftentimes including a headshot. It’s a great way to get your practice mentioned in the paper that’s easy and free.
- New equipment purchased: Any cutting edge new technology that allows to you perform the latest and greatest procedures is a newsworthy way to set yourself apart from your competition.
- New services / treatments: This may coincide with hiring new staff and obtaining new equipment because you now have the manpower and horsepower to offer more services. Any new treatment option that enhances your patient experience is worthy of an announcement.
- New locations: You just opened an additional location or, bought a larger building – congratulations! News of this type shows that your practice is strong, successful, and growing.
- New awards and honors: Sharing the news of your achievement is not bragging, it’s trust building with patients because it shows that you’ve been recognized by your peers and your industry which is sometimes the highest compliment that you can get.
- Speaking at a conference: You may overlook this but, announcing your involvement with a conference highlights that you’re an authoritative source of medical information that people want to listen to.
- Exhibiting at a tradeshow: If for no other reason the simple fact is, if people don’t know about an event, they won’t attend. Distributing the news that you’re exhibiting at a tradeshow informs others who may want to seek you out, allows you talk about what your practice specializes in, and gives you the opportunity to share any new developments.
- Published results of a study you were involved with: Getting published is a big deal. If you were involved in a research study not only do your colleagues want to read it and stay informed but this announcement helps to establish you as an expert in your field.
Be wary of using your press release to distribute a general interest article, save that type of content for your blog.
However, a wire service like PRWeb will distribute opinion pieces as long as it is on a topical subject and the release doesn’t contain just opinion.
“Opinions not attributed to a source are flags that the content may be an advertisement or opinion column rather than a news release,” according to the PRWeb editorial guidelines.
For example, there may be some myths and misconceptions surrounding the services that you offer.
You could write a press release explaining what those are, debunk them, back up your claims with research results and successful case studies.
Press Release Templates
Here are a few healthcare press release templates to announce some standard news items including new staff, new physician, and the opening of a new location. Follow the five steps below to craft your own release.
How to Announce Opening of New Medical Practice Location
Step 1 – Strong, Direct Headline
Headlines should be direct, to the point, and explain exactly what the anouncement is.
Step 2 – Introduction – Why Is This News Important?
Introduce who you are and why this press release is news worthy – briefly explain why anyone should pay attention to what you’re saying.
Step 3 – News Details
The body of the press release is where you can dive into deeper detail about the news announcement, tell the story leading up to this announcement, provide compelling statistics, and give reporters something that they can quote. A personal quote from a doctor in your office is helpful to put a face to the name of the practice.
Step 4 – Important Information
Include information that helps readers take action or connect with you. In this example of announcing a new location, simply include the address and office hours.
Step 5 – Contact and About Info
Lastly, provide contact information such as a telephone number and website for people to get in touch with you. Additionally you should include a brief history of your practice to give readers more background on what you services you provide, how long you’ve been in business, awards you’ve won, and certifications that you hold to add weight and authority to the press release.
How to Announce the Hiring of New Medical Staff
How to Announce the Addition of a New Physician
If you need help crafting a press release for your practice, schedule a consultation to speak with a practice marketing professional today.