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MARKETING

Could your boss be the next Dr. Oz?

The medical practitioners in your office are more than knowledgeable; they are thought leaders in their respective fields. So why not share their expertise, and market the practice in the process?

Seeking information

People actively seek medical information. Indeed, medical websites are among the most highly used sites on the Web, books by physicians and other medical practitioners sell well, and one of daytime television’s most popular television shows is “The Dr. Oz Show.”

There is an audience of would-be patients waiting for information and insight from your experts.

As important, there is a community of medical practitioners interested in exchanging ideas and sharing opportunities. This community could serve as a potential audience for your experts, and a source of new patients.

Taking advantage of opportunities

There are numerous ways to connect with others.

Issue press releases. Each time something significant happens at the practice, issue a press release. “While there are no hard and fast rules, the most important factor is that you’ve got to make sure it’s newsworthy and useful to the reader,” says Scott Lorenz, president of Westwind Communications, a firm specializing in medical practice public relations and marketing.

Reasons for a press release include a new physician or clinician joining the practice, awards or accolades a practitioner has received, new practice offerings, new office location, and more. Assuming the news has value, spread the word.

And while you’re at it, make sure you distribute the press release widely. Use an online distribution network, like PRWeb or PRNewswire, but also send your news directly to local newspapers and information outlets. Doing so may result in an article about your practice.

Contribute an article to the local newspaper. A press release may get others to write your story, but don’t overlook offering one of your practice’s medical experts as an author. Choose a hot medical topic, one that a physician or clinician from your practice has knowledge of and can provide commentary on, and approach the local newspaper about contributing an article on the topic. In lieu of payment for the article, ask that a photo of the author and his or her short bio appear with the piece.

Create a blog. A blog at your practice’s website that speaks to patient care and concerns can serve as a valuable resource, while generating traffic to the site. It can be written by one or more of the practice’s physicians or clinicians.

Contribute to a website. Medical websites and general interest websites that cover health topics are often seeking credentialed experts to share information. Conduct a search using Google and explore sites that might be a fit for the experts at your practice.

Become active on social media. By joining LinkedIn groups and participating in group discussions, physicians and clinicians can showcase their expertise. Encourage them to leverage LinkedIn to share information and ideas, build professional community, and, as a result, promote the practice.

Twitter also offers opportunities for sharing and image-building. Although the practice may already be tweeting, creating separate accounts for physicians or clinicians will call attention to these experts as individuals and help to position them as thought leaders.

Present at a webinar. Publishers, media companies, professional associations, and other organizations offer webinars to their members. Webinar presenters generally choose the topic, or at least have a say in the direction it will take. Because webinars tend to get heavily promoted, a presenter gets a lot of publicity. And of course the webinar itself provides exposure.

Speak at conferences. Sure, professional conferences allow for networking. But speaking at a conference provides the ultimate opportunity to be seen—and heard. Like webinars, conferences are heavily promoted, which means your medical expert’s name, photo, and bio will appear in marketing material. This, along with the presentation itself, can generate a great deal of interest.

“Conference speakers enjoy many benefits, including introductions to new colleagues which often result in new business,” says Anna Brekka, principal of Brekka Consulting, a B2B marketing and events planning firm.

Contribute to medical journals and publications. It’s important to stay connected to the medical community, as colleagues are an excellent source of patient referrals. When physicians or clinicians from your practice contribute to medical journals and publications it brings notoriety to the practice, and keeps these experts top of mind in the medical community.

If one of your medical experts publishes in a prestigious journal or publication, you can build on this fame by—you guessed it—issuing a press release.

Which raises an important point: None of these activities should take place in a vacuum. Issue a press release to announce an upcoming webinar or conference presentation. After the event, use social media to link to the archived presentation. Similarly, link to a published article within a blog post.

Find ways to use as many available outlets as possible to create buzz with attention to the main message: Your practice has dynamic medical experts who are thought leaders. Make people take notice and watch the practice grow.


Editor’s picks:

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