Every attorney, doctor, and dentist wants to be known, respected, and sought after by clients and patients. Most understand how important digital marketing has become to get their message to the right people, stand out among the competition, and win new business. When consulting with my clients, I talk at length about online reputation. It’s important to consider how they are presented or represented on their website, directories, review sites, and social media. First impressions can make or break you.
It’s interesting to me that, as new forms of online marketing and advertising have been embraced, public relations seems to be often overlooked. Is this channel now viewed as "old school," or is it that it’s seen as only something necessary for big corporations and celebrities?
I think at a minimum, small legal and medical practices see the value of using traditional PR (now through digital newswires) to push out internal news. These typical press releases include announcements of new staff or partnerships, awards, or events.
But there are many missed opportunities when you only tell your story. If social media has taught us anything, it’s that people would much rather interact with you than just be broadcasted at. What can you do to join the conversation?
3 Major Benefits of Media Coverage
By producing great content and sharing it through sources you have developed relationships with, you can go beyond basic announcements and open up the world of earned media coverage. Some examples of these good PR opportunities are guest blogging, contributing quotes in digital or print articles, being a featured expert on a radio or podcast interview (for example, Ask a Doctor/Lawyer segments), or speaking at an industry conference or school event.
Here are the 3 benefits of marketing your expertise like a PR pro:
1. Brand Awareness
This type of media coverage gets your name out there and gives you great exposure. It can introduce your practice to new people and positively reinforce your brand for anyone who has already heard of you.
Good PR is better than advertising because anyone can pay to play – media coverage has to be earned. Coverage in known and trusted publications can help you build up credibility for your practice. There are two ways you can approach this:
- Education: People don’t know what you know. Share information on topics where you are a subject matter expert by answering frequently asked questions or giving advice.
- Thought leadership: Keep a pulse on changes in your industry such as new laws, technology, or trends. Offer your insight and opinions on how this will affect your profession or directly impact consumers.
3. SEO Signals
Media coverage offers link building potential. Off-site articles with links to your website can boost your SEO. Association with authoritative, high-traffic sites can boost your search rankings and drive traffic to your website. A quality placement can also help you gain new leads.
Free, But Not Without Investment
Good PR doesn’t come without effort – it can be very time-consuming. You need to actively think of opportunities and evaluate what is newsworthy concerning your practice. However, the investment is worth it if the PR can help you look bigger and more influential, and attract new business.
If you are approached with an opportunity, don’t shy away from the spotlight! If you put it off because you are worried you might not have the perfect response, or enough time to dedicate to it – the opportunity is gone. You need to understand the situation will never be ideal, and give it your best shot. Jump at opportunities that come your way before your competitor does.
Public relations is opportunistic. Instead of waiting for an opportunity to come to you, what avenues can you pursue yourself? What connected contacts do you already have? Can you reach out to influencers? Think about local resources in your community. Let them know you are interested in contributing to anything related to your industry or share with them something specific you’ve created (a checklist, guide, or fact sheet) that their audience would find helpful.
You can also check websites like Help A Report Out. HARO provides journalists with a database of sources for upcoming stories and daily opportunities for sources to secure valuable media coverage.
Amplify Your Efforts
If you get some great PR exposure, don’t stop there. Make sure to share the content on your social channels to amplify its reach. And take a moment to celebrate your accomplishment: #humblebrag.
If you want to learn more about taking advantage of PR opportunities in your marketing strategy, contact your Internet Marketing Consultant or call Page 1 Solutions at 800-368-9910.