As a private practice rehab therapist, there are a number of reasons you may want to reach out to your local media.
Perhaps you’re hosting an upcoming event or workshop and you want to get the word out. Maybe you expanded your business and/or services or hired new practitioners to your staff, and you want to announce it as a local business brief.
Or maybe you simply have some insight to offer on a topic that’s relevant and timely in your community – perspective and advice that’s useful and which may solidify the credibility of your brand.
Whatever the reason, your local media – from newspapers, radio and TV to community blogs, professional newsletters, social media groups, and so on – can serve to amplify your important news, announcements and perspectives.
In fact, whether you provide physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech-language pathology, a consistent, consumer-based media relations effort should play a role in all rehab therapy marketing strategies.
Find Your Gatekeepers of Content
While media relations professionals typically abide by certain standards when it comes to developing a message, creating press releases, distribution, follow-ups, etc., your local efforts don’t have to be so regimented.
If you have news or information to share about your clinic, my best advice is to simply share it.
Via press release, email, phone call … any way you choose to communicate your message to local gatekeepers of content is fine so long as it’s successful.
But who are these “gatekeepers of content”?
That’s the million-dollar question. And, having an answer to this question in the form of a thorough and updated media list is what will ultimately make or break your local PR efforts.
Build Your Rehab Therapy Media List
A media list is an official catalog of all your likely media contacts – writers, editors, journalists, producers, bloggers, local community leaders, and others who serve as gatekeepers of local news and announcements.
Creating a media list takes time and some persistent research, but for media relations efforts to be effective, this is well worth these efforts.
But where do you find contacts?
Check the Media Source
Print publications often include direct contact info for all their writers, and even some editors, right on their pages. Take full advantage of this available information.
Most media sites feature staff or newsroom pages. Find and bookmark them.
Pick Up the Phone
Not all media sources are upfront with contact info. But a simple phone call to its main line will nearly always net you the info you need.
When your list is done … well, it’s not really done. Media lists are constantly changing, so stay vigilant of this by remaining an active media consumer.
As you can tell, being a regular media consumer will help throughout this process. In fact, this is the first step in making your local press a strong referral source for your clinic.
And finally, keep in mind that throughout this process, you’re creating a list of people, not just a general list of news organizations. So it’s OK – even encouraged – to have multiple contacts from the same place.
They call it media relations for a reason.
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