How PR can improve the healthcare industry’s wellbeing
The healthcare industry is constantly evolving. New drugs and treatments are becoming available every day, to treat everything from pimples to heart disease. But as the industry grows, so does the competition.
Unfortunately, as with any industry, there are some unscrupulous business owners out there, selling unregulated drugs and operating unlicensed businesses. They give legitimate organisations a bad name. So it’s critical to differentiate your business from those with a less than professional approach. After all, people are putting their health in your hands.
But you’re in luck. Healthcare PR is the perfect tool to help get your business noticed for all the right reasons.
Whether you’re a health practitioner, pharmaceutical company, wellness brand, or product manufacturer, a well-targeted PR campaign can help you grow your brand, build trust, and keep your customers coming back for more.
Healthcare PR success story: The Salt Cave
Take my client The Salt Cave for example. I was hired to launch their natural health centre to the press, and publicise their healthy alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.
The Salt Cave is a therapeutic clinic, whose walls, ceiling and floors are covered with salt from the Red Sea. A special machine grinds up the salt and releases tiny particles into the chamber, which clients inhale. Breathing in the pure, salt-enriched air can bring immense relief to people – especially children – suffering from a wide range of respiratory conditions and allergies. It can also alleviate stress, help combat sleeping disorders, and improve general wellbeing.
I launched a multi-pronged PR campaign, targeting the national press, TV, children’s media, women’s magazines and men’s health, lifestyle and sports publications. By promoting it as the UK’s first ever salt cave, the story piqued the interest of the press and media. And as an extra incentive, journalists with asthma and allergies were invited to ‘test-drive’ The Salt Cave for themselves.
When trying to get coverage for a new health product or treatment, it’s crucial to back up any claims you make with data. I made sure to highlight the many therapeutic and performance-enhancing benefits of salt therapy – backing them up with NHS statistics. I stressed the fact that the therapy is 100% natural and drug-free and offered up clinical trials as evidence, together with interviews with medical experts.
This PR campaign was hugely successful. The Daily Mail ran a double-page spread on the clinic, together with a headline across the top of its front page after I arranged an exclusive. Coverage in every other national newspaper, from The Sun to The Sunday Times, soon followed. A particular focus was placed on children’s media, with stories appearing in First News, the UK’s only newspaper for young people, and BBC TV’s Newsround. I took the coverage global with features on CNN, Fox News and ABC News, which brought people from as far away as the US, Australia and Asia to The Salt Cave’s doors, eager to try it out.
What made this campaign so successful?
To make the Salt Cave campaign go off with a bang, I followed some basic rules of Health PR:
It’s all about patients
Patient centricity is the name of the game. If you want the media to pick up your story, you need to show them the profound impact your product is having on people’s lives – after all, having a customer rave about the benefits of your product is so much more powerful than doing it yourself. And if the medical explanation behind your product is very technical, a real person’s testimonial will make it more palatable. Plus, in the eyes of a journalist, the story is hypothetical until it has that human connection.
Make it visual
Science and medical stories can be esoteric, so it’s great if you can provide graphics to help explain them. Content is more visual today, and health journalists – especially for television – appreciate being able to show their audiences how things work. Consider this video coverage by CNN that explains the science behind the treatment.
Back up your claims with data
As I said before, data is key. Sometimes, it’s too early to tell the story of a new drug or medical technology because it hasn’t yet been proven. But when there’s clinical data to prove your point, you’ve hit gold. Trials and research give health products and treatments a big boost and open doors for great media coverage.
If you’d like to know more about health PR, please get in touch.