Media coverage opportunities are at your fingertips, including creating events, reaching out with press releases or stories and more
If you want more people to know about your chiropractic practice and services, it is up to you to get the word out. This typically involves engaging in a social media campaign to get more followers, creating ads to place in local publications, and mailing informative brochures to everyone living in the same and nearby zip codes.
However, one additional way to make your practice a more well-known name within the community is to enlist the help of your local media. This involves “earned media” — finding ways to earn spots on local television and radio stations as well as working your way into print in area newspapers.
How do you obtain maximum media coverage with these types of marketing mediums in an effort to draw more attention to your practice? Here are three options to consider:
Utilize your local chamber
“Join your local Chamber of Commerce and do a ribbon cutting,” suggests Eugene Charles, author of Journey to Healing and president of Charles Seminars, a consultation service and practice leadership program for chiropractors who want to build their practices by improving their service offerings and the marketing of the same.
Ribbon cuttings are often attended by media personnel who are tasked with taking pictures of the new business opening. As a local businessperson who is taking part in the cutting, this earns you an upfront spot in their written publication, on their news report, on their website or other media coverage outlet. Additionally, use the internet to research local reporters whose “beat” is to cover such openings.
If you’re unsure how to contact your local chamber, ChamberOfCommerce.com offers an easy-to-use online search you can use to find the one nearest you. Simply click on your state and you’re presented all of the chambers based on location.
Each listing contains not only the organization’s contact information — such as address, phone number, and website — but also area-based information such as population, median household income, and local labor force and unemployment rates. Many require that you submit an application and pay an annual fee to join.
Sponsor an event
Another way to maximize your media coverage is to sponsor an event.
“Do a toy drive, food drive, or free spinal health exam,” says Charles, “and write a PSA.”
Pennsylvania State University explains that PSA stands for public service announcement and is “a short informational clip that is meant to raise the audience’s awareness about an important issue.” Additionally, PSAs can include a variety of audio and video content ranging from interviews to animations and more.
The first step to submitting a PSA is to decide who you’re going to send it to. For example, if you want your event to be shared on radio, Charles recommends doing a search of all of the stations in the area. “Use sites like radio-locator.com to find as many stations as possible,” Charles says.
Next, email each one individually with a request to air the PSA. Finally, don’t forget to follow up. “Many stations only have a generic contact form,” says Charles. “You’ll want to call stations and ask: ‘Who handles your PSAs?’ Follow-up with that person.”
Write a press release for media coverage
A third way to optimize your practice in the media is to do a press release says Charles. How is a press release different than a PSA?
Whereas a PSA is used to educate an audience about a particular topic or event, a press release is used to notify the media about new information in regards your practice. Reasons to do a press release might include the offering of new services or products, if you’re hired new staff, the creation of a new patient program, or if you’ve received an award, certificate, or other form of recognition.
Fit Small Business indicates that this type of media notification is 400-600 words in length and has “a compelling headline, a powerful lead paragraph, and an informative body.” It should also address the five W’s early on: who, what, where, when, and why. At the end, include your contact information so the media can reach you should they want more information.
“In this age of everyone screaming, ‘Look at me, look at me,’ you want to be portrayed in the media saying, ‘look at you…or look at this!’” says Charles. “Be professional, be classy, and be subtle. Always remember a whisper gathers more listeners than a shout.”
For additional media coverage info check out the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress’ media page at f4cp.org/package/printmaterial.