Creating a press release that is captured by a major media outlet like the New York Times or the Washington Post takes more than a catchy headline. Public relations leaders have spent years perfecting their strategies and learning how to adapt to new trends in the industry to connect with the right media outlets. Fortunately, compiled below is a list of helpful tips to get started on the right path to a fruitful press release campaign.
1. Understand What Press Releases Are and The Benefits They Can Offer
Let’s start with the basics. A press release is a brief announcement of a newsworthy event sent to journalists. The goal is to entice media outlets to publish it and thus share it with potential patients. It is important to note that press releases are not a guaranteed marketing tool. In order to increase effectiveness, they should be used in a series of releases and as one component of an overall marketing plan.
After a press release is picked up by a media outlet, like the Miami Herald, it builds a practice’s credibility by serving as a third-party endorsement that also details its unique benefits and branding a doctor as the expert. Each time a media outlet picks up a release, it creates a link on Google, and other search engines, for designated keywords (we’ll get to that later). Connecting with the public and increasing visibility through a press program is also highly advised for small businesses like dental offices because of how cost-effective this strategy can be and how important visibility is to a small practice.
2. Understand Your Audience
There are 3.5 billion online searches every day, just on Google. That translates to 40,000 Google searches made every second. Users employ Google, Bing and Yahoo! search engines for questions ranging from where to go to lunch to where to receive their dental care. In order to capture this online audience, and considering that over 80 million people prefer to read their news online, press releases can be a significant tool if wielded effectively.
Understanding the reader and tapping into their needs, desires and interests can increase a piece’s success. For example, if a potential patient with tooth loss is looking for dental implants, it is important to address and solve vital pain points including the embarrassment of tooth loss, the convenience of receiving same-day solutions and the esthetic appeal of a tooth replacement that looks convincingly natural. Getting someone to read a release is one thing, but connecting with a target audience and enticing them to read a piece while inspiring them to take action, is a whole other ball game.
3. Invest In Your Content
Ever heard the phrase, “content is king?” Content-rich marketing campaigns with strategically planned and valuable information have been shown to have significantly higher conversion rates, and custom content can form deeper connections with potential patients. A press release is one way to distribute novel and interesting content to develop a brand. Professional content writers understand how to structure press releases to ensure the right points are hit that address the deepest concerns and create a logical path for solutions.
Also remember that press releases, although desired to reach patients, are actually written for journalists. These news announcements are sent to media outlets and depend on piquing the interest of a journalist in order to be published. So although clinicians may have their eyes set on building their credibility with patients and their communities, the first step is focusing on attracting media outlets with effective copy.
4. Google-Friendly Marketing Is The Way To Go
SEO, or search engine optimization, is an online marketing strategy to increase organic, or un-paid, search engine rankings. Although press releases provide organic links and increase visibility, a press plan should not be considered an SEO strategy. Each release should, however, be written in an SEO-friendly manner, with relevant keywords that can increase their effectiveness, i.e., missing teeth for a dental implants-focused release. Keyword stuffing, applying too many backlinks or publishing topics that are not newsworthy, can actually do more harm than good and negatively affect an SEO campaign.
Take a look at this Google search example to the right and the power of this press release's SEO keyword, 'laser dentistry.'
5. Partner With A Distribution Service
PRWeb, PR Newswire and eReleases are just a few examples of leading distribution services that offer lower prices, expanded distribution networks and guaranteed direct contact with hundreds of media outlets across the country. Distribution companies partner with thousands of media outlets in a wide-variety of industries, including dental. Instead of individually emailing a contact in the Miami Herald, a release can be delivered to hundreds of outlets who are specifically interested in a release’s topic.
6. Above All Else, Remember That Releases Must Be Newsworthy
As mentioned above, press releases should focus on a central, newsworthy topic. The more appealing the topic, the more media outlets will pick it up and the greater visibility is created. Check out our infographic for topic ideas!
7. There’s An Easier Way To Start Your Press Program
Not sure where to begin? We do. At Progressive Dental, we not only partner with the leading distribution company, PRWeb, we conduct customized SEO keyword research, provide custom-written copy by experienced dental writers, and we can offer all of that in a single press plan, making a campaign as easy as giving us a call.
Contact us online or call 727-286-6211 to start developing your press program!