Refractive Surgery PR and Social Media


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This course provides an overview of how public relations, including the latest social media tactics, can be used to help grow a refractive surgery practice. The latest techniques will be covered, with best practices illustrated through brief case studies. Special attention will be paid to how traditional publicity and online word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing can be used together to build brand awareness and improve the bottom line.

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  • When we talk about publicity, we’re talking about getting your surgical practice covered in traditional news media --- And remember that we’re talking about “earned media,” so we have to earn the coverage by offering the media something newsworthy… Which begs the question… what’s newsworthy??? There are two general types of news… the first is “hard news,” which in the case of your refractive surgery practice could be a new procedure or some new scientific or research finding, for example, your surgeon may have authored a study that’s about to appear in a major ophthalmic journal. In general, hard news is serious and timely. The other major type of news is “soft news” – which is less timely and tends to focus on human interest or feature stories such as personality profiles, seasonal stories and how-to stories.
  • H Here’s the contest page – it’s a video contest… and they administer it through facebook --- again going where there audience is already hanging out.
  • ---
  • Refractive Surgery PR and Social Media

    1. 1. “ Growing Your Practice with PR and Social Media” ASOA Symposium & Congress April 12, 2010 Erik Deutsch, ExcelPR Group
    2. 2. <ul><li>15+ years in PR </li></ul><ul><li>Large/boutique agency experience </li></ul><ul><li>Worked as trade media journalist </li></ul><ul><li>Launched ExcelPR Group in 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Specialize in healthcare PR </li></ul><ul><li>Instructor – UCLA Extension PR Program </li></ul><ul><li>PRSA-LA Vice President (2010) </li></ul><ul><li>BA in Economics – UCLA </li></ul><ul><li>MA in Communications Mgmt. - USC </li></ul>Erik Deutsch WHO IS THIS GUY?
    3. 3. If you’re tweeting this session… <ul><li>I’m @ErikDeutsch </li></ul><ul><li>Hashtag: #ASCRS2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Other Appropriate Hashtags: </li></ul><ul><li>#ophthalmology </li></ul><ul><li>#brilliant </li></ul><ul><li>#knowshisstuff </li></ul><ul><li>Inappropriate Hashtags: </li></ul><ul><li>#boring </li></ul><ul><li>#fail </li></ul><ul><li>#worstpresentationever </li></ul>
    4. 4. Today We’ll Focus on: Traditional PR Publicity in print, broadcast and online media Word of Mouth (WOM) via online social media
    5. 5. What is “Traditional” PR? It’s not advertising (“paid media”) It’s “earned media” Public Relations (abbr. PR) n : 1. Communication with the purpose of creating a favorable relationship with the public. 2. Communications often in the form of news distributed to media for which the sponsoring organization does not pay a fee.
    6. 6. There’s an old expression… Advertising is something you PAY for. PR is something you PRAY for .
    7. 7. If a young man meets a young woman and tells her what a great guy he is, that’s advertising. But if the girl propositions the young man because she heard from her friends that he’s a great guy, that’s public relations.
    8. 8. Dramatic Changes <ul><li>Decline of “Traditional Media” </li></ul><ul><li>Disappearing “News Hole” </li></ul>
    9. 9. Rise of Social Media, Peer-to-Peer Networking and Citizen Journalism
    10. 10. PR Need Not be Complicated PR ≠ Requires time, planning and ongoing commitment
    11. 11. Traditional Publicity What is newsworthy ? “ Hard” News (new procedure, remarkable case/patient) “ Soft” News (human interest features, “news you can use,” profile, seasonal)
    12. 12. Which is newsworthy? 1) Our surgeon is a great guy and really knows his stuff. 2) We finally got our hands on an Intralase so we can offer “All-Laser LASIK.” 3) Our practice is the first in our area to offer a new treatment option for patients who until now were not good candidates for refractive surgery. 4) We just opened a second surgery center in another part of town. A short quiz:
    13. 13. Another Short Quiz Which is newsworthy? <ul><li>Our doctor just performed LASIK on the guy who came in third on Survivor last season. </li></ul>3) Our surgeon will perform free surgery on a soldier returning from Iraq or Afghanistan if someone in the media will first commit to doing a story? 2) Our doctor is treating the guy who came in third on Survivor with a new and exciting treatment option likely to be approved soon by the FDA. 4) Our surgeon has been providing free vision correction for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan for some time. One such patient who has an interesting personal story is scheduled for treatment.
    14. 14. “ Traditional” PR/Publicity Process: 1) Identify (or create) a viable story idea 2) Assemble media contact list 3) Formulate the “pitch” 4) Send news release or pitch letter 5) Follow-up 6) Understand journalists’ needs/speak their language 7) Pray
    15. 15. Publicity Example #1
    16. 16. Publicity Example #2
    17. 17. Publicity Example #3
    18. 18. Publicity Example #4
    19. 19. Welcome to Social Media… User Generated, Two-Way Content No traditional media gatekeeper Individuals and Brands as Publishers Viral Distribution Unprecedented opportunity to build AND destroy your brand
    20. 20. Social Media Platforms <ul><li>Forums </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Microblogging (Twitter, Posterous) </li></ul><ul><li>Wide-Appeal Social Networks (Facebook) </li></ul><ul><li>Niche Social Networks (LinkedIn, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing & Bookmarking </li></ul>
    21. 21. The social media universe
    22. 22. It’s a Brave New World
    23. 23. First Steps <ul><li>Protect your identity/reserve your name on major sites </li></ul><ul><li>Make it easy to find your practice </li></ul><ul><li>Go where the audience is </li></ul><ul><li>LISTEN, monitor and gather info </li></ul><ul><li>Dive in, engage and join the conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Market by offering value </li></ul><ul><li>Empower consumers to spread your message </li></ul><ul><li>Link to one another and the “mother ship” </li></ul>
    24. 24. Where are your prospective patients? general interest social networking micro blogging video sharing local business reviews
    25. 25. <ul><li>Largest, most used online social network </li></ul><ul><li>More than 400 million active users </li></ul><ul><li>50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day </li></ul><ul><li>Average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook </li></ul>
    26. 27. <ul><li>Profiles (individuals) </li></ul><ul><li>Groups (causes/organizations) </li></ul><ul><li>Fan Pages (personal and corporate) </li></ul>Three Types of “Pages” on Facebook
    27. 28. <ul><li>Content is King </li></ul><ul><li>Photos </li></ul><ul><li>Videos </li></ul><ul><li>Testimonials </li></ul><ul><li>Promotions </li></ul>
    28. 29. A word about Vanity URLs <ul><li>Custom URL: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Standard URL: </li></ul><ul><li>!/pages/XYZvisioncenter/179170228445?ref=ts </li></ul>
    29. 30. Facebook Advertising <ul><li>“ Hypertargeting” </li></ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><li>Location </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Occupation </li></ul><ul><li>Hobbies </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship Status </li></ul>
    30. 31. Facebook Example Loden Vision Center
    31. 33. <ul><li>A tool for &quot;micro-blogging&quot; or posting very </li></ul><ul><li>short (140 character) updates, comments or </li></ul><ul><li>thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>A cross between instant messaging (IM) and </li></ul><ul><li>chat room </li></ul><ul><li>Follow and engage with consumers in an </li></ul><ul><li>ongoing dialogue </li></ul>
    32. 34. Who do people follow on Twitter?
    33. 35. Dr. Cary Silverman (aka TheLASIKDoc)
    34. 36. Dr. Cary Silverman (aka TheLASIKDoc)
    35. 37. Twitter Tactics <ul><li>Make yourself easy to find </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate as a person, not a faceless brand </li></ul><ul><li>Follow others AND ENGAGE in order to get followed </li></ul><ul><li>Provide useful information and insights </li></ul>
    36. 38. <ul><li>Video sharing site where users can upload, </li></ul><ul><li>view and share clips </li></ul><ul><li>Create your own “channel” </li></ul><ul><li>Post news stories, patient testimonials, surgeon </li></ul><ul><li>Q & A, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Search-optimized title and description </li></ul>
    37. 40. <ul><li>Yelp enables consumers to post and share </li></ul><ul><li>reviews of all sorts of businesses - from restaurants </li></ul><ul><li>to medical practices </li></ul><ul><li>Businesses can setup a free account or paid </li></ul><ul><li>“ premium account” </li></ul><ul><li>About 20 million searches each month </li></ul>
    38. 43. Additional Tips for Social Media Success: <ul><li>Let your personality show </li></ul><ul><li>(don’t be a faceless </li></ul><ul><li>brand) </li></ul><ul><li>Bring value to the conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Remember it’s all </li></ul><ul><li>“ on the record” </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-link and promote on all marketing materials </li></ul>
    39. 45. Questions? Erik Deutsch ExcelPR Group [email_address] @ErikDeutsch