Professional Publicity Make The Telephone Ring & The Front Door Swing! Dr. Jim Humphries The Veterinary News Network
Clients!! You and Your Veterinary Hospital Local Seminars Volunteer Open House Sponsor TV Radio Print Media Web Site Press Promotion NON-Press Promotion There is something here for everyone!
“ Without promotion, something terrible happens...................NOTHING!!” P.T. Barnum
Overcome the fear of promotions and publicity
In the 70’s and 80’s Advertising was a dirty word!
Instead we reluctantly called it “Marketing”.
Now we have agencies, consultants and seminars to
teach us how to do it!
What you are really doing is “Public Awareness”. Make
others aware of the wonderful things you do, and you
are generating publicity and promoting your life’s pursuit.
Few people like to “blow their own horn” – especially
professionals and scientists.
You are passionate, enthusiastic about what you do,
why aren’t you telling the world about it?
Publicity: The act of delivering information with news value as a means of gaining public attention or support. Definitions: Promotion: To contribute to the growth and advancement of a business; the act of encouraging a trial or persuading an action. Public Relations : The art of developing reciprocal understanding and good will between a business and the public.
Encourages a Trial (then let your client service and staff take the lead!)
Benefits of Publicity and Promotions:
Some Very, Very Basic Marketing Facts: Should be 3-6% of Practice Revenue 15 – 30K for 500,000 gross Can drop to 1-3% when established 5 – 15K The Average Practice spends ½% Usually on Yellow Pages = commonly a waste of $ Web, effective ads, strategic partnerships, mix with publicity A consumer needs SEVEN exposures for a message to sink in! How much does SEVEN exposures in multiple avenues of advertising cost? Marketing Basics for Veterinarians Dr. Lowell Ackerman - 2002
The SIX Biggest Mistakes in Marketing Veterinary Services
Discounts (Price Promotion)
2. Assuming clients will find out about you anyway
3. Turning over the effort to an ad agency
4. Not allowing STAFF to have a role
5. Spending money blindly on marketing without a plan/ direction or tracking!
What Makes A Good Story: Examples For News : (Controversy is GOOD!) Heartworm? Should Pit Bulls Be Banned? Mad Cow Disease? Guardianship? Fleas and Ticks? West Nile Virus? Over-Vaccination Issue? Anthrax? Frostbite? FIV Vaccine? Weird Case? Geriatrics? Alternative Medicines? Heart Disease? Deadly Bugs? Book? Local Event? Survey or Poll of Clients? Outbreak?
How to become a columnist: 1. Decide which publication you will target Main paper, neighborhood weekly, specialty, business 2. Establish your position as an expert You are an expert in animal health 3. Decide which style you will use Ask The Expert Insider’s View Humor Behind The Scenes Folksy Fun Good News How To Articles 4. Don’t be afraid to start small
How to become a columnist: 5. Be unique Being unique and local may get you above a syndicated name. 6. Approach the editor Get an appointment, 30 second pitch, samples of your work, use column style with a picture, include press kit, and follow-up in a few days. 7. What If They Say NO! Try a back door with a specialty reporter Write anyway and use your work in many ways: seminars, “how-to”, on your web site, smaller papers
Submit about 10 columns up front – don’t chase deadlines
Call friends, clients and play reporter – doors open up
These quotes, experts, sources make you look more like a reporter
Remember you are building a body of work that will be used in many different ways
Begin to read other columnists and develop your style
Learn to become a bit controversial or edgy – you are a columnist (not a news reporter) and you can have an opinion.
How to become a columnist:
5) Sponsor activities : church, little league, athletic club
The results of Safe Harbor Animal Rescue's First Annual Telethon were spectacular! The July 13th telethon was sponsored by News Channel 5, Roca & Sharpe Attorneys-at-Law, Petsmart and the Palm Beach Zoo. News Channel 5 presented two hours of animal magnetism as Safe Harbor, Palm Beach County's not-for-profit no-kill facility kicked off its capital fundraising campaign. 6) Hold an event: health screenings, vaccination clinics, open house, dog walks (Walk for Life), scoop the poop campaign, service dog awareness campaign, first aid event, Pet-A-Thon with local shelter and other..eg.->
7) Hold Local Community Seminars: Coordinate with local shelters, pet stores, feed stores Bring in other experts Develop a 1-hour, half day, or full day event Hold seminar as a community service event
If calling, remember they are very busy and you need to get to the point quickly – 10 seconds!
If they like the sound of your story idea, they will give you more time.
Create a one-page guide of your story and have it in front of you when pitching.
Remember you are building a relationship here and a “no” only means no for now.
Be ready to send support info, discuss visuals, give back up data and how the story affects local viewers, listeners and readers.
Contacting The Media
Connecting With Reporters 1. Know the media you are calling “ I love your show”, be a real consumer 2. Build and maintain a fresh media list This takes time, staff can help, know their reporting 3. Know when and how to contact them Fax, phone, email. Soon after a show is good 4. Get focused Don’t wing a pitch. Prepare and be concise. 5. Think headlines Save the details for later. Remember, listener, viewer and reader service!!
Connecting With Reporters 6. Use email carefully It works well, just use it correctly 7. Remind them who you are They hear from hundreds a day – remind them 8. Stay in tune with your reporter base Get something newsworthy to them every month 9. Do what you tell them Follow through on all promises 10. Good Follow-up Each one is a bit different as to how much is too much Some like to be reminded. Try to get them on the phone. Leave one message then no more. Try different times.
When you are your own PR department, it can’t have a very large reach and without a network, you are limited by the “touch” principle
Therefore, build a network
Your family, staff should always carry cards and brochures
Leave cards and brochures with dentist, doctor, accountant, lawyer, web site manager, pastor, insurance agent and anyone you do business with. These professionals understand and admire your skills of self-promotion. Offer to do the same for them! Referrals bring in class A clients.
Include the members of the media. They will see you as a leader and will call on you when a story needs your expert input.
43% of all your clients have a social media profile.
71% of those have 2+
Forums ( www.PetDocsOnCall.com )
The TEN Things NOT To Do With The Media: 1. Don’t be a pest Fine line, always have a new reason to call 2. Don’t lie or mis-represent your story Many people exaggerate to get on – this is hated by news people 3. Don’t waste their time No chit-chat, think headlines! Guess What, Did You Hear! 4. Don’t send the media too much stuff Concise media kit, press release, picture, contact info 5. Don’t call radio or TV people right before or during a show ½ to 1 hour after a show, or ask them best time
The TEN Things NOT To Do With The Media: 6. Don’t pitch stories that lack focus or are too commercial Your first job is to meet their needs - news 7. Don’t take offense when they reject Many reasons, simply try again with good stories 8. Don’t forget to follow-up email, fax, kits with more info, and gentle reminders! 9. Don’t go over their heads Work with their “uniqueness” or try another show 10. Don’t change who you are Be the person on the air they heard or saw in the newsroom. They are the gatekeepers! Make them friends.
American Society of Veterinary Journalists www.ASVJ.org
The New Media Model: A national network of specialty news contributors who belong to an organization that organizes, empowers, equips and motivates these “reporters” to appear in local news outlets and other new media communications media.