Every day, people in O&P engage in newsworthy activities. Some of them are the fairly typical “fit a patient with an XYZ type of prosthesis so that they can do ABC” that we are all used to reading about. Writing a press release with a human interest angle is a no-brainer. If you are doing it, keep doing it. If you are not, you should be. That, however, isn’t the point of this column.
What else are you, your business, your staff, your patients, your customers, doing that should be making the news?
The media is ravenous for content. You should be feeding it. If a well-balanced diet is supposed to keep your body healthy, you can apply the same principles to a well-balanced media diet. Just as you shouldn’t be eating Coco Puffs for every meal, you shouldn’t be feeding the media the same type of stories every time.
We are all busy. Sometimes we are so busy that we don’t realize our business is creating “news food” every day. What kind of content/food are we making? Who is going to “eat” it? When do they need to eat? How do they like their food prepared?
What makes news
As far as content or news food goes, the list is practically endless. Do you have any new hires? Did anyone get promoted? Are you implementing any new policies, procedures, software? Utilizing any new machinery, materials, production systems? Are you going green? Are you buying a new building? Have you, your staff or your company won any awards? Are you participating in a mission trip or partnering with an advocacy organization? Did you donate all your old inventory? Did you take the day off to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of your company?
Now, who are you going to feed? There are all kinds of news outlets. General news, political news, business news, regional news, entertainment news, and health, science or technology news are some examples.
Then there are the specific outlets. As far as newspapers go, there are daily, weekly, local, national papers. In O&P we have industry magazines but outside of O&P the list of magazines is endless. Of course, we can’t forget about TV, radio and the Internet. Your media list, or who you are going to feed, is going to depend on what you are feeding them.
Prepare your menu
This is how you prepare the food, otherwise known as a press release.
Make it newsworthy. Press releases are not sales pitches or advertisements. Use them to announce important news.
Include quotes. Press releases should always include at least one quote. There are a million tips on the Internet on using quotes in a press release. Google them.
Get to the point quickly. Leave the details as content for your website. In this way you’re whetting the reader’s appetite, leading them to your website.
Post your press releases on your website. Who doesn’t love leftovers? You should have a section dedicated to news on your website. This is where you can link to news coverage and also post any press releases that have been picked up by a news outlet.
Be consistent. Feed them regularly. You should distribute press releases at least once a month. If your organization has enough newsworthy announcements you can do more but strive for regular, consistent feedings.
By providing a steady diet of compelling news and information about your organization, you’ll satisfy a hungry media audience, who will in turn provide readers happy to come back for more.