Doctors Appear On TV With Doctor’s PR & Marketing Services
Gary Grasso, director of Doctor's PR & Marketing describes how doctors can build public awareness of medical treatments and procedures with appearances on TV.
United States (PRUnderground) September 30th, 2014
Gaining coverage in a TV news story or an appearance on a morning news show is one of the most effective ways to promote a practice and educate viewers on treatments and procedures. Most markets across the US have at least two or three TV stations. Each station may hold several opportunities for a live appearance on a morning news or coverage with a news story if you know whom to approach and how to prepare and send your story proposals.
The medical reporter / medical producer
Unfortunately, the number of TV reporters and producers in local markets who specialize in medical and health coverage have been on a steady decline due to budget cuts, competition from other sources of medical news and other factors. However, virtually all of the network’s “flagship” stations in major markets continue to have medical / health reporters on staff. Research on the local station’s websites and a few phone calls to their newsrooms will allow you to locate the stations that continue to use medical reporters. In addition to covering breaking medical news, they plan stories in advance, and usually have access to a camera person. This means that once you have a story scheduled for taping with a medical reporter the odds are that he or she will show up on schedule. General assignment reporters are more likely to be reassigned at the last minute for breaking news.
To prepare your approach to local medical reporters, carefully compose the elements of your story proposal. Keep in mind that since television is a visual medium, your success will often depend on what you can offer to show and tell; elements such as demonstrations, patient comments, illustrations, video and photos will help the producer to approve your story.
After sending your story proposal via email wait until the next day, and if you haven’t received a response call the reporter and if you connect, provide a brief overview of your story and why it will interest the viewers. Or leave a very brief voice message and include your phone number & email address. Follow up one time with an email or phone call the following day.
The morning show producer or guest booker
Your appearance on a live morning show can do more to build public awareness of your practice than spending thousands of dollars on advertising. You will be able to describe a specific service that you provide, answer the anchor’s questions, and even demonstrate something or show a video clip, photos or animation which you have sent to the station in advance. Best of all, you can communicate your unedited message to the public. If you organize your responses to questions correctly you’ll be able to mention your website, announce a special event, or almost anything important that you’d like the public to know about.
To increase your chances of being booked on morning shows, be sure that the segment proposal that you send includes the following elements:
1. A brief but compelling description of the topic you are proposing, what’s new about it and how it can benefit viewers.
2. Does the story relate to a current news item, trend or innovation? Highlight that information. Emphasize your opinion on a trending topic, especially if you can shed new light on something in the news or if you have an opinion that runs counter to prevailing impressions.
3. Describe the visual elements. Can you conduct a live demonstration, or can you provide a brief video of the procedure or treatment? List what you have for the audience to see, such as before & after photos, a medical device, even a patient who could appear with you. The more visual elements you can offer, the better.
4. Make it timely – Suggest a specific date for your availability, about 2 weeks in the future, but also indicate that you are available on an alternate date and specify that date. Also mention that you can be flexible on the dates according to the producer’s schedule.
The assignment or planning editor or manager
To be successful, you’ll need to have considerable flexibility in your schedule for the day, since the assignment desk is generally concerned with “same day” news coverage. Planning editors will work on stories for the near term, usually a few days in advance.
Send an email to the assignment or planning desk and indicate the date and time that you are available to be taped for the story. It’s usually best to send your story proposal in the morning, around 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. for daytime and evening broadcasts.
You may gain same-day news coverage, which will appear on the afternoon or evening news broadcast. The downside is that you may not know until the last minute whether the station will send a reporter, and your story coverage could be “bumped” by a breaking news story.
Contact Doctor’s PR & Marketing for more information on building a practice with medical public relations, medical marketing and online PR services. Email to Gary Grasso, director at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 626-698-2213. visit www.doctorspr.com
About Doctors P.R.
Doctor P.R. & Marketing provides medical and dental public relations and marketing services across the US. We create and place health, aesthetic & medical news and information via broadcast, online and print media.