Would you like to get FREE publicity for your practice but don't know how? Are you spending too much hard-earned money on advertising and none on publicity?
Don't take for granted the fact that you are an expert and you know stuff that the wider community doesn't; there's no reason why you can't be the person that delivers the expertise that consumers are keen to know about.
The Publicity "Game"
Some people think publicity as free advertising. In reality, it is not free advertising; it is not free because it demands your time, energy and intelligent planning to be truly effective. When done properly with his level of commitment it does however yield far better returns than pure advertising and indeed should be seen as going hand in hand with advertising; not as a substitute.
Publicity is different from advertising because it entails capturing the media's interest in your discipline. But you need to be bold. Few professionals can rely on referrals alone as a source of new clients.
Understand this: local newspapers – even metropolitan ones – as well as television and radio stations are always working on special interest stories and natural therapy stories are a potential rich vein to tap. Many however will lie dormant in the practitioner's files.
If what you do is respected and commented on by clients/ patients, chances are good that journalists and producers will call on you for their expertise. Before becoming a full-time publisher, in my life as a business journalist, I spent years building up a list of sources from which I could draw both stories and opinions from "experts" and authorities in their fields of specialisation.
You may not be able to be able to promote your product or service every time out, but you will be building relationships that will help you over time.
You will build confidence by sending out an email to all the local media outlets offering your services as an expert source in a specialised field. If you for example had a good practice which used supplements say for the treatment of some condition, then your email to a journalist might say “When you are working on any story questioning the validity of supplements, I will be glad to make sure you get the best and most current information.”
You might come across a medical report about how regular massages can help ease back pain. Send it to your local media outlets pointing out there are local resources (especially you!) that can help their readers. Offer a journalist a free treatment; it's up to the journo to declare this if and when they write about it.
Becoming a Media Source
Journalists are time poor and pressed by deadlines. A good source is a solution to their time pressures.
Once such media connections are made; the practitioner should keep her eyes peeled for new development that might be of interest to patients who need supplements and be ready to suggest them to journalists or editors as article ideas.
Every time you or your service is mentioned and you are quoted, you become more recognisable, and your profile as a local resource grows.
In my next article I will talk about the best way of packaging your service and presenting it as a "media kit".Originally published on May 21, 2013