PR for Nonprofit Healthcare Organizations has changed. And so should your approach.
Since the beginning of time, the approach to writing a press release or a media pitch has been: just the facts and no superlatives. It was all about giving the editor at the paper or the TV station exactly what he or she needed to run the story. Have a straightforward (but boring) headline, follow that up with a few supporting paragraphs of copy, toss in a couple quotes with phrases like “we are thrilled to enter this new, exciting phase…” and finish the whole thing off with a boilerplate that was basically the unedited company mission. Any half-awake ad profession could knock out a press release using the holy formula.
But the way we handle PR is changing RIGHT NOW and Nonprofit Healthcare Organizations could certainly capitalize on it.
We’re learning more and more that members of the media are much more likely to give attention (and column space/airtime) to a story versus straight news. It seems so obvious, but if you work in marketing, it’s not so obvious.
The truth is, news stations are getting smaller. The exchange of information over the web makes it easier for a reporter to just grab a link, add some localization, and run it. Information is so accessible that there’s less of a need for thorough investigative journalism. So that role becomes our own. The practice of Public Relations is transitioning into a type of “surrogate reporting.” It’s become essential to find an angle and tell a compelling story and then handing that off to a member of the media. Do their job for them and they’ll be more likely to run your story.
So how can we make this work for Nonprofit Healthcare Organizations?
HAVE A COMPELLING LEAD
Well, like I said before, the way of cookbook pitch is over, so forget about it. Find an angle and explore it. Make people care, even if it’s something mundane like a new hire or event announcement. If your hospital is hiring a new, noteworthy physician, maybe lead with an angle about a life-saving procedure she performed. If your organization has an upcoming annual fundraising event, maybe lead with a story about a person who benefited from last year’s fundraiser.
TELL ME HOW YOU’RE BENEFITTING ME
You have to convince each individual member of the media to think you’re worth publicizing. And you want to know the truth? They like businesses that can benefit other people. So tell them how you’re making a difference. That’s a heart of a true human-interest piece: something honest that makes people feel connected to the story.
SAY LESS WITH MORE
Also, I know a lot of what you do requires a lot of background information, but try to say more with less. The best pitches can be described in a few sentences, so give the reader more to care about without bogging them down.
You want to know a secret? Publicity can sometimes be more powerful than advertising. And if your
Nonprofit Healthcare Organization can write from the heart (like I know you can), then you can use that power for good.
Download our No One Knows You’re A Nonprofit Healthcare Organization eBook and discover other ways to manage your message.