Whether you’re a healthcare PR or marketing team of one or a few, no one person or small team can do it all, especially manage a cohesive marketing and public relations strategy. If public relations requests have been coming up in your company’s conversations but you’re not sure where to start, we are here to help!
To clarify, examples of public relations requests include “We really need to get (subject matter expert’s name) interviewed in (insert podcast, magazine or association here).” Or, “Our customers keep talking about the amazing work we’re doing for them. We need to share their stories to a wider audience.” Also, “We need to be speaking at these events asap.”
If you’re hearing these sound bites or something similar, your organization could be ready to take the plunge. Here are a few signs you’re ready to hire a healthcare PR firm:
1. Marketing is wearing too many hats
A marketing team that needs to focus on content, lead generation or any number of other competing initiatives can’t possibly devote the same time and energy to media pitches. How can your next email campaign flourish if you’re too busy sending press releases or pitching article topics to busy editors? Hiring a PR agency takes these tasks off your plate and puts them in the hands of experts—so you can get back to work on your marketing strategy.
2. You need an integrated PR program
If you want to expand your marketing and PR program to include several different strategies—such as editorial relations, content creation, speaking engagements and social media—then it’s the right time to consider a PR agency. We use the term unicorn marketer for someone who can do all of those activities single-handedly. But it could take you a lot of time and complaints from your struggling team before you ever fill the position. With a healthcare PR agency, you get a team of people with subject matter expertise and deep-rooted relationships with editors.
3. You understand it takes time and patience to build authority
I’m often amazed at how many people seek instant results or return on investment from PR activities. The most important thing to remember about healthcare PR is that it’s a marathon. Case in point: If we sign a new client in March and work hard to quickly interview their customers and SMEs to formulate stories and topics that editors actually want to write about, our first article placement could run in May. For speaking engagements, lead time is often one year out from the time of abstract submission. If you can be comfortable with the time required to build momentum over the course of months or years, then you’re ready to boost your company’s visibility and credibility through public relations.
4. You’re committed to a long term investment
Having a dedicated budget is a virtue in public relations. Fees can vary depending on the services you need and the type of PR agency you engage. Some specialize in healthcare IT while others excel at national media outreach, but chances are high that everyone sets their pricing a little differently. No matter what, public relations is an investment, not an expense. When you are able to view PR this way, you’re ready to make a long-term investment in your company.
You don’t have to check every box to feel like you’re ready for PR agency support, but we hope this quick list helps guide you in the process.
If you want to have a conversation about our PR process, let us know!
Some of these tips were created with inspiration from http://truebluecommunications.com/5-signs-youre-ready-to-hire-a-pr-agency/.