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Working with your local press

As a community pharmacist you are a staple in your local environment.  One way to capitalize on that is to work with local papers, online bloggers, website organizers, and influencers in your area to get some free press. Here are a few pointers on dealing with these establishments that will make it easier to get […]

As a community pharmacist you are a staple in your local environment.  One way to capitalize on that is to work with local papers, online bloggers, website organizers, and influencers in your area to get some free press.

Here are a few pointers on dealing with these establishments that will make it easier to get your message out there, and help you get some brand recognition to drum up new business.

Learn how to write a good press release.
Geffory James over at CBS recommends the following five rules when writing a release.

  1. Use the press release as a sales tool
  2. Have a newsworthy story
  3. Write it like a reporter would write it
  4. Provide some good quotes
  5. Contact your top outlets personally

A press release can be an awesome tool when you use it to your advantage.  Make sure you are sending out something of value, and that it’s a newsworthy story.  If you did some remodeling, made some new hires, or are changing your hours of operation, on it’s own, probably not that interesting.  If you can frame it in the context of a larger story, like remodeling due to the growth of the area, and include some stats on your cities growth, or you’re changing your hours of operation to better help people due to the shifting buying habits of consumers in your local area, and include a statistic on how buying habits have changed, now you’re on to something.  As far as quotes, as Christon Peterson, writer of this blog would say,

“Make sure you throw some quotes in there: they break up the feel of the piece, and are expected when reading a news article.  It makes the piece sound less like a sales pitch or an op-ed piece and more like a true news story.”

Once you have the piece all tied together, send it to each individual contact personally rather than just a mass email blast.  Include in the email exactly how this press release can be used to help them.  Your goal here is to help the reporters/influencers by giving them something valuable they can repurpose, and to save them time by giving them the bones of the piece to flesh out.

Quid Pro Quo

pharmacy blog

If you find someone who is actually willing to publish your story, buy some ad space in their paper or magazine, or throw a banner ad on their site.  If you can develop a solid working relationship with an outlet, it will benefit both parties, and in turn they will be more willing to devote time, resources, and space to your story.

Design
Make sure you are getting interested parties all the design collateral they need for there piece.  If you have a logo, make sure you have it saved and easily accessible in jpeg format, and if you have a digital copy of your business card include that too.

Web Presence
Before going to press, make sure you have a website that is up to snuff before sending out a release.  After seeing the article, hopefully people will be intrigued by it, and do a little more research on the web.  Make sure the contact page is working, and you have a plan in place for following up with the new contacts.

So hopefully there are some tips in here for dealing with local media.  If this is a little much, you can find a marketing firm to do it for you, I happen to know a good one that specializes in pharmacies.  One good thing to send a press release out about would be a promotion you are throwing, click here to link to on a blog we wrote just about that subject, or check out the ebook we have on promotions below.

Press release for pharmacy

Good luck with your next press release!

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