Marketing and public relations used to work separately, with drastically different approaches and goals. But in today’s digital world, where PR overlaps with other channels of communication, it’s more important than ever for the two disciplines to work together. For nearly every company we serve, we are exploring ways to incorporate PR into their comprehensive marketing plan. Unfortunately, not all brands recognize how important PR can be. According to recent research, only 19 percent of corporate communication departments actually contribute to the overall marketing strategy. As a result, many companies are missing a huge opportunity to accelerate brand awareness and improve consumer perception with proven and research-backed PR strategies.
Your Guide to a Healthcare Public Relations Strategy
Are you in the healthcare field? Do you want to find your target audience and show them how you can help improve their well-being? Well, a public relations strategy just might be the key. Your audience can find you online, but we should never assume that they will. Even with excellent SEO, you might miss out on reaching that one person who is in dire need of your services without a solid PR strategy. If your marketing strategy is missing PR, we’re here to help. To get you started, here are a few considerations as you build a robust healthcare PR strategy.
1. Identify Newsworthy ContentInformation is changing rapidly in the healthcare industry. Topics of conversation can sometimes change before you even have time to put out a story. That’s why you must stay on top of what is relevant and timely—because that’s what your audience needs to hear. Preferably, you would be the first to give them this information, allowing them to view you as a leader. Your PR team should always look for the most relevant information to share that will add value to your audience’s lives. Try to identify newsworthy and engaging content that people outside your organization either want or need to know. Make sure that all content fits the following criteria:
- Easy to understand
2. Build Relationships with the Local MediaNetworking is a powerful tool in any type of business, and the media is no exception. Your relationship with local reporters, journalists, and media outlets can skyrocket the effectiveness of your overall PR strategy. When local media professionals know you on a first-name basis and understand the value you bring to the table, they are more likely to reach out to you with questions or to work with you on stories for their outlet.
3. Become a Subject Matter ExpertYou have experience and knowledge in your healthcare specialty that others will find helpful, but you have to find a way to share it outside of your office. One way to do this is to become a subject matter expert (SME) for different channels, such as local media, social platforms, and podcasts. Once you focus on becoming a thought leader in your industry and sharing what you know with those around you, your audience will begin to look to you as their go-to resource for information on that subject. Reach out to those in the media, letting them know what you specialize in and that you are flexible and available when they have questions.
4. Submit to HARO RequestsIf you want to hit the ground running and offer advice now, you can subscribe to receive HARO emails. Each email will be a list of requests from media outlets asking for firsthand experience or thoughtful insight into particular subjects. Review the emails to see if there is an opportunity that you could contribute to and take the time to write to the journalists—submissions are usually fairly quick. When a journalist chooses your insight to feature, they will also cite you as the source and link your business, providing you with valuable backlinks that increase your SEO success.
5. Consider the Channels You Will UseYour healthcare content is only successful if you reach the intended audience. You want them to take action or learn something from your information, right? So, it’s important to consider where your target audience will be most likely to find your content. A few options are:
- Online and print healthcare publications
- Your website
- Social media
- Local or national news
- Billboards or other public displays
Design a Results-Driven PR Strategy with Green AppleCould your healthcare office become a leader in your field? We think so. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our team is happy to discuss your goals and how we can help you achieve each and every one of them with PR and comprehensive marketing.
What is Digital PR (And Why Do You Need It)?
It’s no secret that our world is more digital by the day. Advertising and media relations have completely shifted as the internet has grown and changed. And, of course, the exponential (and constant) growth of social media has completely transformed the way we communicate with our audiences. That’s why a PR strategy alone won’t quite cut it anymore. So, where do you go from here? To stay ahead of your competition and remain present for your audience, it’s vital that you and your marketing team have a comprehensive digital PR strategy. In this article, we’ll cover what is involved in a digital PR plan and how you can begin putting yours together today.
What Does a Digital PR Strategy Include?In your digital PR toolkit, you’ll need:
- A customer survey tool to collect positive reviews
- Backlinks in trustworthy publications
- Proactive press releases and connections with the media
- A comprehensive social media strategy
How Do You Put these In Place?
1. A Customer Survey Tool to Collect Positive ReviewsOne of the most important ways to build trust with your customers is through positive reviews. In fact, according to BrightLocal, 91% of customers from the ages of 18 to 34 trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. Knowing the power of reviews, it’s imperative that you have a strategy in place to collect them. We recommend that our clients use LoyaltyLoop; however, there are many other tools out there to explore to see what would serve your business best. Here are a few of the top ways to collect reviews:
- A survey tool, such as LoyaltyLoop
- Instructing your team to encourage customers to leave reviews
- Linking to your Google, Yelp, or Facebook pages in your email signature
- Offer your customers an incentive
2. Backlinks in Trustworthy PublicationsYour digital PR strategy should also include ways to obtain backlinks on trustworthy sites. A backlink is when another site links to yours because you have relevant information to offer. One of the most successful backlink methods we’ve tested is using HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to submit helpful information to reporters. Though it can be time-consuming, responding to one or two requests per week could significantly increase the number of backlinks you have, and therefore boost your SEO. Another effective method is creating a guide packed with a lot of helpful, actionable information. A large guide is a time investment on the front end; however, it provides you with long-term results. Provide your audience with information that they want to share with others, encouraging them to link out to your guide, which may have tips, steps, statistics, or other information that would be especially helpful.
3. Proactive Press Releases and Connections with The MediaTo send out newsworthy content, your team must stay ahead of any upcoming stories so that they can be ready to have a timely press release out to the media. Think ahead to what you may be able to highlight in the upcoming weeks or months—events you may be involved in, charity work you plan to do, or big changes to your company. Does nothing come to mind? It might be time to make some waves! Make sure that you’re submitting your press releases to journalists who will be interested in what you have to say. You might consider looking for publications within your industry or focusing on reporters who specialize in your topic. Try making personal connections with these reporters when you can. Knowing someone on a first-name basis can go a long way in getting your story out there.
4. A Comprehensive Social Media StrategyCan you believe we waited this long to get to social media? Well, that’s in part because, although it’s important, social media isn’t everything. Your digital PR strategy should be well-rounded, including all parts of the picture. With that said, social media is an important piece of your plan. Work with your team to decide which platforms work best for your industry and your audience and what types of content you should be creating for each. Create a strategy that works for your business specifically. Tips on content and when and how to post can be helpful, but at the end of the day, you want to spend your time where you’re seeing the best results and getting the most value.
Looking for a PR Agency to Get the Word Out About Your Business?The landscape of marketing is changing so rapidly that if you aren’t staying on top of it constantly, you’ll fall behind quickly. We won’t let you fall behind. Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation. Our team is happy to sit down with you to discuss your goals and how we can help you achieve each and every one of them.
10 Marketing Questions to Answer Before Launching a Product or Service
Dreaming up a new idea for your business can be an exciting and rewarding process. You are about to offer your audience something they need or want, and so you’re helping people while growing your company. But, we can get swept away into dreaming about our ideas sometimes, can’t we? In all the excitement, we can lose track of the reality of a launch. We want to help you think through how you can launch your new products or services in the most timely, cost-effective, and successful way. Here are ten marketing questions to answer before launching a product or service.
1. Does it align with my company’s goals?When we add elements to our company’s repertoire, it’s crucial to ensure that they align with the vision we have for our brand. Because no matter how small, each product or service says something about your business—and could very well change the trajectory of your brand’s growth. So, it’s first and foremost important that you choose your additions wisely. Picture your business in two to five years. Does this product or service still fit into that picture?
2. What problem does it solve for my audience?The primary reason to build a new product or service is to solve an issue for your audience. Does this idea address a common pain point for your customers? If the answer is yes, you may have just come across your next big seller! If not, you may need to return to the drawing board.
3. How can I build strategic messaging around it?Once you have your golden idea that aligns with your brand and solves a pain point for your customer, you’re ready to craft messaging. This is an involved process, but every second is worth it in the end. You can use your answer to question two, “What problem does it solve for my audience?” to inform this process. Once you have the answer to that question, you can begin building your messaging strategy. Identify the key messages that you’re sending to your audience and hone in on what your tone will sound like. In general, you’ll use this time to map out how you will communicate your offering to your customers so that they will not only understand it but will then want to take action.
4. Which platforms should I use to announce the launch?Using your messaging strategy, you will send your messaging to customers on the most appropriate platforms. Take a moment to review your analytics for different channels to decide where it will be effective to spend your most effort. You should not ignore the platforms that aren’t performing quite as well, but this step will help you choose your priorities. A few platforms to consider are:
- Email marketing
- Blog articles
- Social media
- The local and national media (i.e., press releases)
- Paid advertising
5. Have I updated my website and social media profiles?Launching a new element of your business is a wonderful opportunity to review your website and social media profiles. Whether it’s updating website headers and social media profile graphics or description content, you’ll want to ensure that these channels are updated to reflect the most current and accurate information about your brand. You can also take this chance to boost your website’s visibility by reviewing your SEO practices. If your site is a local brick and mortar, optimize it for “near me” searches. Otherwise, focus on overall SEO, which is a powerful tactic, no matter what type of business you have.
6. Which customers of my audience will be most interested in this?By identifying which customers will be most interested in this new product, you can again position your priorities. Identify where this customer spends their most time, what they care about, and how you can speak to their pain points. Customer profiles are a useful tool when exploring your customers’ wants, needs, and habits. With this information under your belt, you can build targeted messaging for the customers who are dying to have your product or use your service.
7. How will I continue the product or service’s success following the launch?Marketing is an ongoing effort. So, it’s essential that you plan for success not only as you prepare for launch but also for as long as your business is in operation. You can follow proactive marketing principles to monitor the success of your marketing campaigns continually. All the while, you must find new and creative ways to keep your current customers interested and entice prospective customers.
8. Are my marketing and sales teams aligned on the launch details?At Green Apple, we often discuss sales and marketing alignment with our clients. Your launch’s success will largely depend on the streamlined communication in your business, so your sales and marketing teams must be telling the same story. When their message is aligned, your customers know what to expect and view your business as one trusted, unified front.
9. What services should I invest in for the highest return on investment?Your return on investment depends on the efforts that go into your launch and the effectiveness of those efforts. But, it’s important to realize that you can’t do it all. You can, of course, but professionals who specialize in those efforts may be able to do them better, faster, and cheaper than you can. For example, you may spend twice the resources to build something internally that an outsourced partner could do in half the time while delivering a much more professional and effective product. Take a second to consider what your team is not fully equipped to handle and identify the best partners to work with to fill those gaps.
10. How do I market the new product or service to my employees?A massively important element of marketing that many companies overlook is internal marketing. It’s just as crucial that you market to your employees as you do to your customers. When your employees fully understand your business and are excited about what you’re selling, they will be more excited to share that with others to help your customers succeed. Your employees are your most valuable asset, so ensure that you spend a great deal of time supporting their knowledge about and overall satisfaction with your brand. Do you need help building a robust and effective marketing strategy for your brand’s product or service launch? We can help. Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.
Green Apple Strategy Makes NBJ’s List of Top PR Firms
What a year it has been! Despite having to make multiple shifts to our work style amid the global pandemic that has affected our world in 2020—socially and economically—we’ve also been able to see some positive outcomes. In fact, we’ve had the opportunity to celebrate a few milestone accomplishments. From our eighth anniversary to winning the Nashville Business Journal’s Best in Business Award, we’re humbled to have even more exciting news to share!