Three Wise Dames

Marketing in the Life Science Industry

FYI•PHI•TMI July 20, 2013

Filed under: Lisa,PHI,Social media — Lisa Pohmajevich @ 12:57 pm

man w zipped lipsThis post is more of a ‘what not to do, than what to do’.  To be clear, from the start – I am a proponent of social media as a healthcare marketing communications medium.  Social media platforms are used by many disease and condition focused organizations – from research and scientific communities to support and education organizations as well as manufacturers and makers of healthcare products and physicians and providers of healthcare services.

Social media (SM) platforms are vastly more efficient when communicating with large numbers of people, because it is just plain faster.  I believe that one-size does not fit all – the goals of the communication and the intended audience must determine the platform, and that a SM program is most effective if focused rather than scattershot.

I am a big fan of SM platforms that facilitate two-way communication, a.k.a. sharing.  Some of the richest intelligence results in the exchange of questions and answers, clarifying facts and dispelling fiction, and proposing of ideas and challenging of status quo – particularly in healthcare.  In other words – lots of ‘engagement’ by the host of the SM portal and individuals visiting the portal can lead to very good things.

However – yes there is a BUT; protected health information (PHI) sometimes referred to as personal health information, should be, well both of those things – protected and personal!

As the jingle goes – “what goes on the internet stays on the internet” should sound alarm bells in the mind of the misguided individual who shares their PHI on social media platforms.  Never mind that few of us want to know the nitty-gritty details of every little physical malady one suffers, the bigger issue is that sharing of all things protectable and personal puts the individual at great risk of prejudice, predatory practices and exploitation.

PHI is best treated with the same care as ones’ SS#, unlisted telephone number, bank account passwords and if you are a woman – weight!  It’s personal – protect it!

(C) 2013 pH Consulting. All rights reserved.

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Press Release Distribution Services: Are They Worth It? July 15, 2013

My favorite newswire services

My favorite newswire services

Whether I’m working with a start-up or a Fortune 500 company,with the marketing or communications teams, all of my clients are looking for ways to make their budgets go farthest. So I sometimes get asked if it’s worth it to use a news distribution service, such as PRNewswire or BusinessWire, for your press releases.  And the answer is they’re even more valuable today than ever.

I had one new client recently who, for years, had been issuing a steady stream of news releases.  But when doing some basic internet research, no news came up in Google searches. I learned that the previous PR person never used a wire service, and only emailed them out to her media list. The releases were not being made available online and media pick-up was minimal. Years of opportunity… lost.

Yes, They’re Worth It: These days, the value of a press release is not only about the media that covers your news. It’s also about maximizing your online visibility through search and getting easily found.  In short, if you send out a press release without using a distribution service, the company is missing out on most of the benefits of doing a release, which include:

  • Expanding media coverage online, locally and nationally–PR Newswire is a trusted source of news (as is BusinessWire)
  • Reaching investors and prospective partners, as well as getting your message directly in front of potential customers
  • Increasing traffic to your Web site through search engines
    • What makes press releases valuable for SEO is not the release itself; it’s when news sites pick them up and spread your news
    • News releases issued through the right distribution  services automatically get syndicated to MarketWatch, Yahoo, MSN and other major news sites, and that’s what will enhance your company’s search rankings
  • Enhancing credibility–Your release is more likely to be included on major news sites, and it will be included alongside news from larger companies
  • Reaching social media and bloggers with tools designed to maximize your online exposure
  • These services provide reports that help you measure your reach

Best Practice:  Media relations best practice is to:

1)  Issue the news release over one of the distribution services (I recommend PRNewswire and BusinessWire)

2)  Follow up one-on-one with emails and/or phone calls to your target reporters

Here’s a good example of why:

  • When we issued a release for one of my clients over PRNewswire, we knew it was not the most exciting news, but it was one part of the ongoing story we wanted to tell about the company.
  • The Wall Street Journal Online ran the release, and that outlet was not on our email distribution list for this news.
  • The story also ran in Medical Device Daily and Orthopedics This Week, among other outlets, which came about as a result of our outreach efforts.

Resources:

PR Toolkit: The Benefits of Distributing a News Release

Google Says Press Releases Don’t have SEO Value – Or Do They?

© 2013, Merryman Communications, All Rights Reserved

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