How to involve healthcare professionals in earned media campaigns
Your team has decided to launch an earned media campaign for your healthcare product or focus disease area. Great, what next? All good medical earned media stories include the voice of healthcare professionals to add credibility to the information in the article. Often, a journalist or reporter will want to speak to a HCP for additional quotes to complement the article they are writing using your media release.
Healthcare professionals are very busy supporting patients and performing lifesaving work. Therefore, their experience in your campaign should be as smooth as possible to avoid friction and create unnecessary work for them.
Share this infographic with healthcare professionals before engaging them in your earned media campaign
Five tips to best engage with healthcare professionals to reinforce your earned media campaign
- Initial introduction to the agency or team writing the release
- Work with the HCP’s public affairs team
- Manage expectations
- Prepare for media opportunities
- Share the wins
Initial introduction to the agency or team writing the release
Ensure you have introduced the person or team writing the media release to the HCP. This will also be an opportunity to outline the steps involved in the earned media process, as some healthcare professionals (HCPs) may have never taken part in an earned media campaign.
Work with the HCP’s public affairs team
The team or agency writing the media release will need to introduce themselves to the media or public affairs team attached to the HCP’s workplace. They will need to review and approve an external media release. This can be a time-consuming process and should be done concurrently with HCP outreach.
However, far from a barrier, the media or public affairs team can also provide additional resources or information that add colour and depth to your content.
Finally, in the event of TV coverage, they will want to be present at the interview, given that filming normally take place at the hospital or institution.
It is important to communicate with the HCP the different types of articles they could be involved in. You do not want them to be surprised if only a few of their quotes have been used in the final output.
- Media release: two or three quotes from a 10-minute background phone interview will normally be used.
- Opinion piece: a bigger proportion of the interview will be used, and the background phone interview could go on for a bit longer to cover all angles of interest.
Prepare for media opportunities
A crucial part of the earned media process is maximising opportunities when they come your way, so make sure the talent is prepared to be in front of a camera and knows the key messages to deliver. Check whether they require some simple media training in advance of an interview.
If possible, attend the phone interviews with reporters or journalists to both reassure the HCP, and take note of the questions asked. If the representation of the HCP in the final article is not what you expected, at least you know the angles the journalist was looking for. Avoid interrupting the interview unless it is a last resort to avert a disaster, however this would be extremely rare.
Share the wins
Make sure you keep the HCP updated when their words are printed or aired so they aren’t caught off-guard. They will want to be the first to share these news stories on their personal social media accounts or with colleagues.
Finally, they are busy and deserve some gratitude, especially if you would like to involve them again down the line, so make sure you acknowledge them appropriately for their time.
If you would like to conduct an earned media campaign for your healthcare brand or healthcare area of interest, please schedule a time to speak with us here.