While you may have pitching tech reporters down to a science, making inroads in the healthcare space can be a completely different animal. Several PR best practices still apply, but there are some industry-specific guidelines that should be followed to ensure your pitches aren’t falling on deaf ears.
Below are 5 things to consider when pitching your next big healthcare story:
First, it’s important to understand what type of healthcare various reporters cover. Someone who focuses on healthcare IT will have very different interests than someone who covers life sciences. There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. You need to understand where your company fits into the larger healthcare landscape and how that translates into a reporter’s coverage area.
In that same vein, beyond knowing what the reporter covers, you’ll need to take a deep dive into what audience the publication targets. Are readers primarily in the payer space? Or is the audience mostly providers? While both do have a vested interest in the welfare of patients, they’re looking at it from different vantage points. Ensure the angle you’re pitching will translate into a story that’s interesting to the publication’s specific audience.
Healthcare reporters will undoubtedly lean toward sources that have real-world medical expertise. If your spokesperson is or was a practicing physician, or a PhD (in life sciences specifically), you’ll want to highlight that in your outreach as it carries a lot of weight from a credibility standpoint. Some reporters prefer not to speak to vendors, so offering someone who can discuss provider pain points from their own experience could help break down this barrier and get your story told in a more authentic way.
Learn more about integrated marketing and PR, read: Implementing an Integrated Marketing and PR Strategy for Healthcare Brands.
As a follow-up to offering a credible source with clinical experience, offering a case study with data that proves results is gold for reporters. Providing a customer reference to validate your point is a huge value add – providing a customer that will actually speak on your behalf is the “Holy Grail” for reporters.
We can all agree that healthcare in the U.S. is complicated and ever changing. In order to keep your company on the cutting edge of this rapidly evolving industry, follow regulatory changes, big M&A activity and government policy and offer unique commentary as applicable. Reporters are always following these industry shifts and often need an “insider’s perspective” on very short notice.
We’re seeing innovations in the healthcare sector happen every day, and while it’s truly an exciting time, there’s no doubt that standing out from increasing competition is a huge challenge. Make sure your reaching key decision-makers with compelling stories through the right channels, at the right time.
Learn more about PAN’s healthcare expertise here.