How to boost the success of your Health PR campaign
An effective Health PR campaign can have a tangible impact on the success of your organisation, brand or product; when your campaign secures positive media coverage – also called ‘earned media’ – it can raise awareness, boost sales, drive web traffic and enhance your organisation’s reputation with your target audience.
But you need to start with a clear plan and know what you want to achieve from your Health PR campaign. You also need to have a good understanding of how to navigate the often-confusing health media landscape ethically and legally. Planning a Health PR campaign can start off like other types of PR, however, once you’ve established your campaign objectives and narrowed down your target audience, there are a few more things you need to think about in order to make the most out of your campaign.
A clear and engaging ‘hook’
Whatever you’re announcing, you need to ensure your story will engage your target audience. Do you have some interesting (and new, or at least very recent) research or statistics to back it up? Is your campaign announcing a ‘first’ in Australia, or a first in your industry? Journalists will look for an interesting hook or angle when deciding if your media release is going to be of interest to their readers, viewers or listeners, so make sure you don’t bury the lead! It’s also a good idea to be able to include some background statistics on your topic area that journalists can weave into their story.
Keep your target audience top of mind when reaching out to media. Why should they care about what you’re trying to tell them?
Real Life Stories
Once you’ve identified your hook, you need to secure some real-life stories, also known as ‘case studies’. Case studies are real people who can speak (confidently, articulately and accurately) about how your topic has impacted them personally. They may be interviewed directly by journalists or your PR agency may interview them and provide approved comments as part of the media release. It’s essential that your case studies are treated with dignity and compassion and feel looked after and supported through what may be an emotional and overwhelming experience.
Case studies need to be properly vetted and briefed before being connected with journalists; you need to make sure their experience mirrors what your organisation is saying, and that they’re comfortable speaking publicly about what may be a very personal subject.
An objective expert is someone from outside of your organisation that can back up the claims you’re making in your media release. For example, a pharmacist who can back up the efficacy of your new product, or a medical doctor who can speak knowledgeably about the impact of a health condition or illness. An independent expert can provide additional credibility and add an element of authority to your claims.
Make sure your objective expert really is objective and independent – if there’s a whiff of collusion, collaboration or ‘cash for comment’, all credibility will be lost!
You’ll need to provide a quote from a company spokesperson that elaborates on the information in the media release and brings your company, brand or product to life. This person will also need to be available for any media interviews and should ideally be media trained. Make sure your spokesperson understands that this is an ‘earned’ media campaign, rather than a paid one (i.e. advertising).
Your best company spokesperson is not necessarily the CEO; it is the person who can speak most eloquently on your topic.
Images and other assets
Having a gallery of images, including photos of your spokespeople and case studies, is an essential element of your media release. Package up your available images, logos, headshots and other assets into a shared folder and make it available as a link in your media release.
Make sure your images are high resolution and good quality. Provide versions suitable for web and print if possible.