In today’s competitive fields of dentistry and orthodontics, establishing a strong public presence is essential to reaching a broader audience, building trust, and showcasing expertise. Harnessing the power of the press and publicity can significantly enhance your professional reputation and create valuable opportunities to educate, inform and create goodwill. Recently, the American Dental Association and a handful of talented dentists were featured in an article on Today.com written by Sarah Jacoby. It fires on all cylinders. You can check out my LinkedIn profile and read the post to see why their article is so great. For this blog post, we will delve into the best practices for dentists and orthodontists when approaching press and publicity strategies, particularly when getting featured in the news or interviewed by journalists.
Define Your Unique Voice: Before stepping into the limelight, it’s crucial to define your unique voice and messaging. What sets you apart from other professionals in your field? Whether it’s a particular treatment approach, patient-centered care, or innovative technology, identifying your unique selling points will help you craft compelling narratives that capture the media’s attention. I was able to define my voice through writing and on the radio then through television interviews and features. None of the media was perfectly planned nor executed, but the writing and consistent appearances helped us build out a press kit so that we could show editors and reporters that we were a trusted brand in our community and that I could deliver a valuable segment or quote to help them with their goals.
Cultivate Relationships with Local Journalists: Building relationships with local journalists can open doors to media coverage. Reach out to local newspapers, magazines, and news stations to introduce yourself and your expertise. Consider inviting them for a tour of your practice or to witness a patient success story firsthand. These relationships can lead to feature articles, interviews, and expert commentary. Our relationship with Smiles Change Lives, Children’s Mercy Hospital and the UMKC School of Dentistry helped open doors as well. If you aren’t currently teaching or lecturing, commit to serving your community through a non-profit organization. These groups need frequent publicity and when the topic turns to teeth, you can be their go-to source for professional recommendations and advice.
Develop a Compelling Online Presence: In today’s digital age, an impressive online presence is indispensable. Maintain an up-to-date and professional website that highlights your credentials, services, and patient testimonials. Utilize social media platforms to share educational content, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and patient transformations. Engaging online content not only showcases your expertise but also attracts media attention. There are some really smart dentists and orthodontists using this strategy at a high level. Check out Dr. Kyle Fagala and his blog posts, Dr. Brad Chvatal and his community involvement and my friends at BWC Orthodontics for their news features and active engagement with their audience.
Craft Newsworthy Stories: When approaching the press, it’s essential to identify newsworthy stories that align with current trends or events. Have you introduced a groundbreaking technique? Are you addressing a prevalent dental issue within your community? Develop stories that resonate with the public and emphasize the impact of your work. Too often, press releases are all about a new location or partner in the practice. These are fine, but why not tie the announcement into a fun charity auction or community event? If something is already going on in the news or in your community, find a way to tap into that momentum in a way that delivers true value to the consumer.
Be Available and Responsive: Journalists often work on tight deadlines, so being available and responsive is key. Once you establish contact with reporters, make sure you’re reachable and willing to provide information promptly. This reliability can position you as a go-to expert in your field. I cannot tell you how many times I was able to get on the news simply because I was the first to say yes to the reporter. I remember at least a handful of examples where the reported admitted they tried to contact a friend or competing colleague first but they landed on me because I was the only one who came to the phone and said “Sure! When do you need me to be there?”
Practice Clear and Concise Communication: When being interviewed, it’s important to communicate your expertise in a clear and concise manner. Avoid using jargon that might confuse the audience. Instead, break down complex concepts into relatable terms. Practice your talking points beforehand to ensure a confident and engaging delivery.
Highlight Patient Success Stories: Personal narratives can be incredibly impactful. Highlight patient success stories (with their consent) to illustrate the transformative power of your services. Whether it’s a smile makeover or a complex orthodontic journey, these stories not only demonstrate your skills but also resonate with a broader audience. Smiles Change Lives helped us feature a patient and we were featured on the front page of the Kansas City Star, not because of anything exceptional about our practice but because of the heartwarming story about the patient. Someone much smarter than I once said it’s amazing what you can accomplish when no one is concerned with who gets the credit. It’s true. Think about the reader and the news outlet. Help them first and you’ll be surprised how many dividends will return to your practice.
Mastering the art of press and publicity can significantly elevate your profile as a dentist or orthodontist. By defining your unique voice, cultivating relationships with journalists, and crafting compelling stories, you can confidently navigate interviews, articles, and media features. Remember, effective press and publicity strategies not only showcase your expertise but also contribute to the growth and success of your practice.
If you need help with any of these concepts or strategies, reach out to my good friends at Advantage Media Group. They are trusted experts who have helped countless dentists and orthodontists with their PR and media strategies, including me. I’m a product of their system and it works really well if you’re willing to follow their advice.