Why use a Press Release For Your Chiropractic Practice
The “why” of writing a press release is quite simple: A good press release will attract attention, increase your links on the internet which drive people to your site and ultimately result in getting new patients and more revenue.
“What” is a press release? It is a journalistic article which highlights new products, services or occurrences in chiropractic or in your office specifically. It allows the public to know what’s new and interesting in your field.
When you have a good press release, news services can and will pick it up and then two things happen:
First, your site will be automatically become linked to those sites. As a standalone website, you only have traffic (visitors to your site) coming in which is directly guided by you (your current patients and referrals), and chances are your site won’t come up on the first page of an internet search. With the help of heavily frequented sites linking to you, there’s a better chance of being seen during a search and elevating your placement in the listings, like being higher in a phone book.
Second, your press release is seen by people on the sites which have used your feeds and thus traffic to your site increases by direct hit; that is, the person who wants the information or service that you’ve written about in your release clicks on your link. Furthermore, someone may use your information in another article which will also link back to your site.
How to Write a Press Release
There are ways to make a good press release – that is, ways to make it noticeable and picked up by news feeds and used in articles.
Several rules of thumb for writing a good press release are listed below. Even if you choose to have a ghostwriter prepare your press release (more in section 3), here are the things to look for:
- Make sure the topic of the release is newsworthy. A press release isn’t an advertising venue. What you want to do is relate a major advance, cause, event or occurrence which effects your practice whether directly or indirectly.
- Examples are: an advance in arthritis treatment, a new holistic use for an herb in curbing headaches, a new device, an exercise trend, special educational program, fitness program, in-house acupuncturist or dietician, special event you sponsor or special award received . Think of all of the things that will set you apart and focus on its newsworthy aspect; imagine what sorts of things you’d take a second look at an article.
- The point is to make the press release centered around something that’s considered interesting and unique in terms of its newsworthiness. Find a good hook and use it to its maximum potential.
- First, you’ll want to write a summary of your press release, one to four sentences; it’s essentially your hook. This is what will appear on feeds to websites that have requested updates in health and medical news or news in a geographical region. Example: “Women in Somewhere, NY now have an alternative method of relieving pelvic and back stress during pregnancy, as Dr. O. Smith is the first in the area to get certification in this innovative chiropractic technique designed just for expectant mothers.”
- Next, develop a catchy and telling headline. You need to grab attention right away and entice a reader to continue to read the release. Here are the facts: Dr. Smith of Buffalo, NY completes Webster Technique certification. “Local Doctor Certified in Webster Technique.” That’s pretty boring and vague by itself; it tells nothing about what it can do for a patient’s family. How about, “New Help for Expectant Mothers.” Tell me what pregnant woman or expectant father won’t read that? Or perhaps, “Make Mom and Baby Comfortable During Pregnancy.”
- A subhead immediately follows the headline. This will help refine what the headline teases. “Webster Technique reduces back pain and help baby’s position for delivery.” Now we know what kind of help, and it’s really a must-read. The patient knows how it can help.
- Make the first paragraph count. In journalistic writing, the first paragraph should say it all – who, what, when, where and why. Be specific about the point and grab attention right then. Details and fine points are reserved for the body of the press release. The article continues from the summary. “The Webster Technique not only helps to relieve pain associated with pregnancy, but also helps restore a woman’s pelvic balance to allow the baby to get into the best possible delivery position. Dr. O. Smith of Somewhere, NY is now uniquely qualified to assist pregnant women in the area.” All five points have been addressed.
- The body should be written as though you’re writing a newspaper article. The style is called inverted pyramid, where the most important facts are told first, with the details and specifics related further into the article. Excess adverbs and adjectives are for poets and creative writers. Be succinct in relaying highlights of the press release; don’t pad the energy down with statements that mean nothing, jargon or hype.
- In the body, use every day, conversational words. The press release isn’t written for your fellow chiropractors, so don’t use office slang or technical verbiage. Write as though speaking with a patient.
- Also use quotations. Testimonials go a long way in promoting your practice. Incorporate them while talking about the main subject. For example: Joan Smith said, “I’m so glad that I won’t have to give up my treatments now that I’m pregnant.” Obtain a quote or find reference from someone well-known who uses the same treatment or procedure to add validity and support to your claims. Make sure you get necessary permissions. If you can, use statistics to punch up your statements.
- Use standard formatting procedures (sample below). There are several resources including the most widely used, PRWeb.com, which has nicely detailed instructions. No caps, no sales slogans/jargon, no exclamations.