You just spent six months building a new website. You’re happy with it. It’s engaging, it has service-line details and you’re seeing increased traffic.
Three weeks after launch, you get a call from a regional health care reporter—he wants your logo, basic stats about your facility and contact information
for your cardiac expert. Are you ready?
Does your website have a pressroom?
If you received the inquiry above, would you be able to fulfill the reporter’s request? Would it cause you to scramble and gather information from a
variety of sources?
Reporters have deadlines—they need requests fulfilled fast. If they ask you for information on Monday, it might be for an article due on Tuesday. So it’s
important to have information reporters may request immediately accessible.
A great way to compile all this information and make it available is with an online pressroom. Make your media kit and other information available on your
website so reporters can view it right when they need it.
Access is everything
If a reporter has a choice between using you or your biggest competitor as a source in an article, you obviously want the reporter to contact you. Problem
is, your competitor has an online media kit with basic hospital stats, a list of experts for a variety of topics, sample news releases and more.
Who is the reporter going to use in his story time after time in this scenario? Unfortunately, he’ll approach your competitor first every single time. For
reporters, access to information and experts is key.
Components of a hospital pressroom
The pressroom of your website can be as robust as you’re willing to make it. At minimum, you should have the following components:
High-resolution file of your logo
- A short boiler plate (description about your hospital)
- A list of experts in your hospital who are open to responding to requests from media. This list should include:
- Name of physician, including suffixes
- Areas of expertise
- Direct contact information—phone and email
- All previously distributed press releases
- A fact sheet with basic information and stats about your hospital
Additional items you can use include:
Headshots of providers on your expert list
- High-resolution photos of your facility and events available for download
- Short bios of providers on your expert list
Recent media clips
RSS subscription option
Take time in developing these materials—you want to represent your hospital in the best light.
Keep the pressroom public
Some organizations require a login to access the content in their pressrooms. Why? If you’re providing information to reporters, why restrict it from the
public? You don’t have to widely promote your pressroom to the public, but there’s no point in restricting access.
Promoting the pressroom to the media
Once you build your pressroom, you’ll have to let the media know about it. You can distribute a media advisory, include a link to it in all future press
releases and use your existing relationships with members of the media to spread the word about how willing your hospital is to assist reporters.
Track Your PR progress
You probably have a good gauge of how much publicity you get monthly and annually. Track traffic to your pressroom through Google Analytics, and monitor
for press coverage—see if your results improve after building and promoting the pressroom.
Samples of hospital pressrooms
Saint Agnes Hospital
in Baltimore, Md., does a good job with its pressroom. They have it as a main menu item, so both reporters and patients can learn more about the hospital.
The homepage also lists recent news items with “Learn More” actions that lead to the pressroom.
Once you’re in the pressroom, Saint Agnes has a fact sheet, recent press releases, featured stories, an event calendar, photos from past events, a
well-organized image gallery, videos, direct contact information and “Connect with Us” links.
Jefferson University Hospitals
in Philadelphia does a good job allowing access to its experts. The website pressroom includes biographical information on more than 25 medical
specialists—each with direct contact information and some with videos.
How are you using your pressroom to gain publicity?
Carrie Traetow is national healthcare account executive at ME&V Healthcare Marketing. This article
first appeared on Current Hospital Marketing.