Today's Veterinary Business

FEB 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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Page 31 of 67

30 Today's Veterinary Business Communication Let's assume that you want to reach a larger audience of pet own- ers, not only to maintain visibility with your current clientele but also to grow your practice by bringing in new clients. We call this target market a consumer audience, which can be regional or local in scope. These people use online, print, radio and TV outlets to obtain news. To pitch a story to editors, produc- ers or reporters at a local media outlet, you must provide an idea that is not only compelling but also relevant to the community. An educational angle helps, too. Consider the clinical cases you've had recently. Which ones might resonate most with the community? The Needs of the Press Once you have identified a case, you need a method of delivery. The vehicle for sharing your story idea is the press release, which, when formatted accurately, clearly outlines the case and the supporting facts. The press release must be written in the objective third-per- son voice and strictly adhere to the facts. You're not writing an advertisement, so don't use boastful language. Rather, the release must contain the information necessary to devel- op what is called editorial coverage Sure, you might advertise your veterinary practice to nearby pet owners so that they learn about your services and expertise. But how do you reach the masses? One often underutilized tactic is media relations. Here is how to promote your practice by publicizing interest- ing client cases. Communication By Jillian Spitz — the articles or TV segments you read or watch to get your news. Before you develop a press release, I recommend taking time to learn its function and format require- ments. You can read a blog post with four tips for writing a properly for- matted, media-friendly press release at 4 Points About Content A reporter or producer who reads your press release may not regularly cover pet news, so explain the most important points in a clear and con- cise manner. Convey medical lingo in laymen's terms whenever possible. Here are points to consider as you develop a case study press release: What ailment brought the pet to your practice? Was there any- thing unusual about the illness, diagnosis or treatment? Did the pet have a condition you never saw before? Was the condition relevant to your area because of the environment or weather? Does the ailment or condition affect many dogs or cats? Does the case have visuals that can be easily shared? Can you share photographs of the pet and its owner? What about X-rays, 3-D models and images of your staff with the pet? Did you work in tandem with another veterinary practice? If so, is that practice amenable to being part of the pitch and any resulting publicity? Are the veterinary profession- als comfortable discussing their treatment of the pet and potentially being on camera? Is the client happy with the pet's outcome and willing to discuss the details with a media outlet? Once you have written your release, you'll want to share it with The practice of media relations is more art than science, but research is required. Those who excel at earning media placements do their homework before they send a single pitch. Developing and promoting a compelling case study is one way to get media attention for your veterinary practice. Free publicity! 1 2 3 4

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