Tag Archives: image

What Is Public Relations and Why Should I Implement It Into My Marketing Plan?

29 Mar

What Can Public Relations Do For Me?

A strong and effective public relations plan can build your practice’s reputation and position you in the best light with your community/target audience. With a competitive market especially in the hearing device industry, you need to determine strategies to stand out among your competitors. Incorporating public relations into your marketing plan increases awareness and highlights why your hearing healthcare services are the best.

Successful Public Relations is the development and telling of a good “story.” You may be curious as to how you can turn industry news or clinical information into a compelling story? The key is finding the hook.

For example:

Oticon recently unveiled its new Alta hearing device. Ask yourself:

  • How can this hearing aid make a difference in the lives of my current and prospective customers?
  • What new technologies does it feature?
  • How can it improve the quality of life for customers?

 The stronger you develop the “story,” the greater the acceptance by the media and public, which will add to the success of your public relations strategy.

 Positioning Yourself as an Industry Expert

The importance of integrating public relations into your overall marketing strategy continues to evolve. According to The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR (Harper Business) – American marketing strategists argue that public relations has become the most effective way to build a brand. Business owners, like you, become known in their respective fields of concentration through public relations and the associated media generated.  Therefore, integrating a public relations strategy into your overall business plan will help solidify you as an industry leader while bringing focus to your individual services.

 Explore the Benefits of PR

Public Relations, if done right, can reach a large audience without the traditional expense associated with advertising and marketing. A few of the significant public relations benefits include the following:

  • An economical way to reach your target audience in masses
  • The awareness of, and the demand for, your company’s products or services
  • Strengthening your company image and perception
  • Painting the picture of a company that is active and innovative
  • Creating additional credibility within your community
  • Giving you an advantage over competitors that are not utilizing PR effectively
  • Increasing online visibility, when integrated into your digital marketing strategy

 If PR is not a part of your marketing plan currently, it may be time to consider implementing a public relations campaign to complement your existing initiatives. PR is an influential and cost-effective way to reach key audiences and influencers. PR focuses on promoting your company, establishing your business’ identity, and maintaining credibility – all with the end result of building an engaged and happy customer base!

 For additional information on getting a PR campaign started, please check out our other PR blog post here: Public Relations: Beyond the Parties & On a Budget or contact Kelly Donahue at kdonahue@AHAAnet.com to explore AHAA’s PR archives and ‘How Tos.’

Your Company Brand

1 Jun

A company’s brand is among its most valuable assets. A strong brand — one known for providing quality products, services and solutions that add value — is essential for your company’s ongoing growth and success.

Many practices do very little to incorporate their brand assets as a prominent component in ALL of their business efforts. Why? Because small business owners often don’t have a brand strategy or believe it can be accomplished on a modest budget. Branding is part of everything you do. The first thing the public (your potential patients) hears or knows about your business is the name of the practice.

What’s in a Brand?

A company’s brand is how it’s perceived by customers, competitors and others outside the company. A well-respected brand with a strong recognition in the marketplace may be the most valuable asset your company owns and is one of the intangible assets that must be managed actively.

Branding is a phenomenon once confined to consumer products. However, branding has gained prevalence as an important factor in services and professional markets too. It is certain to become an increasingly important factor as practices seek ways to differentiate themselves. Are you a “me too” practice, or a unique entity ready to separate yourself from the competition?

Branding Begins at the Front Office

Since branding is all about perception and reputation, the most influential area for the success of your branding approach is right there in front of you each day. The front office staff, be it a receptionist, an office assistant, or any other person engaging with your patients [read: customers] to set appointments, answer calls, greet arrivals, thank exiting patients, or whatever – they are your “brand ambassadors” and must reflect your ideal image consistently. Then there’s marketing and advertising…

Marketing is not Branding (and Branding is not Marketing)

Investing a few thousand dollars into a direct mail program that doesn’t cause people to respond isn’t responsible marketing. Marketing involves an offer, to a select group of targeted individuals, with a specific call to action, and a deadline. In short, marketing is response driven and measurable. Advertising can be marketing, if it includes the key components (offer, call to action, deadline) or it can be purely to create awareness or impart an image – these are branding ads.

Different objectives, different results. Marketing efforts create current opportunities. Branding efforts create a lasting impression. So, the question is: Can marketing also deliver branding?  Yes, and no. To do both equally serves no one well, you need a strategy and a clear understanding of your goals. Creating good marketing that reinforces the brand (not leads with it) is the best solution.  It takes a steady approach to create, and a firm resolve to implement.  And, the results take time to develop through repetition and exposure.

How Do You Get Started?

This is where AHAA’s in-house creative services organization’s writers and graphic designers can add value to your business. We know the industry and we know the methods that have generated tried and true results. Working together we can help you define and build your brand while we generate patient opportunities for your practice.