There are an estimated 9,600 working dermatologists and 7,800 practices in the US today. Dermatology is among one of the most popular sub-specialties of medicine. Cosmetic Dermatology is lucrative because the services are elective and not covered by insurance. Dermatologists who perform cosmetic procedures are not just competing among themselves. They face rivals in the fields of plastic surgery, med-spas, internists, and even gynecologists and dentists who seek to cash in on fillers and Botox.
In the ever-growing media landscape, dermatologists need public relations to get ahead of the curve and empower their reputation especially in geographic areas of heavy saturation such as Manhattan, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, San Diego, and others.
Here are 5 reasons why it is imperative that dermatologists engage a well qualified public relations firm to solidify their reputation with the media, and in turn, potential patients.
1. Stand Out From the Competition.
Are you frustrated with seeing your competition frequently featured in the media? Most likely, its thanks to good PR. Public relations is the perfect tool to tackle your competitors, tell your story, build your reputation, and engage with consumers. What will set you apart from the rest is a public relations strategy that is effectively carried out by you and your PR firm. Public relations personnel have access to top media contacts and can seamlessly target your audience and spread your expert insight. Skilled publicists know the angels to pitch the media, and how to create stories that are consumer-friendly. As a physician, this is not something you have the time or skill to do on your own. While finding a firm that is right for you might sound stressful, it is crucial to the success of your practice.
2. Publicity + Fame = the ability to command top dollar in your market
Garnering impressive press coverage can make you a “star” in your area if not the country. The late Dr. Fredric Brandt became so famous that he was nicknamed, “The Baron of Botox.” Dermatologists who have made a name for themselves in the media are attractive to affluent, prospective patients and this affects the perceived value of your service. Your reputation within your area as a leading expert solidifies your practice as more credible than others. Why would a prospective patient seek out a dermatologist who is advertising (tooting his/her own horn) as opposed to the one featured on a TV Show like Dr. Oz or a website such as Instyle.com?
3. Respect From Your Peers
Press coverage will earn you respect not only in your community but also fellow peers. Establishing yourself as an expert in the media helps to attract the most qualified employees to your practice. It can make you a desired speaker at Academic Meetings, and allow you to be a paid spokesperson for a skincare company or new aesthetic device.
4. Enhancement of SEO
Thanks to Google and other large search engines, an online search is going through an impressive transformation. The constantly changing algorithms determined by rankings and user traffic are refining how search engine optimization (SEO) can boost a dermatologist’s public image. Now more than ever, dermatologists need to reevaluate their SEO strategy and turn to public relations.
PR coverage makes an additional impact on your practice by working with journalists on creating consumer-friendly content. An online article that features a dermatologist is likely to be picked up by another outlet, continuing circulation and getting viewed by millions of readers. Most reporters and journalists who quote dermatologists are happy to provide a hyperlink to your website in the article, directing potential patients to your site. The more online media coverage a dermatologist has, the likelihood of SEO bumping your name to the top is higher. Also, online media coverage is shareable via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. When a prospective patient does a google search on your practice and sees dozens of top tier media placements featuring you, they are likely convinced that you are the dermatologist of choice before ever setting foot in your office.
5. Ability to Use Media Coverage In Ongoing Marketing of Your Practice
In today’s world, more and more readers can distinguish paid versus “earned media,” especially in the medical field. Consumers are more likely to trust the dermatologist quoted in an article or seen on a trusted TV news outlet than the one they saw in an ad. Now that magazines and newspapers have moved to digital distribution, articles stay online and populate in Google searches. As a dermatologist, you can use all of your press coverage to market your practice on your website or social media. Consumers are more inclined to choose you, the dermatologist with more media coverage. This media coverage can be displayed on your website, in a portfolio in your waiting room, used in materials you distribute to patients and announced through e-mails to your patient base.