More Doctors Are Turning to PR Firms

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The Idea Grove has been talking increasingly with health-care practitioners lately, and we recently took one on as a client.

Dawn Fallik reports on the trend:

PHILADELPHIA — Just hours after the government approved a medicated patch for depression, an e-mail went out offering reporters the opportunity to speak with a “doc in private practice stunned at FDA approval of depression patch.”

While Eric Braverman was being interviewed over the phone by a reporter, another call came in: CNN was on the line.

Score another one for the doctor’s public-relations agent, Hope Kaplan.

A decade ago, the idea of doctors and dentists marketing themselves would have been shunned by the medical community. Now, driven by higher costs and inspired by direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical ads, doctors are hiring publicists to increase business…

Zachary Gerut, a plastic surgeon in Hewlett, N.Y., hired a publicist to get the word out about a face-lift procedure he created using a local anesthetic. He draws the line between a tasteful media campaign and taking out an ad…

Of course, fame doesn’t come cheap … A doctor promoting a book might pay $9,000 for a publicist to set up phone interviews with radio stations in 10 U.S. markets, said Leigh Fazzina, who represents health-care publicists at the Public Relations Society of America.

Winslow Murdoch started working with a public-relations firm five years ago. Using direct mailings and speaking to groups, he saw his practice grow from 125 to 250 patients.

“I’m like a doctor that’s just starting out, and I have to have my name out there and my face out there,” he said.

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About the author

Scott Baradell
Scott, president of Idea Grove, oversees one of the fastest-growing and most forward-looking public relations and inbound marketing agencies in the southwestern United States. Idea Grove focuses on helping technology companies reach media and buyers; and its clients range from venture-backed startups to Fortune 200 companies. Scott launched Idea Grove in 2005 along with his groundbreaking blog, Media Orchard. He has been a consistent innovator in the public relations and marketing space. Scott was among the first to understand the role of blogging in audience building. He was quick to recognize the vital importance of content quality and the power of social sharing. Most significantly, he developed a system that integrates public relations, content creation, social and search marketing, and conversion rate optimization into a program that produces hard-dollar results for clients.

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