Here is a great idea that you should try as soon as possible in your dental practice.
Have you ever watched the Today Show or any of those other morning network shows? Let’s say they are doing a segment about depression. Typically, what they will do is have an expert on the show who can talk to the viewers about some aspect of depression. Perhaps the expert will talk about the “Five Warning Signs of Depression,” or maybe will reveal some “Safe Natural Cures for Depression.”
Is that “expert” who is being interviewed by Matt Lauer necessarily the smartest or the most qualified person to talk about depression? Most likely NOT!!! There are probably hundreds of people in the country who know more than this expert. So how did this particular person wind up on the Today Show and the others did not? Again, it comes down to simply knowing how to get the proper publicity!
Have you ever turned on the local TV and seen one of your colleagues being interviewed about dental implants? Or have you opened up your local newspaper and noticed a full-page article on whitening and the dentist down the street was the one they quoted? They made him look like he was the damn authority, didn’t they? How did you feel? I bet you were a little pissed off that they didn’t come to YOU for this information, right? You probably even know more than the schmohawk that they interviewed! Well, the only reason that you did not get the publicity is that you didn’t know how! Again, it’s that simple.
Dr. Mitchell Josephs has figured out how to get all of the free publicity that he wants down in Palm Beach, Florida. You’d better believe if the press in South Florida wants to do a story about snoring, gum disease, removable grills, or what to do in case of a dental emergency, they are going to contact Dr. Mitchell Josephs! Again … it’s not that he is necessarily the best dentist in Palm Beach (although I know he is pretty damn good), it’s just that he knows what to do to be known as the “expert” in his area!
How about you? Are you ready to become the local expert? I hope so, because you would not believe how many patients you will have knocking on your door once you are perceived as the expert. It’s insane. Think about it. Everyone wants to go to the “best dentist in town.” Are you the best? It doesn’t matter! The only important thing is that you are perceived as the best!
You may be thinking … “What can I do to become the local expert in ______________ (fill in your city here)?” Well, there are multiple things you will need to do. But the good news is that many of these are totally free! But I don’t want to get you scared so we will start slowly with just one very important thing. It is called a press release. It’s simple but powerful. A press release is generally a short (one page) piece of information that would be of interest to the public. If you want to become known in your area, you need to first write a press release and try to get it published in your local paper. I will now take you through it step by step.
First of all, you need to decide what you will write in your press release. Let me make this easy for you. It should be on a topic that not only the public would be interested in, but something that you have an interest in as well. For instance, if you have no interest in doing dental implants, do not write a press release about them (unless you want to have tons of potential implant patients knocking at your door)!
OK, let’s pick a simple topic for illustration purposes. We’re going to write about the effectiveness of over-the-counter whitening systems. How many times do your patients ask you if the tooth whitening kits at the local Target store are any good? I bet all the time. People want to know this stuff.
So you’ve got your topic. Now you need to think of a title. The title has to catch the editor’s attention. How about if our title is something like … “Do Over-the-Counter Tooth Whitening Systems Really Whiten Teeth?” That’s fairly catchy, isn’t it?
Now, I know you would like to sit back and have me do all the work for you but, sorry to say, it’s time for you to get your creative juices going. Here’s what I want you to do. Write a one-page “story” that will teach the readers exactly what they need to know. Tell them that the over-the-counter systems are very weak and could work fairly well in limited situations. Discuss why the concentrations of the “bleach” have to be weak. Maybe suggest which people would be best suited to trying over-the-counter whitening. Then tell who it’s not good for!
Make the story interesting and write in lay terms. No dental jargon! Write it in the third person, occasionally using your name. For example, you might say, “According to Dr. Jerry Katchke of Cliff Street Dental Associates in Columbus, many people get frustrated with these over-the-counter whitening systems because even if they work, the results do not last as long as most in-office products.” Be sure to talk about the whitening kiosks that are springing up in malls across the country too!
A few tips. Please do not make the story a blatant sales pitch for your office. If you do, it will not get printed! Make it pure information. Limit it to one typed page. At the top left, type the words “For immediate release.” This lets the publisher know that they are free to print this right away. At the top right, type your contact information. It can be your name, e-mail address, and phone number, or that of a team member. Either is OK.
Your headline should appear in Bold Letters! Then comes your story on over-the-counter whitening. At the very end of the story, type three pound signs like …
# # #
This tells the publisher there is no further copy.
Before you bring your press release to the publisher, be sure to have a proofreader check for typos, inconsistencies, grammatical errors, and to make sure that it is understandable to a nondental person. A poorly written article is worse than no article at all.
So now you have the ammunition as well as the knowledge to write your very first press release. Go ahead and give it a try. Again, please pick a topic that you like and that readers will be interested in! In the above example, your office will most likely receive calls from people who are interested in whitening and are seeking more information.
Next time I will help you pick which publication to send your press release to as well as give you some tips on how to actually send it and how to follow up once you do. But in the meantime, get writing!
One more thing before I close. I want to stress how powerful getting a press release published can be for your office. Because once you get one published, that is only the beginning to becoming the “expert dentist” in your area. I really hope you follow through with this step.
The Madow Brothers love teaching dentists! For more information on how to “Love Dentistry, Have Fun and Get Rich” check out www.madow.com.