Nice Legs Add Value Amid Tightening Budgets
With PR and marketing budgets being scrutinized, justifying all expenditures in these departments is a necessary evil.
In the Connecticut healthcare arena, for example, proposed changes in the state budget would cut funding for several organizations and services, and increase hospital taxes. This is making healthcare administrators extra cautious about spending. In times like these, it’s time for all good PR people to show their legs.
“Legs” means expanding the reach of a project. For example, it’s taking a press release and turning it into a blog post, or using social media to widely share a favorable newspaper or TV story featuring your client or employer.
Some call this integrated marketing, while others think of it as common sense.
Writing is a basic part of every PR person’s existence. I spend a good amount of time interviewing physicians for hospital-driven publications. While talking with an orthopedic surgeon for a story about sports injuries, the doctor briefly touched on nonsurgical treatments using stem cell injections to relieve osteoarthritis pain and PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections to speed the healing of soft tissue and bone fractures. This developed into a new angle for a media pitch. Grabbing sound bites took just another couple of minutes.
Another day, another doctor – a dermatologist interview for a routine article on summer skin care. She mentioned lasers, and as the conversation drifted toward tattoo removal she made a brief reference to laser removal of radiation tattoos for breast cancer patients. As the editor of this hospital’s Breast Center newsletter, I knew that this information would interest our audience of patients and survivors, many of whom don’t want to go through life with permanent ink spots as a reminder of their illness.
The more I work with hospitals, the more I realize that departments don’t always share their fascinating developments. Maybe it’s because they’re too busy, they take it for granted, or they assume that people already know.
Information extracted from experts and thought leaders can easily be shared with an unintended new audience, or repurposed (since all good things become social media posts.) Descriptive line items show that value-added marketing is a smart asset for the executive team – and that’s the bottom line.