Remember the ‘golden rule’ we were all taught as children? ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated.’ It applied then, and it still serves as a guiding tennant when managing media relationships. While we’re no longer in the sandbox, maintaining positive relationships (in this case with journalists) is key to getting the most out of your public relations efforts as a doctor.
Media Relations with Journalist
We can all recognize the value of a positive professional working relationship. This is a key for journalists and PR pros. Many journalists freelancers or work for large publications, and they spend all day chasing after leads and experts to quote, making unreturned phone calls and trying to meet deadlines. A journalist’s life is stressful, but their work is essential. For this reason, the most successful players in the PR game are those who work seemlessly with journalists and help make their work easier.
Medical professionals are versed in the art of bedside manner, but PR people are versed in computerside manner. For us, journalists are not our patients, and it’s not their job to be patient. That is why the more we can deliver them easy-to-use comments from our doctor clients, the more reliable and responsive we are, and the more we have our act together, the more we become trusted sources for doctor experts to provide commentary for articles in the health and wellness space.
Don’t forget to say thank you
Simply put, journalists are also people. When they deliver a piece for a trusted publication that highlights one of our medical expert clients, it is good business (not to mention, good manners) for us, the PR, team to reach out and thank them. There is an inherent symbiosis between PR professionals and journalists, which is why managing media relationships is fruitful, and absolutely essential.
Finally, being proactive with media professionals is a great way to tap into the symbiotic nature of a PR professional and journalist. Routinely reminding journalists with whom you have existing relationships about your medical expert clients for commentary is a slam dunk for you, and can give them the contection they so desperately seek to complete their articles. In time, as trust builds between the PR firm and a suite of journalists, the process of getting expert commentary for topical articles becomes more prolific and gains value on both sides.