Thriving on Media Chaos – Part II

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By Jason Ledder, Vice President of Media Relations, R&J Public Relations

In my most recent post, I wrote about the rapidly changing media landscape, and how PR professionals often find themselves trapped between a rock (in this case, the big, high-visibility “traditional media” outlets) and a hard place (the “blogosphere,” with its insatiable need for content delivered at the speed of life).

As noted in my previous post, I’ve found that it is possible to take care of just about everyone by giving each media something special and equally important to their audience – thereby creating “win-win” situations for all.

Let’s look at how this could potentially play out for a healthcare company:

Say your hospital is opening a new service or center of excellence – in this example, a maternity center.  Again, in this scenario, the statewide, or major daily newspaper, gets exclusive access to the CEO to discuss the big picture — what  this means to the community, how it will impact and enhance existing services, how it will be differentiated from the competition,  utilization and growth projections, etc.  The exclusivity offer will inevitably increase the amount and depth of coverage in the daily newspaper.  But while that is happening, you can simultaneously bring in the local mom bloggers and power Facebookers to be the first tour group through.  This group gets to experience the services, see what makes this center unique and to talk directly with the nursing and maternity staff.  They can then turn around and tell the human side of the story to their audience.  In the end, the statewide paper gets to aggregate the bloggers’ content, and the bloggers get to link to the CEO’s perspective.

You can see how, by understanding the needs and the pressures on each type of media (and yes, each individual media outlet) it is possible to get your client’s story told through both traditional and online media, and not pit them against each other.  It does take lots more thought and planning than just the simple “write an announcement and send it out to everyone,” but we believe that’s what clients deserve.

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