Leveraging Top Media Relations Trends for Health

Earlier this week, we posted about the top 5 media relations trends for 2020. For those of us who work in the health industry, there are some clear opportunities to strengthen 2020 media engagement by leveraging these trends going into the new year:

1. Use audio channels to amplify storytelling reach

With the rise of podcasts, radio and streaming services have seen an explosion of listeners. Many podcasts focus on health and science topics. Do your research and remember to include them on your outreach lists.

Even better? Once a podcast airs your story, it doesn’t go away. Episodes stay online and are re-played by subscribers over time, increasing your audience exposure.

2. Media relations is still about relationships

If you call, will they answer? You may have the perfect pitch – interesting, real news to share, maybe a saught-after expert interviewee, relevant and beautifully developed visual assets – but if you’re pitching the wrong person, it won’t land.

The two most important ways you can be more efficient and successful in your media outreach are to do your research into who is actually covering a relevant beat and build reporter relationships.

For health care marketers, don’t forget about trade reporters. They can be powerful allies in sharing your company news and information.

3. Use video to more simply illustrate complex stories

In the health industry, we often have meaningful stories to tell about the work that we do – the young child who received a medical device that will allow him to live beyond his teenage years, the mother who takes a medication that will give her more time to see her daughter get married, the college kid who saved a stranger’s life by donating marrow. These stories lend themselves really well to authentic, impactful video that can get to the heart of why our initiatives and products are so critical to people.

For media, video can be a brilliant introduction to the work of your organization, to help explain complex manufacturing processes or to demonstrate how a spokesperson may perform on camera.

4. Track the media buzz around your industry

Is there a major medical meeting coming up? Are you starting to see reporters talk more about a specific topic where you could weigh in with a unique opinion or knowledgeable expert?

Have a system in place for monitoring media conversations impacting your industry. This enables you to quickly reach out to offer experts or even execute a newsmaker survey to offer new data to reporters about a topic that is gaining traction. By keeping a close eye on media trends and bringing new resources to the table, you can join the conversation in a meaningful way.

5. Think beyond traditional journalism

Since 2017, a third of the largest newspapers in the U.S. have suffered layoffs. By contrast, digital newsrooms have increased 82 percent over the last decade. This drives a major shift in successful media outreach strategy.

As a result of the changing media landscape, more reporters are operating as freelancers. There are a lot of benefits to working with freelance reporters – they may contribute articles to several publications and be more open to taking contributed content. Building strong relationships with freelancers can provide bigger opportunities compared to reporters who only write for one publication.

It’s also important to keep in mind that the rise in digital newsrooms has included a rise in niche publications. This includes trades and small publications focused on specific disease states, geared toward not just HCPs, but also consumers. These publications share content across platforms, including social media. While their audiences may be smaller than typical large newsrooms, their audiences also tend to be more engaged, passionate and motivated to take action.

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