As a private practice physical therapist, you possess plenty of news worth sharing with your community.
If it’s not tips for better movement (and a better life), it likely has to do with a program or workshop at your clinic, a recent community outreach effort, or the hiring of a great new staff member.
This is newsworthy stuff, and it should be shared with your local media. But how?
A physical therapy press release should do the trick.
A press release is simply a brief article or write-up that shares something with your local press and other community contacts – information you feel is interesting, notable or newsworthy. The goal, of course, is for these contacts to pass this news along to their own audience of subscribers and contacts.
And often, they do it for free. Not a bad investment!
Here at BuildPT, we’ve enjoyed quite a bit of success in getting our clients’ names mentioned – even featured – in their local press, and so we often get questions about press releases. Mostly, people want to know what magic formula they can follow when constructing a physical therapy press release for their own practices.
The bad news is there’s no magic formula beyond simple consistency. The good news? There’s no time like the present to start a regular media relations effort at your clinic.
And while press releases can come in all shapes, sizes and formats, we do follow a few rules of thumb whenever constructing them for our clients – even for ourselves. And we’re happy to share!
Remember the Audience
A physical therapy press release should always be consumer-focused and, more specifically, journalist-focused. That means releases should be written in a simple way that’s easy for the consumer to digest at all levels. Also, try to answer the question, “Why is it important that people in my community know about this?”
Keep it Simple & Concise
This is an extension of what I said above. Clinical talk and jargon should be used sparingly, vocabulary choices should be inclusive of all audiences (including those not familiar with PT), and never use four words when two words will do.
Focus on the Consumer
As soon as the press release becomes all about you, you’ve lost the audience. Keep all press releases focused on the reader and/or consumer – how the information presented relates to his or her life. How does your topic or story affect the lives of the readers? It could be argued that relating to the reader is the most important goal of any press release.
Quotes Should Be Conversational
We encourage you to include quotes in your press releases as it makes it feel more personal. But in doing so, write your quotes as you would talk. It’s OK to bend the rules of grammar and sentence structure with quotes. Perfectly edited quotes can make a press release feel less relatable and more self-serving.
Journalists Want AP Style
What is AP Style? In short, it’s a set of writing guidelines that ensure consistency throughout a publication, and it’s followed by most print journalists in the country. If your press release can follow some of the basic rules of AP Style, it makes the recipient’s job easy when reprinting, improving your chances of coverage. You can learn more about AP Style, along with a few basics, here.
The Goal: Get Covered
Press releases are not meant to be standalone pieces – not usually, anyway. The goal of the typical PR, rather, is to pique the interest of a journalist or for a publication/site to run your story. Therefore, it’s OK to leave some nonessential info or details out for the sake of brevity. Ideally, you’ll have the opportunity to insert additional details should a writer call for more information or, better yet, an interview.
If you need more questions about how to utilize a press release, feel free to contact us. Or learn more about our press release product: Amplify.
Here at BuildPT, we truly feel the local press is one of our profession’s greatest untapped referral sources.