What is public relations, anyways? It’s defined as “the business of inducing the public to have understanding for and goodwill toward a person, firm, or institution; also: the degree of understanding and goodwill achieved.” In relation to your dental practice, an effective public relations strategy goes a long way in bolstering your marketing efforts. Many people are unaware of public relation’s role in marketing, or confuse the two. Public relations initiatives build a relationship between you and the public, while advertising, such a newspaper or radio ads’ goal is to sell or market services to them. Integrating a public relations strategy can contribute to your practice’s new patient growth strategy.
When a patient or potential patient sees positive third-party coverage of your practice, you gain an advantage against your competition. When they see an advertisement, they know you trying to entice them to choose you over a practice they may have been loyal to for years. When a third party, such as the media, endorses your practice, you gain credibility. Patients are people, and people are much more likely to visit an establishment or purchase a service based on an endorsement from a trusted source rather than an advertisement.
An effective public relations strategy can help build general awareness of your practice and will supplement your marketing and advertising efforts. Visibility in your market is vital to ensure you stay top of mind and build a reputable image with the public.
Ways to leverage your practice’s prominence in the community include participating in a charitable initiative, local event, or organizing a day of free dental services for those in need. Local news outlets, such as newspapers or television stations, will often be more than happy to write a story or produce video coverage to promote your good works to the public through various media channels.