Advertisements in small daily, weekly or regional newspapers and local magazine exposure can be cost effective for advertising a medical practice event.
- There are neighborhood community newspapers, larger regional (countywide or citywide newspapers), and national newspapers. Community and regional (countywide/citywide) papers can be extremely effective in reaching targeted audiences in your local area. This is important in the case of promoting event because it is local.
- Weekly community newspapers, otherwise known as neighborhood newspapers, offer the ability to reach a narrowed audience in a specific demographic. There are several items to consider when making the decision to advertise in a weekly community newspaper.
- The larger regional (countywide or citywide) papers have higher circulation numbers that can be targeted for advertising. Some practices believe that regional advertising offers a stronger credibility building tactic when the advertisement is situated within the healthcare section. For many larger papers, the health section is one of the most well read sections in the paper. Ads located within this section can be beneficial in broadening awareness about events. These newspapers tend to have a longer shelf life than community newspapers as well. Patients may be willing to travel a bit further than the to ensure that they reach the right doctor who demonstrates expertise, accreditation and an understanding of the patient’s needs through the right ad.
- Metropolitan magazines and health-oriented magazines can provide doctors with good advertising results. In many cases, local magazines target upscale audiences who can afford cash pay medical services. At the onset, magazines may appear more expensive. Yet, because the magazines are often published monthly, readers tend to keep them and return to read them throughout the month. Repetition is key in advertising.
Advertising in the right weekly community publications means that the audience has discretionary income available to improve their quality of life. The page location for your ad is also important. Since these papers are a “throw-away”, they have a short shelf life. Often times, the front and back cover are the only pages viewed by the audience. For those who do read these publications, pages are typically skimmed as readers search for specific sections of interest. The publications do have trend information that shows readership patterns to help establish realistic goals for success.
Weather you choose to advertise in different mediums to create consistent repeat exposure or focus on one magazine, typically the message must be repeated in order to reap the advertising benefit.
- Paid advertising messages on TV and radio should be brief and to the point. The foundation for a radio or TV announcement is to disclose five components: 1) Who 2) What 3) When 4) Where 5) Why.
- Edit your message. Pre-recorded tapes may run from 10 to 60 seconds, containing 25 words for 10 seconds and 140 words for 60 seconds. Sometimes, tag lines will be offered at no charge.
- The most successful messages contain the following components: 1) a “hook” to attract attention to your event 2) an interest or benefit to the listener 3) reasons why the listener should consider attending (patient quotes can be helpful) 5) a recap of the main message at closing, repeating accreditation, phone number and website address information at the end of the ad twice can be helpful.
- Review the final tape, including the tag line prior to schedule deadline.
- Assign a staff member in the office to monitor the appearances in order to ensure that they run as scheduled in the plan.