June 18, 2012

Toot your own horn. It’s good for business.

Top-of-mind awareness is a vital marketing term. Its definition is obvious—when people think about therapy, we want them to think about our rehab departments and staff. This happens when people see and hear your name again and again. Jean Herauf, SLP, an area manager for RehabVisions in North Dakota, is especially good at keeping her clinic name and therapists in the news and in front of important referral sources.

We asked Jean about her tactics in self-promotion and how she touts her staff’s accomplishments and abilities in public ways.

RV – What’s the main way you get your information out to the public?

Jean – Whenever our staff goes to continuing education classes or has new training, I send that to the newspaper. Our local paper has a free “business in brief” section and the information often goes in there.

RV – How do you send the information? Do you write it for them?

Jean – I email it to a contact at the newspaper. Really, they are just looking for the basic Ws—who, what, when, where and why. I also attach a photo if I have it and sometimes that gets included as well.

RV – Does it matter when you send the information?

Jean – It definitely needs to be timely. I’m not going to send something about Better Hearing and Speech Month in May on the last week of May. Likewise, I try to get them information about a CEU within a week or so of the class.

RV – And it’s free?

Jean – Yes, which means I don’t get to proof what they put in but yes. I’ve found that newspapers are eager for news and appreciate supporting local businesses.

Even if your local paper doesn’t have a specific section for announcements, ask if they publish that kind of information or call them with a story idea. Get to know the editors. Ask for an email address and what kind of stories they prefer. Just like in our business of therapy, creating relationships is one of the most important things we can do. It usually results in a win-win situation.

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