Introducing: A Great Way for Experts (including Authors and Private Practitioners) to Promote Their Important Messages Online and Help Change the World!
When I first became a Public Relations consultant, just over 20 years ago, people were not using the Internet for anything more than research. Back then, scholars were the web’s primary users.
So, when I started my PR consulting business, I helped my clients (mainly private practitioners and other professionals and experts -- the “little guy" and "little gal”) -- to promote their practices by getting them targeted placements before their target markets. I got them speaking engagements before community and professional groups their target markets attended; TV and radio appearances their potential clients and customers would likely listen to and watch; and articles both by and about them in publications that would likely be read by their potential clients and customers.
I still do this for my clients today.
But as the years went by, nearly everyone -- including my clients -- began to have websites. And since website promotion had become big business, my clients were promoting these sites the only way their webmasters knew how: through search engine optimization, key word selection, and Google Adwords.
Not only did I not understand this method of web-based mass promotion; something told me that it would not be particularly effective for "the little guy and gal” -- my clients and potential clients.
Why not? This method of mass promotion reminded me of the corporate way of sending out press releases indiscriminately to as many publications as possible nationwide -- whether or not the editors and readers would be interested in their clients’ information. The hope was that, by using this mass marketing approach (which is very costly, by the way) some of their market would be reached. (In PR circles, this is knows as “throwing it against the wall to see if it sticks.”)
I actually tried this method a few times. Not only was it ineffective; it was extremely expensive.
So, for over 20 years now, I have been “narrow casting” for my PR clients: handpicking organizations, publications, media and groups for my clients to give presentations, write articles, and be interviewed as experts. I have helped them write their articles and prepare for their presentations.
This method has worked very well. As a matter of fact, I became quite well known for my expertise in promoting private practitioners and professionals -- the "little guy" and "little gal." In fact, for several years, I taught a very popular continuing education class, "How to Promote Your Private Practice," for adults at one of Chicago's best known private schools.
Then, a few years ago, I started to use the web in a very unique way as yet another promotional tool for EXPERTS. By adding this method, I simply added another dimension to my PR practice by helping my clients get recognized through PR on the web -- again, by the groups of people who make up their target markets.
First, Promoting Honest Medicine Online
I first used this new method to promote my own website, HONEST MEDICINE, which I created in 2006 for two reasons: (a) as a tribute to my husband Tim Fisher, who (when he died in 2005), was a 15- year brain tumor survivor, AND a 15-year veteran of our dysfunctional medical system, and (b) as a way to build my own reputation as an expert on how and why we need to be our own researchers and advocates when confronted with that medical system.
I have successfully used these techniques to promote my site, through a variety of methods, including AUDIO INTERVIEWS with top players in the medical and alternative medicine fields. You may listen to four of these audio interviews here, here, here and here.
ATTENTION-GRABBING BLOG COMMENTS
In addition, I leave well-written and well-researched COMMENTS -- actually, they are more like Op Ed columns! -- on other people's (carefully selected) blogs and websites. My comments contain links back to my site, where I hope people will find more useful information. You may read a few examples of my early comments here and here. (In some cases, you will have to scroll down to find my comments.)
Soon, I was also leaving comments on higher profile blogs, such as the New York Times Well Blog:
a) My COMMENT to "When Doctors Steal Hope" is here:
b) My COMMENT to "Medical Googlers" is here:
c) My COMMENT to a posting about teaching Literature to medical students, is here:
d) My COMMENT to "Why Steve Jobs Should Talk About His Health," is here:
e) My most recent COMMENT, to "Paying for Alternative Treatments," is here:
AND on the Huffington Post
a) My COMMENT to a posting about Ted Kennedy's Brain Tumor Surgery is here:
b) My COMMENT to a posting by David Kirby on AUTISM is here:
c) My COMMENT to a posting by Healthcare Expert Merrill Goozner is here:
d) My COMMENT to a posting about treatments for EPILEPSY is here:
I hope you will read these comments. You'll see that they are different from the comments most people leave on blogs, in that they are obviously carefully crafted in such a way as to literally proclaim my expertise. I also hyperlink to the actual sources I am quoting, which adds a level of credibility not often found in blog comments.
It is this DIFFERENCE that has worked so well to bring a huge amount of traffic -- and a very loyal following -- to Honest Medicine. Several websites have acknowledged my comments -- for instance, here, here, and here. See also the February 19th entry on one of my favorite blogs, The Every Patient's Advocate blog.
In addition, often as a result of learning about me and my blog via my comments on their sites, some of my very favorite blogs and websites have added permanent links to my site -- for example, Mary Shomon's very popular About.com Thyroid site, The Alliance for Human Research Protection blog, and another one of my favorites, Dr. Aubrey Blumsohn's Scientific Misconduct blog.
And, perhaps best of all, as a result of these comments, Honest Medicine has been named an award winner by HealthCentral.com and a Top Health Blogger in the Patient Empowerment Community by Wellsphere!
And leaving one blog comment on well-known health writer Julie Deardorff's blog (scroll way down to read my comment) led to my being quoted in a Chicago Tribune article by her, entitled "Doctors, Patients Just Don't Click Over Googling." (This article is now archived, so I can no longer link to it. But here is the abstract in the Tribune.) And that article was syndicated throughout the country! See here, here and here, for just three instances where this article quoting me has been republished.
Quite a success from one blog comment! And what a fun way to become known as an expert on so many things "medical"!
After testing this method successfully on my site, I now use it on my clients’ sites -- with equal success; and am sharing this method, “Web-Based PR,” both as a coach and as a consultant, with all sorts of experts, including AUTHORS and PRIVATE PRACTITIONERS -- both full-service PR clients and coaching clients.
And, finally, I was invited to teach a course on the topic of web-based promotion at the same private school for which I taught my original course!
Who would benefit from this kind of web-based promotion? Anyone who is passionate about promoting their ideas; in other words, anyone whose main “product” is their expertise -- including authors, professionals and private practitioners.
Could this include YOU?