Writing a Press Release the right way increases your chances of having it published. The benefit of press releases is that it is free marketing. A drawback is that you have no control over whether it gets published. Send it directly to the "health editor" of the media channel, whom you can find on the media channel's web page.
For Immediate Release: (or Hold for Release Date________)
Subject: CATCHY TITLE IN ALL CAPITALS
The first sentence and first paragraph is important for presenting the most important or attention-getting facts of the story. Remember "who, what, when, where, and why". The reporter or editor may very well rewrite your release. Use double spacing and wide margins to allow the editor room to make notes. Use left-justify to layout the type.
Use the first or second paragraphs to include the name of the physician or practice, and how it connects to the story. Do not make the press release obviously self-serving. Make it newsy. Taking a local angle to a national story with local facts often works well. For example, "The new studies on hormone replacement therapy indicate that one woman in 2,300 will develop breast cancer due to hormone therapy. According to Dr. Smith of the Smith Woman's Clinic, that means approximately 15 cases here in Anytown".
A quote should be included that is attributable to the physician. It should help establish credibility. Use terms like "said, noted, indicated", not "claimed, declared, or denied".
If you have more information, include it in the forth paragraph. Quoting the doctor again might be OK. This paragraph might well be eliminated by the editor to save space.
Finish with a recap of major points or recommendations for action. Say "see your physician if you have questions", not "see Dr. Smith…" You can work in your phone number, email address or website here. You can say, "More information is available on Dr. Smith's website at DrSmith.com"
Putting three Xs marks the end of the story.
Author Keith Borglum is a consultant and medical practice appraiser with Professional Management and Marketing, 3468 Piner Road, Santa Rosa California 95401. Member National Association of Healthcare Consultants, Society of Medical Dental Management Consultants, American Medical Association's Doctors Advisory Network, American Academy of Family Physician's Network of Consultants, California Academy of Family Physician's Consultants on Call, and the Institute of Business Appraisers. Phone for consulting information. Permission is granted to reprint or quote any portion of this article provided that both the author and publication are named and two copies or the quoting journal are immediately mailed to the publisher.
Phone for consulting and appraisal information.