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The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Detoxification for Athletes: The Key to Winning Performance
One of the most dangerous culprits that affects an athlete's ability to perform at an optimum level also happens to be one of the most elusive.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Building the DC-MD Bridge
From MDs practicing integrative holistic medicine to the family internist, many DCs are enjoying unprecedented attention from their allopathic colleagues.
Take Care of Your Skin: Tips to Pass on to Your Patients
Many of our patients are not aware that the largest organ in the human body is actually the skin. Accounting for 16 percent of total body weight and covering up to 22 square feet of surface area, the skin is more than just a "covering," as originally thought.
Your Patients' Best Health Resource
There is nothing as powerful as information. The right information has won wars, saved lives and changed hearts; lack of information has led to hesitation, poor decisions and unintended consequences.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Ringing in a Fiscal New Year With a Recommitment to Cost-Effectiveness
Back when the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research was in its heyday, I used to send out New Year's greetings and virtual noisemakers to some close friends on July 1 – the beginning of our new fiscal year – wishing for prosperity in the year ahead.
News in Brief
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (a medical doctor, no less) proclaimed October 2014 "Oregon Chiropractic Health and Wellness Month" in an official proclamation signed Aug. 25, 2014.
Don't Forget About the Performers
Donald Petersen Jr.'s recent article, "Your Chance to Go Back to High School" [May 1, 2014 DC], focused on the injuries incurred by high-school athletes and the subsequent opportunities for the chiropractic profession.
The Life & Legacy of James Sigafoose, DC (1933-2014)
Surrounded by his family and closest friends, Dr. James M. Sigafoose passed away quietly on Thursday, July 3, 2014. With his wife of 60 years, Patsy, along with his children, Tina, Daun, Kieth, Selina and Carey – all chiropractors – at his side.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
How to Find Your Ideal Patient – and Help Your Ideal Patient Find You
Just imagine: You're at the front desk looking at the scheduler and a smile creeps across your face. Row after row, name after name, hour after hour; you're blessed with an entire day of ideal patients. Every day should be like this, you whisper. Exactly!
Watch Out for Red Herrings
In clinical practice, when one condition mimics another, it makes it difficult to obtain an accurate and timely diagnosis.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Decompression-Traction: A Core Treatment Method in Chiropractic's Future
We're all competing for new patients. We're competing for new patients with physical therapists, massage therapists, medical specialists and hospital fitness centers. We're even competing with side-effect-ridden medications that quit working every four hours.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
January, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 01
Using Press Releases to Help Build Your Practice
By Stephanie Beck
This article is not going to be about how to write a press release because in the May issue of Massage Today, Cary Bayer offered a great lesson in writing a press release. In fact, I would recommend you review his article to understand structurally what a press release would look like when you are ready to type it up.What I'm going to share with you is strategy; the "why" you should be writing and "how" press releases, when crafted properly, can build your practice. The reason I wanted to share this is because I constantly hear from massage practitioners that they need new ways to get more customers. Press releases can help in multiple ways. They can add more traffic to your website, build your social media status, increase your authority and credibility and increase the ranking for special keywords.
I find there are basically two types of press releases: those primarily for search engine optimization (SEO) and others that are primarily to build authority and credibility for you or your practice. It is always best when creating a press release to add keywords that help your SEO rankings. In fact, if you have read some of my recent articles in Massage Today, you know I have spent a lot of time discussing ranking, building your reputation and backlinking. Keywords are crucial to these processes.
Sometimes it isn't about keywords, it's about creating authority and credibility for you and your practice. When a customer recommends or refers you or your practice to another person, what is one of the first things most people do? Most of the time, they will enter your name or the name of your practice into the search engines. What will they find? Maybe your personal or business social media profile? Sometimes, it's your website or reviews on other sites, but what if they found press releases from various news sites about you? Imagine the type of impression that would make on a potential customer? This doesn't have to be national news sites either. In fact, you have a stronger chance of the press release staying on the page if you focus on building your creditability and authority locally. You might be thinking, that sounds great, but how do I that? So, let's talk strategy.
Strategy of a Well Written Press Release
A well written press release can be published by any number of highly trafficked news organizations. The key is to provide content that is relevant and valuable to the audience. How do you know if you are writing a great press release? When you are writing, highlight a piece of valuable content. Whether it is a blog post, book launch, recapping an event, an article, adding a new social media site or video, you need to make sure your content is relevant to the readers. In order for you to be able to create a great press release, the content you are basing your press release on will need to do one of five different things:
When you are ready to craft your press release, write it as if you are reporting a news story. This means you need to be objective to the content. Even if you were the one who created the original content, separate yourself from it and highlight the benefits without making it personal. Then you have a much greater chance of getting it published by your local, as well as national, news sites.
Types of Topics
You can create a press release around a new or updated product or service as long as the content is focused on benefits only and not a promotional piece to purchase the product or service. You can write several press releases around events. For example, you can send out a press release two to three weeks before the event covering what is happening during the event or send out a special recap after the event in your community. Write a press release when you add a new staff member to your team; just be sure to highlight the value people receive from this addition without making it a sales pitch. You can write about new polices or terms of services you are adding to your practice. For example, let's say you start accepting Care Credit cards at your practice and your press release highlights the benefits for customers in your area.
Still lost? Here are a couple of websites where you can review press releases: www.Examiner.com or www.newswire.net. Both provide you good ideas of what people are talking about and how they are writing them to help inspire ideas and give you some examples.
The reason why press releases are a powerful strategy for getting traffic is that you can control the backlinks to your website. You can do this by in two ways:
When you use direct links to an inner page within your site, this is known as deep linking. An example of deep linking would be if you linked to an article on your resources tab or a specific blog post. Basically, you are taking the search engines to a page other than your home page. One of the most common mistakes made by people crafting press releases is when they only link directly to the home page or the general blog page on their website. If the press release is about a specific blog post, be sure to take them directly to that blog post. You need to link directly to the blog post because this is what is relevant to the press release and the easier you make it for the editors of the news sites, the more likely you are to get published.
For example, let's say I'm writing a press release about my blog post, "The Gift of Human Touch" and in the link I use www.srbsolutions.net/blog/. This link will take them to my blog page, but it won't take them directly to the blog post I'm talking about. I would need to use this link: www.srbsolutions.net/1057/the-gift-of-human-touch/ which takes them directly to that post and it would be the most relevant to my press release. When you submit your press releases, you always want to double check your links to ensure they are pointing to the correct reference.
Where to Send Your Press Release
Once you have crafted a great press release, where are you going to send it? There are a number of free press release sites available. Here is a link to a blog post from Mashable that lists more than 20 free press release distribution sites: http://mashable.com/2007/10/19/press-releases/. If you just want one recommendation from this list, I have had good success with PRLog.org. Incidentally, there are more than 120 press release sites you can submit press releases to, some are free and others have costs involved. Depending on how much time you have in your day, you may want to consider outsourcing this type of service.
I have found the free press release sites helpful, however, if you want to have the best success with getting your press releases picked up by news feeds, I recommend www.PRNewswire.com. The paid distribution sites can be cost prohibitive if you aren't using them regularly. Some of the annual memberships seem more expensive, however if you are releasing multiple press releases annually, they are quite affordable. Also, be aware, that marketing experts and firms who have annual subscriptions to these paid distribution sites will sometimes offer specials, discounts or packages for a number of press releases that can save you time, energy and money. Remember, sometimes outsourcing a project can make it more affordable in more ways than one. Perhaps a good strategy that fits into your budget would be for you to handle the submissions to the free sites, but save the paid distribution for those press releases that are going to make the most impact on your practice.
If you are struggling for content and still not sure what to write about, I have another suggestion. This strategy works especially well if you are creating press releases for SEO purposes. I recommend you set up a Google alert for your related keywords. This is a free service, you can register at www.google.com/alerts. Google will email you updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your queries. This is where selecting a narrowed niche of keywords rather than a broad term would be best and not clog your email. For example, I would not use a general term like "massage therapy," even a term like massage therapy in San Diego, might make you crazy. Even terms like "deep tissue massage," "low back pain," or "sports injuries" are way too general. Consult your webmaster or work with a marketing expert to provide you with keyword research for your niche. I wouldn't advise just entering words at random because they may not produce any data for you or provide items that are irrelevant to what you offer in your practice. However, when used effectively, Google alerts can jog your memory or be a good basis for writing a press release.
I have given you a great deal of information about ways to improve upon your press releases or hopefully inspire you to start implementing press releases for your practice. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed, then just start with one strategy and commit to one press release a month. Figure out what your goal is: to increase ranking for keywords or have more relevant links for your practice or your name, or both? How are you going to measure it? Be sure that if you are going to add a new strategy, you have a way to measure it so you know that it is working. Follow the outline I provided and review the structure that Carey provided in the May issue. Then try submitting it on the free press site and be consistent with it. Don't just try one time and give up, this is a work in progress, consistency is key, start with just once a month and after three to six months evaluate it. Make adjustments if needed and in no time you should be happy with the results.
Click here for more information about Stephanie Beck.
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