resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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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