resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
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 previous articles by Stephanie Beck.
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