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September 26, 2016

Team Member Renee Spurling

Renee Spurlin


Executive Vice President

Whenever we onboard a new client, we always ask: “What is your dream headline?” and “What publications would you like to be featured in?” From my experience, this can be hard to determine for many healthIT clients, and with the expansiveness of the industry, I can’t say I blame them.

There are so many different niches and beats within the industry – fitness tech, medical devices, mHealth, pediatrics, diagnostics, etc. In fact, a simple search in Cision, one of the world’s premier media databases, registered over 1,200 trade publications that cover healthcare in the U.S. alone. Not to mention, that when reaching out and engaging with media you need to ensure that the both proper outlet and proper reporter is contacted.

Luckily, that’s what we’re here for. To provide healthIT companies with the appropriate recommendations and strategy to #makenews and #driveleads. Below are three use cases that demonstrate how healthIT companies can land press and achieve ROI.

#1:Capitalize on Industry News to #MakeNews

One of the keys to success with media relations is timing, and one of the easiest ways to secure pickup is to insert clients into conversations that are already occurring within the industry. Marketers call this tactic “newsjacking.” For example, in November 2014, news broke that less than 17% of eligible hospitals successfully attested for Stage 2 Meaningful Use under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive program.

Media immediately began questioning if it was even possible for hospitals to successfully achieve this milestone. The answer was yes. In fact, Faith Community Hospital, a small 41- bed acute care hospital in Jacksboro, Texas had accomplished it with the help of RazorInsights ONE-Electronic Health Record. RazorInsights had always wanted to gain industry recognition and credibility in the media by showcasing its client success stories, and this provided the perfect opportunity. Instead of targeting general healthIT reporters, the ARPR team recommended a strategy of focusing on specific reporters and outlets that had previously covered the unsatisfactory results of Stage 2.

The Result? We landed placements in outlets including Health IT Outcomes, Health Data Management and the Jacksboro Papers that helped the company increase its credibility and awareness among its target prospects and existing customer base. In fact, this credibility played a role in athenahealth’s acquisition of RazorInsights the following year.

#2:  Showcase Exclusivity, Differentiation and Innovation

When strategizing for a newsworthy announcement, it’s important to determine what sets you apart from the competition, how your news impacts your industry for the better and most importantly, if you can make any exclusive announcements. If you are the first and only at something, now is the time to seize the opportunity. Wait too long and you create the path for someone else to make the claim.

Last year, emerging medical device company NFANT Labs was ready to announce the FDA-clearance of its first product, nfant Feeding Solution. The solution had received clearance in just 18 months, was the first IoT solution for the NICU, and the only medical device that could determine an infant’s tongue movement during actual feeding and provide objective, measurable data.

With goals of reaching target customers and demonstrating momentum to potential investors, ARPR strategically pitched stories that would resonate best with each targeted outlet and market. For instance, we focused on NFANT Labs as a leader in pediatric medical devices as well as showcased nfant Feeding Solution as a top solution to help NICU babies thrive.The Result? Coverage in 13 outlets and over 2.7 million media impressions within in just two weeks. Specifically, healthIT publications including medGadget, MobiHealthNews and FierceMedicalDevices and a byline in in Neonatal Intensive Care – the top trade publication for reaching its desired NICU decision makers. NFANT Labs successfully capitalized on this moment in the marketplace to position itself as the first and the only IoT NICU medical device manufacturer in the industry.

#3: Establish and Leverage a Thought Leader

Any PR pro knows that today’s media is stretched thin and is often starving for content. In fact, last year, the American Society of News Editors found its first double-digit (10.4%) decline in newsroom count since the Great Recession of eight years ago. And that’s at some of the biggest publications in the country. Imagine the shrinking size of staff at niche trade publications.

Therefore, the opportunity for contributed content and thought leadership is abundant. In addition, it gives you the opportunity to insert your thoughts into the conversations you want and draft the content yourself.

Over the past year, ARPR has set out to make Karen Holzberger, the VP and General Manager of Diagnostic Solutions at Nuance the go-to thought leader for all diagnostic conversations. The team has drafted bylines and pitched blogs to a variety of healthIT outlets depending on the news to ensure that Nuance’s thoughts and leadership are getting in front of current and prospective customers as well as additional media.

The Result: We’ve landed approximately one contributed article per month showcasing Karen as a healthIT leader and expert on a variety of topics. Including pieces in Becker’s Hospital Review, HISTalk, HealthIT Outcomes, Clinical Innovation + Technology and Diagnostic Imaging.

Are you looking to achieve media relations success with your healthIT company? Contact Alloy's team of healthIT experts today.