The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on a rush of medical innovations, as healthcare administrators demanded new products to manage the overwhelming first wave. With it, journalists covering medical tech products have been flooded with pitches from media representatives in the health tech sector, promising a narrative about a product that’s a cure all for whatever ailment related to COVID-19.
In order to get into the journalist starred email list, rather than the trash bin folder, it’s important to capture their hearts and minds. Professionals running a health tech PR campaign might want to consider three pivotal elements when preparing to pitch a story.
Health tech PR is always about the patient
No one likes to read pitches that are unrelatable or uninspiring－especially not a reporter with a stack of them. Journalists, like any of us, want to be inspired, touched by a narrative that has that “it” factor. They want to hear why that particular story matters. What matters are people.
In the case of health tech PR stories, the key is to refrain from focusing on technology, and pay direct attention more to the patients, who benefit from it. For example, a story about AI providing a helping hand in managing resources could be interesting, but there needs to be a complementary angle addressing patient care－like how the product empowers hospital staff to dedicate more time to caring for the sick. After all, everyone needs medical care, but not everyone needs an AI assistant. These kinds of angles tend to catch the eye of the media, especially larger outlets, more often than stories fixated on technological developments.
Don’t dismiss the little guy
Everyone acknowledges that recognition from Forbes or The Washington Post offers bragging rights, SEO points, and credibility. Sometimes, though, in the places public relations campaign managers least expect, a gold mine lies waiting. Niche publications can be that gold mine.
Readers who visit Forbes come from all walks of life. In one corner, some of them could be retirees, or professionals looking for advice on a specific subject matter, or venture capitalists browsing through the morning headlines. Larger publications don’t necessarily have a restricted audience type they cater to, but niche publications do. Their audiences are often significantly smaller and write about specific types of content, geared only to their specific audience. Some occasions call for health tech PR campaigns to lean on the niche side of things when preferable to reach the exact audience, who might be looking for a specific product or investment opportunity rather than spray for the masses, where there is greater uncertainty.
Keep it simple, stupid
Everyone can reflect on a particular memory of reading a technical manual, looking for a solution to some technical problem. Sometimes manuals can be the most frustrating to comprehend, but they should be simplified. It’s best to apply the same line of thinking to pitching a story under any health tech PR campaign.
Tech pitches tend to flaunt technical jargon. Rather than flexing tech jargon and potentially over-complicating the story, it’s better to simplify as much as possible. Granted, there are situations where oversimplifying kills the narrative and risks losing the juice that drives the story, like in instances of pitching to tech veterans. It’s best to assess on a pitch-by-pitch basis, but generally speaking, simplicity is king, in order to avoid confusing the person receiving the pitch.
Public relations for health technology might not be rocket science, but a handful of tricks might make the difference between catching the media’s attention and a donut. Everyone wants a good story, but not everyone knows how to tell one, especially for health tech.