Using PR to successfully launch new dental practices

Treeline Dental Care planned to open some new surgeries across Lincolnshire. Although they already had a practice near Nottingham, Lincolnshire was an unknown quantity, and they had no presence or connections in the county.

It was important to the brand, to build up a local presence and to quickly elicit community trust and local support. Short term targets were to create an effective lead generation process, forge links with the community and fill surgeries with NHS patients. As part of a full media plan, we created a list of key business and social influencers with outreach focused on the local press, major employers, Lincoln University and political figures. PR and social media strategies were created, which was implemented back-to-back with local radio advertising supported by leafleting and exposure in local newspapers and village magazines.

The concerted PR program was core to the success of the launch with press releases written and disseminated to local media, online and offline, with follow-ups to all relevant parties including invitations to the practice opening launch events. Launch event attendees were high-profile and spanned both political and business communities with substantial media coverage and interviews achieved. Connections were made with the key regional thought-leaders, ensuring that they were ‘on board’ with Treeline Dental expansion plans in the county.

Two surgeries opened on the same day, with the local Lord Mayor cutting the ribbon. A third practice in Spalding is scheduled to open in early 2020 once senior dentists have been recruited. Patient lists for both practices were at maximum levels even before the practices were opened.

How To: Write Practice Press Releases

It’s a great idea to get local PR for your practice as it reminds your potential patients that you are an established and respected dental practice in the community. It also supports your brand and communicates how you help people to improve their confidence and improve their smile. For your current patient list, great PR confirms in their mind that they have chosen a quality practice.

Firstly you need to think about how to get the press excited, you need news that the editor thinks will benefit readers.

New treatments or a new clinician at your practice may be news to you, but not to a reporter who has hundreds of releases about new products and services to read.

Imagine an Orthodontic practice has just added lingual braces to their treatment offering and as part of the launch has decided to offer patients a free initial consultation. Here’s what not to do:

Orthodontic Practice Launches Invisible Braces

(Name) practice, based in (place) is now offering invisible braces. As part of the launch, the practice is offering a free initial consultation……”

You’re more likely to get a story printed and generate interest by changing your headline and first paragraph to focus on the offer and what’s in it for readers.

Orthodontic Practice Introduces FREE Consultation for Invisible Braces

For adults who’d prefer a discrete brace option, (named) practice, based in (place) is now offering the latest in invisible braces. As part of the launch, the practice is offering a free initial consultation……

Before you start writing the release, choose the best angle from the patient’s point of view. If you will be sending your release to various media (local newspapers, dental press, local radio and local blogs) you may have to use different angles for the different media.

For help with a PR strategy or news article writing, contact us.