Successfully Pitching to Healthcare Business & Trade Publications

Elizabeth Snell, Dec 13 2018

categories: PR

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When it comes to pitching client news to various publications, there are typically two main categories to consider: business and trade. Each one has its benefits, and strong reasons why your client would want their name to appear there in print (or on screen).

But what exactly separates these two types of publications? Is there a reason why your healthcare client would want to be featured in one and not the other? Do you need to cater your pitches differently?

I’ve worked as a reporter in both business and trade publications, and still get the inside scoop from friends and former colleagues currently working in each. Make sure you keep the following things in mind when pitching to healthcare business and trade publications – these tips can help you cultivate successful relationships in each vertical.

What are the differences?

Not all news media outlets are the same. Catering your pitches properly, and knowing in the first place if the story is the right fit or not, will be critical to securing coverage for your client.

Business pubs will typically have a larger audience, catering to a wider array of readers (or viewers!). Consumers, or patients, are also more likely to be included in the audience. While some publications can be considered a bit “specialized” (i.e., Forbes, TechCrunch), they will still usually cover a wider range of topics.

Comparatively, the healthcare trades are more targeted and niche in their content. But this means you will likely have people heavily involved in the industry reading it regularly, such as healthcare CFOs reading a healthcare finance-specific website.

The audience breakdown

Business pubs likely will try to show how the end user is impacted by something because that’s a large portion of their audience. For example, The Wall Street Journal might connect a story about healthcare secure messaging to how frequently it’s actually utilized by patients. Do patients enjoy using this form of communication with their provider? Has it helped patients with scheduling regular appointments?

A trade publication on the other hand might focus on the impact to a provider. How has the new secure messaging platform affected administrative burden? Does it ensure productivity is high, while keeping patient care a top priority?

Trades can also be more technical in their language and what topics they cover because they know their audience understands standard industry terms. For example, there’s no need to write out “electronic health records” every single time, because it can be assumed that the healthcare employees reading know what “EHR” stands for.

Breaking through the noise

Every business wants to rise to the top in their industry, and healthcare clients are no different. Coverage is good and regardless of organization size, the type of product or service being sold or the area within healthcare being covered, your client probably has an idea of where they would like that coverage to occur.

Business pubs can be more “well known” and are likely top of your clients’ minds for where they want the company name and story to appear. But the healthcare trades can be a good way to build credibility and show how the company is growing. This could include news on earnings releases or showing how a product is being introduced in smaller provider settings.

Business pubs might not always be willing to cover an unknown company until there is proof that it is impactful. Unless a business is a major market player, cracking that coverage wall will likely require at least one of the following ingredients:

  • A customer or end user to bring those proof points to life
  • A true innovation story or a completely new and unique application of technology
  • A human interest component – this could be a CEO/founder story or an end user’s story

Overall, research is key before starting any pitch. Make sure you know the outlet, the audience, and the nitty gritty details about your client and their company story. The best and most newsworthy story for a trade publication might not be the same as a business pub. But both the healthcare business and trade publications are always looking for the next great story – and it could come from you.

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