By SoYeon Noh
Every healthcare and health tech firm wants to work with the best PR firms, but with thousands of PR options where do you begin?
There are many websites that provide rankings of the top 10 best healthcare PR firms in the USA. 10BestPR says its website “recognizes the Leading Health PR Business each month. The top Health PR companies are given awards for excellence in their industry.”
Many healthcare executives might want to use these top-10 lists as a weighted factor for their PR firm selection, but a New York-based media strategist says don’t be manipulated by what these websites hype.
“Many of these top 10 PR lists are paid placements,” said Mark Macias – founder and owner of Macias PR, which was named the PR Consultant Firm of the Year by journalists and researchers with Finance Monthly. “Several of these websites approached my PR firm, asking if we wanted to pay to be on their top-10 lists. We passed because it was just advertising and didn’t reveal anything about our strategy or experience.”
Macias says was an Executive Producer with NBC in New York where he oversaw the health and medical units before he launched his own PR firm in 2009. Macias says when it comes to hiring a healthcare PR firm, executives need to look at firm’s media experience, their roster of media placements and the strategy for the healthcare product or service. He says bubbly personalities or contacts in the media won’t get you anywhere without a strong media strategy.
“During my time as an Executive Producer and Senior Producer, publicists pitched me stories all the time,” said Macias. “Most of these publicists had zero understanding of the news cycle or even how to frame a story. Healthcare PR is typically more difficult than regular consumer products because you need to have a deeper understanding of the depth and knowledge that supports the healthcare product or service. Medical reporters are typically the most educated journalists in the newsroom and you have to sell the story on substance.”
Want more tips on how to research your PR firm before you sign a contract? Macias wrote a blog with more advice on researching a PR firm based on his experience in the media, and on the other side as the owner of a PR firm. You can read those tips by clicking here.