Friday, October 31, 2008

Publicity of CMEs

Continuous Medical Education, in short CME forms an important part in a doctor’s career. They begin their career attending CMEs which is essential to update their knowledge and end up themselves as speakers at CMEs. According to ICMR a doctor has to attend a particular no. of CMEs per year to upgrade themselves on latest developments in their area of specialization.

Informing media about CMEs and getting publicity for the same is very difficult or just next to impossible using the traditional methods of Public Relations. Doctors & clients often demand media publicity for such programs.

I agree pitching for stories and inviting media for it, is very difficult, but possibility cannot be ruled out. The PR consultant can take few steps to understand the CME:
  1. Meet the concerned doctor and understand everything related to the CME, its benefits for Doctors, Patients and Society.
  2. Get all the details from Client on this CME like schedule, speakers, topics of discussion, case study presentation, etc.
  3. Speak to other well-known and established doctors practicing in this area of specialization and understand the CMEs importance from their perspective.
  4. Scan and track online (internet) for news featuring these doctors quotes, to understand the area of specialisation of medicine.
  5. Check whether any news is available on that particular specialization of medicine and related to the CME.
  6. Source unique case studies from the concerned doctor, which will prove helpful to pitch to media.
  7. Now draft a note based on all the info available and sought approval from the client.
  8. Based on this available information prepare a strategy for media coverage.
  9. Pitch to media (preferably meet media personally) and discuss this story with them. E.g. pitch to two mainline and two vernacular publications for stories. It is quite easy to invite two mainline pubs for an interaction with the concerned doctor. For vernacular and other media press release can be disseminated.
  10. Invite at least three trade media publications to attend this event.
  11. Post the event get a small brief on all the topics discussed and presented. Also get the presentations. Pitch to all the trade media publications based on the info available.
  12. Also send this detailed information to all the doctors who were unable to attend this CME.

A Communication Consultants job is not only to get coverage but also inform all the stakeholders. The hospitals newsletter should contain information on such CMEs which could later be sent to Health correspondents of publications as reference material. Mailing such newsletters also highlights the healthcare provider’s initiative to upgrade knowledge and inform about new developments.

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