You’re busy. But you also want press for all of the work you do to enhance your patients’ smiles and lives. While AACD is always pitching stories to and fielding calls from national media, including consumer, health and beauty magazines, there’s a way to get noticed by your local media. That’s why the AACD has created the “Quick Guide to Media Relations,” which is full of tips to help you build relationships with local reporters. But first, here’s some frequently asked questions about media relations: 1. Why should I engage in media relations? Pitching a story to your local media about the work your practice is doing, an event you’re hosting, or even your attendance at an AACD annual meeting is a great way to build your reputation within the community. 2. What does it mean when I ‘pitch’ a story to the media? Pitching is simply the process of suggesting a story idea to a media outlet. Pitching can be done in the form of a press release and a pitch letter (most common), or through a simple phone call to see if the newspaper, TV station, radio station, or magazine would be interested in your story. 3. How do I pitch my story to the media? A press release with a pitch letter is the easiest way to get your story noticed. Most reporters prefer that press releases are e-mailed to them. 4. Who do I send the release or information to? A good way to find press contacts is to simply browse the newspaper or station’s website for the local news editor and send the release to that individual. If you are hosting an event, a community calendar might be a good fit also. So you want some press…but how do you get it? Check the AACD Media Room, which is full of relevant press releases that you can customize and send to your local media. Topics include spring cleaning tips for a healthy mouth, the Smile: The Secret to Attractiveness at Any Age, Recipes for a Healthier Smile, and much more. The AACD also has completed several research studies showing the importance of a great smile. You also can publicize your attendance at the AACD Annual Scientific Sessions or other educational events. You can send a release publicizing your involvement with Give Back a Smile, the premier program of the AACD Charitable Foundation. These releases are available for download in Document Sharing. After you’ve caught the attention of local media, you’ll want to prepare for any potential interviews, whether it’s for a print media outlet, or broadcast—like a local television news show. Here are some things to keep in mind: 1. Always be prepared. Whether you work with a professional coach or prefer to go it alone, invest some time in rehearsing. Have a trusted friend or colleague ask you some practice questions. You can record your performance using a smartphone or mobile device, and then use the results to improve your interviewing skills. 2. Shape your message. The idea is to get out the message you want while still responding to questions and ceding control to the reporter. Try to create a “visual” story using concrete examples to help make your point. Write, memorize and practice no more than three key messages that all flow together. 3. Remember to mention AACD! There are a number of ways you can insert AACD into an interview. By mentioning AACD, you are building an even stronger reputation for yourself and your fellow members. Feel free to mention any of the AACD’s recent research studies, which are located in the Media Room on www.aacd.com. Reporters love statistics! Here are a few phrases: “As an AACD Member Dentist, I would recommend…” “My expertise includes membership in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a professional organization dedicated to esthetic excellence.” “Like many AACD Member Dentists, I offer the following services in my practice…” “For more information about cosmetic dentistry, visit www.myaacddentist.com.” “According to recent research by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the smile is one’s most important social asset.” “A great smile is the secret to looking young, and a recent study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry indicates that people are more willing to spend money on their teeth than on losing weight.” “According to recent research by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the smile is the first thing a person remembers upon meeting someone.” And remember, when talking to the press—nothing is officially off the record! When you’ve completed your interview, ask for a copy of the article or broadcast. Building relationships with local media is a good way to elevate your practice’s presence in the community. For more media relations tips, click here to see the AACD Quick Guide to Media Relations: http://www.aacd.com/index.php?module=express&cmd=fileviewpost&id=4348
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