When is a Roadmap also a Report Card?By: Stephen B. Weinstein
Consider these scenarios:
It’s frustrating. But, because of the enormous volumes of paper that cross the desk of a broadcast assignment editor or a print reporter, information important to your hospital or clinic - can easily slip through the cracks, never appearing in print, on the evening news, or on a local radio talk show.
In many cases, the odds of gaining coverage are certainly against you. So, your strategy for gaining placement better be a good one.
One way to map out your communication efforts and improve your odds of gaining coverage is with a SEPO program. SEPO, or “Special Editorial Publicity Opportunities,” is a road map designed to help your public relations efforts find their way to the right place at the right time.
In strategic terms, a SEPO is a plan of attack. It researches and outlines editorial opportunities, and it promotes your expertise in healthcare to the media before it’s needed. Taking that step of making the media aware of your expertise, before they need to look for someone with your credentials, will endear you to them simply because you’ve just made their job a lot easier.
A SEPO can also identify and help with your facility’s community relations efforts. When done correctly, a SEPO will contain media that can be given advance information about your observance of national health awareness days and weeks.
It’s that kind of “big picture” advance planning that gives you a jump on your competition. It allows you to schedule activities and identify specific media opportunities, as well as to offer your hospital’s physicians and administrators as experts on local broadcast programs ahead of others in your same market.
How do you know when those opportunities are going to occur?
The SEPO Program doesn’t end after you make contact with the editors or after your stories are published. At the end of the year, the SEPO should also serve as a report card. If the job was done right, and if editorial placements were achieved, it should spell success in generating news coverage that helps position your hospital and its representatives as authorities and leaders. And, because of its usefulness it will also enhance your position with the media as a reliable news source.
In short, at the end of the year, the SEPO provides the springboard to show management what was planned - and accomplished.
It’s a heads-up management tool that will earn high grades for your efforts. At the same time, it’s a solid media relations tactic to guide and give direction to responding editorial needs.
Combine the report card and the road map and you have the SEPO program.
© Copyright 1999, Stephen B. Weinstein, Blue Horse Inc.