Healthcare PR specialist Neha Chandra decodes the healthcare trade media in India

A quick question for all the healthcare communication professionals: How often does trade media make to your target media list when you need to disseminate a press release?

Now take a second to evaluate the content of your release and ask yourself if it suits the profile of the trade media you are pitching to.

They are more than press releases carriers 

Trade journals are the news breakers when there is progress in the field of digital health, pharma, bioinformatics, R&D, products and services, manufacturing and distribution, artificial intelligence in medical diagnosis, medical equipment, genomics data, to name a few. 

Amongst its readers, are the research and academia community, policy makers, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers and distributors, hospitals and doctors and healthcare consultants.

According to Media Ant, while the major target audience belongs to metro cities, it also has a foot in Tier 1-2-3 markets. They have the power to get attention of a targeted market which is better than a vast, vague outreach and thus have the potential to receive more earned media coverage. 

As a healthcare PR professional, we are all familiar with Biospectrum, Medgate Today, Express Pharma, Express Healthcare, Medical Buyer, Healthcare Radius that form the widely read gamut of healthcare trade media. Trade journalists cover niche topics and in depth with a deeper understanding of that subject supported by medical jargon that is believed would appeal its small yet targeted reader group. 

They are open to writing features on complex issues such as role of digital technologies in bringing radiology at the forefront of healthcare delivery.

What to keep in mind while pitching?

Based on my conversation with journalists from leading B2B health publications, there are a few things we should keep note of while pitching:

  1. Always read your story and browse through the journal before reaching out.
  2. Find out the peg in your story and whether the platform has covered something similar in the past.
  3. Do not reach out to 2 journalists from the same publication with the same pitch.
  4. Conversations on telemedicine, vaccine developments, medical device launches, medical solutions are of interest.
  5. Think twice before sharing B2C news; it might be irrelevant.
  6. Provide all the facts and figures in the story, especially those unavailable in the public domain.
  7. Your story must answer 5 Ws and 1 H in news writing.

Sometimes, a release may not be time bound and in that case, we need to be patient for the outcome. All this and more allows us on saving both ours and the journalist’s time and effort.

What you may not know 

You might have missed the fine print about this segment of the media, but trade journals have a strong role in building your client’s identity and establishing them as thought leaders in the medical space. 

For instance, consider an exclusive interview with your client (a medical device manufacturer) on remote monitoring of arrythmia patients during the pandemic that has quotes from the company leadership and talks about the devices in the market. It is a direct way to connect with electrophysiologists, distributors and competitors. 

By reading about the features and benefits, it creates a recall in the mind of the readers, and influences future decision making. Your client has a greater opportunity to talk about their business in depth and communicate expertise in a targeted way to potential clients.

How to convince your client?

We understand most clients want to be featured in the mainstream media and expect coverage via news wires. However, it is our duty to explain where a story will get more traction, to identify the audience the client wants to reach out to and then narrow done on the publications that match the profile and target audience. 

It is about conveying the message to a select few who will act on it, over a large number who will passively process it. It is a strategic way to accomplish more for our clients.

So, next time you pick up the phone on a B2B publication, make sure your pitch aligns with what the publication strives to communicate.

A healthcare and philanthropy PR specialist, Neha Chandra believes storytelling is an art that simplifies communication between the brand and its consumers. She is currently working with Storytellers 101 Communications as a PR consultant.

If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our weekly event and subscriber alerts.