More Doctors Are Turning to PR Firms

by Scott Baradell | PR and Pop Culture

More Doctors Are Turning to PR Firms

The Idea Grove has been talking increasingly with health-care practitioners lately, and we recently took one on as a client.

Dawn Fallik reports on the trend:

PHILADELPHIA — Just hours after the government approved a medicated patch for depression, an e-mail went out offering reporters the opportunity to speak with a “doc in private practice stunned at FDA approval of depression patch.”

While Eric Braverman was being interviewed over the phone by a reporter, another call came in: CNN was on the line.

Score another one for the doctor’s public-relations agent, Hope Kaplan.

A decade ago, the idea of doctors and dentists marketing themselves would have been shunned by the medical community. Now, driven by higher costs and inspired by direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical ads, doctors are hiring publicists to increase business…

Zachary Gerut, a plastic surgeon in Hewlett, N.Y., hired a publicist to get the word out about a face-lift procedure he created using a local anesthetic. He draws the line between a tasteful media campaign and taking out an ad…

Of course, fame doesn’t come cheap … A doctor promoting a book might pay $9,000 for a publicist to set up phone interviews with radio stations in 10 U.S. markets, said Leigh Fazzina, who represents health-care publicists at the Public Relations Society of America.

Winslow Murdoch started working with a public-relations firm five years ago. Using direct mailings and speaking to groups, he saw his practice grow from 125 to 250 patients.

“I’m like a doctor that’s just starting out, and I have to have my name out there and my face out there,” he said.

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