Management Monday: Connecting your patients with newsletters
At the moment, I am writing my second newsletter of the year. I find myself reflecting on why they are difficult to write, yet at the same time are such a rewarding part of connecting with our patients. Newsletters should be a very positive piece of writing, so if you are having a bad day then maybe avoid this task – but then I find many practices avoid the task altogether! Why? I ask myself. To me, they are such an important part of staying in contact with your audience and involving them in your practice. If you have a membership with anyone else, you would expect to be kept up to date with what is happening, so there is no excuse. One of the reasons I feel they are not written is that practices are unsure of the structure to use, so here are my key tips for what can be incorporated:
1) A great opener – The newsletter should come from the PM or business owner/owners but it has to sound like you all the way through. There needs to be a personnel connection throughout.
2) A main interview with a member of the team – This is your way to introduce a new service without pushing it down the reader’s throat, talk about the passion behind providing it, what it does, why now etc…
3) Team News – Essential! This is often the most sought-after information, so make it sassy and interesting: it’s what patents will talk to you and their friends about.
4) Patient Story – A patient’s story is a fantastic way to demonstrate treatment success, so a good emotional story and photographs are key here.
5) Social media – Remind patients how they can stay in touch with you in real time – and make sure you’re using an monitoring your accounts several times a day in case they do!
6) Special offers – The creation of suitable member offers. Don’t repeat or patients will wait until the offer reappears if there is a trend they can identify.
7) Charity work – If the practice is involved with charities, which many are, discuss what you did, what was raised and use pictures.
8) Introducing new staff – A picture of the new team member at work, their role in the practice and a small interview with them so that patients can make a connection.
9) Staff leavers – A goodbye from a staff member is fantastic if the exit is a good one. Obviously it’s not so good when they have been managed out, so use discretion.
10) Added comforts – Tell patients what has changed since their last visit, eg refreshments, free wifi etc.
So there you have it. No more excuses of staring at a blank page thinking, ‘I don’t know where to start!’ Every practice should be producing at least two newsletters a year, so don’t delay – start connecting today.
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