Recently, the LCWA healthcare team participated in a luncheon hosted by the Publicity Club of Chicago entitled, “Rx for Healthcare Media,” where some of Chicago’s leading healthcare journalists discussed how to stand out in Chicago’s competitive healthcare market and gave PR pros insights into working with journalists during the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel included Scott Becker, publisher of Becker’s Healthcare; Katharin Czink, Medical Watch producer at WGN-TV; Lauren Petty, health reporter at NBC; and Kristen Schorsch, reporter at WBEZ.
|Photo courtesy of photographer Will Byington|
To kick off the program, each panelist introduced themselves and offered some pitching tips for healthcare stories, including:
- Think real people with human interest angles and patient-focused features (with the exception of Becker’s Healthcare, whose core focus is providers).
- Personalize pitches and talk to reporters like people. A personal approach is the most effective way to go about placing stories.
- Keep all mediums – such as digital and audio – in mind when pitching an NPR affiliate. Think characters and scenes to take people to places.
- Make sure your pitch is understandable for the audience. Simplify press releases into layman’s terms and avoid using jargon or acronyms with no explanations.
- Above all, journalists are looking for experts they trust to provide perspective.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Pitches