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"Marketing" is any action to attract or keep patients, which includes many activities.
Q: I want to attract patients to my new practice but don't want to do marketing. Do you have any suggestions?
In any case, try to get media attention. The idea is altruism and recognition attracting new patients by marketing an event, not marketing yourself. You can do it yourself with press releases and such, but professionals usually can get a better result. The more people who hear about your effort, the better. With a well thought-out approach, your efforts will benefit your community, help a charitable cause, and fill your schedule book with more patients-and hopefully result in some fun.
Decide how much time and/or money you have to give. Are you already doing charity care in your practice, or will this effort be the sum total of your community contribution? Must you do everything, or can you get your staff or volunteers to do some of it? Are you going to contribute eight hours or 80 hours?
What skills do you have to bring to the endeavor? Will you be a spokesperson, an organizer, or merely a humble participant? Will you be using your clinical skills, or do you need the mental refreshment of a non-medical activity? These issues can make the difference between success and failure, joy and anguish.
Answers to readers' questions were provided Medical Economics consultant Keith C. Borglum, CHBC, Professional Management and Marketing, Santa Rosa, California. Send your practice management questions to firstname.lastname@example.org