The intersection of PR and SEO for B2B healthcare and technology companies is My Current Obsession. Naturally, then, I'm fascinated by how Google works. We all know it's a Google world, right, but I care in particular about Google's treatment of news releases and content generated by the media.
I was interested, then, in last week's BusinessWire post on "Why Your Release Might Not Make it Into Google News." Not often, but every now and again a client doesn't find their release on Google News and they wonder what happened. Sometimes they ask us to "call Google and fix it." Tragically, we can't do that, so it's going to be easier to write the release in the first place to maximize its chances of getting picked up by Google News.
In the BusinessWire blog entry, Joseph Miller lists four reasons that releases may not be indexed by Google News: the release is too short (fewer than 125 words), too large (e.g., an earnings release with huge associated tables), appears to be fragmented into unrelated bullet points and, most important, the title is too long. Specifically, Mr. Miller says, a news release headline shouldn't exceed 22 words.
Really long press release titles should be avoided because they're clumsy, of course. Beyond that basic guideline, we've understood for some time the importance of prominently including keywords in press release headlines to improve SEO--they should appear toward the beginning of titles. It's useful to also know now that verbose headlines not only don't help SEO, they likely hurt it by causing releases to be tossed out by Google News altogether.
, press releases
Posted by Laura Kempke on March 30, 2010 at 12:20 PM
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Say what you will about the effectiveness of conferences in the marketing mix--there are still a lot of shows that companies feel they have to attend in order to see and be seen. In the case of Schwartz client BioImagene, that conference is the annual meeting of the U.S. & Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP).
BioImagene is one of the companies that dominate USCAP and their PR team is working overtime to support the show presence. So it was nice for everyone to see a blog entry, "BioImagene PR Doing It The Apple Way," from New York-based pathology resident Karl Robstad, M.D.
Dr. Robstad offers, "In an industry that, at least in my opinion, lacks some of the excitement in spreading the word about their newest and best products/services, BioImagene is a real stand-out taking a page out of Apple’s handbook, by creating mystique and hype around product releases, and then following the hype up with grand spectacle unveilings."
He continues, "You can look at stuff like this and call them 'PR stunts' or whatever, but I think there is a certain amount of merit behind a good PR campaign."
We'd agree, Dr. Robstad, and thank you for noticing. It's all about generating the sort of visibility that makes the BioImagene sales team happy and that underscores how a company that was founded a few years ago is altering a century-old industry.
The BioImagene booth was hopping at USCAP last year. Here's to an even more successful 2010 event later this month.
This photo from euthman is covered by a Creative Commons license.
, healthcare PR
, medical PR
Posted by Laura Kempke on March 12, 2010 at 1:03 PM
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Following are additional impressions from HIMSS 2010, Atlanta contributed by Schwartz Communications colleagues Dave Close, Nigel Smith, Dana Conti, Mercedes Fereck…
• Bloggers vs. reporters: There is hardly a difference in the healthcare IT market. Prominent bloggers like HISTalk attract big readerships - large enough to host their own party and awards ceremony on the same night as Healthcare Informatics’ Innovators Awards Event. At a client’s press briefing, bloggers sat next to top tier outlets like Modern Healthcare, providing their own perspective and reporting on the news. Take Anthony Guerra for instance. He is the former editor of Healthcare Informatics, who is now leveraging his CIO contacts to write stories on his new site healthsystemCIO.com
• Booth Gimmicks Abound: From the aforementioned DeLorean, to a specially constructed basketball court featuring former Harlem Globetrotters to Tiki-themed lairs and Vespa giveaways, HIMSS once again featured some pretty memorable booths. I can certainly appreciate the scenery, but it seems somewhat "Mad Men" retro and a bit silly to see companies still hire beautiful young women to draw traffic into the booths. Every spokes-model in the southeast must have been at the GWC. How do you stand for seven hours on six-inch heels?
• Wither the CIO? There weren’t as many hospital CIO types roaming the show floor as in years’ past. Many we spoke with said the CIO was an “endangered species” at HIMSS and most who did attend were there as a guest of a vendor. So, HIMSS this year was mostly vendors talking to vendors, with the most likely business outcome being strategic partnerships down the road, or planting seeds for a future merger or acquisition.
• Testing The Waters: This year at HIMSS, Schwartz met with a number of general technology vendors who were there to “test the waters” of the healthcare vertical market and/or to gather information on healthcare IT certification.
Let us know your thoughts of the show….
Tags: Healthcare PR
, HIMSS 2010
Posted by Doug Russell on March 8, 2010 at 10:42 AM
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Once again this year, Schwartz was the lone PR firm with a booth at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, which was attended by 9 of our clients and wrapped up yesterday. They were there along with some 30,000 other healthcare IT professionals, all eager to hear the latest on "Meaningful Use," Electronic Health Records, HITECH, ARRA and how to secure federal stimulus dollars. Hundreds of vendors exhibited in two huge exhibition halls, ensuring my pedometer registered up to 8,000 show floor steps per day. Good thing, considering the spectacularly unhealthy fare offered at the food stalls throughout the Georgia World Congress Center.
Following are a few observations about the show, including contributions from Schwartz VPs Dana Conti and Dave Close, who attended HIMSS along with 5 other colleagues:
• It seems that every six months, the number of media outlets shooting video on the conference floor doubles. Publications like DotMed and Healthcare IT News tape interviews during the day and edit stories at night. And you thought you had a long day at the booth?
• The land grab for HIE contracts is on. Everyone from major players like GE to niche HIE vendors are highlighting their ability to support the next healthcare technology infrastructure...and reporters wanted to hear from anyone with an HIE pitch.
• So many EHRs. It seems like everyone is developing or offering an EHR with the story that it’s a logical extension of what they do – whatever it is they do. We met a fascinating guy from South America who developed an EHR for racehorses. He was at HIMSS to find opportunities to sell if for human patients. Why not? He’ll have to change the parameters for the size of a urine sample, though.
• Some version of the phrase “meaningful use” was in the signage or literature in almost every booth. Last year everyone was waiting for the definition. This year there is a definition and it’s moved very quickly into the marketing spiels of hundreds of companies.
• Perhaps the most appropriate visual metaphor to healthcare IT today was in the booth that had a “Back to the Future” DeLorean. One of the engineers had built the thing and it’s an amazing facsimile of the real movie car. He said it has 200,000 miles on it and he drives it to the shows. An old, obsolete car covered with all sorts of futuristic technology bolted all over it to make it do new things. At HIMSS you saw so much fantastic technology – EMRs, PACs, PHRs, HIEs, analytics…all sorts of new tech to make the old, clunky healthcare system faster and better. But I can’t help thinking that until there is some type of structural reform, it’s still 21st century tech bolted onto a creaky, obsolete system.
Stay tuned for more HIMSS observations.....
, Healthcare IT News
, meaningful use
Posted by Doug Russell on March 5, 2010 at 2:41 PM
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