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How to Reach Doctors

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Jeffrey GouldHow to Reach Doctors
by on Oct 16, 2008 at 4:50:31 pm

Hi, I saw the thread down below about trade shows and seeking work for hospitals...but this is different. I've done two very successful videos for Plastic Surgeons and websites as well. They were both very happy with the final product and promised to refer me to their "Plastic Surgery Colleagues"...but we know how that goes. The way I got into those practices was #1, I had a procedure done and #2 a friend of mine had work done and recommended me.

Now I'm looking to book of these videos as I find the field fascinating and potentially profitable. I've tried cold calls, but just don't seem to get anywhere. Am I better off dropping off a DVD/Flyer unannounced? Is that offensive? Do I just drop off to receptionist or ask to see the "marketing person"? Thanks for any input...I'm willing to do the work, just not sure what the best approach is. Thanks.

Jeffrey S. Gould
Action Media Productions


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Jason JenkinsRe: How to Reach Doctors
by on Oct 16, 2008 at 5:14:48 pm

Good question, Jeffery. That thread also got me thinking about my local hospitals. I went online and tried to find contact info for HR and marketing departments, with no luck. I know someone who works at the hospital in a high-level position and asked him to get some contact info for me. He said he would call me last Monday with the info but he hasn't yet. I did find an interesting website called jigsaw.com that may be a good source for contact info. It's a system where you add your contacts and earn points, then you spend those points to purchase contact info you need. If you give bogus contact info, points are deducted. Anyone tried that site? Anyway, I'd like to be able to go in and try to get a few minutes with HR and Marketing Directors ––in person. That has to be more effective than a phone call or DVD drop-off.

Jason Jenkins

Flowmotion Media

Video production... with style!


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Todd TerryRe: How to Reach Doctors
by on Oct 16, 2008 at 5:40:37 pm

Plastic surgeons are an intersting bunch, seem to behave a bit differently than "regular doctors." We didn't really try to become the "plastic surgery production guys," but sort of fell into that role a bit. At last count I think we have eight different plastic surgeons (or plastic surgery groups) that we do television commercials for.

The best way to get "Plastic Surgeon B" as your client is to do great work for "Plastic Surgeon A." These guys are unbelievably competitive. If Dr. Smith is doing something great, Dr. Jones wants to do something even better. You have a leg up since you have already worked for one of them. The trick now is getting to the guy who considers him his competition.

With smaller, individual (and sometimes newer practices), the best bet would be to try to get to the doctor himself. Bigger and more established practices will have marketing people, they will be the ones to approach. Some may even have full-blown advertising agencies that handle all their stuff (three of our plastic surgeon clients have ad agencies). In those cases it is the agencies that you should approach to show your expertise in this kind of production.

It make take a while... plastic surgeons are notoriously busy... even the ones on the lower rungs. Our oldest plastic surgery client is a group of three doctors, and they stay so busy that when we shoot for them we have to do it at oddball times (like at the crack of dawn on a Sunday, etc.), because they are so busy shoveling money during regular business hours that they won't give up a second of that time (and of course we charge them accordingly). The funny thing is, these guys don't have to advertise at all. If you were a potential patient and picked up the phone right now you probably couldn't get an appointment with them for 9 months or so. Yet they do advertise because they are sooooo competitive with the other guys in town.

One thing to remember with plastic surgery marketing (if they don't have an agency and allow you to concept their spots for them), that the very very BEST way to market plastic surgeons is before-and-after. Research and practical experience shows that nothing works nearly as well as being able to see before-and-after results of their work. That can make it a bit tough because you have to get real patients willing to appear, and often the doctors don't have the foresight to take good "before" pictures... they just take the sterile "medical" snapshots. But it works.

Also, if you use models or actors, the best ones are often in their 30's. Most plastic surgery patients are women 40+... but they don't want to look like that. In one focus group that had funny results, women were given a stack of headshots and told to pick one that was closest to their own age. Almost invariably they picked the photo of a woman about 10 years younger than they were. People think they look younger than they actually do. Funny.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jeffrey GouldRe: How to Reach Doctors
by on Oct 16, 2008 at 6:27:00 pm

WOW Todd! Thank you for your in-depth reply...as always. I have actually done two long form videos for Plastic Surgeons. These were designed for the waiting room and I also give them 500 DVD's to hand out to existing and potential clients and at Botox Parties, Fashion Shows. The one doctor said his "add-on" sales have increased due to waiting room clients seeing additional services offered. I also have a short version on their websites. The dr's also claim that the videos gave them "celebrity status". I come from a patient education background (video) and always believed that patients are more comfortable and less anxious if they know their surroundings before their procedure...so I try to give them a sense of the practice, staff, personalities, etc...

I agree with all you said and I was lucky enough to have the 2nd practice, actually shut down for a week while we shot. They had existing/past patients come in who were willing to be filmed. I also gave the footage to the local station to use as they wished.

I think you have something there with the competitiveness and I've tried that approach with letters a year ago saying "we are contacting plastic surgeons in the area and would like to meet with your first"....nothing came from them. There was one that was interested from a cold call, but they had an agency and the agency didn't want it. It also helps to find a practice with multiple partners so that you can film one while the others are seeing patients.

What's interesting is that the last video I did, didn't really contain any before/afters...but about 20 patient testimonials scattered throughout the video and I think they can be just as effective. You also need to capture the personalites of the dr's.

You didn't really address if dropping off DVD's is a viable option. will they watch it or toss it? Thanks again.

Jeffrey S. Gould
Action Media Productions


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Todd TerryRe: How to Reach Doctors
by on Oct 16, 2008 at 7:17:20 pm

[Jeffrey Gould] "dropping off DVD's is a viable option. will they watch it or toss it?"

They will probably toss it, UNLESS they know you, know of you, or you are also able to wiggle yourself into a face-to-face. You need to find SOME way of letting Dr. B know that Dr. A is using you and becoming a celebrity doc.

A lot of doctors have the "God complex," of course... and plastic surgeons seem as much or even more than most. They like having their egos stroked, and mostly are pretty vain and like the idea of television (one exception we have is one surgeon who doesn't want to appear in his advertising... which is a wise choice on his part since he personally looks like the fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. He does great wortk though).

I have another tip for dealing with doctors (that some here might say is bad advice, but it has always worked for me). I first met them with a "Glad to meet you, Dr. Smith," but after that I always call them by their first name. Actually, I do that for any physician I've ever gone to as a patient, as well as doctor clients. They are so used to being revered as "Dr. So-and-so" that the guy who just calls them Bill or Larry puts them on a level playing field. Works for me, anyway.

Oh... and although the business moved slowly, it's good to see that many non-plastic-surgeon docs are now beginning to feel not so "above it all" and do more advertising. Today in fact I'm editing a campaign for a group of spine surgeons.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jeffrey GouldRe: How to Reach Doctors
by on Oct 16, 2008 at 8:15:37 pm

Yes, I know about the God complex and an associate of mine also told me about referring to them by first name. He said "you're a professional as well and on the same level".

If they would only give me 5 minutes, I could book it. The last PS I met, 5 minutes into the presentation, he said "just book it, how much is it?" The videos I'm talking about are in the 17K-20K range, which honestly is not enough for all I give them. Thanks Todd.

Jeffrey S. Gould
Action Media Productions


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