The practice newsletter as communication, marketing tool

September 1, 2007

Done right, the practice newsletter can enhance dermatologist and practice credibility, cross-sell services and products, and more.

Key Points

Sacramento, Calif. - Dermatologist Emil A. Tanghetti, M.D., avoids in-your-face advertising and marketing techniques, but favors the practice newsletter to get his message out.

He says many established medical dermatology patients at his Sacramento, Calif., practice do not know that he does cosmetic procedures. Rather than tell them, his staff hands patients the latest practice newsletter, filled with the dermatologist's research work and expertise in the cosmetic area. The educational nudge can propel many medical patients to convert to cosmetic clients.

"Most everyone is happy to get a copy," he tells Dermatology Times.

Educate, don't sell

Dr. Tanghetti says he publishes hot-off-the-press data about research he does at his practice.

The fact that he does the research adds credibility to his practice, according to the dermatologist. But, he adds, if not for the newsletter, patients might not otherwise know of his research work.

Dermatologists who do not publish or do clinical trials can also use newsletters to credibly toot their horns while educating their patients.

"If you do not do the studies, you could talk about the studies of others, explaining the findings in easy-to-understand language," he says. "Indicate your experience with the specific procedure or technology."

Credibility is a big issue with an educational newsletter. Dermatologists who are associated with newsletters are trusted resources, Dr. Tanghetti says, and should not over-promise.

"You want to give a credible view with pros and cons," he says.

Newsletter nuances

Dr. Tanghetti offers these practice newsletter tips:

Subtle communication

Dr. Tanghetti says that while he finds physician advertising distasteful, he sees practice newsletters as a win-win for dermatologists and patients.

"This way, you communicate on a higher level," he says.

"The bottom line is that educational communication is the best form of marketing that you can do."