Ask an Entrepreneur: “Just How Important are External Communications and PR When the Company is in Concept or Even Seed Stage?” Part 2
Welcome to Rev1 Ventures’ newest blog series, Ask an Entrepreneur. Central Ohio’s entrepreneurs have a wealth of information and learned experience and we’re going to channel some of that expertise here.
This is Part 2 (read Part 1) of our conversation with Updox CEO Michael Morgan and Aisling (Ash) Babbitt, director of Marketing at Updox, talking about the why and how of Updox’s marketing communications (MARCOM) strategy.
TC: Any budget-stretching words to the wise?
AB: I have a background with non-profits, so I learned a lot from places where people have to get creative with low budgets. I’m always figuring out how we can maximize every thing that we do. How do we repurpose documents and content? How can a press release become a blog then move to a success story or a white paper or something more?
Interns are a great resource. They are not only so hip to social media and can work on campaigns, they are extra eyes and arms and legs in so many ways. They can write press releases, internal and external newsletters or other documents. Interns are great about coming in with new ideas and looking at things from a fresh perspective.
Some colleges have PR students staffing in-house agencies that take on work at reduced rates to submit for class projects or award competitions.
Updox also seeks advice from people we know. Public relations is a tightly networked field. We network and ask our contacts to connect us with other people in the field to build relationships. In PR – it’s all about relationships. When we talk to our customers about the power of CRM in our business – they need to know that we walk that talk and maximize our own relationships also.
TC: Do you engage customers for testimonials and the like?
MM: We have a lot of customers and good access to them. We try and include customer quotes to give our message more credibility
Customers enjoy talking about products or services that benefit their business and serve them well. We have a lot of customers who come up to us at trade shows, events or meetings. They present their business cards and offer to be a resource and talk to people about their experience with Updox. We take those cards and follow up. We believe that when people make a smart decision, they like to talk about it.
TC: Involving customers in your marketing communications helps them get engaged with the press release, product, or with the company strategy.
MM: Yes, whatever customers are helping you with, it helps build a stronger relationship. This helps customers feel part of our success—that our success is based on theirs.
TC: Marketing communications can be a help when a company is in a recruiting phase as Updox is now.
MM: Yes. When people we are trying to recruit visit our web site and see our news releases, blogs, product information, and the bios of the people they are interviewing with, it creates a comfort level, and they know we are a reputable, professional business that takes our image and our work seriously.
We’ve also recently created a document about our internal culture. Before people come in to interview, we send that out with an information kit about our benefits, the interview agenda, and who they are going to meet. We want them to feel welcome and understand that we are a small and growing company. We’re professionals and we work hard and, at the same time, Updox is a fun and exciting place to work.
Contact Rev1 for more ideas about setting your external communications strategy.
Providing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for health care, Updox is the industry leading Physician Connectivity Platform. More than 40 electronic health record (EHR) vendors, representing 140,000 physicians, selected Updox as their Health Information Service Provider (HISP) of choice to be a part of the Updox Direct Network (UDN).
Updox services are available directly to independent physicians or through partnerships with EHR vendors to help practices run more efficiently, increase revenues and offer patients a more satisfying experience interacting with their providers where they are treated like customers and not numbers. More than 30,000 members have joined Updox to change how medical practices collaborate and share information.