Physician advertising is a great way to extend medical services provided that the advertisements abide by the law. Seeing that the medical profession is a noble practice, definite rules are laid down to ensure that professionalism is observed. There are five standards that must be observed before choosing an advertising method.
Rules for Physician Advertising
No false or misleading information on the advertisement. This rule is advocated so that patients don't fall victims to fraud. The rule promotes honesty and truthfulness in advertising for quality service, and not for profit.
No testimonials, comparative or superlative statements on the advertisement. This standard provides an opportunity for patients to choose their favored medical service by doing away with persuasive and sometimes misleading catch lines. It also maintains the integrity of the medical profession by doing away with comparative and derogatory statements against other practitioners.
No references to specific drugs or equipment on the advertisement. By abiding to this rule, the physician advertisement will suggest that the medical profession is not a business that engages solely for profit. It would uplift the standards and nobility of the practice.
Must not be associated with the advertising of products and services. This principle relates to the above principle in ensuring the practice's image as an altruistic profession.
Effective advertisements should be able to distract people from their activities. They should be published frequently enough to be memorable. Above all, they should be credible and unique.
Print ads are good advertising choices. An example is posting ads in the local newspaper. The physician could also consider putting ads in a local or state-wide magazine and in the yellow pages. Print ads also include flyers and brochures that can be giveaways to patients. Flyers can be created inexpensively by the doctor or by a local print shop. Brochures can give detailed information about a doctor's specialty and credentials and the services he/she offers. These brochures are more effective if they are made to inform the community of a particular disease or of a medical procedure that the doctor can provide.
Advertising through broadcast media is more effective since it covers a wider scope of the community. An example is radio advertising, which can be relatively inexpensive. The physician could also opt for ads plugged on a local television station.
Finally, the following guidelines should be observed in the creation of ads:
Use a simple one-line message that is memorable
This can be the physician's name or office with the location and telephone number, and the area of specialty.
Incorporate an attractive style and stick to it for at least a year
Using up-to-date designs brings a fresh outlook in the face of physician advertisements. Be sure that these advertisements aren't frequently modified so as to prevent confusion on the part of the patients.
Make sure that the ads are clean and professional-looking
Graphic designers and marketing specialists are the best people to approach when attempting to produce a print ad. Broadcast and digital media ads are best left to professionals.