reputation management for doctors

Reputation management for doctors in a nutshell

Legal action, negative reviews, social media posts…The pressure is on when you have a business to run on top of your time spent in theatre or in consultations. These 5 critical pillars of reputation management we have identified, are taken from day-to-day experiences with leading specialist doctors in private practice.
reputation management for doctors

Reputation management for doctors in a nutshell

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

November 26, 2021

Prepare before it’s too late

crisis communication for doctors

In Western Australia, where I would hear bushfire warnings over Summer, the bottom line of the communication campaign is always about being ready. In reputation management for doctors, or in crisis communication if you want, it’s not about having buckets of water ready.

What makes the difference is proper crisis communication training. The custom consultancy we have been providing to specialists, medical industry stakeholders and industry executives consists of essential skills to deal with acute and negative press attention:

  • Understanding the media news cycles: What feels like a drama today can be pushed down in tomorrow’s cycle.
  • Mastering spin: It’s a popular word to describe what politicians do all the time. But hey, what if you could learn this tactic and have it ready for when **** hits the fan?
  • Systemise and plan: A press and media plan covers what ifs and clear instructions for yourself and your team, in case your practice or your personal reputation are under threat.

If you need help with that preparation, book a free 1:1 so we can prepare you before it is too late.

How to build a strong digital profile as a doctor

proactive reputation management

Proactive reputation management for doctors is all about the content you publish online. There are standards to adhere to if you want this content to be visible so it defines your online reputation.

These standards include the way your website is built, the way the content is chosen and organised, and the integration of your website with other tools such as Google Business or social media.

A strong profile is the starting point of reputation management for doctors who want to prepare for a crisis situation.

Picture this. Doctor A has no visible web presence. A local news story, triggered by an incomplete report on social media, is amplified by two national news outlets. The articles have great visibility on Google even months after the story was on the news. That is because the platforms of these news outlets are built to be visible. If Doctor A has no content in place to compete with that, the negative press story could be the only link that shows up when patients do a Google search for Doctor A.

Doctor B has a thriving online profile. Her proactive reputation management consists of a well-indexed website with quality content for Google, a vivid social media presence including an active YouTube channel with regular video updates, and an up-to-date Google Business profile with plenty of positive reviews.

Doctor A will suffer. Doctor B will be more resilient when a minor to medium incident occurs and affects her reputation. Be proactive, like with many other things in life, and you will thank yourself for it when the time comes.

reputation management for doctors

Why being on LinkedIn is essential for doctors

LinkedIn for doctors

Reputation management is about taking as much control of your online content as possible. Now when I say your content, I mean the content that has an impact on your reputation, the success of your practice and your business results.

LinkedIn is a great point of reference when professionals want to find out more about other professionals. Physicians, family doctors, general practitioners who can see the difference between a sloppy superficial tabloid article and an official College document, will probably first check you out on LinkedIn.

Having a solid presence there does two things for your reputation:

  • It buries the negativity if something harmful comes up. This is not rocket science and you will probably understand that even the best performing LinkedIn presence won’t save your reputation should you be arrested for drug trafficking, terrorism or bank fraud. Having said that, your LinkedIn presence can brush off the potential damage of a minor content piece that on its own would leave a less-than-ideal impression.
  • It creates conversations with the people who matter: Other doctors, health officials, college board members and professional organisations, hospital executives…When you are well connected and your LinkedIn profile is alive and integrated into the local community, you are in a stronger position to buffer any negativity that affects you.

Why blogs are invaluable reputation assets

blogging as a reputation tool

I know many specialist doctors who have a few old blog articles sitting on their websites. When asked why the inspiration dried up about five years ago, the common reaction is: It didn’t really make a difference to my patient numbers.

Let’s zoom out. Blogging as a doctor is a way to achieve several subtle and long-term goals:

There are several reasons why doctors should consider authoring a blog.

What you are showing to the community is that you are involved. General practitioners in your area can see that you have a story, a voice and content to share. Thought leadership is probably just another label to describe a really strong reputation. That is why blogging should be an essential part of a reputation management strategy for specialist doctors.

We have covered it in other Grow articles and in our workshops and webinars: Every blog you publish in a consistent and professional way, enhances your Google visibility.

And here’s another side-effect of a medical blog strategy: you can now repost those blog articles to your social media feed. Populated with quality content, your social media presence is now forming an additional buffer to absorb any negative content that starts circulating. Disclaimer: Even the best Instagram feed won’t save you if you started robbing banks, falsifying Covid-certificates or insulting minorities online or in public.

Where to start to manage my reputation?

reputation management tips for doctors

When we look at your reputation, we take a holistic snapshot. How are you represented on hospital websites, social media, your own website, forums etc?

You can self-inspect your online reputation by listing any content that is no longer accurate, poorly represented or just obsolete.

Then the smart way to push this content down is to start building quality content that takes up the first page of Google search results when someone looks you up.

In our articles about SEO ranking factors and quality content for Google, you can find more details about what that entails.

Let's meet

Need help to manage your reputation?

reputation management for doctors

Book your free 1:1 consult with me now, to talk about your current online reputation and the potential to improve or protect it. We specialise in private practice marketing and communication and are aware of the sensitivities that may exist with professional organisations, colleges, local consumer laws or among peers. We will do a 360-degree reconnaissance and clarify potential ways to protect your most precious asset: your reputation.

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