By Vicki Bendure This article is a part of the January/February 2019, Volume 31, Number 1, Audiology Today issue. Often, individuals and companies will hire a public relations firm to place media coverage on their organization or company with traditional media outlets. While obtaining national coverage is a big win that will move the needle, launch a new business, raise visibility for an existing business, and bring in local customers. If used correctly and amplified through a strategic social media campaign, this coverage will provide maximum opportunity. As the traditional media landscape shrinks, television remains the top outlet that garners the largest numbers, especially with older demographics. What is most important about media coverage is less about the story in the media outlet and more about how the coverage is used following the media story. This is where social media usage is very important. Leveraging the story on all social media outlet platforms and boosting the coverage provides an opportunity to significantly grow social media audiences and also expand the base of visibility. It’s an opportunity to easily grow social media audiences and gain more followers. The goal with social media is to build a quality audience that will then either become a patient or refer patients to you. Social media is time-consuming, so the best way to get the most out of it is to understand the demographics and proceed based on your patient demographic. Facebook still has the most people involved and the greatest engagement; however, it skews toward older adults (50 to 70+ years old is the larger portion of the audience). Instagram reaches younger (mostly women) followers, and Snapchat reaches a very young audience. Bloggers should also be part of your plan. There are “Mommy bloggers” who are key if your patients include children or adolescents. There are also community bloggers who write about top events in your community. Bloggers often require paid advertising but the rates are usually low and the return is typically high, as long as you have the right message. Advertising packages often include online ads that can click through to your website (so you can track them), as well as editorial (make sure it’s relevant to the blogger audience). This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!