Engaging the media

The media is probably the most effective way to spread your campaign messages. It’s likely that your organisation already uses the local media to share news with your patients and the local community. Take advantage of these relationships to communicate about this exciting new service. Your reach can be scaled drastically by taking advantage of this approach.

Be strategic

Think about what you want to share, what you hope to achieve, why it’s important, and when is a good time to share this information. Engaging with the media shouldn’t be treated as a ‘one-off’ exercise; think about what stage you’re at in the campaign and what information or news is worth sharing at that point. For example, you might want to talk about the launch of the service to begin with to raise awareness. Later, you may wish to put forward some anecdotal success stories to further promote the service and increase uptake. You should therefore consider:

  • the timing of a release;

  • how you might structure it;

  • what you might say;

  • why you are doing this; and

  • why now.

Here’s a sample press release designed for the launch stage to help you get started:

Sample launch Press release

Find your story

Everyone relates to personal stories and case studies, and examples of positive outcomes and experiences can really help to bring these to life. If you keep your ear to the ground, you’ll soon find the good news stories to tie your campaign messaging to. This could be the clinician who has transformed their service with PKB, or the patient who has less attendances now that the lines of communication between them and their healthcare team are open with PKB, or the patient whose life has been saved because they were able to share their health record during an emergency. It’s these stories that are most interesting to journalists - and it will mean that there’s more chance your news will be shared.

Examples of launch coverage

Top tip!

Media monitoring services are a useful way to keep track of media coverage. You could use paid-for services or set up very simple search alerts using Google Alerts. When ‘Patients Know Best’ is mentioned in the media, our tracking service automatically collects this coverage. We can share this with you if required. For more information, email press@patientsknowbest.com. Similarly, if you need support compiling a list of local media contacts, get in touch to see if we can help.

Notes to editors

  • This service supports the NHS Long Term Plan to enable digital access to NHS services, and helping patients and their carers to manage their health. This not only benefits patients; reducing the amount of clinical correspondence posted out can save the NHS millions of pounds every year. In 2019, missed GP appointments alone, cost the NHS £216 million pounds. Digital correspondence has the potential to cut down missed appointments and significantly reduce postage costs.

  • PKB is used by more than 60 hospitals across 7 countries including Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London. This is part of a network of NHS organisations in North West London using PKB to transform health and social care services. Here, 72% of patients reported they know more about their health since using the service (known locally as the Care Information Exchange).

About Patients Know Best

  • Patients Know Best (PKB) is the UK’s largest patient portal and the world’s first patient-controlled health records system. Founded in 2008, the company has a clear social purpose - to empower patients and their healthcare teams by providing access to their complete medical record, available in real time. As a certified B Corporation, PKB is part of a global community using business as a force for good.

  • The PKB platform is a multi-award winning system and the first of its kind to operate within the NHS secure network. Available on any internet-enabled tablet, smartphone, or computer, PKB can be used by patients and clinicians anywhere in the world. It is now used by over 60 hospitals across seven countries and is available in 20 different languages.

  • By choosing who they want to share their information with, patients can work more closely and effectively with their clinical teams. For example, healthcare professionals can create care plans digitally with input from patients; and data from personal wearable devices can also be uploaded to enhance the monitoring of complex conditions. Videos and other media content are also available to help educate patients and further improve care.

  • To find out more, visit www.patientsknowbest.com or follow us on Twitter @patientsco.