Here’s something to add to your list of local news media. It’s called Patch.com, it’s new and it probably belongs on your hospital or medical practice advertising and public relations media list. Patch—which creates a dedicated local news presence in upscale communities—calls itself “your source for local knowledge you can’t live without.”
Patch isn’t everywhere (yet), check their map. They continue to expand their list of communities served. If they are local to you, it's a good addition to your local media relations. Here are some of the reasons to keep an eye on this one:
First, it has a local news media face. Currently with a presence in approximately 875 local communities along the West Coast, in the upper Midwest, and along the East Coast, Patch can be a useful tool for your hospital, medical practice, and group practice marketing/advertising to reach an upscale clientele where it already has traction.
“Patch has hired local editors and local writers to cover the local scene,” according to company spokesman Rob Waldorf, “with mini-websites for each of our local communities across the country. Each community’s website churns out content 24 hours a day to reach higher income individuals with discretionary income to spend. We write about Local Voices, News, Events, Places, a Marketplace, Q&A, Volunteer, and Opportunities.”
Also, having America Online (AOL) as its parent company, there are a lot of resources behind Patch. They launched in 2009 and, unlike other startups, have been able to grow roots in specific local areas. Moreover, the strategy is to target more affluent communities.
How it works.
Here's a snapshot about how Patch works. Rob Waldorf tells us, “Patch essentially targets upscale communities with a local name, like Mill Valley, California; Highland Park, Illinois; or White Plains, New York, for news and information to reach their hyper-local customers by figuring out the best way to stay in touch with these customers.
If Patch isn’t in your local area, click through to see some of these healthcare-related examples on Patch. Coverage includes medical practice marketing and other healthcare providers as well as hospitals.
Sales Manager Waldorf says Patch influences healthcare gatekeepers, often the wife/mother in the household. “When you combine the hyper-localness of Patch with who you’re trying to reach—families, communities, and residences—it creates a great match. Patch has done well with about a dozen hospitals to date who are advertising on our site and promoting themselves through local articles, and we’re adding more all the time.”