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Beneath the White Coat: Where Healthcare Public Relations and PR Opportunity Hides

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Rock Star in White Coat Disguise

Last week The Orange County Register carried a great feature article about a Newport Beach family physician’s remarkable second career as a musician. It's titled From Doc Star to Rock Star…Really, and you couldn’t ask for a better example of healthcare public relations – a compelling and well-written PR splash discovered just beyond the doctor’s white coat.

The message for professional communicators in medical, healthcare, and hospital PR is that doctors, physicians, surgeons, staff – just about everyone – has an interesting personal side. Stuff that makes for good public relations and human interest opportunities beyond the front line clinical and medical topics. When we can look past the white coat, the PR prospects can be surprising and rewarding.

The story of Dr. Todd Forman is a good example. For starters, the practice, Forman Family Medicine, is truly a family affair. Dr. Todd Forman (the son), and Dr. Jean Forman (his mother) are both board-certified Fellows of Family Medicine, and Dr. Kristen Forman (Todd’s wife) is a board certified dermatologist.

There’s a lot of interesting PR material in that alone, but there’s even more to this background. As the lengthy OC Register story reveals, Dr. Todd regularly hangs up his stethoscope and white coat and takes time off from the medical practice to tour –nationally and internationally – with a successful rock band playing saxophone. He’s played the sax since grade school, and with the rock tribute band “Sublime” since his college days at Harvard.

The OC Register story is online and interesting reading in its own right. What’s more, it’s a textbook-worthy example of healthcare public relations, complete with more than a dozen photos. As a bonus, there’s also a video clip of Dr. Forman that ran with the story.

Not all docs are rock stars, but for professional practices, hospitals, and other healthcare marketing and PR, there’s a story opportunity somewhere beneath every white coat.

If you or someone you know has an interesting story, let us know about it. And you can find a bit of our story on our website here.

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