Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Creating Health Guides

This month, create an online health guide that gives healthcare a voice in your community.

With October officially marking National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and November is National Diabetes Month, National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National AIDS Awareness Month, now is the ideal time to create a health guide for your community. Currently, Metroland Media Group in Canada is jointly producing a well-being magazine supporting the newspaper and healthcare awareness with a regional healthcare foundation. Your guide does not have to be a full magazine, but it should recognize the issues immediately facing your community.

Metroland Media’s quarterly magazine is distributed to homes, medical offices and healthcare organizations in the York Region. It explores multiple health and wellness issues, including but not limited to nutrition and fitness, prevention methods, inspirational healthy living stories from local residents and advancements in medical technology and treatment.

This month, create an online health guide that gives healthcare a voice in your community. Create a website specifically devoted to the prevention and treatment of devastating diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease and AIDS. Work with local businesses to fund the project and take donations and pledges on the website.

Your health guide needn’t be elaborate, but must be informative. Provide value to your readers while creating a new revenue source for the newspaper. Take from Metroland, and publish quarterly. With an online guide, expenditures are limited, while ROI and awareness is abundant. Furthermore, creating a guide will improve the newspaper’s stature within your distribution area.

Link your online guide to the newspaper’s homepage, and solicit targeted advertisers to share the online space. Run premium spacing on the landing page, and create a pricing structure for the inner pages, just as you would with a print publication. Market your guide on your mobile site, offering sponsorships and advertising opportunities there, as well.

For October, speak with breast cancer survivors to increase readership — and value for your advertisers. Also, while working with your editorial department, garner interviews with the hosts and sponsors for your local Race for the Cure. Discuss prevention and detection methods, and statistics for treatments your local healthcare facilities offer.

Next month, advertise a Memory Walk — often held in November, with proceeds benefitting Alzheimer’s Disease. Talk to members of the community that have gone through the devastation of losing loved ones, both physically and mentally, to the disease. Advertorials and sponsorships for the awareness of any disease this month increases your reliability and your readership.

Another popular feature to consider including is recipes. If you’re making a quarterly guide, gather recipes through contests ran weekly in the newspaper. Have a sponsor for the section in your print and online publications to keep prices down and interest up.

If you’re working on an online guide, keep articles and advertorials to about 300 to 500 words. Anything more may bog down your reader, causing them to lose interest and wander elsewhere online. No matter if you’re creating a guide online, in print or on a mobile-optimized site, be sure to advertise it on the front page of the paper, and cause an interest in the product. Doing so will increase the value for your advertisers.