First it was Blue Bell Ice Cream in Texas, then it was Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Ohio, and now Jeni’s is back in the news with further reports of listeria contamination.
While this may not be a good time for ice cream, it is a good time for a piggyback post.
A piggyback post is a blog post you can write on the back of some relevant news topic. The item is usually widely covered in the paper and on TV, and your patients have probably heard about it. These kinds of posts can get your practice more traction on Google and they are good for your patients.
Medical news is so often sensationalized (think flesh-eating bacteria) and meant to drive ratings more than anything else. With a piggyback post, you can be the voice of reason, relaying accurate science-based information, for the true benefit of your audience.
Your patients trust you and they will be glad to get your take on things. They will also know that you are the go-to source for good medical advice.
Now, let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of doing a piggyback post.
Gather Your Sources
First things first, you need to get your facts straight. To do this, you need reliable sources of the news. Here are some I found:
The company blog—Statement from Jeni’s CEO on the listeria outbreak
Centers for Disease Control—Multistate Outbreak of Listeriosis Linked to Blue Bell Creameries Products (last update June 10, 2015)
What’s Your Take?
Next, decide what you have to say that is new on the subject. Don’t just regurgitate the facts, put your own spin on it. Here are some things to think about:
Is the news overly sensationalized and you have information to put the story in perspective?
Does this news affect a special population? For example, if you are an OB/Gyn, you can talk about how listeriosis is relevant to pregnant women.
Find the info that is missing from the big news outlets. Think about the questions that these articles will stir in your patients. For example, some moms might want to know how to recognize symptoms of listeriosis in their child.
What resources are available for your patient population? Think local. How does this news affect your community?
Get a good Image
Get a good, copyright free, image or two to go with the post. More people will click to read if you use an image, and the post will be more enjoyable too. Learn more about how to find and use images in my post, The 411 on Images for Your Practice Blog.
Here are a few images from the Dollar Photo Club that came up when I typed in “listeriosis.”
You can also be metaphorical with your image or use it to add to the mood of your post. Here are some fun images I found on Dollar Photo Club with the word “germ.”
I chose the photo at the top of this post because it made me think of dissecting or testing ice cream in a lab–and because I couldn’t find a picture of someone getting a piggyback ride while eating a tainted ice cream cone.
If you end up writing a post about listeria and ice cream give us a shout and we will happily share it on social media.