When you write medical blog posts for your patients, you do it with the best of intentions. You want to provide the best, evidence-based content you can so they can live the healthiest life.
But let’s be honest. Topics like colon cancer screening and sunscreen don’t grab attention like many of the latest headlines. And that’s okay, because you can use those popular news items to add a little punch to your own content.
Bliss previously described the piggyback post. Whenever there is a health issue in the news or media, that’s an opportunity for you to share accurate, evidence-based information on the topic.
Below I’ve listed several ways you can use these methods in your own writing.
At this point you may be completely worn out from the election process, but there are lots of ways to tap into the political news to liven up your medical blog posts.
Topics directly suggested by the election include health insurance, birth control, screening tests, and Medicare usage.
Television shows and movies offer lots of topics to use. Breaking Bad for addiction. The Notebook for dementia. Grey’s Anatomy for just about anything, real or imagined. You can talk about the problems themselves, or address the ways tv gets it wrong. The material pretty is much never-ending here.
When all the commercials are sappy, you know it’s almost Mother’s Day. It’s a great time to write about caregiving or spotting depression in the elderly. Ditto for Father’s Day.
For graduation, talk about the healthy practices the new graduate should start now to keep problems from showing up later.
Around Memorial Day it’s a good time to address water safety, sunscreen, and heat stroke – all the health concerns that can ruin a great summer.
The biggest piece of advice for the news is to resist the urge to use something like a recent death or tragedy to make your point. There is very little chance you will pull this off without it seeming opportunistic.
Even so there are still plenty of news stories out there that don’t require you to take advantage of someone’s misfortune.
Think outside the box here. Concussions have been written about a lot, and it’s an issue that deserves the ink. But there are other topics that can help your patients in this area.
Consider writing about injuries common to weekend warriors, or dehydration in youth athletes. A post about the signs of performance-enhancing drugs can be useful for parents of athletes.
Really, media provides a never-ending supply of topics for the medical blogger.
By getting a little more abstract, you can make this concept really fun. Use something in the news as the basis for an analogy to your main topic. Here are a couple of ideas.
Queen Elizabeth is celebrating her 90th birthday this year. You know what else is 90? Insulin and penicillin. When Queen Elizabeth was born people regularly died from simple infections and diabetes. There are any number of directions you can go with these as the basis of your article.
San Francisco is struggling with the issue of “Manspreading.” Men (and sometimes women) feel no compunction with sitting all spread out and taking up so much space they crowd everyone out on public transportation. Much like junk food crowds out healthy food or cancer cells crowd out healthy tissue.
The bottom line is this: if you see it in the news or on tv, your patients probably see it too. Use that fact to help get your healthy message out.