Interview with Eliza Gwendalyn Shkolnik about Healthcare PR

7 mins read

CEO of Blockchn Media PR agency & Creative Director at Hero Wellness Inc.

Eliza has over a decade of experience representing medical professionals, mass tort attorneys, cannabis brands, and pharma. She has an unparalleled eye for how to position doctors in the media. That is why we decided to interview Eliza Shkolnik and share ideas on how to build PR relations in the field of medicine.


1. Describe your experience in Public Relations for the Medical Industry: 

I started a marketing agency for the medical and legal industries back in 2012. We focused on social media marketing, but as my relationship with my clients evolved, I realized they needed more than just social media help. They were often asking if I could get them into publications or set up meetings with specific brands and media outlets, which led me to open up our PR division. We are now solely a public relations firm. We do not offer any other marketing services.

2. What do you do in healthcare PR? 

We write copy for clients’ marketing collateral, draft and send-out press releases, and network with journalists in the industry to raise brand awareness about our client’s brands and accomplishments in the space.

3. Do you use press releases in your work? 

Yes, we draft and send-out press releases almost daily!

4. Why is PR important in healthcare? 

I think it’s important for healthcare companies and medical professionals who own businesses in the industry to stay relevant in the media for a few reasons: to update the world on what is going on in the industry, provide medical expertise to topics, and raise brand awareness on innovative topics and milestones. With technology and science advancing at lightening speed, it is important for the world to stay up-to-date on their evolution.

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5. How do you evaluate the success of a public relations campaign? 

We measure success in two ways: one is landing an organic placement or interview in the media, and the other is converting to business. If a client gets recognition and inquiries because they were seen in a placement we landed them in, then mission accomplished in our book!

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6. What outreach methods do you find work the best for securing media coverage? 

Describe the elements you might include in a campaign wrap-up report for a client. We have built up quite a great relationship with journalists writing for all different types of media outlets, but if we do not have direct access to an outlet our client wants to be in, we take to social media for outreach, specifically lead generation through Twitter and Linkedin. Our wrap-up is short and sweet. We include a summary of major milestones the client has achieved, mention their most recent successful event, and sometimes link to a recent press release we wrote.

7. How do you stay updated on industry trends? 

I stay up to date mainly on Twitter and Linkedin, but in the last few weeks, I have also been looking at TikTok.

8. Describe a PR campaign you worked on of which you’re especially proud. 

I am proud of most of our campaigns, but most recently I am extremely proud of the work we have done with our newest client, eXeX. It is a technology company founded by neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Masson, and they are enhancing the medical field through the use of AR technology in the operating room. Within one week of pushing the press release live, we also landed Dr. Masson and his team an interview with Wired, Lifewire, Spine Universe, and Health Tech World, to name a few. It’s always nerve-wracking to launch a new campaign with a brand-new client. I was confident the first month would be a success, but I did not expect how fast the campaign would become a success. A five-day ROI is pretty phenomenal.

9. What are your sources for daily news? 

Yahoo, Benzinga, Cointelegraph, Twitter, Linkedin, Tiktok

10. Describe your interests outside of work. 

My kids and pilates! I just had a baby eight weeks ago, so my free time is quite limited, but when I am not working or taking care of my two babies, I am on the pilates reformer. Pilates keeps me sane.

11. Describe your experience dealing with crisis communications. How would you deal with a PR crisis? 

I’d love to say we’ve never had a PR crisis, but that’s not life. We are all humans, including our clients! It’s important to me and my team to stay calm when our clients are freaking out, and act fast. There have been times when we have encountered a PR crisis with clients at 3 a.m. EST. My team and I stayed up all night to provide damage control, but by sunrise, everything was settled. A press release was issued, personal emails were all drafted and sent to the correct individuals, and the crisis was diverted, to say the least. My biggest piece of advice is to be the shoulder your client can cry on and their shield of protection.

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