Few things are as valuable as a good reputation. Benjamin Franklin was decidedly ahead of his time when he wrote, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Fast forward 250 years to the Internet Age, and reputation is more important, and fragile, than ever.

In the business world, reputation is known as “PR,” short for public relations. As a therapist, you might think PR is only for big corporations and politicians. But PR is an important component of marketing for any professional. Here is everything you need to know about PR for therapists.

What is the difference between PR and marketing?

While PR is a type of marketing, it differs from general marketing in several ways. While marketing typically focuses on promoting and selling a product, PR is all about creating a positive image for your business. Whereas you might measure your marketing success with referrals, you measure PR with media exposure and public perception.

Why do I need PR?

Still wondering what PR has to do with being a successful therapist? Consider the following:

PR helps you to build trust and credibility

PR provides you with a forum for sharing your expertise, helping to establish you as a thought leader in your field

PR is an opportunity to build, differentiate, and promote your brand

PR helps you connect with potential clients on a different level than regular marketing, building goodwill

In sum, you can think of PR as a type of storytelling. If your story is compelling, it will get passed on from person to person, increasing your visibility and brand awareness. If you’ve been thinking about investing in PR, you can start by asking yourself, “what is the narrative I want to create around my business?”

What are some ways to establish good PR?

Build a website

Successful PR begins with a quality, professional-looking website. If you think of your online presence as a network of interconnected sources, your website is the hub, providing clients and colleagues with essential information about your credentials, background, and service offered.

Network with other professionals

Building relationships with healthcare professionals and community leaders is another way to create trust and credibility. Colleagues are more likely to recommend your services if they’ve interacted with you personally. Read more about how to effectively network in our March 13 blog post here.

Write articles and blog posts

Writing articles or blog posts on topics relevant to mental health helps to establish you as an expert in your field. Writing in an approachable, conversational style can also help convey relatability to prospective clients. You can start by submitting an article to Belongly for publication!

Use social media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are powerful tools for promoting your brand and connecting with other thought leaders. Just make sure you have an established social media policy and that you communicate this to your clients. For more information on social media policies for therapists, click here.

Offer workshops and presentations

Hosting workshops and presentations on relevant topics is another way to establish expertise and create positive PR. You can tailor presentations to different populations– for example, other mental health professionals, parents, corporations, or schools– and even earn some extra income!

Engage with local media

Although it might sound antiquated, building relationships with newspapers, radio stations, and local TV stations can help to promote your expertise to a wider audience. Elderly clients, in particular, may be more likely to look to local outlets for information and mental health resources. Consider writing an Op-Ed for your local newspaper or being a guest speaker on a local radio program.


An effective PR strategy can help build relationships with colleagues and prospective clients, promote your brand, and create goodwill in your community. Although creating a positive public perception takes time, PR is an investment that will continue to pay off in the future, helping you to attract new clients and build a successful therapy practice.

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About the Author: Belongly
The community for mental health professionals. A free, secure space for mental health professionals to collaborate with and meet new colleagues, support each other through referrals and stay connected to a trusted network of peers.

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