PPS Monthly Marketing Toolkit
Physical therapy is a valuable professional service to a community, efficacious and cost effective for evaluating and treating injuries, conditions, and diseases. In addition, physical therapists educate and empower their patients, ensuring they understand their condition and how to manage it in the long term. This ultimately allows the patient to live with their optimal level of function: taking care of themselves and family members, working, exercising, participating in leisure activities, all important not only for the individual but also the community. It is reasonable to advocate a physical therapist’s role in minimizing unnecessary downstream medical costs including imaging, surgery, and pharmaceutical interventions. In addition, physical therapy does not have the societal risks of many medical interventions such as prescription medication, which when abused can have a detrimental impact on a community. No individual or community has suffered because people became addicted to exercising, maintaining good posture, and correct body mechanics!
However, it still seems to be only physical therapists and the patients whose lives we have affected who understand the valuable service we provide to a community. It’s frustrating and disappointing when despite the research the person with low back pain continues to believe imaging is needed and will often get an X-ray or MRI before even trying physical therapy. And the person with a meniscal tear in their knee will agree to surgery with its associated risks and costs, even though in a year’s time the outcomes would be the same if the person chose instead to have physical therapy. Unfortunately, our profession needs to take some accountability consumers’ lack of knowledge about physical therapy and the value of our services. But change is happening. With improved research, the changes in health care and technology, and social media platforms allowing for the spread of information, physical therapists can now educate our communities on the value of our profession and our services at a grassroots level.
The Private Practice Section (PPS) Marketing and Public Relations committee has created a “Monthly Marketing and PR Toolkit” with the goal of providing our members as well as our entire profession with resources to educate consumers on our role in health care. The toolkit is professionally written with guidance and evaluation by the committee. A new toolkit is available every month and designed to take less than 30 minutes of the practice administrator’s time to absorb the information. Topics selected highlight the benefits of physical therapy using statistics, evidence, and real-world applications.
The toolkit includes:
A Press Release
A press release on the monthly topic includes relevant research and statistics and can be customized for any practice. Simply add your practice’s contact details and a quote on the subject from you or one of your physical therapists or patients, then send the press release to targeted news sources.*
A Newsletter or Blog Post
The topic written in this format is perfect for an e-newsletter that can be sent out to a practice’s distribution list, a printed newsletter that can be given to patients in the clinic, or as a blog post. This format can then be edited and customized to a practice. Photos and videos will further attract attention and increase appeal.
Facebook and Twitter Posts No longer do you have to even think about what to post on Facebook or what to tweet to encourage a person to engage with your practice. Simply use the posts and include a link to the full article, whether as a press release or a blog post. Again, photos and video will increase interest.
“I don’t have time, I don’t know how and I don’t have time to learn, or I don’t want to do this.” These are all reasons why most physical therapists are not advocating and educating consumers on the value of physical therapy, outside of their clinics. But we have a responsibility in our communities to promote health and wellness, and this includes educating consumers on the value of physical therapy. The PPS Toolkit is a trustworthy, accessible, and simple to use toolkit. If every practice committed to using the toolkit, it could have a dramatic effect at a grassroots level on the public’s perception and understanding of the value we provide to our communities. Once a month, add one hour to your schedule for “PPS toolkit distribution” to update your blog, post on social media, and send a press release. Or give the task to a practice administrator. Please take advantage of this PPS benefit and help us advocate our value to our communities.
If you have any suggestions for toolkit topics, please feel free to contact Darren Rodia, who oversees the Toolkit Taskforce, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Press Releases: Your Top 6 Questions Answered, by Michelle Collie, www.ppsimpact.org/press-releases.