Time to Educate!
By Don Levine, PT
Welcome to the August 2015 edition of the Marketing and Public Relations (PR) Committee’s Impact update. We hope you are enjoying a summer filled with your family and your favorite activities! However, do not forget that success takes planning and your marketing and public relations department does not like too much rest and relaxation! There are a lot of definitions for public relations, but I found one recently that hit home. Public Relations is the management of information flow between a business or organization and the public, conducted in a way that benefits both parties.1 Looking ahead to September, let us look at some ways that physical therapy (PT) can benefit our communities and make sure that information is flowing effectively!
The rush for back to school brings a variety of ailments through our doors and physical therapists are on the front line for providing pain relief from 60-pound backpacks, early season sports injuries, and hours of poor studying postures. We can spread the message of our expertise in the area of treatment of these common problems while at the same time providing our target audience with tips and information on prevention. When we educate our community and deliver useful tips to improve their health then we are seen as the experts in our community on these issues, whether it is in the areas of prevention or treatment. A win-win for everyone!
The topics listed above are only suggestions that are relevant to this time of year. It is important to remember to match the topic and information presented with both the needs of the community and your practice’s strengths. Do not make the mistake of choosing a topic because it is popular. Stay with your strengths and you will be much more successful.
John D. Rockefeller said, “Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is letting people know you are doing the right thing.” Managing the information flow may take more expertise than is in your wheelhouse. As people come to us for our strengths and abilities in health and wellness, do not be afraid to seek out experts in the areas of marketing, PR, and social media. Long gone are the days when physical therapy practices only market to their referring physicians. Comprehensive plans need to encompass the consumer. Lisa Stockman, president of global public relations states, “The trend of consumers taking charge of their health care is going to accelerate.”2 We should welcome this change! Take your strengths straight to the consumer, provide them with useful information, and educate them in the benefits of PT. Let us make our community members advocates for our businesses and our profession! Stay relevant and stay real!
1. http://www.contentfac.com/damn-i-wish-id-said-that-50-ofour-favorite-pr-quotes/ Accessed June 2015.
2. http://www.holmesreport.com/long-reads/article/2015-prtrend-forecast-healthcare. Accessed June 2015.
Don Levine, PT, DPT, FAFS, is chair of the marketing and PR committee and co-owner of Olympic Physical Therapy with five locations in Rhode Island. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.