Raising Chiropractic Awareness: Let's Shoot for the Moon!
By Kent Greenawalt
Thank you, Don Petersen, for starting this column.1
I agree that we need to share stories of people working together to achieve chiropractic goals - the combined effect of our many small successes builds a launch pad upon which others may use for promoting chiropractic.
To get the ball rolling on this column, I'd like to share a nonprofit effort on which I and five other DCs are working: the Foundation of Chiropractic Progress (FCP). Our team consists of DCs Carl Cleveland III; Peter Ferguson; Jerilyn Kaibel; Louis Sportelli; Terry Yochum; and myself.
We are working to raise public awareness of chiropractic and its many benefits. We want more than just one out of 10 Americans seeing a chiropractor! Imagine if just two out of 10 Americans sought chiropractic care - our profession would double. The response would be exciting for our profession and the public. To that end, we are placing an intense focus on enlightening the general public.
To accomplish this, we have developed a three-pronged action plan:
- Getting to Know Our Audience. We are working with a research firm to determine the general public's attitude toward chiropractic.2 This group has conducted a telephone interview of over 600 people of various educational levels, incomes, ethnicities, and age groups. The results of this study have been distributed to all of the major chiropractic publications. This research is showing us exactly what messages we need to work on - and what pro-chiropractic messages are already out there. One important finding of the study was that people who do visit a chiropractor believe in it. These people often think of using their chiropractor - especially in times of pain. That tells us that if we can get a person to a chiropractor, they are likely to go back.
- Working with the Pros. We are working with one of the nation's largest independent public relations firms. Our representatives at this agency are spending their days blitzing the journalists and editors of America's top newspapers and magazines with pro-chiropractic article ideas. Their goal is to deliver 24 published articles by the end of this year. Once we get a potential story placed with a publication, one of our FCP members works with the journalist as a resource to get the story into print. This could involve something as simple as an interview - or something more complex, like identifying research findings or case studies that support the topic. As these 24 articles are published, we will send them out to every chiropractor in America. You will then be able to use them for patient education, or even hang them on a "wall of honor" in your office.
- Working Together with You. We are also inviting more DCs to work with us (this could be another "Working Together" column in itself!), as we are canvassing the profession for case studies and research results to provide the public with a clearinghouse of fact-based information and data about chiropractic care. Since we don't know what will be asked of us, we are looking for any kind of studies that highlight a chiropractic success. If you would like a template to use in pulling together a case study, call Foot Levelers at (800) 553-4860. If you already have a case study to share, please send it to:
Foundation for Chiropractic Research
P.O. Box 12611
Roanoke, VA 24027-2611
Chiropractic is health care's best kept secret. People need to know how crucial chiropractic care can be to maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle. I encourage you to please take the time to share any victory you and your peers have with Dynamic Chiropractic,
no matter how minor you think it may be. To paraphrase Neil Armstrong: One small step for chiropractic can be one giant leap for mankind!
- In Don Petersen's "Report of My Findings" column in the March 11, 2002 issue, he announced a new column specifically designed to share stories of DCs working together to accomplish chiropractic goals. He noted: "It will be a chance to share the victories and learn from the valiant. These articles don't have to be about lawsuits or political battles. Victories occur on many levels. ... We need to celebrate every time we try and win; every time we overcome some type of oppression or raise the awareness of chiropractic. Those success stories need to be told."
- The FCP telephone survey and the services of the public relations firm are underwritten by Foot Levelers, Inc., as a 50th-anniversary "gift-back-to-the-profession" effort.
Foot Levelers, Inc.
Canada: 800-344-4860) www.footlevelers.com
for more information about Kent Greenawalt.