Image is everything! The chiropractic profession is witnessing a "golden age." The general public and conventional medicine are referring to chiropractic care as a primary source of health care. However, with acceptance and growth, there are questions and scrutiny.
A few unethical doctors can cause major damage to the profession's image. Chiropractors must believe and adhere to a higher purpose. You are challenged every day to communicate and maintain a positive image of your profession and its health-related benefits.
But how can the small-town chiropractor, or the cosmopolitan doctor practicing in midtown Manhattan, consistently communicate the benefits of chiropractic to existing and potential patients? The overall solvency of your business, and the ongoing growth of chiropractic, must incorporate a public-relations approach to marketing and target key groups. There are three vehicles of communications that are extremely effective for chiropractors to retain patients and get new patients.
The creation of your own website is crucial to the marketing, media and community-related programs you undertake on behalf of your practice. The uses and functionality of the internet have undoubtedly propelled us into a new economic age. However, the internet is a passive medium that cannot aggressively find new patients for you or retain existing ones. However, if developed and used strategically, your personalized website will support your practice's image, educate key audience groups, and help retain and recruit new patients.
In addition to image, branding, and communicating key message points through words and design, your website can also address functional workflow issues. For example, it will be extremely productive if new patients at your website are capable of scheduling visits or exams. Your website will instantly determine if there is a conflict in the date and time of a patient's appointment. Your site will automatically ask the user to select another date and time. This functionality is quite simple to incorporate into your existing scheduling, and the increase in time and productivity for you and your staff will be seen immediately.
Local patients enjoy reading about local chiropractors. The perception you will create with a brochure is one of professionalism and sophistication. The creation of your own personalized brochure will further support the image you will be constantly communicating. Rather than using prefabricated educational literature on chiropractic, your brochure will support all branding efforts, and communicate key message points about you and your practice.
A brochure is not only literature aimed at your existing and new patients, but should be used as a tool to support all public appearances, events and activities. It should include a "call-to-action" function, i.e., motivate and empower people to call or visit your office.
Communication is power. The person disseminating the information to the recipient is usually perceived as a knowledgeable source. Thus, the creation and distribution of your chiropractic newsletter will be well received. The newsletter, like the brochure, must be written to motivate the reader to action - to get them in your office.
As the chiropractic industry continues to evolve, the doctor of the future will embrace a public relations and marketing approach to retain and recruit patients through sophisticated internal and external vehicles of communication.
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