Dynamic Chiropractic – December 16, 2011, Vol. 29, Issue 26

Putting Chiropractic in the News

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher

There are a number of strategies involved in changing the opinions of millions of Americans. If you ultimately want a million more people to choose chiropractic care, you have to inform, educate and provide them with a clear understanding of why chiropractic care is the best choice for maintaining their health.

A marketing arsenal for such an effort includes a number of approaches. Paid advertising, in all its many forms, is considered the first choice by many. It allows you to say almost anything you want to, but it is very expensive (and as our front-page article suggests, can sometimes be challenging to coordinate, particularly if the advertising venue holds an unfavorable opinion of chiropractic care). Not as widely understood is generating news and information in the form of press releases that can be included in the content selection by newspapers, radio programs, television programs and Web sites.

The chiropractic profession in the U.S. is blessed to have CPR Communications working to generate positive exposure for chiropractic. The firm is a full-service strategic-marketing communications company with diversified experience in health care and life sciences, technology, entertainment, and consumer products. Working with the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, CPR provides us with targeted messaging and communications to the media.

Lauren Kennedy, marketing director for the Foundation, is working full-time to generate print, mat, audio and video releases. Under the direct oversight of CPR Principal Laura Carabello, Lauren works hard for the chiropractic profession to get as much exposure as possible. Much of what she produces can actually counterbalance or even offset negative information working its way toward publication.

October was an amazing month for the foundation and CPR. With its PR machine humming, the foundation was able to deliver the chiropractic message by placing chiropractic news in major newspapers, radio stations and Web sites across the country. October's effort included hosting several exclusive media interviews with NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, spokesperson for the foundation. These interviews resulted in articles published in newspapers across the country:

  • Boston Herald (circulation 123,811)
  • Chicago Sun-Times (circulation 419,407)
  • Contra Costa Times (circulation 173,995)
  • Monterey County, The Herald (circulation 24,750)
  • Oakland Tribune (circulation 94,120)
  • Press Democrat (circulation 59,542)
  • San Francisco Chronicle (circulation 235,350)
  • San Jose Mercury News (circulation 577,665)
  • Sun Herald (circulation 36,385)

In addition to newspaper exposure, the Jerry Rice interviews were broadcast on three popular radio shows: KDSP 102.3, "The Ticket"; KNBR 680, "Gary Radnich & Larry Kreguer"; and "The Drive with Steve Jaxon." The interviews also enjoyed some serious Web exposure, including the MSN Fox Sports site. All told, interviews generated print articles in nine newspapers with a total circulation of 1,745,025; three radio shows with a total listening audience of 937,700; and news Web sites with monthly traffic exceeding 90 million visitors. (You can listen to the radio shows and see the press releases at www.f4cp.com/recent-media-coverage.php.)

But this wasn't the only press effort for October. Three additional press releases were delivered to over 10,000 publications. To date, these releases have been featured on Web sites ranging from OSIX News and several out-of-country publications to Concussion Policy and the Law (a blog).

The key here is consistency. To date in 2011, the foundation has distributed 37 releases to generate newspaper, radio, television and Web exposure in excess of 3,467,907,146 impressions. That's more than 3 billion impressions! While this is still a comparatively modest effort, we are receiving reports from DCs across the country who have received new patients as a result of this positive exposure. These press releases are in addition to the foundation's 2011 advertising campaign, which included the following (see all of the ads and advertorials at www.f4cp.com/communications-print.php):

  • 1/17/11 – Sports Illustrated (circulation 3.261 million): Jerry Rice for Chiropractic ad
  • 1/3/11 & 1/14/11 – USA Today (circulation 2.293 million): Jerry Rice for Chiropractic ad
  • 1/28/11 – The Wall Street Journal (circulation 2.012 million): Jerry Rice for Chiropractic ad
  • 2/15/11 – POLITICO (circulation 27,000): Chiropractic for Fibromyalgia ad featuring General Halstead
  • 8/29/11 – Newsweek (circulation 3.109 million): Jerry Rice for Chiropractic ad
  • July/August 2011 – American Cheerleader (circulation 150,000): Cheerleading and Injury Prevention ad
  • July 2011 – MLB All-Star Game publication (circulation 500,000): Jerry Rice for Chiropractic ad
  • 9/1/11 – Newsweek (circulation 3.109 million): Jerry Rice for Chiropractic ad
  • 9/21/11 – The Wall Street Journal (circulation 2.012 million): Chiropractic for Sciatica ad
  • 11/01/11 – The Wall Street Journal (circulation 2.012 million): Chiropractic in Patient-Centered Medical Home ad
  • Week of November 7, 2011, USA Today (circulation 2.293 million): Chiropractic for Fibromyalgia ad featuring General Halstead

All of this is accomplished on a very limited budget. With a larger budget, we could reach many more people more times with more information about chiropractic. We could give them even more reasons to see their local DC.

Please take a moment to join me in supporting the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. Individually, you don't have to spend a lot; 1,000 DCs putting $25 on their credit card each month will greatly increase the foundation's marketing budget. Go to www.f4cp.com/pledge.php and donate today. Be a part of reaching the nation and your community with the good news of chiropractic. Thank you.

Read more findings on my blog: http://blog.toyourhealth.com/wrblog/. You can also visit me on Facebook.

Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.


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