The steering committee of the Alliance, comprised of three senior officials from ACA and three from ICA, met on September 27th in Washington, DC to hear initial proposals from the public relations firm engaged by the Alliance to research and develop a detailed, multi-year campaign. The agency, The Packett Group, is a major Mid-Atlantic communications firm with many years of experience in dealing with chiropractic and the health care marketplace.
"We are looking for creativity and imagination in this campaign," said ICA President Dr. Robert Braile. "We do not have the multi-million dollar resources that other commercial entities bring to the communications stream, so we have to do something different to break through to the consumer."
ICA and ACA are committed to looking at every communication possibility to insure that the most effective and cost-efficient program possible is undertaken. Representatives of the two organizations have been in close and constant contact to work out the many details that surround a project of this nature and magnitude.
The agreed focus of the Alliance's initial effort is to inform the consumer public regarding the education of the doctor of chiropractic and the licensure and regulation of DCs by all states and jurisdictions in the United States.
"The decision to focus initially on the education of the DC and all that this entails, such as competence, wisdom, experience, dependability and the offering of services that are not available from any other health care professions, was based on the realization that these are powerful issues with consumers," said ACA President Dr. Michael Pedigo. "Extensive market research validates this approach," he added.
The Alliance steering committee will also consider vital questions, such as the mobilization of the entire chiropractic profession behind this unique campaign, conscious of the need to build additional resources and involve individual doctors of chiropractic in the effort. ICA and ACA hope to be the catalysts that bring the profession together to address the one area that has consistently been cited by DCs across the nation as chiropractic's most urgent need: public education.
"This program seeks to do what no individual DC or single organization has been able to do: reach the public with strong, positive, ongoing messages about the chiropractic profession," explained Dr. Braile. "ICA and ACA are concerned that the profession understands that this effort will take time and that every DC needs to be involved."
"This is not a gift ACA and ICA can give to the profession," noted Dr. Pedigo. "What we are doing as concerned, responsible professional organizations is planting seeds and laying the foundations for what could be the most effective public outreach program ever undertaken by any profession. In that effort, ACA and ICA can be counted on to do their parts."
The Alliance steering committee (DCs all, in alphabetical order):
R. Reeve Askew (ACA)
Robert Braile (ICA)
Gerard Clum (ICA)
R. James Gregg (ICA)
Edward Maurer (ACA)
Michael Pedigo (ACA)