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Dynamic Chiropractic – January 30, 1995, Vol. 13, Issue 03

Achieving Public Awareness around the World

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher
There are many different ways of making yourself known: You can do something that is amazingly good; you can do something that is shockingly bad; or do something that is notably different or special.

You're not only known by what you do, but by the people with whom you choose to do it. In a sense, the world knows you in the simplest terms: what everyone sees and hears.

By having our own float in the Tournament of Roses Parade, the chiropractic profession made the world stand up and take notice. We joined companies like Honda, Disney, Farmers Insurance, Delta Airlines, Kodak, FTD, and Arco. Our chiropractic float was received with the same warm enthusiasm as every other organization's float.

Both the television announcers and the public saw chiropractic as one of the many organizations that bring important products and services to our lives. There was no chiropractor-bashing, no crude jokes -- our float was one of the most popular floats in the parade.

We not only told the world that chiropractic was a century old, we presented an image -- that of being a well-established profession, an image of being a part of the health care of the best athletes in the world.

One of the most important aspects of this effort was the unity that made it happen. The float does not represent one organization or one philosophy. It belongs to all of us. The Chiropractic Centennial Foundation's members include all North American chiropractic colleges, all major national organizations (including both the ACA and the ICA), most state associations, and many national associations around the world. This is your float as much as it is anyone else's.

Doctors have related the enthusiasm of their patients who watched with pride as the chiropractic eagle rolled down Colorado Boulevard. Think of the conversations between chiropractic patients and their friends. Our float not only set a whole new tone for the media, it gave our patient/advocates a new foundation.

But this is not the end!

Two days before the Rose Parade, the Chiropractic Centennial Board of Trustees approved a marketing program that includes the production of a national television documentary, television commercials, and print advertising. While the Rose Parade gave chiropractic access to 450 million people, we didn't get to tell people all they need to know.

This is the next step, telling our own story. To do this, we must produce both quality advertising AND pay to have it presented to the public. We must buy the necessary television air time and newspaper space.

While this will not be cheap, it is quite affordable if we all pitch in. It WILL directly benefit the growth of your practice.

Be watching over the next few months. You will have the opportunity to join Chiropractic Advertising Pools in your area. These will be groups of DCs who utilize advertising material produced by the Chiropractic Centennial Foundation to advertise chiropractic in their local community.

There are many aspects to creating public awareness. The ideal way to educate the public would be to sit down with each person and tell them about chiropractic. While this should be standard procedure for your patients, every person in the world needs chiropractic.

This could be the beginning of a new era in health care. The federal government is already recommending chiropractic before considering surgery. Isn't it time people seek chiropractic first instead of choosing it as a last resort?

DMP Jr., BS, HCD(hc)

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