The CCA's Director of Public Affairs, Paul Lehman, said that the association had several goals it wanted to accomplish with the media campaign: "We want to inform health plan decision-makers and consumers of the documented effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of chiropractic," he said. "Naturally, we want to get them to call for further information, eventually make the decision to see a chiropractor or include chiropractic benefits in the health care plan, and we also felt it was important to refer people to CCA member doctors."
The CCA ads encourage people to call a state-wide, 24-hour toll-free number (1-800-786-CHIRO) that will stay in service through August 6th. Callers receive free copies of studies on chiropractic effectiveness, and an informational brochure on chiropractic.
"The technology of the 800 line is really helping us," said Mr. Lehman, "Even five years ago, voice mail systems this sophisticated were not available." The system separates the business calls from consumer calls by asking employers to press 1 and consumers to press 2. The CCA staff handles the recorded requests for "How To Choose A Chiropractic Doctor," the free informational brochure. This brochure offers guidelines and suggestions on how to make an informed decision when choosing a chiropractic health care provider.
The association is paying special attention to businesses, and especially to the employers who make the health plan decisions for companies. According to the CCA, employers are in a frantic rush to cut health plan spending and may be ignoring the cost-containing mechanisms of conservative, non-invasive chiropractic care.
It is for this reason the ads focus on two landmark studies: the two-year low back pain study by England's Medical Research Council published in the British Medical Journal, and the American study published in the Western Journal of Medicine. The British study found that among all subjects with severe and chronic low back pain evaluated, chiropractic patients improved 13 percent more than medical patients. The study also examined the reduction in lost work days, and the financial benefits that chiropractic would provide. The Western Journal of Medicine study reported that four out of five chiropractic patients enjoyed unrestricted activity within a week of treatment, but only half of the medical patients with the same back conditions recovered as quickly.
The CCA ads feature quotes from these studies to increase public awareness that chiropractic care actually reduces costs, by helping workers get back on the job quicker without surgeries and medication.
"This is a pilot program to see what happens," said Mr. Lehman, "We're advertising very intensely, and we'll take measurements of the results at the end. We're a kind of laboratory for other states in terms of testing this idea -- to see if this kind of media campaign works, and how it can be changed to work better."
The CCA will be running print ads in the CA Journal through August and ads in the CA Manufacturer will continue through the October/November issue.
CCA Media Plan 1991
Newsweek - May 13 May 27 June 3 July 1
Wall St. Journal - May 13 May 24 June 7 July 15
USN & WR - May 13 May 27 June 17 July 8
CA Journal - May June July Aug
CA Manufacturer - April/May June/July Oct/Nov