Let me tell you the story of two boxers battling in the biggest fight of their lives. One boxer is small and often overlooked, while the other is an aggressive and dominant fighter who is the reigning champion.It's the classic story of the underdog, except this story has a twist: You will write the ending.
In this corner, we have the underdog: the ignored and often misunderstood chiropractor. The chiropractor may not be large or have a dominant position in the health care market right now, but this chiropractor has heart! This person cares about patients and wants to help them not only feel better, but also be better. And in the other corner, we have the opponent: the negative perceptions of chiropractic. These perceptions act as a gatekeeper bully, holding back potential patients from experiencing chiropractic by continuing to release negative images that block people from walking into your practice.
The Big Battle
This battle is for market share. To have a larger share of the health care market, we must fight these negative perceptions, with the goal of improving people's opinions about chiropractic. The health of the general public is at stake and that means a lot of pressure for our underdog. So let's get ready to rumble!
Ding! The bell rings and round one is over. Round one was the positive press effort by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. The foundation recently took some jabs at the opponent by placing advertisements promoting chiropractic in several national publications, including USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report! These ads are designed to draw more people into chiropractic offices by highlighting the positive aspects of the profession. These ads show readers what chiropractic can do for them, and the buzz is growing! Positive feedback is pouring in and it appears the effort is already succeeding in grabbing the attention of the readers. The goal is to spark people's interest and curiosity, so they will call their local chiropractor and see how this profession can help them. But this initial effort is not a one-time fix to improve our market share. Instead, this is a first step in the process of changing opinions about chiropractic and getting more positive press about the profession that already has helped millions of people. But there's no time for rest, because we must keep working hard to help more people see the benefits of chiropractic.
Back to the Battle
After a long first round, the two fighters go back to their respective corners and get ready for what comes next. The underdog, the chiropractor, has to be prepared for what lies ahead. It's only the beginning! Our opponent, the bully of negative perceptions, has had decades of professional backing from the media. Now it's our turn to hire professional coaches to help us win. The Foundation for Chiro-practic Progress is our group of professional coaches and is working hard to make plans that will benefit chiropractic as a whole, but we need your help. To land the knockout punch, it will take more time, effort and even money to continue the efforts of promoting chiropractic.
A boxer has two options: throw in the towel or keep fighting. The same options apply to chiropractors. It's not that we are physically fighting with anyone, but we are fighting stereotypes and negative press that have built up over the years.
This is our chance to change those perceptions and shine a light on the many benefits of chiropractic. The only way to fight negative press is to use positive press. And luckily, our underdog doesn't have to fight this battle alone in the ring, one on one with the opponent. The underdog has an army of support from other chiropractors! Remember, we are all in this battle together and to win, we have to work as a team to defeat the opponent. The chiropractor is not ready to throw in the towel, so let's join in the fight and help chiropractic win.
Go the Distance
Once a boxer hits the opponent, he or she doesn't stop, because it takes a lot of shots to win the fight. We have to be as dedicated and keep hitting the market share with our message. We can't just put out positive press once and say, "It's finished - we win!" Instead, we have to continuously find ways to get out the message that chiropractic can help the general public. We have to keep tearing down the negative perceptions until people start to notice and more importantly, start to change their ways and actually go to a chiropractor for help.
And to keep fighting, we need to keep the positive press going - that means making a commitment to help the Foundation for Chiro-practic Progress throw our positive press punches. The only way chiropractic will grow is if we show our support. This is not a one-time offer to help! We have to be willing to be in it for the 12-round battle, so we are asking that you donate at least $100 per month to the foundation to keep chiropractic in this fight. [To make a contribution, complete the pledge coupon on the left of this page and send it to the address listed.]
We have to work together, and if only a few chiropractors help out, our underdog won't be as successful in landing that knockout punch. Remember, it will take the entire army of support from the chiropractic profession to beat this nagging bully of negative perceptions.
Let the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress help you spread the word. Let us take care of educating the public about the benefits of chiropractic. Let us take care of promoting wellness through chiropractic. Together, we can make a difference. Together, we will make it work.
It's up to you. This is your chance to write the ending to chiropractic's story. Round one is over and we have landed some good jabs, but to throw that KO punch, we need you to help us keep fighting. Ding! The bell rings again - time for round two. Are you ready to rumble?
Click here for previous articles by Kent Greenawalt.