We all know that the use of media is key to getting the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (FCP) message out to the public. That's why I'm pleased to introduce you to Lara Carabello of CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, the PR firm working pro bono to help spread the foundation's positive message about chiropractic.In the following interview, she gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the FCP and answers the most frequently asked questions about the foundation's positive press effort. This interview will give you insight into:
- what the FCP has accomplished lately;
- the foundation's plans for the future; and
- how those plans affect every chiropractor in the country.
What role do you and CPR Communications play in helping the foundation?
CPR Communications has been building a strong public relations campaign for the foundation since the beginning of 2007. They also play a crucial role in increasing the awareness of the foundation's mission for both the public and the profession through the dissemination of positive messages. These positive messages about the value of chiropractic care hold significant meaning to the profession as a whole and to each individual chiropractor. Millions of Americans are now becoming familiar with chiropractic care in a manner that is completely credible with messages that are professional, yet easy to comprehend.
What is the value of having an agency like CPR Communications on board with the foundation?
CPR Communications has more than 25 years of experience working with media and the health care profession. We have very extensive media relationships and a very strong under-standing of chiropractic. Public relations is a valuable way to create a strong, creditable public image while being extremely cost-effective. The value of public relations can be quantified by the cost of buying equivalent advertising space in print publications or on-air radio segments. When calculating these costs, keep in mind that they have been documented by researching established, printed, advertising rate cards, as well as estimating the costs of placing online media and banner ads.
However, the value of public relations extends far beyond the equivalent costs of placing advertising. PR (earned media) gives credibility that paid ads cannot deliver. It is important to keep that in mind when evaluating the impact of this campaign. The total monetary value of the 2007 campaign is estimated at $2.7 million in equivalent advertising dollars. However, the real merit is probably double or triple this amount in terms of elevating the profession.
The year 2007 was a successful one for the FCP, with an increase in supporters and public awareness of the foundation. What was done in 2007 to yield such a positive result?
In 2007, CPR Communications generated exciting positive press to complement the profession's advertising campaign. The campaign includes monthly press releases to major newspapers around the country. These generate interviews and news stories. The foundation also prepares advertorials, which are a major part of our public relations print campaign and are disseminated to more than 10,000 newspapers in the country. These media outlets, as well as monthly public service announcements sent to more than 2,400 AM/FM radio stations, created a vast amount of positive press for the foundation.
What do you feel needs to be done to build on the success of 2007 and what will the public relations campaign focus on in 2008?
To be successful in 2008, we will continue to build on the foundation's marketing and PR campaign with press releases, advertorials and public service announcements. However, we plan on expanding our public relations campaign to include television as a powerful medium to broaden the foundation's reach. This will include TV advertorials and a book authored by the foundation, carving out a new market niche for chiropractic: the greening of health care in America - eco-friendly health care for every American that is nontoxic. Topics under this umbrella will include but are not limited to: alternatives to the use of steroids, overprescribing of drugs and obesity. These topics are pertinent to gaining the public's awareness of chiropractic and should warrant the foundation much of the attention it deserves. We will also coordinate a series of media tours in which spokespersons for the FCP meet with key members of the press to speak about the foundation and these topics.
What do you think is the best way to spread the foundation's message and get more people involved in the cause?
The best way to get our message out there is to get all of our constituents involved promoting the profession. One person is not going to significantly change the public perception of chiropractic; however, an effort by the profession will make a difference. One of the ways we are bringing the profession together is through an Internet blog. On this blog, called "Chiropractic 2.0," chiropractors and those interested in chiropractic can exchange thoughts and ideas about the profession. It's a great way to stay connected!
What is the biggest challenge you feel the foundation faces in terms of gaining support?
It is imperative for every chiropractor to understand that this national campaign touches their life personally. It affects their business, from the money they pocket to their professional standing in the community. The more chiropractors understand that, the more likely they will want to support the foundation.
Given your expertise in media and public relations, what do you feel is the most crucial element in gaining support in 2008?
It is imperative that we continue getting our message out there. The best way to do that is through a strong public relations campaign. We need to build on what we have already accomplished and establish new ways to reach as many people as possible.
Join the FCP Today!
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress
P.O. Box 560, Carmichael, CA 95609-0560
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