46 The FCP: Raising the Bar in 2010
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Dynamic Chiropractic – February 26, 2010, Vol. 28, Issue 05

The FCP: Raising the Bar in 2010

And Looking Back at a Productive 2009

By Kent Greenawalt

The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (FCP) has come a long way since its inception less than five years ago.

The FCP has grown exponentially and continues to work toward its goal of creating more positive press about chiropractic. In fact, in 2009 alone, the foundation generated over 328 million media impressions - an impressive number in the world of media relations. However, the work isn't finished and the goals haven't been fully achieved yet. We need your help to reach more people and tell them about the many benefits of chiropractic care. Let's review some of what we achieved last year and get a glimpse of what's planned this year.

2009: Full of Defining Moments

Last year, the FCP experienced more than a few defining moments representing extraordinary growth and achievements. These moments of opportunity ignited a public-relations and communications campaign that rivals parallel health care organizations with tens of millions of dollars at their disposal! The FCP's strategic public-relations plan spans monthly public service announcements (PSAs) on radio, television and print outlets nationwide. Every day, chiropractors around the country are benefiting directly from the work of the foundation.

FCP Jerry Rice - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark The high-profile spokespeople for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress met at Parker Seminars in Las Vegas in January 2010. From left: Linda Cohn, ESPN anchorwoman; Jerry Rice, NFL Hall-of-Fame receiver; and retired Brig. Gen. Becky Halstead. High Profile Spokespeople: The FCP pulled in some heavyweight help in terms of campaign spokespeople, including National Football League Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice, retired Brigadier General Becky Halstead, and ESPN anchorwoman Linda Cohn. These high-profile spokespeople allowed the FCP to gain media attention nationwide; media coverage that helps educate the public and key influencers in business and government about the value of chiropractic care. It also drives new patients into practices throughout the country. As of August 2009, the Rice campaign alone had generated over 158 million media impressions.

The Washington, D.C. Media Blitz: This blitz, with focused resources on the Washington, D.C. area during the health care reform debates, was an unprecedented campaign in the history of this profession. In the fall of 2009 and continuing into 2010, the foundation purchased nearly $1 million worth of advertising space in prominent publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, to have our collective voices heard in this important debate. Through December 2009, the media blitz had generated over 15 million media impressions.

Report Validates Chiropractic's Benefits: Another major accomplishment in 2009 was the publication of one of the most credible reports for this profession. Arnold Milstein, MD, a respected health economist at Mercer Benefits and the Chief Medical Officer of the esteemed Pacific Business Group on Health - one of the most influential health care business organizations - and Niteesh Choudhry, MD, PhD, of Harvard Medical School, completed a study on the quality, outcomes and cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care. This report has been circulated through Congress, health care publications, and to human resource representatives, properly positioning the chiropractic profession and the many benefits associated with chiropractic.

Building on 2009, Working Harder in 2010

More Television Ads: This year, the foundation plans on raising the bar even higher. In response to recent surveys which showed the profession's desire for television advertisements, the FCP plans on releasing four or five new television PSAs. Additionally, for the first time in Olympic history, doctors of chiropractic are treating athletes in the Winter Olympics medical facility (polyclinic) and the Foundation plans to partner with chiropractors who will be providing care during the 2010 Vancouver games to help leverage this historical news.

A key component of the foundation's public-relations plan is to create and distribute 30-60-second PSAs on a monthly basis. These messages are developed with the intent to relate chiropractic care with relevant current event topics, as well as seasonal issues. Every month, these PSAs are sent to over 2,400 radio stations nationwide.

New Advertorials: Building on 2009's strong advertising presence, the FCP will continue to educate readers on the benefits of chiropractic care. The foundation has plans to place pro-chiropractic messaging in high-profile publications such as Business News, U.S. News & World Report, Pregnancy, The New York Times, People Magazine, Reader's Digest, Redbook, Family Circle and Newsweek, among others.

More High-Profile Help: Our four big-name spokespeople are all on board for a heavy media push this year. Jerry Rice, Brigadier General Halstead, Linda Cohn, and two-time Miss Fitness USA Sarah Harding (the foundation's very first spokesperson) have all committed to helping the FCP continue to generate positive media for the chiropractic profession. As the year progresses, the foundation plans to explore new opportunities with other public figures who are passionate about chiropractic and are willing to help raise awareness.

Strong Membership Goals: Despite our achievements, the FCP is still a promising organization that must grow its membership so that chiropractic can expand its media posture. With only 2 percent of the entire chiropractic profession currently supporting the foundation, we do it all on a shoestring. Just imagine what's ahead as we grow our numbers and the level of funds available! By strengthening our numbers, the foundation will be able to continue to attract and work with prestigious public figures, further strengthening the credibility of this profession in the eyes of the public, other health professions and our nation's leaders. As our budget grows, we will have increased resources to step up our presence in both print and electronic media.

How You Can Help

Are you helping the FCP to spread the message? If you aren't, now is the time. Yes, the foundation achieved a great deal in 2009 and has lofty plans for this year, but imagine how much more of an impact we could have with your support? If every chiropractor joined the fight to get more positive press for the profession, there's no limit to the number of people we could reach. Become a monthly contributor to have an impact on the public's perception of chiropractic. To learn more about the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress or to arrange an automatic monthly donation, visit www.foundation4cp.com or call (866) 901-3427. Support the FCP today!

Click here for previous articles by Kent Greenawalt.

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