Columnist's note: Mike Flynn and I both grew up as sons of chiropractors in a time when it was often difficult to practice. Today, chiropractic has so much to boast about in patient satisfaction, research findings and in its approach to health that it's catching on fast.I asked Dr. Flynn , one of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress board members, to guest author this month's column. He currently also serves as president of the World Federation of Chiropractic, which represents member chiropractic associations in 86 countries. – Kent S. Greenawalt
How can any DC, student, faculty member, supplier or chiropractic organization not endorse a positive press campaign for the profession? How can you not say, "Here is X amount of dollars each month. Now go out and become a big success. Shout from every PR rooftop the value and significance of chiropractic care"?
We all know our market share remains low and there are many, many more patients who could benefit under chiropractic care. That's why a well-funded, nationwide, positive campaign that can be used locally is going to make a big difference for each and every doctor of chiropractic, and will enhance the profession as a whole. Well, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress train has left the station and is picking up speed – but we need to go faster!
Consider that the foundation has retained prominent spokespersons; sends out professionally prepared press releases to 10,000 newspapers; creates and disseminates public-service announcements for radio and television that are playing all across the country; and places ads in high-profile newspapers and magazines. The foundation is also making inroads with business and industry, placing speakers on their programs and opening doors like never before.
Wow, the profession has needed this forever! Thank you, Kent Greenawalt and your board of directors, for organizing this so well. Thank you every chiropractic college, over 40 state associations and many vendors for your support. The foundation accomplished over a billion tracked positive messages in 2010 and will far exceed this number in 2011. Nothing close to this has ever been accomplished in our profession.
And just think, this positive press campaign is going to really take off when more than 3 percent of the profession gets behind it. Are you one of the 97 percent? What are you waiting for?
In January 2009 (after three years), the foundation had fewer than 300 monthly contributors. One of our largest vendor supporters was going to pull out because of the lack of support by members of the profession. By January 2010, we had reached 1,000 monthly contributors and the vendor came back with its support. In January 2011, we reached 2,000 monthly contributors. (All of these names can be found at (www.f4cp.com).
Although we are proud of this growth, it still reflects only a very small percent of the profession. Three percent were responsible for 500 million positive impressions in 2009 and over 1 billion positive impressions in 2010. Remarkable! Can you take a moment to appreciate what can happen when more of our profession gets involved with some level of support?
The potential to do so much more in positive public relations will be realized as the foundation continues to grow. One of the FCP's goals is to achieve 1 billion positive messages each and every month. This is doable with increased support.
Just last month, the foundation was in contact with a young DC who works with the "Dancing With the Stars" professional dancers. She was more than willing to help with a press release about the importance of chiropractic care in keeping the dancers moving and healthy. We are also in contact with a DC for a professional baseball team for some positive press. In addition, a professional soccer player who loves his chiropractic care contacted us and wants to help.
As a result of our cheerleader ad, now on the newsstands, and related PSA playing on the airways, the largest cheerleading magazine in the country has asked for an article on chiropractic care – and Dr. Jay Greenstein is authoring it for them. As a result of our press release on the sciatica study, Prevention magazine has contacted the FCP and we are doing an article for them. The opportunities are everywhere, and all of the material created by the foundation is available to contributors.
Our goal in 2011 is to reach 3,000 monthly contributors by the end of the year. I know it should be many times that number. We are just over 2,100 now. If anyone has any ideas on how to inspire more of our colleagues, please let me know. Meanwhile, increasing contributors is a contact sport, and your connecting with colleagues will help make a difference. Share the message and the potential of the positive press campaign. I believe that many of you are probably like me in wondering how anyone in our profession would not be eager to get behind this campaign – even if at just $10 a month.
It is hard to figure out sometimes how and why our colleagues can, as a group, be so complacent when it is a fact that a rising tide does lift all boats, and when you lay more tracks the train goes farther.
Kent Greenawalt had a vision of a successful marketing campaign to change/influence public perception of chiropractic, and he's putting his money behind it by paying for all of the foundation's overhead costs. When the foundation says every dollar raised goes to the positive press campaign, it is 100 percent correct.
By taking advantage of this opportunity and building the foundation's numbers, we will be building the resources to make awesome things happen for our profession – and for patients who deserve to know about the care that only a doctor of chiropractic can provide. We have to keep this train running and going faster and faster. We can and we will with your help.
For more information regarding the foundation's upcoming projects or to learn more on how to help spread awareness, visit www.f4cp.com or call 1.866.901.F4CP (3427). Join our efforts and contribute each month at whatever level is comfortable. The foundation will continue to grow and provide more positive press as more doctors join as monthly contributors. If you are already a member, reach out to your colleagues and ask them to join you. Tell them what you already know: The success of the foundation is your success!
Foundation for Chiropractic Progress
P.O. Box 560
Carmichael, CA 95609-0560
Click here for previous articles by Kent Greenawalt.
Dr. J. Michael Flynn former state-association president, two-time president of the Louisiana Board of Examiners, and ACA chairman of the board, has served as a member of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress board since its inception. He is the current president of the WFC.