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Dynamic Chiropractic – August 12, 2012, Vol. 30, Issue 17

You Are Your Own PR Firm – What Message Are You Sending?

By Kent Greenawalt

You are your own public-relations firm. I bet you didn't think you could hire your personal PR firm, but guess what? You don't have to, because you are already doing the job, right now, with every patient you see and every person you meet.

Each chiropractor is living their own brand while representing all chiropractors at the same time. That is a lot of pressure!

There is great power in having others watch what you do and question what you do. Instead of being defensive, let's embrace our role as leaders and be the best chiropractors possible. By doing what we should be doing – helping patients lead happier, healthier lives – and by doing better than what's expected of us, we not only help our patients, but we also expand the good name of chiropractic within our community. The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) is here to help you by spreading positive press about chiropractic and its benefits to the public.

The Power of Your Brand

Whether you are aware of it or not, you already have a brand. What you do on a daily basis determines how you are perceived by your patients, your staff and anyone you come in contact with outside your office. Are you grumpy, late, disorganized or a poor listener? This set of personality traits may not be how you wish to be known, but if it's how you are perceived, then it is your brand – whether you like it or not.

The good news is that you have the power to change it. Making conscious decisions to be more helpful, prompt, organized, and to have an "I'm happy to be here" attitude will affect how others view you. That will change their perceptions of how you treat them or how you treat others. You'll be amazed at the uptick in referrals when you make small, positive changes to the way you interact with your patients and staff.

Impacting Your Community's Perception of Chiropractic

What you do as a chiropractor affects not only your practice and your brand, but also the name of chiropractic as a whole. You represent chiropractic every day in your office. Some patients who are new to chiropractic may already have a negative opinion formed about the profession, while others are so skeptical that they won't even attempt to see a chiropractor. You have the power to affect both of these perceptions by being the best chiropractor possible.

You already know what to do to give thorough examinations, the correct adjustments and the most effective nutrition, exercise and product recommendations to help your patients. What you may not realize is by doing that with every patient you see, while listening to their needs / concerns, you will make a difference in their opinion of chiropractic in general.

Skeptical patients will see that what you do is helping them and that you are listening to them. People who won't even visit a chiropractor may see your results and your impact on their family member, friend or co-worker, which may change their opinion of chiropractic. An accumulation of small things can go a long way toward changing a perception.

Remember, you are the face and the voice of chiropractic to each person you meet. That may feel like a lot of pressure, but let's frame the thought differently. Instead of feeling pressure, try to see that you have tremendous power to make a positive impact on your profession.

Don't Just Meet Expectations, Exceed Them

This is true in business as well as in life. If you settle for just achieving the one thing you set out to do, you're missing the point. You're missing the many blessings or bonuses that come along when you try harder and do more than what is expected of you.

Let's say you get your spouse a birthday present of a gift card so they can go get what they want. They'll appreciate that, right? Sure – but what if instead, you got them something they'd mentioned wanting months earlier in passing? Something you remembered them talking about, even though they don't think you even remember the conversation?

Even if both gifts cost exactly the same, which present do you think will mean more? The one you put more thought and effort into, of course. It's not because of how much you spend; it's simply that one of the options exceeds your spouse's expectations.

This idea applies to your job, too. You get out what you put in. This doesn't have to mean working longer hours; it means being more focused on your patients and doing the little things to make them feel special: sending your patient a birthday card, remembering details about your conversations and referencing those details at the patient's next appointment ("How was your son's soccer tournament?"), telling your staff often how much you appreciate their hard work, and being kind and courteous to each person you meet both in and out of your office.

Building Our Global Brand

You have a great deal of power in your hands, and the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress is here to help you. While you can change the perception people have of you and represent chiropractic in a positive way to your community, it takes a more global effort to reach the rest of the country and the rest of the world. That's where the F4CP comes in.

The foundation has been working with you and on your behalf for nearly a decade. In fact, even though the F4CP's actual 10th anniversary isn't until early 2013, there will be an early celebration later this month at the Florida Chiropractic Association's National Convention and Expo. If you will be attending FCA, please stop by the foundation's booth to be a part of this historic celebration.

The F4CP wants to honor those who help its campaign and will give two new awards – applications open to anyone – in January 2013:

  • Membership Recognition Award: The support of monthly contributors is essential to the success of the positive press campaign for chiropractic. Several doctors and students have gone above and beyond in support by identifying and signing up new contributors. This year, the F4CP will host a competition to encourage its contributors to sign up the most members. This will take place between Sept. 1 and Dec. 30, 2012; the winning individual will be recognized with an award on-stage at the January 2013 Las Vegas Parker Seminars. If you are interested in participating, please contact Kristen at .

  • New F4CP Award: Public Relations: Some of the best positive press comes from supportive doctors in the field, colleges or private corporations that are directly involved with the miracle of chiropractic on a daily basis. To honor those who work so hard to accomplish the very same mission as the foundation, a new award will be established to recognize the individual who generates the most positive press for the F4CP and the chiropractic profession. Nominations will be accepted from all contributing doctors, students, vendors, state associations and colleges between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1, 2012. Like the membership award, the winning individual will also be recognized with an award on-stage at the 2013 Las Vegas Parker Seminars.

Be the confident leader of your own PR firm and make your brand a positive one. Help spread positive press about chiropractic to the public by supporting the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. Visit www.f4cp.com or call 866.901.F4CP (3427) to join today.

Click here for previous articles by Kent Greenawalt.

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