Business Talk: Don’t kill the messenger
Anthony LombardiFeatures Business Marketing
Getting media on our side to promote the profession
Back in 2002, after graduating from chiropractic school I opened my own clinic and started practicing. This was a very tumultuous time for the profession as many medical doctors, researchers and journalists were constantly writing articles in mainstream newspapers and publications that highlighted the dangers of chiropractic neck manipulation.
At that time chiropractic became a “hot” word that was continually under the microscope.
Meanwhile, my newly opened practice started welcoming patients who had read the articles in the newspapers but never knew chiropractors could help with headaches and other ailments. Shortly thereafter, I began to write articles educating the masses about the benefits of chiropractic.
Since then, I have represented chiropractic with great pride over the recent years, through print articles and TV interviews.
This is significant to chiropractors and our profession because being featured in mainstream publications develops us professionally into what is referred to as perceived authority.
Writing positive articles in national or local magazines, doing TV news spots, commercials and tasteful newspaper ads all promote chiropractic in a positive light and make you (and chiropractic) a trustworthy, recognizable figure in the eyes of the general public.
There is a preconscious neurological response when we are in the presence of a perceived authority over which there is no conscious control. This is why Coca Cola uses Jennifer Lopez and LeBron James to endorse its products – because your preconscious neurological functioning determines your reaction patterns. The success and friendliness of the endorser makes an automatic positive imprint in your psyche.
Sid The Kid
In 2011, the world’s best hockey player was injured and suffered a concussion. Sidney Crosby was fresh off of his gold-medal-game-winning goal in the 2010 Olympics when he was sidelined indefinitely.
Incredibly, chiropractic was driven to the forefront as Crosby sought chiropractic care to get him back on the ice. His chiropractor Dr. Ted Carrick was featured on the cover of Macleans Magazine (circulation over three million).
Weeks later, CBC sports interviewed chiropractor Dr. Mark Scappaticci who spoke of the prevalence of superior oblique strains and their role in contributing to Crosby’s concussion symptoms.
Carrick and Scappaticci practice very differently, but they jointly contributed to the credibility of our profession and helped grow the perceived authority of chiropractors everywhere.
Medium is the message
I had the privilege of speaking with renowned chiropractor and president emeritus of Parker University Dr. Fabrizio Mancini. I asked him: How important is it for chiropractic practitioners to become ambassadors for the profession through the media?
“I learned many years ago that if we do not control our message to the public, someone else will control it for us. It seems like the mainstream media only talks about the negative in our profession. That is only because we do not ‘pitch’ them our evidence and success stories.
“A friend of mine was the anchor for a leading TV network in the USA reporting on medical stories. She said that the medical community and pharmaceutical companies would pitch an average of 200 stories a week. She said she would get one or two a year from the chiropractic profession. The public is ready for us, but they need to hear from us. It is up to us to make it happen by sharing the many good things we do for our patients,” Mancini replied.
Remember, all of the world’s chiropractors are able to participate in social media, but only a select few have the distinction of being published in popular print or featured in television media. This in itself develops your perceived authority standing.
Some social media groups are very forward thinking as they offer chiropractic mentorship to their members. Unfortunately, there are a select number of DCs who behave unprofessionally by openly and publicly airing their grievances with different techniques and against other chiropractors.
Our profession will be better served if these issues are discussed appropriately and professionally.
Chiropractors going bankrupt, negative stories in the media and public infighting on social media do not make our profession a desirable one to pursue. Instead, it is vitally important that chiropractors write and get published in popular media outlets so that the public may continue to learn how our profession can help them.
Jim Morrison said, “When you make peace with authority you become the authority.” May these words open the doors of perception to a more prosperous future, for you – and our profession.
Dr. Anthony Lombardi, DC, is consultant to athletes in the NFL, CFL and NHL, and founder of the Hamilton Back Clinic in Hamilton, Ont. He teaches his fundamental EXSTORE Assessment System and conducts practice-building workshops to health professionals. Visit exstore.ca for information.
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