A Voice In the Clutter

A Voice In the Clutter

According to a study performed by the University of California, San Diego, “Americans consumed… 100,500 words and 34 gigabytes for an average person on an average day.” 100,500 words consumed outside of the workplace. How is any one message heard above all of the clutter? That is the age-old question posed to public relations consultants and marketing experts daily. In short, the answer many times is repetition across multiple venues.

As we enter the 2010 Chiropractic Health Care Month, my question to you is: how are you making sure your message is heard over all of the clutter?


Gordon MacKenzie, author of Orbiting the Giant Hairball, talks about when he visited elementary schools early in his career. He would ask the same question to multiple age groups – “How many artists are there in the room?” Without fail, the results were telling: First graders would almost leap from their chairs with their hands in the air; only about 50% of second graders would half-heartedly raise hands; less than 1/3 of third graders would tentatively lift their hands; and when reaching the sixth grade only one or two out of the entire class would admit to being “an artist.”

That scenario plays out through many situations in our lifetimes, but I believe it happens frequently in the chiropractic profession regarding the care chiropractic physicians give their patients. When first out of school, doctors can barely contain themselves in all settings – they want to tell everyone why chiropractic is a critical part of health care. After about a year in practice, the focus shifts, priorities change, and the exciting message dulls a bit. Then a few years later, the practice and treatment becomes the focus and many times the message is only a memory.

Unfortunately, there is no easy fix – no simple solutions. Instead, we all have to be diligent in broadcasting the message and make the conscious effort to go back to the unbridled way we used to discuss chiropractic. It is time to make sure that our message can be heard amongst the 100,000 words of those who desperately need chiropractic care, but how? Here are some thoughts:

Do you have a Facebook page promoting chiropractic and your practice? If not, did you know that you are missing out on reaching the 500 million Facebook users?

Are you still a member of your local business groups such as Kiwanis, the Chamber of Commerce, etc.? If so, do you attend regular meetings? When is the last time that you offered to speak a local group about health care and chiropractic? Check out Becoming a Person of Influence (John C. Maxwell) and The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs (Carmine Gallo).

Are you continuing to educate your patients about chiropractic care? Okay, I would imagine that most of you do. However, are you delivering the message effectively? You would be amazed at the increased level of retention when using a story to tell your story. Check out the following resources: Made to Stick (Dan and Chip Heath) and The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling (Stephen Denning).

Are you reaching the 190 million Twitter users that send 65 million messages a day?

Are you using a regular newsletter for your patients, their friends and their families?

Are you asking your patients whom you help to tell their friends? I recently saw a conversation between parents on Facebook regarding the benefits of chiropractic care for their children. By the end of the conversation, one parent had posted the contact information for her chiropractic physician. Are your patients your fans?

Are you reaching the population as a whole? Did you know that one of the purposes of the Illinois Chiropractic Society is public awareness? The ICS works closely with the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress in a nationwide campaign for chiropractic. Because of ICS’s involvement, ads will appear in major newspapers in Illinois, we represent the profession at large international conferences, we market the profession through social media, and we have started www.healthierillinois.com to reach more Illinoisians who need chiropractic care.

Of course, the list could go on, and the methods to promote chiropractic health care are endless. We all need to take advantage of every opportunity, all technologies, and each relationship available in order to reach above the 24-gigabyte clutter.

About Author

Marc Abla, CAE

Marc Abla began working at the Illinois Chiropractic Society in 2002 and became the Executive Director in 2008. He brings his extensive financial, administrative and association experience to the ICS. He is a Certified Association Executive and a graduate of the Certified Leadership Series through the Illinois Society of Association Executives. Additionally, he is a member of the Illinois Society of Association Executives, the American Society of Association Executives, Association Forum, Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, and the American Chiropractic Association.


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