Ten good reasons health communicators should promote physiotherapy

Physiotherapists are the third largest clinical profession in the UK, after doctors and nurses. Physiotherapy represents an untapped opportunity for anyone involved in health communications. Whether you work in public relations for the NHS, private providers, the military or a health related charity you should be looking to promote your physiotherapy services and use your physios and physiotherapy support staff  to promote your organisation. Here are ten reasons to “think physio”:

1. Physiotherapy is integral to the big health stories – Physiotherapy provides a lens through which to view the big challenge issues facing healthcare. Whether it is about saving money, obesity, an ageing population, the growth of long term conditions, Ebola, or the prevention agenda physiotherapy is involved. For information on how physio is addressing the big health issues see the CSP website: www.csp.org.uk

2. Great non-health angles – The diversity of physiotherapy means there is usually a physio angle to non-health stories which you can exploit to extend your coverage. For example, the CSP magazine Frontline has featured stories on issues as diverse as disaster relief, the circus and prisons and all because they all involve physios.

3. TV needs moving images – Physiotherapists are clinical experts in movement. Rehabilitation sessions and and exercise classes both involve movement and people, so are ideal images for broadcasters.

4. Physiotherapy is fresh to the media – it has traditionally received less coverage than medicine or nursing so offers new material for most journalists and broadcasters. At the CSP we have seen an explosion in interest from the national media , especially online, hungry for new consumer health stories.

5. Physiotherapy services can be found in every part of the of the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Physiotherapists are found in local community clinics, high street private practices, the occupational health services of  local employers and in local hospitals. This means there is a service local to every local paper, community website and regional broadcaster.

6. Physiotherapists are articulate and solution focussed – Physiotherapists are ideal advocates and spokespeople. Their work involves persuading patients to do uncomfortable things- they have a ‘can do’ attitude and know how to convince people that something is good for them!

7. Physios and physiotherapy support staff are a safe group of people to put in front of the media because they are patient and team focussed. They are less likely to simply promote themselves and more likely to talk about the wider team and what they do for their patients. Physiotherapists also have one of the lowest levels of professional complaints against them of any group of health workers.

8. Physiotherapy has a strong scientific evidence base. There is an established academic and research community who can provide credible third party back up for your promotional activity.  The Physio Works evidence briefings can also give you the clinical evidence to back up your service promotions:  www.csp.org.uk/theevidence

9. Promoting your physiotherapy services need not be hard work –  It is easy to plug into existing promotional campaigns , for example Workout at Work or Older People’s Day details of how to get involved will be on the CSP website later in the year.

10. Promoting physiotherapy services can help your organisation’s recruitment – Increasingly many services are reporting difficulty recruiting new staff. Whilst the CSP is lobbying for more training places services need to promote themselves to compete for new staff. There are opportunities to pitch service based stories to the CSP magazine Frontline which goes to over 40,000 physios and physiotherapy support staff. If you have a story why not email: Frontline@csp.org.uk. If this blog has made you think you do want to promote your services and you want to know more please get in touch with me: yeldhamr@csp.org.uk @RobYeldham or leave a comment.

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