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8

physiotherapy.asn.au

As competition in the health environment becomes

increasingly fierce and the ways consumers choose

to address their health needs change, there has

never been a more important time for physiotherapy

to be prominent, public and persuasive.

A clear and consistent message from our members

has been about the APA having a greater influence

in educating the public about the benefits of

physiotherapy. This can be done in many ways, but the

concept of having a highly visible national campaign

that talks about the value of physiotherapy is an

initiative that we haven’t embarked on previously.

We are in a position to change that in 2017.

For the first time, we will launch a national campaign

that will encompass radio, TV and outdoor

advertising. This will be supported and strengthened

by an aggressive social media strategy and

presence, combined with a regular level of exposure

on federal political news outlets. Running

from this month, we have developed

a truly national approach to start the

journey of consistent marketing of

the physiotherapy profession and

its value. At the same time, the APA

will launch its new consumer website

(to be found at choose.physio)

which will be a place where

consumers can find out

accurate information

regarding their health

needs and how

to address them.

Our national

campaign is

something that we

will learn from as

we refine, develop

and expand our

presence in the community. A one-off effort is not

acceptable, and our focus is on building capability for

the long-term with our media, community and political

presence.

This is extremely exciting.

But what makes the difference between a national

campaign that is positive and one that is truly

successful? In July, I spent some time with the CEO

of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

We talked about APTA’s national campaign to

influence the opioid crisis in the US, which has been

successful for a number of reasons: it was

well-planned, well-executed and identifiable.

Yet, the critical reason it has been successful has

been the fact that APTA members have used the

focus of the campaign in their own communities

and workplaces to increase its penetration and, thus,

community impact. They have helped APTA

to wage the war of influencing consumer behaviour

and attitudes.

As part of our campaign this year, I urge all of

you to join me and help to further the message

and momentum in our highly competitive health

environment. This is not about criticising other

professions—it is about physiotherapy positioning

itself in the best possible way to enable Australians

to benefit from our skills, multidisciplinary

commitment and holistic care.

Let’s all help Australians to Choose Physio!

Phil Calvert

APA National President

national.president@physiotherapy.asn.au

Choose Physio

FIRST WORD