Marketing MDT Through Local Media
Two months ago I moved from New Jersey to start a new job in Charlottesville, VA: home of the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and the genesis of the Dave Matthews Band. With vineyards and breweries, picturesque hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a lively music and arts scene, there’s not much that Charlottesville doesn’t have to offer, but no one here is utilizing the McKenzie Method.
When I took my job at Pantops Physical Therapy, I was the only Cert. MDT in a 25-mile radius, and Jamie and Jen Collins (owners) took this opportunity to create a marketing campaign to spread the word about my arrival. An email newsletter with my picture and a little background on what a Credentialed McKenzie Practitioner could offer was sent out to past and current patients, referring doctors, and some local media sources. Within two weeks of arriving in Virginia I was scheduled to be a guest on Charlottesville Newsradio-WINA, on a weekend talk show called “A Graceful Life”. I had never done anything like this, so I was simultaneously excited and terrified at the prospect of being on the radio, but mainly I was concerned about misrepresenting MDT. I didn’t want to say anything stupid or sound overly confident. I wanted to present information to people in the way it was presented to me: using logic and common sense to explain simple, mechanical issues.
I reached out to MIUSA faculty member Yoav Suprun, a person as calm, cool, and collected as I’ve ever met, and someone I’ve begun to associate with MDT media coverage. He gave me some excellent advice, telling me “Keep it simple,” and reminding me that people want to hear about things that they can relate to, like headaches, stiffness, difficulty turning your head, or pain in my knees that improves as I walk. These reminders were integral to my confidence when the time came to give the interview.
As with so many new things, I made a few mistakes and there were definitely moments to learn from, but overall it was a great experience. While we’re not taking formal data right now as to referral sources, I have had a few new evaluations who requested me because of this radio interview, and that makes the challenge so worthwhile. I don’t pretend to be a seasoned veteran in MDT, or to have all the answers, but I strive to continue learning from experiences like this one. Being the only Cert. MDT in the area also comes with the significant challenge of feeling isolated, but I am so lucky to be a part of a community where I can reach out to diplomats, faculty members, and clinicians worldwide who “speak the language” and know that I can rely on their sound advice.
I would strongly encourage anyone interested in educating their community, marketing their business, or just stepping out of their comfort zone to reach out to their local media sources. The MDT assessment is a unique resource to the community that deserves all the pomp and circumstance that we as clinicians are so hesitant to present. Be confident that while we may never have all the answers, a simple mechanical assessment can help a lot of people.
If you are interested in listening to a podcast version of my interview on “A Graceful Life,” visit http://wina.com/podcasts/timothy-mahoney/