Advertising is a hot topic for chiropractors across the country. One question that is frequently asked is, “How can I advertise effectively, but also be compliant?” To determine that answer you first need to answer different questions such as;
- What state do you practice in?
- Are you trying to advertise to people with Medicare?
- What business or clinic model do you have?
When you first step in to advertising nationwide, you may wonder, why are all of these rules so restrictive for chiropractors?
At first you might think it must be the attorneys that are trying to jam chiropractors up, or maybe it’s the medical profession that’s trying to take market share from chiropractors, but when you dig down deep and try to figure it out, what you’ll discover is that often times these rules that are so restrictive and that detract from effective marketing came from a well-known chiropractor in your state.
At some point in time they had a very profitable clinic and then a new upstart clinic comes into their town, sets up and starts taking patients away from the larger clinic.
This leaves the big clinic thinking, “Well they must be cheating. There is no way that patients would want to treat with a new clinic rather than us!” As the larger clinic is already established and powerful they end up going to speak with the legislature or go speak with the board to come up with new rules to jam up the new clinic.
But those rules tend to jam up everyone, and years later everyone ends up struggling trying to operate within these established rules.
Some good general guidelines to remember when advertising or soliciting patients include:
- Refrain from using scare tactics in your advertising. Instead, offer recommendations by using evidence based knowledge or clinical findings.
- You are responsible for substantiating any claims you make. The burden of proof lies with you.
- You should avoid claiming professional superiority in any area of practice. Simply inform the public of any credentials you have earned that are generally accepted by the profession.
- If you want to use a patient for a testimonial you must obtain written authorization and consent from the patient before using their testimonial. You should also include disclaimers in regards to the statements made and the outcome of their care.
- Keep all you advertising copy, transcripts, audio and video for at least 1 year after they last appear and make them available if requested.
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