Public Relations – What is stopping you?

31 Jan

In this series of blog entries, I will relate from my own experiences what prevented me from participating in opportunities to promote the profession of athletic training.  It has taken me some time to grasp what it means to promote the profession and to become aware of public relations.  I always sat and wished that the NATA would do more for ATs when it came to PR, but now I realize that I am the NATA and I can do something for PR.  It is not up to “them” to promote the profession, it is up to “us”!  Be proactive and take a chance to promote the profession!

Part 1 – Myopia

Myopia is also known as near sightedness.  Simply put myopia is  good vision of what is close to you but blurry vision of things in the distance.  In this analogy, myopia is referring to being caught up in the present and not being able to see the big picture.  You can’t see the forest for the trees.

Coaches and athletes tend to have this myopic vision because they always focus on the performance today or the next game.  Seldom do they sit back and try to analyze the big picture.  Since ATs in the traditional setting are so involved with coaches and athletes, we often have myopia in our professional lives.  We work today to get players ready for today, tomorrow is a distant thought.  Often I don’t even know what my schedule will be like tomorrow.  ATs have developed the character trait to be highly adaptable to things because we can plan and control so little of what happens.  This trait then carries over into our professional and personal lives.  We tend to adjust on the fly and learn that we can rarely make plans because something unforeseen and unplanned always comes up.  Because we can get so caught up in the here and now and adjusting to what is happening, ATs often don’t take the time to step back and look at the big picture.

The big picture in this context is the promotion of athletic training.  Every AT working in the tradition setting feels that they are a very valuable member of the athletic team.  We feel that athletic training is not a luxury afforded to affluent athletes, but rather a necessity for the health of the athlete.  ATs provide a very valuable service to athletic departments across the country.

But, athletic training services are lacking in more than half the high schools in the country!  Why?  It is my opinion that secondary school athletic trainers don’t do enough to promote the profession!  We are so caught up in the day to day, week to week, season to season work that we do that we don’t realize that so many of the athletes in the country don’t even know what we do.  We are so busy tending to the needs of our athletes that we don’t see that millions of athletes don’t have access to an AT.

So fellow ATs, take a moment to contemplate that the service you provide to your patients/athletes isn’t available to a vast majority of student athletes today.  Then brain storm some ideas that you can perform on your own to promote the profession.  Maybe all you can reach is the high school students at your high school, your friends on Facebook, your church group and your neighbors.  If that is all you can do, do it!  Since they have a relationship with you, your targeted PR campaign towards them will be so much effective than a generic national PR marketing campaign could ever be!

One Response to “Public Relations – What is stopping you?”

  1. Michael Hopper January 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    I have started writing some articles that I plan to put out in March for National Athletic Training Month. I intend to send at least one editorial to the local newspaper in early March. Each individual needs to work to promote the profession for us to have success.

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