APTA Launches Campaign to Brand the Physical Therapist

A comprehensive campaign aims to change how the public views the physical therapy profession. 

ALEXANDRIA, VA, February 3, 2009 — A new branding campaign that positions physical therapists as the experts in human motion will launch during the Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Feb 9-12, 2009, in Las Vegas, NV., at the Brand Launch Reception, Tuesday, Feb. 10, from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm in the Palm Foyer of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

As motion experts, physical therapists will be positioned as specialists who can help improve mobility and quality of life without the expense and pain of surgery or side effects of prescription medication. The tagline will be: "Move Forward. Physical Therapy Brings Motion To Life." 

APTA joined forces with public relations and marketing experts in 2007 to conduct research about where the physical therapy profession stood in the minds of multiple audiences and where it needed to go. It was found that nearly 90 percent of consumers had a positive impression of physical therapists, yet respondents thought of physical therapists primarily in terms of rehabilitation. Requirements to "living the brand" were also identified for physical therapists such as flawless and thorough documentation.

"The focus on movement is very appropriate because this is a movement "to have our members learn and live the brand and to build on and expand the existing, overwhelmingly positive perceptions of physical therapists in the minds of consumers and other health care professionals," said APTA President R. Scott Ward, PT, PhD.

Recognizing that a brand is about the people who live it every day, a brand personality was developed that combines the "Sage," the person who helps people act smarter and feel more confident and the "Hero," the one who helps people perform at their upper limits.

APTA has begun educating members through its "brand champions" — physical therapists who are leaders and specially trained advocates of the brand.

A key element of the branding initiative was the development of a newly-branded consumer Web site, www.moveforwardpt.com and a member-only Web site on living the brand, www.apta.org/brandbeat. Both sites are scheduled to go live on February 9, 2009.

Physical therapists are highly-educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility -- without expensive surgery or the side effects of medications. APTA represents more than 70,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Its purpose is to improve the health and quality of life of individuals through the advancement of physical therapist practice. Learn more about conditions physical therapists can treat at www.apta.org/consumer, and find a physical therapist in your area at www.findapt.us.

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