A PR Committee

A Public Relations Development Sub Committee was formed at the 1984 AGM - Rickey Knight, Steve White and Peter Larmer. This Committee decided to set up a store of central publicity material with good information, layout and presentation.

TAGS: PR, Committee

A Public Relations Development Sub Committee was formed at the 1984 AGM - Rickey Knight,  Steve White and Peter Larmer.  This Committee decided to set up a store of central publicity material with good  information,  layout and presentation. 

The Committee detailed a plan in the Newsletter for May 1984

  1. Physical problems in health are the responsibility of the physiotherapist.
  2. The profession is to treat the above.
  3. Provide service in an economically viable manner

In May 1984 the Public Relations Development Committee co-opted further members - Erwin Drok,  Carol Cowan, and Dawn Birrell; and they set goals and began to gather up publicity material. 

By September 1984 the Committee had a list of priorities - to gather material to avoid duplication and ensure a high standard of presentation and content,  to develop a corporate brochure and look at setting up an audio visual library.  These committee members were dogged by lack of finance,  they could see the possibilities,  but there was no way to pay for them.  They were busy practising physiotherapists attempting to do a professional job in their so called “spare time”.  In November 1984 the Public Relations Development Committee made a further guideline document,  asking whether they were to follow projects to a conclusion or just facilitate them.  It was decided they should follow them to their conclusion.

Comments in nearly every Executive meeting for 1985 ask that public awareness of physiotherapy should be heightened.  By October 1985 the Public Relations Development Committee had produced display material which was available to branches at a small charge.  Some members still had doubts about the need for public relations and editorials for the NZJP supported the need for public relations within the profession. 

At the 1986 annual general meeting the PR Committee asked for funds to [1]

  1. Develop a new image for physiotherapy
  2. Employ public relations consultants.

In March 1986 the question of a professional co-ordinator came up again,  again expense prevented the idea from going forward.  In July 1986 sweat shirts and satchels bearing the Society logo were well received at the NZMTA annual general meeting.  The Committee had developed a “new Image”  with a new letterhead for the NZSP,  a new journal cover.  A comprehensive brochure “selling” physiotherapy had been produced and was on hold until funds were available[2].  The Editorial for the NZJP December 1986 was written by Mr. Mowday from a PR firm,  explaining about the need for Public Relations.  On the opposite page was an advertisement for his firm[3].

At the 1987 AGM it was decided to set up a Standing Committee for Public Relations.  The Committee spoke about a new image,  to cost $12,000 minimum.  In order to do this the subscriptions were raised and the sum of $25,000 set aside for public relations.  A severe lack of funds with a lower membership than usual frustrated this committee and prevented it from achieving its aims.  They regretted not employing a public relations consultant[4].  The Journal Editorial for August 1987 advocated supporting the Society and the Public Relations Committee.[5].In 1987 the Public Relations Committee also assisted in promoting the Society to non-member physiotherapists[6].  By July 1987 posters and brochures and a PR kit were produced,  and were most successful at the 1987 WCPT Congress in Sydney.

The PR Committee had a busy year in 1988.  They had two separate committee,  one produced (with funding from and in conjunction with the NZPPA) a marketing kit for private practitioners.  The other committee worked with Auckland physiotherapists to produce lectures for use by physiotherapists in schools.  Second editions of the back care and acupuncture pamphlets were produced,  and sent to every member.  These were approved by the ACC Regional and District Offices in September 1988.  A new brochure “Physiotherapy and your Pelvic Floor” was  produced in December 1988.  In April 1988 recruitment leaflets “Advantages of joining the Society pamphlets” were produced.

Fragmentation between different groups within the profession was a major problem and the committee undertook an imaginative initiative in an attempt to produce unity.  The Committee produced a paper in September 1988  “Is the Physiotherapy Profession larger than the personalities within it?”  They organised a series of meetings throughout the country involving key personnel in physiotherapy.  The aim was to try to establish a common goal for physiotherapy that all the different groups within our profession could identify with and strive towards.  It was hoped to break down barriers and form a united group.  The first most successful meeting was held at the North Shore Hospital attended by physiotherapists from all sectors and facilitated by June Gordon-Crosby.[7]

Producing a Mission statement in 1989 was a major co-operative effort.  By April 1989 Auckland Wellington Christchurch and Dunedin had produced draft mission statements which were included in the Newsletter for comment.  Representatives from each area then attended a National meeting and in August 1989 the Mission statement was finalised.[8].

In April 1989 the Public Relations Committee were finding the work of producing leaflets too difficult and requested help from specific members of branches.  The Committee reiterated their opinion in 1989 that the Society should employ professionals to do PR[9].  The display kits were developed and upgraded,  and pamphlet production continued.  Changes in format were being considered[10].  In July 1989 Raewyn Newcomb took on the “shop Keeping”  for PRC.  Orders went to National Office but were dispatched by Raewyn.

The Society was involved with a Back Care week in October 1989 with the NZ Back Foundation.

In December 1989 the print and style of future PR brochures was standardised.,  it was agreed the financing of ongoing products should continue until the committee and its products were self supporting.  It was also decided to create a marketing division at the annual general meeting,  to work closely with but be separate from the PRC.  Branch Liaison Marketing Officers were appointed in 1989,  to keep branches up to date with marketing activities,  and to co-ordinate activities. 

The Committee used various public relations firms to a limited extent,  considered the Corporate Image and marketing aspects of the physiotherapy profession in March 1990.  It was decided to adopt the slogan “Physiotherapy Works”.

Branch Liaison officers continued in their roles.  The format style of brochures was discussed and it was decided to retain the black with red and white with the use of stylised Jack & Jill images.  The use of multicoloured pictures would increase costs.  With a new style for the pamphlets besides redesigned existing leaflets new ones were done - “What is a Soft Tissue Injury?” and Stroke was nearly ready to go,  with input from the Neurological SIG.  Wellington originated a new Corporate brochure.

By June 1990 Executive were concerned at the amount of stock in hand and agreed stock control should be used. A price list was to be included in the newsletter.  The establishment to a separate “retail outlet” by Raewyn Newcomb proved spectacularly successful,  with changes in interest old items were deleted and new items introduced.  A new order form showing increased prices was released in early 1991,  giving discount to members.  Finances continued to improve in 1990,  with help from the NZPPA to pay the origination costs for the corporate brochure.

In October 1990 the draft corporate brochure was prepared and bromides for future brochures were viewed.  However this proved too expensive and the project was halted.  In November 1990 new style Acupuncture and Pelvic Floor leaflets had been printed.  The New Zealand Back Foundation generously sponsored the Self Care Back leaflet,  the third printing they had sponsored.  Smith & Nephew through their Kylie and Elastoplast divisions continued to sponsor the printing of the pelvic floor pamphlet and picked up the new sponsorship of the soft tissue pamphlet.

It was agreed there should be a discount for financial members in the 1991 price list.  The concept of branch liaison officers was working better all the time,  with branches being kept up to date.  One teleconference was held in 1990.  A branch Public Relations manual was being worked on for branch officers.  The Committee continued to work on the display kit,  and the Society organised a stand for the WCPT conference in London[11].


[1] 1987 Annual Report page 4

[2] 1987 Annual report page 4

[3] NZJP December 1986 page 1

[4] August 1987 page 3

[5] Annual Report  1987 page 4

[6] Annual Report  1987 page 4

[7] Annual Report 1988 page 4

[8] 1989 Annual Report page 2

[9] Annual Report  1988 page 4

[10] Annual Report  1989 page 3

[11] Annual Report  1990 page 4

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