Uniting Our Voices to Reach the Public
Jud Richland, MPH, CEO
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
by: Jud Richland, MPH, CEO

Section: ED Update

546,913. That’s the number of visits in the last twelve months to AANP’s online “Find a Naturopathic Doctor” search feature. That comes out to more than 1,000 “Find an ND” visits for each AANP member!

When I think about the value of membership in AANP, I think about many things – our support of state licensure efforts, our advocacy for naturopathic medicine at the federal level, our annual conference, free access to the Natural Standard databases, access to a great library of practice development resources, daily news clippings affecting naturopathic medicine, and on and on.

But I always come back to “Find an ND.” If just 10 percent of those “Find and ND” hits turn into new patient visits, that’s an average of 100 new patients for an AANP member during a year of membership. That’s outstanding value for your membership dollar!

But guess what… we can do even better. The main reason that the 546,913 is not higher is that most people still don’t think to visit an ND when they get sick. And there are many people who WOULD visit a naturopathic physician if they knew about NDs.

On that count, AANP has been conducting dedicated consumer research since the latter part of last year. I’m excited because we’re nearly ready to share our results with the AANP membership and get your feedback. We’ll be holding a webinar in April – to which you’ll be invited – so that we can share what we’ve learned. That includes key insights about why patients visit naturopathic doctors, what we believe are the core descriptors that capture the essence of naturopathic medicine, and our future brand positioning for the profession that can be used as a springboard for our marketing efforts.

While the research will guide AANP’s messaging, in and of itself that is not enough for naturopathic medicine to permeate the public consciousness. We need our message to go viral. We need to support you in your communications and marketing efforts and vice versa. Ultimately, if your messaging and AANP’s messaging are in sync, we’ll vastly increase awareness, understanding, support, and utilization of naturopathic physicians.

You’ll be hearing more soon about these communications plans, and I hope you’ll join us in building a chorus of voices trumpeting naturopathic physicians.
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