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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

A Brand New Image

Published February 10, 2009 4:38 PM by Lauren Fritsky

LAS VEGAS--When you think of the term "brand," you probably imagine entities such as Starbucks or products like Nike.

Well what if we told you that the PT profession could also become a brand? That's exactly what the APTA is hoping to accomplish with its current branding campaign, formally rolled out this week at CSM.

"Our examination of branding really was about trying to find our soul," John Bohmert, MS, PT, who chaired the APTA's Branding Task Force, told PT Magazine. "What really is at physical therapy's core and transcends all practice areas?"

More directly, the profession wants people to know the role of a physical therapist and stop confusing it with massage therapy or personal training.  The branding campaign seeks to "help solidify the physical therapist's role as provider of choice for eliminating pain and treating conditions that result in the loss or limitation of movement," according to APTA President Scott Ward--thus the tagline of the effort, "Move Forward--Physical Therapy Brings Motion to Life." 

The focus on movement was developed by public relations firm CRT/tanaka, which is helping APTA in its mission.

"CRT/tanaka really examined our profession, and they were able to zero in on 'motion' as being at the core of what we do," said APTA Vice President Randy Roesch, PT, DPT, MBA, chair of the Communications Task Force. "They emphasized the importance of mindshift from rehabilitation to motion, noting that the rehab perception really limits us. Much of what we do in prevention and wellness ultimately eliminates the need for rehabilitation in fact."

The APTA has enlisted the help of some "brand champions" to help promote the brand and explain to colleagues how it will move the profession forward. For more information on how you can spread the news, visit the Brand Beat site at Also, check out our conference wrap in our March 9 issue to read what APTA members had to say about the campaign at CSM.


posted by Lauren Fritsky


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