Published 7/1/2008
Frank B. Kelly, MD

Using PSAs to enhance the image of orthopaedics

AAOS materials take the orthopaedic message public

“Victories in Orthopaedics: Special Patients, Special Doctors,” the 75th Anniversary public service advertising PSA) campaign, focuses on orthopaedic surgeons and the impact they have on their patients’ lives. These posters and postcards are perfect vehicles for enhancing your image and enriching your patients’ and your community’s knowledge of the difference that orthopaedics makes.

The AAOS has oversize (6" × 8") postcards in packs of 25 as well as single 18" × 24" posters available for your use. To order posters and postcards at no cost, e-mail pemr@aaos.org

Postcards and posters from the last 8 PSA campaigns can be viewed online at www.aaos.org/PSA

The backs of the postcards are blank; keep reading to see several ways they can help build your practice, inform your community, and help with advocacy efforts.

How to use AAOS PSA materials
Begin with your own office or hospital. Frame the posters and hang them in your patient reception and examination rooms.

Use them in combination with the Community Orthopaedic Awareness Program (COAP), as invitations to your public education presentations, or distribute them at your speaking engagements with appropriate health tips printed on the back.

Distribute at public events, your local library, veterans’ office, senior centers, schools, merchants, health clubs, day care centers, health fairs, or other community events.

Use the postcards as appointment reminders, direct mail pieces, or handouts to patients. There is space on each card to include your practice information. Add musculoskeletal-related tips to make them even more useful.

Mail the postcards as “thank you” notes, or send them to media after an interview with a brief follow-up note.

Send the postcards or posters along with a personal note to your state legislators or local officials to educate them about issues relating to orthopaedics.

Distribute them to residents, nurses, and other staff at your clinics, hospitals, and universities.

Taking the lawnmower safety crusade to the public
Now that summer is in full swing, the AAOS is turning media attention to the critical topic of lawnmower safety. Our patient-education Web site, www.orthoinfo.org, has an entire section on this topic. It includes updated statistics on lawnmower injuries and tips for injury prevention.

Our “Prevent Injuries America” press release on lawnmower safety is also online and has been distributed to news outlets nationwide. In the Moving Stories book, which chronicles the 75 years of orthopaedic surgery, you can read Chad Courtney’s story. Chad, who is from Decatur, Illinois, slid into the blades of a power mower, which shattered his left leg. Advances in orthopaedics and a skilled orthopaedic surgeon, Ronald R. Romanelli, MD, saved his leg and gave him back a normal life. Share this great story when you speak to groups, in schools, or to clubs. You can also find Chad’s amazing story on the AAOS 75th Anniversary Web site, www.aaos.org/75years

Webinars are the way to go
The success of our second media Webinar to promote various aspects of orthopaedics was very exciting. “Sports Savvy: Battling Injuries and Infection in Athletes of All Ages” was held on June 25 through the efforts of the AAOS and the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). Reporters, editors, producers, and bloggers heard several orthopaedic sports medicine specialists from around the country share the latest news on topics such as concussions on the soccer field, elbow and shoulder injuries plaguing young athletes, and Boomers battling past osteoarthritis.

This event preceded the AOSSM Annual Meeting (July 10-14, in Orlando, Fla.). It gave reporters a “heads-up” to a lot of great information being released at the meeting, which turned into several good stories. The Webinar is quickly becoming a popular tool in spreading the orthopaedic message to the consumer and trade media.

New LFPs hit the airwaves—so can you

Recently, members of the AAOS Leadership Fellows Program (class of 2008-2009) attended media training with their mentors. While at the AAOS offices, several new LFPs signed up to become AAOS media spokespeople.

Today, having good media training is key to successfully spreading our message. Being comfortable talking to a reporter or blogger—whether on television, in newspapers, in magazines, or on line—is fast becoming a necessity. You are likely to be called if you can deliver a clear, concise, and consumer-friendly orthopaedic message.

Sign up to be an AAOS spokesperson and help enhance the image of orthopaedic surgeons all across the country by spreading a positive musculoskeletal message to the media. Just go to the AAOS Web site and click on the “News Bureau” link in the upper right corner. Sign in, click the link “Sign up to become a media spokesperson,” and follow the prompts.

Frank B. Kelly, MD, is chair of the AAOS Communications Cabinet. He can be reached at fkelly@forsythstreetortho.com