Vandita Chisholme, COT Marketing Manager, will explore the ways that Occupational Therapists can promote their profession.
I am always amazed at the innovation and bravery displayed to celebrate OT Week. I have heard of members’ abseiling, running an open cinema evening, wheelchair races to name just a few.
One of the most popular activities during OT week is setting up a display stand. Display stands are found in the workplace foyer; local shopping malls and supermarkets; local community centres such as libraries and church halls. This very visible presence attracts the attention of the general public, colleagues and senior management. It is gratifying to see the College’s materials being displayed and hearing how members of the public are drawn onto the stands to find out more about occupational therapy.
But as you can see from the blog title, I want to challenge members to go beyond the display stands, and think of different ways they can promote the profession during OT Week. As 2015 is an election year, OT Week can be a perfect time to practise how you can promote the profession, particularly when political representatives will be so much more accessible next year. I am asking you to use OT Week to develop and fine tune your strategic influencing skills.
Practice articulating the benefits of occupational therapy and start gathering the evidence from your service that demonstrates how occupational therapy is a cost effective and efficient service that really does get results and makes a difference to the lives of service users. During OT Week, invite your chief executive to a team meetings, encourage local councillors to visit your services or even see if you have a human interest story that can be featured in your local media.
Try and consider how many people you are reaching during your OT week activities, and perhaps engage in some friendly competition with other services you work with to see who has the greatest amount of coverage.
I will be taking part in an #OTalk at 20:00 (BST) on the 29th July to share and gather your views of OT Week, so we can make sure that OTs are really prepared for political persuasion during the 2014 OT Week.
To find out what is currently available visit our COT website.