Analysis of the Status and Extent of Marketing and Promotion Strategies in the Practice of Recreation Therapy.
Since its inception, the field of recreation therapy/therapeutic recreation (recreation therapy) has grown in number and professional reputation; however, in many ways, it is still one of health care's "best-kept secrets." The unfamiliarity of recreation therapy (RT) services among the general public and within the health care arena is an often repeated concern among professionals in the field. The field of RT has long struggled in terms of occupational prestige and professional acknowledgment as a legitimate therapeutic service, especially when compared to related treatment services such as occupational and physical therapies (Harkins, 2010; Harkins & Bedini, 2013; Hinton, 2000; Smith, Perry, Neumayer, Potter, & Smeal, 1992). Furthermore, in addition to lower salaries offered when compared to those of related therapies (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016-2017), recreation therapy programs are also challenged within their own agencies for recognition, often experiencing omission from websites, marketing materials, and other marketing outlets (Bedini & Petrarca, 2013).
Over the last several decades, national professional organizations in the field (i.e., American Therapeutic Recreation Association [ATRA], National Therapeutic Recreation Society [NTRS], and the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification [NCTRC]) have made efforts to market recreation therapy through the use of marketing teams, printed materials, promotional items, RT Month (and previously TR Week) celebrations, publications such as the Promoting Therapeutic Recreation: The Marketing Guide, and brochures such as Why Hire a CTRS and Why Become a CTRS. Although these efforts have served to inform and advance the visibility and understanding of RT overall, the field still lacks marketing skills and knowledge needed to consistently and effectively demonstrate RT's impact as a credible therapy.
In 1984, Thorn emphasized the importance of a marketing strategy for the RT field, noting the importance of identifying recreational therapists' professional image and proposing that the field seek to understand the "discrepancies between the desired image and the actual image" (p. 44). Thirty-two years later, however, little research exists that specifically addresses needs, barriers, and/or strategies for RT marketing (e.g., Harkins, 2010; Harkins & Bedini, 2013; Hinton, 2000; Smith et al., 1992). To address the problems of visibility, credibility, and occupational prestige, the field of RT needs to go beyond informational marketing and move toward establishing a unified, targeted, and comprehensive marketing strategy for the field. Therefore, this study was designed to gather input directly from practicing CTRSs regarding their experiences, insights, obstacles, and suggestions about marketing in an effort to begin the discussion of designing and implementing a model that may allow for a consistent, widespread marketing of RT.
Background and Need
Although the field of RT is considered young when compared to nursing, occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), and speech and language pathology (SLP), it can be said that RT lags behind them in terms of public awareness and occupational prestige. For example, occupational prestige is founded on "high pay, high social value with the greatest training" (Rosoff & Leone, 1991, p. 322). According to the Bureau of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook ([BLS] 2016-2017), the field of RT holds fewer jobs, has lower educational requirements (BS degree) to practice, and on average, offers lower salaries than PT, OT, and SLP. In addition, it can be said that RT has lower social value since it is absent from many General Social Surveys that collect national data evaluating occupational prestige (Hinton, 2010). Occupational prestige is also an issue from within our own ranks. For example, internally, of the 18,600 RT practitioners identified as practicing in the field (BLS, 2014), just under 2200 (11.5%) are members of the national professional organization, ATRA. Other disciplines like OT report that 50,000 (43.5%) of their 114,600 practicing therapists are members of their national organization (AOTA, 2016).
Another obstacle to public recognition and prestige of RT is a lack of understanding by health care administrators. Harkins and Bedini (2013) reported a study of over 400 health care administrators in North Carolina, where results revealed that the majority of respondents from various settings (i.e., hospital, long-term care, behavioral health) were generally unfamiliar with RT services. For example, many administrators did not know that to practice in RT, one is required have specific training/education (56%). Nor did they know that RT was medically prescribed (43%), with 30% thinking that RT did not function as part of an interdisciplinary team. Perceptions also included that RT was "fun activities during downtime" for clients (60%), not really beneficial (55%), not permitted due to budget (70%), and not needed (40%) in their agency. In fact, a large majority of administrators perceived overlap between RT and activity professionals (79%), and 45% of the respondents also saw overlap with OT services. In addition, over 85% of the administrators reported awareness of physician referrals for PT, whereas only 19% noted physician referrals for RT.
The current study was designed based on tenets of the Social Marketing Theory (SMT) (Morris & Clarkson, 2009), as well as from marketing literature in six other disciplines (i.e., business, nursing, PT, OT, public health, higher education). The SMT offers six guiding principles: (a) goals for the target market behavior, (b) insight into customer decision processes, (c) segmentation and targeting, (d) competition, (e) exchange, and (f) marketing and intervention mix. Applying these principles to the potential target markets for our field (i.e., health care administrators, physicians, related therapies, community advocates, potential clients/families) provides a strong foundation for marketing initiatives. These "markets," while different from each other, all hold the ability to "choose" RT as a service, either through prescription, hire, or request and thus, should be considered in a comprehensive plan.
The first two principles of the SMT address the importance of changing knowledge and attitudes of our target markets in order to achieve actual behavioral changes (Morris & Clarkson, 2009, p. 137). These changes are dependent on insight of consumers to make these changes happen. Thus, it is essential to understand the motivation underlying customer choices. To this end, RT practitioners need to explore what influences and restricts potential consumers (i.e., administrators, physicians, therapists, clients) and then design methods that can affect their knowledge and attitudes to create desired behaviors (i.e., choosing our services, hiring RTs onto staff, and actively promoting RT services).
Within each of the major target markets in RT (i.e., health care administrators, physicians, therapists, consumers), there are sub-markets (segments) that should also be identified (e.g., different disability groups, settings, systems). The third principle of segmentation emphasizes the importance to matching strategies with different needs and perspectives of each of these sub-groups. Next, SMT addresses getting a field's competition (e.g., who or what stands in the way of getting the target markets) to value the commodity. As noted earlier, RT struggles to articulate an identity that separates RT from AP as well as other related therapists (i.e., OTs, PTs, SLPs). Establishing RT's value, as well as its unique contribution to achieving client outcomes, should underlie these efforts.
Successful marketing is dependent on an attractive exchange between parties. For RT, the benefit of a service to our consumer (e.g., administrator, physician, therapist, client) must exceed costs (real and perceived) for the exchange to be worthwhile. According to Morris and Clarkson (2009), cost can be more than financial, including "... emotional, social, loss of preferred behaviors, or time cost of learning new practices" (pp. 137-138). From this perspective, a challenge before the field of RT is to demonstrate how RT, conducted by a CTRS, provides therapeutic benefits that offset these and other costs.
The final principle of the SMT is the marketing and intervention mix, commonly known as the four "Ps" (product, price, place, promotion). As Jacobs (2012) suggested, RT professionals must be careful to avoid assumptions that our beliefs are known or shared by a particular audience. Thoughtfully analyzing and assessing our target markets will lead to accurate and effective marketing efforts for the field.
The purpose of this study was to examine the current status and extent of RT marketing across the United States and Canada. In addition, this study sought to identify specific needs and barriers that prevent successful marketing of RT programs and services, as well as successful strategies used by CTRSs to implement effective RT marketing.
A 53-item electronic Qualtrics questionnaire was designed to solicit information on the status and extent of effective marketing strategies and techniques used to promote RT programs and departments. Questions were developed based on professional marketing literature and input from RT practitioners. The questionnaire was formatted using three conceptual categories of marketing (Bedini & Kelly, 2013). The intra-departmental questions (5 items) inquired about activities conducted within the RT department to prepare staff and interns to market RT. Questions regarding inter-departmental marketing (13 items) asked about activities RT department conduct to market themselves within their agency to administration, physicians, and therapists, and clients/families as well as within the community. Questions about extra-departmental efforts (22 items) addressed the establishment of systems for continuous marketing of RT, such as branding, points of contact, media, and signage. Cronbach reliability coefficients for each of the three areas were intra-departmental ([alpha] = .78), inter-departmental ([alpha] = .89), and extra-departmental (a = .92).
Four open-ended questions were designed to solicit responses about marketing needs, marketing strengths, strategies used to market RT, and general comments and concerns about marketing in RT overall. In addition, four questions asked about the existence and use of an RT marketing plan. Finally, demographic questions (5 items) were designed using the categories of the NCTRC 2014 Job Analysis Report on current position in RT department/program, primary employment sector, client population, primary age group, and years working as a CTRS.
Sample and Procedures
An anonymous and confidential Qualtrics online questionnaire (IRB approved) was emailed to 6,500 active CTRSs through the National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). The sample was delimited to include only full-time practicing CTRSs. Thus, part-time CTRSs, CTRAs, RT educators, and CTRSs who were not currently practicing in the field were excluded. An email describing the purpose of the study and all IRB conditions and protections along with a link to the online questionnaire was sent electronically using mailing "labels" provided by NCTRC. One week after the initial email, NCTRC sent a reminder email with the survey link to all potential participants asking those who had not participated to complete the survey. The survey was closed one week from that date.
All data received from the Qualtrics questionnaires were downloaded into the SPSS v. 22 statistical analysis program. Statistical analysis comprised descriptive analysis using frequencies and percentages and discriminatory analyses such as independent t-ests and analyses of variance (ANOVA). Content analysis was employed to determine patterns and themes from the open-ended questions.
Responses were received from 1,373 CTRSs (response rate of 21.1%). Subsequently incomplete surveys were removed, yielding a usable sample of 1,116 respondents. Respondents represented 48 states, the District of Columbia, and six Canadian provinces.
Demographically, the majority of respondents identified as therapists (48%) with administrators, supervisors, and recreation therapy leader/programmers distributed afterward. The largest employment sector was hospital (37.4%), followed by skilled nursing facilities/long-term care. The most common populations groups with whom the respondents worked were behavioral health (38%), geriatrics/long-term care (24.2%), physical medicine and physical disability (17.9%), and developmental/intellectual disabilities (7%). The majority of respondents (74%) worked with adults and/or older adults. The number of years practiced as CTRSs was distributed equally across all categories. The largest categories of respondents were those who practiced as a CTRS for more than 25 years (24.7%) and those practiced for 5 or fewer years (20%) (see Table 1).
Overall Status of Marketing in RT
Results indicated that the overall status of marketing in the field of RT was generally inconsistent and at best, moderately utilized. Of the 40 items within the three conceptual areas (intra, inter, extra-departmental), only 13 items showed positive responses (often/always) by 50% or more of the responses. For example, three of the five intra-departmental items indicated that 59% to 69% of the respondents "never" or "occasionally/rarely" conducted these marketing activities within the RT department. Similarly, for the inter-departmental marketing category, 56% to 85% of the respondents rarely/never engaged in the majority (9 of 13) of these marketing activities noted. Finally, results showed that the majority of respondents pursued 15 of the 22 extra-departmental activities.
In addition, several questions addressed the presence and use of either a marketing plan and/or connecting with agency marketing specialist. Less than 10% of the respondents reported having a formal marketing plan for the RT department, with only 6% doing any periodic refinement of the plan. Twenty-five percent of the respondents reported that someone employed in the RT department was specifically responsible for marketing RT. In addition, 22% had someone in RT department working directly with the agency marketing specialist (see Table 2). It is important to note that comparative Mest analyses demonstrated that CTRSs who used any of the three strategies noted above were consistently more likely to utilize the marketing techniques noted in the questions in all three categories: intra-departmental, inter-departmental, and extra-departmental.
Finally, for the most part, no differences were found within any demographic variable with the exception of "Client Population Served." Overall, CTRSs who worked with clients in physical medicine and physical disability (PM/PD) were more likely to conduct marketing efforts in all three categories: intra-departmental, inter-departmental, and extra-departmental, while CTRSs who worked in behavioral health were least likely in comparison.
Five questions addressed marketing efforts conducted within an RT department. Although approximately 65% of the respondents indicated that they trained interns to provide examples of how RT is a goal-directed service, results showed that only 34% included how to market RT in staff orientation. In terms of gathering data to demonstrate the value of the field, 31% compiled statistics regarding RT being non-pharmacological or being effective in increasing quality of life and well-being (41%). Interestingly, 87% of the respondents indicated that their staff was competent in describing the impact of RT services in staff, team, and treatment meetings (see Table 3).
Thirteen items addressed marketing efforts conducted between the RT department and facets within an agency. Results showed that only four items in this category were conducted by a majority of respondents. The remaining nine items garnered less than 44% positive responses. Positive responses indicated that over 77% of the respondents reported marketing directly to clients within an agency. Similarly, 69% stated that they co-treat with other services. Just over half of the respondents routinely shared important data, statistics, or current research about the positive outcomes of RT with agency decision-makers; specifically 58% about RT's non-pharmacological nature and 56% about positive effect on quality of life. The remaining nine items, however, showed only 15% to 44% use. The least conducted activities related to in-services/workshops on RT within and outside of the agency, ranging from only 15% to 25% depending on the audience. Other weak areas involved research involvement whereby only 29% sought to keep administrators up to date with latest evidence-based practice literature related to RT, and 35% sought to conduct/collaborate on research or grant projects. Similarly, only 44% shared RT patient satisfaction data with administrators/decision-makers. The last item in this section addressed using testimonials from current or former clients/families through agency or media outlets with only 27% using this technique (see Table 4).
Twenty-two items addressed extra-departmental marketing efforts that reached out beyond the department and agency including community at large. These items represented four categories of extra-departmental marketing: contacts, signage, media, and branding. Results showed that all but seven of these items were conducted "often" or "always" by the majority of the respondents. In the sub-area of contacts, however, only 24% of the respondents reported that their RT program/department was "always" findable within four clicks (maximum effective number) on the agency webpage. Also, although 80% noted that the person who answers the phone can direct caller to RT staff, only 41% noted that this person can articulate what RT is to a caller/visitor.
Less than two-thirds of the respondents reported that RT is represented in signage within their agency. Just over half noted that RT was identified in the main directory, 64% had RT appropriate signage at their department office, and just 60% stated that the RT signage is consistent with that of other therapies. Of note, however, is that 48% of the respondents stated that they did not display their personal CTRS credential.
In terms of utilizing media for marketing RT, just over a third of the respondents reported being visible in agency marketing efforts and 29% participated in any media collaboration with agency, departmental, or outside (newspaper/TV) opportunities. Similarly, only 18.5% had any active RT departmental social media systems.
For the last area of extra-departmental marketing, less than half of the respondents participated in any branding efforts with 17% using a tagline, 11% using branded clothing, and 20% with RT brochures. Twenty-five percent of the respondents did not have RT nametags, and 43% did not have RT business cards (see Table 5).
Content analysis was conducted on the four open-ended questions to determine patterns and topical themes. Responses to the question asking for general comments were primarily about the survey itself; however a number of comments shared concerns about restrictions marketing due to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). The remaining three open-ended questions that asked respondents to share greatest marketing needs, greatest marketing strengths, and successful strategies about marketing in the field.
Greatest RT Marketing Needs
Analysis of the open-ended responses about marketing needs data revealed seven broad topical themes. All of the themes were related to need for increased recognition in some way. The largest category addressed the need for more awareness of RT by other services, administrators, and consumers. Comments about lack of awareness by target markets also included the need for education of what RT is within the agency as well as in community. A related theme addressed the need for potential consumers as well as administrators to distinguish between RT and AP specifically. Also, the need for RT to be recognized as a legitimate service that is equal to other therapies was commonly cited. Other categories included the need for effective marketing materials (e.g., brochures, DVDs, social media, and websites), research to prove evidence-based practice, and support from management for RT marketing in particular. Of note, a significant number of respondents stated that they had no marketing needs because they did not market RT.
Greatest RT Marketing Strengths
Open-ended responses regarding marketing strengths yielded six themes, although not all actually addressed strengths, per se. Many respondents indicated that a marketing strength came from securing a presence in interdisciplinary and collaborative relationships on administrative and treatment teams and committees. In particular, working with the agency marketing committee/department was identified as a marketing strength. A second theme dealt with partnering and community involvement and outreach. A related theme noted the importance of educating decision-makers about the impact of RT. Another identified strength addressed the importance of skilled and knowledgeable RT staff suggesting that the investment in a good hire paid off as a marketing strength later on.
Two other themes emerged from this question that will be addressed in more detail in the discussion. First, a large number of respondents stated that "word of mouth" was a marketing strength. Most of these comments had no additional information or qualifiers. The second theme that presents a concern was the significant number of respondents who noted that they had "no" marketing strengths. Again, these responses offered little to no explanation.
Successful Strategies for RT Marketing
Responses to this open-ended question yielded conceptual suggestions as well as specific techniques for successfully marketing RT. This question requested information that was similar to strengths, but while strengths addressed opportunities that existed, strategies sought specific techniques that they were using that worked to marketing RT in their agency. In addition to generalized recommendations for characteristics of target audiences, respondents detailed examples in areas of types of events, unique promotion approaches, specialized communication with families, as well as particulars in terms of signage, timing, and products. Several categories of successful marketing strategies emerged from the data.
Similar to marketing strengths, respondents stressed the overall importance of visibility within the agency through membership on committees as well as partnering with other disciplines. Respondents also noted the importance of community engagement and aiding others in understanding the potential impact of RT as a treatment service. This included techniques such as hosting special events and public speaking. Another theme regarding strategies suggested a consistent presence in media output. Comments noted that exposure through brochures/newsletters, social media, videos, as well as television coverage, facilitated exposure, and communication about the benefits of RT services. A related theme addressed strong branding of RT through printed and electronic materials. Many of the respondents stressed the effectiveness of using client/patient testimonials in these outlets.
From a provision perspective, comments about the importance of quality of the RT programs as well as of RT staff emphasized the need for high standards and expectations in effective marketing of the field. The last strategy group suggested was the use of "hard" data in the form of statistics and patient satisfaction data, in promoting the effects and benefits of RT service. Once again, there were a large number of respondents who noted that they did not utilize any marketing strategies in their agency.
Some limitations should be noted when examining the results of this study. First, this was a self-designed survey. Although it was based on professional literature about marketing and the three conceptual area had strong reliabilities, it is important to note that it lacks some psychometric data. Second, the intent of this study was to attain a baseline of information regarding the status and extent of marketing in the field of RT. Therefore, the survey design and use of open-ended questions served primarily exploratory purposes. Further analysis based on the results that would focus on questions that emerged from this analysis should be considered in future research. Third, sampling was not stratified to strengthen representation from respondent groups that might have lower numbers of practitioners than others. Thus, CTRSs from less represented settings might not have had substantial presence in the data.
Discussion and Implications
The results of this study suggest that marketing in the field of RT is inconsistent and ranges from active to non-existent efforts. Reasons for this wide differential are not clear but suggest that the field may benefit from a comprehensive strategy. CTRSs surveyed were only moderately, at best, conducting marketing activities in their programs. Results indicated that while some CTRSs were implementing successful marketing strategies, others felt inadequately prepared or restricted with regards to developing and/or implementing marketing efforts. In addition, there appeared to be no consistent patterns among settings, population, or therapist experience.
Several concerns arose from the data. First, a significant number of respondents stated that they had no marketing needs, strengths, and/or strategies because they did not market RT in their agency. This response alone raises the possibility that CTRSs do not know the importance marketing or that they perceived they do not have the skills or opportunities to do so.
A second concern was the result showing that seemingly easy-to-achieve techniques for marketing RT within one's agency were pursued by relatively low numbers of respondents. For example, just over half of the respondents reported that they displayed their own CTRS credential for public view. The lack of posting one's CTRS credential not only deprives clients, allied therapists, and administrators the opportunity to identify a CTRS as a vetted and trained practitioner (prestige), but also potentially communicates lack of occupational pride, or unimportance of the certification by the CTRS. Whether these results indicate apathy or perhaps a sense of learned helplessness on the part of these CTRSs is unclear. In another example, results showed that almost half of CTRSs do not share RT patient satisfaction data with administration/decision-makes. This could be due to the fact that they do not collect these data or that they do not share data they have.
Third, data indicated contradictory results regarding CTRSs' ability to explain the value of RT to others. For example, a vast majority of the respondents identified themselves as able to articulate benefits of the RT field, but most also noted they do not gather current data/statistics on the benefits of RT. In addition, a slight majority reported that they routinely shared data with agency decision-makers that RT is a non-pharmacological treatment (58%) and that it increases outcomes related to quality of life (56%), however, less than 41% noted that they collected these data/facts. Also, for each of the open-ended questions (needs, strengths, strategies), very few respondents (4%, 7%, 5% respectively) suggested evidence-based practice/outcomes/research as important in these areas. These results raise the question of what information they are sharing and indicate a potential need for education and training directed at CTRSs for how to market the therapeutic benefits of the field of RT.
Last, the category of "word of mouth" was by far the most often cited "strength" as well as "marketing strategy" by the respondents. Although word of mouth can be a powerful tool, it is not clear that the effectiveness of this technique has been established. Without rigor or protocols to assure that what is shared by families and clients communicates the important elements of RT as a goal-directed, effective therapy, word of mouth has little impact in marketing. In addition, CTRSs might be relying on word of mouth as their only marketing strategy, thus, omitting opportunities to increase occupational prestige and recognition as a valid therapy.
Although many of the results of this study indicated concerns regarding the efforts as well as awareness of marketing needs in the field of RT, they also illustrated many specific areas of successful marketing by CTRSs. Therefore, the results can be used as a baseline to begin to design a strategic marketing plan that would serve as a template to assist CTRSs in increasing visibility, understanding, and occupational prestige for their programs and subsequently, for the field of RT. Data suggest that there are significant barriers that should be addressed on local levels (agencies) as well as through broad and global efforts (organizational) to address the perceived and actual lack of knowledge and/or opportunity to design and implement functional marketing strategies.
Recommendations for Practice
Recommendations for practice span both short-term and long-term agendas as well as local and global foci. First, as noted above, results indicated that some CTRSs are not marketing RT services. In addition, for a segment of those who are marketing, results showed that there is a lack of knowledge of specific techniques for how to market in the field. Therefore, it seems important to incorporate education and training about how to market the field into RT curricula on the college/university level. Unfortunately, there is little emphasis from the field to include these skills in RT curricula. For example, NCTRC's 2014 Job Analysis Report's Knowledge areas include only one item that addresses marketing (under Advancement of the Profession which is only 7% of the exam). Academic programs should take the initiative to expand training on how to market RT. This in turn might increase marketing efforts in RT practice and eventually affect the tasks identified within the field in the future to include broader marketing skills.
Second, CTRSs should be careful not to confuse specific marketing strategies with merely "spreading the word." Reliance on word of mouth alone is not sufficient to market our services effectively. As noted earlier, occupational prestige is hinged on training and high social value (Rosoff & Leone, 1991). In this context, training does not necessarily mean additional years in school, but can be interpreted as more skills in the practitioner skill set. Similarly, high social value addresses recognition as a practice that works to meet its goals. With this said, focus should be on addressing the fact that the field of RT lacks recognition as an evidence-based, non-pharmacological, goal-driven therapy. As noted, very few respondents (4%-7%) used evidence-based practice (EBP)/outcomes/research as a marketing tool. Clearly, these results highlight the level of need for education and training directed at CTRSs on how to collect and use data in their practice and then use these data to market the field of RT Practitioners who implement these practices should take initiative to provide training and strategies to other CTRSs, state, regional, and national. Lastly, additional organized efforts from national leadership such as ATRA and the NCTRC should be employed. As national organizations, these groups have the potential to design and distribute materials that may inform and direct practicing CTRSs in strategic marketing techniques within their respective practices.
Recommendations for Research
Several recommendations exist for future research on this topic. First, to facilitate consistency and reduce variability among the questionnaire items in future research, a factor analysis should be conducted on the three main sections (Intra, Inter, Extra) to eliminate possible conceptual redundancies among the variables. This analysis would potentially strengthen the sections and eliminate items that might distract from the interpretation of the results.
Second, examining respondents' constraints (real and perceived) as well as facilitators to marketing identified by CTRSs may contribute to understanding unique marketing needs and abilities. For example, some of the respondents suggested specific barriers to designing and conducting marketing activities. Analysis indicated, however, that some of these barriers were perceived rather than real. Further research should explore what perceptions might be keeping CTRSs from pursuing marketing efforts that are available and possible to achieve. Similarly, it will be important to identify specific characteristics of the settings, support systems, and techniques of the CTRSs that are conducting successful marketing strategies in order to develop models for other to utilize in designing and improving their own marketing efforts. Finally, surveying college and university RT programs about the level and extent of curriculum content on marketing is taught to RT students could help give a perspective of what needs to be developed on the curricular level for the field.
In conclusion, results from this study provide a baseline understanding of the knowledge and experiences of CTRSs regarding marketing in the field of RT. An effort to gain more specific understanding about conditions of identified marketing constraints, as well as details about successful techniques, is warranted. As these elements are identified and understood, the foundation of a comprehensive and strategic marketing model can be built.
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Leandra A. Bedini, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS
Professor and Director of Therapeutic Recreation
Department of Community and Therapeutic Recreation
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
(336) 334-3260 * email@example.com
This study was funded in part by the North Carolina Recreation Therapy Association.
TABLE 1 RESPONDENT PROFILE DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE N % Client Population Served by CTRS Behavioral Health 294 38.1 DD/ID 55 7.1 Geriatric Long-Term Care 187 24.2 Physical Medicine and Physical Disability 138 17.9 Other 98 12.7 Total 772 100.0 Current Position Administrator 36 4.6 Therapist 371 47.7 Therapist/Administrator 53 6.0 Therapist/Supervisor 191 24.6 TR Leader/Programmer 40 5.1 TR Leader/Supervisor 43 5.5 Other 43 5.5 Total 777 100.0 Primary Employment Sector Adult Day Care 31 4.0 Community Parks & Recreation 39 5.0 Correctional Facility 28 3.6 Disability Organization 9 1.2 Hospital 291 37.4 Human Services 6 .8 Outpatient Day Program 23 3.0 Residential/Transitional 70 9.0 School 6 .8 Skilled Nursing Facility 146 18.8 Other 129 11.6 Total 778 100.0 Age Group Served Older Adult 131 16.8 Adult/Older Adult 282 36.2 Adult 161 20.7 Adolescent 34 4.4 Pediatric/Adolescent 45 5.8 Pediatric 5 .6 All Age Groups 120 15.4 Total 778 100.0 Years Worked as CTRS 0-5 147 18.9 6-10 127 16.3 11-15 118 15.2 16-20 103 13.2 20-25 91 11.7 Over 25 192 24.7 Total 778 100.0 TABLE 2 OVERALL STATUS OF MARKETING N % Formal Recreation Therapy Marketing Plan Yes 106 9.5 No 1010 90.5 Total 1116 100.0 Periodic Refining of Recreation Therapy Marketing Plan Yes 69 6.2 No 34 3.0 Total 103 100.0 Specific CTRS Responsible for Marketing Yes 194 25.3 No 573 74.7 Total 767 100.0 Works with Agency Marketing Specialist Yes 167 21.7 No 603 78.3 Total 770 100.0 TABLE 3 INTRA-PROFESSIONAL N % Gives Recreation Therapy Marketing at Staff Orientation Never 345 31.0 Occasionally/Rarely 389 34.9 Often 219 19.7 Always 161 14.5 Total 1114 100.0 Trains Interns on Value or Recreation Therapy Never 206 18.5 Occasionally/Rarely 279 20.3 Often 288 25.9 Always 338 30.4 Total 1111 100.0 Compiles Stats on Recreation Therapy as Non-pharm Treatment Never 377 34.0 Occasionally/Rarely 389 35.1 Often 222 20.0 Always 121 10.9 Total 109 100.0 Complies Stats on Recreation Therapy & Quality of Life Never 291 26.2 Occasionally/Rarely 364 32.8 Often 285 25.7 Always 171 15.4 Total 111 100.0 Speak Up in Meetings to Describe Recreation Therapy Never 26 2.5 Occasionally/Rarely 104 10.1 Often 316 30.7 Always 582 56.6 Total 028 100.0 TABLE 4 INTER-PROFESSIONAL N % Shares with Decision-Makers Recreation Therapy as Nonpharmacological Treatment Never 124 12.8 Occasionally/Rarely 286 29.5 Often 331 34.2 Always 228 23.5 Total 969 100.0 Shares with Decision-Makers of Recreation Therapy & Quality of Life Never 114 11.8 Occasionally/Rarely 317 32.7 Often 317 32.7 Always 220 22.7 Total 968 100.0 Recreation Therapy In-Services for Decision-Makers Never 263 27.3 Occasionally/Rarely 464 48.1 Often 180 18.7 Always 57 5.9 Total 964 100.0 Recreation Therapy In-Services for Other Disciplines Never 242 25.1 Occasionally/Rarely 466 48.2 Often 199 20.6 Always 59 6.1 Total 966 100.0 Recreation Therapy In-Services for Community Never 457 47.3 Occasionally/Rarely 362 37.4 Often 110 11.4 Always 38 3.9 Total 967 100.0 RT TR In-Services to Non-RT Professionals Never 308 31.8 Occasionally/Rarely 390 40.3 Often 210 21.7 Always 60 6.2 Total 968 100.0 Informs Administration on Recreation Therapy EBP Never 283 29.3 Occasionally/Rarely 399 41.3 Often 210 21.7 Always 75 7.8 Total 967 100.0 Markets Recreation Therapy Directly to Patients Never 67 7.0 Occasionally/Rarely 158 16.5 Often 315 33.0 Always 415 43.5 Total 955 100.0 Markets Recreation Therapy within Local Community Never 262 27.2 Occasionally/Rarely 311 32.3 Often 242 25.1 Always 148 15.4 Total 963 100.0 Shares Patient Satisfaction with Administration Never 223 23.0 Occasionally/Rarely 320 33.1 Often 244 25.2 Always 181 18.7 Total 968 100.0 Seeks to Co-Treat with Other Disciplines Never 77 8.0 Occasionally/Rarely 218 22.7 Often 343 35.7 Always 324 33.7 Total 962 100.0 Collaborates on RT-Related Research Never 311 32.2 Occasionally/Rarely 314 32.5 Often 219 22.7 Always 122 12.6 Total 966 100.0 Posts Testimonials Never 410 42.5 Occasionally/Rarely 298 30.9 Often 171 17.7 Always 85 8.8 Total 964 100.0 TABLE 5 EXTRA-PROFESSIONAL N % Findable in Four "Clicks" on Computer Never 227 26.2 Occasionally/Rarely 246 28.3 Often 185 21.3 Always 210 24.2 Total 868 100.0 Person Answering Phone Can Direct Callers Never 53 6.1 Occasionally/Rarely 125 14.3 Often 232 26.6 Always 463 53.0 Total 873 100.0 Person Answering Phone Can Articulate Recreation Therapy Never 208 18.6 Occasionally/Rarely 305 27.3 Often 226 20.3 Always 130 11.6 Total 869 100.0 Recreation Therapy Department Clearly Listed in Directory Never 102 12.1 Occasionally/Rarely 156 18.5 Often 219 25.9 Always 367 43.5 Total 844 100.0 Signage in Main Directory Never 234 27.3 Occasionally/Rarely 185 21.6 Often 174 20.3 Always 264 30.8 Total 857 100.0 Signage Consistent with Other Therapies Never 183 21.2 Occasionally/Rarely 170 19.7 Often 196 22.7 Always 313 36.3 Total 862 100.0 Signage in Recreation Therapy Office Never 158 18.4 Occasionally/Rarely 149 17.4 Often 196 22.8 Always 355 41.4 Total 858 100.0 Staff's Recreation Therapy Credential Displayed Never 252 29.7 Occasionally/Rarely 158 18.6 Often 122 14.4 Always 317 37.3 Total 849 100.0 Visible in Agency Marketing Never 296 34.1 Occasionally/Rarely 252 29.0 Often 162 18.7 Always 158 18.2 Total 868 100.0 Active Social Media Never 572 65.7 Occasionally/Rarely 137 15.7 Often 82 9.4 Always 80 9.2 Total 871 100.0 Invites Clients and Staff to "Like" Never 619 71.9 Occasionally/Rarely 112 13.0 Often 64 7.4 Always 66 7.7 Total 861 100.0 Submits Stories of Recreation Therapy Never 368 42.3 Occasionally/Rarely 281 32.3 Often 133 15.3 Always 89 10.2 Total 871 100.0 Media to Boost Value Never 449 52.0 Occasionally/Rarely 246 28.5 Often 107 12.4 Always 62 7.2 Total 864 100.0 Seeks Collaboration with PR/Marketing Never 343 40.9 Occasionally/Rarely 248 29.6 Often 143 17.1 Always 104 12.4 Total 838 100.0 Has Own Tagline Never 554 63.8 Occasionally/Rarely 166 19.1 Often 86 9.9 Always 63 7.2 Total 869 100.0 Has Recreation Therapy Name Badges Never 222 25.6 Occasionally/Rarely 67 7.7 Often 99 11.4 Always 478 55.2 Total 866 100.0 Brand Recreation Therapy Clothing Never 655 75.2 Occasionally/Rarely 115 13.2 Often 47 5.4 Always 54 6.2 Total 871 100.0 Brands Recreation Therapy Materials Never 362 41.7 Occasionally/Rarely 190 21.9 Often 131 15.1 Always 186 21.4 Total 869 100.0 Has Recreation Therapy Business Cards Never 372 42.7 Occasionally/Rarely 155 17.8 Often 109 12.5 Always 236 27.1 Total 872 100.0 Presence in Public Places Never 262 30.2 Occasionally/Rarely 261 30.1 Often 188 21.7 Always 156 18.0 Total 867 100.0 Visible Recreation Therapy Journals/Books Never 459 52.9 Occasionally/Rarely 248 28.6 Often 94 10.8 Always 67 7.7 Total 868 100.0 Own Recreation Therapy Brochures Never 523 60.7 Occasionally/Rarely 159 18.5 Often 81 9.4 Always 98 11.4 Total 861 100.0
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|Author:||Bedini, Leandra A.|
|Publication:||Annual in Therapeutic Recreation|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2017|
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