APTA Public Relations is recruiting physical therapists to join our group of spokespersons, the APTA Media Corps. This group consists of APTA member physical therapists representing various specialties, who are professionally media trained by APTA to serve as spokespersons for the association. APTA PR staff facilitate requests from a variety of media interested in the many symptoms and conditions PTs treat. We proactively and reactively engage with national and local media.
APTA is looking for new spokespersons across all specialties, with a particular need in the following areas: pelvic health, school-based, home health, ortho/sports, acute care, and arthritis-patient care.
Each new member will be required to attend a media training workshop at APTA headquarters in early 2022.
To represent APTA, with the support of APTA PR staff, to members of the media seeking information on physical therapy and/or APTA’s stance and positions (if applicable).
Position Requirements and Responsibilities
Timely responses to media inquiries and interview requests, in coordination with APTA staff, are required, including:
- Ability to articulate information, with the support of APTA PR staff, about physical therapy and APTA’s stance and positions (if applicable) via media interviews with print, broadcast (radio and television), and online media outlets.
- Willingness to provide evidence or anecdotal information to reporters when appropriate.
- Commitment to becoming familiar with materials, such as APTA messaging playbooks and interview tips provided by APTA.
- Readiness to promote approved consumer messaging, your status as an APTA spokesperson, and other official consumer resources such as Find a PT and APTA’s consumer-facing website ChoosePT.com.
- Enthusiasm to serve as an ambassador and amplifier for ChoosePT.com and related public awareness campaigns.
The spokesperson’s commentary and responses to media inquiries must conform with approved consumer messaging and existing APTA policy positions and statements (if applicable).
Expression of personal opinions should not be stated when representing the association as a member of the APTA Media Corps.
Opinions should not be expressed in contradiction with approved APTA consumer messaging, policy, or positions in an interview and on other public platforms, e.g., social media.
Please contact APTA PR staff if you have any concerns about an APTA policy or position.
Note: Reporters often distribute multiple queries for spokespersons. This means that a reporter may initially reach out to APTA staff but later decide against speaking with you because they have all the spokespersons they need, or their editor has decided against doing the story. Although this is rare, there is no guarantee that the reporter will use your interview in the story if you do an interview.
In addition to the responsibilities mentioned above, the average estimated time commitment is approximately two hours per month, depending on the number and type of media requests received. The hours of services requested, if any, will fluctuate each month.
New term limits effective January 2022 are three years, with the option to reapply for another three years when the first term ends.
Training and Preparation
You will be required to participate in a free, one-day APTA media training workshop at APTA headquarters. You will learn the basics of handling an interview, including developing key messages, responding to questions, body language, etc.
You must be an APTA member in good standing and be interested in and committed to raising awareness of the profession through media relations. You must also be willing to have your name and contact information (including professional title) given to the media.
- APTA PR staff.
- com materials and resources.
- Key messaging playbooks.
Media Training Benefits
You will be part of a small (20 persons) select group of media savvy APTA spokespersons from across the country. In your role, you will become known to the media and consumers as a reliable source of information about the benefits of physical therapy. As such, you must conduct yourself with utmost professionalism during interviews and honor your scheduled interview commitments. You will have access to APTA PR staff, who will guide you in all aspects of your responsibilities and provide the information and materials that you will need to become an effective media spokesperson. The skills you develop during training and working with the media will benefit you in public speaking, meetings, teaching, etc.