Public Relations and Marketing
Greater competition for the health care dollar and the influence of government and insurance companies — which at times have pre-empted organized dentistry’s role as the authority on what constitutes quality dental care and how dentistry should be practiced — have encouraged organized dentistry to take extra steps in educating the public about dental health. The Pennsylvania Dental Association's Communications and Public Relations Committee manages a variety of public relations and marketing activities to accomplish this task.
PDA’s most visible public relations activity is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM). The multifaceted NCDHM promotion is designed to educate Pennsylvania youths, specifically third-grade students, about the importance of good dental health. To reach these students, PDA designs and distributes NCDHM lesson plan kits to third-grade educators and encourages the students’ participation in its statewide poster contest. An education bond is presented to the winner of the contest, and the winner’s school and teacher each receive a cash prize.
PDA relies heavily on its members to convey NCDHM’s message beyond the third-grade classroom by conducting age-appropriate oral health lessons at day care centers and Head Start programs, running health fairs at local hot spots, hosting office visits and placing announcements in local media.
PDA’s other ongoing public relations efforts include dissemination of important dental health information to consumers via the PDA website, production and distribution of news releases and coordination and production of other public relations activities to support membership and government relations initiatives.