Our society has come a long way since Bill W and Dr. Bob cofounded AA eventually creating their 12-step program used successfully by so many addiction treatment groups and centers. Back then, nobody talked about addiction, no matter what your chosen substance might be. Due to the nature of what they do, many drug and alcohol treatment facilities are also naturally very anonymous in most of what they do – yet many of them use public relations firms and SEO campaigns in order to build brand.
Working from a primary 12-step tenet of “you are only as sick as your secrets,” we went looking for a few firms who have publicly acknowledged their PR efforts for drug and rehab centers.
Here’s what we found:
Arlene Howard Public Relations
AHPR is a full-service PR firm doing work for clients in their social media, content marketing, media relations, editorial & ghostwriting, product launches, event management, brand building, and book development & publicity. They are located in sunny Southern California and specialize in medical, health & fitness and beauty-lifestyle PR. Ms. Howard was a former Vice President of Publicity for MGM.
They represent Cliffside Malibu, and recently shared an article about them on her website. Richard Taite, founder, says, “Everyone gets treated well. It’s a philosophy. Some people believe it’s got to be a tough love thing and that these ‘bad people’ have to be punished and I don’t believe that at all. They were sick and they needed to be loved and cared for. That is a huge part of the healing process at Cliffside.” He added “I had to create a centre that I would go to. … if you walk into a place with the most magnificent views and Ralph Lauren everything, you’re going to say: ‘I can kick it here for a bit’.”
5W Public Relations
5WPR was founded in 2003 and since then are now a top 20 independent agency in Midtown Manhattan with 130 employees. The firm name comes from those communication tickers – Who, What, Why, Where, and When. Their quick descriptive of themselves – “Real, Resourceful, Results.”
5WPR represented Promises Treatment Centers for many years with locations in Southern California. “Whether an individual requires detox, residential drug rehab, outpatient treatment, extended care or a sober living environment, Promises has been the drug rehabilitation center of choice for more than 20 years. David Sack, MD, currently serves as CEO at Promises Treatment Centers.”
Promises gets a 4-star rating at rehabs.com saying, “Promises Treatment Centers is the first addiction treatment facility in Malibu, CA, pioneering the “Malibu Model.” For over 20 years, Promises and its expert staff have helped individuals to heal and not only restore their lives but also to go on to fulfill their dreams. This is the Promises mission. One of the treatment provider’s great strengths is its exceptional staff.”
Barnett Marketing Communications
Ned Barnett is the CEO of his Las Vegas PR firm, but he also serves as the in-house PR and marketing position for two other firms, the Hyperbaric Institute of Nevada and Innovative Detox. Both firms are owned by two doctors (father and son), but the companies do different work, one assists in the wound-healing process, and the other works with people going through addiction recovery. Barnett is on Linkedin but does not maintain an active website for his firm. It appears he specializes in medical and healthcare-related PR. Barnett admits he has dealt with both issues personally in his lifetime.
According to PRNews Innovative Detox’s program gives those with prescription painkiller and alcohol addictions an alternative to the traditional rehab route. In starting their company, they used a social media plan to build awareness and interest for all types of treatment.
“As a start-up company, we are using this strategy to create awareness, generate interest and motivate inbound calls from prospective clients,” said Dr. Lucas Furst, CEO of Innovative Detox. “For instance, one [member] of our team has created a credible presence on social media groups reaching more than 200,000 people actively discussing their addiction problems.”
Furst added: “He is able to use this credibility as a ‘fellow member’ to promote information-heavy blogs and white papers. This has led to measurable spikes in our website traffic and—more important—calls from legitimate, qualified prospects.
Edelman, the largest independent PR firm in the world, was formed in 1952 by Daniel Edelman. Edelman added The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) to their list of clients recently to bring more light to those recovering from substance abuse and mental disorders. Edelman was specifically asked to promote National Recovery Month.
“The theme for Recovery Month 2016 is Join the Voices for Recover: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery!, which highlights the value of family support throughout recover. The theme also invites individuals in recovery and their family members to share their personal stories and successes in order to encourage others.”
Franco Public Relations Group
Franco PR is located in Detroit and was founded over 50 years ago in 1964. Franco PR represents The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center, where “countless men and women have sought help in our no-fee residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs where they find a supportive environment in which to combat addiction, build their work and social skills, regain their health and stability, and hopefully learn that God loves them and has a plan for their life.”
If you need information about treatment centers, the two organizations that oversee these facilities are the National Association of Rehabilitation Providers and Agencies (NARA) and the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).