Drayer Physical Therapy Institute began in 2002 with a single outpatient physical therapy center in Bel Air, Md. Today, Drayer encompasses more than 120 centers in 15 states, making it one of the fastest-growing operators of outpatient physical therapy centers in the United States.
Goulet develops Pathfinder newsletter
Drayer had 15 centers by spring 2004, when it hired Goulet Communications to assist with its communications needs. Because clinic employees were busy tending to patients, many of them did not have ready access to computers or email.
We developed a hard-copy employee newsletter, launching it with a “name-the-newsletter” contest to ensure immediate staff involvement. The winning name – Pathfinder – complemented Drayer’s motto: “Leading the way to good health.”
From the beginning, Goulet Communications met quarterly with an in-house Drayer newsletter committee that guided each issue’s content. In his first “Luke’s Letter” (included in each issue of Pathfinder), company namesake and CEO Luke Drayer noted that Goulet Communications “will help us with writing, editing and the occasional prodding – to make sure that we put out the newsletter on a regular basis.”
Cementing bond with employees, helping with recruitment
Nine years later and counting, we’ve never missed an issue. What’s more, Pathfinder has evolved into an eight-page, four-color piece with a steadily increasing print run to accommodate the company’s expansion.
Each issue includes a feature cover story, on topics including Drayer’s growth strategy; its in-house residency program; the Drayer-sponsored school in Haiti; and Drayer Works Industrial Rehabilitation Center, a model program designed to improve how workers’ compensation cases are managed.
But the real focus of Pathfinder is Drayer employees, who can find human resources updates, a continuing-education class calendar, and inspirational stories of colleagues giving back to the community under the standing header “Pursuit of Purpose.”
Pathfinder also provides numerous opportunities for Drayer employees to participate, from providing information about their centers and themselves (“Milestones” covers two full inside pages), to sharing photos of themselves with the Drayer logo on vacation, to answering trivia questions for a chance to win prizes.
Not only has Pathfinder cemented Drayer’s bond with its team members but it also has become a valuable recruitment tool. One job candidate sent this note to Luke Drayer:
“I have read all of the information in the packet you shared with me, and although it was all wonderfully organized with pertinent information, the Pathfinder newsletter thrilled me the most. With every article I read, I found myself saying, ‘Oh, man, what I’d give to be part of this amazing organization!’ After reading all of the material, I have such a respect for Luke Drayer and his passion for making a difference in the lives of others.”