Last time, I talked about how decision-makers can be any age or income in the long-term care world. Typically, if there is a daughter in the family, she will be the one to choose on behalf of Mom or Dad – and will decide whether your building is the right choice. Therefore, when you invite the community into your building you have to re-imagine the possibilities.

Often we become so immersed in our own industry we fail to see the forest from the trees. You are a nursing home, a health center, so you ought to provide a seminar on health care, or a presentation from an elder law attorney, or an expert in Alzheimer’s. Sure, all of these provide a good opportunity to offer excellent information and will hopefully draw a decent crowd. But, in all honesty, ask yourself whether these types of events are ones that you would be excited about. Would you set aside your night to hear from an elder law attorney or an orthopedic surgeon? Maybe. Maybe not.

What about offering something unique that would attract those who otherwise wouldn’t ever consider stepping foot inside a nursing home? How about a spa day, a chocolate-making workshop, or an appearance by a pet psychic? In the past I’ve hosted each of these events and the result was excellent in providing exposure to a completely different population. A younger crowd with new faces who never would have shown up at your doorstep for another blood pressure screening or powerpoint on orthopedic surgery. Again, don’t get me wrong, you need the staple events that will draw the senior demographic and provide an opportunity for further relationship building with potential referral sources (physicians, etc.), but to differentiate yourself in the community, break from the pattern of the expected.

In Part 3, I’ll talk about creating an event schedule that will provide consistent PR opportunities and draw more decision-makers through your doors.

John Krol
President of OneEighty Media, Inc., and lead communications consultant for this full-service marketing, communications and advertising firm. John’s extensive experience in journalism, broadcasting, public relations, government relations, SEM, community outreach and marketing provides a unique perspective for businesses looking to re-energize and diversify their marketing efforts. Read more...