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Care Managers Show

27 - 28 June 2024 NEC, BIRMINGHAM

04 Jan 2024

Guest blog: Top tips for marketing your care provision

Guest blog: Top tips for marketing your care provision
Petra Meinlova, marketing and communications expert, shares top tips for marketing your care provision to increase occupancy, attract staff and build a positive reputation.

Why a care manager’s to-do list should include marketing

Effectively marketing your care provision plays an integral role in building and maintaining occupancy and promoting the service as a safe, caring and active place to live and work.

Marketing is often relegated to the bottom of a care manager’s to-do list, with other pressures and priorities taking over. However, marketing is essential to a care home's success and sustainable future. A powerful story of what you do builds trust and rapport with potential residents and their families, health partners and the local community. It makes your home stand out from your competition.

In this blog, Petra Meinlova, a marketing and communications expert with two decades of commercial experience in the sector, shares essential tips for promoting your service provision.

The power of storytelling

Beyond the basics, such as location, service provision and regulatory rating, your story should showcase your strengths and achievements as well as your key specialist expertise.

The following categories will help you to build your service narrative:

1. Celebrating staff expertise and excellence

People are your biggest strength. Celebrating staff expertise and excellence makes your service more visible to your community, prospective residents, their families and also potential staff.

Welcome new starters and celebrate completions of specialist training, award nominations and wins, and support of charities or causes close to your people’s hearts. Use social media and your website, share updates with local or trade publications, and send regular updates to your audiences.

2. Quality care and governance

Families and professional referrers need assurance of safe, high-quality care. Use marketing to describe what your staff do and the difference it makes to the people you support.

Be transparent about your regulatory rating whether 'Good', 'Outstanding' or otherwise. Your website must include your rating. If your service has a good rating, include testimonials from the inspection on your website, on social media and in marketing materials. You can also display them in the home. Ensure your staff can answer any questions about the report.

If improvements are needed, openly share your action plan and progress. Ensure your team knows about the positive changes and can demonstrate them to anyone who asks. This honesty builds trust and reassures families and referrers.

3. Environment and activities

While describing your home's physical environment is important, sharing stories about the activities and events that take place will make your description even more impactful.

Include examples of what you do in the different areas of the care home, the many brilliant activities that take place in your communal area, the summer party you held in your garden, the weekly visits from the local mother and baby group who spend time with your residents, the specialist provision of an occupational therapy room that makes a difference to your residents’ mobility, the independent kitchen where residents can cook for themselves...

Many care homes may look and feel the same. These stories will help families to remember that your home is an active, inclusive and vibrant place where their loved ones will not only be supported and cared for by experienced staff but will also enjoy living there.

4. Links with your local community

Your care home is most likely involved in local activities already. Engaging in local events and hosting community activities will not only enhance your home's reputation but also foster meaningful connections and demonstrate openness and transparency.

Take part in Care Home Open Week and hold open days. Think about hosting community fairs, mother and baby groups to promote intergenerational opportunities, cinema clubs for older people in your local area, or regular Dementia Cafes. These activities are great opportunities to engage with your local journalists and you can share them on social media, your website and in marketing materials.

First impressions and responsiveness

The initial interaction, whether via phone, online or in-person, sets the tone of the relationship between the care home and the prospective client. Training staff in enquiry handling and soft skills is essential. Prompt and empathetic responses can significantly influence the decision-making. Remember, if you don’t respond promptly and with care, your competitor probably will.

Building your marketing approach

  • Form your home’s ‘marketing’ team

Highlighting the strength of your service is a team effort. It involves everyone from the receptionist to the care staff. Each member plays a crucial role in portraying a positive image of the home. Train your team to ensure they can promote your service and brief them before external visits.

  • Maximise your local presence

Utilise online directories, social media and your website, and make sure your information is up-to-date and enquiries are followed up. Engage with your local papers regularly. Invite them to your events, share the achievements of the home, staff and the residents with them, and provide high-quality pictures to achieve regular positive media coverage.

  • Use data to guide your planning

Track enquiries, their sources, assessments and admissions to understand what you need to do and, when relevant, why enquiries don’t convert into admissions.

  • Build and maintain professional relationships

Maintain a contact list of local health professionals and community leaders. Regular updates, invitation to events and active participation in provider forums will keep your home top-of-mind, and they can refer you or to you directly.

Remember…

… marketing is not a one-off task; it is an ongoing journey that shapes the future of your care home. By embracing a structured approach to marketing with consistency and regularity, you can not only fill your beds but also position your care home as a preferred choice for families and staff as well as a pillar in the community.

If you would like a copy of a care manager’s marketing checklist or further information, contact petra@elevate-communications.co.uk

 


 
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