Strategies for Securing Media Placements to Boost Your Senior Care Marketing

Corrie Fisher, media relations manager at KNB Communications

Corrie Fisher, media relations manager at KNB Communications

Media placements are a key element of a marketing strategy, and they offer many benefits to senior care organizations. Successfully securing media placements can play a key role in boosting brand awareness, increasing an organization’s marketing reach, and more.

Why Media Placements Matter

Corrie Fisher, media relations manager at KNB Communications, explains that earned media helps to build brand credibility and increase brand awareness. “Earned media is arguably even more important in an industry like senior care where potential residents are doing considerable research before making a decision,” she explains. “When thought leaders from your organization are regularly quoted in the media, a foundation of trust is built.”

According to Tim Livingston, PR specialist at Tim Livingston Public Relations, earned media is now more important than ever. “When was the last time you downloaded an app because of an ad?” he poses. “But if your local TV station of choice – or a national news outlet that you trust- does a positive story about a new app, you’ll be much more inclined to go download it. People go on and on these days about influencers. But trusted journalists (and yes, they still exist) are influencers in their own right.”

Strategies for Securing Media Placements

Tim Livingston, PR specialist at Tim Livingston Public Relations

Tim Livingston, PR specialist at Tim Livingston Public Relations

A good strategy is essential for securing media placements. Fisher notes that the first step in the process is to decide whether the senior care organization will conduct public relations in-house, or whether they will hire someone to do it for them. “We recommend the latter because a public relations agency has an extensive network of media relationships and considerable resources and tools at their disposal,” she explains.

Livingston states that when it comes to the actual process of securing media placements, a senior care organization can explore two main options. The first, called news hijacking, refers to a process where the organization notes a story, perhaps in the national news, about a topic related to senior care. Then, a representative from the organization can reach out to local media and pitch the story topic, positioning a representative from the organization as a subject matter expert available for an interview.

The second option centers around event coverage. Senior living organizations can contact local media about upcoming events, such as a holiday-related special event. “What’s the most visual event that you have coming up at your facility over the next three months?” Livingston asks. “Start thinking now about what you can do to get a local reporter to cover it.”

In addition to securing a placement, it’s important to choose a representative who is a good fit for the opportunity. Fisher recommends that organizations create a list of subject matter experts in advance and decide which topics each expert can speak about. She notes that roles that make excellent subject matter experts include CEOs and facility directors, nursing staff members who work directly with residents, human resources representatives who can speak to staff retention issues, and senior care organization administrators.

Fisher suggests that before submitting responses to a reporter or conducting an interview, it’s important to evoke emotion and grab attention. “Avoid dry, academic-sounding stats and numbers,” she says. “The senior care industry is filled with moments that can pull on a reader’s heartstrings.”

Additionally, avoid sales lingo. “It’s not a paid ad, it’s an earned media placement,” she explains. “Reporters want to tell a story, not help you sell a service. Give the reporter a memorable quote that reveals something interesting or emphasizes a main point.”

Making the Most of Earned Media

There are several ways a senior care organization can maximize the value of an earned media placement. Fisher suggests that an organization share an article across all of its social media channels and consider boosting the post for added reach. A subject matter expert who was interviewed should also share the article on their professional networks. “Be sure to tag both the outlet and the writer in your posts as a courtesy,” she recommends.

Organizations can also showcase their media coverage on their company website or newsletter. All of these sharing efforts can help to support the organization’s SEO performance while simultaneously building a media network.

Securing earned media placements takes time and strategy, but it can be a highly rewarding addition to a senior care organization’s marketing efforts. From building public trust in an organization to increasing brand awareness, media placements can provide significant value.

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