Chicago Methodist Senior Services (CMSS) provides the most extensive network of senior services on Chicago’s north side. The organization also specializes in dementia care and provides both assisted living and around the clock care for residents experiencing memory loss.

Challenge

CMSS is one of the most well-established senior networks and state-of-the-art dementia care facilities, not just in Chicago but throughout the Midwest. However, many of the individuals in the organization’s neighborhood who could benefit from their skilled nursing, supportive and assisted living, rehab and long-term care offerings were unaware of the breadth of CMSS’ services.

Approach

During Prosper Strategies’ initial campaign exploration, discussions with CMSS leadership as well as industry research made it evident that communications needed to resonate not just with potential residents, but also their caregivers, who were often their grown children. These individuals wanted to know that their parents would not only be cared for with compassion, but that they would have access to the most well-trained, knowledgeable geriatric care specialists in the Midwest. Prosper Strategies took this cue to build media angles that would demonstrate the breadth and depth of CMSS’ community programming and facilities while also underscoring the expertise of the organization’s staff, nurses and medical care teams. We also knew that caregivers were highly reliant on internet research when it came to making choices about their parents’ caregiving situation, and aimed to position articles in such a way that would help CMSS rank better for key search terms.

With these goals in mind, we built a media strategy aimed at securing placements for CMSS in community newspapers, major daily publications in Chicago, and local radio programs. In addition, we developed a blog strategy with content focused on answering some of the most pressing questions caregivers have when researching online. To further promote this content and reach new audiences, we launched a Twitter and Facebook account for CMSS to facilitate real-time engagement between the organization and caregivers.

Results

Our work has resulted in a regular stream of media coverage for CMSS, including several features around National Healthcare Decisions Day, such as this segment from local NPR affiliate WBEZ in which CMSS’ CEO Bill Lowe was positioned as an expert on the topic of advance directives, as well as PSAs on local radio stations. WBEZ has since come to call on CMSS as its go-to Alzheimer’s and Dementia expert. In addition, we’ve placed letters to the editor on topical issues in the caregiving space in Crain’s Chicago Business and The Chicago Tribune. The organization’s web traffic has increased by 59%, its Twitter following has grown by 175%, and its Facebook following has grown by 218% since engaging with Prosper Strategies. CMSS has reported many new client referrals and conversions as the result of Prosper Strategies’ efforts.

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