• Eric Essley

Media Engagement

As we all try to face the challenges of the new normal – whatever that looks like and whenever that may happen, one topic that comes to mind a lot is media engagement. Media engagement can mean many things and have many purposes.

One challenge is how often (and about what) to engage with the editorial or opinion pages of national, state or local media. It makes sense to occasionally push back against negative coverage and even generate positive news stories through newspaper (and other media platforms) op-ed submissions. However, there would seem to be a sweet spot where those efforts are the most useful versus efforts that look like mere marketing.

And on the marketing note, to what extent should an operator engage in media marketing … certainly some, right? What platforms make the most sense, what format should such efforts take, and to what extent should an operator advertise their services to the broader public in, and immediately after, a pandemic. While it is true that each operator is essentially a small business, of course, providers are extremely sensitive to the optics of such efforts as well.

What is certainly true of all of the above topics – operators would be well-advised to cultivate consistent and personal connections with local media platforms so that when the need arises to place advertisements or push back on negative coverage or create good buzz for an oft-beleaguered industry, a solid partnership has already been established.

Consider some of these examples demonstrating strong relationships with local and national media:

· Hooverwood Living – a story of a couple reunited after wife recovered from COVID was carried on local ABC and CBS news affiliates. Click here for the CBS version.

· Hooverwood Living – Evan Lubline was quoted in a Christian Science Monitor article about nursing home and visitations during the pandemic. Click here for the article.

· Byron Health Center – local ABC affiliate ran a piece about their move into their new facility. Click here for the video.

· Byron Health Center – local NBC affiliate ran a piece about the demolition of the old facility that featured a lot of positive sentiment about Byron. Click here for the video.

If you have examples from your community or lessons you have learned about engaging the media, share them in the comments.

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