grow or n
to create a
Defining Marketing and Community Relations
Although most of this chapter focuses on marketing, it is intentionally titled, “Mar-
keting and Community Relations” because both are elements of a successful overall
program. It should be noted here that public relations and community relations are
often used synonymously, and they do indeed share many characteristics. Therefore,
the discussion begins with definitions of these terms, to show how they are similar,
how they are different, and where they overlap.
Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association as “the activity, set
of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchang-
ing offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”
(American Marketing Association, 2014). It is specifically focused on getting con-
sumers to choose and purchase the products or services the organization has to offer.
The marketing process involves conducting market research, developing a marketing
strategy, and implementing that strategy.
To understand community relations, public relations must first be defined. Public
relations is “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relation-
ships between organizations and their publics” (Public Relations Society of America,
2014). Simple and straightforward, this definition focuses on the basic concept of
public relations—as a communication process, one that is strategic in nature and
emphasizing mutually beneficial relationships (Public Relations Society of America,
2014). It is much broader in scope than marketing and focuses more on creating a
positive image for the organization than on selling its services. It usually contains some
element of getting good publicity and avoiding, or at least managing, bad publicity.
Community relations, on the other hand, involve positive interaction with the
community served. This includes public relations as a means of creating a favorable
image with that community-but goes a bit further. It involves participation in com-
munity activities; providing certain services that the community needs, such as free
clinics; and being considered a good neighbor by the community it serves.
It is easy to see how the terms marketing, public relations, and community relations
can be confused because they each rely on the others. It is not necessarily important that
they be considered separately as long as the role of each is understood. The
each fits into an organization's overall marketing plan is explored later in this chapter.
• • ToF
• • Tor
• • Toc
. • Toc
Organizing for Marketing
Although they may not identify it as such, all long-term care organizations are engaged
in marketing activities. However, do they do so effectively, efficiently, and in an orga-
nized manner? The sad fact is that many do not. With market competition increas,
ing within long-term care, successful marketing campaigns have become essential
aspects of doing business even for smaller LTC organizations. Despite the size of
CHAPTER 18 Marketing and Community Relations
the organization, the quality of the customer service it provides in addition to the
attempt to attract customers on somewhat of an ad hoc basis. Others have developed
operations. Organizations in this latter group have a far better chance of survival and
establishing relationships are key components for marketing long-term
(Keefer, 2014). Some long-term care provider organizations continue to
formal marketing plans and have integrated marketing concepts into their overall
prosperity in the long-term care system. They have developed a marketing mentality
Developing a marketing mentality means understanding the value of having a
good marketing plan. A marketing plan is a road map that your organization will
be following to achieve its goals and objectives for revenue growth. In other words,
a marketing plan is a description of the activities you and your team will execute to
grow or maintain your organization's goals (Fannon, 2013). It also means knowing
that marketing is an integral part of the overall success of the organization. The reason
to create a marketing plan could be any or all of the following:
To provide greater discipline in the planning process
• To provide strategic direction for an organization or business unit
To provide an action plan for marketing-related activities
• To provide a formal record of marketing-related decisions
• To request budget
• To request internal resources
• To create dialogue with senior management
• To communicate marketing priorities to other parts of the organization
• To obtain buy-in from other parts of the organization (Lee & Hayes, 2007)
A marketing strategy or plan can answer the following questions:
• What economic and business environment are you experiencing?
• What opportunities and problems are you facing?
What business objectives do you expect to achieve?
• What exactly do you sell?
Who are your customers?
Why should they buy your product or service rather than your competitors??
• How will you communicate your product or service to your customers?
• Who will do what, when?
How are you going to measure your progress so you can learn from the experi-
ence (Lee & Hayes, 2007)?
organization with a marketing mentality recognizes that it must allocate the
decessary resources for development and implementation of the marketing plan. This
does not necessarily mean devoting huge amounts of money. A marketing strategy
organization's marketing program must be focused on driving revenue by targeted
doesn't necessarily mean an expansive budget. It does, however, mean that your
Organizing for Marketing
is also know
resident opportunities and not only through branding efforts (Tromczynski, 2013).
The marketing plan can be simple or complex, depending on the size and complexity
of the organization, with corresponding costs. A marketing plan and associated mate
rials should highlight the benefits and qualities of your services (Hawthorne, 2014).
What is more important than the amount of resources is having a budget specifically
dedicated to marketing, rather than treating it as a secondary activity.
these steps t
Market Planning Versus Strategic Planning
There has long been an ongoing discussion about whether market planning is a subset
of strategic planning or strategic planning is a subset of market planning. As one might
expect, the point of view usually depends on the role of the person holding that view.
Strategic planners tend to see the market plan as an offshoot of the larger strategic
plan; marketers like to think of the strategic plan as merely a tool for use in develop-
ing a market plan. In fact, they are both right and neither is right. The two aspects of
planning overlap a great deal, rely on essentially the same information, and contribute
to the larger goal: success of the organization.
The purpose of the strategic plan is to develop a strategy that will help the organiza-
tion thrive and prosper. The purpose of the marketing plan is to develop a (marketing)
strategy that will help the organization thrive and prosper by selling more of its services
or products. The analysis and strategy selection elements of the strategic planning pro-
cess build the foundation on which the marketing plan is created, while the marketing
plan is one of several ways in which the goals of the strategic plan are realized.
The first step
It consists of
To look at ho
The Planning Process
The strategic planning process consists of several well-defined steps:
ted them. Hc
for them, it i
will have to s
est, it means
Vision. To C
Evaluation of the mission and vision
• External assessment
• Strategy development
Identification of alternative strategies
Selection of strategy
s and the vist
You don't kno
what the orga
would have to
CHAPTER 18 Marketing and Community Relations
and networks have affected how care is delivered, the cost of delivering it, and the
way it is used by consumers.
There has been progress in allowing consumers to have more say in their care.
The Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990 lent credence to advance directives and
made it more feasible for consumers to state their wishes for end-of-life treatment in
advance of the need for such treatment.
We have also seen a move toward culture change.
have a suh
name of ta
Yet, at th
Culture change—as used in the context of providing care-supports the creation
of environments where residents and their caregivers are able to express choice
and practice self-determination in meaningful ways at every level of daily life.
Culture change transformation may require changes in organization practices,
physical environments, relationships at all levels, and workforce models—leading
to better outcomes for consumers and direct care workers. (Pioneer Network,
had to pa
It has to start with a shift in thinking from regulatory compliance to a real focus on
meeting the expectations of the customer (defined as the resident and the resident
family) (Farrell & Elliot, 2008, p. 20). Bruce Yarwood, former president and chief
executive officer of the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted
Living, said in an interview published in Provider magazine:
the loss o
The marketplace is demanding that the type of service we provide be driven by
their expectations. To stay in business, we have to do more than the "old” nursing
home stuff. We need to create a culture and environment of positive experiences
for the residents—all the way from the food they eat, to the staff that serve them,
to the therapy they receive. Not only is the culture changing in terms of what
people are demanding, but the marketplace is forcing change through economics.
(Farrell & Elliot, 2008, p. 20)
for a var
Culture change is based, in large part, on improved relationships between staff
and those they serve. Where nursing homes have traditionally grouped residents by
floor with 40 to 50 people, they are now creating households with 10 to 16 people to
create a more intimate environment. In this more personal environment, residents see
the same faces of other residents and caregivers and build stronger connections
(Proctor, 2014). Staff stability and consistent assignment have a tremendous impact
on quality and overall performance. The benefits of consistent assignment have been
described by Barbara Frank, cofounder and consultant, B & F Consulting, as follows:
Consistent assignment supports caring relationships between staff and residents
These caring relationships are what draws staff to this work and keeps them.
Stability and consistency allow staff to work better with each
other, which reduces
Let us no
CHAPTER 19 Into the Future: Trends To Watch
tency improves care outcomes (Farrell & Elliot, 2008, p. 23)
stress and allows staff to provide more consistent care to residents
. This consis-
Many nursing facilities have found that seemingly small efforts on their part can
have a substantial impact on the quality of life of their residents. For example, nursing
units have become neighborhoods. The bathing area (formerly called by the inglorious
of tub room) has become the spa.
Some of the solutions created new challenges. For example, as the government and
private corporations began to experience healthcare expenses beyond their ability to
cover, they sought relief. They found some of that relief in the form of managed care,
Yet, at the same time, the rise of managed care presented the long-term care system
with other problems. Providers have been forced to make major changes. They have
had to pay much more attention to cost-effectiveness while trying to maintain high
quality and have had to face complaints that managed care organizations put cost
savings ahead of choice or quality.
Integration of services has been a positive step overall
, but it has been fatal for some
providers. Those who have not been able to adjust to integrated care or competition
from within and without their own spheres of operation have generally fallen by the
wayside. This has sometimes forced consumers to change how and where they received
care. Although integration and competition may have been the forces that triggered
the loss of these providers, their demise was probably inevitable.
Creation of new services has created additional demand. As more consumer-
friendly services have become available and consumers have become more knowledge-
able about them, there has been an increase in use of those services. This is good news
added services out of a funding pool that has not grown accordingly.
for both consumers and providers but not necessarily for those who must pay for the
Other challenges of the recent past still show little, if any, resolution. Many of
long-term care system is still essentially reimbursement driven. The services received
those also deal with financing, a difficult subject to address, to say the least. The
depend somewhat on the reimbursement available. There is still more demand for
service than there is money to pay for it. Access to and availability of long-term care
services continue to be areas of shortcoming. Services are not distributed equitably
for a variety
can predict the future, and many do. The following identification of trends is not the
Let us now look at where the long-term care system is likely going and why. Anyone
result of special psychic powers, nor does it represent any particular knowledge that
others do not have. What it does represent is a careful review of the history of the
term care system, analysis of current events, and an understanding of how that
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