Launching Australia’s first dementia village
The brief: Korongee Village is a ground-breaking concept in aged care – a self-contained suburban village designed to give real-life experiences to those living with dementia. Set in Glenorchy, Tasmania, the village provides 15 demographically tailored homes set in a small-town context complete with streets, a bus stop, a supermarket, a cinema, a cafe, a beauty salon and gardens.
In early 2017 Glenview Community Services (an aged care provider) contacted Font PR with the Korongee concept and a brief to translate this concept into an easy to understand content, the creation of an international media strategy and assistance with ensuring they were the first to market with this new vision for dementia care. Additionally, given the proximity of the new village to a Tasmanian suburban neighborhood, as well of the progressive nature of the project, Font PR was tasked with the development of a engagement strategy to assist in generating community support and goodwill for the project.
The story: Since Korongee was a partnership between Glenview, Health Employees Superannuation Trust Australia (HESTA), Social Ventures Australia and the Commonwealth Government, Font PR consulted extensively with all stakeholders to produce a national media strategy outlining goals, timelines and responsibilities. Key messages and agreed language parameters for all parties to use were generated to ensure a consistent narrative for the project between all stakeholders.
The launch of the project kicked off with a media call onsite in Glenorchy. This was supported by a joint media release between all partners to announce the Korongee development and investment partnership to Tasmanian mainstream and regional media as well as relevant national media. Next, aged care and health publications, social trade, investment/financial and legal trade media were approached with tailored pitches. These pitches were managed by the appropriate partner organisation based on the agreed key messages and language.
In addition, the community engagement strategy ensured direct site neighbours were informed about the project prior to the media launch. These neighbors, as well as other Glenorchy stakeholders were invited to drop by and take a site tour and chat about the proposed development.
The results: Korongee caught the imagination of the Australian public and drew widespread media attention across the country and as far away as Russia and the U.S.A. In practical terms, the media strategy resulted in significant local, national and international news coverage including the ABC local radio, the national Weekend Today show and the UK’s Daily Mail. The launch of the project was a hot topic of discussion on social media and news sites for days. ABC News’ Facebook post attracted over 10,000 Likes, 942 comments and 2,119 shares. Glenview also went live on Facebook to announce the project and reached over 22,200 people. Glenview’s profile as a leading aged care provider in Tasmania placed it on the global map for their innovative and timely approach.
The public’s response was also overwhelming, with Glenview’s email inundated with messages of support, interest and requests to be on waiting lists for both residential placement and employment at Korongee. Public response has continued into the present supported by regular community open days and both traditional and social media communication by the project’s partners. In addition to keeping the public’s interest in Korongee alive, continuing communication ensures that all stakeholders maintain confidence in the management and progression of the project. The Korongee Village is scheduled to open in late 2019.