The power of a good story

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By Senior Consultant, Lucinda Szczypior 

The successful launch of Australia’s first dementia village by Glenview Community Services and Font PR, has only reinforced to me just how powerful, a good story, executed well, can be.

The story of Korongee centres around a concept for a ground breaking Australian first suburban village, to be built in the Tasmanian suburb of Glenorchy, designed to recreate real life experiences for those living with dementia.

In essence, Korongee will create an authentic suburban village environment for those living with dementia, with 15 demographically tailored homes set within a small town context complete with streets, a supermarket, cinema, café, beauty salon and gardens.

The story has been a long time in the making, but Font PR was engaged this year to put this story into words, develop a media strategy, and assist in the process of being the first to market with this exciting new method of caring for people with dementia.

Korongee is a partnership between Glenview, HESTA, Social Ventures Australia and the Commonwealth Government and to begin the communications process Font PR held a meeting with all the key stakeholders to understand the outcomes each party were hoping to achieve.  This was translated into a national media strategy outlining goals, timelines and responsibilities, agreed on by all project partners.

Next came the development of a set of key messages and agreed language for all parties to use as a basis for their communications to ensure a consistent narrative for the project.

The media launch kicked off with a media call onsite in Glenorchy supported by a joint media release between Glenview, Social Ventures Australia and HESTA, to announce the Korongee development and investment partnership to Tasmanian mainstream and regional media as well as relevant national media.

Following this local media call, specialised media outlets were approached with tailored pitches including aged care and health publications, social trade, investment/financial and legal trade media.  These tailored pitches were managed by the appropriate partner organisation based on the agreed key messages.

The rollout of this strategy resulted in significant local, national and international news coverage ranging from ABC local radio, to national Weekend Today show, to the UK’s Daily Mail.

The key elements that contributed to the successful rollout of the Korongee media campaign included:

  • Creation of a detailed media strategy covering all communications platforms
  • Clearly defining the aim of your strategy – in this instance it was to reach a national audience and be the first to market with this new concept
  • Consider negative responses ahead of time to mitigate risks
  • Identifying appropriate media outlets and the appropriate angle to pitch the story to – what will appeal to a national aged care publication is not necessarily what will appeal to the local radio station
  • Take the time to identify journalists who have an interest or experience in your story’s field
  • Incorporate social media as part of your communications planning
  • Respect all media outlets equally – local, national and international – all have relevant audiences
  • Always be on call for the media once you put your story out there and ensure you respond in a timely manner.

The success of this media strategy is a great example of reaping what you sow – if you invest the time and resources to plan your communications and execute your strategy well, you can achieve great outcomes.

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