The closure of a single care home threatened to tarnish the fantastic work in another 30 services run by household name, Bupa.
Bupa Care Services offered short and long-term residential care and looked after more than 2400 people in its care homes across Scotland.
However, the high-profile closure of an Edinburgh care home caused negative media coverage.
To rebuild credibility, trust and the reputation of Bupa’s services, Holyrood PR was tasked with promoting inspiring and positive media stories about the Scottish care homes.
Working with staff we discovered how proud they were of the number of people in Bupa’s services celebrating 100th birthdays and beyond.
This gave us the inspiration for our PR strategy – to focus on centenarian birthdays, highlighting the excellent quality of life and care they enjoy.
By focusing on landmark 100th birthdays, we promised to dig deep for human interest stories to enhance the Bupa name, reassure families of residents, attract those seeking care services for loved ones and celebrate the excellence of Bupa’s staff.
The objectives were to:
Deliver consistent, positive media coverage – with 15 items of coverage per month.
Demonstrate to Bupa’s team the power of storytelling, by engaging staff, residents and families.
Inspire care service managers to engage with PR, by increasing contact from managers by 50%
Showcase the positive work of Bupa’s Scottish care homes, by increasing positive sentiment of media coverage from a baseline of 0 to between 50 and 100
Demonstrate the quality of life enjoyed by Bupa residents, by achieving 50% penetration of media Key Messages.
What we did
We delivered a campaign which yielded hundreds of items of media coverage, inspired a grassroots campaign, engaged staff, residents and relatives – and led to a 103-year-old woman being named Scotland’s Curry Lover of the Year.
At launch we identified the case of Margaret Phillips, 103, in a Dundee’s Balcarres care home. Interviews with her carers and family revealed Margaret spent part of her life in India and attributed her longevity to a love of spicy curries – and the story of the Nan Who Loves Naan was born.
Margaret’s story ultimately yielded more than 400 items of coverage and saw her nominated for the curry award which she went on to win thanks to a grassroots campaign.
That success prompted other care home manages to come forward with 10 other stories which also earned major coverage – including Scotland’s oldest fan of Porridge Oats; a 100-year-old woman who had never worn make-up; the gran who attributed her long life to a regular nip of gin.