2.4.1 Marketing Your Chapter
- Team Effort: ACAPcommunity and Chapter Leadership Team
- Marketing Goals During Pre-Launch (Stage #2)
- Target Audience
- ACAPcommunity Digital Marketing
- “On the Ground” Marketing
- Other Suggestions
- Groups to Engage
Team Effort: ACAPcommunity and Chapter Leadership Team
Marketing an ACAP chapter is a “both/and” proposition – both digital marketing by ACAPcommunity and “on the ground” activities by the Leadership Team. Without question, word of mouth is the best publicity for ACAP, so your words as well as your actions (talking about ACAP and your programs, sharing rack cards, quality of speakers and sponsors, being recognized as inclusive, etc.) will send strong messages about your chapter.
Marketing Goals During Pre-Launch (Stage #2)
- Strengthen community awareness
- Continue building email lists for three audiences: attendees/potential attendees, media, and community organizations
- Engage program presenters and sponsors
- ACAP rack cards
- ACAP Intro sessions
- Initial phase templates for email & social media
- Talking points
- Web page, social media, email platform developed
- “Join Our Email List” on web page
Overall, ACAP attendees mirror the national data that typical adult-children of an aging parent is between the ages of 40-65. However, ACAP program participants typically include:
- Adult children of aging parents
- Spouses, siblings, other family members
- Friends, neighbors
- Senior services professionals
- Younger adults – Interested in attending to receive information about caring for an ill parent, have an older parent, caring for a grandparent, helping parents caring for their parents
- Older adults – interested in the information for themselves, an older parent, spouse, friend
- Working adults – In that so many ACAPers are working adults, HR officials may be interested in providing support for employees
- Families for whom parents’ situations are changing – In that realtors (particularly SRES realtors) help downsize and/or sell homes, often they become aware of families dealing with changes in parents’ situations
ACAPcommunity Digital Marketing
(What ACAPcommunity does)
ACAPcommunity provides the following digital marketing services:
- Set up chapter web page, MailChimp, and social media (at this point, Facebook page, LinkedIn, and YouTube)
- Set up livestreaming or recording of monthly programs in StreamYard for integration with web, Facebook, and YouTube
- Develop and send all emails about upcoming programs to three audiences
- Audience #1 – Prospective program attendees
- Audience #2 – Local media
- Audience #3 – Local businesses, agencies, organizations, faith communities, and other groups you wish to be contacted
“On the Ground” Marketing
(Important marketing activities of the chapter Leadership Team)
There is absolutely no substitute for the impact of the Leadership Team’s keeping the chapter and programs in the forefront within the community. Talk, talk, talk about ACAP every chance you have!
- Continually network with persons who are in the senior services space, talk about ACAP, and update all email audiences
- Connect with HR offices and other businesses/corporation officials in your area, and add them to your email list
- Have each member of your Leadership Team regularly share social media posts, program flyers, and emails with your personal and professional networks
- Marketing Liaison and Technology Teams will spearhead regular posts and re-posts on social media sites
(Insights from current ACAP Chapter Coordinators)
- Have a diverse Leadership Team – Be sure to have lots of different organizations/types of organizations on your Leadership Team, representatives from various races/ethnicities, etc. That will help ensure various networks for publicizing programs within various populations.
- Be sure to schedule the right speakers (speakers who are well recognized in your community) for programs.
- Have Leadership Team members share program email invitations and flyers with their personal and professional networks.
- Share program flyers and emails with your business’s/agency’s/organization’s constituents, clients, colleagues, and staff.
- Post program flyers in high-traffic areas (offices, restaurants such as Panera, etc.)
- Share program information with family and friends.
- Continually update (and increase) the number of people on your media and organizational list so they may receive program notices, press releases, etc.
- Continually update the list of potential attendees to receive emails about upcoming programs.
- Attend your local senior services professional network organizations and talk about ACAP. Encourage sponsorships among members.
- Talk, talk, talk about ACAP in your community!
- Include a realtor (preferably, an SRES realtor) on your Leadership Team.
- Share benefits/return on investments for speakers, sponsors, and potential Leadership Team members.
- Be sure there is a welcoming team at your programs to register people as well as people who talk with attendees once inside the venue.
- Seat people at tables (preferably, round tables) for your programs.
- Share your chapter rack cards liberally.
- Connect with major employers and HR offices in your area (and heads of smaller businesses). Share with them materials for upcoming programs and be sure they are on the email distribution list. Hospitals, senior services organizations, manufacturers, and other large businesses are prime for having lots of employees who need to know about ACAP.
- Offer your willingness to do a presentation for larger employers’ employees, telling them about your chapter and programs.
- Do presentations about your chapter and programs at Rotary, Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, etc. meetings.
- Do presentations for Stephen Ministries and other groups at faith communities.
- Consider offering a mini resource fair at one program per year, featuring multiple sponsors. This could be in conjunction with a typical presentation or stand-alone.
- Share, share, share via your social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. Each week, someone from your Leadership Team should post something new and share with their personal and professional network(s).
- Ask to be included on all newsletters your venue and other chapter partner organizations produce (libraries are particularly good about this).
- Offer a photo shoot for adult-children and their aging parents, providing digital copies of the photos to participants.
- Not only does this offer a wonderful experience for families with meaningful tangible results, this also can be a fundraiser for your chapter!
- Consider making it an annual event!
- Be sure to secure a photo release form from each participant, asking for permission to use their photos in ACAP materials and publicity.
- For all who are wiling for us to use their photos, please send digital copies to ACAPcommunity. We may use them in some of our materials.
- Share ACAP at the Farmers’ Market.
- Hold programs in a neutral venue, welcoming of all.
- Consider as venues: libraries, hospitals, large employers, etc.
- Know that when ACAP first began, the basic fundamentals helped make it successful and respected, including:
- Focus on relationships and connections: Person-to-person, beginning to build the sense of community caregivers need
- Excellence in everything, as much as possible
- Respect for all
- Community-wide engagement
- Heart and personal investment
- Sincere interest in individual caregiver’s circumstances and stories
Groups to Engage
- Adult day programs
- AHEC (Area Health Education Center)
- Allied health (PT, OT, speech/hearing/vision, etc.)
- Area Agency on Aging
- CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist)
- Clergy/faith community leader/senior adult ministries/Stephen Ministries
- Dementia educators
- Disabilities specialists
- DME specialists (durable medical equipment)
- Educators, particularly college/university faculty
- Elder law attorneys
- Elder resource guides
- Financial services (banks, credit union, investments, etc.)
- First responders
- Funeral directors
- Geriatric care managers
- Gerontologist/gerontology faculty
- Home care/companion support
- Home health care
- Hospice/Palliative care
- Hospitals/medical centers
- Insurance brokers
- Large company/government employers
- Law enforcement personnel
- Life coach/retirement coach
- Medical staffs (MD, DO, RN, NP, PA, etc. – particularly geriatricians and nurse educators)
- Medicare/Medicaid consultants
- Mental health specialists (psychologist/therapist)
- Office on Aging
- PACE programs
- Parish nurses
- Recreation specialists
- SRES realtors (Senior Real Estate Specialist)
- Senior care services / senior care referral specialist
- Senior center staffs
- Senior moves managers
- Senior publications managers
- Senior residential communities (ALF, SNF, rehab, memory care, etc.)
- Social workers
- Others in your community you believe would be appropriate