How PR can manage reputations in Social Care

It feels like every day that something pops up in the news regarding care. From cutting costs to policy changes, there’s a never-ending news cycle that is putting the social care sector under a microscope.

In fact, the negative focus on the industry has become so developed that Ken Deary, CEO of Right at Home, has spoken out about the problem and called for a more unbiased, positive representation of professionals in the press.

In response, care homes and other home care organizations find themselves having to consider their public profile to appeal to new clients while appeasing their regulators. So, to combat the increasing negative publicity surrounding social care, those working in the sector need to start considering their reputation management.

That’s where public relations comes in.

A strong PR and marketing strategy can be vital in steering care homes and agencies away from negative publicity when facing a social care crisis. But PR can also have many more benefits. With the right comms tactics both clients and quality staff members can be reached.

Facing a social care crisis

While no one wants a crisis to happen, and no one expects them to, it is crucial to have a plan in place. Especially if staff or clients end up at the forefront of a media storm.

By working with public relations professionals, social care organisations will be able to develop a plan. It will be one flexible enough to react to any unpredictable crisis while still sticking to a clear route of action.

The priority with any plan is to ensure that a business can navigate negativity without doing further damage and, ideally, improve the situation. Spokespeople, therefore, need to be fast to respond and honest in response to a crisis.

It may go against every piece of business advice available, but being able to break bad news yourself can ensure homes and agencies are ready to take control and set the tone. It’s also imperative, to be frank about the issue. Telling a lie can lead to further consequences when the truth is revealed.

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Developing reputations

However, PR doesn’t just work in a crisis. Public relations can be instrumental in developing a social care reputation. It can introduce organizations in the sector to new clients, stakeholders, and staff.

So, regardless of the size of the business and the scale of PR activity being put in place, consider the target audience and the key messages being delivered. Identify the target audience and question their desires and motives. If a business is trying to target new clients, consider what sort of environment they want to live in, or the type of care they wish to receive and align the messaging to match.

Once the audience and message have been identified, follow up with the activity. This can include everything from press releases regarding recent events or developments, right through to social media content that showcases a home or agency’s best assets.

Through this activity, organizations will be appealing to their audience. As well as developing brand awareness and building a positive reputation within their communities. This is great not only for improving the brand as a whole but also for laying a strong foundation of positivity should a crisis happen, helping to target the issue of reputation management before any storm hits.

Implementing public relations strategies

Overall, public relations is something that every organization within the care sector should consider. In a time when the social care sector is under increasing pressure, it can feel like an impossible task to avoid the negativity circulating the news.

However, with careful reputation management and targeted public relations strategies, organizations can feel more confident with facing any problems. Instead, business owners can focus on sharing positive messaging. This will increase brand awareness within local communities and boosts the broader perceptions of social care in a more general sense.

If you need support with social care reputation management and crisis comms, get in touch with our expert team today. Not only have we had years of experience with masterfully handling unforeseen circumstances within the social care sector, but we also have the knowledge and skills to develop your wider brand awareness.

chess pieces emphasising social care reputation

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