In March 2020, the senior care home at the centre of Canada’s first pandemic outbreak was in a state of crisis. We stepped in to help rebuild the community’s trust.
Somewhere had to be the first. On March 5 2021, North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley Care Centre (LVCC) got the call: a nurse who worked at the senior facility had tested positive for COVID-19. By the time Canada’s first care home outbreak was finally declared over, the care centre had been thrust under a burning spotlight: 80 staff had been infected, 20 residents had lost their lives, and LVCC’s reputation was in a tailspin.
How do you rebuild when so much has been lost? The director of LVCC knew he needed help. Together, we developed a broad crisis-management and communications plan to rebuild trust with residents, open communications with families, and restore the faith of the community.
Reassure family members
through social media posts, web updates, and newsletters
Encourage potential clients
via vibrant stories, videos, photographs and blog posts
Bring new life to a sterile brand
in a new website that reflects our person-first perspective
We set out to capture ongoing stories of resilience and the faces behind them – residents, families, and staff.
Through cheerful portraits and documentary videos, we highlighted clever work-arounds to isolation, new safety protocols, and the real living that was still happening at LVCC despite the pandemic. Recently renovated and re-decorated, the Lynn Valley Care Centre had a website and social feed with stunning interior photographs, but there was nothing to hint at the community or people living within. We knew there was no better time to give the website a much needed facelift – literally incorporating the smiling faces of the men and women who call LVCC home, and the care workers who treat them like family. We re-imagined the website entirely, making pressing news and information more accessible to both current family members and potential clients. And we put a face to Facebook too, sharing games and activities, meals and festivities, and profiles of people and the rich they continue to live.
We answered questions. We connected generations of family members. We built an online community where an in-person one was no longer possible.
increase in organic traffic
increase in social growth
raised in donations during COVID-19 pandemic
Our post-outbreak communications strategy centred around openness and accountability. We couldn’t undo what had happened, but we could reestablish a sense of security. Our team shared new health measures and internal safety protocols in newsletters, on social media and on the webpage. We posted blogs recounting what LVCC had been through, what they’d learned, and why dedicated senior care was still the best care for an otherwise home-bound loved one. And we celebrated LVCC’s successes, featuring a printed page in the North Shore News, thanking the community for standing by and voting them the top care centre in the region.