A Community Of Kindness

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.

OBJECTIVES

1.

Reassure family members

through social media posts, web updates, and newsletters

2.

Encourage potential clients

via vibrant stories, videos, photographs and blog posts

3.

Bring new life to a sterile brand

in a new website that reflects our person-first perspective

Putting the “Care” in Care Centre

Fresh out of a media storm and health crisis, the Lynn Valley Care Centre needed to restore its name as one of North Vancouver’s premier care facilities. How could families trust that the care home they’d seen on front pages and primetime news was still a safe place to send their aging parents? 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. 

Reviving our Sterile (Online) Spaces

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. 

Celebrating our Successes

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. 

Building Trust in the Community

With visiting restrictions in place at care homes across Canada, we knew it was more important than ever for our residents and families to stay connected. And we knew no detail was too small to share with children who worried for their parents. So we dug deep, posting everything from daily activities and mundane meals to special festivities and programs on LVCC’s social media page. We facilitated conversations. We answered questions. We connected generations of family members. We built an online community where an in-person one was no longer possible.

OUTCOMES

123%

increase in organic traffic

100%

occupancy rate

143%

increase in social growth

$10,000+

raised in donations during COVID-19 pandemic

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