LeadingAge, which represents more than 5,000 nonprofit aging-service organizations, retained WCS to rapidly scale up its campaign to press the federal government to improve its response to the COVID crisis. WCS helped shift the nursing home narrative away from blaming providers to showcasing their need for PPE, tests and other resources to keep residents and care workers safe. We pointed out the need to reverse decades of underinvestment in aging services.

Goals 

LeadingAge wanted to rapidly develop a COVID crisis communications strategy, reposition the organization and its 38 states as mission-driven nonprofit thought leaders, build a rapid response capacity as the crisis worsened, and develop campaigns to spotlight the role LeadingAge and service providers have played in this pandemic–and their need for more resources to support older Americans. 

Tactics 

» Shifting the Message: Created a message framework to shift the narrative to the urgent needs of vulnerable aging adults. 

» Organizational Positioning: Injected the association into multiple national stories. 

» Rapid Response: Built outreach materials for earned and social media to insert LeadingAge into breaking COVID-19 stories as a trusted and compelling voice. 

» Network Mobilization: Helped organize new methods of communications coordination and outreach with LeadingAge’s state members so they could serve as messengers nationally and in their own markets. 

» Digital Campaign: Developed a Mother’s Day social media campaign to thank caregivers for caring for millions of vulnerable mothers and grandmothers. 

Impact 

» Ongoing media coverage in most major stories with client quotes on the inadequacies of new policies announced by the White House in 2020. 

» Recognition of client’s new positioning in an editorial in a leading trade publication–dubbing LeadingAge “The Mouse that Roared” for its outspoken but professional advocacy.