Author(s)

Brianne Rabouin

Date Approved

9-2-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Public Relations

Department

Public Relations/Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

FitzGerald, Suzanne

Subject(s)

Life care communities;Communication in marketing

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

The purposes of this study were to determine the public relations and marketing techniques used by assisted living facilities (ALFs) to attract and retain senior residents, investigate the perception of effectiveness in PR and marketing practices among assisted living administrators and identify the role of community relations within ALFs. Consistent with previous research, interviews and surveys with assisted living professionals reveal communities operate using traditional techniques and channels including, but not limited to, newspaper ads, facility tours, community events, word-of-mouth promotion, direct-mail marketing/materials, newsletters, facility websites and professional referral development. Respondents report minimal use of new media, yet maintain an overall positive outlook on their individual facilities' efforts. However, participants' view of the overall assisted living industry contains concerns regarding the economy and the misunderstood perception of independent care. Finally, results suggest a majority of community relations departments integrate marketing and public relations functions within ALFs.

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