The Communicator
The Communicator
  April 1, 2010 

Take the Video Challenge

If you don’t like the negative stereotypes you find when you search on YouTube for “nursing home” or “assisted living” – then take the challenge to change it.  That was the opinion of Alison Everett, Communications Director at Pennsylvania Health Care Association/Center for Assisted Living Management (PHCA/CALM).  PHCA recently partnered with IlluminAge on a Video Challenge, where members were challenged to submit videos that focused on caring and changing the perceptions that many people outside of the long-term care community hold.

PHCA/CALM opened the contest to all member facility employees, residents, families and volunteers, and asked them to show legislators, public policymakers, the media and the public that long-term care facilities are focused on preserving the quality of life for all residents. PHCA/CALM provided guidelines, promotional materials, Flip Video cameras and a media consent form, and within a few months they received 23 submissions, which are all viewable on their website.

An initial panel of judges narrowed the field of entries down to the top seven videos. Then PHCA/CALM  invited "celebrity judges" from the governor’s staff and key legislators to a luncheon where they were asked to judge the top seven videos on these criteria:  originality, focus on caring, ability to change perception among the general public, ability to change perception among elected officials, and their overall view of the entry.  

Some of the videos made the judges laugh.  Some made them cry.  It was a tough choice, but they picked Fox Subacute Skilled Nursing Facility as the winner.  At Fox, all the residents rely on ventilators to breathe. Many of them are young people with advanced muscular dystrophy and judges said that their perception of nursing homes was changed by seeing so many young people attending concerts, baseball games and other events. This winning video was actually created entirely by residents at Fox Subacute.

The runner-up videos honored veterans, dispelled the perception that nursing homes are “boring,” voiced testimonials from residents about why they are happy, and highlighted staff that strive to provide quality care.

The IlluminAge web team was honored to learn that Everett had emailed many of her colleagues saying very nice things about the support IlluminAge provided.  “I cannot say enough good things about IlluminAge,” she wrote. “They set up and hosted the web page where videos were submitted, they converted some of the videos to better formats when they needed it, they set up the page that allowed us to easily review the videos with legislative staff, and they handled all of the technical issues that came up.”

The success of the PHCA/CALM video challenge is in step with the growing popularity of video as web content. To address this trend, IlluminAge has developed a short white paper titled Media-Rich Web Content: Flash, Video, and Photo Tours. It contains a Tip-sheet for Flash Development and a Video Checklist. To request your free copy, e-mail therese@illuminage.com or phone 800-448-5213.

 


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