CASE STUDY – Using current events to land in the media

Public Relations Example

Seniors and Covid – It’s time to change the language and not socially distance, but physically distance.

PR Client:

Antrina Curry, RN, Chief Chief Caregiving Officer, Caring Hearts With Healing Hands Home Care

Successful PR Topic:

Caring for seniors/elderly during Covid-19

Why is this PR story relevant:

We have heard the term “Social Distancing” related to Coronavirus but we have to change the language when it comes to our elderly loved ones. “Physical Distancing” is what we have to do, not social distance. In fact, social distancing can be detrimental to the mental wellbeing of someone who is older. See this article from the Wall Street Journal that discusses why.

Why this pitch appealed to the media:

Nurse Curry serves a local community, Hampton Roads, Virginia. She took a national story/trend and brought it local. She provided local resources and her expertise as to how people in her community can care for their elderly loved ones. SPOILER ALERT: YES! You can hug your elderly loved ones! This is a timely, sensitive, and valuable story for the media to share.

Media outlet that was pitched:

WTKR-3, CBS affiliate in Virginia Beach. The specific program is Coast Live that highlights local businesses.

Free PR interview Transcript:

Keep seniors safe, and safe during the pandemic of course, but our next guest says there’s an important difference

between physical and social distancing. Antrina Curry from Caring Hearts with Healing Hands Home Care Services is here with some ways to stay connected.

How you doing Antrina? Good morning, April. I am doing wonderful. How are you? I’m so glad you’re here because I have a 90 year old mom who you know, we kind of have been distancing from but you’re saying there’s a difference. And explain the difference between social and physical.

So seniors play a very important role in our communities today. So while we’re making them safe, we want to make sure that we are using the correct verbiage also, there is a difference between social distancing versus physical distancing. We want to physically distance ourselves from our seniors. We don’t want to be socially distancing from them. We don’t want to be socially isolating ourselves from them.So, you know, we want to change that verbiage that we’re using.

So we start by changing the way we describe it, then what are our actions after that? So some actions you want to take is you want to keep in touch with your seniors on a regular basis if whether it’s through Zoom, whether it’s through Skype, Google Hangouts, you know, we got FaceTime, right? Right, you know, you got Facebook. It’s different social settings that you can do to stay in touch with that loved one.

If there’s also wellness visits, okay, and you know, I just put my mom on Zoom. Okay, but part of the problem is I got to go set it up for her and then go back and zoom with her. So, what are some ways to make sure that we still, you know, if we want to physically see them that we protect ourselves but also protect our seniors? So if you say like you’re meeting with your mom and you’re having a visit, because you want to keep those visits up you just want to make sure when you’re there you’re wearing a mask. You are sanitizing your hands at all times, you’re disinfecting the area. You want to make sure, is it an outside setting?

If it’s outside, you can make sure things are well, well well ventilated, you know windows open things like that. And even, even even then, you know, make sure you’re six feet apart. How many visitors will be there? Will it just be you and your mom? Will it be you your mom and other people so each person you want to make sure they’re at least six feet apart, but you can always always visit your mom. You want to stay visiting her, you want to stay connected.

Tell me about the provisions that you’re making because part of the issue with people who care for the elderly is where have they been? Who are they communicating with? Who are they social distancing, or not, from and then they come into the home. So what are you guys making any special provisions? Oh, yes. So we’re following, you know strict guidelines and that with the CDC. So in our homes I call them little Covid centers.So once our caregivers come into the home, we have these centers set up in their home.

They have to be, they have to not be tested, but they have to have their temperatures taken. They have to answer those questions. Have you been anywhere? Have you come in contact with somebody that might have had covid? Have you had to quarantine? Those are the type of questions we have to ask and then if they have a temperature they can’t work.

Okay. All right. Well that there it is. So how do you know if you need somebody from Caring Hearts with Healing Hands? So some things you want to check,

How, how was your mom’s eating habits? Has her eating decreased?

Does she, does she have meals already prepared for her?

Is there a decrease in nutritional values?

You know, is she taking her medications?

That’s an important piece. Is she missing these? Is she getting her medications and prescriptions seen and everything like that.

You know, those are important things that you want to you want to look at.

You know, you also want to look at how is her housekeeping?

Has she been able to keep up her house lately?

Does she need help with those things? Right, is she able to get her mail?

Is it newspapers in that piled up on the, on the porch?

That it’s little signs like that that lets you know, you know, maybe maybe your loved one needs some help,maybe they need some care. Well, there’s the information right there, Ms. Curry, thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate all tips that you’ve told us about.

Thank you for having me today.

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