The University System of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability selected Millennium to promote the DirectConnect initiative. The firm executed a strategic communications campaign to significantly increase the number of trained direct care workers in the state and improve public perception of the sector, in order to support senior citizens and disabled individuals and create jobs. As the DirectConnect campaign was a federally-funded project, Millennium was conscious of compliance and budgetary concerns.
The firm partnered with the University to leverage resources through a public relations strategy as part of its effort to frame the value of the direct care workforce and the great need for its growth in New Hampshire. Millennium was highly focused on building consensus among target audiences – representing multiple population segments of women aged 25 to 54, as well as high school aged-women approaching graduation – and the general public, in addition to promoting collaboration among stakeholders.
This presented the organization with a number of challenges:
To develop an effective campaign, Millennium collected primary research data from DirectConnect staff, project partners, and stakeholders. In addition, the team conducted secondary research on the direct care workforce, recruiting tactics, and similar projects completed in other states.
This data was applied through Millennium’s proprietary marketing campaign planning method which assisted the team in outlining target audiences, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges as well as a strategic, data-driven solution to the plan.
Having executed a comprehensive research and market planning report for Quality Care Partners (QCP) in 2008, Millennium was familiar with the direct care workforce landscape in New Hampshire. The research outcomes led to message creation that centered on changing careers for personal fulfillment and job security.
The messaging was delivered through a website Millennium developed; a toll-free telephone number; marketing collateral; placed media including radio, television, transit, and online ads; social media marketing; and outreach and strategic event participation tactics.
Millennium’s creative brand design and messaging resonated with target audiences, and the advertising and public relations strategies garnered effective media coverage – which led to high public awareness of the DirectConnect initiative.
Consequently, the campaign received a high response rate, exceeding direct care workforce training participation goals mid-campaign. Specifically, the marketing and recruitment goals set by the DirectConnect team to train 800 incumbent workers and 200 unemployed workers were achieved much earlier than expected.
The campaign also successfully changed perceptions of the direct care workforce for recruitment and retention purposes.
In addition, the industry career lattice Millennium developed with the University System of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability received national recognition and is featured on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Competency Models Clearinghouse website.
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