'Aging Revolution Summit' prompts national attention

Jeff Petty, CEO of Wesley Enhanced Living, which operates long-term care facilities, has long felt that the US isn't ready for the rising number of senior citizens in terms of its healthcare and Social Security systems.

Jeff Petty, CEO of Wesley Enhanced Living, which operates long-term care facilities, has long felt that the US isn't ready for the rising number of senior citizens in terms of its healthcare and Social Security systems.

To communicate his concerns, he launched a national conference.

Dubbed the "Aging Revolution Summit," the event included industry reps, policy-makers, and influencers, including former senator and astronaut John Glenn, and addressed topics such as the effects of technology on long-term care.

Strategy
The Aging Revolution Summit was aimed at policy-makers and government, business, and healthcare people. Scott Tattar, SVP and director of PR at LevLane, says its goal is to "foster idea-sharing, debate, and progress among decision-makers on intractable senior care issues." Speakers included Glenn (pictured), Bob Kerrey, and US comptroller general David Walker.

Tactics
LevLane first made sure the event was listed in the calendar section of the appropriate trade publications. "As it got closer we were very aggressive in our media relations and direct e-mail outreach to [those attending] the summit," says Holly Mantle, LevLane account manager. The agency also set out to establish Petty as a "provocative" industry thought leader and had his op-ed published in the Philadelphia Enquirer, which resulted in increased registration.

Results
Tatter says more than 400 business, healthcare, and government leaders attended, 33% above their goal.

Post-event coverage totaled 2.1 million impressions in publications such as McKnight's Long-Term Care News, a Haymarket Media publication, and Modern Healthcare, along with feed and local TV coverage.

Future
Now the summit is an annual event, and Tattar says Wesley is also looking to expand its scope, making it a two- to three-day event, while widening the outreach through podcasts and satellite feeds.

PR team: LevLane and Wesley Enhanced Living (Philadelphia)

Campaign: Wesley Enhanced Living's Aging Revolution Summit

Duration: January 2007-ongoing

Budget: $70,000

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