COLUMBUS, OH: The Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA) has entrusted Gerbig Snell/Weisheimer & Associates with its 48,000 dollars, year-long PR effort to improve its image with potential nursing home employees.
The association, a group of roughly 800 nursing and assisted living facilities, chose Gerbig based on its local ties and healthcare experience, according to VP of member services Diane Dietz.
'We really wanted a consistent team,' she said. The association listened to presentations from six integrated companies based in Ohio before selecting Gerbig. The two entities have worked together in the past, as Gerbig led the PR charge for the association's educational foundation last year.
The OHCA believes that an image push is essential if the industry wants to recruit and retain better-qualified staff. 'We need people to take pride in this industry,' Dietz said. 'The staffing problem we face is being propelled by the image issue.' She added that improved employee perception of the business should also translate into a better public image of long-term care.
Gerbig, which expects to devote three or four staffers to the account, has already started media relations and crisis communications planning.
While the OHCA expects to expand the effort to include related advertising and marketing, Dietz felt that PR was the proper vehicle for laying the campaign's groundwork.
The firm boasts 325 employees and annualized capitalized billings of roughly 350 million dollars.