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#PowerOfPR with Derya Filiz

It’s been a pretty strange year. Representing England’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing and care for older people during a global pandemic placed us in the eye of the storm. Despite all the challenges, it highlighted the value PR practitioners add to organisations, helping to support, inspire and motivate people through a crisis.

Amidst relentless headlines around social care and coronavirus, we wanted to provide a counternarrative which reassured the public and ensured our staff and residents felt valued and supported.

From our conversations with residents and colleagues, it became clear we needed to provide an uplifting and positive narrative.

Our care homes have countless amazing initiatives and stories, so we set out on a mission to amplify these, demonstrating the resourcefulness and creativity of our colleagues in helping keep residents’ spirits up.

From a care home in Ipswich curating a VE Day museum of residents’ wartime memories, a veteran resident receiving a salute through the window from Royal British Legion members and grateful locals (which made the front page of The Daily Mirror), to a Summer of Sport uniting all 114 of our care homes in a week of sporting activities. We created powerful, personal stories with strong imagery which secured blanket media coverage (we reached over 50million people with over 950 media hits) and helped redress perceptions of care homes.

It was really inspiring to see the amazing activities taking place across our locations and I felt honoured to help communicate these stories more widely.

We had so much positive feedback too, one frontline colleague said the campaign“had an overwhelming effect on morale”.She said it made her feel proud and special and for me, it was refreshing reminder of how powerful positive PR can be.

Derya Filiz is Head of External Communications at Anchor Hanover, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing and care for people in later life, and a founding member of the PRCA Race and Ethnicity Equity Board (REEB).

For more information on the #PowerOfPR Campaign, visit here.