People Embracing People
When the State of New York awarded Maranatha Human Services a grant to grow and promote their unique initiative, Darling was naturally compelled to join forces.
To place individuals with developmental disabilities into people’s private residences to be cared for and supported in greater Queens, Brooklyn and The Bronx NY areas. This is an alternative to traditional care options that include group homes and the like. By placing a person with a developmental disability into the hearts and homes of people we call "caregivers", they receive not only care, but guidance and nurturing to become more independent and higher functioning. This shift from institution to home environment allows for tremendous growth and better quality of life. In return, caregivers are compensated for their efforts and also receive the invaluable gift of companionship.
Darling’s task was to design a compelling advertising program that would drive awareness and bolster interest in becoming a caregiver. We began by branding this initiative ‘PEP’, which stands for the essence of this program: People Embracing People.
With the guidance of employees and caregivers currently fulfilling these roles, we devised an emotional strategy to find the 1% of people who have a strong desire to change a person’s life. That led us to a 2-part campaign; the first represented a true call to action, asking people directly if this emotionally and spiritually speaks to them. The second was based on the notion of “natural born caregiver”, alluding to people who were "naturally born" to make a difference in someone’s life by sharing their own.
The campaign began with a soft launch in late June 2016 consisting only of OOH media (subway car cards, subway platforms, bus sides, and bus shelters), producing an inspiring response of over 100 caregiver inquires in less than 3 weeks.
The hard launch of the campaign came at the beginning of June 2016, boasting additional media efforts including television, traditional and digital radio, local print, digital banners, and SEM. These initiatives saw the amount of inquires skyrocket, driving an astronomically high amount of new traffic to the site. Within a month, site traffic soared an additional 119% and inquiries were up by 70%. The placement count currently stands at 12, with another 65 candidates in the caregiver screening and on-boarding pipeline, slating us to not only hit our benchmark of 21 placements, but to exceed it.
While creating an advertising campaign, we also managed to help PEP cultivate their business. We created a public relations strategy that swelled not only program awareness, but general awareness for advances in disability care as well.
We crafted a simple, effective language that resonates with people and excludes polarizing jargon, fitting enough to be adopted by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). And—icing on the cake—we even spiced up their offices with a small makeover to further inspire employees.
As the seeds of PEP continue to sprout, we look forward to the on-going results of this campaign not only in data and metrics, but in successful placements that yield companionship and growth.