Retirement communities combine housing with care, offering a new way for older people to live active and healthy lifestyles in the UK.
The Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO), is the new trade and membership body for the sector and it is currently supporting over 20,000 people living independently and part of a vibrant community. Following its launch ARCO looked to us to help raise awareness and position it with older consumers and their families.
Our PR team worked on storylines and case studies for consumer audiences as part of a retained contract, building ARCO's profile over two years. We gained coverage in both trade and consumer media outlets, with a key highlight being the coverage generated on ITV’s primetime news programme Tonight, in a special called ‘Looking after Mum and Dad’. Working closely with ARCO members, we also developed the idea for a nationwide Wellbeing Weekend, to increase awareness of retirement communities and the healthy and active lifestyles they can help promote. We commissioned a survey to find out what's stopping so many older people from exercising, achieving over 45 items of regional, local and BBC broadcast coverage around the country, as well as national coverage in the Express and the Mirror.
Following this activity our PR team worked with ARCO around the launch of its consumer code, securing a BBC News Online feature around the costs of housing with care. The piece highlighted ARCO's role in promoting standards and transparency within the industry, improving the lives of people like Frank and Sheila (pictured above), residents of ARCO member ExtraCare Charitable Trust's Hagley Road Village in Brimingham.