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Is "No News is Good News" Really the Right Way to Approach Marketing Skilled Nursing?

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By Pam McDonald

“No news is good news,” that’s the pervasive attitude of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) when it comes to their online reputation and internet presence, says Judah Gutwein, a licensed nursing home administrator and online marketing expert.

He believes that, unfortunately, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” a nursing home is hit with negative online comments, bad reviews, or other public and permanent damaging remarks – if they haven’t been already.

Valuable Insights for SNF Leaders and Marketing Staff

Nursing home leaders have an opportunity to learn how to optimize their online authority and gain valuable marketing insights during a webinar slated for Thursday, September 14 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT.

Caring.com, a leading online resource for consumers looking for long-term care or senior living hosts the presentation and is a Senior Housing Forum partner.

Amy Osmond Cook, CEO of Osmond Marketing, and Executive Director of the Association of Skilled Nursing Providers (ASNP), will join Judah and Caring.com's Marketing Director Denise Graab as the webcast’s featured presenters. Together they will share specific strategies, best practices, and success stories to help skilled nursing organizations optimize their online marketing – whether they have a waiting list or need to grow occupancy.

A Robust Online Presence Is Needed

As CEO of Sky Care Media, Judah and his team create for healthcare facilities immersive internet marketing that is informed by his background in corporate marketing and business development for a national nursing and post-acute rehab company on the East Coast.

He points out that in the past the typical path to nursing home admission started with a hospitalization and ended with a referral to a long-term care facility at discharge. Patients and families were happy to take the hospital’s advice. But he notes that today a majority of consumers won’t make a decision to “buy” without researching the business online.

“A website that is essentially a static business card or a negative online review that shows up in your first three search results can hurt your business,” Judah says. “Skilled nursing is about 15 years behind and needs to work quickly to develop a robust online presence.”

Best Practices for Nursing Homes Online

Amy is CEO of Osmond Marketing, which is a Google partner with access to Google's extensive data on usage. Through her leadership of ASNP, she helps educate the public about skilled nursing and promotes high-quality post-acute care. Amy earned a Ph.D. in Communication and is a regular health and wellness contributor to the Orange County Register, other newspapers, and blogs.

“When developing an approach to online communications,” Amy says, “it can be valuable to remember that the internet is just another channel for connecting with consumers, with potential residents. And, online you should treat people the same as you would in face-to-face interactions – first be responsive and then be courteous, kind, and helpful.”

Using Existing Tools to Boost Online Credibility

Denise with Caring.com asks, “When consumers turn to search engines or online directories for long-term care, what do they find? Does your online presence match the level of excellence you offer offline?”

In addition to facilitating the webinar discussion, Denise, who has six years experience co-managing Caring.com’s senior care reviews program, will present some best practices providers can use to build positive reviews, and tips on how to respond to negative online reviews as well.

The September 14th webcast, titled “Skilled Nursing: Best Practices for Optimizing Your Online Marketing”, is free but space is limited. Use the link below to register:


Caring.com has the largest online collection of senior care reviews and is visited by about 3 million people each month who are considering in-home or long-term care or a move to senior living. Its Digital Marketing Academy webinars are designed to help senior living leaders better market their organizations online.


For more information about Caring.com, call Denise at (650) 762-8190 or visit their industry blog by clicking the logo button below:

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