Back in November, we ran a contest in the Community highlighting our Third Generation Editor. We garnered a lot of participation and some great feedback! Community VNA ended up being our Grand Prize winner. We thought it would be fun to learn a bit more about what Community VNA does and how email marketing fits in with their organization and communication needs. Without further ado, I catch up with Jeffrey LaValley, their Community Relations and Fund Development Manager, to learn more!
Constant Contact: What is Community VNA and what services does the organization provide?
Community VNA: Community VNA is a private, non-profit family of healthcare services located in southeastern Massachusetts, providing skilled nursing care, social services, and rehabilitative therapies to individuals in their homes living throughout the 13 cities and towns of the greater Attleboro, Massachusetts region.
Since 1911, we have been dedicated to enhancing health, wellness, and quality of life for individuals and their families, providing a range of services, including Home Health Care, Hospice Care, Palliative Care, Private Care, Adult Day Health Care, Alzheimer’s Assistance Program, as well as Lifeline Services and Annual Elder Dental Clinics.
Community VNA has been recognized as a 2017 HomeCare Elite Top 500 (ranked among the top 5% of home health care agencies nationwide). This recognition is based on publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, best practice implementing patient experience, quality improvement and consistency, and financial performance.
CTCT: Walk me through the general day-to-day as the Community Relations Manager.
Community VNA: As the Community Relations Manager I am responsible for corporate identity programs, marketing, public relations and communications for all affiliates and programs. Additionally, I oversee the agency’s resource development program, including fundraising efforts from individuals, foundations, and corporations.
One of the things I enjoy most about my job is that no day is the same. One minute I could be working on a grant proposal, and the next, implementing a social media campaign or planning an event. I consider myself a “generalist” so I am able to use both my analytical skills and my creative energy.
CTCT: How does Community VNA utilize email marketing?
Community VNA: We use email marketing as one tool in our communications portfolio to keep friends of Community VNA informed about educational opportunities, news, current events, and targeted agency announcements (based on an area of interest).
CTCT: What other marketing channels do you use to reach your audience?
Community VNA: We use a variety of marketing channels from traditional print media (letters, postcards, etc.) to digital/electronic (website, social media – Facebook & Twitter).
CTCT: What advice would you have for others that might operate in a similar industry and are looking to use Constant Contact, or just in general?
Community VNA: At the end of the day, fundraising, regardless of the type of organization you work for, is about your ability to tell a good story. Email marketing gives you an opportunity to do that in a cost-effective way in a place where most people already spend a great deal of their time – on their electronic devices.
Telling your story also involves knowing your audience, how often they want to hear from you, and finding a way to personalize the story for them. Constant Contact allows us to do all of these things based on the information we have gathered.
Keep in mind, there is no “silver bullet” when it comes to communicating with friends and donors. Email marketing will not solve all of your communication problems. You have to use a variety of channels and be certain your branding and messaging are consistent.
CTCT: Has the organization thought about how they would like to spend the grand prize?
Community VNA: We are very grateful for this very generous prize/award and have decided to support clients at each of our three Adult Day Health Centers. We will make purchases for items that fall outside of their (Activities Fund) budgets — such as therapeutic toys, games, fidget and multi-sensory objects, books, and electronics.
Thank you Jeffrey LaValley for talking with us and providing great insights into how Community VNA serves and communicates with their clients.
If you missed out on the last Community contest, keep an eye out for future announcements! Also, subscribe to our bi-monthly newsletter to keep up-to-date on all the cool happenings around the Community.