It's time to plan your 2011 observance of National Long-Term Care Awareness Month (LTCAM). LTCAM presents a golden opportunity for advisors to gain recognition as experts and concerned citizens in their communities. LTCAM events can be very low cost, while yielding wonderful exposure for you and helping your community at the same time.
Initiated in 2008, LTCAM is the result of a joint effort by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) and the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA). Its mission is to make people aware of the risks associated with needing care.
Because this annual event also encourages the public to take affirmative action and plan appropriately for long term care needs, LTCAM has received widespread support from state and local governments.
It's not too early to begin searching for an appropriate venue for your event. You also want to find groups with which you can partner. Once you have finalized a setting for your event and a partner or two, the rest of your planning is downhill.
I found a ready ally in a beautiful Houston retirement community called The Forum at Memorial Woods, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) with onsite independent and assisted living, as well as nursing home care.
The Forum likes to host free lunches as part of its advertising and public outreach efforts. They were so delighted to have the traffic that LTCAM bought to their community that they didn't even charge me for lunch or the use of their beautiful venue! Yes, I really lucked out on this. But even if you pay for lunch, you are getting very low-cost publicity, doing a lot of good for the community, and standing out from the crowd by promoting LTCAM. Alternatively, you could plan a less expensive breakfast, or afternoon or evening LTCAM events.
AALTCI members can ask the association for existing LTCAM gubernatorial and mayoral proclamations. I would also be happy to email you the LTCAM invitation I used. In 2008, it was easy to obtain a mayoral proclamation from then-Houston Mayor Bill White. Since we already had White's 2008 proclamation, it was a piece of cake to get a 2010 LTCAM proclamation from current Houston's Mayor Annise Parker.
How to publicize LTCAM?
The AALTCI has press releases that you can fax or email to local media. Your name will appear on the press release as the local LTCAM contact.
I arranged for my local chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters to publicize our LTCAM event to its members, and included their logo on the LTCAM invitation.
I also created alliances with the Senior Resource Guide, a local publication serving the senior market, as well as the Houston Area Continuity of Care, a professional group composed of social workers, discharge planners, and marketing people in the senior marketplace. These groups were listed on the invitation, and publicized LTCAM to their constituents.
I mailed the invitation to my database in 2008, but this year, I did this electronically with much less cost and effort, using Constant Contact. I have also handed out invitations at the various networking events I attend.
So prepare yourself: There's no better time than Long-Term Care Awareness Month to talk to your clients about long term care insurance, and to become involved in the movement for awareness.
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