Filed Under:Health Insurance, Ltci

HHS to Ramp Up Alzheimers.gov Campaign

The feds expect to spend $8.2 million on outreach. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
The feds expect to spend $8.2 million on outreach. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is planning to launch a marketing campaign for the federal government's new Alzheimer's resources website, http://www.alzheimers.gov, in early August.

The ACL, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), launched the site in May and attracted 15,000 unique visitors to the site within the first 24 hours, ACL officials said Monday during a presentation in Washington, at a meeting of the federal Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care and Services.

HHS created the ACL in April and made it the umbrella for several existing agencies, including the Administration on Aging, the Office on Disability, and the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. 

The Alzheimer's advisory council is overseeing efforts to implement the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease, a document the council completed in May.

The National Plan includes a recommendation that consumers get more inforation about private long-term care insurance options and a recommendation that consumers get more information about long-term care (LTC) services.

Significant Alzheimer's disease and dementia resources already exist, and public awareness of Alzheimer's is already high, but caregivers seem to need help connecting with the resources that are out there, according to a written version of the ACL presentation prepared by Hunter McKay and Ann Mosher.

ACL has about $4 million in funding to develop, run and promote the Alzheimers.gov site during the current fiscal year and hopes to get $4.2 million for the site for fiscal year 2013, which is set to start Oct. 1.

The site developers have tried to include testimonials from caregivers and others who "use language that is authentic and speaks to target audience."

One goal for the site is to "Make It Sticky," officials said.

The Associated Press, the Washington Post and many other news organizations covered the launch of the site, and it was featured prominently on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, officials said.

The new site promotional campaign will reach out to caregivers, to people who are ages 60 to 75, and to people who speak Spanish, 

The marketing campaign will include a television spot that features caregivers, rather than individuals with Alzheimer's disease, and focuses on the kinds of questions that caregivers have, officials said.

The campaign also includes a radio spot with Spanish versions as well as English versions, clickable banner ads, print ads in publications such as Parade, and ads in outdoor locations such as bus stops, officials said.

The television ads and some print ads are set to start appearing Aug. 6. The other ads will appear shortly thereafter, officials said.

The ACL is not allowed to seek contributions, but it believes it will get help with paying for the campaign from associations, foundations and private companies, officials said.

HHS can acknowledge the sponsors in press release acknowledgements, but it cannot provide co-branding in the campaign materials, officials said.

The ACL plans to use Google Analytics, YouTube Analytics and a website-based survey to evaluate the performance of the campaign, officials said.

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