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OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE


says. “And that allows you to tell the human story in meaningful ways … [and] because of the nature of podcasting, I think it allows you to target and engage people on a topic that they care about. You can micro-target a topic that is of intense interest to a group of people and talk directly to them about it in great depth.”


Telling stories, tackling issues Stern says the Stanford Center on Longevi- ty chose caregiving as the subject for its first podcast because of its importance to the center’s focus on retooling society to support healthier and longer lives. “When I’m 64” debuted with an episode about caregiving for Alzheimer’s patients featuring guests Seth and Lauren Miller Rogen. “We’re at a time when for the first time


in history four or even five generations of the family are alive at the same time,” Stern says. “That’s great, but it also raises bigger social issues about how to take care of so many different generations alive at the same time. And we’re in the middle of a caregiv- ing crisis. There are 53 million caregivers in the country … and many of them have been really challenged during the pandem- ic. We wanted to make sure that their stories are told.” Podcast interviews spark invaluable and


surprising discussions that can enrich the understanding not only of listeners but of the organization hosting a podcast. Valissa Smith, senior vice president of strategic communications for SeniorVu, is the host of SeniorVu’s “Off Your Rocker.” “Listening and learning from our clients,


industry leaders and even our competitors – there are so many smart people in the senior living space who are doing what they can to improve the experience for seniors and families, and those of us at SeniorVu are all about that,” Smith says. “We want to have conversations with those who are doing big things and are in it for the right reason.”


Ideas with impact Similarly, the “Senior Housing Unfiltered” podcast, which is offered by Lloyd Jones Senior Living, seeks to highlight “the im- pact-makers and people making a difference in the senior housing industry.”


Robert Howell, vice president of oper-


ations for Lloyd Jones Senior Living, says a highlight so far for the podcast was an interview with Paul Griffin III, the found- er, CEO, and president of Griffin Living, because “we pulled back the curtain on the future of senior living. We discuss how health care and hospitality must merge to create a new model for a new generation of baby boomers who are aging, and what this model will look like in, say, 12 months from today, as the new models come out of the ground.” Longfellow and Genauer says Juniper


selects topics for Voices on Aging based in part on the questions that the “boots on the ground in our communities” are hearing. “One of the things that you really want


to make sure of is that your guests on the podcast are credible,” Genauer says. “So


each day. Listening to new information in a pleasant format is a no-brainer.” From a networking standpoint, Smith


says, “we have had a few operators find us via the podcast.” “Off Your Rocker: A SeniorVu Podcast” is on all major pod- cast platforms. “But mostly, those working in the com-


munities say they appreciate hearing new ideas from some of their competitors or from another technology company. We’ve even hosted executives from outside indus- tries who have come to us with some adapt- able ideas for senior living, too,” she says. Howell says “Senior Housing Unfiltered”


has helped Lloyd Jones Senior Living ex- pand its brand and influence in the indus- try. “The podcast,” he says, “is one more tool for us to disrupt an industry stuck in ancient cultures.”


“I think the benefit of the podcast as a complement to a web page, or a landing page, or Facebook, is that it has allowed us to go more in depth on a number of topics that we had been hearing from families that were of concern to them,” says Cindy Longfellow, vice president of business development/sales and marketing for Juniper Communities.


we don’t just make this an ad for Juniper when you listen to our podcast. There are credible guests talking about the topic. We try to have an expert from Juniper, and then an outside expert. And our host is an outside expert in geriatric care.”


Making new connections Smith says podcasting offer a unique appeal as a communication medium. “Finding 20 to 30 minutes to glean some


new information while taking a walk or driv- ing to work is pretty easy for most people,” Smith says. “And more folks in senior care are finding it easier to take in information while they multi-task rather than reading ev- ery article that comes at them in their inbox


30 SENIOR LIVING EXECUTIVE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 Longfellow says Juniper launched its pod-


cast with one audience in mind but found that a different demographic may represent its largest listener base. “Originally, we were looking for ways to


engage with our families in a different way during COVID, and I think initially we saw this as being really beneficial to our fami- lies,” Longfellow says. “But I think ultimately, it has proven


more beneficial to our potential customers, those adult children, those baby boomers who are looking after their parents. It’s a bit anecdotal, but we know that our sales and marketing directors are hearing from potential customers, ’Hey, I happened to see your podcast.’


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