Executing an Advocacy Campaign to Improve Long Term Care Outcomes

Ontario Long Term Care Association

Challenge: Leading up to the June 2014 provincial election, the OLTCA sought to execute an advocacy campaign on behalf of the more than 100,000 seniors living in long term care homes in Ontario; the goal was to improve care provided in long term care homes. Focused on five priority areas for senior care, the OLTCA enlisted Santis’ expertise to raise awareness of these key areas of care improvement, with the goal of ensuring that long-term care would be an election issue.

Santis’ Solution: Santis developed and implemented a strategy to increase public support and demand attention from political leaders. After lining up available resources and prioritizing targeted audiences, Santis rolled out a successful advocacy plan to influence key policy makers and engage key stakeholders.
Knowing that each stakeholder group is unique and that a different engagement strategy would be necessary for each, Santis identified the targeted key stakeholder list and created a specialized method by which each should be included in the advocacy campaign.

An advocacy website (www.BetterSeniorsCare.ca) was built, which highlighted the timeliness of the campaign, citing priorities for delivering safe, supportive long-term care. Visitors to the site were encouraged to “Make Change Happen” by sending a letter to the Ontario Minister of Health and Health Critics, requesting better support, more staff and improved infrastructure.


A media tour was launched three weeks prior to the Provincial election. Media outlets across Ontario covered the events held at long term care homes, which wrapped up two days prior to Election Day. Core messaging focussed on the challenges facing seniors in long term care homes and the need to provide better care.

A month-long social media campaign helped to complement the advocacy campaign. The social media component included daily tweets, digital videos and shareable items, which helped to expand knowledge of the issue, while engaging those who had a vested interest. Social media gave stakeholders a voice, and helped promote the issue by engaging grassroots support.

An election platform was created and Santis provided toolkits for OLTCA members to use in meetings with candidates, MPPs, and community leaders.

Results: In just a short time the campaign achieved impressive results.

– Almost 13,000 letters were sent to politicians
– Over 700,000 media impressions
– Over 3,500 visits to www.BetterSeniorsCare.ca
– Coverage by 6 news outlets
– 160 retweets; 63 favourites and 60 new followers to @OLTCAnews
– 300 shares of www.BetterSeniorsCare.ca on Facebook; 239 on Twitter

“We are extremely happy with the public response and political attention we garnered from this campaign; it has generated the best results of any of our advocacy campaigns to date.” – Candace Chartier, CEO, Ontario Long Term Care Association