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Vulnerable Adult Protective Services

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The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Vulnerable Adult Protective Services (VAPS) Division sought an agency to provide media and creative services to: 
  • Increase use of the updated online reporting system by mandatory reporters.   
  • Raise awareness and provide education regarding abuse, neglect, and exploitation due to the isolation of COVID-19 statewide to the target audience.  
  • Encourage potential consumers and their families or representatives to turn to VAPS when they or a loved one need help.  
Contract Dates: October 1, 2021 – September 20, 2022

The Task / Challenge  

VAPS staff and Odney partnered to raise awareness of the online reporting service due to increased isolation among vulnerable adults during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. Services are offered statewide to individuals 18 and older with substantial mental or functional impairments affecting their health, safety, or independence.  

The Solution

This was the first marketing campaign for VAPS, therefore the Odney team focused on building a strong foundation, starting with a new VAPS wordmark that followed ND Be Legendary Brand Standards. 
The video creative development and marketing campaign that followed focused to inform, educate and empower reporters of adults at risk of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and/or exploitation:   
  1. Mandatory reporters such as social workers, police officers, healthcare providers, etc.  
  2. Family members, caregivers, community providers, and others.   
  3. Vulnerable adults who are in need of services and support. 
Odney’s media planning team placed strategic buys to reach the target audiences. The paid social media strategy used geo-targeting and interests within the demographic to serve ads promoting the website to the target audience, motivating mandatory reporters to file a report if they suspected possible abuse.  Broadcast and digital media increased awareness of VAPS and educated target audiences in North Dakota about abuse, neglect, and exploitation. 

The Results  

The campaign ran from March to September 2022 and VAPS saw a significant increase in the number of submitted reports during the campaign. The two quarters during the campaign saw a 30.5% increase in reports compared to same quarters the previous year. Reports that fiscal year were the highest in 10 years, a 28.9% increase year-over-year.  
The most important result of the campaign is that VAPS saw a year-over-year increase of 154 reports that were appropriate for a full assessment by VAPS staff. This means 154 more actions were taken to help vulnerable adults. Odney’s partnership with VAPS was successful in raising awareness of the service and the online reporting system, and at the same time made a meaningful contribution in the lives of vulnerable adults in North Dakota. 

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Bismarck Office:

117 West Front Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58504