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Spotlight on Services: Marketing and Communications

For ellenor – a Kent based charity providing care and support to patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families – communication is vital. It’s how ellenor raises awareness of the nature and necessity of its services, drives engagement with both key stakeholders and the public, and tells the inspiring, life-affirming stories at the heart of hospice care.

Driving these efforts are ellenor’s Marketing and Comms team. Comprised of experts in PR, Digital, and brand, the team – headed up by Georgina Lestini – works tirelessly to define, develop, and share ellenor’s vision and voice across a range of mediums and platforms.

To do this, Marketing and Comms work across the organisation to plan, construct, and deliver a range of cross-channel marketing campaigns to engage, inform and educate

The team is also dedicated to defining the principles and improving the visibility of ellenor’s brand – a tool which, Georgina believes, is vital for both attracting new donors, and in the nurturing and stewardship of the charity’s current supporters, too.

Building the voice and values of the brand

One of the key functions that the Marketing and Comms team serves is building ellenor’s brand – that is, both the awareness of it, and the values that underpin it.

That’s something that Georgina has worked on  with a range of focus groups to establish ellenor’s brand values in the eyes of external stakeholders. It’s a continual process, as the brand needs flexibility to evolve and expand– and help solidify what ellenor stands for, and then share that with a wider audience.

Marketing and Comms also strives to ensure that ellenor’s brand fully encapsulates why the charity exists and what it does – that is, the full breath of ellenor’s clinical and wellbeing care services across multiple settings and locales.

As Georgina explains, the messaging shouldn’t be about the hospice alone, but about hospice care. The overwhelming majority of ellenor’s services, after all, take place within the homes of patients in the community. 

The Marketing and Comms team, then, don’t focus on the inpatient ward at Northfleet alone, but on the entirety of ellenor’s care – wherever it may take place. Against this backdrop, a new tagline, which now accompanies all iterations of ellenor’s logo, was formed – “hospice care in our home or yours”.

Busting the myths of hospice care

Dispelling the common misconception that ellenor’s care is based solely at a physical hospice is just one of the ways that Marketing and Comms attempts to ‘bust the myths’ around palliative care.

Part of the team’s remit is to demonstrate that hospice care isn’t a place for the last 30 days of someone’s life. ellenor works to enable patients to live a life as well as then can with their life limiting illness.  Evolving programmes and processes – as well as a range of treatments, including occupational therapy, physiotherapy art classes, exercise classes complimentary therapies, financial guidance, and spiritual care – comprise a whole side of ellenor’s services that the public aren’t often aware of, or which they simply don’t associate with hospice care. It’s the job of the marketing team to help that.

Marketing and Comms also wants to cut through the misbelief that hospice care exists in the realm of the elderly, alone. After all, the Kent based charity supports life-limited patients of all ages – and is the only hospice in that area to do so.


ellenor constantly reach out to new audiences for example in April 2020, the team worked with Gravesend-based youth talent agency GTown Talents to produce a unique song and music video, with lyrics raising awareness of ellenor and its Emergency Fighting Fund. The goal? Getting a whole new audience talking about hospice care, and what it means to their community.

Reaching out to new donors and demographics is in ellenor’s DNA. But it’s not all about securing support – or, in the case of the younger generations, their future support.

For Marketing and Comms, the goal is also to make people of all ages feel more comfortable around death and dying, and to shine a light on the bravery and resilience of the patients and families that ellenor looks after.

Handling sensitive topics with empathy

Settling on the right tone when addressing people of all ages, backgrounds, and beliefs can be difficult – particularly when topics such as death and illness must be tackled head on.

And ellenor’s Marketing and Comms team – which plans, produce, and manages a multitude of cross-channel marketing drives each year – knows this better than anyone.

Campaigns must resonate with people and convey ellenor’s raison d’etre, while also being hard-hitting enough to inspire action. Yet, crucially, they must also be inclusive and empathetic, while remaining cognisant of the sensitivities of the subject matter.

To achieve this, Marketing and Comms work with both ellenor’s care team – observing the empathy, compassion, and dignity with which they treat patients – as well as the patients themselves.

For instance, after working with child patients and their families – and becoming aware of their understandably negative reactions to the word ‘terminal’. In its place, ‘life-limiting’ is now used, to emphasize the life that ellenor’s patients can still enjoy, and that it is this life – and the quality of it, no matter how much is left – that is the focus of the charity’s holistic care.

Telling the stories of patients and families

At the core of the Marketing and Comms team’s ethos lies a firm desire to give ellenor’s patients a voice.

Publicising the accounts of families and patients under ellenor’s care helps shed light on the plight of individuals living with complex, life-limiting conditions. 

Real life care stories also invite members of the public who may not know much about hospice care – how it works, how it’s delivered, and that it’s not solely concerned with ‘end of life’ treatment – to learn more about ellenor’s work and its impact.

Yet these stories also serve an important function for the patients themselves. As Georgina explains, they have a kind of “cathartic” quality for those writing them. This is just one of the reasons we never change a patient’s account, it always goes out in their own words., it is their story.

With more and more knowledge barriers around palliative care being broken down, ellenor’s brand is continuing to speak to a whole new generation of people – about the importance of hospice care, and the inspiring individuals at its centre.

Thereby, Marketing and Comms fulfils its goal – ensuring that ellenor’s patients and families feel special and prioritising their needs and stories above all, supporting ellenor's core values of being inclusive, caring, and focused.

We are ellenor.