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Senior Living

Investing in professional development and continuing education is critical for professionals who want to enhance their skills. It’s also a necessity for better client service. This belief reminds me of a favorite and well-known quotation from poet William Butler Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” To me, this quotation captures that education isn’t static. It’s not something that stops when school ends. Education is a life-long effort and one that requires ongoing work. As professionals, we have a variety of professional development and educational opportunities available to us, especially in the form of professional certifications. Whether working at an agency and serving clients externally or in-house and collaborating with internal stakeholders, professional certifications showcase your commitment to your profession and demonstrate that you continue to hone and refine your craft, which in turn benefits internal and external clients.

Negotiation is a valuable business and communication skill for any professional. Negotiating with someone else doesn’t just happen in an office or a boardroom sitting across a table from someone else. We are constantly negotiating as we navigate our daily lives at work and home. Sure, different situations require distinct negotiation and communication tactics and the stakes vary widely from one negotiation to the next, but the core principles of the best negotiators stay the same. That’s one of the key lessons learned last week at the annual conference of the Society of Marketing Professional Services’ Virginia Chapter. There were a number of insightful presentations with great takeaways, but the one that stood out the most was “The Cartography of Negotiation” by Scott Wayne of The Frontier Project. Scott outlined tools and tips to enhance your negotiating skills. Here are my three biggest lessons:

It’s only February and 2017 has already been a wild year for marketing professionals! From fake news to ongoing disruptions in how people consume information, the communications landscape remains challenging. Despite the many hurdles, opportunities abound and there are exciting new ways to reach your target audience in an engaging manner. But, what really works and how do you manage it?

If there was one big take-away from the International Builders’ Show earlier this month it was that the industry is bullish on the 55+ housing market. However, some of those reasons behind that enthusiasm may come as a surprise. Mike attended several seminars and participated in a tour of two major 55+ housing projects in Orlando. Here are some of the major points from those experiences:

Last week, Orlando became the hub of the home design and residential real estate industry. The National Association of Home Builder’s annual joint convention — in conjunction with the national association of the kitchen and bath industry — attracted over 80,000 attendees to the Orange County Convention Center. This year’s International Builders’ Show highlighted the latest in new home design and development. Although the building sector is in the midst of a nice upswing, there remains a great deal of disruption, primarily from demographic shifts and new technology that impacts how homes are built and bought. The International Builders’ Show offered a week of education sessions, networking, and a sneak peak at the latest home design and construction trends. The show offered a great deal of insights for any professional or company connected to the new home, multifamily, and 55+ sectors. Here are our top five takeaways from the show:

nmmaWe’ve got some big news to share: Commonwealth Partnerships won multiple awards in a national senior living awards program! We were honored for our work by the 25th annual National Mature Media Awards, which recognizes the nation’s finest marketing, communications, educational materials, and programs designed and produced for older adults. We’re passionate about providing strategic communications services for senior living providers and are so appreciative of this recognition!

sl-handsThe boom in the senior living industry over the past several years has spawned numerous opportunities for investors but complicated the decision making process for families seeking a safe and comfortable environment for their loved one. Historically, there were much fewer options when a family decided on assisted living or memory care. The huge influx of aging boomers changed that dynamic as investors seek to get in on the growing market by creating new communities and companies to meet the needs of the population. That is why it is more important than ever for senior living providers to examine public relations as a tool to distinguish their brand, amenities, and care of residents from their competitors. What does that look like? Here are some tips:

camerasSenior living communities and businesses face a number of inherent challenges when it comes to PR. Although mindsets are shifting, many still see “senior living” as the same thing as “nursing homes” and have deeply ingrained stereotypes about retirement communities, whether they are independent living, assisted living, or memory. Perception often creates reality and this is especially true in the senior living sector. It’s fairly common for a community’s executive director or sales and marketing director to hear how surprised someone is after a tour; he or she had no idea what senior living communities are really like. Shifting that perception and highlighting the value of senior living communities is a task that nicely aligns with a PR campaign. But how do you break through? With so many senior living communities in existence and in the pipeline, what makes you different?

auditNext week marks the unofficial end to summer with Labor Day weekend which means that everyone will be heading back to school. It also means the start of the dreaded budget planning season. Marketers across the country will be starting to pull together their projections for 2016 and creating reports to explain ROI on expenditures during 2015. Whereas budget season can be stressful, it also forces us to really examine what works and where there can be room for improvement for marketing efforts. As you go into your budget, here are some tips: