Managing Your Retirement Community’s Response to Bad News

Plan, Plan and Plan Some More

Companies make or break a reputation for themselves not when everything is going smoothly, but when things get tough. That’s especially true when faced with negative news coverage, but also in the face of bad online reviews or comments on social media. According to Inc. Magazine, 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, making, online forums and social platforms a powerful source of information for consumers. This means a proactive approach to supporting your brand reputation is more important than ever. 

Whether you’re facing viral media coverage around an unfortunate incident or an unhappy comment from a resident on social media, a well-led public relations team will be your compass in the storm. When you’re actively managing your brand reputation, you are better equipped to tackle issues the very moment they arise. No one company will ever be immune, so make sure your team is ready to handle bad press before it finds you with these four tips. 

Devise a Plan

The best time to prepare for a crisis is before the crisis. That’s why the creation of a crisis communications plan should be the first thing on your to-do list. A crisis communications plan is the difference between being the fire station or the house catching fire when bad news strikes. This critical, living document outlines communication and response procedures for a crisis situation, whether that’s negative media coverage or responding to a storm of resident complaints. It establishes a spokesperson, identifies who needs to be part of the communications or approval process, and provides an action plan to address all aspects of media, to include mass media (TV/radio/newspaper), social media (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, etc.) and review websites (Google/Yelp). Without this roadmap, your community will be prone to mistakes, missteps or miscommunication at the most sensitive time. However, with an effective response strategy, negative press can be managed, mitigated and oftentimes contained before it ever gets out of hand. 

Timing is Everything

Timing is everything in a crisis and that’s especially true today. In today’s digital world, the moment you open your mouth for an interview or post a reply to an online comment, your words can potentially travel around the globe within moments. You often need to act quickly, but in a coordinated fashion. That’s where your crisis communications plan comes into play. 

Before anyone responds, quickly gather your public relations team together for a quick assessment of the situation and review your crisis communications plan. Identify what level of response is required, designate who should communicate to which audience and then move forward quickly with a coordinated response. You’ll want to ensure what you’re saying to the media aligns with what’s being said on social or being told directly to residents or family members who call in with questions. Take a breath and ensure your message is aligned with your organization’s crisis plan, your values and the situation at hand, but don’t wait too long. While you want to respond carefully, realize that the longer the void the more others will shape your story for you.

“No Comment” is a No-no

How many times have you heard someone in a crisis utter the phrase “no comment” and later thought to yourself, “I wonder whatever happened to that story?” That’s right…never! The no comment response will get you more media attention than the 2019 Capital One data breach because it gives the immediate impression that you’re hiding something or already guilty. 

This is another example of why the crisis communications plan is so vital. Developing an outline of key scenarios and responses beforehand will be crucial to have when a crisis occurs. The best approach for online commentary is to try and move the conversation offline. However, providing a simple response first to let residents know they’ve been heard can go a long way for your brand reputation. If you’re facing media questions, your spokesperson should always be prepared to share a concise statement at the very minimum to say you are aware of the situation and a resolution is underway. Even if you’re not ready with all the facts, crafting a short one-liner is much better than no comment at all. Plus, it will save you from nervously sharing some long-winded, complicated response that will only lead to more questions you’re not ready to answer. 

On that same note, you never want anyone outside of your primary communications team to say something completely incorrect, or worse start answering questions they are not at liberty to answer. Be sure to distribute a brief guideline for the entire company that will help direct media questions to the appropriate person. It’s also important to realize you have that internal audience as well who needs to hear that you are addressing an issue.

Analyze Before You Finalize

For some companies, once the dust settles it’s 1, 2, 3…break. WAIT! Although dealing with a public crisis is stressful, and the mere act of survival may be enough for you to give out a round of high fives and call it a day, take some time to reflect before your team resumes regularly scheduled programming. 

Gather your team for a round of Q&A over lunch. Think about what your team could have done differently, or better. Could the situation have been avoided or resolved sooner? If so, how can you adjust your process for the future? In the next few weeks and months ahead, what positive stories can you share that will help you rise from the ashes? Once you’ve hashed out all the details, grab that precious crisis communications plan of yours and get your team prepared for the next crisis. You never know when it will ignite. 

McDonald’s

Marketing / Communications

We help one of the world’s best brands increase sales and guest counts through reputation management and content marketing that successfully maximizes paid media efforts.
 

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Are You the Next Rock Star on the Ghidotti Team?

The Ghidotti Team is overflowing with full-fledged rock stars. Sure – we’re looking for the best, brightest, most creative, most organized. You get the picture. But what we REALLY want is someone who we can laugh with, depend on, learn from and do great work together. Learn more about who we’re looking for and what you can expect.

Ghidotti is currently hiring an Agency Administrator! 

Agency Administrator Job Description: 

This is a part-time role providing overall administrative support to our CEO and Account Supervisor, and assisting with basic human resources and monthly accounting responsibilities. 

For this role, you’ll need to work in our downtown Little Rock office and be required to submit between 25-30 hours a week within the operating hours of 8:30 AM to 5 PM. On occasion, there is a need to work additional hours on evenings and weekends during a client launch or other events throughout the year.

While repetitive daily/monthly tasks are certainly part of this position, additional tasks assigned can vary from week to week based on the CEO’s needs and the needs of the agency. The most important responsibility of the Agency Administrator is to ensure that administrative tasks and projects are completed with a high level of efficiency, confidentiality, accuracy, flexibility and positivity.

REQUIREMENTS: 

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred. 
  • Minimum of 2-5 years experience in the related field, dealing with financial information.
  • Must be able to use Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Quickbooks and Google Suite.
  • Must be able to multi-task and possess excellent organizational, communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Basic knowledge of bookkeeping.
  • Must be able to use office equipment (copy/fax machine).
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Detail-oriented and willing to tackle various ongoing projects in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent multitasking skills, with the ability to perform duties outside of the scope of work when necessary.
  • Must work well within a cross-functional team environment as well as independently.

Main Responsibilities

Human Resources

  • Provide support for hiring and onboarding of new employees 
  • Run bi-monthly payroll reports for intern/contractor payment
  • Coordinate new hire benefits and HR paperwork (health insurance, simple IRA, etc.) and enter into the payroll system. Plan yearly renewal meetings and update all payroll items.
  • Provide general responses to employee questions and requests on HR procedures, policies and information.
  • Process miscellaneous billings for payment & vendor management.
  • Responsible for keeping the Employee Handbook, HR policies and other HR information current and updated with the team. 

Accounting

  • Manage obligations to suppliers, customers and third-party vendors
  • Process bank deposits
  • Reconcile financial statements
  • Prepare, send and store invoices
  • Weekly expense reporting and time entry on behalf of the CEO
  • Contact clients and send reminders to ensure timely payments; Identify and address discrepancies
  • Report on the status of accounts payable and receivables twice a month
  • Update internal accounting databases and spreadsheets

Office Management/Leadership Support

  • Assist with presentation and client meeting set up; working with vendors 
  • Collect and prepare information for use in discussions/meetings of the agency leadership team and outside individuals. 
  • Assist CEO with volunteer activities – making calls, organizing catering and meetings in partnership with vendors. 
  • Management of client contracts/retainers – working with the account supervisor to ensure annual planning and timely renewal of contracts. 
  • Varying personal and professional administrative tasks including, but not limited to, booking appointments, research projects, coordinating travel, maintaining breakroom daily, maintaining storage organization and ordering office supplies, etc. 

Rock Star Environment

We strive to create a fun, engaging atmosphere where high fives, chicken minis, and celebrations are commonplace. We lift one another up, honor achievements and reward hard work.

  1. Professional Enrichment

    Whether instructor-led, web-based or sharing during Fireside Friday, we are always learning more!

  2. Community Engagement

    We love the state of Arkansas. Our team enjoys outings to locally-owned businesses and pride ourselves on community involvement. In addition, employees are often offered free tickets to community events to get out and enjoy life with friends and family.

  3. Team Building

    Quarterly adventures for the team!

  4. Winter Recess

    We shut this place down at the holidays so we can all rest, relax and reinvigorate for the new year.

  5. Summer Fridays

    We get an early jump on the weekend every Friday during the summer.

  6. Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

    Along with your PTO, you also get VTO to use to support your favorite charity or organization.

Does this describe you?

To apply, please submit the following via email to careers@ghidotti.com

  1. Cover letter and PDF of your resume 
  2. References: 2-3 minimum
  3. Tell us how you heard about this position