Clear Messages in a Cluttered World...
In March 2008, Erickson Retirement Communities announced plans to build the company’s first Georgia retirement community at the intersection of McGinnis Ferry and Bethany Bend roads in Forsyth County. The 88-acre development will feature approximately 1,500 independent living units, two clubhouses 150 assisted living units and 100 skilled care units. At full capacity, the retirement community is expected to feature two neighborhoods each containing six or seven residential buildings, with approximately 100 to 125 independent living units each.
There was some concern that there would local opposition to the retirement community in this community.
Generate positive media coverage of Erickson Retirement Communities’ announcement to develop a new community in Forsyth County.
Communicate the growing demand for a full-service retirement development to accommodate Forsyth county’s 11,000 resident over age 62.
Highlight the Erikson concept, which focuses on providing middle-income retirees a maintenance-free lifestyle that includes on-site amenities and stimulating social opportunities that improve both physical and mental health.
Showcase the development’s positive economic impact on the surrounding communities of Cumming and Milton which was projected to include more than $200 million of private capital investment, annual expenditures of over $20 million into the utilities, food, maintenance and service industries, 1,300 new and permanent jobs and more than $150,000 in annual scholarships for local student workers.
The Forsyth County project provided an optimal story platform for positioning Erickson Retirement Communities as the pioneer for full-service retirement living in the state of Georgia. Schroder PR worked closely with Erickson to develop messaging for media outreach centering on the attributes that differentiated the project: 1) full-service retirement center, 2) community and school partnerships and 3) nationally recognized in Fortune Magazine and The Wall Street Journal as an industry leader and positive work place.
Extensive media outreach took place prior to the Forsyth County Planning Commissions official recommendation to the Forsyth County Commissioners. Schroder PR prepared Erickson spokespersons to speak with the media and continued follow-up with media as the project developed. Messaging to tell the Forsyth County project was delivered via in-person meetings, an electronic press kit, project backgrounder, press release and personalized media pitching.
Media coverage of the Forsyth County project was significant and included placements in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Forsyth County News, Forsyth Herald and the online community blog www.CummingHome.com.
Forsyth Development Backgrounder:
Erickson Retirement Communities Set to Unveil First Georgia Development in Forsyth County
New Retirement Community Proposed in Forsyth, www.northfulton.com, February 28, 2008
Retirement Community Proposed for McGinnis Ferry, Bethany roads, www.forsythnews.com, March 9, 2008
Erickson Retirement Communities Set to Unveil First Georgia Development in Forsyth County, www.cumminghome.com, March 17, 2008
Huge Retirement Community Proposed in Forsyth, www.ajc.com, March 18, 2008