The Cardinal at North Hills is a luxury senior living community situated in the heart of an upscale neighborhood in Raleigh, North Carolina. The community benefits from a 100% occupancy and has a highly coveted must-be-on waiting list. Plans to expand with an 18-story tower of luxury senior living apartments was in the works, and the announcement was to be made through a lavish groundbreaking ceremony that was put on hold when COVID-19 hit. Faced with the negative press that Raleigh was hit hard right after Mardi Gras with over 1,000 test positives in the market, we could no longer continue our luxury and amenity-driven messaging. In fact, all such marketing had to take a back seat to focus the attention on safety and security concerns. But, we recognized the opportunity to take the response to this situational crisis to a different level. Taking the lead on crisis management the Point Group immediately shifted messaging to emphasize how Cardinal’s foundation for luxury living has always been built upon a commitment to health, wellness, safety and security. Our PR team leveraged its experience as reporters and producers to create a positive messaging campaign allowing us to step in front of any negative publicity and redirect attention to the continued commitment to quality of life at The Cardinal. We created opportunities we knew the media would want to cover – a morning flag raising ritual (nothing more patriotic), a social distancing birthday party parade for an 89 year old (nothing more heartwarming), and serenades in the courtyard by strangers who cared enough to just show up.
We relied on smart, creative video marketing to showcase community spirit for the “greatest generation” of The Cardinal residents, while highlighting the ever-present safety and security measures. The raw videos of authentic patriotism and passion for the community spoke volumes and the media jumped at the opportunity to show something positive amid the negative reporting on the coronavirus that was dominating the news. What could have been a devastating occupancy decline turned into additional registrations for the waitlist. The Cardinal has been able to not only retain its current residents but also keep all 200 future residents from wanting their deposits back on The Tower expansion. What could have been a devastating hit to occupancy has actually turned into a positive awareness campaign that has generated 15 new leads from the positive public relations. Those 15 leads will turn into $1.9 million in life-time value.