As a long time manager of a number of assisted living and memory care communities, I am always curious to grab a community newsletter whenever I enter a facility. Nine times out of ten, I am expectedly disappointed. There is no gray area with community newsletters. Small companies print off drivel onto a pastel colored piece of paper and the activities calendar content is generally really sad. Unfortunately, large assisted living corporations spend $200 a months on professionally published newsletters that look great, but the content is equally sad. As with most issues in assisted living, I feel that mediocracy stems from poor upper management.

The problem is that the professional newsletter publishing company gives the assisted living representative the option to start a newsletter from scratch or use a newsletter full of prefabricated content that consists of puzzles, poems and fun facts relevant to the specific month of the newsletter. While the newsletter looks great, its content doesn’t reflect the actual assisted living community itself. A great newsletter is full of content that includes promotions of upcoming events, pictures from last month’s events, an employee spotlight, a resident spotlight etc…It bugs me to see a newsletter with a crossword puzzle and fun facts.

Marketing directors need to make sure to cooperate with the recreational therapist to ensure that the monthly newsletter is relevant. Understand the fact that everyone touring your community should be taking home your newsletter and comparing it with other prospective communities.