Student Housing Business

JUL-AUG 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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SMARTER OPERATIONS July/August 2018 101 some of the things that can happen on property. They even invited a television reporter from the local media to attend the training. "He was able to share his per- spective on what he's tasked with from the media's point of view. It was a unique opportunity, and I encourage companies to try do that." Social Media Can Be Friend or Foe Nowadays, of course, the fastest way to reach residents and guaran- tors is through social media. "Our residents rely heavily on social media to communicate during a crisis and to receive updates," Filippone says. Social media can also be where the rumor mill starts churning should the property manager wait too long to respond to an incident or issue. DiGianfilippo shared a stat from Deloitte, which says 70 percent of business leaders who have suffered a crisis feel that the damage to their company's repu- tation has lasted more than one year. "This is definitely because of the fact that social media can propel these crisis situations so much farther and for so much longer than before," she says, adding that social media itself can sometimes become its own crisis. "As we all know, people are braver on social media than they are in real life. In the past, a simple lash out on social media wouldn't have been devastating, but today it can cause a firestorm. The opportunity for an influencer to really tarnish a brand is so much bigger than it ever was before." It's also in a company's best interest, DiGianfilippo says, not to appear tone deaf over social media during and after a cri- sis. For Serendipit's clients, DiGianfilippo's team keeps all the passwords and has authority to take over all social media accounts. One of the first things she does is un-schedule any pre-planned posts, tweets or email blasts that were created before the crisis. "Quick access to those accounts is important because if a presched- uled tweet or email marketing campaign goes out during a crisis, your company looks insensitive and not authentic." End Game Part of Matusek's best practices involve ranking crises. Not all are code reds, so each response plan is tailored to the severity of the issue. But regardless of whether a crisis is large or small, what a company does in the days, weeks and months that follow is almost as important as messaging in the moment. DiGianfilippo says even if an incident had nothing to do with your property or company, it's important to still take owner- ship by letting your community know what you will do different in the future. "In preparing every communi- cation that goes out, we need to remember that it's not about us," she says. "It's not about the owner or the building. It's not about any- one but the residents." She also has found that good practice after a serious incident, such as a suicide, is to initiate dia- log and host events like suicide awareness clinics that are open for everyone in the community to attend. For one client, she orga- nized free women's self-defense classes when a serial rapist was reported on campus. "The company got good expo- sure, and they probably got leases from that but really it was just the right thing to do. It's also impor- tant to make your staff feel con- fident. When you do post-crisis PR well, it makes you come out ahead." SHB Interested in becoming a social media rock star? Attend SHB's LeaseCon 2018 in Dallas on September 25. For more info, visit FOR THE LEADING STUDENT HOUSING EVENT OF THE YEAR! The entire student housing industry will come together April 8-10 in Austin at the eleventh annual InterFace Student Housing conference, the industry's most important and well-attended event. Over 1,300 top industry players are expected to attend and participate! Heather James-Wyrick 404-832-8262 hwyrick@f R E G I S T R A T I O N & G E N E R A L I N F O : Richard Kelley 914-468-0818 rkelley@f Tim Tolton 404-832-8262 ttolton@f S P O N S O R S H I P & S P E A K I N G O P P O R T U N I T I E S : w w w . i n t e r f a c e c o n f e r e n c e g r o u p . c o m ELEVENTH ANNUAL APRIL 8-10 2019 JW MARRIOTT AUSTIN S A V E T H E S E D A T E S S T U D E N T H O U S I N G I N T E R F A C E P r o d u c e d B y S t u d e n t H o u s i n g B u s i n e s s , I n t e r f a c e C o n f e r e n c e G r o u p A N D F r a n c e M e d i a

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