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Real Estate Public Relations Southern California - Anton Communications

Strategic Counseling: Opening a Healthy Dialogue at Laguna Woods Village

February 21st, 2012

Challenge: Anton Communications has been a consultant to the Golden Rain Foundation of Laguna Woods Village, the largest age-restricted community in California, since 2007. We have assisted with strategic messaging, strengthened community outreach efforts, provided advice on how to improve communications with residents, and worked with board members to handle difficult issues and personalities.


Action: We helped develop strategy for a Community Outreach Campaign associated with some controversies in an effort to answer specific questions and to allow all residents to voice their opinions.  Between October 31, 2007 and January 24, 2008, Anton Communications helped staff organize and analyze results of 32 resident meetings as well as additional feedback via mail e-mail and voicemail.


We conducted focus groups with residents on major issues confronting the community, and helped develop factual information sheets on them. We helped GRF become more proactive in disseminating information, addressing residents concerns and accusations, and expanding the scope of the communications venues available to the community.


We worked with directors to help directors track prevalent community concerns, evaluate the issues involved and provide timely responses. We provided guidance for managing public hearings through Robert’s Rules of Order and we drafted proposed rules of decorum for public hearings. Our firm also handled resident communications surrounding a potentially unpopular change in the free transportation system at Laguna Woods Village, including the training of bus drivers to handle resident inquiries and the creation of Bus Ambassadors to assist residents on the spot.


Results:  While there will always be disagreement and even conflict in a community of 16,000+ residents, the dialogue has become remarkably more tolerant and respectful, in part due to better communications and responsiveness. After three years of non-stop controversy, recall elections and accusations of mismanagement by upset residents, Laguna Woods Village is now experiencing relative calm in that regard, so much so that our role today is primarily to publish their monthly electronic newsletter, another communications tool we introduced, and parachute in for strategy sessions with the in-house public relations staff when difficult situations arise.



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