News, Updates, and Happenings at Our Firm 

A shifting media landscape creates new opportunities, just as it removes old ones.  For example, we are seeing a broader "regionalization" of news coverage, as the large corporations that own so many daily and weekly newspapers are achieving cost savings through the blending of newsrooms and consolidation of titles.

Ultimately, this means fewer journalist boots on the ground in many communities, so clients seeking news coverage must deploy new strategies.  It may require pursuing more thought leadership opportunities (such as op-eds and guest columns) which, ironically, are more abundant as more outlets seek this content to fill space created by having fewer reporter resources. Digital platforms also often allow that content to be replicated on many news websites.

Or perhaps it is using more "owned media" like websites and blogs as well as social media to self-publish news.  Also to be considered are tactics that have more recently gained popularity, including the development of podcasts and the use of virtual reality to tell news.

I recently met with fellow agency owners from across the globe at the annual meeting of PR Boutiques International in Santa Monica, Calif., where we took a deep dive into the changing media landscape and the new tools needed to break through to new audiences.

My key takeaway was that innovation in the PR space must be perpetual.  If you wait to re-assess methods and tactics annually, or even quarterly, it may be too late.

I'm reminded of something once said by former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca, who passed away earlier this month at 94: "Lead, follow or get out of the way." 

We stand ready to help our clients lead when it comes to developing communications programs that can navigate a shifting landscape and break through to key audiences.


David Ball
President & Founder
Client Spotlight: Sherrill House Takes a Leadership Role in Staff Retention and Advancement

The long term care industry is in crisis.  The majority of nursing home residents are covered by Medicaid, which historically has paid below the cost of providing care in Massachusetts and elsewhere.  Think of any business and then imagine that the majority of people served by that business pay below the cost of the good or service.  In any industry, it is unsustainable.

Now couple the chronic and significant underpayment with one of the tightest labor markets in history, and the challenges of the profession become even more clear.  Nursing homes have great difficulty competing for staff, because the work is demanding and the below-cost reimbursement limits salaries for staff.

Sherrill House, a nonprofit nursing and rehabilitation facility in Jamaica Plan, has the same workforce challenges that others in the industry have, but it has created a vital work-around.  Certified Nursing Assistants are the care backbone of any nursing home.  Many would like to become registered nurses but between long shifts and costly college classes many do not achieve that goal.  Sherrill House has created a new position called Senior CNA and it is designed to get CNAs trained as nurses, while keeping them employed in their vital caregiving role.

Read Sherrill House CEO Patrick Stapleton's opinion piece in CommonWealth to learn how his facility has nailed a rung back into the nursing homecareer ladder, providing hope and support to staff while ensuring critical shifts are filled.  We think Patrick is onto something.


Ball Consulting Group is pleased to be working with the  American Association of Nurse Anesthetists in support of state association efforts to ensure that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are able to practice up to the level of their training.

Healthcare Financial Inc. CEO Jerry Vitti contributed an op-ed to Morning Consult on the legislative authority sought by Massachusetts Medicaid to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers and how it could preserve access to the program.

AdviniaCare is the brand created by Pointe Group Care under which it will operate two nursing homes it has acquired on Boston's North Shore.  Pointe Group Care is making major improvements in these two facilities, which will now be known as AdviniaCare Salem and AdviniaCare Wilmington.  Read about the change in the Salem News and the Wilmington Advocate.

Community Servings CEO David Waters wrote an opinion piece for STAT making the case for insurers to cover the cost of medically tailored meals for people with chronic and critical illnesses.  The op-ed was followed by a news story in Managed Care magazine titled "Health Plans Should Cover Medically Tailored Meals."

Marquis Health Services celebrated the completion of $3.5 million in upgrades to Chestnut Woods Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Saugus, Mass.   Click here to read about the improvements to the facility.  The  88-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation center  provides subacute short-term care and comprehensive long-term care, as well as a physician-led cardiopulmonary program. 

Westfield State University President Ramon Torrecilha penned an opinion piece in CommonWealth about the importance of internships in higher education. 

Saad Dinno, pharmacist and co-owner -- along with his brother, Ray -- of Dinno Health's  Acton Pharmacy, Keyes Drug and West Concord Pharmacy, was recently quoted in a  Drug Topics magazine story  on the topic of boosting customer loyalty.  He notes that, " it's important to focus on the patients and....really listen to what they are saying."  Dinno was also featured in an Acton Beacon story about the work he does with his community. 

Older and Wiser
15 years anniversary golden label with ribbon.
In August, Ball Consulting Group will celebrate its 15th anniversary. We cherish the relationships that we have built!  We thank ou r clients, partners, team members and alumni for an incredible journey, and look forward to many more years of dedicated service to businesses and nonprofits of every stripe.

Around and About
On Monday, October 7 at Boston's Marriott Copley Place, we will be presenting a workshop on crisis planning and management to attendees of the Mass. Council of Human Service Providers'  44th Annual Convention & Expo.  Information about the event can be found here.