In the News

Senior Living Experts Launch First Industry
Crisis Communications Solution: ResponderHub™

Chicagoland, IL: “A perfect storm is brewing in the senior housing industry,” said Debra Sheridan, president of 30-year-old IVY Marketing Group and creator of a new crisis communications solution called ResponderHub™.

Alarming statistics in senior housing substantiate Sheridan’s prediction. Out-of-court lawsuits average $750,000; 95 percent of all crises are the result of human error; 75 percent of the industry is infected with Malware; one in 10 elders suffers from abuse; and 3.5 million more workers are needed to serve the Baby Boom generation.

To address this gloomy forecast, Sheridan and her team of certified crisis communications specialists have developed the first solution designed exclusively for crisis in senior housing and services. “Seventy-five percent of crises in senior housing are smoldering and could be avoided with proper preparation, training and response,” said Sheridan.

This new product combines response training specific to the senior housing industry with HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based software and a real-time communications app. It hinges on three tenets of crisis communications – preparation, prevention and response – in four categories of crisis: widespread, serious, business disruption, and reputational.

Users of ResponderHub™ receive onsite training including industry-specific response role playing, appropriate setup of a situation room and demonstrations of the easy-to-use software. For a higher level of instruction, users can add media training complete with on-the-spot questions, videotaping for feedback and coaching on what to tell the media.

The HIPAA-compliant feature ensures the privacy of the entire community. Accessible from any device, ResponderHub™ serves as a step-by-step guide to crisis response as well as a repository for important information germane to each community. It also houses best practice information, trend reports of crises in the senior industry, descriptions and treatment of the four major types of crises, sample holding statements and policies, timelines for responses, monthly updates and other reference tools.

ResponderHub™’s accompanying app functions as a real-time channel for protected internal communications. Push notifications go out to core team members, who then log into the site or app from any device to communicate via text, email and voice in a recorded, HIPAA-compliant setting that ensures documentation for future reference.

ResponderHub™ offers optional comprehensive monitoring of all online negative reviews and comments as well as community directories to ferret out smoldering crises and quell those that have erupted. With management’s approval, ResponderHub™ can quickly craft reasonable, factual and empathic responses.

This timely new product will be available to senior housing providers in January 2020.
Sign up today and receive a free day of media training, a $5,000 value!

Call for pricing and further information about this important new solution for crisis in senior housing and services. Visit us at and

ResponderHub™ is a product of IVY Marketing Group, a 30-year veteran in marketing and public relations, specializing in senior housing and services. IVY’s team of professionals also manage crisis response and are certified in content marketing and crisis communications by the Public Relations Society of America. In addition, they are media trained and educated in crisis communications by the Institute of Crisis Management. IVY has received multiple national awards for excellence in content marketing, web and print design.


IVY Marketing and Monarch Landing
to Present at LeadingAge Expo

Glen Ellyn IL: IVY Marketing Group founder and president Debra Sheridan will address audiences at the 2018 LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo in Schaumburg on April 19 about the impact of content marketing on senior housing sales. She will be joined by Kimmy Giudice, sales and marketing manager of Monarch Landing independent senior living community in Naperville, and Samantha Breden, business development director at The Springs healthcare community connected to Monarch Landing.

While Sheridan will shed light on the strategies that comprise a strong, successful content marketing program, Giudice and Breden will punctuate those tactics using the example of their winning teamwork with IVY Marketing Group. Identifying content marketing as the creation and sharing of online and print material that is focused on consumers’ needs as opposed to a company’s, Sheridan will stress the value of a responsive, content-rich website that encourages consumer interaction and moves them to action. A niche expert in quality accommodations for older adults, she will also impart what she has learned, and continues to learn, over nearly 30 years of marketing for senior living, particularly as it has moved into the digital age.

In her sunny, approachable style that welcomes questions and sharing from the audience, Sheridan will illuminate the various components of robust content marketing, including the aforementioned and all-important website, blog and news (and the difference between the two), visual media, newsletters, press releases, social media strategies, stories, testimonials, search engine optimization, data analytics, interactive forms, and website functionality. She will also discuss time and budget allocation and expectations of content marketing results.


IVY Marketing Group Receives
Award for Excellence in Four Categories

Glen Ellyn IL: We are delighted to announce that IVY Marketing Group has won four National Mature Media Awards: one Gold for the IVY Marketing Group website; one Silver for the website IVY created for Monarch Landing; and two Merit awards, one for The Danish Home blog entitled The Hope Chest and the other for Friendship Senior Options’ 2017 annual report entitled, On the Record. Just this year, the agency also won a Merit award from the Content Marketing Institute for the 2015 annual report for Friendship Senior Options.

The awards program, presented by the Mature Market Resource Center, a national clearinghouse for the senior marketing, is the largest program of its kind.  The awards were created to annually recognize the best materials produced for those who are 50 and older, the nation’s fastest-growing population group.  

Gold, Silver, Bronze and Merit certificates were awarded in more than 40 categories.  Categories included marketing communications, publications/editorial, educational/training programs, mature work and retirement and art/design.  Entries included brochures, newsletters, magazine and newspaper articles, web-based and mobile resources, radio and television advertising, books and annual reports.

The winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges from across the United States, representing years of expertise working in the mature market.  All Gold Award recipients, which represent the top five percent of all entries, were reviewed by a special panel of judges for the 2017 Best of Show Awards. 

IVY Marketing Is Finalist for
Prestigious Content Marketing Award

Glen Ellyn, IL, USA, August 4, 2017 – The Content Marketing Institute just announced that IVY Marketing Group in Glen Ellyn, IL, is a finalist for the 2017 Content Marketing Award in the Best Annual Report category. IVY’s creation of the 2015 Friendship Senior Options (FSO) annual report earned the company this notable honor. The Content Marketing Awards, produced by the Content Marketing Institute, is the largest and longest-running international content marketing awards program in the world.

Winning this recognition is no small feat, as there were more than 1,100 entries from which to choose the “best of the best,” from over 70 countries. Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute founder and co-author of the upcoming book, Killing Marketing, said, “It’s an honor to be able to recognize companies and organizations who are the true leaders and innovators when it comes to implementing a content marketing strategy that is exceeding expectations and truly helping companies or clients succeed.”

IVY Marketing’s fellow finalists in the Best Annual Report category include Akron Children’s Hospital, Allianz Customer Report 2016: “Results for the Customer,” Content GmbH, and the Society for Neuroscience. The winner is a German company, Mission Zukunft.

This is IVY’s second prestigious award for the 2015 FSO annual report; the first was from 2016 Mature Media Awards. “It is a great honor to work with FSO and to represent the caliber of this organization. We are grateful to have been allowed to serve FSO and proud to share in this recognition from the Content Marketing Institute,” said Debra Sheridan, IVY Marketing Group founder and president.

IVY Marketing Group is a boutique marketing and public relations agency based in suburban Chicago. IVY’s dedicated team of creative professionals is limited only by their clients’ imagination, offering them strategy, content creation for print and online, website design, digital marketing, social media, radio/TV coverage, video production, advertising, blogs, newsletters, email campaigns, and more.

For more information, contact IVY at 630-790-2531 or visit

Meet Debra Sheridan of IVY Marketing Group in Glen Ellyn

August 15, 2017
Today we’d like to introduce you to Debra Sheridan.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In 1989 I was working for a small advertising agency that was merging with an agency handling Mattel, the toy manufacturer. I had brought five accounts into the firm and they no longer wanted to service them. I shopped my band of clients to other agencies to see if they would be willing to accept them as clients with me as the account executive overseeing that they received what had been promised to them. Just like any bad shopping experience, I couldn’t find any firm I wanted to work with and that would give these clients the services they expected and were promised. As a result, and with all of their enthusiastic urging, I started IVY Marketing Group 1990 in my home.

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IVY Marketing Group Earns 2016 Constant Contact Solution Provider All Star Award

April 4, 2017
IVY excels at email marketing and is proud to be named a Constant Contact All Star. The annual award recognizes the most successful 10% of Constant Contact¹s customers. We’re happy to be recognized for achievements using online marketing tools to drive success.

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Ivy Marketing’s New VP Shares
Golden Opportunities For Today’s Senior Living

March 25, 2016
“Today’s senior living communities have made the lives of their residents fulfilling and exciting beyond what they could have anticipated, and in sharing their stories, we’re helping to perpetuate these possibilities,” said Wendy Foster, newly appointed vice president of Glen Ellyn-based IVY Marketing Group, a marketing and public relations company primarily serving the senior housing arena.

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Q&A: Glen Ellyn marketing group president talks agency’s 25-year anniversary

April 28, 2015
GLEN ELLYN – When you think of the best places for a public relations and marketing firm to hold a meeting, a family bedroom may not come to mind.

However, for Deborah Sheridan, that was the birthplace of her Glen Ellyn-based agency, IVY Marketing Group, which is currently celebrating 25 years in business.

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