In September I wrote about #housingcomms content ideas for external comms, as we all got back to work after summer and the schools went back. Unfortunately things didn’t quite go to plan back then on the pandemic as it kicked back in with a vengeance. The focus of in-house comms teams was then rightly on communicating clearly internally and externally around the ongoing impact of the virus and renewed lockdown measures.
Now we are in 2021 and – touch wood – the current lockdown seems to have begun to reduce the number of most serious cases. Meanwhile the vaccine rollout has surged towards 15 million as I write – fantastic news!
So what now for teams planning for external comms – what are some good #housingcomms content ideas in 2021? We have pulled together some ideas for conveying your key external messages in 2021.
Building back better
Everyone is fed-up with COVID-19 and the damage it has done to lives and livelihoods. The majority of housing providers have demonstrated their importance to local communities over the past 12 months. They have adapted services to support the most vulnerable, they have raised funds for local foodbanks and other charities, they have remained a resilient local employer and have kept people living safely in their homes.
PR teams that have told these stories online and through local media have ensured their housing provider has good credit in the bank with customers and other stakeholders. 2021 is the time to build on that platform and demonstrate how your organisation is continuing to help communities build back better. Whether that is new homes, new skills, new jobs or new business start-ups. There are great stories to be told of people bouncing back – and housing providers helping every step of the way. Tip: a great case study and pics/video of a local success story supported by the work of your organisation will still really help your story grab people’s attention on social media and stand out in a journalist’s inbox.
Many housing providers have refocused on their social purpose in the last year. To my mind this is absolutely something to be celebrated and shouted about. What better way to shake-off lockdown fatigue with an all singing, all dancing campaign to really get your message across?
The second half of last year saw us supporting several of our clients doing just this. For instance, Raven Housing Trust was able to highlight its journey towards net zero carbon with a series of webinars and media appearances. The Illegal Money Lending Team ran a really effective podcast campaign backed up with a second series on short, personal stories to Stop Loan Sharks. And Accent Group launched the sector-wide More Then Homes campaign with a target of encouraging housing providers to donate £1m to the foodbank charity The Trussell Trust.
There has never been a better time to make a positive difference so whether it is building community resilience through skills and training, or recruiting more volunteers to your befriending service to tackle loneliness, or whatever – just go for it! Tip: when launching a campaign, no matter what subject, always set out your aims at the start and have a clear idea of what success looks like. That way you can measure progress and adjust as necessary – good luck!
See Media Masterclass series
For more tips and support for #housingcomms content ideas in 2021 please see the latest sessions from our See Media Masterclass series. Recordings of recent sessions are free to access on podcasting and crisis comms – you’re welcome!
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Stuart Macdonald is Managing Director of See Media