Case study: On the Air

Stonewater

Podcasts, webinars and events

Background

See Media produced a Stonewater communications strategy for 2019/20, focusing on two main PR objectives: to increase Stonewater’s brand awareness, understanding and influence among target audiences​; and to position Stonewater as a thought-leader in the social housing sector, and as a specialist housing support service provider within its operating sectors​.

We pitched the first five-episode series of the On the Air podcast as a way of fulfilling these objectives. As the organisation’s first non-traditional PR campaign, it would help develop relationships with key stakeholders; influence national and local agendas; push key policy ‘asks’; and engage its staff and customers in sector-wide debates.

See Media and Stonewater podcast
The Challenge

On the Air presented an opportunity to share Stonewater’s key messages with target stakeholders, but it needed to be done in a conversational way, demonstrating colleagues’ expertise and really exploring a topic.

Stonewater and See Media set two SMART objectives for the podcast series: to achieve 1,000 listens across the series; and to generate new interactions with individuals from the following stakeholder groups: local authorities, prospective development and charity partners, as well as housing sector membership organisations.

What did we do?

Each episode needed to focus on a different aspect of Stonewater’s business excellence and innovation, while tapping into wider sector themes. Our focus at See Media was to research operational areas in which the organisation is particularly strong and innovative; these included the development of homes for shared ownership and work around domestic violence.

As part of the project, See Media also developed and implemented a social media strategy, which outlined the way in which updates about the series would be shared via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. In addition to this, we explored how sponsored posts and thought leadership content would extend the reach of the podcasts and target influential stakeholders.

To maximise best value, the majority of the first series recording of was done in a single day, with colleagues and guests joining the podcast hosts in a recording studio set up at Stonewater’s head office.

See Media also gave the podcasts an audio identity, by incorporating a distinctive jingle into each episode and used the same “sting” (introduction) across the series.

Results

Stonewater’s main objective was to generate interactions with its target stakeholders. By reviewing LinkedIn engagement alone, Stonewater engaged with 72 individuals from its stakeholder groups.

Crucially, the series enabled Stonewater to establish new connections with the Chartered Institute of Housing and the National Housing Federation.

While we wanted to achieve 1,000 listens across three months, we fell slightly short, with 927. However, the series brought 393 unique views to the Stonewater website – an increase of 10% on certain pages.

Three LinkedIn blogs were published by colleagues and achieved 125 likes, which was impressive considering none of the colleagues had previously shared an article on the platform.

The blog originally planned to promote episode two on LinkedIn was published online by sector magazine 24Housing and shared across its social channels – resulting in the NHF commissioning an additional blog.

On the Air also won the PRCA’s not-for-profit Midlands Dare Award 2020.

To listen to the podcast, visit Stonewater’s website: https://www.stonewater.org/news/podcast-on-the-air/

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