Communities that Work (formerly Give us a Chance) is the national body of social landlords, with over 50 members, who are rising to the challenge of helping people access employment opportunities. Their national campaign ran from November 2018 to May 2019 with a dedicated national awareness week from 20-24 May. It sought to raise awareness for the work that the social housing sector does to help people access employment.
BECG was asked to help position Communities that Work as the voice of housing associations who deliver employment support, secure greater recognition for the work that housing associations do regarding employment support, help increase the profile of Communities that Work in the social housing sector and increase membership.
How we assisted
Through a series of “Communication Summits”, which invited all members to develop a communications strategy around the campaign, we secured the members’ support which helped maximise PR impact, especially during Communities that Work week. To help the members with the PR plans, we developed and distributed a Campaign Toolkit and asked members to:
- Utilise case studies about their residents
- Invite local stakeholders
- Pledge support for Communities that Work
The campaign’s launch in the House of Lords in November 2018 brought together over 150 MPs, Peers, and social housing sector stakeholders. With keynote speeches from (then) the Minister for Employment, Alok Sharma MP and 24Housing’s editor Mark Lawrence.
We also developed a UK first social media competition in social housing, designed to showcase examples of the sector supporting people into work and tell the human stories of the impact and benefit. The entire social housing sector was invited to enter for free, submitting their entry using #CommunitiesthatWork, and their Twitter handle. We received over 60 submissions which is a great result given that Communities that Work has just over 50 members.
Communities that Work week (20-24 May) brought the campaign to a climax and was backed by the social housing sector. Communities that Work was supported by members and non-members who hosted their own events, local stakeholder visits and promoted their own PR throughout the week.
The stories of Communities that Work brought a 900% increase in media coverage for Communities that Work across national, regional and trade press, compared to the previous year, including the Times op-ed piece by Will Quince MP following his visit to a member’s employment scheme. The coverage was consistent throughout May 2019 with a peak during Communities that Work Week.
Communities that Work’s social media stats grew as a result of the campaign, including an increase of followers, organic impressions and engagements, compared to the previous year.
Over 100 organisations pledged to support the campaign, including all of Communities that Work’s members. Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and Department for Work and Pensions ministers also pledged to support and participated in site visits and meetings.
“They developed, devised and delivered an ambitious and smart campaign for GUAC, in Communities that Work. They created a clear pathway from our initial campaign goals to activity planning and impact analysis. They understood our brief and even developed it further, stretching our ambition and supporting us to achieve more within the same budget. They created a campaign that was authentic, true to our values and realistically priced. They became a central and trusted campaign resource for GUAC and our members, and they delivered on time and in budget. They’re fast on the uptake, creative, flexible and focussed on delivery.”
Lynsey Sweeney, Managing Director of GUAC