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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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PR Plan 2018 - 2019

Abstract

This document outlines a PR campaign aimed to reposition Taff as a forward thinking, innovative and socially responsible housing association and support provider among their key stakeholders and influencers. This campaign will run for 12 months.

Background

Taff Housing Association (Taff) is a not-for-profit registered social landlord (RSL) that builds, owns, lets and manages rental housing to those who may otherwise not be able to afford it, also providing specialist supporting housing projects for young homeless women . Established in 1975 it is proud to be a smaller, well-known community based housing association within Cardiff and is a registered charity. Profits deliver more than just homes to clients by enabling people to access skills, opportunities and support without being discriminated against because of their social housing background  Taff realise that a strong relationship with the community helps to build a stronger organisation. As part of the current business plan Taff's vision is to build foundations for better futures through innovation, listening to people and investing in homes and communities.   

Objectives  

• To reposition Taff as a forward thinking, innovative and socially responsible organisation

• To raise awareness of the unique support services that Taff compared to other housing associations and support providers

• To encourage these stakeholders and influencers to engage with Taff over any other RSL and support provider/organisation.  (REWORD)

• To engage influencers to result in new business relationships

Analysis

A SWOT analysis, below, has identified key opportunities and potential issues when repositioning Taff in the minds of key stakeholders and influencers. These factors have informed the plan's content and will determine the success of the campaign.   

Strengths

• Providing support that is unavailable anywhere else in Wales

• Reliability & Credibility

• Passionate employees

• Business location

• Provider of free accredited training to all

  Weaknesses

• Traditional practices

• Absence of clear communication

• Visual and written brand recognition

• Employees not believing that change is possible

• External image of head office

Opportunities

• Awards

• Increase in internal resources

• Update of website

• Office redesign project

Threats

• Funding cuts resulting in higher competition for funding grants

• Change in legislation or regulation

• Increased amount of people on universal credit

• Can be easily ignored

Information of other Cardiff Housing Associations and support providers was used to help inform the SWOT analysis.

The way that Taff must manage structure and undertake its public relations activities is unique; that is because as an organisation it is unique  .A medium sized organisation, Taff touches the lives of citizens each year in a variety of ways from providing a home and support that prevents the cycle of homelessness through to money advice, providing jobs and training opportunities and access work. But our organisation does not work in isolation  together with other agencies Taff are able to change lives.

Following significant restructure over the last 5 years, the organisation has struggled to maintain the consistency of brand identity and effectively communicate their successes and values when compared to their competitors; especially when applying for support grants, additional housing funding, and raising awareness of their role as a social landlord. Taff are often seen as a ‘traditional organisation that has not moved forward' . This has been identified as a problem within this business especially as a [the 2016-17 Homelessness in Wales report by Welsh Government cite that for Wales as a whole, 81.7 per 10,000 households were assessed as homeless in 2016-17, compared with a rate of 51.9 during 2015-16 .  Pressures from external publics are intensifying as homelessness, and organisations that are involved in homelessness and housing, are scrutinised by the media. With additional figures from the National Audit Office citing that about 10% of the eventual number of claimants are now claiming Universal Credit  it is forecast that there will be significant increase demand on organisations such as Taff. This has resulted in increased competition for additional funding and support grants. Taff has already lost many support grants to competitors as a result.

As further research a survey  (appendix 1) was conducted and sent to key stakeholders and influencers. The answer to these questions has enabled Taff to have a current understanding of positioning amongst these two target audiences and their current perception of Taff.  

Councillors Staff Trade Media

Welsh Government Board Local Media

Funders/Grant Organisations Residents & Resident Voice National Media

Local Authority Service Users

Regulator Other Housing Associations

Other Support Providers

Key Publics

Due to the organisation type, Taff's key publics can be divided into two groups who will require different public relation needs. These groups are demonstrated in the diagram below and have been analysed for their individual needs (Appendix 2). Business press in both the local media and the trade media should be kept informed as they have the ability to influence and reach other key influencers who could positively impact on the campaign. Appropriate effective relationships with the media can be an important tool to change the current perception of Taff Housing Association among publics.

Content

- Taff Housing Association work and support those who….

- Taff Housing Association

- XXYYZ

- XXYYXXX

- XXYYZZZ

- XXUUUXX

The PESO model will be used in order to increase engagement by combining thoughtful and helpful content with the messages of Taff's values.

By placing these two together, and sharing information on the correct format with the correct language for the public it is targeted to Taff will be seen as an expert which will result in greater influencer engagement and partnerships .

Themes will be presented in actionable content, normal content & Interactive content. This will appeal to all personality types within each public and provide information in a relevant way. Providing information in this way also enables Taff to explore different ways of communication, which will support the efforts in becoming an innovative organisation in the mind of their publics.

Communications

As identified in the SWOT analysis and the research survey, Taff's communication strategy has failed. Upon review of the strategy elements are not appropriate for targeted publics and others are forgotten. The strategy should support the business by increasing the visibility and credibility of Taff Housing Association and its reputation with all publics. All board members and employees are ambassadors for Taff. Relating to our current business plan, everyone must invest in its principles in order for it to succeed, whilst as an organisation we must scrutinise ourselves to identify when we are not meeting targets or in areas where we could improve .  Although Taff's communication is undertaken through a variety of channels and formats there are no quality assurance processes. By implementing such process it would be hoped that the confused communication style could be reduced and Taff's verbal and visual brand strengthened.  

Strategy

An initial evaluation of Taff's website and social channels will be undertaken, with content updated in order to appeal to the publics appropriately. A review of social media and website policy is essential to identify current practices. Digital champions within the organisation will be re-trained and advised in order for content to be consistent. A quality assurance practice will also be put in place.

Currently, Taff do not promote any information around disability and inclusivity of groups such as LGBTW+. This will be changed in order to convey Taff's current vision and values to the publics. In order to be as accessible as possible the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 will be followed.

A content plan with business trade press will be identified to keep publics up to date with Taff's achievements whilst informing of the role the organisation play. Analytics from this content is measureable from analytics and recording and increase contact rate to business through telephone communication.

Key Risk Action to mitigate risk

Could be “blamed” for Government policy and finance decisions Provide information to stakeholders so they are aware of Government decisions.

Low staff morale due to planned changes - resulting in poorer service to customers Internal comms need to express and engage all staff. Working with Heads of Service & HR to manage.

Comms also to sit in staff briefings to understand issues that employees are facing.

Failure to manage media relations effectively could result in negative headlines Ensure resource available to manage PR. Ensure appropriate prioritisation takes place.

Failure to effectively publicise key initiatives, resulting in poor take up of services Forward Plan developed and agreed with service heads/directors

Continued failure identifiable brand/ recognition of its values and how they deliver excellent services Creation of brand and vision guidelines and quality assurance to be applied.

Sporadic requests for campaigns/initiatives/spend not already considered or funded – as has been traditional as Taff Content to be scrutinised before publicising to determine worth.

Tactics

Taff will incorporate various tactics in order to meet all objectives outlined in this campaign and to reposition themselves as a forward thinking, innovative and socially responsible housing association and support provider.

Activity To Meet Objective(s)

Entrance into relevant awards 1,2,4

Weekly content plan with business press and trade media 1,2,3,4

To increase video content on website and social media channels

Examples: how to videos for tenants, videos of achievements & development progress 1, 3

To produce an internal communication update for employees and board 2,3

To increase community investment activity by using special events, media relations, social media and community relations. 1,3

Community fun days open to Taff's clients, business partners and the wider community 2,4

Launch of new support services brand strategy 1,2,3,4

To work on an internal strategy that will address the communication issues internally.

3

Communication in languages relevant to further understanding   1,2,3,4

Timescales

Although the campaign duration is set as 12 months it is understood by the organization that to change image among all publics can take a significant amount of time. This will be impacted by physical appearance as well as organizational practices. Therefore the positioning of Taff should be evaluated at the end of this campaign and look to extend the length of the campaign if appropriate.

Resources

Resource Cost (£) Estimated Work Hours

Business News Wales (Online Trade Press Magazine) Content to be given weekly to update page that will reach external business publics – targeted. £15,000 (NEED TO CHECK) 1 hour per press release

Awards Free to enter. Cost is covered if a finalist. £0 1 hour per award submission

Adverts in trade press magazines 24 Housing

Inside Housing £600 Use pre-existing marketing material.

Adapting material should take no longer than 30 minutes

Community Events Community Funday (Each)

Pride Cymru x 5 representatives

Tidy Wales £8,000

£1

£0 2x 8 hour events

Planning events 6 hours

Community events <8 hour

Printed Material £500

Social media Videos & Production

Scheduled sponsored posts £0

£60 Per social champion <2 hours weekly

Website review New, bespoke

Support Time – 24 hours £15,000

£0 24 hours

Survey Monkey £45

Staff Travel to and from events £500

Brand content plan Internal £0 1 month & review

Communication in appropriate languages & improving inclusivity/accessibility £100 – through events and specialist equipment/interpreters if needed Constant need. Initial undertake will require a significant amount of time.

Contingency £2,000

Total £28,210

Measurement & Evaluation

Activities will be monitored throughout the campaign to ensure that each activity is reaching the appropriate target audience and is having the desired effect. This will allow for relevant adjustments to be made where results are failing to deliver the objectives outlined in this campaign . Formative evaluation will monitor activities throughout the campaign and will monitor that nothing is missed whilst enabling clear communication across all sections of the company. Summative evaluation will take place at the end to evaluate and measure impact of the campaign as a whole  and to determine whether an extended period for the campaign is relevant.

1. Increase in awareness of Taff Housing Association's services and practices within one year.

- Measureable: Taff will track all website traffic using Google Analytics and use social media platforms insight data reports to show an increase in engagement, with particular interest of new engagers. After completion of the campaign a second conduction of the survey will be undertaken to measure the influence on the engagement in the positioning of Taff Housing Association among these publics.

2. Increased interaction by 10% within one year.

- Measureable: Taff will track all new communications with external publics to determine if this number is increasing for positive reasons.

3. Change in communication practices internally

- Policies and practices internally will be reviewed in order to improve communication and efficiency of cross department working. Measureable: By increased communication of success stories to the communications assistant. Increased engagement and knowledge will be evaluated in staff survey. Analytics will be used on intranet to measure increased engagement.

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Appendix 1 – Taff Housing Association Survey  

Appendix 2 – Detailed analysis of key stakeholders and influencers and their needs.

Audience They need What Taff Offers Channels

Councillors Votes: To be re-elected 


Results: They can take 
credit for 


Happy 
constituents 


Problems to 
be resolved 


To look 
good in the eyes of their party 


Funding/support to deliver 
projects/priorities/promises 


To be able to go back to 
their constituents (quick response) 


Homes for voters 


Products and 
services that meet 
their promises 


Opportunities to 
raise their profile (to 
take credit) 


Opportunities to 
shine in the eyes of 
the party 


Quick 
response/solutions 
on problems 


Results 


 A better chance of happy constituents 


  Safe bet (reliable, well established) 


Face to face 


 Visits 


Letters 


Local PR 


Industry PR 


Third parties: 
Residents/ businesses 


Welsh Government Homes 


 Regeneration 


Employment 
opportunities 


To allocate 
funding 


 Safeguard 
reputation 


Care for target groups 


Cost savings 


Excellent 
projects 


Homes 


 Services 


 Building new homes 


 Local regeneration 


 Employment and 
training 


Saving public service 
budgets 


Delivering their 
targets (e.g. digital inclusion, green) 


Local/ trade/national 
PR 


Think tanks 


Speaker 
opportunities 


 Visits 


Events 


Third parties 
esp. local MPS 


Blogs 


Website 


Funders/ Grant Organisations Good return on 
investment 


Quality 
assurance 


 Good PR 


A professional 
supplier/industry leader 


To be able to demonstrate corporate social responsibility

We help them to meet their targets 


Deliver quality services 


Best practice 


Results 


We can be trusted 


High standards 


Trade/national PR 


Staff 


 Website 


Corporate 
communication 
n tools 


 Visits 


Third parties 


Regulator To know we are well-run 


 Value for money 


A ‘safe-bet' 


Quality homes and services 


Value for money 


Good governance 


Face to face 


Visits 


 Corporate 
publications 


Staff Enjoy their job 


Feel recognized 
(pay and 
benefits) 


 Feel valued 


Feel their 
input counts 


 Training and 
development 
opportunities 


Feel 
supported Great location 


 Training 


Benefit and reward 
package 


 ‘Well-being' 


 The opportunity to 
make a difference 


Informal Peer-networks

Board To feel valued


To influence/have a say

To share their knowledge

 To know residents are being listened to/ valued

To understand

They can make a difference


To know they can hold us to account

The opportunity to input 


Opportunities to take credit/feel proud

Training and development

Results 


Recognition 


Information 


Meetings 


Visits 


Events 


Residents Homes 


 Help (e.g. 
Getting back 
to work) 


Advice and 
support 


 Repairs 


Us to be there for 
them/a friend 


To be able to 
pay their rent 


To feel safe and 
secure/nice standard of living

 Quick resolution to 
problems 


To feel 
listened to 


Communication they are able to understand

Cultural understanding Homes

Services

Support

Caring and knowledgeable Staff Face to face 


Staff 


Leaflets 


Letters 


Handbook 


Newsletters 


Events 


Rent 
statements 


Reception 


Website 


Social Media

Residents Voice To feel valued 


 To influence/have a say 


To share their 
knowledge 


To know 
residents are being listened to/ valued 


To understand 


They can make a 
difference 


To know 
they can hold 
us to account 


To be re- 
elected 


Training and 
development 


The opportunity to input 


Opportunities to raise their profile (to take credit) 


Structure for solutions on 
resident problems 


 Training and 
development 


Results 


 Recognition 


Information 


Meetings  

Visits


Events


Corporate publications

 Face to face 


Taff Talkabout Magazine

 Local PR 


Service Users As above As above As above

Other Housing Associations Ideas 


Homes 


Results 


Partners 


A good 
reputation

 Funding 


 Good staff 


Good ideas

Partnership opportunities

Allies

Industry 
bodies 


 Local/Trade 
PR 


Visits 


Events 


 Website 


 Social media 


 Networks 


Other Support Providers As above As above As above

Media Good stories 


 Sell 
publications 


Increase 
readership 


Good staff 


Good reputation 


Stories


Ideas


Informed opinion

Website 


 Social media 


Third parties 


Staff 


 Face to face 


Press releases 


High Risk, High Interest

Regulators

Welsh Government

Council

High Risk, Low interest

Residents Voice

Funders/ Grant Organisations

Low risk, high interest

Residents

Service Users

Media

Board

Low risk, low interest

Other support providers

Other housing associations

Staff

Statement of personal reflection

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