PlaceShapers approached us in 2010 for help to attract new members and become a more powerful voice on the housing and social policy scene. Through a mix of branding, PR, media relations, research, publications and strategic advice, we’ve helped the network to grow by more than a third and its Chair to become one of the most respected and best-known industry figures.
The starting point for our work was to agree a clear communications strategy and objectives. These identified the target audiences for what PlaceShapers had to say and offer, from which we built up an extensive contacts list for ezines, lobbying and updates.
This enabled us to build up media coverage, direct marketing and membership services, from the highest levels of government to frontline staff and customers.
In 2011, we researched, wrote and designed Localism that works – the network’s first major policy report, which was launched by the minister for cities, Greg Clarke MP, at a reception in London. The report included 16 case studies on PlaceShapers members’ pioneering roles in local health, employment, skills, financial and digital inclusion projects.
We followed this up more recently with Build local – a call to action for community-based housing associations to play a bigger part in tackling the UK’s housing crisis. This report featured an interactive version with six video case studies, and was launched by housing minister, Mark Prisk MP, at the group’s annual conference.
“We enjoy working with Creative Bridge, because they really get what we’re all about.”
Lucy Ferman, project manager, PlaceShapers
PlaceShapers also challenged us to come up with an effective ‘elevator pitch plus 5’ – how to explain in a nutshell what the network is all about, and what to say if you get five minutes of someone’s time and attention.
We also supported PlaceShapers’ appearance at the Department of Work & Pensions House of Commons Select Committee inquiry into the impact of welfare reform on housing costs. A two-part feature in 24housing magazine summed up the experience of giving parliamentary evidence and bringing MPs face to face with the real-life, human effects of their policies and decisions.
Through further articles and advice on the use of film and animation, we’ve now helped to position PlaceShapers as leaders in the search for cost-effective, preventative ways to cater for the health and wellbeing of an ageing population and solve the NHS funding crisis.