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Sectors: Housing,

Services: PR & Communications,

The client

Social worked with a major regional housing provider with thousands of social housing properties.

The challenge

The social housing sector has experienced turbulent times in recent years with negative coverage in the media and on social media, while customers have felt empowered to be more vocal and proactive when facing issues.  

This presents a challenge for housing associations, especially when social media is used to report complaints out of hours, either through direct messages or public posts.  

If they seem to be getting ignored, aggrieved customers have the perfect platforms to publicly shame their landlords, with sector activists also on hand to potentially elevate complaints to a national audience. 

The solution

At Social, we have years of experience within the social housing sector, having worked with several organisations, helping them through high profile crises as well as managing the day-to-day issues that they faced with media and customers alike. 

This included providing an out-of-hours service, monitoring the client’s social media channels and messages and delivering a speedy, professional and empathetic response to customer queries, with seamless handovers to the in-house customer services and social media teams to pick up these issues during working hours. 

This service also included being available for out-of-hours media responses, taking calls from journalists, ensuring prompt and expert handling of the request, escalating to the housing association where necessary. 

In a sector where there have been several high-profile crises and talking points, it can be difficult for housing associations to stay on top of what is happening around them while also focusing on delivering for their customers. This can mean missing out on key trends and developments that could have been essential for planning and decision-making purposes. 

Social also provided a monitoring service both during and after working hours, keeping a proactive eye on both sector and stakeholder accounts on social media and horizon scanning in the relevant media, delivering timely and comprehensive reports, round-ups and insight. 

The impact

Having Social’s experts available while in-house staff are off duty offers peace of mind for our client’s leadership team, knowing that potential issues weren’t being missed.  

Meanwhile, the proactive horizon scanning meant that they no longer needed to worry about missing out on the latest news and developments from their sector, staying informed with the minimum of time and effort required.