a perspective on PR in social housing and regeneration

Four reasons I’ve found to ‘bother’ with social media

I’ve been working with some colleagues on the HCA’s digital communications strategy, which covers the development of the website and social media use. The HCA is already engaged in social media, which is a good thing because many of our key stakeholders are very involved in it. And, if they are using it, so should we.

Here are some facts I’ve found today that underline this argument.

1. A HCA Linked-in group, which has been running for more than a year, has more than 500 members and is a source of valuable feedback and lively debate on a range of topics.

The agency’s Twitter feed has almost 1,700 followers (there is potential for this to be a much higher number in my view).

Hundreds of councillors, more than 200 MPs, and more than 60 housing providers also tweet regularly – representing a fantastic opportunity for the agency to engage these groups. Some of the more regular users (including Grant Shapps) are also quite important to the agency!

Recent research has found that nearly 90% of journalists use blogs as a source of information.

I’ve had a conversation with a PR contact this week, who is trying to persuade a housing sector client to get involved in social media. However, she says they simply ‘can’t see the point’. Facts like those highlighted above make ‘the point’ quite clear. If you’re not engaging online, you’re out of the loop. And that’s not a good place for any organisation to be.

2 responses to “Four reasons I’ve found to ‘bother’ with social media

  1. Emma d 24/12/2010 at 3:19 pm

    Ben you make some interesting observations as usual. Social media has become a way of life. Embrace the change. Some of us are old enough to remember when clients thought any online presence was a passing fad. Your mate should check out miller homes as a case example to show his client-they were fairly innovative in the social media space … For the housing sector!
    Merry Christmas


    • benlowndes 24/12/2010 at 9:49 pm

      Thanks Emma – I am old enough to remember working in a newsroom without an email account. Sometimes, I wish we were still in that era, but there is no point in thinking like that. Merry Christmas to you too.


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