Communications – How to Tell Your Story, is the title of the workshop sessions Andrew Hillier presents to the Acuity Annual Housing Conference, held at Westminster University today. The audience of Housing Association CEOs will also hear from sector regulators and the National Housing Federation.

Engagement in a post-Grenfell social housing landscape

Andrew Hillier, Director of Hillier Consulting is today (19 April 2018) addressing delegates of the 2018 Acuity Annual Housing Conference on how best to communicate their added-value and relevance in a post-Grenfell social housing landscape. The conference aims to make sense of the operating environment and its implications for housing associations. Workshop sessions will provide guidance, intelligence and best-practice advice on a number of important issues. Andrew advises on how housing associations may best equip themselves to tell compelling stories and communicate effectively on complex social issues in an overcrowded mediascape dominated by soundbites and social housing stereotypes.

Communicating with integrity and authenticity

Andrew’s co-presenter of two workshops to be run today is Angela Gascoigne, CEO of SHAL Housing, Bridgwater, Somerset. Angela also sits on the board of Llamau, a 2016 NESTA New Radical and on the Board of Perthyn, a charity working with people with learning disabilities.

Post-Grenfell, Andrew discusses the importance of integrity and authenticity in communications. He highlights the ‘golden thread’ concept of values, mission and vision running as the lifeblood through an organisation and all its members. The segmentation of target audiences and stakeholders is investigated, as are the means by which such precisely defined audiences may be engaged with directly relevant, impactful and persuasive messaging. Networking of online and social media is explained as is the continuing importance of print and broadcast media.

Originality and quality of content, specific to different platforms and channels is covered as is the necessity for continuous review and refinement of methodologies and messaging. A brief overview of crisis preparedness and crisis communications management, with references to real-life scenarios, will feature in the presentation.

Andrew Hillier serves as communications and corporate affairs director for Thorngate Living (Thorngate Churcher Trust). He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists and of the European Association of Communications Directors. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations where he was Greater London Chairman for two consecutive terms and a CIPR national Council Member from 1999 to 2002.