Stoke on Trent City Council commissioned Strategi Solutions Group Ltd to create a detailed marketing and communications strategy that raises awareness of the private sector housing team (PSHT) and helps to promote the services more effectively to those who may be experiencing poor housing standards or bad management practices.
At a glance
Housing Advisers Programme case study
What we did
Stoke on Trent City Council commissioned consultants to research opportunities for the local authority by appointing a marketing specialist to create a strategy to promote the services of the private sector housing team (PSHT) in a more effective way, in particular to hard to reach groups.
A specialist marketing company was employed over a 4-month period to undertake research and then to produce a marketing and communications strategy. The marketing company held meetings with different departments within the city council, including the communications team, customer services and members of the PSHT. Research was also carried out to determine the level of promotion undertaken by other local authorities in order to benchmark and to look for best practice.
The difference we made
The project has allowed us to consider how we can maximise the impact of the services that the private sector housing team provides and how best to engage with the hard to reach groups throughout the city. In addition, it has given us a platform and starting point to share best practice across the wider organisation and to other stakeholders and local authorities.
It is not possible at this time to quantify financially the impact that the suggestions from the strategy will have. This information will be collated as and when the recommendations contained within the strategy are implemented.
The next logical step will be to look at budgets and identify funding opportunities to allow us to put the marketing strategy into place.
In addition, the strategy will be presented to the management team with a view that it may be utilised in a wider context throughout the organisation and it will also be shared, when appropriate, with other local authorities in order to share best practice.
To undertake a project to engage with vulnerable tenants and hard to reach groups in an identified area by working alongside external agencies such as the police, other departments such as ASB, social care and community engagement. Engaging with and working with local residents groups within the identified area to promote our service, offer advice and educate on how we can improve privately rented properties and houses of multiple occupation to vulnerable people.
The strategy has given the staff involved and the wider team a stronger base knowledge of marketing and communications and how we might be able to promote our services to the harder to reach communities in a more accessible way. In addition, the team will be continually learning from the information we have received within the strategy as we move forward and begin to better publicise the service.
Knowledge has been gained concerning the costings of different types of activity and it is now acknowledged that additional funding may be required for a number of the options available to us.
The strategy has confirmed, through external research, that what we believed about the service not being widely recognised, was in fact correct.