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Taff’s Communication Strategy

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Abstract

This document outlines a PR campaign aimed to reposition Taff as a forward thinking, innovative and socially responsible housing association and support provider among their key stakeholders and influencers. This campaign will run for 12 months.

Background

Established in 1975 Taff is a well-known community based housing association in Cardiff and is a registered charity. It also provides specialist supporting housing projects for young homeless women . Profits deliver more than just homes to clients by enabling them to access skills, opportunities and support without being discriminated against because of their social housing background . As part of the current business plan Taff’s vision is to build foundations for better futures through innovation, listening to people and investing in homes and communities.

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Objectives

  • To reposition Taff as a forward thinking, innovative and socially responsible organisation.
  • To raise awareness of support services compared to other housing associations and support providers.
  • To encourage stakeholders and influencers to engage with Taff over other support provider/organisation.
  • External publics will result in new business relationships.

Analysis

  • A SWOT analysis, below, has identified key opportunities and potential issues when repositioning Taff in the minds of key stakeholders and influencers. These factors have informed the plan’s content and will determine its success.

Strengths

  • Providing support
  • Reliability & Credibility
  • Passionate employees
  • Business location
  • Provider of free accredited training

Weaknesses

  • Traditional practices
  • Absence of clear communication
  • Visual and written brand recognition
  • Employees not believing that change is possible
  • External image of head office
  • Website

Opportunities

  • Awards
  • Increase in internal resources
  • Update of website

Threats

  • Funding cuts result in higher competition for funding and grants
  • Change in legislation or regulation
  • Can be easily ignored

Information published by other Cardiff Housing Associations and support providers helped inform the SWOT analysis. The way that Taff must manage structure and undertake its public relations activities are unique; that is because as an organisation it is unique . Taff touches the lives of citizens each year in a variety of ways from providing a home and support that prevents the cycle of homelessness through to money advice, training opportunities and access work; but our Taff do not work in isolation together with other agencies we change lives.

Following significant restructure over the last 5 years, the organisation has struggled to maintain consistency of brand identity and effectively communicate their successes and values when compared to competitors; especially when applying for support grants, additional housing funding, and raising awareness of their role as social landlord. Taff are often seen as a ‘traditional organisation that has not moved forward’ . This has been identified as a problem within this business especially as a the 2016-17 Homelessness in Wales report by Welsh Government cite that for Wales as a whole, 81.7 per 10,000 households were assessed as homeless in 2016-17 compared with a rate of 51.9 during 2015-16 .

Pressures from external publics are intensifying as homelessness and relevant organisations are scrutinised by the media. With additional figures from the National Audit Office citing that ‘10% of the eventual number of claimants are now claiming Universal Credit’ it is forecast that there will be significant increase demand on organisations such as Taff which has resulted in increased competition for additional funding and support grants. As further research a survey (appendix 1) was conducted and sent to key stakeholders and influencers. The respondents have enabled Taff an understanding their current perception of Taff which can appropriately influence actions.

Key Publics

Due to the organisation type, Taff’s key publics can be divided into two groups who will require different public relation needs. These groups are demonstrated and ranked in the diagram below and have been analysed for their individual needs (Appendix 2). Business press in both the local and trade media should be kept informed as they have the ability to influence and reach other key influencers who could positively impact on the campaign. Appropriate effective relationships with the media can be an important tool to change the current perception of Taff Housing Association among publics.

  • Welsh Government Residents & Resident Voice National Media
  • Councillors Service Users Trade Media
  • Funders/Grant Organisations Board Local Media
  • Local Authority Staff
  • Regulator Other Housing Associations
  • Other Support Providers

Content

The PESO model will be used in order to increase engagement by combining thoughtful and helpful content with the messages of Taff’s values. By placing these together and sharing information in the correct format with correct language for the public, Taff will be seen as an expert which will result in greater influencer engagement and partnerships . Themes will be presented in actionable content, normal content & interactive content. This will appeal to all publics and provide information that is relavent. Providing information in this way enables Taff to explore different ways of communication which will support the efforts in becoming to become an innovative organisation in the mind of their publics.

Communications

As identified in the SWOT analysis and appendix 1, Taff’s communication strategy has failed. Upon review of the strategy elements are not appropriate for targeted publics and others are forgotten. The strategy should support the business by increasing the visibility and credibility of Taff Housing Association and its reputation with all publics. All board members and employees are ambassadors for Taff. Relating to our current business plan, everyone must invest in its principles in order for it to succeed, whilst as an organisation we must scrutinise ourselves to identify when we are not meeting targets or in areas where we could improve . Although Taff’s communication is undertaken through a variety of channels and formats there are no quality assurance processes. By implementing such process it would be hoped that the confused communication style could be reduced and Taff’s verbal and visual brand strengthened.

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