Susan Fox (Communications Consultant and Associate with Hough Bellis Communications.) is the author of HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS: Creating communities

The Chapter

This chapter is aimed at those interested in understanding the issues facing social housing communicators. It finds a regulated sector that is historically well-established, yet little understood, with an uncertain independence and status. Frequent political changes, the drive to develop and the need to generate funds bring challenges to organisational culture and to communications. The chapter describes wide-ranging challenges, and provides examples of campaigns and tactics.

The Author

Susan is a communications consultant and coach. She was director of communications for The Regenda Group, where she led a major project to rebrand the Group and its subsidiaries. Previously, as director of policy and communications, Susan established the policy function at Ombudsman Services, and as director of corporate affairs at the Information Commissioner’s Office, she achieved the highest ever awareness of data protection and freedom of information. Susan is a Chartered PR Practitioner and a Fellow of the CIPR, and contributed to the CIPR book Chartered Public Relations.

An interview with the author

Why did you choose this career?

Housing Associations are great organisations – I’m proud of them and want everyone to recognise the positive role they play. Housing associations provide good quality homes at affordable rents for over six million people in England and they build a quarter of England’s new homes. They invest any surplus they make back into the communities they work in, providing essential services to help people out of homelessness, domestic abuse and unemployment. Everyone needs a home – good housing is the first step to building a secure personal and family life.

What led to you to getting involved in Promoting Property?

I have over 30 years’ experience in communications and I’ve covered a lot of ground in that time. It was great to be offered the opportunity to share some of what I’ve learned. I’ve been fortunate to work with some excellent communicators and leaders over the years, and it’s good to pass the learning on.

What benefit do you feel the book will bring?

Promoting Property covers a broad spectrum of property PR, and each part of the sector has something to learn from the others. It’s interesting to see a sector encapsulated in one place. This is a highly useful book for anyone thinking of a career in property communications, or who wants to get a greater understanding of how communications can contribute.

What would you say are the key principles of good property PR?

As with communications for any sector, it’s essential to understand your audiences and their needs. You’ll need to understand behavioural communications as well as marketing, and to find the right balance between strategic planning and taking tactical opportunities.

Get in touch with Sue on LinkedIn or Twitter.