or LinkedIn here http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy
Twitter has sometimes been compared to a forest. Indeed when you have just a few followers and you are tweeting to pretty much just them, it's like shouting into an empty forest. I have a few thousand followers, most involved with #ukHousing others with photography, mates or community libraries. So often when tweeting you would think we were tweeting to the big forest. Like the twitter version of the Amazon Rainforest.
Unfortunately if you think about it, it's the equivalent though of actually shouting your message into the suburbs of St. John's Wood instead. Or more accurately we are shouting into our own social housing supporters forest. Unsurprisingly, most of them already know about the damage RTB2.0 will cause and the benefits that the sector provides etc.
Clearly we need to be 'shouting' from our forest over to those other forests, more effectively. I sometimes follow and engage with accounts clearly on the other side of the debate. I believe that is the way to change hearts and minds. On a few occasions I have asked some of my followers, why they have not engaged when some of these people are challenging facts. Many have blocked these accounts as it's easier than repetitively fighting non-facts & false assumptions. However hard it might seem we need to continue engaging in this. It's not the easiest, but it's what we need.
Twitter is certainly not the be-all & end-all either. Social Housing appears to be under attack four nights a week. We have all seen Benefits By The Sea, Pets on Benefits, How To Get A Large Council House, Benefits Street, My Big Benefits, yadda, yadda, yadda. Someone is finding lots of backing funds for these and they are shaping the public view of social housing. Its actually in stark contrast to all the positive TV coverage around school documentaries recently. Educating Wales etc, etc.
So, how do we counter that then?
"But we have not got money like that to spend", I hear you thinking. well I beg to differ. How much is spent on the staff in your communications team?
That group of people need to be leading spearheading the fight back with all organisation directors. It's a battle of PR though, not what we understand as old fashioned comm's. The message needs to get through to every one of our local councillor's, MPs, House of Lords representatives and through traditional media, to the general public. As many people have recently stated, including Emma Maier in Inside Housing magazine, this government is not in a bargaining mood.
In the meantime, keep tweeting and lets join up to some new forests, using a wide range of media channels and local community links. Then we might really start getting the message out to reach the general public. If we fail, we only have ourselves to blame.
Related Post: Which is more illusive, Adolescent Sex or Big Data?
I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.
The Cure - A Forest.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009
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