How can developers stabilize lower income housing communities? Where can residents go for information and help? One such organization provides service enriched programs that not only provides answers but is focused on creating a stronger sense of community. The benefits are tremendous. The developer has a stronger asset with less tenant turnover, and the community has a thriving base that supports self-sufficiency and success for their residents. But how can they get the word out?
Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation (Rainbow), a non-profit organization that provides service enriched housing programs for residents of rental housing communities, enlisted THO to create a program that would support its mission.
At the time, many in the affordable housing industry did not understand the value of Rainbow and its services, particularly the connection between the organization’s supportive services and increased ROI for owners and investors. This situation is common among professional services firms, as it is often difficult to convey how third-party services directly support a company’s bottom line.
THO’s approach centered around highlighting how a service-enriched housing model implemented by a third-party positively impacts ROI for owners, investors and developers of affordable communities nationwide.
Our communications strategy focused on the following:
- We increased visibility for Rainbow among in national, regional and hyper-local news and business outlets for the affordable housing industry;
- We positioned Rainbow as a thought leader in affordable housing, giving additional third-party credibility;
We expanded Rainbow’s capacity for coverage by partnering with leaders in affordable housing finance by co-authoring with other organizations; and
- We created opportunities for Rainbow-led research which positions the organization as a knowledgeable and essential voice in the industry.
The THO program has exceeded a 250% return on Rainbow’s investment each year. Through media interviews and Q&As, guest bylines and co-bylines, podcasts, an NYC media tour and the development of a positioning paper backed by dedicated research, THO’s PR program launched Rainbow into the national spotlight as a credible source for information, an authority on resident services and, ultimately, a valuable asset for affordable communities nationwide.
Rainbow has contributed to the national conversation surrounding affordable housing in new and valuable ways. The amplified media coverage for the organization has allowed its leadership team to connect with industry influencers nationwide on an expanded platform.
Professional services organizations will always face the challenge of proving how services offered make a difference for clients. As such, it is critical to implement a thoughtful communications plan that frequently reinforces this message.
Key strategies include:
Leveraging existing business partnerships to strengthen your voice
Combining business travel and conferences with in-person media meetings to solidify relationships with key influencers
Incorporating statistics, possibly via case studies, primary research or third-party data, to support your key messages