On the 12th February I am contributing to the Sitra Annual Conference and AGM 2013 exploring the theme of Innovating for Efficiency. I will be speaking and coordinating a session exploring the value of digital engagement and how technology can play an integral role for the supported housing sector. Presenters also include Jasmine Ali from @patientopinion and Nathalie McDermott from @onroadmedia who will be joined by a frequent Unheard Holler blogger to discuss how they have been using digital technology to engage and empower clients with experiences of homelessness.
It is always interesting developing a presentation for an unknown audience some of whom may be very confident about using digital engagement and others yet to be convinced it has any value at all in their day to day work. As an experiment I am sharing my presentation beforehand with some critical questions which I hope we can explore in the panel discussion.
The housing sector is facing big challenges as the social, economic and political context in which housing providers operate is changing. Whether you work in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors digital technology is transforming the way care services are delivered. And social housing has a big role to play in providing care and support for tenants to live more fulfilling lives. This ranges from providing access to the internet, employment opportunities and economic regeneration through to digital community hubs for older people.
Digital technology and social networks provide some of the most powerful tools available today for building a sense of belonging, support and sharing. There is an increasing need to help people develop online skills in order to be able to access public services. Over 30 million people in the UK are now using social media.
Posing the question “How social is your organisation?” made me think about my Social Networks
I also run three LinkedIn groups!
Weekly Newspaper: http://paper.li/shirleyayres
Maybe worth noting that I am just one person running a small digital engagement consultancy with a few trusted associates! How many people in your organisation have a responsibility for communications?
What does digital engagement mean for Improvement and Efficiency?
New and different ways of connecting staff, customers, tenants, clients professional colleagues and the wider public
Encouraging innovation and new ways of thinking
Demonstrating your wish to engage and be more open, transparent and accountable
But connection isn’t about platforms or tools. It’s about people – being ready to listen and wanting to share
Can online innovations enhance social care? I want to encourage debate and welcome comments. I have written the first in a series of posts which explore the challenges for us all. It is relevant to social housing and I am very happy to discuss how we can implement the recommendations.
Worth reading “How social media can help you do your job in #ukhousing” on the Guardian Housing Hub. How many of you are using the Connected Housing online portal?
Connected Housing Visceral Business carried out research for Thames Valley Housing on how the social housing sector is adapting to social business and social media. The study helps housing providers think about how and where they can improve business performance by using social media and networking technology to their advantage
“10 Myths from 2012 The Year We went Social” a thought provoking presentation from Paul Taylor @paulbromford about key learning for the Bromford Group
How digital technology can help build employment skills – The Working Well Challenge
How social housing are engaging with staff and tenants
- Accord Group helping residents get web-savvy with new taster sessions
- Bromford Group are recruiting staff online #HRin140: Award Winning Recruitment From the Bromford Group
- The Digital Housing Hub #digihousing where social housing helps residents embrace the internet
- OurHousing helps social housing landlords and customers have conversations to improve services together
What guidance (if any) do you need to feel comfortable using social media? If your organisations does not have any guidelines I recommend reading the Bromford Group Social Media Policy
Why use social media?
- Be found online – do you know what people are saying about you?
- Increased visibility and reputation
- Promote your services
- Share useful information and resources
- Make connections and engage with the people who use your services
Before any organisations starts using social media I would strongly advise that the following questions are asked and discussed.
- What is the focus of your digital engagement activities?
- Who is your target audience?
- Where will they be found?
- What social networks should you be using?
- What are the key messages you wish to share?
- How will you track the effectiveness of your social media presence?
- How will you support and empower staff to use new media?
- How will you stand out from the crowd in a noisy marketplace?
If you wish to contribute to the discussion tomorrow through Twitter use #sitraconf13. I will not be tweeting very much during the day but I am looking forward to meeting lots of people in real life! I will catch up with the discussions later. There is often a lot of value in the discussions that happen after a conference.
We had a separate but related debate on Twitter over the weekend about the value of #opendata. I am looking forward to learning more about Population Insight.