September is known for the end of summer, the changing of the leaves and going back to school, but here at the Oracle Group, it marked the start of Shared Ownership Week 2017. The national campaign, running between 21st – 27th of the month, aimed to raise the profile of the popular scheme, lifting the lid on a potential home ownership lifeline for thousands of budding property buyers across the UK.
No stranger to the national awareness campaign, Oracle Group has managed the week’s social media for the last three years, working alongside The Media People and Cast Media. However, this year Oracle took up another challenge of co-ordinating the editorial content for the week’s partner supplements; Metro, Evening Standard, TimeOut, City AM and First Time Buyer Magazine.
Preparations began in April, meeting with journalists to create a content brief for the 12 partner Housing Associations. Oracle also began working with Censuswide to create an official Shared Ownership Week survey, to understand how much the British population really understand about the scheme and their affordable home ownership options. The results, from over 2,000 respondents, were surprising, revealing that 54% of 21 to 30-year-olds have never heard of shared ownership. Therein lies the reason behind running the campaign, to change this and educate aspiring home owners.
The 2017 also campaign had the biggest backing from the industry to-date, with Oracle securing the endorsement of designer Wayne Hemingway MBE and Housing and Planning Minister, Alok Sharma MP.
The comprehensive social media strategy was also key to the success of the week, with Oracle utilising images, developments, case studies and videos from the 12 housing association partners to populate the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Oracle created a theme for each day of the Week, focusing content surrounding this, such as #TransportTuesday, #WishListWednesday and #FAQFriday. The latter also involved a ‘Twitter Takeover’ by one of the Housing Associations, taking over the @soweeklive Twitter account for an hour to answer questions posed by members of the public. Oracle also created infographics to bust some common shared ownership myths, using statistics from the independent survey.
Other highlights of the week included #SundayFunday competitions on Twitter, to encourage followers to engage. Four competitions took place over an hour, including asking entrants to share photos of what they love most about their home and the town they live in, with £50 Amazon vouchers awarded to the winners of each.
Overall, the week was a huge success, with the dedicated website attracting thousands of hits, and editorial coverage secured in over 20 online and print publications, including a televised interview with one of the Housing Associations on Saturday’s London Live News.
As always, it was exciting to be such an integral part of the campaign, for a scheme which is of fundamental importance within the housing industry. All there is left to say is bring on next year; let’s make it even bigger and better!
By Rebecca Henderson, PR Account Manager