#HousingDay 12.11.14

Taking a leaf out of brands using ‘real life’ human stories, it’s time housing collectively hits back with some of its own...

 Smashing perceptions - hitting back with real life stories

by Adrian Capon

Tackling negative stereotypes and perceptions is complex and long-term. Recent TV portrayal has seen stigma entrenched for people living in social and council housing. With so much media popularity focussed on this - what about creating a programme hearing from people who do amazing work?

This is our focus for #HousingDay 2014 – promoting the creation of new and untold housing stories. To be shared and in effect crowd sourced using a hash tag campaign. Through housing organisations engaging with their customers we will compile a compelling narrative. Not from our point view but from the customer.

Using real-life situations works on many levels. It's completely authentic, it's emotionally engaging and it's human. We are calling for stories where the customer is the hero. It might be something they have done in the community, overcome adversity, championed initiatives or raised a family. People living in non council or social housing will be able to actively engage with being part of someone else’s story. You could say normal and like everyone else.

As #housingstories supporter John Popham said: “Mainstream media has a view of UK housing. All of us have a computer in our pocket that can tell a different story.”

By using a pocket phone customers can hit back with their own stories. In this video Richard McCann kindly volunteered to show how this could be done. It provides inspiration and a powerful means to create stories. Take a look and tell us what you think?

On 12 November 2014 we are going to share #HousingDay stories using the hash tag across social media. A website will be created to support housing organisations and partners help gather stories. Further details about competitions and other events will be available too. Digital Storyteller John Popham on #HousingDay will tour the country visiting as many housing organisations as possible and amplifying stories they want to tell. He needs support and sponsorship to get this venture off the ground, so get in touch if you can help.

You can follow @HousingDay for the latest tweets and sharing examples of what housing folk are up to for #HousingDay 12 November 2014.

An aspiration to compile a Facebook network of a network housing community is also in the pipeline. On the inside we are using Yammer ‘HousingDay Chat’ to bring external networks together and collaborating on the campaign.

So take out your phone and pledge support to #HousingDay 12.11.14 by creating a short video, Vine or selfie card and share it!

Adrian Capon is a member of Yorkshire Housing’s Communications team.