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How Bron Afon got their tenants talking about fair rents

(3 minute read)

In this blog, Shayoni Lynn of Lynn PR, shares with us how they have worked with Bron Afon Community Housing to engage tenants on the key topic of rents and service charges. Using behavioural science and data-driven communications, they were able to get a huge response via the Fair Rents campaign, and learn a lot in the process of how we might engage with customers after the pandemic.

“Customer engagement can be hard at the best of times. People lead busy lives and they may not always have the time to speak with organisations. Throw the global pandemic into the mix and it is clear that we will have to think differently if we are to make the connections we need.

“My company Lynn PR was approached by Bron Afon, in the summer of 2020, to help them run an annual tenant consultation on rent and service charges. Normally their response is in the 40s and does not always fully represent their tenant population and they were keen for this year to be different.

“Given the restrictions of not being able to go door-to-door, or talk about this with tenants in person, it certainly would need a different approach this year. Bron Afon were ambitious and wanted to embrace an innovative, audience-first approach. This would be Bron Afon’s first fully behaviourally-informed digital campaign.”

So how did taking a behaviourally-informed approach work for Bron Afon?

“The biggest challenge was understanding and engaging with diverse audiences, especially during such turbulent times created by the pandemic. Throughout the organisation there are known tenants who are happy to be involved and engaged but in order to get a bigger return, we needed to engage a wider audience, and had to try and understand them via a behavioural lens. We need to better understand their capabilities, motivations and barriers.

“To do this, we carried out a rapid research phase which included desk research, literature review, analysing customer and population data, and undertaking a behavioural diagnosis that shed light on what might motivate tenants to get involved and what barriers may be at play that might stop them from doing so.

“We brought all this data and behavioural insights together, working closely with the Bron Afon team, and the ‘Your Bron Afon’ campaign identity was born. This was designed to kickstart a managed programme of proactive communications, of which ‘Fair Rents’ would be the first campaign.

“Underpinned by a behaviourally-informed creative digital communications strategy, we now had a visually bold and well-researched campaign that would be the start of a meaningful, proactive engagement with tenants.

“By using behavioural science and data-driven strategic communications methodologies, we were able to create a campaign that deeply resonated with the audiences. We used behavioural science tactics to create a more user-friendly survey which played a major role in securing the high response rates.

“Key to the success of the Fair Rents campaign was our use of testing to confirm or deny our proposed solutions. We ran several randomised trials to find out, direct from audiences, what they prefer vs not.

“The campaign lasted for four weeks and we provided real-time monitoring to ensure we were being responsive to audience reactions.”

So how did we do?

“Fair Rents was Bron Afon’s most successful campaign, securing very high engagement from diverse tenants on an important but complex topic.

“We met and exceeded our response target, securing 326 high-quality responses (+805%) – a ten-fold increase – and had 95 times more engagement that typical social media benchmarks. Importantly, we achieved significant behaviour change by being able to create a positive space for discussion for tenants.

“As a digital-first campaign, Fair Rents delivered an outstanding return on investment and set new benchmarks for the organisation and housing communications in Wales. The campaign has been shortlisted in the Global Social Media Awards and PRCA Digital Awards 2021.

“Even in these difficult times, we can always find a way to get people involved, by applying innovative methods to communications and campaigns.”

Shayoni Lynn is the Director of Lynn PR, a data-driven strategic communications and behavioural insights agency headquartered in Wales