Developing a communication strategy is the first step towards effectively making your case. Carefully crafting how you frame the case for a housing trust fund, and developing a consistent set of compelling messages and arguments requires planning, staff time and resources. The investment is well worth it. With a good plan, supporters and coalition members can stay on message and speak with one voice, and will more effectively move decision makers.
Remember: A communication plan is a vehicle; it should never dictate your overall strategy or the specifics of your housing trust fund proposal. Rather, a communications plan helps drive you to your primary goal: Securing a housing trust fund with adequate dedicated resources.
A good communication strategy requires research, planning, commitment and discipline.
- First, to make your case effectively, you must identify and understand your audience
- Second, you need to develop a consistent set of messages and arguments that engage and motivate your audience to action.
- Third, getting your coalition to speak with one voice, which involves training and organizing coalition members
- Fourth, you need develop avenues to make sure you are being heard.
Example plans and other communication strategy resources:
Vermont Housing Awareness Campaign – Strategic Communications Plan
North Carolina Housing Coalition – Building a Year Round Communications Campaign
NeighborWorks – Communications as a Strategic Tool for Affordable Housing Campaigns
Shelterforce – “Managing the Message”, Issue 146, Summer 2006