Sussex Housing Care empowering employees to manage comms

11th December 2020

Sussex Housing & Care are a not-for-profit Housing Association, focusing on providing high quality, affordable housing and care services for older people in Sussex. With four care homes and 25 nationwide sheltered retirement and independent living schemes, they provide accommodation to over 800 residents across the country.

Challenges

Investing in a fresh rebrand, Sussex Housing & Care were looking for an innovative way to bring their independent living schemes onboard with the new brand and build some momentum around it.

Brand management had previously been problematic using word document templates. With varying technical abilities and printing facilities, it resulted in off-brand assets. Their residents also have a variety of needs to be met, for example, some need large print comms material. This created an additional struggle when creating content.

They came to BrandStencil looking for a platform to help them deliver a one-size-fits-all solution. It needed to be easy and quick for their staff to use, meet the needs of their residents and support multi-page documents.

Solutions

We worked with Sussex Housing & Care to create them a branded, easy-to-use platform with several templates all designed to cover their needs. The first set of templates created included an A4 poster, care home newsletter and housing residents newsletter. They wanted the ability to share artwork between different managers, to celebrate their creations with the new brand and help inspire those who are less confident using technology.

Multiple variations

Newsletters built from central comms and out

When creating newsletters for their residents the central comms department provides each manager with a central update to include, along with some fun things for the residents such as word searches and recipes. It was key that this was still possible through BrandStencil and finding an automated way to do this would be the best-case scenario for all involved, reducing a lot of unnecessary admin.

We used our Share with my team feature to do just this, allowing central comms to create artwork with their content and share it with the managers. They left space for managers to add local updates, feedback and stories, so it was super simple for a manager to pop into BrandStencil, copy the central comms artwork and update specifically for them, without touching the original comms update.

Catering to residents’ needs

When creating any templates we need to ensure that they cater to the needs of the audience. Due to this, as the communication material was for older people it was vital that we allowed for this in the template, therefore we included a large print option for those who are visually impaired.

Examples of extracts of the newsletter with different size fonts.

Webinar with all the managers

Getting the managers on board with the new brand and excited to use the tool was really important for Sussex Housing & Care. We know that to get your employees engaged with a new tool they need to feel involved, one easy way to do this is to run a workshop to show them around and answer any questions they may have. We worked with Sussex Housing & Care to organise a webinar to bring all the managers together and talk them through the platform. This was an incredible success with some very positive feedback.

Sussex Housing Care

“We’re pleased with our new templates on BrandStencil. Colleagues have been quick to understand the system and have enjoyed the flexibility of being creative yet still on-brand. They are also getting inspiration from each other by being able to share with the team. The BrandStencil team have been quick to answer questions, supportive and helped to successfully launch the new platform. Thank you!”

Lizzie Gurr
Communications & Engagement Officer, Sussex Housing & Care
A4 Poster