Infographics offer the perfect way to communicate complex information. This make them a great way get across the complex changes that are happening as part of the Welfare Reform Bill. Changes that will have a big and sudden effect on many people’s - and housing associations - finances.
The Bill affects people on benefits and especially those in social housing, meaning that Social Landlords, Councils and Citizen’s Advice Bureaus across the country need to let their tenants, residents and customers know about how they will be affected.
People will need to get their heads around a whole new set of rules and regulations that at first glance will seem as confusing as learning a whole new language; The Benefits Cap, The Bedroom Tax, Personal Independence Payments are all new developments that people will have to get used to under the Bill.
Plus, payments will now be made directly to tenants, instead of their social landlords. This means that failing to communicate the changes – and the need to get a bank account for the first time, for some – could result in a huge loss of income for social housing providers.
Halton Housing Trust were quick out of the blocks in realising they’d need a new way to communicate these complex changes to their customers.
They came to Reason Digital, and we worked together to create an animated infographic video which would be at the centre of their Communications Plan.
Together we worked on a script focused on raising awareness with tenants in Halton of the changes that were coming, and how they would specifically affect them – and others in the local area – in their day to day lives.
Meanwhile, we came up with a clear and engaging animation of the key facts and got 2012 VOX winner and voice of the tube Emma Clarke to help out with the voice over.
We mixed together text, voice, animation and graphics and released the video in June 2012. The video packs a strong punch – communicating to people with different needs and learning styles.
The snowball effect
After its release the infographic started to snowball. It was well received by the National Housing Federation and Government Ministers, as well as getting thousands of views from tenants and members of the public on YouTube. Housing Associations were lining up to see if we could bring the infographic to their local area – tailoring it with their spin and stats on the changes.
Housing Trust’s from as far apart as the North East to Devon have been in touch wanting their unique touch putting on the original. It was great to see so many Housing Associations embracing innovative ways of communicating information to their tenants, but what was better still was that for every infographic inspired by the original, the housing association in question made a donation to Halton Haven Hospice of £500, so far the Hospice has received £4,500 (and counting) thanks to the infographic – helping young people who have life limiting illnesses.
Making your story stand out
And every new infographic brought us into contact with a new housing association and a new area all with their own distinct challenges concerning Welfare Reform. That’s where having an easy to edit infographic template came in handy, we collaborated with Housing Associations to replace the statistics from the original with the statistics specific to their own localities and we updated the script to reflect these changes and supplied a new voice over. Then we uploaded it to their YouTube channel for people to drop into their websites or use at open days and events.
In some cases we changed the running order of the script to reflect what was the most important welfare reform change in that area, and we even changed the design in some cases to reflect more urban inner city landscapes. Being flexible and having an editable infographic meant different housing associations had the power to make the infographic their own. You can check out the range of these infographics here.
Reflecting the unique tone, personality and statistics of each local area sends a clear message to the viewer: this matters to you, and it matters to others in your local area.
Not the only ones
And it’s not just us, social media and marketing specialists Panda Media have just released their own Welfare Reform Bill animation which Housing Associations can personalise with a logo and contact. You can see their animation here.
The snowball is getting bigger
So three months after the premiere of the original infographic, just what has it achieved that makes Housing Associations, CABs and councils so convinced that infographics are the future in terms of communicating welfare reform?
The original alone has racked up nearly 3,300 views on YouTube, been promoted at countless Housing Conferences, and was even the cover star of 24 Housing’sCommunicating Welfare Reform Special. It’s also inspired other Housing Associations to embrace different ways of communicating, already we’ve worked with another 9 organisations to create infographics to help them get across Welfare Reform change.
We’ve also worked with Government digital inclusion campaign RaceOnline2012, to communicate the importance of supporting social housing tenants to get online.
So, if you are interested in creating dynamic infographics that are relevant to the people and area you serve to help you communicate welfare reform in an innovative and interesting way contact us on 0161 660 79 49 or at firstname.lastname@example.org