5 tactics for communicating to candidates and voters

Running successful elections depends on organisation, planning and effective communication. If a housing association can tick these boxes, then it is well on its way towards achieving its objectives; finding tenants that will make effective Board members and who deliver the association’s promises to tenants, improve the services it provides, and ensure the financial health of the organisation.

In order to elect the most representative tenant Board members it is essential that both the candidates and the electorate are fully aware of the election process and their role in it.  Tenant candidates need to understand what is expected of them and what knowledge, skills and experience they need. In addition, they need to know all about how to write their application, including how to prepare a compelling candidate statement.  Voters, on the other hand will need to know all about the Housing Board election process, including why they should vote, how they should vote and when they need to vote.  Therefore, those running the election need to plan how they will communicate these messages to the respective audiences effectively.

Delivering the right message is undoubtedly a vital part of this long-term communication strategy, but the way the message is delivered is just as important as the message itself. UK Engage is the fastest-growing provider of non-statutory electoral services, providing services to many sectors including housing associations, ALMOs & TMOs, NHS Trusts and professional bodies.  Although there is a plethora of communications tactics used to engage candidates and voters alike, UK Engage has highlighted five which have proven success in improving the election process.

1. Candidate workshops

UK Engage works with clients to manage pre-election engagement events such as candidate workshops.  These events educate potential candidates for the role of a tenant Board member and offer advice, support and training. Housing providers find this beneficial as it helps to prepare candidates for the process and helps to encourage tenants with a relevant skills set.

2. Nomination forms and candidate follow up

UK Engage differentiates itself from other electoral services providers by leading the way in nomination form design. Our professionally-designed forms are developed to encourage completion, the use of colour helps to engage candidates as does the housing association’s branding, which is easily recognisable for the candidate. Furthermore, once the potential candidate has been sent the form, UK Engage will, where required, complete follow-up calls to encourage a response.

3. Tenant mailings

When it comes to communication of housing Board elections, personalised tenant mailings have proven benefits in communicating the election message to the local community. Our unique design communicates a personalised message to inform tenants about the election and helps to encourage tenant voters.

4. Landing pages

Information about the Board election should be readily available, that’s why UK Engage develop and maintain dedicated landing pages which include information and downloads relating to a particular Board election. The unique URL address can be communicated via tenant mailings and emails.

5. Multi-channel voting

To make it easier for tenants to cast their votes UK Engage adopts a multi-channel approach to voting. A combined paper and online ballot has been proven to improve voter turnout. Making it easy for tenants to vote in a way in which they are comfortable will improve the number of tenants that vote in your election.

If you would like to know more about how we can help your housing association communicate call UK Engage on 0161 209 4808 or email enquiries@uk-engage.org

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