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NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing
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NBNPHA 2014 Conference Saint John Workshop C - Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing

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Gain effective strategies and tools for communicating the value of affordable housing to political leaders, media, and the public at large.

Gain effective strategies and tools for communicating the value of affordable housing to political leaders, media, and the public at large.

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  • 2009 and 2013: CHF Canada’s Government Relations (GR) efforts at the National Office
    in Ottawa have been recognized on two separate occasions in the Hill Times as one of
    the top 100 Lobbyists .
    2009-10 and 2010-11: Millions in funding for co-ops in Canada’s Economic Action
    Plan: $120.7 million over two years (for 948 federal co-op housing projects in five
    provinces) .
    July 2011: The creation of the Affordable Housing Framework – led to new
    provincial/territorial reporting on federal spending outcomes.
    January 2013: New credit union financing for co-op modernization and repair. This is the
    government’s decision to provide fairer pre-payment penalties to co-ops wishing to conduct important
    renovations and Repairs. See media release:
    http://www.chfcanada.coop/eng/pages2007/news_2013_01.asp
    November 2013: Subsidy Surplus Fund – Co-ops allowed to retain subsidy surplus
    funds to use as assistance for low-income households. See media release:
    http://www.chfcanada.coop/eng/pages2007/news_2013_07.asp
  • Clear and concise recommendations: they need to be achievable and easy to understand.
    Speak the federal government’s language and understand their priorities : CHF Canada has
    used words such as “accountable” when lobbying for federal housing dollars (the Affordable Housing
    Framework of July 2011). Conservatives understand the need for Accountability when it comes to
    spending (most of the time ) See this press release to welcome the Framework:
    http://www.chfcanada.coop/eng/pages2007/news_2011_08.asp
    Build and maintain relationships with MPs and political staff with every major party
    on Parliament Hill: We have good working relationships with every party. It’s important to be seen as
    non-partisan.
    Presence on Parliament Hill: Committee appearances, meetings with MPs, ministerial,
    opposition staff and groups such as the Conservative Housing and Construction Caucus.
    Alliances with key stakeholder groups such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities
    (FCM) and Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA): We have maintained close
    working relationships with these associations. For example, CHF Canada has been sending
    representatives (such as Directors) to municipal roundtables on housing (such as in November in
    Halifax, February in Regina and London and April in Edmonton). FCM has a national campaign to fix the
    housing crunch (action on withdrawal of federal rent support s one of their recommendations).
  • CHF Canada is currently leading a national campaign called You Hold The Key: Fix The
    Co-op Housing Crunch: Pass out our briefing note on this issue
    Governments need to act now to maintain rent-geared-to-income (RGI) assistance for
    200,000 low-income Canadian households in co-op and non-profit projects.
    Some of our key allies on this issue are the Canadian Housing Renewal Association
    (CHRA) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
    The end of rent support for low-income people is the most important one that co-ops,
    their members and regional co-op federations face as hundreds of agreements are
    ending (a majority by 2020).
  • Before you meet with your MP/MLA and Ministers of Housing (Federal and Provincial),
    you will need to:
    Contact the constituency/legislative office to request a meeting: phone the office and
    then send a request by e-mail to the scheduling assistant.
    Know what to include in the request: the reason for the meeting, briefing note
    that outlines what your issues is and how you want to solve it and who will be attending.
    Who is involved? Up to three people (Board member, resident(s) staff person). Don’t invite more
    than three people to a meeting (not enough time for each person to speak, plus politicians like to meet
    with small delegations in their offices.
    How much time you are given with an MP/MLA: In Ottawa, our staff is usually given
    thirty minutes for a meeting with an individual Member of Parliament. Sometimes if goes beyond that
    time.
    The meeting: Focus on your “asks” – your recommendations – and explain clearly why the politician
    should support them.
    Follow-up: Don’t forget to send a follow-up thank you letter to the MP/MLA and reiterate the main
    points you raised during the meeting (such as the recommendations).
  • 2011 Federal Election Campaign:  Our goals for the May 2011 election campaign were to seek each party’s promise to work  to protect co‐op affordability for low‐income Canadians, and push forfederal action to build  more affordable co‐op homes.
    During the 37-day campaign, CHF Canada got the word out on its key national government relations 
    goals through local co-ordinators were hired across the country set up meet and greets (at the co-ops) and co-op delegation visits (to candidates’ offices) in closely contested federal ridings across the country.
    We also sent questionnaires to the parties and asked them to support our recommendations. We also responded to election platform commitments through issuing press releases (and applauded parties when they made favourable promises).
    Media:
    CHF Canada communicated our election messaging using media (radio, television and print) including a new federal election blog.
    Media interviews with CHF Canada’s Executive Director Nicholas Gazzard were held with major and medium‐sized radio markets in Vancouver, Victoria, St. Catharines and the Maritimes.
    What we learned?
    In addition being on the radars of candidates, we learned that it was important to put the issue of affordable housing on the national agenda (through the above-noted tactics). After all, many advocacy groups are competing for the attention of parties, candidates and the media during an election campaign.
  • Having an effective press release to support your campaign’s goals is critical when trying to pitch your story to local or national media.
    Your organization may face challenges when it comes to local/national media outlets to cover your issue.
    There are many competing interests that reporters and assignment editors are dealing with. For example, scandals involving Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford (as a national example) to local stories that grab the general public’s attention in your local area (such as murders, strikes, factory/plant closures etc.).
    Before writing your media release, ask yourself if your story is newsworthy.
    If you’re focusing on the end of federal rent support (end of operating agreement for your non-profit), you will want to get the media to focus on how the issue affects the people (low-income individuals).
    In January, we found a housing co-op member in Ottawa that was willing to share her story with the media. It attracted a lot of attention (also through the Global’s social media page).
    While we managed to get CHF Canada’s Director interviewed for the news segment, the co-op member’s story was pivotal in terms of getting the story on the news program.
    Krystyl (the member) will lose her home if her income-tested assistance ends in 2020 (when the Section 95 co-op’s operating agreement ends).
  • While the Global News piece was not “sold” through a press release (David managed to pitch it to the producer without one by phoning her), we have written press releases to sell similar stories in the past.
    For example, in December 2012 we issue one to tell the story of an urban native co-op in London, Ontario (Native Inter-Tribal Housing Co-operative). Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) and many other local media outlets in London covered a story.
    PASS OUT THE PRESS RELEASE (also a version in French)
    Here are some tips and tools that will help your organization to get your story covered by the media.
  • Read out the first paragraph of the Native Inter-Tribal Press Release:
    The reader’s attention is focused right away on the issue.
     
    “Twenty native households will be homeless in the new year unless Diane Finley, the Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), steps in to help Native Inter-Tribal Housing Co‑operative remain financially viable. The 62-unit housing co‑op is scattered throughout the Manor and Highland Park neighbourhood in South London, Ontario.”
    Who: 20 native low-income households and Diane Finley, Minister Responsible for CMHC
    What: people will be homeless unless CMHC steps in to help the co-op
    Where: Native Inter-Tribal Co-op in Manot and Highland Park neighbourhood in London.
    When: Homeless in the new year (2013)
    Why: Explained in the third paragraph
  • The second paragraph: Includes everything else that is important.
    Remaining paragraphs: Adds important details (including quotes). Keep the sentences fairly short.
    Quotations for spokespeople: Try to include one to three quotes (make them sound natural). Reporters usually insert them directly in their articles.
    The conclusion: provides the least important information (not essential info, however, it is critical for
    the story.
    Boilerplate description (includes standard info) and coordinates for the spokespersons.
  • Pass out the template and give them 15 minutes to write a press release using the examples that were given.
    Also , hand out Native Inter-Tribal release.
  • Contact the news media outlet: If you cannot afford to put your press release on a news wire service such as CNW Group, you can also create a PDF version of your one-page media release and send it by e-mail to media outlets in your area.
    By going to the news outlet’s website, find out who the assignment editor or news editor is. You can also send it to news reporters.
    After you send release via e-mail, call the reporter and pitch the story to him/her. Always follow-up with the person that you’ve contacted and make sure that they are aware of your press release.
    Explain why you feel that he/she should cover the story.
  • Timeliness: The more recent the story is, the more relevant it is.
    Proximity: Being physically near to a story (is the story happening close by?)
    Rarity: Is it an interesting story? Is it an unusual event?
    Prominence: Is the story happening to a prominent person?
    Impact: Does the story have an impact on the reader/viewer’s life?
    Novelty: The first and last time that the story take place .
    Human interest: Is it interesting (such as a story about a low-income member that could lose his/her home?)
  • Transcript

    • 1. Getting the Word Out on Affordable Housing David Granovsky, Government Relations Co-ordinator, CHF Canada and Tim Ross, New Brunswick Non-Profit Housing Association Inc. May 9, 2014
    • 2. Introduction and Context  Introduction  New Brunswick Non-Profit Housing Association Context 2
    • 3. CHF Canada’s Government Relations Efforts  2009 & 2013: Our GR efforts have been recognized on two separate occasions in the Hill Times as one of the top 100 Lobbyists  2009-10 & 2010-11: Millions in funding for co-ops in Canada’s Economic Action Plan  July 2011: The creation of the Affordable Housing Framework  January 2013: New credit union financing for co-op modernization and repair  November 2013: Subsidy Surplus Fund 3
    • 4. How We Achieved Our Goals?  Clear and concise recommendations  Speak the federal government’s language  Build and maintain relationships with MPs and political staff  Presence on Parliament Hill  Alliances with key stakeholder groups 4
    • 5. National campaign: You Hold the Key – Fix the Co-op Housing Crunch  A National Campaign  Governments need to act now to maintain rent-geared-to-income (RGI) assistance  Some of our key allies on this issue  The end of rent support for low-income people is the most important issue for the co-op housing movement 5
    • 6. Meeting with your local MP/MLA and Ministers  Before you meet with your MP/MLA, Minister of Social Development and Minister Responsible for CMHC, you will need to: o Contact the constituency/legislative office o Know what to include in the request o Who is involved? o How much time you are given? o The meeting o Follow-up 6
    • 7. 2014: An Election Year in New Brunswick  Advice that CHF Canada can offer for September 22 Provincial Election o 2011 federal election campaign o Meet and greets, co-op delegation visits with federal candidates in closely contested ridings o Media o What we learned? 7
    • 8. Selling your Story to the Media  Your organization may face challenges  Is your story is newsworthy?  On January 22, Global National News ran a story on the end of RGI subsidies  http://globalnews.ca/news/1100348/co-op-housing-subsidy-to-end/ 8
    • 9. The Press Release  How did we manage to get Global National News to cover this story?  The answer lies in how you sell your story  You need an effective press release  Tips and tools that will help your organization Before you try to promote your event, you need an effective press release. Here are some tips and tools that will help your co-op get an event covered by the local media. 9
    • 10. Drafting an Effective Press Release  Your press release has to have a strong headline (title)  The five Ws: 1) Who 2) What? 3) Where? 4) When? and 5) Why?  Get the reader’s attention in the title and lede – the first paragraph Before you try to promote your event, you need an effective press release. Here are some tips and tools that will help your co-op get an event covered by the local media. 10
    • 11. The Body  The second paragraph  Remaining paragraphs  Quotations for spokespeople  The conclusion  Boilerplate description Before you try to promote your event, you need an effective press release. Here are some tips and tools that will help your co-op get an event covered by the local media. 11
    • 12. Your Turn to Draft a Press Release  Take 15 minutes to draft a press release that your organization could prepare for a story on the end federal operating agreements  Present your group’s press release  Discussion 12
    • 13. Contacting the Media  Contact the news media outlet  Pitch your story 13
    • 14. The Seven Qualities  The seven qualities that makes stories newsworthy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NLfjlP5Fxc o Timeliness o Proximity o Rarity o Prominence o Impact o Novelty o Human interest 14
    • 15. Q & A 15

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