PUBLIC SECT0R: Shelter starts countdown to campaign

Shelter will launch a major campaign next year aimed at altering public perception of homelessness.

The campaign aims to highlight the plight of those living in emergency and inadequate housing and dispel the myth that the problem is confined merely to street sleepers.

This will coincide with a national media relaunch of the charity's corporate identity, which is currently being reviewed - along with comms strategy, by director of external relations Ben Jackson and agency Hooper Galton, who were hired earlier this month.

Jackson said talks are taking place this week with Hooper Galton regarding a timetable. He confirmed that the review will lead to a major campaign and revamp of the identity next year.

He said: 'We are looking at how we can challenge the understanding and public perception of the issues and what Shelter is about.

'Overall there is a perception that homelessness is sleeping on the streets.

That is just one part of the issue.'

Jackson said as part of the review it was also important to review all communications, 'so that we have the right system in place to achieve these aims'.

In terms of reviewing the corporate identity, Shelter has also recruited Design and Art Director Awards chairman Michael Johnson. It is understood that work by Johnson and Hopper Galton will be carried out on reduced fees due to Shelter's charitable status.

The revamp of the identity follows a similar move by fellow homelessness charity Crisis last year. Last August, Crisis scrapped its red house icon and replaced it with an image of a pane of glass with 'Help' written across it (PRWeek, 23 August 2002).

Latest figures, compiled by Shelter at the end of December 2002, show that 85,780 households live in emergency accommodation, which includes bed and breakfast and hostels.

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