Profiling PRestige Award winner: BC Housing

The 2021 PRestige silver award winners for “Best Digital Communications Campaign”, B.C Housing,  designed a campaign to bring more attention to their BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program (BC-TRS) and help community members with their rent payments during the first wave of COVID-19. It was a rousing success not only with the community but with the judges of the inaugural CPRS Vancouver awards program. 

Here’s what Tyler Davis, a B.C Housing team member, said about their submission:

What was the process like getting your submission prepared to submit to the awards?

CPRS Vancouver did a great job of keeping the application process simple and aligned with the national CPRS Awards of Excellence program, which helped us consider a submission at both the local and national levels.

We wanted to show other communications professionals that it is possible to achieve significant success on a broad scale, using a digital-first strategy. When we developed the BC-TRS campaign, we were in crisis response to support the tens of thousands of people who had lost their income due to COVID-19. We were working on an exceptionally tight timeline during a period when people were overwhelmed with information and so wanted to target the communications directly to those people who could benefit from the program. 

Why did you apply for the PRestige Awards?

As communications and public relations professionals, best practices are constantly evolving. Learning from the successes of our peers is a crucial way we can advance our own practices, in order to better serve our employees, clients, and communities. Applying for the PRestige Awards was one way we could share what we have learned with our peers, knowing that we will in return, get to learn from them.  

How does it feel to be recognized for this digital communications campaign?

This recognition is important as it is a reminder of the importance of planning and strategy, even when delivering crisis response under very tight timelines. The recognition helped reinforce for our teams the importance of data-informed decision making, which is what guided our focus on digital communications. This recognition also helped highlight the importance of collaboration, which is core to everything we do at BC Housing. Our team was able to work closely with Kirk and Co.- a local consulting firm - to ensure that we brought together the specialized knowledge we needed to roll out this crucial campaign with limited resources. 

After your experience creating a submission for the PRestige Awards, would you do it again?

Absolutely! We enjoy learning from others and will submit entries in the future.

Anything else to add?

Whether it is through the BC-TRS program or any number of other initiatives, there is increasing awareness of the crucial role that communications and public relations have in building the mutually beneficial relationships and awareness essential for thriving communities. This work has never been more important, and by learning from each other through programs like the PRestige Awards we can help each other advance best practices and, ultimately, advance the public good. 

The time and effort B.C Housing put into helping those in need during the first wave of COVID-19 is an accomplishment that deserves to be recognized and it is CPRS Vancouver’s honour to be able to do so. CPRS Vancouver is looking forward to what B.C Housing has planned for the future!

About the Author

Jessy is a third-year student at Simon Fraser University, pursuing a degree in English. In addition to being a copywriter at the Vancouver Canadian Public Relations Society, she spends her time volunteering at her local parks department, painting, and hanging out with her dog.