A backlash against a planned residential home for vulnerable people with mental health problems, threatened our client’s project. On behalf of Meallmore we designed a public education and outreach campaign to build connections, allay fears and dispel misinformation.
The campaign was split into three phases: growing champions; communicating with local people and launching the home. We developed FAQs for supporters to use when refuting misinformation and used Facebook to create a digital ‘front door’ for the home. We put people at the centre of the campaign, generating opportunities for staff and residents to interact with the local community and drawing on the support of mental health charities and experts.
By the time the facility opened the backlash had dwindled significantly. The network of ‘champions’ included local police, mental health charities, local councillors and community leaders. The official opening and a ‘fun day’ drew more than 100 local visitors and the home is now seen as part of the community, not something imposed upon it. There has not been a single complaint since the home opened.