Phase Creative

How Creative Media Can Close the Gap on the Public’s Perception of Social Value in Construction

Project Five Creative Rise Framework CSR Social Value Marketing

On 1st January 2021, the UK government put into effect a new public procurement model, which focuses on contractors ability to demonstrate social value to the areas they are bidding for work in. The measures laid out in the new model takes the Social Value Act of 2012 even further and ensures that all construction projects actively assess their contribution to the communities in which they operate.

A recent survey revealed that 52% of the public don’t believe contractors’ claims that their projects improved their local area. That’s over half of those asked! The data has clearly raised some concerns in the industry, highlighting that there are barriers between contractors communicating their effects to the public.

The new public procurement model

The new government public procurement model assesses a contractor’s plans for COVID-19 recovery, the fight against climate change, tackling economic inequality, equal opportunities recruitment and the general improvement of health and wellbeing. This means contractors must provide evidence that they will make an effort to meet all of these requirements within their project before being considered to win the work.

So, what’s the problem?

In the same report, 50% of those asked (2000 people) couldn’t recall any benefits at all that a construction project has provided for their local area -at any time! What’s more, only 35% had ever heard of the term ‘social value’ and were confident that they understood what it meant.

The research proves that work still needs to be done to improve public perception; deepen their understanding of social value and the benefits being created through construction projects.

However, the real shame here is that many construction firms at SME level ARE doing social value, so why aren’t the public seeing this? What’s the missing link? The fact is they do not know how to capture it. Contractors aren’t making enough noise about their CSR efforts and social impact because they simply don’t know how to. It is also a huge, missed opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.

Creative media to the rescue!

This is where the magic of creative media comes in. It’s clear that despite contractors’ efforts to benefit the areas that they work in, this work isn’t being showcased and without enough reach. So, how do we fix it?

We believe creative media is the missing link to closing the gap on the public’s perception of social value in construction. There are a number of ways you can professionally capture and communicate your efforts.  

  • Release an annual CSR report – detailing the impact that your work has produced in the form of a beautifully designed report. Include real figures of how many jobs and opportunities you’ve created (particularly in the wake of COVID-19), how your building methods improve or preserve the environment and how your projects actively boost the area’s health and wellbeing. These are also fantastic pieces of content to submit in your bids.
  • Develop mini-reports per project- To make an impact within every area you work in, develop mini-reports on a per-project basis that can be circulated to the local community listing the benefits that your project is providing them. You are literally spelling out the benefits directly to the residents.
  • Produce good imagery – The use of good photography will never be obsolete when demonstrating your social value. No one can deny the authenticity of clear, professional imagery depicting the benefits of your project. Circulating good quality, photographic evidence of your social value efforts via your website, social media and PR efforts will no doubt build trust between you, your audience and communities.
  • Produce video case studies – Video is another extremely valuable and engaging resource. Arrange interviews with the people working on the project and discuss the impact the project is having on the local area. If possible, interview residents whose lives your project has directly touched. People love stories, if you can tell and show the story of how a project has positively impacted the local area, people are more likely to believe in your social value efforts and form a positive opinion of you and your company.

Let us help…

As creative marketing and web design specialists for construction, we know our clients and we know their audience. This means we know how to make your business stand out! There are many reasons why contractors should be putting CSR at the forefront of their business. Not only does it benefit their communities but also their marketplace, their employees and the environment. Public-sector construction can and should be a force for good, and act as a vehicle for real, positive change.

The good news is, bringing your hard work into the spotlight is not difficult, it merely requires the right strategy, processes and most of all, some creativity to make you stand out. The data you capture can only go so far, take it a one step further by transforming your CSR data into real, exciting content will engage your audience and the eyes of the public.

If you’re interested in finding out how Project Five Creative can help you communicate your social value efforts, start a conversation with us now!

Like this post? Please share!