Thinking of Rok in a ‘hard place’

I expected the Government’s publication of its departmental business plans, including DCLG’s, to make all the headlines today.

It is big, important news and I welcome it for the transparent way in which it sets out the Government’s plans. That didn’t stop the story from being bumped down the schedule by news that Rok has gone into administration this morning.

Coming so soon after Connaught’s well reported problems, this story wrote itself. The human cost of 3,800 jobs being under threat was secondary to the commentary on how or why the company is in trouble. This poses a massive challenge for Rok’s communicators, who must balance the need to handle a flood of media queries with keeping staff, partners and investors updated. All are important, but Rok’s 3,800 staff remain the key to the business.

I worked with Rok’s in-house comms team last month, when promoting a fantastic housing project near Newquay which was built in just 15 weeks, instead of the usual 23. As well as having huge potential benefits for future housing delivery, this project also highlighted the personal stories of delighted tenants and families who have moved into their dream homes in time for Christmas.

I couldn’t help thinking of these people, and the staff who delivered the project, when the Rok story broke today.

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