Owning our future: why dropping jargon matters

My blog on jargon in UK housing generated a great response and was my most popular post of last year.

I’ve not had time until recently to follow through on my promise to turn the feedback into an online resource. Today’s Twitter discussions about the importance of having a shared narrative and housing ‘owning our future’ (or #OOF) makes this a timely post.

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How we helped tell a housing success story

James and Georgia Brand at home in Cranbrook with their children John and Robert

“I’m delighted with the new development that’s being built in xxx. It’s a huge success story which local people and partners can be proud of.”

How many times have you read – or written if you’re a comms person – something like that and really taken it in? Like ‘transformation’ or ‘ground-breaking’, such words can be used so often that they start to mean very little.*

Then there are projects like Cranbrook in Devon, where slogans don’t do justice to what’s happening on the ground. Based on the fringes of Exeter, when complete it will include around 6,000 homes, schools, a town centre and a host of other amenities and jobs.

After more than 20 years in gestation, building work started in 2011, and now more than 800 homes are lived in and the primary school which opened in 2012 has more than 300 kids. That this has happened in the face of the downturn is remarkable, and every time I visit I’m amazed at the progress being made.

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So many budget bloggers, so little reading time

Here are some of the budget-related blogs I have read this week. None are intended to reflect my viewpoint, but all are relevant to my area of work in some way. I have always enjoyed the run up and reaction to budget day: miles of newsprint and days of airtime are devoted to the subject, with very different results. Sometimes the same expert can convey different messages between one media outlet and another. Blogging, Twitter and round-the-clock instant reaction can crate the sense of a country transfixed by the budget, although I am not sure that the noise it creates is necessarily a measure of interest.

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