Are you sick of hearing me going on about publicising your own successes? If you aren’t now you will be, but I’m afraid I won’t be stopping. I won’t be stopping because it is kind of arguable whether my role is about helping and encouraging you to bring more empty homes back into use or whether it is about making sure the right people know about it when you do. Obviously it is a bit of both but with so much good work going on in Scotland these days I am feeling like I should be doing more of the latter.
So I’m going to use my blog today to once again badger you shy wallflowers out there to use the in your face qualities that I know you all have when you are talking to empty home owners and put them to good use making sure the rest of us know what you’ve achieved.
And as it turns out I have the perfect opportunity for you to ease yourself in gently if you are feeling a touch unsure of the whole thing. You can nominate yourself, your team or your organisation for the Scottish Empty Homes Champion of the Year Awards. Here is my tip so it doesn’t all seem too daunting – start from the bottom of the page of nominations and work your way up. Here is the webpage for reference. I’ll talk you through the process.
The one we have listed last is arguably the most important – best Before & After Photo. A picture is worth a thousand words and every picture tells a story don’t it? Plus – highly likely to get used in any press coverage - and there will be press coverage. You must have a before and after story you are proud of – even if you’ve seen the pictures so many times they’ve stopped looking remarkable to you - why not just submit them? It will only take as long as it takes to upload the photos and ‘hey presto!’, you’ve submitted your nomination! Well done. You are warmed up.
Now you can move up the page to the next category, Best Use of the Media. I realise this one is slightly less universal, not everyone does do this as much as they could (I wonder why we’ve made an award for it?). But armed with that knowledge, if you have publicised your empty homes work in any way why not upload the newspaper clippings or details of the radio coverage and have a go? Again, surely a low effort nomination, you already did the work.
Right. Now you’ve got those under your belt you’ll be feeling the warm inner glow of being able to put two ticks on the to do list. Riding high on tasks completed you’ll maybe even start to sit a bit taller in your chair. You’ll be feeling like a highly effective individual. Hang on - was that some strutting I saw from you on your way to the kitchen to fetch your mid-morning cuppa? Sounds like the perfect time to send off a nomination for yourself to the Outstanding Individual category. Just think about it, not only have you completed two whole tasks that you didn’t think you would get done this morning you have also brought all those empty homes back into use…you are a rockstar! Quick – open the nomination form and jot down some details of all the amazing projects you’ve been involved in – did you convince an impossible owner to finally come around? Did you facilitate the conversion of an eyesore into a family home? Did you secure funding for an empty homes service in your council or an incentive scheme for owners? Best to type quickly before you start feeling self-conscious for nominating yourself. Phew. You got it all written. Hit send before you second guess yourself.
That one was a bit harder, but it felt good didn’t it? When you stop and think about it you really are outstanding aren’t you? Okay, so that was nice, but now you feel a little bit guilty for having gone on about yourself…better balance that out by nominating your colleagues for the Outstanding Project or Service Award. So what do you do if you are in a one person empty homes department? Well you can describe how you have harnessed the assistance of colleagues in other departments from environmental health to council tax to economic regeneration to help you bring homes back into use. Still kind of all about you, but it feels more like you are spreading the love doesn’t it? You could even include mention of that outspoken local councillor who makes sure the empty homes issues in her patch don’t get overlooked. She’d like that. Plus if she gets to share in the glory she might push a little harder when the empty homes project’s funding comes up for renewal mightn’t she? Hmmm…this is still feeling a bit all about you isn’t it? Good. I think that means you are getting the idea.