Launching the Housemates platform to the PBSA market and positioning it as a simple, flexible and much-needed solution for students and accommodation operators alike during the pandemic and beyond.
Housemates is an end-to-end student accommodation booking platform that was launching its transacting platform. The PHA Group was tasked with launching the platform to both the PBSA sector as well as students more broadly, and also with positioning the company as a student-champion that understands and resolves the existing pain points in the student accommodation booking process. Housemates wanted to grow its awareness, and in turn its accommodation operator partners, and also be seen as a student-first solution that could help people make more flexible bookings during the pandemic.
Our strategy was split into two parts: an initial launch phase to announce the platform going live, and a secondary phase highlighting the problems students faced during the pandemic to demonstrate the company’s student-first values.
In the first phase, we created and pitched a launch press release announcing the platform launch. We complemented this in the following weeks with thought leadership and commentary pitching to demonstrate the industry expertise of founder and CEO, Lydia Jones, and build credibility in the business.
In the second phase, Housemates wanted to demonstrate it understood that many students were unable to live in their student accommodation during the pandemic and had been unable to access rent refunds or rebates, and that they needed more support and flexibility. In response, we created the #SaveOurStudents campaign, which called on government to provide funding to support to students and accommodation providers who’d been impacted by the pandemic. With press releases, a letter to government, and student case studies, we targeted broadcast, national and regional media for the campaign, achieving coverage in a number of radio and TV outlets around the country for the launch. In the days following, we also had coverage in student titles and a long-form feature in The Telegraph.
The coverage we secured across the partnership resulted in three new operators signing up to host their accommodation on the Housemates platform, elevated web traffic to Housemates’ website, and a rise in positive sentiment to the brand among students.
pieces of press coverage overall
pieces of press coverage for #SaveOurStudents campaign
new operators signed with Housemates as a direct result of PR coverage