29 Jul 2016
A few days ago I was listening to an interview with Sir Jeremy Isaacs about the lasting qualities and the enduring legacy of the TV series, ‘The World at War’. One particular caller commented that his son had learned more about the Second World War by watching this one TV series than in the entirety of his primary and secondary education.This is true in my own educational experience; I’ve learned more about the world by watching the likes of TED Talks and VSauce than I ever did in school, college and university.This isn’t surprising. Moving visuals are in our DNA, hardwiring our brains to pay attention and quickly understand things that move and make noise, allowing us to pick up visual data 60,000 times faster than we can process something as visually complex as text.
In my previous blog about the use of infographics, I quoted the old saying, “a picture speaks a thousand words”. Not surprisingly, Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research wrote a report back in 2008 claiming that if a picture is worth one thousand words, then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million.Video communication allows us to keep the visual complexities of text to a minimum and allows the more visual aspects that video provides to convey ideas quickly. Visual story telling isn’t anything new, we have been doing it ever since we started painting on cave walls. Visual story telling is very visceral, triggering an emotional response.This emotional connection can be a powerful communication tool, especially to businesses large and small. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to sell something, teach something, align someone to your vision or just wanting to create an emotional connection, video is the ideal tool.Here at NLP, we have recently launched our latest video promoting our digital offer. Not only does it showcase what digital services NLP’s Graphic Design Team can offer, but also provides a perfect example of the quality and complexity of video communication we can produce.
In a ’white paper’ published by the technology company Cisco, it is predicted that by next year, 69% of all consumer internet traffic will be video. Cisco are far from alone in this predication, as I struggled to find any similar predication about internet trends that doesn’t cite video as a rapid growth area.So videos such as NLP’s are fast becoming essential for any business. Forrester Research for example found that a web site is 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google search results if it includes video.The sheer quantity of internet video success stories borders on the stuff of myth and legend. Take last year’s Sainsbury’s Christmas advert about Mog the Cat which reached over 30 million views on Youtube. Now, I’m not saying that NLP’s video, or others we produce have the potential to be viewed millions of times, however it does demonstrate the power of video to boost awareness. By engaging with viewers optimally, a message is more likely to be shared with others, and the viewer will spend longer interacting with a business.NLP’s Digital Team can produce a range of digital material, including animated video, to help communicate messages, including the benefits of a development scheme. This, according to my research, could provide a platform, for it to be watched and shared by a far greater audience than traditional printed methods.
A week is a long time in politics; two weeks is an eternity. After the UK voted to leave the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron felt his position was untenable and the process of finding a new leader began. Given how fast politics moves these days, it will come as no surprise to learn that the country will have a new Prime Minister by Wednesday evening – Theresa May. At the time of writing, the details of a May Government are yet to be provided, but do we have any indication as to the impact on planning and housing policy?
In her speech delivered before it was announced that she would become the new Conservative leader and Prime Minister, Theresa May provided an insight into her feelings on housing – one which surprised many commentators as to the breadth and complexity highlighted:
Unless we deal with the housing deficit, we will see house prices keep on rising. Young people will find it even harder to afford their own home. The divide between those who inherit wealth and those who don’t will become more pronounced.
These are encouraging words – there appears to be: a recognition that we need to build more homes; that people are being priced out of owning their own home; and that some people are able to accrue assets while many others cannot.
May also makes a very interesting link between housing costs and economic productivity that could set the scene to better understand the link between housing costs and local economic performance:
And more and more of the country’s money will go into expensive housing instead of more productive investments that generate more economic growth.
A strong supporter of Theresa May’s leadership bid has been the current Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis. Speaking before the announcement that Theresa May would become the next Prime Minister, he stated:
Whoever the Prime Minister is, we have to stay true to the manifesto we launched last year, which had two key housing policies: Starter homes and extending the Right to Buy to 1.3m people. There’s no reason that would change.
This message should be unsurprising, for four reasons.First, the Conservative Party continues to have a mandate to deliver on their manifesto promises from 2015 – there is no constitutional requirement for there to be another general election if the Prime Minister steps down, and maintaining substantial parts of its election manifesto helps to underpin the Party’s democratic and political rationale for not ‘going to the country’.Secondly, the direction of travel for housing policy has been made very clear, and agreed by Parliament. The Housing and Planning Bill became an Act just in May this year; the plethora of consultations and regulations that need to be discussed, debated and agreed are already in motion and various housing policy objectives have been announced. There would be little incentive to change the direction of this complicated and wide-ranging policy reform now.Thirdly, with a great deal of high-level political attention to be focused on managing the process of Brexit itself, the fact that housing and planning policy already has its key principles established means that DCLG civil servants are in the encouraging position of being able to continue work on the details of implementation, through revisions to the NPPF, the PPG, and the regulations that will bring into force the Housing and Planning Act’s measures - all with a view to putting in place the changes over the coming months.Finally, in the face of economic uncertainty, there is a strong case for the Government doing everything it can to maintain ‘business as usual’ for housing supply and investment. Indeed, as the Government saw these housing and planning reforms as crucial to stimulate development and drive economic growth before the referendum, they will now see them as an imperative to ensure economic stability.It therefore seems that despite the political upheaval and looming economic uncertainty, Theresa May’s government will want to emphasise the role of housing, development and planning, ensure that policy reform continues to happen and do everything it can to promote stability. As this is a policy area that has seen huge change in the last few years, some stability would no doubt be welcomed by most in the sector.
 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/11/theresa-may-launches-conservative-leadership-bid-as-andrea-leads/ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/11/theresa-may-launches-conservative-leadership-bid-as-andrea-leads/ http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/may-will-stay-true-to-key-tory-housing-policies/7016024.article
Image Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images