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Housing's social media Power Players revealed

June 2014

Following this year’s 24housing Power Players list, housing’s Twitter fraternity have spent the last six weeks voting for their top social media influencers working in and around the sector. The man behind the list – Paul Taylor, Bromford’s innovation coach – does the honours.

Paul Taylor
Innovation Coach

Just over a year ago I published a blog post – ‘The Top 50 Power Players In Housing [Klout Edition]’. It was meant as a humorous take on this magazine’s Power Players list.

But unlike the original list, influence was only measured according to social media activity. It used a tool called Klout, which claims to gauge how influential you are online. As well as a bit of fun it was also done as a more serious exercise to gauge how the great and the good of social housing measure up in our increasingly digital world.

The results were stark. Apart from politicians, only five people remained on both lists. The democratising effect of social media was apparent. CEOs largely disappeared, replaced by people with less seniority.

The list was incredibly popular so we repeated it – in a joint production with 24housing. Shirley Ayres, founder of the Connected Care Network and an active social media user, has acted as adjudicator to make the process as transparent as we can.

For 2014 we made some changes:

» We removed politicians to focus on ‘real people’ working in and around the sector.

» We added an online vote, which proved so popular nominations were received for over 140 people.

» We continued to use Klout but added a system called PeerIndex – which measures how people drive conversations on social media.

» We have given additional points for people behind influential blogs and campaigns.


After much hard work we’ve now narrowed it down to our final 50. So what does it tell us?

For a start, there is far greater overlap between the official Power Players list and the ‘alternative’ version. The number of people on both lists has doubled. This includes Tony Stacey, Julia Unwin, Nick Atkin, Jules Birch, Alison Inman, Kate Davies, Mick Kent, Michelle Reid and Lisa Pickard. This surely indicates positive progress.

Social media appears to be creating a more accessible sector with fewer silos and broader thinking. At least half of the top 10 is populated by people outside housing. Arguably no-one has influenced housing communications more than Helen Reynolds (No.1). Equally John Popham (2) and Anne McCrossan (5) have shown that you don’t have to work in the sector to make a huge impact upon it.

There’s more diversity too. There are 21 women in the list and they account for seven of the top 10 places.

The journalism and the blogging communities were recognised for how they shaped the narrative in a turbulent year. 24housing’s Jon Land did originally feature in the list but graciously ruled himself out.

Recent campaigns that are challenging the negative media image of social housing have made an impact with places for those involved in SHOUT and Council Homes Chat. Michala Rudman has stormed the top 20 for her campaigning work. Additionally Adrian Capon who organised #HousingDay received a lot of votes and narrowly missed out on a top 50 place.

The interest in this year’s list emphasises the opportunity we have to take our work to a wider audience. Digital and social technology can help build relationships and challenge the perceptions about people who live and work in social housing.

1. Helen Reynolds


Everyone loves the orginal Comms Hero

2. John Popham


Digital inclusion guru. Dog walking. Magnum

3. Nick Atkin


Poster boy CEO for digihousing

4. Michelle Reid


First lady of digital Wales

5. Anne McCrossan


Super connected social influencer 

6. Immy Kaur


Social innovator. Permanently online

7. Asif Choudry


Uber marketer and comms guy

8. Tessy Britton


Social community designer

9. Julia Unwin


Influential CEO of JRF and JRT

10. Hannah Fearn


Top rated social affairs journo

11. Giles Peaker


Making housing law sexy

12. Dan Slee


Oracle of #LocalGov comms

13. Jayne Hilditch


Thames Valley HA tech titan

14. Jules Birch


Top #ukhousing blogger

15. Shaun Tymon


#SocialCEO at YCH

16. Michala Rudman


New kid on block storms Top 20

17. Andy Johnson


Digital learning leader

18. Thom Bartley


Driving #ukhousing fast forward

19. Nick Duxbury


Housing finance policy scribe

20. Matt Leach


Innovator in chief at HACT

21. Ben Black


Cutting edge comms at Bron Afon

22. Lisa Pickard


Socially Savvy CEO

23. Kate Reynolds


Original housing comms soothsayer

24. Alison Inman


Standing up shouting for #ukhousing

25. Colin Wiles


Blogger. Commentator. Questioner

26. Kathleen Kelly


Policy and research at @JRF_UK

27. Joe Halewood


Acerbic blogger and activist

28. Nick Horne


Head honcho at Knightstone

29. Tom Murtha


Reckons he’s still a novice tweeter

30. Tim Pinder


CEO Peaks and Plains. Musical tweets

31. Aileen Evans


Politics. Policy. And housing

32. William Shortall


The most social board member in housing

33. Alex Marsh


Overlord of housing bloggerati

34. Tim Morton


Leads in number of tweets per consultant

35. Lara Oyedele


Housing. Equality. And shoes

36. Brett Sadler


Eternal optimist (for Google +)

37. Vic Rayner


Social housing care and support at Sitra

38. Rae Watson


TPAS marketer and tenant campaigner

39. Vicky Bannister


Passionate opponent of pay day lenders

40. James Pargeter


The social face of Deloitte Real Estate

41. Keith Edwards


Lead tweeter CIH Cymru

42. Mick Kent


Culture coach. Shakespeare references

43. Boris Worrall


Futures at Orbit. Surfer on and offline

44. Ailin Martinez


Social good at @SYorksHA

45. Matthew Gardiner


Manchester’s finest. A digital CEO

46. Caroline King


Effervescent and thoughtful communicator

47. Kate Davies


CEO tweeting on housing. Blogs on fashion

48. Jarrod Williams


The face behind Digital Bromford

49. Tony Stacey


Placeshaping. CEOing. Running

50. Steve Hilditch


Housing and politics with Red Brick