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10 ways Living Wage Employers can grow our movement

You’ve already made one of the best decisions any business leader can make– to become an accredited Living Wage Employer. So now you’re thinking ‘How can I raise awareness of our commitment?’ Good question.

Our Communications and Marketing Manager Clare Duncan shares 10 ways Living Wage Employers can release their inner ‘Living Wage Champion’ and grow the movement, bringing it to life with examples from existing champions who have gone that extra mile to increase awareness of the Living Wage. 

 

1. Let's start small...put the logo somewhere visible. 

How did you first hear about the Living Wage? For me, it was the bright coloured logo in shopfronts which prompted me to explore what being a Living Wage Employer was all about.

The good news is, displaying the logo is something every employer, big or small, can do. At the point of accreditation, you get a plaque to display in your offices, you also get a sticker which you can display proudly on your windows,counters or wherever you like. But we can also work with you on larger logos for vans, buses and more (yes we’ve had a logo on the 11A bus in Birmingham, thanks to National Express West Midlands).

I challenge you to find the most eye-catching place to put a sticker and mention us on social media. We’re also running a Window competition right now, open to all public-facing Living Wage Employers – first 50 get a free window starter pack!

 

2. Deck the office or ‘wfh office’ with Living Wage merch

As well as raising awareness through public spaces, raising awareness internally is a great place to start.

Imagine this…you come into the office one day to see your colleagues making tea in a Living Wage mug. But then your attention turns to another team member writing up their notes from yesterday’s meeting with a Living Wage pen. And then, is that a lanyard? A tote bag!? Soon enough the Living Wage logo has become a part of your unconscious thoughts. Ok jokes aside, but we do have a great range of Living Wage merchandise and it’s a great way to let the people you work with know about your Living Wage commitment. It might even spark up a conversation on what it means. The same could happen on zoom calls when you’re sipping tea from your Living Wage mug.

Visit our shop

 

3. Make it eventful

Industry events

Take a look at your events calendar. If you’re planning to attend or host any industry events, this could be a perfect opportunity to bring up the Living Wage with others in the industry.

Speaking at an event? If you have a speaker slot, perhaps it could be an opportunity to talk about why the Living Wage was a decision you prioritised and invite others to sign up. Last year, Living Wage Employer National Grid spoke at an held by the Supply Chain Sustainability School for the launch of the school’s charter.

Equally, you might have a stall where you could display the logo or leaflets to raise awareness at in-person events. For all the above ideas, you can also get in touch with the Living Wage Foundation team to see if we can speak or attend the event.

 

4.Keep talking about it 

To peers: Word-of-mouth remains one of the most effective marketing tools. A recommendation goes a long way, so do mention your Living Wage commitment to your peers or people you work with. We’re more than happy to be introduced to anyone who would like more information on what accreditation involves.

On social media: For those of you with active social accounts, we have plenty of materials you can download from our online resource centre to help you talk about the Living Wage to your online followers. We’ll also be in touch at key moments of the year, such as Living Wage Week 2021 (15-21 Nov) with materials you can share.

In the news or on podcasts: If your organisation has been invited to feature in press or a podcast, it could be perfect opportunity to get some messages about the importance of the Living Wage in. We also get requests from the media to speak to Living Wage Employers directly, for example this BBC feature on Living Wage Employer Rosslyn Coffee – If this is something you’d be interested in doing more of, please do get in touch.

 

5. Supply chains

Patrick Langmaid, Owner of Living Wage Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park, a Living Wage Employer in Cornwall, a holiday park with some beautiful beaches on its doorstep, have successfully promoted the Living Wage through their supply chain.

Patrick Langmaid once said to caravan manufacturers that he would buy from the first manufacturer to become Living Wage accredited, a decision which saw ABI Holiday Homes accredit with the Living Wage Foundation, sealing the deal with Mother Ivey’s Holiday Park for 25 caravans worth £600,000 for Mother’s Ivey. Often becoming a Living Wage Employer is a decision businesses say pays for itself, and this is a clear example of that.

 

6. Raise awareness of the need for a Living Wage

Over 5.5m people need a real Living Wage, and over 3.7m are in insecure and low paid worker, this also disproportionately affects women and people from racialised communities.

Sometimes the best place to start your Living Wage champion journey is to raise awareness of the need for a real Living Wage so people understand the scale of the problem, and our research should provide you with all the information you need to make that case effectively.

Read our research.

 

7. Show some love to other Living Wage Employers

Simply putting your support behind other Living Wage Employers means you’re supporting a business which provides everyone a wage that meets the cost of living. We particularly love to see Living Wage collaborations, like when Five Points Brewery held a Living Wage Beer Festival celebrating other Living Wage breweries on their taps.

Here’s how you can find and support other employers:

  • Use our map – to find local Living Wage Employers
  • Employer Directory – to find employers in your region or industry to link up with.
  • Our Business to Business Directory helps you buy from Living Wage Employers.
  • We also spotlight a ‘Living Wage Employer of the Day’ on our Instagram channel. So get following if you want inspiration for which businesses you should support.

 

8. Look locally

We know local action can bring about real change. Our Living Wage Places initiative has meant numerous employers in specific areas across the UK have formed local action groups of Living Wage Employers who have committed themselves to growing the number of Living Wage Employers in a given area, one example is Dundee. Please do get in touch if you’d like more information on where there is places activity and how you can get involved.

Equally, using our online map – you’ll see the local employers you can connect with. A great example of a business that has taken pushing the Living Wage forward in their local area even before Living Wage Places was established is Boo Consulting, who every have held several business breakfasts in Bolton, inviting their neighbouring businesses to learn about the Living Wage.

 

9. Have you got any advertising space? 

There’s been some brilliant Living Wage advertising campaigns to date, which simply would not have been possible without the help of our movement.
Some examples include: Everton who put up Living Wage messages on the perimeter of their Stadium during a game, the Greater London Authority which have dedicated London Underground posters for multiple years, Farmdrop who popped the logo in the corner of their tube adverts, or the collaboration last November from Clear Channel and Creature of London which raised awareness of the importance of paying key workers a real Living Wage during the Covid-19 pandemic. The big advertising campaigns are amazing for public awareness, but popping the logo on your marketing material also goes a long way for public consciousness of the Living Wage.

Got an idea? We’d love to hear it.

 

10. Living Wage Week

So if you’ve read all 9 points and got yourself some ideas whizzing around in your head, but are now wondering when you might want put some of them into action?

Our Living Wage Week celebrations (15-21 Nov 2021) are a great time to plan activities for. Not only are the Living Wage rates are announced that week, well-known figures and politicians come out to support the campaign and we get plenty of media and social media coverage.

From Norwich Council's stencils on pavements, to St Antony’s RC school’s music video on the Living Wage, poems, radio shows and more. Living Wage Week often brings out the most innovative champions from our movement.

If you're wondering how you might get involved in Living Wage Week this year, why not attend our 'How to make the most of Living Wage Week 2021' Webinar on October 7th 11-12pm.

 

Do all 10 of these and you’ll definitely be in with a high chance of grabbing yourself a Living Wage Champion Award when they return in 2022.

As ever, if you need any help, please do reach out.

1st October 2021
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