The Austin Housing Conservancy Fund (“the AHC” or “the Fund”) is an open-ended social impact private equity fund designed to purchase and preserve affordable multifamily rental housing for moderate- to middle-income Austinites. Raised, funded and deployed in Austin, the Fund delivers risk-adjusted financial returns for investors while preserving rental housing for Austin’s teachers, first responders and other middle-income professionals who don’t have access to the same assistance programs as low-income residents. Affordable Central Texas, a 501(c)(3), is the sponsor and investment manager of the Fund.
After closing its first investment, the Austin Housing Conservancy Fund realized it lacked the narrative and strategic messaging that would resonate with and incite investment from institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals in Austin and beyond. Together with Red Fan, the Fund set out to build a narrative that would attract investment and raise awareness of the its unique social impact strategy. That strategic messaging would lay the foundation for a media relations campaign and an overhaul of the brand’s marketing collateral, including a new website, a brochure for events, an investor deck and executive bios.
Red Fan worked closely with AHC’s executive team to identify and outline the narrative that would best resonate with the Fund’s target audience of investors. That meant shifting the message to highlight the people who directly benefit from the Fund’s investments: teachers, first responders, nurses, medical technicians, plumbers and other middle-income professionals who don’t have access to low-income assistance programs, yet struggle with Austin’s high cost of living.
Once that messaging had been validated, Red Fan and the AHC developed marketing materials to use in meetings, interviews and community events to attract investors and tell the Fund’s story, including:
A complete overhaul of the AHC website (in partnership with Austin-based Left Right Media) to reflect new messaging and highlight the Fund’s investment strategy and commitment to Austin and its middle-income professionals.
A two-page brochure to be used at events throughout Austin or as handouts for investors.
A comprehensive pitch deck reflecting the Fund’s new branding and messaging.
Executive bios that reinforced the AHC team’s investment experience and expertise.
A media relations strategy that highlighted the Fund’s partnerships and momentum.
Red Fan completed its objectives—from messaging development to media relations execution—for the AHC in just two months. Working daily with the Fund’s leaders, Red Fan established timelines that met the team’s needs as it closed another round of property purchases and sought to add to the Fund’s capital with new investments.
The media relations strategy that followed was similarly aimed at raising awareness of the Fund’s recent investments. Red Fan distributed a series of press releases that:
Announced the Fund’s portfolio expansion to three multifamily rental properties in Austin that provide housing for about 1,500 moderate- to middle-income Austinites.
Highlighted recent growth and momentum and forecasted the Fund’s plans for additional acquisitions in 2019, a release that also included a quote from Austin Mayor Steve Adler.
Announced a $450,000 operating grant for Affordable Central Texas, the investment manager and sponsor of the AHC Fund, from St. David’s Foundation, one of the largest health foundations in the U.S.
Media relations efforts executed in conjunction with these announcements yielded more than three dozen media placements and interviews, including local ABC affiliate KVUE, the Austin Business Journal, the Austin Monitor, Curbed D.C., CultureMap, Community Impact and others.
"Red Fan was a strategic partner for the Austin Housing Conservancy Fund during a critical foundational growth period. They provided a significant upgrade to our strategic communications across web, print and social media channels. The team was agile in meeting our challenging brand positioning, marketing and content needs. We have received numerous compliments on the clarity and quality of the final work from the wide range of stakeholders we interact with on the Fund."
— David Steinwedell, CEO, Affordable Central Texas/Austin Housing Conservancy Fund