'Wongs' show how housing needs are met
A fictional family, the Wongs, helped to tell the Hong Kong Housing Authority story in its colourful, photo- packed annual report.
The report earned the authority a bronze medal in the non-profit and charitable organisations category.
The authority wanted its core values - 'the three Cs' - to be caring, customer-focused and committed to shine through, Jennifer Mak, director of corporate services, said.
'For the first time, we used the idea of a family, the Wongs, to highlight these three core values in a pictorial story which is carried throughout the report,' Ms Mak said.
'Their story starts from before they become one of our tenants, and shows their experiences and daily life after they have moved in, how they become involved in some of our tenant-management activities, such as joining one of the estate management advisory committees, where they have an opportunity as a tenant to play a part in the management of the estate in which they live.' Although the pictorial concept uses a fictional family, it seeks to highlight the experiences of real people.
Ms Mak said the report attempted to reflect the 'human aspects' of the authority's work.
'We wanted the design to contain more photographs and less words,' she said. 'As such, there are a total of 245 photographs.
'We have tried to be comprehensive but, at the same time, concise.
'We obviously have a lot of information to cover in terms of public housing and our activities. But, despite all the data, we have tried to keep the report snappy,' Ms Mak said.
The authority has embarked on a management Enhancement Programme which it describes in its report.
'We felt this was an important message to get to our customers. The programme is designed to improve efficiency and introduce a more customer-focused culture within the authority,' Ms Mak said.
She put the success of the report down to team effort. 'It's all my colleagues' good work. The majority of the report is done in-house, in terms of coming up with the concept and themes, the write-up, and the photography. But we do seek assistance with the layout and some photography [from outside agencies]'.
Work on the report begins early in the financial year. 'We sit down and review the previous year's report to see where we can make improvements. Then we start to think of themes . . . how we want the next report to be presented.' The report appears in a variety of formats. About 5,000 copies of the full report, which is bilingual, are distributed free among legislators, council members, housing concerns, political parties, academics and libraries. This version is also sold through the Government Publications Centre.
About 30,000 abridged versions in Chinese are produced for distribution to staff. A copy is also placed in each estate management office for tenants to read.
Apart from printed versions, about 2,000 bilingual copies are released in CD-ROM format, and a bilingual abridged version can be found on-line at the authority's World-Wide Web homepage.