'Summer Plans, Winter Campaigns' blog

While everyone enjoyed the extended summer weather in September, NEL CSU’s marketing team’s attention turned to winter planning.  Not the sort of ‘hunkering down in front of a roaring fire, getting cosy’ kind of planning, but more to identify ways we can help our clients manage the stresses and strains placed on acute NHS services during winter months.

Campaigns are an important communication tool to reach key audiences. NEL CSU’s marketing team has helped clients develop many new products over the past year, including the North London Choose Well app and the NotAlwaysA&E app which supports the Yellow men campaign.  Both are aimed at directing people to the right services for their illnesses or injuries. 

Some of our CCG clients are very much on top of their campaign planning and already looking at ways they can help relieve pressure on those services, others are still deciding. ‘The earlier the better’ is not just the catchphrase for this year’s winter campaign being run by NHS England, but also something we would urge our clients to do.  The earlier a campaign can be planned, the better prepared you will be to deliver it.

NEL CSU is here to help and we have already provided our expertise to support some of the CCGs we work with.   In Camden, the first phase of their winter planning, backing up the NHS national flu campaign, has already begun with a mail-out of posters and postcards to GP surgeries, pharmacies, schools and other health and social care agencies.  This will be followed up with the roll out of a Choose Well campaign over the next few months.

An informative leaflet for older people living in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge, has also been produced and sent out.  The elderly are a key target group for this area and the leaflet gives advice on keeping themselves safe and well during winter and it ties into the national campaign. The leaflet will be given out to targeted patients at flu clinics and in care homes.

The art of a successful campaign is targeting it to the right people.  Of course technology doesn’t work for everyone, so planning digital activities alongside printed posters and leaflets, ensures all audiences will be reached. An integrated communications approach is a strong feature of any bespoke marketing campaign NEL CSU delivers.

Partnership working is also key to the success of social marketing campaigns.  In inner east London this winter, Barts Health, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest CCGs and the local councils are working together on their ‘A&E is for emergencies only’ campaign.  Working together increases capacity and amplifies messages. Working with local government is helping the messages reach local parents via schools, a vital target audience.

NEL CSU’s marketing team recently developed two integrated marketing campaigns that reached over 1 million people and saved our CCG customers over £200k.

For further information and help with your winter planning contact NEL CSU’s marketing team on 020 3688 1431.