The Brief

As technology advances so does the way in which important data such as medical records, are stored. Outdated are the days of tangible paper records that are easily tarnishable and inconvenient in times of emergency. And instead, in their place comes the current model of more efficiently, securely stored and transferred, digitised data. Health Innovation Manchester approached us with the task of helping to spread knowledge, awareness and understanding into why digitally joining up patient data between Greater Manchester NHS health and care services, was seen as the valued and logical next step in improving our regional healthcare system. Through a new joined up medical database – the Greater Manchester Care Record.

Our role was to create an overarching brand campaign, including its name, narrative and tone-of-voice, an audience microsite, partner toolkit and communications strategy, to help raise awareness of this important change amongst the GM public. It needed to be accessible, concise and easy to understand across communities, clearly expressing the tangible benefits to patients of their data, safely and securely becoming a part of a centralised GM Care Record. 

Although this campaign wasn’t supposed to be rolled out during a pandemic, it quickly became clear that the use of anonymised patient data from the GM Care Record could also support in understanding and identifying trends in Greater Manchester, when it came to patients affected by COVID-19. Our task was to ensure that a new strand of the campaign incorporated the benefits of anonymised patient data being securely shared with specifically regulated and chosen Manchester Research groups and NHS partners, for the purposes of improving health and care outcomes during the unprecedented times seen in the early pandemic.

Our Response

Although many recognise the benefits of their medical record being joined up and accessible across different Greater Manchester health and care services, understandably some members of the general public are often uncomfortable with the idea of their personal medical data being shared with third parties. This was a key challenge to overcome in the campaign, especially given that data in the GM Care Record is anonymised and only given authorisation to be shared with specific partners for very specific reasons, such as COVID-19 research. Another, was expressing the real benefits of data joining up in the GM Care Record. Medications, allergies, vaccinations, prior conditions and treatments can be seen easily by health practitioners from one service to another – for example, between GP and Hospital appointments, or when seeking emergency care.

Our response to this complex problem, can be split into two key phases.

Phase One

We worked closely with Health Innovation Manchester to conduct a period of desk research into previous health campaigns and consumer research when it comes to perspectives on patient data sharing, as well as a stakeholder workshop that allowed us to highlight the issues, myths, and barriers that we needed to overcome with this campaign. 

We then created several concepts for a new look and visual feel for the campaign brand, involving varied colour palettes, differing typographies and different names. These concepts were then tested on patient and staff/partner focus groups – working closely with Health Innovation Manchester. The final route was chosen as the clear winner in terms of patient understanding, trust and accessibility: Greater Manchester. We Are Better Together.

The Visual Identity

The visuals of the campaign took on a striking red and yellow colour palette paired with a hexagonal beehive-themed graphic idea that flowed through the creative assets – meant to represent the astronomical benefits of data, and of course people, joining together. Part of this alluded to a time when joining together was more important than ever – in the fight against COVID-19. We could all play a small part in helping others in GM, through our anonymised data supporting vital and important COVID-19 research. The hexagonal pattern was recurring throughout the wider creative assets and designs, giving the overall feeling of component parts piecing together like a jigsaw. Additional digital assets were created as part of an overarching brand toolkit to aid campaign stakeholders such as GP surgeries and VCSOs, such as graphics for organic social, web bulletins, posters, leaflets and email newsletters.

 

Copywriting 

The brief called for messaging that was accessible for reading ages as young as nine years old. Simple, focused, yet informative and personable – as well as defining, based on research, relatable terminology to explain complex topics. We crafted the tone of voice and campaign narrative to translate seamlessly across all assets including messaging for the microsite and all brand toolkit assets. And, we created a messaging and social media pack including engaging example social media captions, email bulletin and web banner copy, for Health Innovation Manchester and their NHS and VCSO partners to use – keeping the campaign voice consistent once partners were galvanised to spread awareness of the campaign.

Phase Two

Paid Communications Campaign

After testing the sentiment towards the campaign message with NHS teams, partners and the general public, phase two was focused on utilising paid media to promote the campaign further afield in Greater Manchester. Facebook paid advertising was used to drive increased awareness of the campaign messages and traffic to the educational microsite, through soundbite video ads with patients and staff who’ve felt the true value of the GM Care Record in their lives. The aim was to raise as much regional awareness as possible ensuring the message and tangible benefits of the GM Care Record, in terms of improved health experiences and outcomes, were delivered through relatable and emotive real life testimonials and, to give those who wished to opt out of having their medical records shared in the GM Care Record or for the purposes of research and planning, the fair and transparent opportunity to do so.

Further printed literature was translated and made accessible for key languages in GM and an out-of-home campaign was featured in all 130+ Metrolink stops throughout GM over a two week period. This phase especially, drove thousands of additional visits to the microsite across Greater Manchester as well as some important press coverage.

Patient and Staff Story Videos

Our specialist partner Video Production Agency Doodledo Motion Ltd. were brought on board to create a series of story videos that detailed how the sharing of medical data had benefited both patients and NHS staff alike. These focussed on explaining how the data is joined up and shared for research and planning purposes; how it allowed patients to be treated more effectively, often saving lives; how it helped NHS staff perform their duties more efficiently on the front line; and how it had impacted life-changing research in the pandemic – all featuring the real-life experiences of real people in Manchester. 

 

Micro-influencers

To bolster our efforts, we recruited the help of a selection of specifically chosen Greater Manchester micro-influencers. Those chosen were especially relevant to the audience that might be affected by the joining up of health and care data, including families with children that have severe allergies and families of those who suffer from chronic or mental health conditions – often in and out of hospitals, GP surgeries and care services. This allowed us to reach those necessary, harder-to-reach demographics – delivering the campaign message from people they could trust and relate to. Throughout the process the influencers were educated on the GM Care Records and supported in creating authentic content that would best resonate with their audience and help direct people to the microsite.

The Outcome 

Throughout the campaign’s duration, we met our objective of raising public awareness by reaching 118k + people via paid social advertising, with 263k+ video plays and 30k+ unique visitors to the microsite. A further 13,600 people were exposed to the campaign through the GM micro-influencers and the campaign resulted in widespread media coverage from the MEN, DigitalHealth, The Bolton News, to the UK Authority and more.

“Glorious Creative assisted the NHS in Greater Manchester on a complex area of work around patient data sharing and the GM Care Record. They created a public information & engagement campaign, to highlight to the public, the value of data sharing.

As part of the process, they engaged with clinicians, patient groups, academics and IG/legal experts to develop a highly creative concept spanning all audiences. They demonstrated a huge amount of patience, creativity and strategic thinking to deliver a great campaign.”

Peter Richards Communications Lead (digital), Health Innovation Manchester

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