I’m here today to talk to you about creative communication and the benefits it can bring to the NHS with regard to healthcare. Communication is about reaching people; creative communication is about grabbing someone’s attention, intriguing them, persuading them.
I’m here today to talk to you about creative communication and the benefits it can bring to the NHS with regard to healthcare.
Communication is about reaching people;
creative communication is about grabbing someone’s attention, intriguing them, persuading them.
Ultimately, creative communication is about changing behavior.
When talking to people about hygiene, it’s no good being dictatorial – ‘you must do this, you must do that’,
Or patronising them –
‘Please do this, please do that’ as to the majority of people it is a complete turn-off.
Quite simply – fact!: no-one likes to be told what to do.
We need to use a bit of psychology to subliminally persuade people that they are doing it of their own volition.
I have brought along with me today case studies relating to infection prevention campaigns we implemented for two NHS Trusts which demonstrate the successful outcome we achieved using creative communication.
But first the strategy.
When talking about infection or bugs, it’s important that people can relate to them or finger point at them - and if you can’t then create one…
…or in our case we created a family of bugs because we know there is more than one.
There are various bugs – these are nasty little blighters – and yes I’m well aware there are some good bugs too – but in this case we are talking about the nasty ones.
We now have something tangible to work with when talking about bugs!
Now let’s look at the message board. This is where creative communication comes to the fore.
By having a series and grouping of these message boards, people are more inclined to read them as it creates intrigue, as opposed to having a single poster on its own.
As you can see these are all fully co-ordinated and clearly seen as coming from the same stable.
On this occasion we have used tongue in cheek humour - and yes we do of course take infection seriously.
But we need to grab people’s attention in order to get them to read our subliminal key messages (small type positioned in the green panels) so that they do it of their own volition, and wash their hands.
These key messages should be no more than 3-4 in total – short copy and in plain English, one message per board.
On this occasion we used 3 and yes it’s repetitive, but the more repetitive it is the better!
A typical key message –
‘Every time you enter or leave a ward use the hand gel’.
If this was the main message, the majority of people would not take notice – but when using it as a subliminal, repetitive message, they will.
How do we know that?
How did we deliver this?
We should engage with the public as soon as they step foot on hospital grounds.
Along the roads as they drive in – these are reflective panels so at night the headlights illuminate them…
• In the car parks
• Pay booths
• Taxi ranks
• Even before entering, all main entrances have strategically placed self-standing illuminated units.
Along the corridors as you will see, they are grouped, but more importantly, the material we have used should send out the right signal.
As you’ll notice it’s not the usual drawing pin, sellotape or bluetac adhesive, which collects dust, but acrylic panels which are affixed to the wall by nickel coated adapters allowing no dust to be trapped, and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth.
With Case Study 2
The stratgegy and material used in principle was the same.
The only difference was the brand style we created.
As you will see there are 6 in this series and very much personalised to the Royal as the images used are in actual fact the hospital’s staff – whether it’s the receptionist, nurse, or doctor through to the Chief Executive – patients, visitors and staff can relate to this, that we are not finger pointing or laying blame as we all carry bugs - we don’t mean to; it depends on what hygiene they themselves put in place.
Although there were 6 designs in this series we actually used a cross-section of 22 staff members and used 3 languages for the key messages – Mandarin, Arabic and English.
The more variety we have, the better, even though the key messages are the same – subliminal messaging works.
With Blackpool there were 3 sizes A4, A2 and 6 sheet size –
1800 x 1200mm - as with the Royal we actually used the spaces available to the best advantage – in-fact there were 7 sizes, but still using the ‘A’ size and 6 sheet and simply pro-rata so it’s still cost effective.
I trust by now you can appreciate – creative communication does work!
Both of these campaigns have proven track records –
If you wish to discuss these two campaigns further, or any other matter relating to healthcare, please call me on: 0151 708 0345 or email me: [email protected], I’ll be happy to talk to you.