BEST COMMUNICATION(S) DURING COVID-19
Aspen Healthcare – Best Communication during the Pandemic
The Covid pandemic transformed the work and activities of organisations across the country, especially those working in healthcare such as Aspen Healthcare. While many departments experienced limited impact, Aspen’s marketing team completely overhauled its way of working as it was at the centre of the impact. The marketing team was responsive and resilient, adapting to challenges but continuing where possible everyday work and activities. The team went from performing marketing functions to being a fully-fledged communications team working at full pelt despite being reduced to a two-person team colleagues were furloughed for a number of months. Throughout the pandemic, the marketing team rolled out communications to stakeholders, setting up new internal communications to reach all staff, and creating processes such as an out-of-hours system. The results from Aspen’s staff survey in late 2020 show the impact of this work: 98% of staff said they were aware of at least one of Aspen’s forms of communication. In the same survey 86% of staff rated communication throughout the pandemic as good. Both scores are vast improvements on previous surveys and demonstrate the impact and breadth of Aspen’s communications response during the crisis.
CardMedic – CardMedic Web and Mobile App
Founded during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic by anaesthetist Dr Rachael Grimaldi whilst on maternity leave, CardMedic is an innovative and award-winning web and mobile app designed to improve communication between healthcare staff and patients. Stuck abroad due to travel restrictions, Dr Grimaldi was inspired by a news article about a patient admitted to Intensive Care with COVID who was terrified by not being able to communicate with staff through PPE. As a result, Dr Grimaldi created digital flashcards that could be used by staff to communicate with patients. From concept to launch in 72 hours, CardMedic has gone on to receive over 50,000 users in 120 countries with over 16,000 app downloads since April 2020, garnering government support, awards and international press coverage. Written by clinical experts and carefully designed to be clear and concise, the CardMedic app offers an A-Z list of pre-written scripts replicating clinical conversations around common healthcare topics. At the touch of a button, content can be converted to different languages, sign language videos, easy read with pictures or read-aloud mode. Only CardMedic allows instant access to a bespoke flexible communication support tool for patients with differing language needs, sensory abilities and capacities.
Chelsea Football Club – 500 Supporters Clubs
To celebrate reaching the milestone of 500 Official Supporters Clubs in over 100 countries around the world, Chelsea FC hosted an interactive, fan-centred celebration. Crucially, as a result of the initiative, the club gained an additional 137 new Official Supporters Clubs in the quarter following the campaign and increased their Supporters Club membership by over 15% along the way. This rocketed Chelsea’s total number of Official Supporters Clubs to way past 600 clubs; overtaking Juventus and Real Madrid to have the third-most in European football, now behind only Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
Hotwire and Zoom – Connecting People during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Zoom appointed Hotwire in 2020 with a brief to raise its profile in two European markets. With the onset of the global pandemic resulting in more people using Zoom than ever before to stay connected, Hotwire was asked to extend the programme to manage 19 countries worldwide. Hotwire coordinated an international plan to manage media interest in multiple markets, focusing on shifting sentiment and supporting growth. The team successfully steered sentiment in a positive direction whilst keeping the core message of Zoom as a reliable and innovative video first platform
LTA – COVID-19 Response
The unique challenges presented by the pandemic required outstanding communication with our range of stakeholders. The LTA’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic covered three key areas: protect the tennis community from the impact of the pandemic, keep people active during lockdown and once courts reopened, and communicate with elite players and provide up-to-date messaging on how to train and play safely. Here’s what we did…
We led the way for the sport sector in navigating government guidance and announcements, providing step by step detail for return to play alongside simplified grids that helped tennis participation increase across the whole of 2020 by 8% vs. 2019. By the start of April 2020, we’d announced millions of pounds worth of emergency COVID-19 support packages to help protect the sport from the initial impact of the crisis. We also repurposed digital content from our LTA Youth programme to encourage families to remain active at home through the pandemic.
Throughout, we worked closely with our professional players, digesting and sharing key information with them around how to train, play and travel safely, communicating return to work policies and managing players’ individual needs so that they could compete again on the world stage.
National Hair & Beauty Federation – Covid-19 Response
National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) is the UK’s largest trade body for the hair, beauty and barbering industry. From the first lockdown it quickly became apparent that accurate and aligned messaging was required across all channels including Membership Helpline, which has dealt with 30,000 calls.
We created a Covid Crisis team with our external PR agency and decided not to speculate, only report/advise on fact. This proved to be one of most important factors in our continuing COVID response campaign and establishing our position as one of the industry’s most trusted sources, resulted in 1500 new Members, huge social media increases and over 2million views of our website COVID pages. Our PR team generated 329 print and 3610 online articles across all nationals and regionals, reaching 50 million unique users. Ultimately, we had the ear of Government and that helped lead to the creation for the first time of a dedicated Personal Care sector team within BEIS (2020). Meetings with the Treasury resulted in salons receiving an up to £18,000 Back to Business Grant (in line with hospitality) and a joint hair & beauty re-opening date in April 2021, unlike after previous lockdowns.
Swim England – Swim England’s Response to the Pandemic
When swimming pools were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, Swim England was faced with a quandary it had never contemplated. How would the national governing body achieve its vision of a nation swimming with no facilities? How would it keep its 150,000 members at more than 1,000 affiliated clubs engaged in all aquatic sports when they
had nowhere to train? How would it help the 8,000 swimming teachers and coaches plus 2,500 providers of swimming lessons to support their athletes and those learning a vital life skill? Swim England’s team of dedicated staff rose to the challenge by providing industry-leading written and visual content covering a range of engaging topics. It provided the expertise and knowledge so pools could safely reopen and published detailed guidance for operators, swim schools and teachers so they could return to the water as soon as they were allowed. And, importantly, it led the fight to get pools reopened. After the Government didn’t include swimming pools in the first wave of businesses allowed to reopen, Swim England launched the #OpenOurPools campaign – which was backed by more than 55,000 signing a petition in the space of just seven days.
The Social Element
In the third year of Visa’s Where You Shop Matters campaign, the brand faced a challenge: encouraging individuals to support small businesses whilst being respectful of the distressing nature of Christmas amidst Covid-19. On social media in particular, this was a tall order. The Social Element managed Visa’s social media strategy and execution for the campaign, creating a lightning rod for the messaging to reach and engage with real individuals in a personalised and human manner. By proactively seeking and joining customer conversations, The Social Element got consumers emotionally connected to how their spend could impact local merchants. Keeping conversations authentic, human and personal had a huge impact – generating huge responses and positivity on social media – all while drawing attention back to what mattered: the small businesses at the heart of the campaign.