Back by popular demand and in a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy inspired move, our guide is back with 5 more ways digital communications can help improve your STP communications and engagement strategy!
1. Engagement with communities of patients
2. Use video to drive engagement
3. Increase accessibility of your face-to-face events
4. Pooling of resources
5. Horizon scanning
Social media creates online communities of interest. In health and social care these often revolve around a certain health condition, for example diabetes, or a social care topic, for example long term carers.
“patients often know the vagaries of the system as well as healthcare professionals themselves”
Across all STP partner organisations there are likely to be online patient groups who are already engaging with their respective health and social care organisations. The first step in involving such communities of patients online should be to share STP questions and information with these groups.
It is particularly important STPs engage these groups early in the process of development and delivery of the STP in order to hear their opinions on what needs to change in the health and care system to make it better for them. Particularly as these patients often know the vagaries of the system as well as healthcare professionals themselves due to their interaction with multiple services.
The most engaging form of online content is video. Sustainability and Transformation Plan communication and engagement teams should not overlook this medium in their plans for communication and engagement content. Five short tips for creating great video content are:
Live-streaming your public meetings via Twitter’s periscope and Facebook Live can help increase the visibility of your engagement events and gives people who can’t attend the opportunity to catch up with the events.
Couple with that live coverage on Twitter using a local STP hashtag, e.g. #STPSomerset, to form a tweet chat, and you have a way of someone watching live and submitting questions to the STP leads. Facebook Live also enables people to ask questions below the video.
You’ll get a range of measurement and engagement statistics from each platform. These can help inform how well you’re engaging with your audiences outside of the church or school hall.
Across all STP footprints there are elements of overlap. For example a patient from Barnstaple may travel to Taunton for treatment irrespective of the fact Barnstable is in the Devon STP footprint and Taunton is in the Somerset STP footprint.
“How neighbouring STPs collaborate on their respective STP communications and engagement plans may well seal the difference between average and gold standard work.”
In these cases we see a role in the pooling of communication and engagement resources across STP footprints. As we showed in our first 5 ways post, Facebook ads builder doesn’t do well at only targeting people within a STP’s footprint. It doesn’t recognise the English counties for example. Pooling of resources to use on social media ads is a way for neighbouring STPs to derive more value from their communications and engagement efforts.
How neighbouring STPs collaborate on their respective STP communications and engagement plans may well seal the difference between average and gold standard work. After all the public see the NHS as a whole, or as their local surgery or hospital, only very rarely they see it as a network of hundreds of organisations. And that’s before we start on the blurred lines between the NHS and social care. Sustainability and Transformation Plan communications must mirror the public’s reality.
At the risk of teaching Grandma how to suck eggs — viewing the STP messaging through the eyes of the patient is crucial in ensuring it is effective and engaging.
Social media brings the latest news and views to your desk or smartphone. In doing so it is often faster than traditional methods at recognising the next news story or the evolution of an existing story.
By using social media, in particular Twitter lists, STP teams have a great way of staying up to date with the national, regional and local STP stories. This can benefit the STP teams by highlighting how their local plans may be viewed based on national media coverage of the overall STP process and serve as an early warning system to new media angles on all things STP — usually via the HSJ!
You can catch the first 5 ways to use digital communications in your STP communications and engagement strategy here: https://medium.com/@TeamSuperAnt/5-ways-digital-communications-can-help-improve-your-stp-communications-and-engagement-strategy-13a40a82a9fb
Digital communications should always make up a part of the overall communications and engagement strategy.