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'Ask about clots' case study


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'Ask About Clots' communications campaign

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'Ask about clots' case study

  1. 1. Page 1 of 6 Ask about Clots – A case study of integrated communications Ask about Clots In April 2014 1000 Lives Improvement launched the Ask about Clots campaign. It aims to increase public awareness over the risk of developing a blood clot (thrombosis) while in hospital. The campaign’s simple message is encouraging individuals to ask their health professional about their personal risk of developing a clot, so that they can be assessed and treated appropriately. In order to support the campaign’s integrated activity, a wide variety of content was created to share key messages and increase engagement. Website A dedicated microsite was created for the campaign, which would act as a “hub” for all of the content and resources. It incorporated sharing buttons for all the content, to encourage people to share it further through their own social media channels, as well as a place for the media to download content to share on their own sites. See: Case studies People who had been affected by thrombosis were approached to become case studies and ‘voices’ for the campaign. Two case studies were developed, on of a survivor, and one of a mother whose daughter died at the age of 22 from a blood clot. The people recruited as case studies recorded videos, gave interviews to the media and spoke at the launch event. See: Michelle’s story:; Wyndham’s story:
  2. 2. Page 2 of 6 Ask about clots – A case study of integrated communications Blogs Posts about the launch of the campaign from its clinical lead, Dr Simon Noble; Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Ruth Hussey OBE and a medical student were included on the 1000 Lives Improvement blog. Professional bodies, including BMA Cymru and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales, also carried posts from their members on their organisations’ blogs. See: 1000 Lives Improvement blog:; BMA Cymru Wales; and Royal Pharmaceutical Society Videos Several videos were produced for the campaign, including an animated information video designed for displaying on hospital and GP plasma screens, case studies, and a ‘news style’ video outlining the purpose of the campaign through a patient story and an interview with the campaign’s clinical lead.  News video –  Information video – Communications packs Communications teams in NHS Wales organisations were equipped with resources to promote Ask about Clots on their communications channels. The contents of the pack included a briefing about the campaign, a template press release for local press, the videos on disc, suggested tweets and other social media content. NHS Wales organisations also used their internal communications channels to spread the campaign’s messages, recognising that many thousands of people work in NHS Wales and are equally at risk from a blood clot.
  3. 3. Page 3 of 6 Ask about clots – A case study of integrated communications Press and media activity A press release and case studies were sent to the national newspaper of Wales, the Western Mail, ahead of the launch. Communications teams in NHS Wales organisations were encouraged to send out press releases to local press, including photographs taken in their area or of their staff. A “letter to editor” from the clinical director, Dr Simon Noble, was also used in the run up to the campaign, and was published in newspapers throughout Wales and in English papers with readership on both sides of the border. The Western Mail piece was re-used during National Thrombosis Week at the beginning of May, one week on from the launch. Broadcast outlets were invited to the launch and given access to the people who shared their case studies with the campaign. ITV Wales attended the launch. BBC Radio Wales were actively courted, with a presenter asked to support the campaign and speak at the launch event. He also recorded an endorsement video. Launch event A launch event was held at the Senedd, with presentations by the Health Minister, Professor Mark Drakeford AM, and the clinical advisor Dr Simon Noble among others. The event was attended by NHS staff from across Wales, staff from the national thrombosis charity, Lifeblood, Assembly Members, and journalists. The launch was covered on television, radio and in the press.
  4. 4. Page 4 of 6 Ask about clots – A case study of integrated communications Photos The logo was turned into a photo prop and a giant-size blood clot costume was borrowed from Lifeblood: The Thrombosis Charity for photo opportunities. Individuals enjoyed having their photo taken and readily shared them on social media using the hashtag: #askaboutclots Pic: Health Minister, Mark Drakeford supports Ask about Clots at the launch of the campaign. Planning social media activity The campaign was launched with a Thunderclap, gaining 121 supporters and a potential reach of over 120,000 accounts. Stakeholders, partner organisations and other colleagues were provided tools to share the campaign’s content in a communications pack. ‘Own the moment’ content has also been created to be shared with relevant hashtags, e.g. #casualty, #holbycity and recently #ChampionsLeagueSemiFinal (see right) Social media has also been used to have more direct conversations with people. Infographic An infographic was created which communicated the main messages of the campaign in both a visual and accessible way. Whilst it has been used as an information leaflet, its main use has been to share elements of it on social media in tweets, Facebook posts, and e-newsletters. See: Next page
  5. 5. Page 5 of 6 Ask about clots – A case study of integrated communications The infographic
  6. 6. Page 6 of 6 Ask about clots – A case study of integrated communications Email newsletter 1000 Lives Improvement has an email database of over 14,000 addresses. The majority are people working in NHS Wales, who were identified as being a key audience of the campaign. A special edition of the e-newsletter was mailed on the launch date to announce the beginning of the campaign. The email newsletter integrated a case study, the ‘news’ video and the animated video, the relevant social media links and #hashtags, and elements from the infographic. Syndicating news stories The connectedness of NHS Wales websites meant that the news story announcing the campaign could be syndicated to appear on the Internet and Intranet sites of every NHS Wales organisation that is linked into 1000 Lives Improvement. The syndicated news story was designed to complement and not compete with communications messages promoted by local organisations. Integrating with other events A month after the launch the campaign linked in with National Thrombosis Week, which offered an opportunity to re-assert key messages from the campaign. Ask about Clots is also linking with World Thrombosis Day in October. Find out more at