Commscamp 2018 – what I heard and what I learnt

These are notes from Commscamp 2018, held in Birmingham 12th July 2018.

Session: Public Health Campaigns

The general view is that public health messages often fall flat.  One public health team not keen on meeting the public, instead they do a leaflet.   Often the message comes better from the GP, not the council.  At one council they have data which says the messages don’t work on our channels.. so we stop doing it.

It is also often “messaging for morons” – often patronising.

How do we have a different conversation with the public?  One always checks messages with real people first.

Health and Wellbeing boards should have their local priorities.  One described putting people in a room to discuss a topic, eg neglect.

Session: Stress and Mental Health

Problem for blue light comms in terms of stress and impact.

The problem of always-on digital comms and the impact of being trolled.

For some public services who receive many online complaints or criticism (for example the courts) means that staff deal with large levels of negativity. One charity offered subscriptions to headspace app and other ways to look after your head.

Find the people at work you can trust and talk to.

Keep the work limits clear, when you stop work stop monitoring social media.

Employers have legal obligations for your health and safety – if you’re expected to work 24/7 or something big happens like the Manchester bomb, the employer is obliged to assess risk and make sure you’re alright.

TRIM Trauma risk incident management happens after major incidents in the blue light services, but comms people don’t always have that option.  Some roles. like family liaison officers, have to have it but comms teams are only just starting to use it.

“I sobbed all the way the home after a suicide – but hadn’t been troubled by anything else in 3 years”

Session: Co-production and engagement

One way to think about this is councils getting out of the way, help support people create spaces where they can connect.

Community reporters collect information and report it back to services. Community information champions. Training on how to offer information.

Some of the best co-production work happens with vulnerable people and personalising what they receive, thinking about the individual. The way to measure the success is through whether the individual feels they have been listened to.

Get real people in and expose them to the management team,  it’s rare

Software building is iterative, not try and fix the services, keep asking, keep changing, keep iterating.

Improve the system, don’t create a fix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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