by John-Paul Danon, from Commscamp Still at Home SUPER GOLD sponsors CAN Digital

Comms Camp – both the IRL and virtual versions – remains, of course, a great way for public sector communications folk to get together over cake, curry and beverages of various kinds to share what’s working, and not, with their peers.

Although I’m not quite sure if “to group” has become a verb in this context yet, what I do know is that everyone needs to tap into others’ expertise, experience and ideas at times – no matter how much of a maverick genius you are. With no one an island and all that.

Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns meant many of us were forced into ploughing a lone furrow more than usual, working from home with just the cat to bounce ideas off. And it’s during this period that we at small Team CAN found ourselves collaborating more than ever – with both other agencies and with Zoom screens full of public sector communicators.

During the first wave of Covid, we worked with 14 local authorities on a regional campaign led by West Midlands Employers and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services to recruit to desperately-needed care roles. And we did the same with the London borough councils.

Once a national Covid testing regime was established, we started working with Westco Communications to come up with a creative campaign – informed by their research and amplified through our digital advertising skills – to share with councils across England so they could quickly roll out information that could  cut through the online noise and misinformation.

We carried on with this idea when the vaccination rollout began. Westco devised a range of spot-on creatives based on up-to-date insight and we made sure they reached the geolocations and demographics of those who most needed to see the info.

Meet-ups were arranged for the council comms teams running these vaccine campaigns locally – and those from NHS CCGs who had joined in by then – to regularly share experiences from their necks of the woods. There ended up being many vaccine-hesitancy campaigns, aimed at different age groups and communities.

From this, the idea of a public sector “huddle” (well, it sounded a bit cosy, like “cuddle”) was formulated. We at CAN have long thought that coming together around common public sector themes would benefit comms teams and could cut the wastage involved in continually reinventing the wheel by creating bespoke campaigns from scratch. Building on shared knowledge always seemed like a far smarter idea and use of time and resources.

The Westco/CAN Public Sector Campaign Hub (more sensible title!) now has four groups up and running on different public sector themes: vaccination hesitancy (still going – still needed), Covid testing, High Street recovery, and the newly launched foster carer recruitment comms group. You can check it all out here: https://www.westcocommunications.com/campaign-hub

More about us

For an idea on what we do, take a look at our stash of case studies and blogs: https://can-digital.net/case-studies-blogs/

We also send out our monthly Lunch Bite Bulletin by email. It features useful future planning info for comms folk and details of projects you might want to tap into. Sign up here: https://can-digital.net/can-ebulletin/

Or get in touch with Team CAN:

John Paul Danon is co-founder and salkes director at CAN Digital

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