We’ve had a long association with the University of Bradford. That has included working within the central marketing and communications team as well as providing direct mentoring and support for media, design and technology students.
This strong connection was formalised in April this year when we signed up as a delivery partner of the Working Academy scheme. This innovative approach to industry led training supports students and and recent graduates with their work on real world client projects.
As the scheme transitioned to partnership working earlier this year, we have taken on a more hands-on role. We now produce some of the Working Academy’s projects while still offering paid work and work experience opportunities to University of Bradford students and recent graduates wherever possible.
Mel’s Weekly Round-Up
Earlier this year we took over production of the weekly update from Mel Pickup, Chief Executive of Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust.
The format had served the hospital trust well as a key piece of internal comms and outreach to other stakeholders. This was particularly true during the pandemic when the NHS became so central to all our lives.
As part of the takeover, it was agreed that we would have the opportunity to review the current format and propose improvements both in terms of workflow and content delivered. Our review identified:
- The existing magazine show had an extremely short shelf life (1-2 weeks)
- The format of three stories and some news in brief was extremely time consuming for the production team and the trust communications team
- There was little opportunity for forward planning due to the weekly project lifecycle
- Films were not always linked to the key strategic priorities of trust
In addition to the clear strategic and operational challenges we faced, there was also a blindingly obvious creative one. Each week, when creating the magazine videos, we met amazing clinicians, patients and others who had compelling stories to tell. These stories needed more than 45 seconds to tell properly!
The New Strategy
Our revised strategy does away with the magazine format in favour of one focussed piece of content each week. These are organised around a monthly content planning cycle and aligned to the trust’s key priorities around People, Patients, Place and Partners.
In addition to Mel introducing each week’s story, we retained a monthly magazine programme to ensure the CEO maintained high levels of visibility. We strengthened this further with the launch of a podcast which she hosts.
Although the new strategy is in its infancy, we are already seeing average weekly viewing figures up by 20-50%. Feedback from the people involved has been fantastic, with clinicians in particular pointing out how the films can play a role in educating patients about what to expect from their care. To this end, the films are also being repurposed across the websites of members of the Bradford Health and Care Partnership, increasing their reach further.
We’re proud to be working with and supporting our local university and we’re excited for what lies ahead for our partnership with the Working Academy.