University of Bristol

Student engagement campaign

Task: To create a campaign to involve students and build their support for a major construction programme. 

Approach: We conceived Make This Yours – a call to action to the whole community to get involved in shaping the redevelopment changes. During the 2018-2019 academic year we provided students with multiple involvement opportunities including the co-creation of a large-scale installation for the student union run Living Room, artwork for the communal hallways and stairwells, joining behind-the-scenes tours, sharing their views on the conceptual designs for the new library building, and attending meet and chat session with the architects, designers and builders. 

Impact: Make This Yours is visible across the university’s Campus Heart and there has been strong student involvement in the organised events. 

“This summer Meadows Communications have created an inspired engagement campaign that reflects the ambitions, needs and brand of the University at this time of significant change. Make This Yours has a depth of personality and purpose that gives real meaning to why our redevelopment programme is happening and why it can, and does matter to students. Just recently launched it is clear that it resonates with the key student audience and we are delighted with the involvement it is already generating. It is even more impressive that Meadows Communications produced the campaign with only a headline brief and against significant time pressures.”

Cheryl Campsie, University of Bristol.

Public Health England

Stakeholder engagement and collateral development

Task: to support local authorities, voluntary sector ogranisations and other stakeholders to develop and deliver local suicide prevention plans. 

Approach: We developed a suite of resources aimed at commissioners and frontline services, including an evidence-based case of change, facts and figures, setting objectives and prioritising audiences, personal stories and a wide range of ideas for the delivery of local suicide-prevention interventions. The resources were promoted through a series of workshops organised in each government region, supported by an online presentation, as well as coverage in key public health communication channels. 

Impact: An independent progress report published in May 2019 by The Samaritans found that 99% of local authorities have established or are developing a suicide prevention action plan.

Our chance

Behaviour change campaign

Task: To devise a motivating campaign for expectant mothers to modify their behaviour in order to reduce the risk of maternal and infant deaths. 

Approach: Building from the insights research we created a bright, engaging and positively framed campaign, as women told us they wouldn’t respond to any finger-wagging, directive orders or anxiety-inducing negative messaging. Our solution was highly visual, using bright and bold colours and framed in the positive. It was applied to a range of print and online media.

Impact: The target reduction in maternal and infant death rate will be reported against in 2021. 

Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team

Brand development and communications strategy

Task: To develop a new brand to better support fund-raising and volunteer recruitment

Approach: Feedback from the public indicated they misunderstood the charity’s role, and this was seen to be limiting future growth. We led the staff and trustees through a robust brand evolution project. Staying faithful to their founding principles we identified a new proposition, re-orientated their messaging and introduced a bold visual brand alongside a strapline to explain their core function. We also prepared a new communications strategy. 

Impact: The charity’s stakeholders have a clearer and more accurate understanding of BHCT’s function and the breadth and quality of partnerships has improved; this has increased staff confidence and commitment. Year-on-year fund-raising continues to increase, as does volunteer recruitment.  

Isle of Wight Council

Behaviour change

Task: To undertake insights research and provide recommendations to tackle behaviour around alcohol misuse 

Approach: Working for the Isle of Wight Council Public Health Team we used a mixed methodology approach to gather attitudes and behaviour towards alcohol among the general population as well as current and past users of alcohol support services. Our research revealed people have a relatively poor level of understanding about the harm that alcohol consumption can cause and they consistently underestimate the amount they drink. We devised an intervention campaign based on attitude and shaped a motivational message framework. 

Impact: The work was presented by the Isle of Wight’s Acting Director of Public Health at the Public Health England Annual Conference. 

Help is at Hand

Task: to produce a resource for Public Health England the National Suicide Prevention Alliance for people bereaved by suicide

Approach: Bereavement by suicide is a unique experience; we decided it was essential to work closely with people with first hand experience to identify the practical and emotional information and advice to be included. We also sought the input of a wide range of public and voluntary sector frontline services who offer postvention support. Help is at Hand includes a range of personal stories to help underpin the message ‘you are not alone’. It is distributed widely via coroners, police, funeral directors, bereavement support organisations and is promoted in traditional and online media. 

Impact: Help is Hand has been very warmly received by people bereaved by suicide.More than print and online 100,000 copies have been distributed and it has been featured on BBC News, ITV News, BBC Radio 2, 4, 5.

Lankelly Chase Foundation

Task: To undertake perceptions research to inform the new business strategy

Approach: Lankelly Chase is a grant giving foundation that works to change the systems that perpetuate the severe and multiple disadvantages of homelessness, drug misuse, violence and abuse and mental ill health. Following a period of significant change, with the appointment of a new Chief Executive and Chair of the Board; a more focused approach on beneficiaries; and the radical rewrite of their own approach to change; they wanted to know what their stakeholders thought about them. We conducted over 40 in-depth face to face and telephone interviews with government policy makers, public sector commissioners, voluntary sector providers, other foundations and the media to explore what people knew, felt, and hoped for. We repeated the project three-years to determine if and how understanding and attitudes had changed. 

Impact: The findings from our audit were used by the Executive Team and Board to shape the development of their strategic business plan, communications approach and a comprehensive re-brand.  

Unite

Collateral development

Task: To prepare research reports

Approach: Unite is the largest provider of purpose-built student accommodation in the UK and, each year, in partnership with the Higher Education Policy Institute they commission research among current and prospective students to understanding the issues that matter most to them. Using the data provided by youth market research company YouthSight, impactful photography and a clear narrative, we have created three insightful and informative reports examining the differences in life satisfaction, the gaps between expectations and reality and the impact of diversity on inclusion. 

Impact: The insight reports inform Unite’s thought-leadership in the higher education sector, and they underscore Unite’s commitment to understanding students’ needs so they can provide homes for success.

Alzheimer’s Society

Collateral development

Task: To prepare the charity’s annual report and accounts

Approach: Rather than simply being a compliance requirement, we believe annual reports can be a valuable tool for fund-raising, corporate partnership development and communications to shape perceptions of a charity amongst key audiences. To do this successfully the report needs a creative concept with a compelling central narrative.  We identified that to build empathy, people need to feel the reality of living with dementia. Using impactful photography of everyday objects such as a mug and a wallet we suggested how dementia affects people’s ability to undertake simple day-to-day tasks. The images and text were supported by impactful infographics that were also used across digital and social media platforms. 

Impact: The charity received strong and positive feedback for the report and we were re-commissioned to produce their reports for another two years, and each time we created a bold new concept.

McPin Foundation

Task: To develop a new brand to better reflect the new strategy 

Approach: The McPin Foundation exists to transform mental health research by putting the lived experiences of people affected by mental health problems at the heart of research methods and the research agenda. Following the development of a new refocused strategy we worked closely with trustees and staff to identify a new vision, mission and values and reflect these in a new visual identity. 

Impact: Staff, volunteers, research partners provided positive feedback that the brand helped build understanding and distinctiveness. 

“We are absolutely thrilled with our new look and feel. We could never have achieved so much, so quickly, on such a tight budget, without the support of Amy and her team. They were able to quickly interpret our needs and understood our vision clearly. The three identity design options we received were all strong, and after consultation with our new staff, we made a final choice. It looks great on our website and new printed materials. It has also helped us to have a core set of key messages that we are striving to consistently communicate in everything that we say and do. Getting your brand right is really critical for any organisation and we couldn’t have done it without their expert guidance.”

Nick McNally, Chair of Trustees

Time to Change

Task: to develop a new key message framework 

Approach: Ten years on from launching, for their third phase of work, Time to Change developed a reinvigorated strategic approach and we were asked to review and update the campaign’s key messages to reflect the renewed ambition. We immersed ourselves by running a series of workshops with staff and volunteers to understand achievements to date and each strand of current activity. Continuing to work closely with representatives from across the organisation, we shaped a framework of new messages with a bolder tone, and introduced the notion of Time to Change being a growing movement of people. We also designed and ran a programme of training to help build understanding and use of the new messages. The new messages, revised values and tone of voice were universally adopted and they continue to shape the organisation’s communications style and content. We have also previously worked with Time to Change on the development of the brand identity and the preparation of their Young People strategy. 

Impact:  Since Time to Change started in 2007, 5.4 million people have improved their attitudes towards mental health, with the latest data from 2018/19 showing a further 3.1% improvement since 2016/17, this equates to 12.7% since the campaign began. Over the same time period they have seen fewer people experiencing discrimination, and when they do, it’s affecting fewer areas of their lives. The campaign continues to attract significant public and media interest, and the movement continues to involve more and more people. 

NCVO

Stakeholder audit and communications strategy

Task: To identify a clear position for the charity evaluation service and provide a clear focus for communications 

Approach:  NCVO’s charity evaluation service delivers a range of impact and evaluation products and services for the voluntary sector and their funders. At the project outset we undertook workshops and one-to-one telephone and face-to-face interviews with more than 20 current and past clients, partners, staff and associates to explore people’s understanding and expectations. We used the findings to shape a strong articulation of the service’s positioning and unique selling points in a busy marketplace. This new articulation was used as a central tool a re-focused communications and marketing approach with new key messages and priority audiences. 

Impact: The NCVO trading board adopted our recommendations and allocated the requested resources in support of the refreshed approach.