My agenda: Sarah Cohen

Changing public attitudes towards mental health.

Cohen: "Ultimately, I’d like to see one of our Top Tips cards in everyone's wallet"
Cohen: "Ultimately, I’d like to see one of our Top Tips cards in everyone's wallet"

Time to Change is a programme run jointly by Mind and Rethink, aimed at altering public attitudes towards mental health. We are in our fifth year of operation, and this year our strategy is to encourage people to be less afraid of talking about mental health, especially with friends and family who may be experiencing a mental health problem.

Our TV ad campaign, which ran throughout January and February, featured real people who had supported others talking about the small things you can do to start a conversation. We backed this up with radio advertising and supported this through PR and social media work, again centred around our real-life ambassadors.

We have also done some interesting work with magazine publisher IPC. It published 'Edvertorials' - basically, paid-for editorial pieces in titles such as Rugby World, Marie Claire and Cycling Weekly, encouraging readers to question their own attitudes to the one in four people who have a mental health problem.

We focus our marketing activity each year in two bursts during January and August. So spring and early summer is about analysing the results of the first phase, working out which channels and creative work the best so that we can adapt it for the August push. Traditionally, the combination of TV and radio is a good one for us, but I'm hopeful we can build more of a press element into that.

I'd also like us to improve our SEO - that's a new area for us. We are also concentrating on making sure our marketing is effective; the Institute of Psychiatry uses surveys to analyse each of our programmes to see how they influence public opinion.

We have built a few elements into our current campaign that we can measure directly - the downloadable Top Tips wallet card, for example, which gives people some ideas about how to start conversations with people experiencing a mental health problem.

We also invite people to sign the Pledge Wall on our website and show how they are going to initiate dialogues. We collected 3,644 messages in two weeks after the campaign began, and we'll continue to monitor these.

I'm quite ambitious for our campaigning; ultimately, I'd like to see one of our Top Tips cards in everyone's wallet. We'll continue looking at how we can achieve that.

Click here to view more from the Healthcare PR Ideas Lab

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

More from the Ideas Lab

Careers: Leadership - A route to the boardroom
Sponsored feature

Careers: Leadership - A route to the boardroom

Senior communicators now need the knowledge and ability to take on a more central corporate role.

Digital dilemmas: Social customer service
Sponsored feature

Digital dilemmas: Social customer service

In the first of a new series, our digital expert explains the best way to manage social customer service.

Asia is not a flight of fancy
Sponsored feature

Asia is not a flight of fancy

Asia presents exciting opportunities for clued-up comms professionals, says VMA Group's executive director/head of Asia-Pacific, Katrina Andrews.

Make an immediate impact
Sponsored feature

Make an immediate impact

Employers' use of interims to solve specific problems has created a career path that has shaken up the comms jobs market, says VMA Group CEO Julia Meighan.

Take responsibility for your own development
Sponsored feature

Take responsibility for your own development

The days are gone when you could sit back and wait to be trained. CIPR senior policy and PR officer Andy Ross advises you to get ahead by planning your own training.

Employing the right people is key for a hybrid agency
Sponsored feature

Employing the right people is key for a hybrid agency

Switching from PR to comms consultants is facilitated by recruiting widely read digital mavens from a range of backgrounds, who have an affinity with our organisational culture

You can have your cake and eat it - especially beside the seaside
Sponsored feature

You can have your cake and eat it - especially beside the seaside

Inspiring people to make healthy decisions, while spoiling themselves occasionally, is an ethos that helps attract staff.

Adapt to stay ahead of the game
Sponsored feature

Adapt to stay ahead of the game

Employers don't just want digital expertise, they need people who can show creativity and adaptability across all media, says VMA Group CEO Julia Meighan.

Your next job? Find somewhere that shares your values
Sponsored feature

Your next job? Find somewhere that shares your values

The recruitment process should be a genuine two-way conversation. Use it to explore what really matters to you, because that's what can turn a good job into one you love.

Perfecting mixology makes inVentiv a great workplace
Sponsored feature

Perfecting mixology makes inVentiv a great workplace

A good office is just like a classy cocktail with the right relationship between the ingredients; we have no walls and no titles - sheer ability is all that determines the challenges one faces.