CAMPAIGN: Standard Life gets MPs on side for award plan

Campaign Healthy Workplace Award Client Standard Life Healthcare PR team In-house Timescale May-November 2004 Budget Approximately £5,000

Standard Life Healthcare sells corporate and personal healthcare plans.

In a bid to raise its profile as a leader in the field of healthcare, it decided to lobby the Government to recognise the efforts of firms that champion a healthy working environment.

Objectives

To win government backing for an award that would reward employers who promote health at work.

Strategy and Plan

In a bid to demonstrate the popularity of the scheme to the Government, the in-house team decided to highlight the benefits of the award to organisations that represent employers, such as the Confederation of British Industry and the Work Foundation. It attempted to convince the health representatives within these organisations to back the campaign by using research about the benefits of investing in health.

Ministers and civil servants in both the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health were targeted, along with MPs and peers across the political divide to gather cross-party support. The team also held a range of parliamentary conferences and took part in a Labour Party Conference fringe meeting on public health.

It produced an essay for the Social Market Foundation’s public health project and sent press releases to HR and the financial trade press to raise awareness about the benefits of the award for employees.

Measurement and Evaluation

Approximately ten MPs and two peers from the main parties backed the award scheme, including Minister for Health John Hutton. Minister for Work and Pensions Jane Kennedy set up a meeting with civil servants from different government departments to discuss the idea further, with a view to inclusion in a White Paper.

Coverage was achieved in the Evening Standard, the Financial Times, ePolitix’s morning bulletin, Personnel Today, People Management and Employee Benefits. Health-related media, including magazines Health Insurance and the Health Service Journal, also covered the story.

Results

The Choosing Health White Paper, published in November 2004, included a commitment to put a health component into the existing Investors in People Award. Both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties have adopted a proposal for the scheme.

Sue Doughty, Liberal Democrat MP for Guildford, where Standard Life Healthcare is based, says the company was instrumental in shaping the awards proposal and made sure she had been given ‘a proper briefing’.

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