Forster snares dual Tower Hamlets social campaigns

Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust (PCT) has awarded PR agency Forster two separate social marketing contracts to encourage the use of breast screening and stop-smoking services.

In both projects, Forster is starting by setting up focus groups to find the best kind of social intervention to use for its target groups, which it will then take into practice. This is the first time Forster has worked with Tower Hamlets.

Forster project director Ellen O’Donoghue said the intervention strategy would probably be ‘community-based, direct communications on the ground’.

The breast screening campaign aims to increase the uptake of the screening service by older women (aged 50 to 70).

The stop-smoking campaign will encourage men from the Bangladeshi community to quit the tobacco habit. Research statistics show that smoking rates in the Bangladeshi male community are at least twice the UK average and are a major contributing factor towards ill health and premature death.

O’Donoghue said: ‘The key thing is that breast screening rates in the borough are low. So, we will be looking at what is stopping people from taking up this service. With the stop-smoking programme, we will be looking at what motivates people to stop smoking and, more importantly, what issues are hindering them from quitting.’

PRWeek understands Forster won the campaigns after a competitive pitch. Both campaigns will run until March 2008.

Forster director Ed Gyde leads a team of four.

Tower Hamlets PCT recently announced the opening of a ‘healthy lifestyle clinic’ for young people on the Isle of Dogs. The clinic focuses on contraception services, drugs and alcohol advice, testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and stopping- smoking advice.

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