Campaign breakdown - NHS Choices

Agency: Consolidated Communications Client: Department of Health (DH) Timescale: July 2008 - March 2009 Budget: Six figures



NHS Choices is the NHS' online service, the UK's largest health resource on the net. Consolidated has been appointed through the Central Office of Information (COI) to drive people to the site's content, after a three-way pitch (news round-up, right).

- Why is the Government doing this now?

The website aims to pass medical knowledge previously only accessible to professionals to the public, so that people can take more personal control of their health and make informed decisions about healthcare. Established a year ago and 'bedded in' to 2.5 million visits a month, the site is now being given a major push by the Government.

- Who is being targeted?

Mums. Consolidated head of consumer PR Liz Fay said: 'Our communications plan focuses primarily on speaking to mums, who tend to be gatekeepers for the family's health needs, reaching out to local communities and targeting hard-to-reach groups.' The campaign will attempt to cross all demographics.

- The tactics

Consolidated is driving people to the content through proactive news and features placement, picking issues that are relevant to the media at the time. For instance, the agency is about to tie in to the A-level results by focusing on student health. Other activities include inspiring people to look after their own fitness during the Olympic Games and identifying illnesses that could affect black people during Black History Month in October.

- Any potential pitfalls?

As Fay says of the website: 'It is huge'. The tactics attempt to deal with the sprawling nature of the site by picking small sections to promote in their own right. But will they manage to develop mums' consistent use of the site?

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