Messaging through text: Launching a pioneering text messaging service with GPs
One particular initiative is to engage with Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) in GP practices to give them an overview of the Join Dementia Research service and the benefits it could have for patients in their practices. It was during a presentation in Derbyshire, that a PPG member suggested the idea of sending a text message out to all patients over 18 promoting Join Dementia Research at their practice.
- Implementing a Join Dementia Research Project Manager has seen an uplift in activity and initiatives in the East Midlands. If there is not capacity for a sole Join Dementia Research position, it could become part of others’ roles to concentrate on Join Dementia Research awareness.
- Ensure the local CRN are maintaining a positive relationship with GPs and other Primary Care staff in the local area. The more contact you have with them, the more opportunities and potential ideas you will come up with together.
- Before engaging in any marketing with patients, make sure you are aware of the GPs code of practice in terms of Information Governance and Confidentiality.
- Once you have come up with a message you would like to communicate, send it to the Join Dementia Research communications team and the Office of the NIHR National Director for Dementia Research team for feedback.
- Before you send out your text, put in place methods to track how successful it has been – even if it is just looking to see if there has been a spike in registrations in the area.
Promoting Join Dementia Research across a geographical region
• Build collaborative relationships with partner organisations and work together to promote Join Dementia Research
• Find common aims with partner organisations to work effectively together to promote research
• Ensure awareness campaigns have a project manager or someone who can lead, support and supervise the project
• Utilise Social Media platforms – this is a rapid way of reaching a widespread audience
• Understand your target audience and tailor campaigns to suit them
• Liaise with partner organisations to work out the most effective ways of utilising and individualising resources to suit the specific project
• Invest in continued relationship with Trusts and partner organisations to explore new avenues for campaigns in the future
• Explore possibilities to engage with local universities to raise awareness of Join Dementia Research
Organising and running an awareness week
- Be inventive with your ideas, don’t be afraid to try something different
- Know your audience – this can include patients, family members, hospital visitors, staff
- Find out what your team can manage in terms of support before and during the campaign
- Delegate a co-ordinator and specific tasks to staff members
- Tailor discussions to suit your audience – whether this involves considering how individuals without dementia can sign up and be involved, how staff members can sign-up and promote Join Dementia Research in their working area or about current trials individuals may have the opportunity to take part in
- Be aware of the stigma behind research, taking part in research can be a daunting prospect. When talking to families about Join Dementia Research try to use examples of where others have been involved and assure them that they will be part of a team
- Plan ahead – ideally at least six months in advance
- Speak to your Trust’s communications department and the Communications Lead at the NIHR local Clinical Research Network; inform them of the upcoming event and activities you are planning
- Contact the national Join Dementia Research team to inform them of your plans – they can help promote local activities and initiatives
- Utilise Social Media platforms to promote the event and continue to raise awareness of Join Dementia Research