Devon County Council | Go For The Flow

With coronavirus case rates fluctuating and government restrictions easing across the UK, Freshwater supported Devon County Council (DCC) with a county-wide, integrated communications campaign to promote community testing.

To meet the three main objectives of education, instigating action, and advocacy, we devised a multichannel communications strategy that was implemented across the county.



users reached through Google Display


more tests collected during launch week than the three weeks prior to launch


of paid Facebook ‘reactions’ either ‘like’ or ‘love’

Freshwater won a brief to devise a Devon-wide, integrated communications campaign to support the national government campaign for community testing, and provide additional reassurance with Devon-specific messaging and availability of local testing sites.

The objective of the brief was threefold: to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of community testing; to increase the numbers of people attending Devon County Council community testing sites; and to normalise testing as part of a weekly routine.

To ensure all three strands of the brief objective were met, Freshwater undertook extensive audience research and mapping to ensure the communications approach would be as effective as possible.

The creative strategy used the ‘1 in 3 people with COVID show no symptoms’ insight and social proof behavioural bias to encourage people to ‘Do it for Devon’. As the campaign progressed, the creatives were evolved to reflect the changes in restrictions and feedback on the public’s attitudes towards testing. The concept was used across static and animated social media graphics, posters, leaflets and newspaper adverts.

Freshwater collaborated with Devon County Council to establish an effective partnership marketing campaign, developing a toolkit for stakeholders and influencers to facilitate a wider digital reach. This included campaign material appearing at testing sites and GP surgeries across Devon.

A radio advert was also produced and ran across local radio and Spotify throughout the campaign, alongside other paid-for Facebook and Google Display advertising.

The impact of the campaign saw a rise in various test methods across the county. While there were dips due to the decrease in coronavirus cases at key points in the campaign, there was a marked rise in test collections. For example, the number of tests collected from pharmacies peaked during the week of launch at 56,154, higher than the three weeks prior to launch when universal testing for all over 18s was announced.

Of this estimated ONS adjusted population for Devon of 802,375, the campaign reached 571,000 users through Google Display and 253,101 users through Facebook.

For such a topical issue, the sentiment and engagements received on social media during the campaign were overwhelmingly positive. While organic posts were well received, 81% of paid Facebook ‘reactions’ were either ‘like’ or ‘love’, and shares of paid ads outweighed total comments, suggesting the widespread support for the campaign across the county.


Devon County Council

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