AT A GLANCE
Between February 2018 and February 2019, Freshwater provided strategic consultancy to the communications team at Livewell Southwest, an independent social enterprise that provides health and social care for people in Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon.
As part of the Devon Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, Livewell works collaboratively with commissioners and partners in the local health system to support people to be safe, well, and at home by living independently in good physical and mental health.
We were brought on board to help support the launch of a new, three year strategy and work with the head of communications to devise a long-term, integrated communications plan to raise Livewell’s profile among key stakeholders including staff, local communities, the social enterprise sector and other public sector bodies.
The relationship saw us provide ongoing strategic communication services to help bring Livewell’s brand to life across its website, social media and in the press.
Refreshed and revised
its corporate positioning
a national profile-raising strategy
engaging new materials, including an inaugural Annual Review
Freshwater was appointed to help Livewell Southwest to firmly establish itself as a leading provider of health and social care services. It needed to effectively manage internal and external stakeholder communications around a new, organisation-wide three year strategy, build its profile with the press and launch an ambitious thought leadership programme. A redeveloped website was in need of engaging, clear and informative content, and an inaugural Annual Review required an eye-catching design and compelling narrative.
We began by drafting a clear, plain-English narrative and set of key messages to communicate the ambitions outlined in Livewell’s revised strategy. This created a vision for Livewell’s communications, and established a foundation for all subsequent materials.
We developed a clear plan for communicating the new three year strategy to an internal audience of 3,000+ staff, as well as external stakeholders including NHS partners, local charities and political stakeholders. We evaluated the different stakeholder groups to understand their level of awareness, and identify how best to reach them. This informed a channel plan that outlined how, and when, we would engage with each group.
We created a range of materials for online and offline channels carefully tailored and timed to engage the right stakeholders, at the right time. The communications suite for launch included letters, email communications, staff bulletins, posters, press releases and website content.
A newly-developed website also acted as a cornerstone for the launch, and Livewell’s revised positioning more generally. Freshwater’s experienced copywriters and search engine optimisation (SEO) specialists collaborated to create engaging, accessible content to populate onto the new site.
With a robust communications infrastructure now in place, we embarked on the next phase of Livewell’s ambitious new communications strategy – its inaugural Annual Review. This publication was to play a key role. It needed to bring achievements from across the organisation to life, reflect Livewell’s new positioning, and support its ongoing mission. It needed to act as an engagement tool to motivate and mobilise staff, and, crucially, report against key performance indicators as part of Livewell’s regulatory and compliance commitments.
Freshwater managed the content curation, working with clinical teams to source evidence and examples of excellence from across the organisation. We devised a creative concept for the design which brought Livewell’s staff to the fore – reflecting their ethos as an employee-led organisation. The design was implemented across a 28-page Annual Review featuring case studies, infographics and digestible content which acted as a window into Livewell’s world.
The Annual Review was the first in a series of outputs designed to help better showcase Livewell’s capability, and expertise. We prepared a 12 month profile-raising strategy which adopted a range of targeted and ‘always on’ tactics designed to build the Livewell brand including: public affairs consultancy; award entries; case studies; thought leadership for local and specialist media, and organic social media.
The board approved the proactive communications strategy in October 2018. An engaging, fit-for-purpose narrative is now in place across all of Livewell’s internal and external communications.
Core elements, such as forging a closer relationship with Social Enterprise UK, identifying suitable awards entries and developing a programme of speaking opportunities and thought leadership pieces, are well underway. Livewell has entered five awards to date, including the UK Social Enterprise Awards and the HSJ Values awards, and is now featured as one of only four case studies on the Social Enterprise UK website.
The first Livewell Annual Review was well-received by stakeholders, is available to download on the Livewell website and, importantly, met the reporting requirements of the regulator.
Increased buy-in from the senior leadership has resulted in an enhanced programme of public affairs, with contact programmes underway with key local and central government stakeholders and resulting in a number of MP visits and contact with Ministers.
Our year-long partnership focused on providing senior counsel and developing a robust communications strategy that would help Livewell to approach the challenges and opportunities facing the health and social care sector, and communicate with confidence over the long term.
February 2018 - February 2019