The in-house communications team of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, a large mental health trust, asked for our support in pulling together its monthly magazine which is read by staff, stakeholders, service users and the wider public.
We worked remotely in this role, with the in-house team simply emailing us the ‘raw material’ they received from across the organisation – which, as well as some well-written drafts, ranged from email trails and photo captions with no background information, to articles and reports many times longer than the stated word count limit, written in a dense clinical, academic or corporate style – all of which needed investigating and writing, summarising or rewriting to turn into an article appropriate for the tone and style of the newsletter.
In order to take this project completely off the ‘to do’ list for the communications team we liaised directly and extensively with the newsletter contributors.
With our background in NHS communications we were able to work with them to turn their drafts and ideas into accessible, enjoyable articles and features that made the newsletter a ‘must read’ for staff, patients and carers alike.
We worked through the copy supplied to highlight each team’s key messages and help ‘translate’ copy written by specialists into articles suitable for a public audience.
We also worked with the contributors to agree content that was right for the newsletter and offered practical solutions for further promotion in some cases, such as adding information to pages on the Trust’s website or intranet where there was scope for including more comprehensive content.
This type of regular and yet project-based work is a perfect example of how we can lighten the load for a busy communications team on an ongoing basis, creating a great working relationship with other staff across the organisation and removing some of the pressure that can build from delivering such a quick turnaround, high impact publication.
By ensuring the in-house team had the time and space to focus on their other day-to-day pressures and the unexpected but priority demands that often crop up, we helped guarantee a regular, on time newsletter that readers enjoyed, every time.
To find out more about Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust go to www.nottinghamshirehealthcare.nhs.uk.