Promoting Wellbeing in Telford & Wrekin
Mental and physical wellbeing are paramount to a good quality of life. When we struggle with our wellbeing, it can dramatically affect our lives.
At Telford & Wrekin Council, we have set up a Year of Wellbeing council initiative that has fed into the aims and the strategy of our Director of Public Health. At the heart of this initiative is ensuring that our residents feel as content as possible in their wellbeing.
Through wellbeing focused campaigns that take a digital-first approach, our council has brought together a network of support for all residents over the past year.
Making contact as clear as possible
To create our initiative, we needed a solid foundation for contact with our residents. One that was clear and easy to use, to reach as many people as possible.
Traditionally, individual bulletins have been the primary way to engage with our community through email. However, with rising financial and time pressures throughout local government, we’ve had to reflect on delivering communication and support that would ease the process for both local residents and council employees. This led us to choose govDelivery, an email communications platform from our existing partners at Granicus.
We wanted to focus on our digital-first approach more, so we opted for their advanced package which offers further functionality including greater degrees of audience segmentation, personalisation, message testing, and mobile engagement. Using this platform, we began creating drip email campaigns that automated the delivery of up-to-date and relevant content that citizens could easily subscribe to.
A key campaign for the council has been our ‘Year of Wellbeing’, a programme of conversations, tips and advice, regarding how we can boost our wellbeing. Adopting a lighter tone, our aim was to use create a preventative campaign to address residents suffering from low mood and to help them take steps to stop that escalating into something more chronic or disruptive.
The campaign began with citizens pledging to improve their wellbeing, using an online sign up tool with their details. We received a total of 3,006 pledges – 2,701 of which were completed online. With the details provided, we discovered that 62% of those subscribed to Year of Wellbeing belonged to at least one of the priority groups we targeted as most affected by the pandemic.
For example, 43% had an underlying health condition and 34% expressed that they were lonely. This gave us good indication that our new way of delivering support was reaching a large amount of our specific priority groups. Following the pledge, citizens received emails over a 12-week frame, providing them with support and pointers to help keep their wellbeing journey going. This was dispersed in a timely way so that its recommendations remained tailored to each recipient.
Feedback from residents was overwhelmingly positive. A follow-up survey saw the campaign receive an average rating of 8.7 out of 10 for satisfaction and 9.3 for accessibility. 93% felt more motivated following the campaign, and 80% were happier or healthier since the pledge. In particular, people said that they liked having regular reminders, and found the email content to be useful, informative and easy to understand.
The specifics of online
At Telford & Wrekin, we hold the belief that communication through email is the best channel to deliver results. We have found that people are more engaged through email, making it easier to deliver the outcomes and aims we’ve set ourselves as a council. When time and thought is invested, an engaging campaign can be achieved through this mode. It’s important to have a strong email management system that can carry out such personalised automation.
Internally, we also feel the benefits of online communication. The team dedicated to delivering these campaigns is a small one, so the level of time and effort in prioritising high quality engagement has truly paid off. In the future, we hope it will continue to help us achieve our goals and automate processes to free up our time for other vital things.
The success of the Year of Wellbeing drip campaigns is also seen in other campaigns, including ‘Let’s Get Telford Healthy’. This has a similar approach to Year of Wellbeing where those who sign up receive a steady flow of tips and advice via email to help them improve their health and fitness.
We have also implemented our email campaigns into other wider council initiatives such as reducing plastic with our plastic-free campaign. Those who want to get involved sign-up and commit to reaching a set of changes, which we then encourage with weekly tasks that are sent straight to their inbox. Whilst this is in its early stages, we are confident that this will help to encourage lower plastic usage across Telford & Wrekin. A bin reminder campaign is also available; since its opening last autumn, we have seen around 10,000 subscriptions and an engagement rate of over 90%, as well as reductions in phone calls.
With a wealth of evidence that this has been successful for us, we are intending to use automated drip campaigns to promote as much as we can. With over 120,000 subscriber emails across several areas, we see the potential of delivering regular reminders – all automated. We hope that by continuing our digital-first approach via email, we can also continue enhancing the lives of our residents.
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