Communications Resources and Guidance
Effective communications can play a huge part in helping you achieve your core study or programme objectives, and raising awareness to your target audiences.
Please find below a variety of resources, guides and materials to support you to communicate effectively about your trial, project or research unit. This includes support with online and traditional (posters, leaflets etc.) communications channels.
Developing a Communications Plan
Having a communications plan in place can support you to reach your target audiences, and achieve your desired outcomes at each stage, be it recruitment, engagement or dissemination of findings.
It will help you to think strategically about your aims, objectives and target audiences - who they are, their motivations, how we can communicate with them, and what channels will be best to reach them - so you engage with them effectively to drive outcomes.
We would strongly encourage you to write a communications plan at the very start, so all key milestones and goals can be considered. However, this should be a living document, and evolve as your study does.
You can find the template R&I Comms Plan here: Template R&I Comms Plan.doc
Social Media Guidance
We want to encourage you to get on social media and interact with us, network and share success and best practice.
GMMH has the following social media accounts which we’d love for you to interact with:
On Twitter, we have a generic GMMH hashtag. This should be used in every post.
We also have a generic GMMH account/handle. This should be tagged in every post.
Twitter handle: @GMMH_NHS
Twitter and GMMH Research / The Research Units
On Twitter, we also have a new GMMH Research-specific hashtag. This should be used in every post about GMMH research.
On Twitter, we do not have a research-specific handle/account - we always only use the main GMMH handle/account (above).
Individual Research Units / projects may have their own handles/accounts and hashtags though. This could be the case when it is a joint venture with other organisation(s) e.g. the Psychosis Research Unit. On a case by case basis, you should check whether there are individual Unit/project handles and hashtags that you can also use. You should use the hashtags/handles outlined in this document alongside alongside any others you’d like to include.
If you are at an event with slides, please display the #TogetherGMMH and #ResearchGMMH hashtags alongside the @GMMH_NHS twitter handle (and any others that you’d like to include) so that all attendees know to use them, enabling them to contribute to the conversation and engage with the online network.
The purpose of the hashtag.
The purpose of the hashtag is to create a social movement around a particular topic. Adding a hashtag to your twitter post will share it with that particular network publicly. For example, if you click on the hashtag #TogetherGMMH on Twitter, you will find all Twitter posts relating to GMMH staff.
You can add as many hashtags and tag as many handles/accounts in each tweet post as possible (as long as it adheres to the 280 character limit.)
The purpose of the Research GMMH hashtag
The aim with the #ResearchGMMH hashtag is that every time people communicate about research at GMMH – whether they are running a trial, they are participating in a trial, they are at a research-specific event, or they have something interesting to say about the topic – they use the #ResearchGMMH hashtag. The hashtag will then act as a digital anthology of all research-specific tweets, which accumulates over time. People can utilise the hashtag to like, share and contribute to the topic; creating an online community and wider social movement around it.
The aim of the @GMMH_NHS twitter handle/account
Tagging @GMMH_NHS in your tweet will provide us with a notification. We will then be able to share your post with our followers by retweeting it. Doing so will help to widen the reach of your tweet – the amount of people who see and interact with it. Everyone who follows the @GMMH_NHS account does so in order to see GMMH specific content, so we know it’s something that our followers would like to see. This keeps them informed about what’s going on and engaged.
As a GMMH member of staff/volunteer, which account should I tweet from?
The only official GMMH-affiliated account is the overarching GMMH account, @GMMH_NHS. This is managed by our Communications team.
We do not allow individual wards/units to have their own Twitter accounts (although as mentioned above, Research Units which are joint ventures with other organisations may do).
We recommend that you tweet from your personal account. This is a great way to interact with social media, and let others know what you’re getting up to. It puts a face – and real person with dimension - behind it. Because our NHS is made up of people – real, diverse individuals - this is what we want to portray too on social media.
If you’re not comfortable using your personal account, that’s absolutely fine. Instead, you can create a work-specific, professional Twitter account. It is still under your name, and uses your identity, but is used only for work-specific content.
If you are posting any content that includes service users’ personal details – including pictures of them – you must gain their full consent first.
If you require a consent form, please request one from firstname.lastname@example.org. Please print off this form and ask any service users involved to sign if before posting any content. Once the form has been filled in, please either scan it in and email it to email@example.com, or return the physical copy to the Research & Innovation Office, 1st Floor, Harrop House, Bury New Road, Prestwich, Manchester M25 3BL.